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Keen’s E3 Wrap-up

E3 can be summed up in one word for me: Expensive.  The past few E3’s have really left me feeling… not disappointed, but wishing there was even more.  This year, two new consoles and a ton of games were announced.  Both the Xbox One -and- the PS4 look great to me.

Kitty MarioLike Graev, I really don’t participate in the console bashing.  I want fun games; I buy consoles with fun games.  I own a Wii U, and I will eventually own both the PS4 and Xbox One.  For now, I’m sold on the PS4 being the first of the two consoles I buy, with the Xbox One coming as soon as I can squeeze a few hundred more dollars out of my paycheck.   My reason for going PS4 first?  Microsoft lost me when they took their emphasis off gaming.  It’s that simple.

Nintendo was my overall winner based purely on what excites me the most. I think Nintendo is really trying to prove they understand that everything they do should be catering to their fans. Just look at the list of games they showed off:

  • Super Smash Bros.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
  • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
  • Yoshi’s New Island
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  • Mario kart 8
  • Sonic Lost World
  • ‘A New Title’ developed by Monolith
  • Super Mario 3D World
  • The Legend of Zelda: WindWaker HD

[Read more…]

PS4 vs Xbox One

PS4 Vs. Xbox One

I hate E3. Seriously, I do. People act like it’s gamer Christmas for some reason that is entirely beyond my comprehension. The entire week is a stressful mess full of whining, screaming children throwing tantrums and insults at each other over the stupidest things. Well now it does sound like Christmas.

One thing that makes me embarrassed to be a “gamer”, labels aside, would be all the bickering that goes on between fanboys on any side of the arena. I still cant understand why some people act like it is illegal or a moral sin to like more than one video game brand. The only thing I can come up with would have to be justification and reassurance for their own product of choice because that’s all they can afford to own. There’s nothing wrong with only owning one console, though, but when you have to tear other people down just to build yourself up then you have some serious issues.

But yeah, E3… Lots of news about PS4 and Xbox One. I’ve been a fan of both brands for the past several years and thought I’d share my opinion on both systems. [Read more…]

Our Pick for Best of Show at E3 2012

This may sound like a weird pick.  You’d expect one of the AAA well known titles like all the major sites are picking, but we’re going a different direction. Out of all the games shown at E3, the game we want to play the most, and wish we had in front of us right now, is LEGO City: Undercover.

For the first time, the fan-favorite LEGO City vehicles and play sets come to life in LEGO® City: Undercover, exclusively for the new Wii U console. Players assume the identity of Chase McCain, an undercover detective armed with clever disguises. The mission is to put a stop to the fiendish Rex Fury and end his crime wave in LEGO City. As players run, drive and even fly through the city, they’ll use the Wii U GamePad controller as a new police gadget.

  • Open world exploration in a LEGO city that reminds us of something out of Grand Theft Auto’s sandbox city style.
  • Wii U controller gameplay shown appears feasible and fun
  • More than 100 vehicles

More on LEGO City: Undercover at Nintendo’s E3 site.

What was your choice for Best of Show?

[E3] Nintendo’s Conference: Games First

We love that Nintendo really shows and explains their games.  Nintendo knows E3 is about the games, and went out of their way during the presentation to focus on them.  Nintendo showed a pre-E3 briefing on the Wii U to explain the hardware, and will show a post-E3 briefing on the 3DS to showcase even more games.

Wii U

Nintendo revealed that the Wii U will launch this holiday season (no price yet), and with it’s launch window comes a decent number of interesting games.  Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition looks great. Sure, it’s a game that was already released but if you played the previous version you know that Armored Edition is adding functionality and changes to content.  Assassin’s Creed , of course, and additional/all-new titles we may have known about like Ninja Gaiden, Tekkon Tag, Aliens, Trine, Tank tank Tank, and Scribblenauts.

“Hardcore gamers” are bellyaching that Nintendo didn’t show anything, but we’re hardcore gamers -and- Nintendo fans. We saw plenty that looked amazing.  Pikmin looked fantastic, and utilized the Wii U Gamepad to control multiple characters are once.  New Super Mario Bros. U appears to use the same style that Super Mario World on the SNES had, a format we love, and utilizes some of the neat Miiverse features.

One of our absolute favorite games shown for the Wii U is Lego City Undercover.  It looks like an open-world game in the familiar Lego video game style that gave us a GTA vibe, but from the perspective of an undercover cop/detective.  Exploring a big Lego city and using the Wii U Gamepad simply looked like a ton of fun.

Nintendo Land, albeit a tech demo for the system like Wii Sports/Resort, did have interesting games that emphasized the asymmetric gameplay.

3DS

It’s still an awesome time to own a 3DS, and owning one is going to be even better in the coming months.  During their conference Nintendo unveiled a slew of titles in addition to whatever they’ll announce during their 3DS coverage tomorrow.

  •   New Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star – fantastic looking!
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Mirror of Fate
  • Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D
  • and more titles we’ve heard already.

We feel Nintendo ‘won’ E3 this year, but it wasn’t hard given Microsoft’s lack of anything gaming related and Sony’s focus on third party support.  The Wii U is going to augment gameplay far more than the ‘waggle’ of the Wii’s motion technology, and we understand the asymmetric gameplay concepts.  Makes sense to us, and we’re anxious to play all the upcoming games.

[E3] Sony’s Media Briefing gave us a few reasons to turn our PS3 on again!

Sony brought a lot of games to their media briefing, which in and of itself outshines Microsoft.  A few of the games caught our eye, and we took some notes.

PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale introduced the cross-play feature that allows the PSVita and PS3 to play together.  It appeared to work well, and we would love to see Sony expand the cross-play to ALL platforms including the PC.   An obvious Smash Bros. inspired fighter, but there are key differences like killing vs. knocking off the edge.  We’re not yet convinced it will be worth purchasing.

Beyond was just weird.  From the creators of Heavy Rain, Beyond looks like another immersive drama-driven game.  The clip chosen was really slow and dragged, and we weren’t sold.  They’ll need to show us a lot more gamplay like we saw in the last 10 seconds.

Assassin’s Creed 3 and AC3: Liberation looked awesome.  Jack Tretton gave us more information on Assassin’s Creed 3 than Ubisoft did, and the gameplay shown during Sony’s conference was so cool!  The player gets to control a massive ship sailing on the ocean and engage in battle with cannons and maneuvers.  We both loved it so much it made us wish more games would come out that featured nothing but this type of ship combat.  Imagine if MMO’s looked that awesome and played like that.

The Last of Us showed strong as a very dynamic and immersive survival game.  We didn’t see any zombies, but we did see a lot of great companion AI and gameplay that looked like the game was adapting naturally to the player’s input.

A new piece of hardware was announced: Wonderbook.  Bring to life stories, and reader stuffs.  If Harry Potter is your thing, the first book will be a Book of Spells that compliments the Pottermore website.  The live demo was wagglelicious with failed wand waiving and silly incantations that made us cringe, but in the end Graev still wants one.

The Vita wasn’t emphasized like we thought.  Instead, the biggest Vita announcement (on top of Cross-play) was utilizing it as a controller for some PS3 games.   It felt tacked on to the presentation in an attempt to match Nintendo’s Wii U functionality.  Developers aren’t going to embrace a several-hundred-dollar controller.  The idea is flawed.

Decent showing overall from Sony with a few new exclusives that have us actually interested in turning on our PS3 again.