Saturday, June 8, 2013

E3 Hype Get?

E3 is that magical time of the year when game developers, companies and all their ilk come together in a grand-standing attempt to one-up each other by sending out announcements that they think will send shockwaves through the whole community.  It's their biggest chance in the year to be looked upon by the greatest number of eyes and wave their wands to produce something magical, and you cannot deny that, even in the previous years, some companies have done just that.  With this year's E3 mere days away, one would think that the attitude through the internet would be jovial, hopeful and with all sorts of fun speculation.  That's....what the attitude is supposed to be, at least.  It's like Christmas specifically for eletronic-minded folks, and Christmas should be fantastic.  Unfortunately this year, the mood is rather dire, and many, if not most, of us are looking towards E3 with trepidation, pessimism and going on the offensive about all sorts of issues.

It's not at all unwarranted, of course, which is the sad part.  I've contributed to the animosity and I'm not really sure if I should be upset by that or not, but I won't be bringing that up directly.  I'd like to -not- be an angry person for one night at least, so this is honestly going to be my attempt at bringing up some E3-centric ideas and predictions, as well as some reasons for and why I think they're likely, and not just something I have fever-dreamed.  I just want to try and be excited again, since very little of the E3 lead-in has legitimately made me excited, or if it has, it's been heavily out-weighed by the things that have put a damper on my mood, as well as a goodly amount of others.

I'm going to get Microsoft out of the way first because it's....the most difficult one for me, obviously.  I just don't rightly care about anything they'll have to offer because of my disinterest in the XBone, but I also just haven't had any real interest in the 360 or their first-party efforts with it.  Yet E3 is going to be a big stage for Microsoft and they are going to announce things, so I should at least try and take a guess at them because I do believe they'll be the ones to beat in terms of actual game announcements, surprisingly.  They've promised a whole host of exclusive titles, likely through their 'partnership' with publishers that the XBone seems to revolve around (read:  Moneyhats and maximum profits for all) and you can bet that at least one or two, possibly even three of them will be the "Oh, goddamnit" titles for XBone detractors.

It's been said a few times that Microsoft has spent a fat, fat truck-load of cash on XBone games, which I assume means expanding their First-Party Studios (which we know they have been doing) as well as, you know, just sort of buying games that otherwise would be multi-platform or not made at all.  I would say with some degree of conviction that Titanfall's Exclusivity (which was likely supposed to be announced at E3 as a 'megaton') weighs at least somewhat on hats made out of money, and something else that's been rumored, a possible Mirror's Edge 2 being XBone Exclusive (Or at least on XBone and PC only) would also have this ideal to thank.  Mirror's Edge 2 would be huge, potentially even if it was, as there are some concerns out there, essentially a tech-demo/advertisement for Kinect 2.0.  Add into the mix that Rare is going to be allowed to resurrect one of their classic IPs (Most of the speculation points to a new Killer Instinct, but a new Banjo-Kazooie or Perfect Dark would draw some attention, surely) that will likely be shown means Microsoft has a lot of punches they could throw.

Let's not forget that Microsoft also has Halo, which they can continue to pimp out on a glorious scale because it'll get bought over and over and over again.  With an HD Upscaling of the first Halo already done, one for Halo 2 is likely, barring any conflicts with Halo 5, which I honestly don't know when it's supposed to release.  And after googling it, it seems like it hasn't -technically- even been announced, so bam.  Double-tap of Halo 2 Remake while you wait for Halo 5 and you're golden.  We might hear some people whinging about the over-saturation, considering that would be two more projects announced on top of the TV Series and the Windows 8 Exclusive Spin-off, but I highly doubt this will make the market get sick of Halo quite so soon.  Basically what all of this means is that Microsoft has the potential to completely whiff on the Hardware aspect of the XBone (which they have already) and manage to knock it out of the park regarding their games, leaving the bulk of us in a sort of muddy, indecisive area, contemplating whether we want more, shiny, fun games or if it's more important to not buy a console that is literally terribly designed.

It's not all about the Big Three, of course, since Developers will be there as well and if there's anyone to watch this year, it's going to be Squeenix.  Probably.  Squeenix optimism isn't all that high, especially in light of recent decisions, but they have Final Fantasy news this go around.  Well, they always have Final Fantasy news, but this time it's a big deal because they'll be showing off a bit of "The Future of Final Fantasy"....which they also always do, but okay just roll with it, seriously.  The point is that this year, they're going to be showing off something brand-spanking new with the Final Fantasy name on it, almost definitely Final Fantasy XV, and that's always good for a headline if nothing else.  Sure, the game won't come out for years and there's a possibility that it is literally a re-branded Versus at this point which is the laziest kind of cop-out but, it'll still be something.

....hrm.  I'm not doing so well with my positivity, here.  Okay, let's re-group here for a moment.

There is a very, very real chance that Squeenix will be showing off Final Fantasy Versus in a state through which it will be completed.  Some rumors out there state that Sony sent in their development ninja squad to help out with Versus' development to ensure it releases (and that it remains exclusive) and whether or not it comes out on the PS3, the PS4 or both is still high-up in the air.  Which, fortunately or unfortunately, that could very well be the news that we are to 'Please Be Excited' for from all the way back at the PS4 reveal.  Which would be a little underwhelming for me personally, which is why I'm honestly hoping for a little something else.  A little something with a Type-0 Flair.  Like Type-0.  On Vita.  Some would argue that that's -more- under-whelming than Versus being announced again, basically, on PS3 or PS4, but to those people, I say shut up, I want Type-0.

I also hold out hope for an off-handed mention of Drakengard 3.  This is what it's about, people!  Hoping upon all hopes on impossibilities!  This is the magic and excitement of E3 right here!

Nintendo isn't officially at E3 in the same capacity as everyone else, in that they won't be having a big on-stage presentation this year, but rest assured, they are at E3 and they're likely looking to make their presence felt.  They've already promised exactly what they're going to deliver, which is a bunch of videos of games that are announced that are kind of big deals.  Super Smash Bros. alone will sent Nintendo fans into a frenzy no matter what's shown off, if only because it'll be a confirmation that it's happening and happening soon.  On top of that, we'll see footage of a 3D Mario game (apparently), The Legend of Zelda:  Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart Wii U and New Super Mario Luigi U at the very least.  That's all before we get in a few surprises, which I like to assume are assumed going to happen.  It would be....underwhelming if Nintendo's E3 was just videos of highly anticipated games, strange as that sounds.

It's very, very likely that Retro Studios is working on something and whatever they're working on is potentially a big, big deal.  Popular guesses are a Metroid game, though I've heard the idea of a StarTropics Revival for the Wii U which is almost too silly to be true....or too silly to be false, I'm not quite sure yet.  In either case, Retro's involvement would basically be a 'megaton' alone, so that would hit the high notes, especially if they were working on a new Metroid game.  As far as the internet goes, that's....really the biggest thing I've seen.  Which is somewhat confusing and disheartening, so maybe I should've researched a little more intently before this set-up.  Hrm.

As for Sony, well, being that I'm primarily a Sony gaming person, I have quite a bit to say about predictions and expectations, so I'll leave that for tomorrow.  It'll likely be large enough to be a post all it's own, of course, which is why I think trying to fit it here would just end poorly.  Also because I have to go off and resume grinding in Soul Sacrifice (which I still totally want a sequel for) so I can launch some rather LARGE elemental arrows into Magusaur's stupid face.

good lord, that is a lot of predicting

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