Ah, E3. A breathtaking, life-changing experience, to say the least. Not a bad show this year either, with more than enough big-deal announcements to keep gamers such as myself in anticipation of what’s to come.
While Ethan is busy working rich-looking businessman, (again) how ’bouts I write up some brief, initial impressions on some of the newly-announced titles that caught my eye? This is just a taste of all the news that came from E3, but I figure it’s a good place to start.
Final Fantasy XIV
Apparently, Square Enix’s online presence is more important to them then I, at least, figured it was. The announcement of a new Final Fantasy game is always cause for excitement, but Final Fantasy XIV is worthy of especial attention. Why? Like Final Fantasy XI before it, FFXIV will be an online-only title. Initial reports from Sony’s press conference pegged it as a PS3 exclusive, but Square Enix’s following conference stated that the game would hit PS3, PC, and perhaps even “Microsoft hardware.” Just to give a brief rundown of what’s known thus far, FFXIV is an entirely new game, set in an entirely new world. Squeenix’s intent with FFXIV is to take what they’ve learned from FFXI and use it to make FFXIV a better, more accessible experience. The launch trailer shows off some brief gameplay footage that features characters that look identical to Humes, Galka and Elvaan. Squeenix is insisting that they’re different races, however.
Will I play Final Fantasy XIV? Hmm. Clouded, the future of this title is. While Squeenix has stated they don’t want this to be a WoW clone, I can’t see it being anything other than an answer to WoW. Will their answer work? They’ve also stated that they are “trying to implement a lot of new systems that other MMOs have not used in the past,” so who knows? Maybe we’ll end up with something special. Or maybe we’ll end up with another grindy bore-fest with updated graphics and a fresh setting.
2010 Zelda Project
Okay, so apparently Nintendo really IS working on a new Legend of Zelda game for the Wii. In fact, Shigeru Miyamoto even showed off concept artwork for it, but since photography was strictly forbidden at the roundtable, you can’t see any of it. All I can tell you is that it features Link decked out in Twilight Princess form. Miyamoto claimed that he wanted to show off the new game at this year’s E3, but the team decided to focus on development instead.
It sounds like Nintendo really is trying to freshen things up with Link’s next Wii outing. I don’t really have any solid evidence to back that up yet, but it’s the vibe I received. Oh, and on a random LULZ note, Miyamoto stated that the game is incorporating so much Wii MotionPlus functionality that the game may require it. Gee, who saw that coming?
Metroid: Other M
Now this one looks like a strange beast. Nintendo is working with Tecmo’s Team Ninja (of Ninja Gaiden fame) to bring Wii owners an all-new, all-different Metroid experience. From what can be seen in the trailer, the result seems to be a mixture of first AND third-person shooter gameplay. Combat also seems to have a more visceral, physical side to it this time around, as the trailer showed Samus grappling, throwing, and vaulting over enemies. It’s Team Ninja alright; but will it make a convincing Metroid?
I’m unsure, frankly. Whether Nintendo wants to admit it or not, Metroid Prime defined the series upon its release in 2001. The masterful atmosphere, stunning presentation, and flawless transition of the Metroid mechanics into three dimensions made sure of that. But for whatever reason, every installment since then has moved further and further from what made the game work so well. Who knows, perhaps Other M will refresh the series in the way that the original Prime did… but I somehow doubt it.
In their latest attempt to appeal to the Western audience they so desparately want a (bigger) piece of, Square Enix is bringing us what appears to be a Devil May Cry ripoff. Okay, I realize I’m really quick to judge here, but that’s the impression I got. Supposedly, even the titual protagonist Nier has been designed to appeal to a western audience. As a result, Neir looks like the biggest musclebound toolbag protagonist in recent memory. Move over, Marcus Fenix.
Metal Gear Solid Rising
I’ve never played a Metal Gear game in my life, so I have practically nothing to say about this one. Why did I bring it up, you ask? Well, initially, people had the idea that MGSR would be an Xbox 360 exclusive. Konami soon confirmed that it would have a PS3 release as well, sparking Sony fanboy gloatings such as this one from lil_z_95:
helll yea losers mgs rising is multi platform in your face 360 inur face u son of a female doggy tats right they know we got them in check hell yea in ur face they know it needs to be on the ps3 because thats were its gonna sell we need only one disc for the game not like 3 dvds
Anyway, Ethan is back and he has chinese take-out. And ice cream. Check back tomorrow for some of his assorted thoughts.