Let's face it: this years E3 sucked as far as the Big 3's press conferences. I personally didn't like any of them, and frankly, I wish they'd keep the stupid sales figures for staff meetings. I only watch these for the updates on their hardware, new interfaces, and of course, the new games. Luckily, this year for gaming isn't all that great, and I mean luckily. I'm tired of having too many great games come out in the same year. I still haven't beaten a few of last years titles because so many good games came out. At the beginning of the year, I put forth a list of 10 games on my must have, must beat this year list. I haven't had a big interest in any others outside the list aside from games unexpected at the beginning of the year. Unlike some gamers, I have several different systems I play on, and several times a year, I like to go back and play some of my favorite old school titles, rather it be shooting down TIE Fighters on the Gamecube, saving the world from Diablo, or plowing the fields in Harvest Moon. I even play old DOS games on my computer, just for kicks. I've been gaming since my dad first gave me a Nintendo Entertainment System. However, my obsession didn't come until I was introduced to PC gaming, which holds most of my game library (although, PC gaming is about done since developers are just porting things these days).
I did some late-night thinking about E3, how it sucked, and how it would have been as exciting as when the console war race was first beginning, back in 2005/2006. Remember how effin' cool it was to hear about the Wii before it came out? You just had to have one! Then seeing the stunning near-PC gaming quality of a console through the Xbox 360? Or when we first witnessed that the George Forman Grill not only slimmed down those greasy burgers, but it also had Blu-Ray and played video games? Yeah, I don't remember much of the PlayStation 3 back then either, since the 360 was the obvious first choice back in those days. Anyway, here's something that would have popped my bladder with excitement if this was the E3 case.
Microsoft: I honestly don't care if they get Square to give them a bone. That's a good thing. I've been reading a lot of blogs and it seems that my theory that people are completely retarded is correct. "I'm selling my PS3 and buying an Xbox 360 because FFXIII isn't a PS3 exclusive.". It makes absolutely not sense. It's multi-platform now. That's not Microsoft's or Sony's good or bad doings. It's business. When it comes down to it, Square makes an extra buck in the end. Instead of selling 5 million, they can now sell 10 million. It's economics more than business. Long story short, I didn't give a rat's behind about that piece of news.
Microsoft seems to be doing the ol' copy technech, which means that the new Dashboard, their new camera games, all of it, is just a copy of another companies idea. I mean, when is that WiiMote coming to the Xbox 360 again? Instead of announcing crap that I already have on other consoles, announce something amazing. I would have loved to hear, as a game replayer, that the BC list will be fully updated by Christmas, giving me a reason to play Xbox games on their console, opposed to just getting the PS2 versions of previous games since they work 99% of the time, and better. Given that the number one reason the 360 was so successful (obvious wasn't their hardware, or lack of at launch) is because it was first, and because of the almighty Achievement marketing tool, which is absolutely brilliant. Who's played games they hated just to get those Achievements? *raises hand* I'd love to hear that they're putting out patches for some of their Platinum Hits from the previous generation to allow some sort of Achievement Process. Impossible? Not at all. The PlayStation 3 proved you can throw those in after a game has been out a while. While those would have been great, my number one complaint with my 360, aside from the hardware fails (luckily, I didn't get the hardware scratchy ones) is the fact that I have to pay for Xbox Live. Coming from the PC gaming world, it's hard to justify spending one dime on a service such as Xbox Live. When Windows Live came out last year, I expected PC gamers to laugh at it. I was right. There hasn't been that push for Windows Live in games since most hackers will just bypass it anyway. It also doesn't help that they released a horrible port of Gears of War to the PC to support Xbox Live, and a 4-5 year old game known to us as Halo 2. All the features that the Xboxoholics talk about, the voice chat, video chat, match making (which is just quick join to begin with since they never match me with anyone on Halo 3 that's remotely any good), and a buddy list, all have been on the PC for many, many years. Heck, my computer boots with Xfire, which even logs how long I've been on a game. Microsoft needs to get with the times. Paying for their service, which flusters your dashboard with advertisements for Axe, Mountain Dew, or any other product I'd care less about, is a waste of my money. I play on the PS3's free internet service, and with 2.41 out, there's not much difference. There needs to be some tweaks, but hey, it's free. I'm not going to complain.
As far as games, I'd love to have seen an introduction to old titles that I love, such as Perfect Dark, a new Crimson Skies, and since 2001, I've been waiting for a sequel to Conkers Bad Fur Day, so that would have made me poo myself in excitement. I mean, you have RARE... use them. They created Goldeneye, one of the best shooters of any time! Use them!
Nintendo: Boy, what a bomb fest. Sales figures. Check. Stupid corporate monkeys doing their dance? Check. DS crap. Check. Wii wasn't really as sensitive as we advertised, so now you have to buy a new addition to make it work? Check. Wii Music and Animal Crossing? Whoa, might not be such a snore fest now. Now we can get to the big finale. Oh, that was it? Well, rats on toast! Face it; Nintendo bombed. Big time. The updates I was looking for were those of a new update that allows for at least 720p, even if all their games weren't upscaled, just having a less fuzzy main menu on my big screen would help. A real friend list is what most Wii users want. What's more annoying than remembering that long set of numbers to tell a friend, "Here's my Wii code to join as friends. And best of all, if I add you, and you forget, it won't remind you. Or if I meet you online, I can't friend you!" It's such a suckfest. That entire system should be replaced with a simple, "Yo, my names BobTheBuilder. Add me.". Done and done. That would have excited me to hear. Also, an update to the Mii would be nice. I want to create more funky Miis and have them run on pointless parades. I'd have loved to seen a price drop in all of their Virtual Console games. Frankly, they're too much. Trading a Lincoln for an Italian plumber's first big gig isn't my idea of reasonable. Who doesn't have Super Mario Bros. on another system? Heck, I can buy the real cart for only a buck or two online. The N64 games are reasonable, I'll give them that. But even those, I was hoping for modified versions that allowed for online play. That's what kills me about buying Virtual Console games: no online features. Nothing. Why buy Golden Axe on the Wii when the 360's arcade version (which looks better) is online for the same cost? I'd also like to hear about more N64 games coming to this service. There's around 20, if that. That's not a good number. The Genesis has the most games out, if I remember correctly. No, not good at all. As for anything else, I'd love for them to remember what they said at 2007's E3. They are looking out for hardcore gamers and online features. Yup, I sure feel hardcore offline playing all these incredible games.
Honestly, I don't want Nintendo's games to be all that mature either. I don't care about that, most of the time. Why I even bought the Wii, other than the motion detector, is for the Nintendo products. I didn't like the Gamecube's exclusives most of the time. I thought Super Mario Sunshine was the worst Mario game ever put out. Mario can jump, he doesn't need water jets to float. Remember, Nintendo, when you gave him a cape in SMB3? That was good enough. Use those old methods into a new Super Mario. I want my frog suit! But what the Gamecube missed out on, the Wii isn't picking up on. Animal Crossing, my favorite Gamecube game of all time, was a good idea, but how good is it going to be if it's the same exact game with a bonus city level? No, I want to have thousands upon thousands of items to pick from. I want my house update to be as exciting as it was in Harvest Moon for the SNES. It took so much time to get, making me play that much harder and wiser, to get my house upgrades in that game. Animal Crossing should have the same attributes. There needs to be something in the city that isn't just the size of a mall. Maybe the city could act as an interactive lobby, similar to Phantasy Star Online or PlayStation Home. I want a downloadable shop in the game, where I can get some exclusive things imported into my town via downloadable content. And since the original was on a smaller DVD sized disc, and the new one is going to be on a full DVD, please pack it full of goodies. I mean, a ton of goodies. Give the characters more personality. There's nothing more annoying than going back to my old town a year later and only hearing, "Dude, where the flip you been?". I want to have people start rumors about me. I want to earn their respect again! Well, aside from that, and their new WiiMusic game, there should have been more. Who has been waiting for a new Donkey Kong adventure game? A new Kirby? Kid Icarus? F-Zero? Game that isn't party based, featuring Luigi? Nintendo, you have an arsenal of awesome mascots, all of which are being used like retired old men. They're the Walmart door greeters now, only showing up in public to say "hi" once in a while. Give us, your fans, a freakin' bone! Screw these non-gaming old farts who want to be able to get Fit using a stupid balance board. That's not a video game! I don't want to get in shape. One of the joys of this lazy addiction is that I get to relax.
Sony: Sony's presentation was cool for one reason: LittleBigPlanet's PowerPoint presentation. That, my friends, would keep me awake any time during a meeting at work. Beyond that, it was more of what we've seen above. Nothing exciting, just a few "Hmm" ideas. For instance the video store. Are you kidding me? E3 should be about the games, not movies. I have two sources for video: Best Buy and Amazon. I can buy a Blu-ray at Amazon for the same price most rental places charge, so why not own the disc rather than fill up my hardrive with movies I'll hardly watch? I don't care about the PSP, and honestly, you handheld-only gamers, you're not gamers. Your're micro-gamers. These handhelds from Nintendo and Sony should be kept on a separate note. Granted, the DS/PSP is a huge seller and all, but most of us who have them only have them to take our hobby with us. I'm satisfied with one game a year on my DS. Heck, I still haven't finished Final Fantasy III on mine, so until then, I'm not remotely excited to hear about portable system news. As what I wanted to hear, I wanted to hear a huge Trophy announcement, giving me a reason to buy my games on the PS3 other than the 360. Trophies are a lot more fun than I thought. I've almost got all the ones on the PS3 available at this time, so given that I'm now officially sick of Super Stardust HD, I'm ready for more. I want my home in Home to be filled with Trophies, making people think how little of a life I have (and is true!). So far, the Trophy support is at a minimum. I would love to get Guitar Hero World Tour on the PS3, but without Trophies, I'd feel a little ripped. Achievements give me the satisfaction of looking back at my 'work' and seeing how well I did in these games. That's why they're addicting. Giving us Trophies and then not supporting them is like giving your son a Ferrari and no gas or keys. He can just look at it. Another feature I don't really hear anyone pushing is one thing I think Microsoft has a huge advantage over: multiple account log-ins. My brother can load his memory card into my 360, load into his profile, and get achievements and ranks in games while playing with me on my console. It's a nice feature. As for right now, when we played through Rainbow Six Vegas 2 on the PS3, I had to beat the game, and then he had to beat the game. After playing through that game once, the second time around was twice as painful. I'm hoping they hear that request for the future.
Sony really doesn't have a mascot for me. This is actually the first PlayStation I've bought and wanted. Last generation, I bought the PlayStation 2 for the Grand Theft Auto series, Metal Gear Solid series, and some of the RPGs. Later, God of War came out, so I guess that could be their mascot.I don't know; I'm actually unfamiliar with a lot of the exciting titles they announced, such as SOCOM (which my brother tells me was actually fun for it's time) or those platform games. I haven't really tried those games out. I'm more of a guy that remembers hearing about the PlayStation as being the big one (back in it's initial release time) as being Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, and Twisted Metal. Since Final Fantasy is multiplatform now, along with Evil, I guess that just leaves Twisted Metal. I'd have loved to hear a new Metal game, but I don't think that will happen. I don't think Twisted Metal Black was a huge seller, especially since it was pretty much the last one. The original PlayStation had 4 of them. The PS2 only received one. That sucks for fans of vehicle combat games. That's pretty much a dead genre. Granted, Vigilante 8 is coming to the XBLA soon, but that's all we get? Destruction is always fun, so why not give us some? I never played KillZone, so I'm not sure how that game is going to be. I just wish they'd have pushed for some more exclusives. Maybe some more JRPGs.
Oh, and for the foolish at hearted people out there, no, the 360 will never get Metal Gear Solid 4. That game is way too powerful. It filled up an entire 50GB Blu-ray, and the dude that made it was saying it still wasn't enough. I'm tired of reading morons say that everywhere you turn around.
Of all the games that were announced and previewed, which is really exciting your pants right now? I'm still thinking Fallout 3 for game of the year. I'm just wondering if the 360 version is going to be of a much lower scale, like Oblivion was when compared to the PS3 and PC. I hope not. I want everyone to equally enjoy that game. I know I will. Several times. Other than Fallout 3, I'd say Diablo 3 has been the biggest shock this year and of every game, I'm most excited about that game.
-dryvby, thanks for reading