NostalGeek

Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player

E3 2009: Nintendo Press Conference

e32009_073500x375I don’t know what it is. Is it my skewed view? Is it that we have loved Big N for so long that we expect nothing short of perfect from him? Is it that we are being too harsh? or Is it that the Nintendo Press Conference was really disappointing?

Whatever the case may be the conference left me with mixed feelings. I was mostly boring and there were some announcements that can only be seen as a joke (I’ll get to that). But there were also some good and a few great announcements no matter how jaded we may have become.

Mantra: Everyone’s Game

NB: Keep in my mind that I will add/update links as HD videos pop up on the web.

A bulk of the conference was spent crunching numbers and explaining why Wii is #1 and such. It was boring to a fault. MicroSoft got it right with there “Showing Not Telling” philosophy.
Nintendo talked a lot about there Wii Motion Plus with some more gameplay from Wii Sports Resort (Archery and Basketball) and while we are all excited about this addon (aside from the attached rubber case) the way Reggie Fils-Aime talked about it made me cringe. He said “you cannot SEE the difference” and quickly queued in a trailer which seemed ironic to me… He said “every mistake you would make in the real world will reflect in the game” but then how is this a game… and is Motion Plus really that precise??
I know and understand I am really nitpicking here but that’s what I’ve come to these past 2 years with Nintendo.
And for all my criticism I’m convinced that Wii Sports Resorts will be very fun to play! It is just there delivery that annoyed me. Cammie Dunaway I guess felt annoyed that everyone last year made fun of her lame jokes and so this year she was all business. And she looked it too. Not a smile and every sentenced delivered as if we were rebellious teenager who need to hear the truth but so sick of telling it that you’d rather walk away.
Again I may be over-analyzing but I really felt this way.

Anyway enough of this. There wasn’t any really big new hardware or partnership announcement (aside from the fact that pictures taken with your DSi can now be uploaded to Facebook) so let’s get on with the games.

  • New Super Mario Bros.Wii. Fairly exciting looks very similar to the DS game playable with 4 players. Coming Holiday 2009. Here’s the trailer.
  • Wii Fit Plus. It’s Wii Fit with new activities….YAWN! Cammie actually said “It’s Brain Age for your backside” and “it’s the game that will help the Wii stay at the top of mind“. Sad. It’s coming Fall 2009.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. A new game in the RPG series looks really cool with a trailer to boot. The game will come out on DS in Fall 2009.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2. Should be the biggest announcement of the day but it looks exactly like the original except you can play with Yoshi. Still it’s Mario and a nice trailer to go with it.
  • Golden Sun. A new Golden Sun for the DS!!! This is all that’s know for now. Check out the nice trailer.
  • Metroid: Other M. A new Metroid for the Wii!!!! Looks like a 3D platformer. Great trailer.
  • Dead Space: Extraction. Nice trailer with great ambiance except for the sound glitch. Looks promising.
  • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. Likewise looks promising. Nice trailer with some gameplay.
  • The Conduit. The graphics look nice in the trailer but that’s about it. Nothing new.
  • Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers. Not much is revealed in the trailer but it looks like there is some aiming/targeting involved.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. Showed a nice trailer and will be released on September 29.
  • Wii Vitality Sensor. The daily joke. Iwata unveiled this new ‘game’ in the Brain Age, Wii Fit series. It looks ridiculous, it attaches to your finger and………reads your pulse. That’s it. Pathetic.
  • Style Savvy. An import of Girl’s Mode in Japan. It’s a dress up game for teen girls. At least the music in the trailer is cool.
  • Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion. Based on the James Patterson novels the trailer shows the game which seems to be a mix between interactive novel and adventure game. It could turn out pretty fun.
  • C.O.P.: The Recruit. Oh well, the trailer started out really nicely but then the game looks very average so wait and see.
  • Mario Vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again. It will be available only through download on DSi Ware next week. Here’s the trailer.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | DS News, Industry News, Video Game News, Wii News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

E3 2009: Microsoft Press Conference

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Today at 10:30am PST E3 officially launched with the Microsoft press conference. It feature several announcements, some big and some small, some exciting, some yawn-inducing. But overall I think it was a good conference.

Mantra: Showing Not Telling.

NB: Keep in my mind that I will add/update links as HD videos pop up on the web.

The big announcement of the conference was Project Natal. The long speculated camera with movement recognition. It turns out it will also feature facial and voice recognition.
They really pushed it with appearances from Steven Spielberg and Peter Molyneux but it was a mixed bag.

The lame painting demo, though somewhat fun gave me the same feeling as Wii Music last year. Completely gimmicky and useless. Not precise enough to be used in games. The Ricochet demo, likewise, was fun in the sense that the girl who did the demo after 5 minutes seemed ready to jump into the shower. So what of hour long sessions…..

The whole Lionhead demo is also bittersweet. On the one hand the demo itself is sad! Following on the whole new stuff for Live, now you don’t need to press a button with Natal voice recognition, you don’t need to see your friends because you have Facebook and Twitter everywhere and with Milo you don’t even need a friend! Sad really.
But on the other hand if you look past the presentation itself. What it offers in terms of new technology, when harnessed, could be amazing in games. Imaging being in Resident Evil 5 and instead of having to go through ammo inventory management hell, you would just say “give my shotgun ammo” and ..voila! Truly an amazing potential that has yet to be developed.
It is after all still a ‘project’ so let us give them the benefit of the doubt.

In other none-straight-game-related stuff, Microsoft announced new partnerships:

  • Last.fm which will allow access to the famous music site. In addition people with gold subscriptions will have access to it all for free. This feels like this year’s Netflix deal.
  • Facebook. This a a pretty big thing if it’s exclusive but all in all it allows you to do what you already do on your PC and Blackberry from your 360. YAY lazy.
  • Twitter. Same as Facebook, nothing to add.
  • Sky TV in the UK which will allow you to watch live TV.
  • All videos will now be available instantly in 1080p. Nice but I’ll believe it when I see it.

The announcements most of the people who may read my blog (however few) are interested in are the games. On that front I thought Microsoft did pretty well so let’s dive in.

  • The Beatles Rock Band. Paul, Ringo and Yoko! Pretty big PR. Check out the amazing game intro. All You Need Is Love is a 360 exclusive and I am so getting this game! I don’t own it yet and the Beatles guitars look awesome. Out 09-09-09!
  • Modern Warfare 2. They showed the long trailer that came out last week but they also had a gameplay demo in the snow with blizzard weather and snowmobile that was awesome!
  • Final Fantasy XIII. It was basically the Japanese demo of the English version with English voices. I’m still praying for VO in the game though. They unveiled Odin which was cool. It’s set to release in Spring 2010.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction. They showed a very nice demo and trailer. The game looks darker and features some new stuff like an EMP grenade and ‘Mark and Execute’ which allows you to sort of set a sequence and get it going for a fast kill.
  • Left 4 Dead 2. Featured a great trailer and a release date for October of this year.
  • Halo 3: ODST. Another sweet trailer, Bukcle up and prepare to drop! Some gameplay footage in New Mombasa as the Rookie. The game will have a flashback systema nd you will play several ODSTs to build up the plot.
  • Halo: Reach. Unveiling of the game. Set around the time of the novel ‘Fall of Reach’ which was a prequel to the game. No surprise another nice trailer. Set to release in 2010 and there will be a beta access with ODST.
  • Alan Wake. At last!!!! A very nice footage of the game. Walking around at night with a tryst flashlight. It reminded my a lot of Alone in the Dark on the DC. You seem to be facing ghost which are neutralized with a sort of EMP weapon. The game is coming out Spring 2010.
  • Forza Motorsport 3. A short trailer and a live demo showing the different views with the head vision going left and right. A new very deep costumization and video editing system for Live. Release date set for October.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Rising. and HERE. WE. GO. After Devil May Cry and Final Fantasy Sony lost the Metal Gear exclusive. Aside from this the whole thign was fairly poor. Same trailer we’ve been teased with for weeks (and the countdown hadn’t even reached zero!). Even though it’s called Metal Gear SOLID it Kojima made a point to say it doesn’t feature Solid Snake but Raiden as we knew.
  • Shadow Complex. New Epic Game for XBLA. was unveiled through massive sound problem so we didn’t hear a bunch of stuff. The animation looks a lot like Bionic Commando Rearmed and the map is reminiscent of Metroid/Castlevania.
  • Crackdown 2. Featured a nice trailer but that’s about it.
  • Brutal Legend. Tim Schaeffer detailed some of the voice work and characters in the game with a  fun trailer. Included are Ozzy Osbourne, Motorhead’s Lemmy Killmeister, Lita Ford and more. Still coming out Rocktober!
  • Tony Hawk Ride. unveiled the final design for the skate peripheral as well as a basic trailer. nothing thrilling.
  • Joy Ride. A sort of Mario Kart with your Avatars in the cars. But it’s free so there’s really nothing to complain about. Could be fun.

June 1, 2009 Posted by | 360 News, Industry News, PC News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment