Well, after an underwhelming E3 when most of my predictions that I made on a previous blog post came true, I would begin to pat myself on the back but I could have never participated what was announced from the respective companies on this post. To be honest, I was expecting a little more from both companies respectively as each presentation was overshadowed by at least one or more jarring notions.
Neither conference excelled in pleasing the fans of their consoles, but that wasn't to say that it was all bad. There were good things about the Sony conference like the announcement of a new game from Quantic Dream called Beyond and the Last of Us. Even though I have my doubts on Beyond, due to the fact that I don't like Ellen Page and their last game Heavy Rain, while an impressive piece of work graphically speaking failed to resonate with me, Beyond looks like it might be quite solid with some decent voice acting, just as long as they get the walking right.
The Last of Us looks rather good and the voice work, as well as the sound design makes it feel like it'll be a satisfying experience. However, there is a very distinct feeling that has perforated within me during the entire E3 conference that the deluge of 3rd-person adventure/shooter games has succeeded in doing.
The fact that there are so many of them that took center stage makes me fear that companies, as well as developers, are saturating the market with so many 3rd person experiences that it is starting to get difficult to tell the difference between them. AC3, Hitman: Absolution, Tomb Raider, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Dead Space 3, Gears of War Judgement, Resident Evil 6, Darksiders 2, Sleeping Dogs, DMC, God of War Ascension and Star Wars 1313 have all merged and congealed into a monotonous texture that fills me with utter indifference of what lies ahead.
I did not mean to make a segue into a rant about the latest trend that has afflicted the video game market in general, but I digress. Sony's announcement of the Wonderbook and the Book of Spells was easily the weakest of their show did cause Sony's stock to rise which may be a good thing. However, can anyone honestly here say with their hand on their heart that they would be buying one straight when it comes out? From what I've read in forums around the internet, the reactions have raised from utter indifference to outright rage at what is perceived as a gimmick that no-one gives a damn about. I have my own doubts about whether or not that this "Wonderbook" will take off, but then again, I don't like Harry Potter whatsoever and I found reading a chapter of the first book utterly excruciating. Hell, there is even a Quidditch world cup of all things where people wrap their legs around brooms and play a grounded version of the game. If the Potter fans are willing enough to do that; what would stop them from buying a gimmicky peripheral like the Wonderbook?
I was rather surprised at the lack of Vita games that were on display except for PS1 games for the Vita, cross-platform games like Playstation All-Stars and Assassin's Creed Vita getting a bundle. It's utterly baffling when you consider that Persona 4: Golden and a whole range of other games are up for release; even if they are already on home consoles. Utterly baffling that they didn't dedicate more time to the Vita since it is a decent handheld.
Nintendo on the other hand, had a separate one hour conference just for upcoming games for the 3DS. If there was anything else that was lacking in Sony's and Microsoft's conferences, it was a distinct lack of games. Kingdom Hearts 3D, Lego City and the Castlevania sequel were announced for the 3DS showing that Nintendo is actively supporting their handheld rather then letting it become an afterthought in Sony's case.
For one thing, Nintendo at least showcased their titles for their upcoming console by showing gameplay footage of them. Albeit, with the usual IPs such as Mario Bros and Pikmin, they also seem to have a fair amount of 3rd party support with titles such as AC3, Batman Arkham City: Armoured Edition, Rayman Legends, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Mass Effect 3. Though, the audience did collectively groan at that particular announcement, it does show that the 3rd party support is stronger than it has ever been on previous generations.
The Asymmetric gameplay concept that was on show was mildly interesting to say the least, but I have yet to decide whether or not it's a marketable enough gimmick for me personally. If I am using the controller to manipulate and "help" my people to achieve their objective; will I have the option to take part in sabotage and become a hindrance? If so, then I might be interested in acquiring a Wii U, but until then; we'll see. It seems that the other companies are copying this same concept with Smartglass and using the Vita to as a controller, but I don't really see it that way. Considering the fact that Microsoft and Sony's real goals is to turn their consoles into media hubs; they are only trying to utilize with what is available to them.
The online component looks like it has had a welcome overhaul and it'll hopefully mean that the Friend Code system is banished from memory. If they can release games that play smoothly online with a solid network; it might be worth looking into. The Miiverse seems like a rather interesting place to explore as well. However, I am hesitant to jump straight in until I see what is in store for the
There were some low points during that conference, especially the ZombieU gameplay trailer that was clearly 3D modeled to give it a better look. However, if you watched the PS3's gameplay trailer for Far Cry 3 and saw ugly pop-up while the player is walking forward; perhaps Far Cry 3 could've done with a little bit of sprucing up? NintendoLand is an oddity since it's clearly set for families who would be interested in playing together, even though the trailer they released for it didn't feel like a real family whatsoever. It's an interesting concept, but it's certainly not for me personally, as I enjoy gaming but only with so many brothers.
One big disappointment for me personally was the lack of a killer app that would be available straight from the get-go. If they utilized an under-used IP like Starfox for instance that was a complete space shooter, with 1-4 player co-op, with interesting enemies to blast. Hell, why not go crazy and add an online mode with 16 player deathmatches or something completely inane as well? How about F-Zero and have a 30 player online match around a circuit? Maybe one day that will come to fruition, but until then; I'm still not convinced by the Wii U with what was on show.
Whatever. At least there's next year right?