Friday, June 24, 2011

E3 2011 info for those who don't know!

So E3 is over and where has it left us? Well, the major games and hardware were in attendance, Candace Bailey looks good playing Kinect games in a skirt (or a dress), and we all were treated to some of the industries best eye candy that we will hold onto until the next E3 comes along. We here at J1 believe that while we can deliver news to our fans, often its our opinions andour imaginations that you really care about most. So, lets take a look at the big stories, and little stories, of E3 and what we think of them with a little J1 flava on top.

First the biggies: Halo 4, Halo HD, the “real” launch titles for the 3DS, Street Fighter x Tekken, the Wii U, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Rage, Zelda: Skyward Sword, the Vita, Batman: Arkham City, Overstrike, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Uncharted 3, Skyhawk, Gears of War 3, Bioshock Infinite, Prey 2, Journey, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim...really too many to write out here. But as far as I'm concerned there are only a few that are really making me lean forward in my seat as the trailers play.

Of all of E3, the following are on my must buy list: Street Fighterx Tekken, the Vita, Batman: Arkham City, Bioshock 3, Mass Effect 3, Overstrike, Deus Ex Human Revolution, and perhaps Hawken.

I wouldn't be a fighting game fan if I didn't get Street Fighter x Tekken and it already looks awesome. Let's just hope 'Gief and King get to wrestle (go King!). The Tekken players will supposedly have moves that will allow safe passage through the waves of fireballs that will be thrown at them, and will excel at close ranged combat. There is some bit of that that makes me uncomfortable. Zangief, Abel, T. Hawk, and others already have fireball safe moves and they still struggle to close the distance with the best of the keep away artists (Guile, Dee Jay, Akuma, Gouken). The neat thing will be seeing how they balance out the complete lack of fireballs on the Tekken half with the serious juggling and mixup advantage that they should also have.

Arkham City and Deus Ex are need-to-buys because the games in their respective series before them were great and there would need a Devil May Cry 2 style meltdown to come out as anything less than stellar. Since I have seen enough of both to be assured that won't be happening, I'll definitely be getting them, probably at launch (see you at midnight, South Street store). I feel bad for the people that are going to have to judge for the Game of the Year category for the next two years, if these two titles are representative of the quality of work going into the AAA titles they will have their work cut out for them.

Overstrike and Hawken are two completely new games: one made by David and the other by Goliath. EA's Overstrike probably had a small army working on that trailer for at least half a year for ten hour days; Hawken is made by less than 10 people, some of which are interns. And Hawken showed up with actual gameplay! Nevertheless, we look forward to both entries, and lets pray that Overstrike plays at least something like its trailer.

Mass Effect 3. Bioshock Infinite. Two games that have game of the year written all over them. If I didn't get both of these, I might as well sell my PS3 and 360. These two games will be so awesome that they will no doubt take up more of my life than several of the other games on this list combined. You have to love how they moved Bioshock from the ocean to the clouds, and the apparent graphical bump they've given it. Lets hope for a little more enemy variation to make the game perfect. And I love how Mass Effect carries decisions we made years ago all the way through to the end. Can't wait to kick some reaver butt. Seriously, I can't stress it enough, these two are too innovative, too pretty, too amazing to pass up; if you get nothing else (besides Street Fighter x Tekken) get these two..

I've never been a big fan about Battlefield but the graphics on this game look amazing. You have to remember, the trailers you see on tv or even online are a lot like uncooked re-chewed food: the game isn't done and its been re-rendered through the camera/computer so the quality of the sound and the video will not be the same as when you plug it in and play. The fact that Battlefield made me drool (graphically speaking) from a demo means that they are doing well enough production-wise to polish their work to the sort of quality expected from a complete game. I seriously might buy the game just so I can watch my gun fly apart into a hundred little customizable pieces.

Also the COD: MW3 demo looked sick with the NYC backdrop, the sight customization, and the smart grenade launcher (which will hopefully be even better than MGS 4's). I love how the game alternates between making you feel like the grim reaper (the first game had that famous AC-130 section) and being a completely helpless punk (Black Ops' endless army of doom comes to mind). We can all look forward to calling down surgical strikes on whole buildings worth of baddies, helicopter crashes, tense sniper infiltration missions, and generally blowing crap up.

Halo HD and Halo 4 are interesting because they're both games made by Microsoft (not Bungie) specifically in the pursuit of wringing every last dollar from a super successful franchise. Sometimes that works out all right (Fallout: New Vegas) but more often than not the new studio makes a game of decent quality that looks similar, and sounds similar, but just doesn't feel the same. Especially when you consider that they are going to try to make three games! They are going to have a tough job: to make a game that is familiar to players of the original trilogy, and yet making something that's innovative enough that's its not just a retread. The fans will be looking at every atom of detail put into the game to make sure that it stays true to their extremely high game play and story expectations. Tough job. Can't wait to see how that's going to come out.

I want to come out and say that while I plan to buy Rage and play it to death, I am somewhat confuzzled at how they are going to start

announcing and planning a sequel when they haven't released the first game yet. Rage could sell two copies for all they know! It kinda feels dirty, like a company making a game and then coming out with paid DLC in less than a week later. Well, at least the game looks as good as advertised, I was worried that it was going to look like the offspring of Doom and Borderlands.

In my pocket on some days I could have a Geimei A330 (look it up), a personal media player of some type, an android smart phone, and occasionally I have a bag with my laptop/tablet in it. And I still want a Vita. Why? Cause I do. Because it finally has dual sticks. Because it has graphics on par with the PS3. Because its black and shiny. Because it it the complete spiritual opposite of the 3DS. That alone it good enough for me.

Now for the stuff that's not so cool. Though the Kinect and Move did have a solid showings this year, there really just isn't anything that has me desperate for them yet. Does anyone remember the Playstation Eye? Though the tech has come a long way, I just feel like if I'm going to get up and move around, I'm going to hit pads in the dojo for real, or throw a frisbee, or play peek-a-boo with a crackhead in a garbage can. I like how people are willing to sweat for their games now, but don't we really like games because they're completely unrealistic? I mean, doesn't Chuck Liddel holding pads for you as you kick for real seem like one of those gimmicky arcade games we used to play when we were kids? Or dancing in front of your television? When they come out with something I can play by myself or others that doesn't make me feel foolish I'll be all over it, till then, no thanks.

The puzzlement extends to the newly revealed Wii U; seriously, that's the best name that the marketing team could come up with? I don't get the controller, which looks like a tablet with buttons. I don't get how the “hardcore” games are going to play on a system so aggressively marketed to casual players. And I also ponder what kind of price this strange arrangement might cost. One of the things that helped the Wii was that it was so cheap, but how are they going to manage to make the Wii U cheap? The tablet controller itself should retail for at least the cost of what a Wii today would cost. I would actually find it interesting if they allow you to load games on the tablet thingie and take it along with you portable style. I'd probably try to root it and install Honeycomb, just an idea.

What do you guys think? Is there something that you saw at E3 that tickled your fancy? Disagree with me? Didn't get all of the E3 info you wanted and want to get filled in? Hit me up on the forum and let me know!

~ Chris A.

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