Jobocan’s impressions on the E3 keynote conferences
Well the E3 conferences are done. Some of them sucked, one of them was fucking awesome, and here I am to give my impressions on them.
I’ll comment about both things that were announced, and my impressions about the conferences as a whole. There were 5 big conferences, and I’ll talk about all of them, though I will just skim through the less interesting ones.
And I know that E3 isn’t done yet, more could be announced, but this is just about the conferences.
So read on!
None. I knew they’d talk about Gears 3, Natal, Fable 3, and Halo Reach. I didn’t expect anything more.
I don’t understand why they started this with a multi-platform game. Most likely because Call of Duty Black Ops will have its DLC on the 360 first, but this still wasn’t a great start. Mostly because the gameplay segments they showed for Black Ops were stupidly boring to watch.
The “hardcore” part of the conference
After the bad start with Black Ops, they showed all the “core” games.
It was cool finally seeing gameplay footage for Metal Gear Rising, it looks interesting for sure.
Then Gears 3 was shown, and that wasn’t too interesting. All it really showed was that it plays just like the previous 2 Gears games. Though I will say that I was surprised to see some color in there. Also, in this part, they called Marcus Fenix and Master Chief unforgettable characters… that was weird and false.
After that a bit of Fable 3 was shown… not much of it though. Nothing new.
Speaking of not showing much, they showed something called Codename Kingdoms, with a cinematic showing real people surrounded by bad CG. No gameplay was shown, so revealing that was completely pointless.
Then the Halo Reach demonstration showed that they basically changed nothing since Halo 3. Though it didn’t look bad.
That’s it for the “hardcore” part. The coolest thing here? Cliff Blezinski’s t-shirt. It featured a yeti riding a unicorn… fucking awesome.
After only a few minutes of “core” games, they devoted the rest of the conference to Kinect (renamed from Project Natal). They showed off various Kinect games, and showed off the technology, like how you can control the 360 with your voice and body.
The games shown were: Kinectimals (AKA nintendogs), Kinect Sports (a mix between World Class Track Meet(nes), Wii Sports and Track and Field 2(nes)), Kinect Adventures (which looks like a boring mini-game compilation), Your Body Fitness Evolve (which looks like a Wii Fit-esque application that seems good for Wii Fit fans), Dance Central (made by Harmonix, looks really fun if you like dancing), a new Forza game which looks like it’s just Forza 3 with Kinect features and finally a crappy-looking Star Wars game that basically involve waving your arms around at random.
Nothing really interesting was shown for Kinect, but the tech looks impressive… though I can’t imagine much for the “hardcore” gamer here.
Well… it was rather boring. Spending more than half the time on Kinect wasn’t a great idea, announcing nothing new was a terrible idea (everything shown for Kinect was known the day before), and barely spending any time on the “gamers’Â games” wasn’t too good either. And the opening of the conference was just stupid. The high point was the Metal Gear Rising trailer, which was way too short.
Nothing really. I only watched it because it was there. If I’d say I had any hopes for this, I really did hope seeing Mirror’s Edge 2…
Starting with a new game announcement is a great idea. The trailer made it seem interesting. And then they showed some live gameplay… They couldn’t have made it look any more dull. Need For Speed Hot Pursuit looks like it could be good, and it IS made by Criterion, but they should have made the demonstration a lot more interesting.
They showed Dead Space 2, the new MMA game, EA Sports Active 2 (for all consoles), Madden 11, Sims 3 for consoles, Crysis 2, Bulletstorm and a cinematic trailer for Star Wars The Old Republic.
This didn’t really feel very good. It’s nice that they showed some gameplay for some of the games, but for the most part it was really boring talking.
On a positive note, the gameplay demo for Bulletstorm actually really interested me. Looks actually fun for a modern FPS, concentrating on fun weapons and fun ways to kills rather than all the seriousness in other modern FPS.
But please tell me, what’s the point of making an epically badass cinematic trailer for an MMORPG? I don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, the trailer was awesome, but it felt pointless.
Relatively weak opening, the rest of the thing felt way too dragged out, and nothing was announced. Announcing Madden 11 doesn’t count, of course, and it was obvious they’d milk the cash cow that is EA Sports Active. The high point was… hum… the Bulletstorm demonstration I guess…
And the lack of Mirror’s Edge 2 makes me sad.
I had no idea what to expect, since I didn’t really care about what Ubisoft had to show. Again, I watched it because it was there, hoping for surprises.
The started with Child of Eden, a psychedelic shooter controlled by Kinect. My only thought through the whole demonstration was “Are they re-releasing the Power Glove?” Because frankly that’s what it looked like. But what a weak opening that was. The game doesn’t look fun. It looks too artsy to be any fun to play.
After the opening
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Shaun White Skateboarding (which looks sort of interesting), a “Real” FPS game that’s nothing more than an advanced version of laser tag, a Vitality Sensor rip-off with a “breathing” application that seemed stupid, a few Kinect games, a new Rabbids game involving time travel, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Driver 4, Project Dust (no gameplay was shown so it was ENTIRELY POINTLESS), there was the most exciting announcement at E3 up to that point (Rayman Origins), Mania Planet which is a hub for user-generated content games like Trackmania 2 and a few more, and finally a Michal Jackson game.
A lot was shown, though only one REALLY interesting thing was announced. What really irked me is the Kinect part, showing Your Shape: Fitness Evolved… It’s okay to show the same game in 2 conferences, but why did they have the exact same script as in the Microsoft conference? That was just stupid.
Rayman Origins looked awesome. Very awesome. It was a huge surprise for everyone and it was the high point of the conference, and by far the most interesting element of E3 up to that point. The rest of the conference wasn’t very interesting, though I can see why some of the games that didn’t interest me would interest other people.
Well, everyone knew they’d show Zelda and the 3DS. But otherwise, their stuff was pretty hush hush. There were some rumors, but nothing really precise. So Nintendo easily had the most potential to surprise. I had a few unreasonable hopes, as usual, but that’s what happens with Nintendo E3 conferences. Every year fans hope for a new F-Zero, Kid Icarus, Star Fox and various other things (like how I always hope for Star Tropics to be finally revived), but they never come.
One thing that sucked in every previous conference was the opening. Here, there was no fucking around. Everyone wanted to see Zelda, so they showed Zelda right away. The graphics looked nice, and Miyamoto was presenting everything. But there was a slight problem: their wii remote had trouble working, presumably because of wireless interference. They did show some of the gameplay, and what they did manage to show looked interesting. After the conference we did see videos of the controls working properly (such as on Kotaku) and that was nice, but it would have been cool to see it working properly on-stage. But still, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was easily the best opening of the conference.
NBA Jam, Mario Sports Mix, Golden Sun Dark Dawn, Goldeneye, Epic Mickey gameplay, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Dragon Quest 9, Metroid Other M, Donkey Kong Country Returns…
OMG. New Donkey Kong made by Retro Studios? New Goldeneye made in the style of the original with some changes? New Kirby?Â Badass gameplay trailer for Golden Sun Dark Dawn? Showing that the gameplay for Epic Mickey looks solid? Mario Sports Mix looking like a fun multi-sport title?Â That was fucking awesome. Seriously. A bunch of new games announced, dates given for already known games, and they concentrated on the gameplay rather than pointless cinematic trailers… just wow.
Just a note on Kirby… It looks really strange, and I’m not too fond of the new graphic style, but the gameplay looks solid, and it might be a nice change of pace from previous Kirby games. We’ll see. Though I really wonder what happened to that Kirby project that was being made on Gamecube… They did say it was “transferred” to Wii, but then it disappeared… weird.
And a note on Donkey Kong Country Return… I’ve been waiting for this since Donkey Kong Country 3, why did it take SO LONG for a new good side-scrolling DK game? This is a very exciting announcement, and the fact that the guys behind Metroid Prime are making it is just AWESOME.
Surprisingly, barely any of them were shown. Just Dance 2, and Wii Party. While Just Dance is terrible, the first one sold a LOT. And let’s not forget E3 is a trade show, to show to investors what they have coming up, and Just Dance 2 made them very happy. As for Wii Party, it just looks like a very dumbed-down Mario Party… meh.
I like that there was almost no casual games, but that they still showed a few for people that it might interest.
That’s the big thing of the conference. I like how it was presented. It’s different functions were introduced, the fact that it’s NOT just a new DS was made very important, and then they showed off the first game. One thing to say here: HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT. A new Kid Icarus? No one expected that for real, it was just false hope. And the trailer… was that a 3DS game? It looked as good as the best-looking Wii games. And then they name various other titles in some trailer/developers’ impressions video (Metal Gear, Street Fighter, Mario, Zelda, Kirby, Ninja Gaiden, Star Fox, Nintendogs+Cats for the casuals)… wow.
The presentation for the 3DS was phenomenal, and the high point of all of E3. There was sadly no way to show the 3D effect without experiencing yourself, but showing peoples’ impressions after the conference (people in the conference room got to try it) was a great thing, and was highly positive.
Now THAT’S how you do a conference at E3. Non-stop news and badass gameplay trailers. And the lack of Cammie Dunaway was a HUGE improvement from the last years’ keynotes. Strangely the Vitality Sensor was missing… that was weird, though understandable considering what was shown… And frankly who cares about the Vitality Sensor?
Well, I expected mostly talk about Move, and maybe a cool new game announcement or 2. A lot was already announced before, so new stuff wasn’t what I expected. What I did NOT expect was that this would be the worst conference at this year’s E3.
The conference was opened with a presentation of Killzone 3 (there was some idle talking at the start, which doesn’t matter). I guess it was an okay presentation, though I found KZ2 to be a rather boring game. This looks like the same thing, but with different environments. Though the jetpack looks kinda interesting.
There’s like 15 minutes of Sony talking about how they’re the first and ONLY console to do 3D… guess they missed the NES 25 years ago (Rad Racer) and Nintendo’s Conference (Nintendo doing 3D BETTER). So much talk about 3D, yet there was no substance whatsoever… It was a big waste of time.
And then there was a boring trailer montage. That’s not the only one here.
After about 20 minutes of NOTHING, they finally showed Move, for almost an hour. They showed off Sorcery (which doesn’t look great, but seems better than any Move game I’ve seen for now), Tiger Woods which seems to be just as precise as the one on Wii (maybe even less, the person demonstrating it had lots of trouble playing) and Heroes on the Move (mixing Sly, Ratchet, Clank, Jak and Daxter) though no gameplay was shown making it pointless.
That was incredibly dull. It ended with them showing how overpriced the Move is. If you already have the PSEye, it’s 50$ for the Move itself, and 30$ for the nunchuk knockoff… Why did people applaud for this? That’s horrible pricing… I mean, 320$(+ tax) if you want enough for 4 players? And even more if you don’t have the camera? And no packed-in game unless you get the bundle with the camera? That’s bullshit. That makes the rumored price point for Kinect of 150$ sound reasonable, since you only have to buy one of them.
And it was very long-winded considering it had no noticeable improvements over the Wiimote…
The PSP part
What’s with that ad campaign? It’s really bad, and here I thought the Move commercials were bad. I have no idea why they wanted to show off that terrible ad campaign and I hope they get rid of it. After that a few trailers with barely any gameplay for a few PSP gamesÂ are shown, and it’s time to talk about something else. Good thing the whole PSP segment wasn’t too long, since it was really boring.
The PS3 part
They start of the PS3 part with LittleBigPlanet 2, which is nice. They showed various features of the game, and it looked good and a lot deeper than the first one.
Then they revealed Playstation Plus, a service costing 50$ a month which gives access to free games/avatars/other stuff, as well as discounts on games. The downside? Well, if you cancel your subscription, you lose access to any free things you got during your subscription… that’s pretty bad. And people applauded anyways.
After that, it became dull again. Medal of Honor which was shown in a previous conference more in detail, Dead Space 2 got a small but unconvincing gameplay demo, then a small Portal 2 trailer with barely any gameplay, then… I missed the part about FFXIV (sorry), then a boring thing about Assassin’s Creed, finally a release date for Gran Turismo 5 (does anyone even care anymore? doesn’t seem that much better than Forza 3 considering the extra dev time), a cinematic trailer for inFamous 2 and the big “surprise”, a new Twisted Metal game that looks pretty good (but didn’t we know about this already?).
The big problem with this was that it was almost 2 hours long, and it was almost all padding. It wasn’t interesting to look at, there were barely any announcements, and when they showed games they almost always showed cinematic trailers rather than gameplay trailers, which is really not a good thing, and there were almost no gameplay demonstrations.
Though the opening was okay, it was all downhill from there. The only saving grace of the conference was Twisted Metal, which looks like a nice twist on the franchise.
Oh, and, on the internet side of things, it was very unstable. Lag all the time, streams not working properly, it was very bad in that aspect… I had to switch streams like 5 times because it kept fucking up.
This is clear, there is no doubt about it. If there was a “winner” in regards to conferences, it is Nintendo. The most interesting conference by far. No time wasted anywhere in there, they just went from badass announcement to badass announcement. There were some big surprise, and everything they showed (other than NBA Jam) gave us a great look at the gameplay. There was a nice balance between casual games and “core” games too. And the official reveal of the 3DS was incredible. They found the best way possible to present this new handheld, with itsÂ wii-level graphics, 3D with no glasses, a bunch of game announced for it, and of course the super surprising reveal of Kid Icarus Uprising. I mean, no one was expecting that. The other conferences felt rather pointless.
Though Ubisoft gets an honorable mention for announcing Rayman Origins, that looks awesome. And seeing Kinect in action in more detail than last year was really nice too, I am a bit more interested than before.
Nintendo, you HAVE to keep kicking this much ass. Sony/Microsoft/EA/Ubisoft/anyone else who wants to do an E3 conference: look at what Nintendo did this year… seriously. Learn from how bad the other conferences were and how awesome the Nintendo conference was.
Though, with all that said, we must not forget that E3 is a Trade Show. It’s made to show investors what will make them money. The conferences aren’t exactly made to be interesting to gamers. Which kinda sucks.
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