E3 is over, and it was a great event as ever. Possibly not as good as other years, but that's to be expected. A trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3 was certainly expected considering Square-Enix were having a conference, and the gameplay for it looked great.
Another game I was expecting was the next project from Frontier Developments, after they announced before E3 that the new game and Elite: Dangerous would both be around. Announced as Planet Coaster, it is definitely looking like a spiritual successor of the Rollercoaster Tycoon series, despite not much being shown in its trailer.
Nintendo's conference can be summed up by what they were using as the event gimmick. Muppets. Oh, I know the Star Fox reveal was great. It showed all that it needed to. How the game will look and play, as well as it's new name - Star Fox Zero. Zero because it is not a reboot or a sequel. It's just there. A part of the series. The Arwing Walker mode has been brought into the new game from the unreleased SNES game Star Fox 2.
But then, while there was some good stuff they showed, it sort of goes downhill. Talks about transforming as a company didn't inspire much confidence after what was shown, though I can give them the benefit of doubt that the Treehouse streams will go more in depth with some stuff shown off, and hopefully give us another game announcement or two.
EA started with a sci-fi series and ended on one. And while they showed less of what I wanted, it was all good with what I wanted. I'll still be covering it all, as it happened.
They showed Mass Effect off straight away with a slide of different environments, before adding in some action. Mass Effect Andromeda will be coming soon.
Microsoft started big with a Halo 5 Guardians trailer. Then straight into gameplay. Now this gameplay had great looks, and cinematic gameplay. A second trailer was switched to. Both trailers gave us story hints, as well as a look at the game overall. The game itself will feature drop-in drop-out co-op in its campaign, and something big comes in Warzones. Massive online campaigns where teams join up to face off against AI controlled enemies. The game is playable on the show floor.
With less than a week to go, this is the perfect time to do this. A load of rumours circulating, and a load of sites giving their predictions, so it is now time for me to do mine. I've been thinking about some things, and Nintendo is where I'm placing most of my bets. EA do seem to have some good stuff for me this year as well. Microsoft and Sony have some decent things, and Ubisoft... I'll have to wait and see, but I've never bought much from Ubisoft. Bethesda and Square-Enix have conferences this year, and a PC Gaming Show is also set to take place.
Okay, then. Let's go.
JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy opened up Celebration with a panel that was not only streamed on every TV screen in the convention centre, but online and in worldwide cinemas too. So big was the event, that the reveal of the trailer had a massive build up. We have the name of the mysterious planet that so looks like Tatooine. And that is Jakku. The two reconfirmed the use of practical effects over CGI in rather a stunning way. Remember that rolling droid? BB-8? Yeah, he's actually a proper robot. A massive amount of technology went into that, and it was well worth it.
We were given a lot more hints at things to come, met the three new stars, and had a chat to returning members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, and Anthony Daniels. The last thing shown off was the trailer. And what a trailer it was. It suggests a lot with its careful editing. Just who is Luke talking to during the voiceover? What is the Empire these days, and what does it stand for? What kind of battle are those X-Wing pilots in? And just where does the Dark Side stand in the order of this point in the timeline? There were many more besides that as well.
The biggest point of that trailer though, was Han's simple words. "Chewie. We're home." There was also that magical quality right at the beginning of the trailer, where we simply have the camera panning right to bring a Star Destroyer - crashed on the surface - into view, as a lone speeder in the distance drives by. You've really got to see the trailer to understand the excitement of the fans. December can't come soon enough, but The Force Awakens was only the start of a number of big and small reveals everywhere.
On this day next week, the start of what has become the biggest Star Wars event will commence with a big item. A panel focused on The Force Awakens. Director J.J. Abrams and LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy come together with special guests on the Celebration stage on the 16th April at 10:00 [event local time PDT]. The event will be simulcast right over the various stages of Celebration, and even an event in London, UK will be showing it. It's expected that insights into the film will be talked about, and possibly even a new trailer for those at the event itself.
Now Star Wars Celebration is a big event, bringing fans from around the world together for a four day event with enough content to fill a Star Destroyer. There will be a load of panels from the various corners of Star Wars outlets, and I'll be covering some of the bigger ones here. Those at the event itself will have a load to do while there, while the rest of us will have to stay tuned to Star Wars.com for the various live blogs that will be happening. There were dozens of live blogs and articles posted during the Celebration Europe event in 2013, and while it's not guaranteed that live blogs will be happening for everything, there's a good chance to still grab the news after the event. And with that, I'll continue the panel talk.
You might wonder where the other conferences are on this blog. EA's? Ubisoft's? Especially Sony's? I strictly didn't cover them for the reason that all of my best bits from them will be covered here.
Yes, at the end of this E3, I've had surprises thrown at me. Most of the games in this coming generation are going to be open world. Racing games, shooters and zombie survival games. All will be open world.
And so we've had our Nintendo Direct goodness for the day. And, as usual, a lot was shown. And boy was it amazing.
First, a new Pokémon X and Y trailer. Oh it is looking so good, and by the time of release, it will just be too good to even play. But play it we must. Two new features, one of which is a new type - that being Fairy. It is super effective to dragon. Returning Pokémon Jigglypuff, Gardevoir, and Marill will take on this new type. Hold on, Marill? Oh well. Anyway, the new Eeveelution Sylveon also takes this type. The next feature, called Pokémon Amie [A-Me] sees you feeding and petting Pokémon to bond more with them. Seems interesting. Oh, and did I mention that the game will be coming October this year. On the twelfth?
And so, no matter what you might think of the Xbox One. No matter what DRM issues we have it. No matter what policies are corrupt with it. After that conference the one thing we know it will do is sell.
The first thing the conference kicked off with was Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - the Konami game that was shown on the sixth. This was a larger trailer than the one saw on the sixth though, and was the perfect way to start the conference; confirming it for Xbox One.
So the only thing here was for the fans really. Starting with a small trailer using nothing but red lines, they showed off the three games they'd be showing off, then moved to a brief history lesson and some of their projects in schools. Talk then moved to social games, even if not much was even said about them. Still, the logo's of Domo Jump! and NLB Live Challenge were shown with a bit of what each game was.
After the social stuff, it then finally moved to the first of the games.
So E3 is almost upon us again. And this year, it is looking to be bigger than ever. Both Microsoft and Sony have revealed next generation consoles, and Nintendo have a lot to show for their next gen console. The WiiU, while getting some game releases, hasn't exactly been winning any wars due to lack of competition and lack of must-have exclusives. That is soon to come though, and this E3 shall prove it. But not in the way you're familiar with. Nintendo won't be holding a big pre-E3 conference, but will be active on the first day of E3 with a Media Showcase with hands-on testing, as well as a Nintendo Direct for all us fans. There's also the Pokémon conference, or whatever it turns out to be.
EDIT: There is a Konami conference on the 6th, and I'll be checking it out. Not expecting much, but I'll still give a little review of it.
Now then. I've just been sat for an hour watching the conference.
Stepping up first was Don Mattrick to introduce us to the concept and the day. But before this was a trailer of people from Microsoft basically saying "We're changing gaming again." I beg to differ.
So Don Mattrick steps up to the stage, talks a bit about how the original Xbox came to be, introduction of Live, then the release of the Xbox 360 [X360] and an improvement of the Live services. At this precise point everyone knows what is now coming. He didn't half big it up though.
And so that is it for this E3. And I must say, most of it was alright, but still. There were some things that just didn't feel good enough to be in E3. Take the number of first person shooters for example. There was more of those featured than any other game genre. And while they might all have different stories, the gameplay mechanic is still the same.
People could say that about racing games, but at least racing games actually differ from one another. Yes FPS' might be challenging, but so are racing games, depending on what type you have. So it was a disappointment that only one was shown. However, it was a good one. Made by Criterion Games, Need For Speed Most Wanted is an open world racer in the style of Burnout Paradise. This game is definitely on my buy list.
Yes, the conference was yesterday. And yes, I did watch it. The reason of only posting today however, was to analyse what I saw in more detail. Take Pikmin 3 for example, the first game to be shown. We haven't seen one of these since the Gamecube era which is nearing eight years ago now. Strategy gameplay, they involve searching out weird objects [in the second one] or parts of a spacecraft [first one] with the Pikmin you have at your command. As well as finding these items, you also have to find pellets in which the Pikmin take back to their onion spacecraft to spawn new Pikmin. That is another aim, to amass an army of Pikmin to help you.
Now then, I did manage to catch the whole of EA's conference for E3. Ten games from ten developers. That was the whole of the conference. But there was a hitch. Not all of the games were new. Some were just expansions added onto the game
One of the two conferences I've watched live has passed. Yes, the Microsoft conference. It seemed alright, but as predicted by others - whether directly or indirectly - it was mostly concerned with Kinect.
I only managed to join fifteen minutes late to the party, since I hadn't refreshed Youtube, which was streaming the conference. Checking on CVG, I saw I had missed Halo 4. So apart from that, here's my view of the conference, in terms of the games.
So, the start of E3 2012 is almost upon us. Over the years, we have had console announcements and surprises, game reveals, trailers, and general larking about. This year, it seems important. Why? Many people say the WiiU, and I am left wondering why.
This console from Nintendo needs to be the very best. Last year's reveal left us all hoping for more, and what's better, gave us some slight announcements for games, chief among them LEGO City Stories and Super Smash Bros. This year should bring a lot more on board for the WiiU, and I am hoping that LEGO City Stories gets a full reveal.