Posts Tagged ‘E3’


Why So Hard On E3?

June 8, 2012

Now that E3 2012 has wrapped up, opinions on the event from all around the net are pouring in. I’m looking around and am given a turn by some of the words that have been used to describe it: Atrocity. God AWFUL. Shameful.

Now I grant you I was a little disappointed as well. I’ve even made my share of snarky remarks, like about the Wii U and Wonderbook and how the industry appears to be hell-bent on adding new peripherals to make us gamers look more and more like ridiculous fools while gaming.

Still, I have to wonder if my sentiments derive from just not being all that interested in this year’s showings. But even to that end, I doubt I’d use a word like “shameful” to describe the time and effort that companies and developers have put into making any of the games/technology showcased over the last few days. In fact, I think it’s anything but.

I’ve actually been quite impressed by some of this year’s games and tech at E3, even the stuff I have no desire to play/use at all. Quite honestly, a game like The Last of Us would probably give me disturbing dreams. But to say that innovation is dead because The Last of UsWatch Dogs, Splinter Cell, Tomb RaiderDead Space, Black Ops, Star Wars 1313, etc. etc. etc. are all just variations of the same game (an assessment I’ve come across more than a few times on various gaming sites in the last few days) because you get to swear a lot and/or shoot people in the face? I think that’s a little disingenuous. That’s basically ignoring all the other little things that can make a game unique, everything from story to graphics. I was personally excited that E3 2012 was a year of a handful of new IPs.

I also notice folks have been pretty hard on the all the press conferences, but especially Nintendo’s — after all, no price and no release date for the Wii U as well as the rehashed franchises and already released third-party titles. But while I may not want a Wii U, I think what it’s capable of is pretty amazing. Same goes for Microsoft’s Kinect and SmartGlass app, really; I may not end up using either, but I can’t deny that what it does is incredibly fascinating stuff.

Was E3 really so bad? Or have I just gotten out of touch due to my little break from gaming?


Rift: I Just Can’t Say No (…Or You Make It Really Hard To Say No, Anyway)

June 7, 2012

A lot has been going on lately, but I have not been letting news of the upcoming Rift expansion escape my notice.  Storm Legion is touted to be three times bigger than what is in the game right now, adding two new continents each with their own storyline, as well as what is apparently a new player housing system.  We’re also told to expect more gear, more dungeons, more souls, more crafting. Just more more more more MORE.

When it comes to pulling off a great expansion, I have high hopes in Trion. After all, they have always churned out content faster than you can say rampaging mechanical colossus. A look at their E3 live stream today had me convinced it’s going to be awesome.

Rift, it’s not funny. I am so overwhelmed with games this year, but you make it so damn difficult to say no. Still, while extremely tempting, a resub is probably not in the cards right now. With a level-capped Cleric waiting on the sidelines, I guess I’m in no big hurry.

However, I can definitely see myself picking it up again come this fall, which is when the expansion is reported to be released. I know a few of my friends have already jumped back into Rift, and to others who have not reached level 50 yet I can see why it might be a good idea. Not surprisingly, encounters like the one we see with Mr. Gi-Mongous up there in the live stream video will be endgame content. With action and sights like that, I’d probably want to be prepared too.


Always In Motion Is The Future

June 10, 2011

Unsurprisingly, with everything that happened this week, today’s Star Wars: The Old Republic update was a recap of their events and features at E3.

  • Of course, the “Return” Cinematic Intro was the centerpiece. Last year, the “Hope” trailer had everyone excited about the Trooper, while this year, everyone is talking about the Smuggler. Bah! And they say BioWare gives no love to the Republic.
  • A preview trailer of the features we have to look forward to in SWTOR. Quite honestly, I liked that video just much as — if not more — than I did “Return”. It lacks the bells and whistles of a cinematic, but it has something better — actual gameplay footage.
  • A trailer for the Operation of Eternity Vault, a raid on the planet of Belsavis. There’s still not enough endgame information for me to make a judgment, but I’m curious. To recapitulate my own thoughts, I used to be a lot more interested in MMO raiding, but not so much anymore since I discovered how quickly I lost interest in the grind and gear progression. Don’t get me wrong — I’ll raid in SWTOR. But to be perfectly honest, unless they do something very different, I can’t see myself being converted in the long run. Don’t worry about me though, there are always going to be other classes to play. My favorite part of an MMO has always been the leveling, the journey, the experience.
  • The Tatooine Developer Walkthrough. Sith Sorcerors and Sand People and Krayt Dragons, oh my! And I still can’t get over how damn huge that place is. My sense of exploration is tingling.

SWTOR: Utinni!

June 8, 2011

I didn’t follow E3 as closely today, playing some catch up with my work instead (on account of all the time I puttered away yesterday, watching all the presentations). I did, however, catch a couple of Star Wars: The Old Republic live streams and features.

One of them was a live demo session hosted by Daniel Erickson from the show floor, answering fan questions and showcasing a Bounty Hunter questing on the planet of Tatooine. The video can be viewed here.

My interest was piqued immediately, for not only is the Bounty Hunter my class of choice, BioWare had also been teasing Tatooine for a couple weeks now and I was really looking forward to seeing it. Everything sort of fled my mind, however, the moment they revealed Blizz the little Jawa companion. Tally another point under the “Reasons to play a Bounty Hunter” column, please!

Oh em gee, will you just look at how cute and cuddly he is. Though, I almost choked to death on my Coke when someone actually asked if he was romance-able (he’s not, thank god). Sorry, but that’s just wrong. Sooo wrong.

They’ve done a wonderful job on the environment; despite the lowered graphic settings for the live stream, everything still looked very beautiful and Tatooine-y. Oh, and massive. Something tells me I’ll be extremely grateful for my speeder “mount” for traveling. Other highlights — a med probe ability that acts similarly to the Rift “soulwalk” when you die, unlimited inventory space for quest items, ability to switch out your companions on the fly for convenience while soloing or grouping, and many other quality-of-life features.

You can’t sell your companions, which was sort of obvious to me, but I still couldn’t help but be amused by Erickson’s answer of no slavery in the Old Republic — if only because it reminded me of how long I’ve personally pondered the ethics of selling, trading, and even sending your bridge officers through the mail like some kind of human chattel in Star Trek Online. Heh.

The other live stream I watched was the short interview on SWTOR raids (which they call “Operations”), as well as the trailer for the Eternity Vault encounter on Belsavis:

You know what it reminded me of? Oddly enough, Episode II. Yep, Attack of the Clones. Battle of Geonosis. The scene where Padme finally professes to Anakin that she truly…deeply…loves him (like, really?) before they and Obi-Wan are hauled off to become creature food, and Mace Windu and his 212-member Jedi strike team have to step in at the nick of time to rescue their asses. The scene where, outnumbered 50 to 1, the Jedi fight to the end in a charlie foxtrot of running feet, flying blaster bolts and flashing lightsabers, utter chaos exploding in every corner of the arena.

In short, Geonosis was a complete gong show and it was the first thing I thought of. Not that that’s a criticism of the above trailer, however. On the contrary. Large-scale battles like that should be messy, they should be chaotic. I thought some of the game footage they showed captured that vibe very well. That said, there were glimpses of what appeared to be boss fights, but also many encounters where the players split up to engage multiple enemies — the latter is what I hope we’ll get to see more of. In any case, I don’t know what else to make of SWTOR raids yet, with still so little to go on.

I did also manage to catch the Nintendo unveiling of the WiiU this afternoon. This year seems to be all about the possibilities for me. The possibility of me actually using a Wii product again for something else other than exercising and work out games if I got the touchscreen controller. The possibility I might actually be drawn into the world of handheld gaming by the Playstation Vita. The possibility I might finally have enough reasons to get a Kinect. All prospects, but nothing really jumped out at me.

My main interest still lies more in MMOs than in consoles or anything, though I’ve enjoyed every minute of the coverage over the last couple of days on games like Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City, Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed Revelations and even Neverwinter.


SWTOR: E3 Eye Candy

June 6, 2011

The new Star Wars: The Old Republic cinematic trailer, “Return”:

Excuse me for a sec, while I try real hard to hold my eyeballs in. They’re sort of bleeding out right now from watching all that awesomeness — but also from the flash and razzle dazzle. And here I thought the “Hope” trailer was over the top.

Still, Blur Studios has done it again, pulling off what is in my opinion the most detailed and elaborate out of all the SWTOR cinematic trailers. They gave attention to both the Empire and the Republic, filling in some of the history for both Satele and Malgus, while throwing in a healthy dose of space combat and the compulsory lightsaber duel sequences.

A few classes also got to relish their moments in the limelight, though some managed to look waaaaay cooler than others, *cough* Smuggler *cough*. I was a little skeptical about the overall look and feel of the Gunslinger at first, but no longer. He looked like he was born to rock the Star Wars universe and the Old Republic.

Also shown today at the EA presentation at E3, the “Choose” montage trailer:

Apparently, “Choose” was always going to be shown at the press conference, with “Return” being saved for a debut on Since the previous trailers were shown at E3, I think that led to a lot of confusion, despite the note at the end of the trailer pointing to the new cinematic at the official game site. Why Dr. Greg Zeschuk didn’t also say so in his opening speech was a missed opportunity in my opinion, or else they must think everyone is plugged into twitter or other social networks to know stuff these days.

There will be no release date announced during E3 2011, or any pre-order details. Not that I was expecting it, but I’m not denying that there was always that hope. I mean, picture it, how cool would it have been if the trailer had actually played out this way: “CHOOSE YOUR SIDE…JOIN YOUR ALLIES…THE BATTLE BEGINS”…and BOOM, release date? Sadly, now it’s more like, THE BATTLE BEGINS…on the official community forums!

If you can tune out all the rage, however, the good news is that Bioware is still aiming for a “second half of 2011” release. Good things come to those who wait; with luck, we’ll be playing this game within the next 6 months. While the SWTOR coverage at the EA conference may have been scarce (though I did get to drool all over Mass Effect 3), over the next few days there should be more BioWare panels and demos from the show floor, with more on features teased in last weekend’s E3 preview trailer:

I love cinematic trailers, but they never reflect what the finished game will look like. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed feasting upon all the actual gameplay footage shown in the video above.


Nintendo, I Salute You

June 17, 2010

As E3 2010 wraps up, I look back at the last few days and I must say, there were a lot of awesome things this year. The new “Hope” trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic blew me away of course, and I was also impressed with what I saw from games like Fallout: New Vegas, Fable III, and The Force Unleashed II. It’s going to be a great year for gaming.

At the end of the day though, it was Nintendo that really dazzled me. At first, I was surprised by this because I’ve largely been oblivious to everything Nintendo has done in the last few years. The last time I touched my DS, I think I was still in college. We also have a Wii in the house, but my husband is the only one who uses it for the Wii Fit. In general, Nintendo’s abundance of games tend to be targeted at a younger audience, which is why I think I haven’t been paying much attention. But there’s a kid in all of us, isn’t there? And I just realized mine is going coo coo for some of the things they revealed at E3.

As well, never underestimate the power of nostalgia. From Tron to Kirby to Donkey Kong, just hearing some of these names brings back fond memories that make me smile. A few things I’m especially looking forward to:

GoldenEye 007

Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap. Talk about nostalgia, no other shooter has brought me hours of joy like the original N64 title did. When we were kids, my brother and I would hold multiplayer parties with this game in our basement and invite all our friends. Sigh…good times. And now, they’re remaking this classic for the Wii!

I can’t wait to have another GoldenEye Party. Things will be different of course. Instead of being a group of loud, overactive, foul-mouthed preteens huddling around a Nintendo 64, we’ll be a group of loud, overactive, foul-mouthed twenty-somethings huddling around a Nintendo Wii.

Epic Mickey

Come on, it’s Mickey! And he’s going to be epic! Who can say no to that?

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Okay, I sort of lied when I said I haven’t been paying attention to Nintendo, because I have…but only when the news pertains to Legend of Zelda. I admit, I’m hooked on anything to do with this series, once again because of my childhood memories. Ocarina of Time remains one of my all-time favorite games and pretty much made me a fan of Zelda forever (and to this day, I still use “The Lost Woods” theme as my mobile ring tone).

Sadly, I still have yet to play Twilight Princess. When it first came out, I told myself that I was going to pick it up only when the hype goes away and the prices drop. How utterly, utterly naive of me. Almost 4 years now, and it still retails at the price of a new game. I guess some titles are just that good.

Nintendo 3DS

While I’m pretty sick of this new 3D fad, I gotta say the Nintendo 3DS intrigues me, if only because it boasts 3D effects without the need for any of those idiotic-looking glasses. The other thing is, Nintendogs is being developed for it.

Oh God. *Ducks head in shame* Damn you, Nintendo, you know I can’t resist those cute little fluffy puppies! Seeing as how the original Nintendogs was what made me buy a Nintendo DS in the first place, I think I’m screwed. What can I say, I’m a sucker for dogs, even when they’re fake and made out of pixels. I told a friend this and not surprisingly, he laughed at me. But then he also said that it’s okay, just as long as I won’t buy the Microsoft Kinect just for Kinectimals. Okay, that at least I can promise.