Wednesday, June 8, 2011

E3 - Mostly Over, But How Was It?

Just as Christmas always comes and goes, leaving a bittersweet sense of excitement, glee and satisfaction in its wake, so too much E3 arrive and leave us.  And every year is different and as such is graded differently for what it's brought us to have and to be excited for.  While I can't speak for everyone, of course, I can certainly speak for myself for what I liked, what I didn't, and what I just didn't care about one way or another.

What I Liked:

I could probably just say "Sony's Conference", here, as there was very little about the Sony conference that I didn't like (EA NBA section aside), at least what I can remember.  Sure, a few things are a little less than memorable, like the Move stuff, but what was good was really good.  Uncharted 3, Uncharted:  Golden Abyss, Release dates for Ico/SotC Collection, God of War:  Origins, the new that there's going to be a Bioshock Vita title, there just was a lot to love all around. 

And most of all of the things I liked is, obviously, the Playstation Vita.  As many others around the internet are saying, Playstation Vita is probably the single most exciting thing I got from E3 this year, because I got everything I wanted:  A reasonable price, fantastic graphics and power, interesting looking games (some of which are launch titles s'far as I can tell, also LittleBigPlanet Vita eeeeeeeeeeeeeee), and genuine early support for it.  (I mean, Ken F'ing Levine pulled one out of his pocket to proudly proclaim that a new chapter of Bioshock would unfold on it.)

Of course, the Vita wasn't the only thing to draw from the wells of excitement I have for this hobby of mine.  Konami started everything strong by announcing three different collections that are assured to make a lot of people happy.  And while I'm excited for MGS collection, I'm more excited for the Zone of the Enders Collection, if just for the fact that it's a sign that they're still acknowledging the series exists.  It's hard to say that I'm a super fan of the series, since it's been a long, long time since I touched either game, but to say that I don't have a special connection would be a fallacy.  As with quite a few games in the PS2 era, a demo disk turned me onto the series with Zone of the Enders 2's demo and a quick trip to the neat little brick-and-mortar game store nearby let me find a copy of the original.

But while I was checking out, the lady at the register, who knew me since I'd been in so often, asked if I'd be interested in having a little something extra.  Interested, I asked just what she meant, and she went into the back and came out with two promo boxes, one big, one small, for Zone of the Enders 2, proudly displaying the box art to a T, even going so far as to keep all the text on the back as well.  She said they got a few extra and didn't really have much to do with them so if I wanted them it was no charge.  Of course, free things being free rule, so I took them.  I still have them too; I'll try to get a picture of them sometime.

Despite my annoyances with Nntendo's conference leaving so many questions about the Wii U, I still have to say, the idea of having a HD Wii to play Wii games on is appealing, and the controller, while fairly unwieldy looking, is interesting to say the least.  Hopefully the coming months will give us something more concrete to base our concerns and/or our excitements on, but for now, I'm cautiously optimistic.  There's little doubt that I'll end up with one, at the very least, but how happy I'll be to have one has yet to be determined.

Things I Didn't Like:

-Kobe Bryant trying to play video games. 
-No Valkyria Chronicles 3 Localization announcement. 
-No Yakuza announcements.  (Seriously Sega, what the hell.) 
-All the questions about Nintendo's next console. 
-No real surprises beyond the Ken Levine thing and ZoE HD.  (I -guess- Luigi's Mansion 2, but I haven't played the first, so I'm merely interested)  I guess Cole being in Street Fighter X Tekken counts here as well  You all know I love me some gatdamn inFamous, but I can't really be bothered to care about a fighting game just for his inclusion.  Everything in Microsoft's conference was leaked, save for the Minecraft announcement, I believe.  Speaking of which.

-Minecraft exclusively for 360/Kinect.  (While this stings, I'm waiting to see just how advanced a version they get.  Suffice to say with the disparity between Minecraft and Minecraft "Pocket", I'm none too sure on what the non-PC version will have.)  And this isn't a fanboy thing, it's just me being frustrated that a game I want to play is growing to be on every platform I can't play without shelling out cash I don't have for.
-I read somewhere the night before E3 started that a Devil May Cry Collection for the anniversary was in the works.  No announcement though.
-Was Final Fantasy Versus XIII spoken of/shown off?  I don't think so.
-Speaking of missing games, where's Grand Theft Auto 5?
-And another God of War, for that matter.
-Seriously, Sega, goddamnit, localize your games and I will buy all of them.

Things I Didn't Care About:

Pretty much the entirety of Microsoft's conference aside from what I mentioned above.  I never liked Halo, I've never tried Kinect yet, and even then, I'm not really too up on the Kinect stuff shown.  Except the Mass Effect 3 stuff.  While I'm skeptical on how well that will work, it -looks- neat, which is sort of what Kinect has had going for it day one.  Sure, it might not work exactly like it should, but it can make some things look really neat.  Two things that weren't even announced in the conference, as far as I remember, were more interesting than what was in it, even:  Cloud Saving/Storage for 360 and the Gears of War 3 Limited Edition bundle.  To the former, why would you not say this?  Were they too afraid of bringing up 'the cloud'?  Like someone in the front row was going to roll his eyes and go "Psh.  'cloud'."?  To the latter, while 85% of people will look at it and say "tacky", I am part of the 15% that say "I would buy that.".  I don't give one bit of shit for Gears of War as a series, but, provided I had cash to burn, I'd pick that 360 up in a heartbeat.

So, a lot of ups, some downs, but overall, this was a good year for E3.  For me, personally, Sony won it with announcing everything for the Vita, where Nintendo could have taken the conference if they'd announced the Wii U's price and it was reasonable.  In fact, they likely should have, because Sony showed they're stepping right up to the plate with the Vita.  Although, realistically, it's entirely possible that Nintendo -doesn't- have a price for the Wii U just yet.  Let's just hope when it is priced, they don't publicly announce a price that is actually kind of unreasonable and then say, "It's mostly because the people at E3 liked it." again.

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