E3 has had a bumpy ride in the last few years. Formally the equivalent of Christmas for gamers, the conference -now 14 years old- hit adolescence and tried to find itself. As was to be expected, the show got awkward and detached before settling into a slightly more mature format. The big three all seemed to sense this return, and all had relatively strong conferences, but I’m not going to write about that. Those stories are all over the internet.
Indeed, Lusipurr.com is not a massive establishment with 20 employees and a war room, so Riddles and I never intended to bring you up to the minute news, but rather our impressions.
While Oliver has been handling announcement impressions, complaining, snoring, and eating all the food I buy, I actually took to the floor for a short while and am able to give you my take on a select few titles.
Legend of Zelda:
Confirmed: The train is stupid. I was a big fan of Phantom Hourglass, and I still prefer it to Wind Waker, but choosing “Train” out of the possible three “Train”, “Dungeon”, and “Boss” options soured my anticipation for this title. While many complained about the sailing in the two “Celda”s, I actually found it to be one of the best parts of both titles. The open water and epic music gave a rush of freedom and inspiration to the games. But on the train, I was left with only the more annoying parts of that travel. I could shoot things, adjust the speed, and clear animals out of the way. And even if I tried to have some fun and run over a beast, it would just retaliate and do damage to the train. I’m sure the dungeons will be fun – I actually enjoyed the touch screen control last time – but this is no longer a day one buy for me based on that train demo. But one game still will be a day one buy…
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Okay, so it’s really just more Kingdom Hearts. I can’t say that too much is different, but it’s been so long since Kingdom Hearts 2 that I’ll take anything at this point. But truly the controls are tight, and the presentation is fantastic. Square Enix has really learned how to squeeze all the power out of Nintendo’s under-powered handheld. There’s not really much more to say about this title other than it’s more hack and slash action-RPG goodness that people have already decided if they love or hate.
Mass Effect 2
So I didn’t get to play this, but I DID see it. The demo showed off tweaked combat including a skill wheel that doesn’t pause that game (hopefully that’s optional), and new weapons. Most notable was the missile launcher which created a pretty impressive explosion, but I play adept anyway so I wasn’t as excited as other people in the room. Shepard isn’t dead, but it turns out that s/he can potentially die depending on player choices, and then that decision will continue on until Mass Effect 3. That sounds insane to me, but Bioware is an impressive company. I’m also excited that Bioware is actually working on a direct sequel. Just from the demo, I can see that there’s less texture pop-in, and a better frame rate. Hopefully this hints at more varied environments as well.
So that’s it! Show’s over! Games are great! I’m exhausted! Exclamation mark! We pre-recorded a segment for the next Megaphones Ahoy! Podcast too, so look forward to that. For now, I need to sleep and catch a plane.