Mushroom Soup For The Pixelated Soul
The first day of E3 has come and gone, and Microsoft was the first of the three contenders to step up to the ring.
Aside from the mundane Beatles reunion that served as a warm-up, it was a pretty good showing. Not too many big gaming related announcements, but the stuff they showed was still mighty strong.
Modern Warfare 2: The fact that this game looked really good was no surprise at all, but I have to wonder just what Infinity Ward has been feeding their engine. The MW franchise remains one of the most gorgeous I’ve seen this generation, and their separation from Activision means I’ll never have to look at the Call of Duty series again. It’s going to be a kickass November.
Left 4 Dead 2: This, however, was a far bigger surprise. This has to be some sort of track record for fastest mutliplatform sequel, although many have suspected that it’s in actuality an expansion pack, although I’ve got my doubts on that one. Regardless, I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoyed the first game (and still do), so I’m going to eat this one up the moment it’s out. I just hope Valve continues to support LFD with more maps and infected instead of just releasing “sequel packs” every year.
Splinter Cell: Conviction: I liked this series better when the main character was a humble dad by day, witty badass by night. Now that his daughter’s dead, the only thing left is generic cop rage, fueled by the odd fact that he appears younger in each game. Still, I couldn’t help but find the “text on walls” effect rather cool, and it’s always fun to give assholes their comuppance (via violent interrogation tactics), so I’m willing to give “Man on Fire: The Game” a shot.
Crackdown 2: A lot of people were convinced this game would never get a sequel, so it’s nice to see them proven wrong. I own the original myself, purchased from a Blockbuster bargain bin, but I never played past the first hour. I plan to remedy that soon, as a means of celebration. The monster surprise kind of gives it the feeling of “Gears of Crackdown”, though.
Metal Gear Solid: Rising: The announcement that 360 was finally getting an MGS game should have been the ultimate fanboy highlight of E3, but Kojima’s last second “oh wait, it’s Raiden” message seriously downplayed the jubulation. I’m pretty sure the average 360 owner doesn’t care much about Metal Gear, anyway, and would rather hear more about Halo.
Halo 3 ODST: And here it is! How very underwhelming! Granted the setting looked a bit cooler, the guys had some cool armor minus the exposed fingers (why leave them exposed?), but once the dialog kicked in, well….yes, he did blast the hell out of that guy. No, I wasn’t impressed.
Halo Reach: All we get is a teaser shot, and yet I can’t but feel this will be a far better game than ODST. Just a hunch.
Alan Wake: I always embrace new horror games, although this one’s more of a psychological thriller. Still, the effects are pretty awesome, the enviornment changing shape was cool, as well as the way the protagonist narrated the events like a (intentionally?) bad novel. I just hope there are more enemies than just shadowy human husks, as wesll as a positioning option for the flashlight. I’ll be buggered if I’m going to play the whole game left-handed.
Shadow Complex: This looks pretty cool, but I wish people would drop the “Metroidvania” joke and call it by its more appropriate name: “Contravania”.
Final Fantasy XIII: Huh, what? English dialog and text? An exclusive summon!? You can bet this had me sit up on my seat. Surprisingly, FFXIII is very far along in its localization, although that isn’t going to make it come out any sooner than Spring 2010. Enjoy your Christmas release, you Japanese bastards.
Twitter/Facebook/Other Non-Game Stuff: Uggggh. Okay, Last.FM could be decent if they let you browse it while playing a game, but otherwise, why in the hell would anyone use twitter on the 360? If it was some sort of XBL-exclusive twitter-type system it would be neat, but otherwise….
Watching movies with buddies on a virtual couch: Potentially fun, but I’m hoping that only one of you needs to physically purchase or rent the movie. Nothing beats online mooching.
Natal: Oh boy, here we go. Waggling was rumored forever, and now it’s here, Minority Report style. About the most positive thing I can say about this is that browing your 360 with voice command could be semi neat, and if the arm moving and voice recognition features were included into normal games, it might add to the immersive experience. Otherwise….well it’s too bad no developer will be allowed to make an M rated game with this. Think of all the fun positions you could do on that mat….
Milo: Oh man…this was wrong on so many levels. Encouraging to deny all human interaction, Milo is a virtual british buddy who is delighted to spend time with you with all sorts of voice-recognized activities.
Do I have to spell out why the concept of manipulating a photorealistic little virtual boy is a bad idea? Do I really? And I’m sure there will be a little virtual girl to also interact with.
Xbox 360: Jump In. Molest.
Ubi Soft’s Conference: The less said, the better. Yes, I realize the irony in that statement.
Nintendo and Sony are up next. There’s a high probability that Nintendo will announce a sequel to New Super Mario Bros, something that would make me very happy and almost forgiving of the absurd Wii whoring that occured in this show so far.
As for Sony, their show can be an easy success as long as they make sure not to show any charts or mention any sales figures. MS zinged you guys, so if you were planning on the charts, dump ’em.