The Endless Wars: The Descent

The Endless Wars: The Descent itunes (coming soon) The Endless Wars: The Descent

On sale now!


Some E3 Commentary

So, yeah, I've been a bit blog-shy this week.

Part of it has been that I spent Monday overloading my brain with press-conferences, and then Tuesday was a total clusterfuck. First, I was working my real job while streaming the Nintendo conference, then my stream collapsed in on itself during the Sony conference while I was still working, then when I was off-work, I lost power.

Summer storms in St. Louis are nothing to fuck with. We'll get hit for an hour with end-of-the-world weather, and in the past, it's left the city without power for weeks. We're right at that point where the Gulf Stream hits those northern bursts, and every summer, we get nailed at least once.

I remember, back in 2006, after that monster storm, spending my birthday trying to save my restaurant's food from going bad by loading up a U-Haul with all my food and running it to a buddy's store that had just gotten power back.

Anyway, Tuesday, my family and I, assuming it would be a few days 'til power was restored, holed up at my parents' house, which, despite being a rather castle-like structure with any amenity one could crave, is so remote that it has satellite internet, and is not the kind of place from which one would desire to download video.

Wednesday, I found that Ameren had actually restored our power overnight, and we moved back in. I was pleased to note that all of our trees actually stayed up this time, with minimal branch loss (we once had part of a tree fall on a neighbor's house, and the branch loss is usually so bad that we fill our entire front lawn with branch debris for pickup by the city), and no visible damage to the house.

One last thing about the summer storms here.

It's interesting to see my neighborhood during our 10-20 power outages a year, as that's when a lot of us seem to finally come out of our houses and share a laugh or give each other a hand. My super-cool neighbor, who's close to my age and has a wife and son, as well, and I went down to the playground a few doors over, and cleared some of the debris off the playground so that access wasn't restricted. We took our boys down, talked some E3, then got into a fascinating discussion about gaming shows in general, as he works for a company that helps game developers in the late stages of products or demos. He works on physics engines, and actually has some serious development cred. I haven't asked his permission, so I'm not gonna reveal his identity here, or what he's worked on, but suffice to say that some of the projects he's worked on have left me jaw-dropped. Basically, he's one of the guys who gets called in when a project needs to meet a deadline and isn't going to, whether it be a game or a conference demo.

So, yeah, it was an amazingly enlightening discussion about the game industry, and how much goes into just showing off a game that isn't out yet.

Anyway, having neighbors that pitch in and help is awesome.

That E3 Thing
So, I just wanted to talk a little about the motion-control outbreak that's happened.

I'll start with the Wii, since that happened several years ago.

I love the motion-control possibilities of the Wii, but have yet to see them implemented in a truly meaningful way. I don't understand why the Wii Motion Plus is a $20 fix instead of something that shipped as part of the final controller. I know that the fact that it's a GameCube with motion control was an effort to keep price down, but the games look like ass now. Since it's not totally relevant, I wont bring up the abomination that are Friend Codes.

Now fast forward to this year's E3.

Microsoft, after a really solid showing at their press conference, closed with Project Natal.

What's interesting about Project Natal is that it's basically stereoscopic cameras doing mo-cap on YOU, instead of a controller. That opens up a lot of possibilities.

Fighting games, provided you can clear out enough space in your gaming area, are the first thing that come to mind. Shift to a first-person perspective, get your reflexes ready, and you've got the makings of a bad-ass bare-knuckled brawler.

If you can scan in weapons, a first-person Soul Calibur could be awesome, assuming you can leap 20 feet into the air.

The Sony 'wand' thing is pretty neat too, and I really dug the sword-and-shield bit. For some reason, I actually feel a little better about having to hold something, since I worry about things like triggers and minute inputs.

That being said, I'm going to go back to my original concerns about the Wii, since they still hold true for the MS and Sony implementations.

There's no resistance when hitting a ball or an enemy, and you can't truly move infinitely in a 3D space.

What that means is that if I'm locked in combat with an opponent, and they score a blow, I'm not knocked off guard, or if they block a blow, my forward movement doesn't stop. It's still a fairly empty experience.

Also, if I'm playing Doom 4 on my console of choice (the one with acceptable visual capabilities, not the Wii), I'm having to use a stick to move my character, instead of capturing that intense need to creep through the halls. Yeah, I can still make him creep with the stick, but how much more intense is it to capture that movement yourself (if you've ever played Paintball, you know what I mean. I won't dishonor our troops by comparing their life or death experiences to a game of Doom), and pop around that corner to catch an enemy unawares?

I know I'm throwing a fit that we don't have the holodeck yet, and I understand that this a natural step in that direction, especially if they can combine this with 3D tech, but I'm just pointing out why I'm a bit skeptical.

I am very curious to try out both PS360 setups, and really what it comes down to is SOFTWARE. If the software is there, then so am I.

E3 Games
If you've followed my Twitter, then you have pretty good idea of what games have me stoked.

It seems like we're gonna choke on a glut of games again this fall, as I'm slated to snag NCAA Football 10 and Madden NFL 10 this summer, followed by Alpha Protocol, Dragon Age: Origins, Modern Warfare 2, BioShock 2, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Heavy Rain, and Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days. Those fall games are all in less than a 2-month span. That's crazy.

That's not even touching the stuff that's not out 'til next year. If all the Q1 2010 games actually release in Q1 2010, we're gonna see a busy January-March, which could be kinda weird.

Oh, and I want/need Final Fantasy VII on my PSP NOW! Ooh, and the original Medal of Honor is available for $6? Man, they're really starting to make some headway with the PSP downloadable market. If I can get portable versions of every PS1 Final Fantasy released thus far, I'd be thrilled. Between my DS Lite and the PSP, I'd have FF1-9 portably. Really, I'd love a portable version of FFVIII, one of the only Final Fantasy games I've never finished.

Okay, enough blabbing. What's got you all hot and bothered @ E3? I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule tomorrow. Also, we're recording the second E3 2009 Untitled Podcast either Saturday or Sunday.

So, yeah, like I was asking, what are you happy about from E3? Did you listen to our PRE3 Untitled Podcast: Special Edition episode? What'd you think of it?

Cool. I'll be back tomorrow. Peace out.


1 comment:

  1. I did listen to the Pre-E3 special and you already know what I thought. I'm looking forward to the post episode.

    Dragon Age: Origins hasn't done anything to make me want it. I am actually surprised it is coming from Bioware because it looks really bad. Especially compared to the art direction in Mass Effect. They look they were made for two different console genrations - am I wrong?

    I am really digging 0 Day Attack on Earth, Assassin's Creed 2, The Last Guardian, Mass Effect 2 and Mod Nation Racer's. Maybe I will have to get a PS3. The PSP Go! looks really nice, but way out of my price range.

    I should be making a return to 1up soon for my E3 opinion and I have some big news I want to share. Keep an eye out please.