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Thoughts on E3 June 5, 2009

Filed under: gaming — lexd @ 8:34 pm
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In case you either a) don’t care about video games or electronics at all (in which case I assume you’re here for the snark) or b) live under a rock, E3 was this week. 

E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo … read: GAMER HEAVEN) is where game developers come together to announce upcoming games, hardware, etc. Big announcements are often part of the presentation, and after a lame-ass couple of years (I’m looking at you, 2008 and 2007), the gaming community was pretty stoked for this year. It was expected that the big three (MSFT, Nintendo and Sony) would come with guns blazing, because at heart, the conference is really a way for them to try and outdo each other. 

That being said, overall, I think MSFT killed it. I was sadly underwhelmed by Nintendo, and Sony ranked somewhere in the middle. After reviewing a BUNCH of the trailers on gametrailers.com and G4, here are my thoughts on some of the upcoming games. 

  • Assassin’s Creed 2: If you’ve ever talked to me about this game, you know two things — 1) I had enormously high expectations for the first AC and 2) I was really let down. I loved the visuals, the plot, etc … but I found the gameplay so repetitive that I didn’t even finish. Although there wasn’t any in-game footage in the trailer I watched, the graphics were dazzling. If they can find a way to shake up the gameplay a little, it could be cool. Verdict: I’ll probably borrow my brother’s copy before buying. 

  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Please, sir, can I have some more? This game looks SICK. It reminded me of a better-looking Devil May Cry 4. If they can still retain some of the good ol’ Castlevania campiness (this guy better be an f-ing Belmont), this should be a righteous game. Verdict: Will pre-order, pick up the day of, and squeal with fangirlish glee the whole trip home. 
  • Final Fantasy VII (download): I know, I know, it’s not a new game, but Sony finally got with it and made it download-able. Bucking the trend of your usual FF fan, I’m not a huge fan of FFVII, but I thought this was a cool idea nonetheless. I was concerned about the way the graphics looked in the trailer, though. I lent my hard copy to a friend (check out his blog, Playing Hooky), and while he enjoyed the bit that he played, the graphics were so grossly distorted on the new, prettier TVs we have now that it was distracting. The graphics looked less-than-great in the trailer — I hope that was just a tech issue, and will be resolved. Admittedly, though, I did get some nostalgic pangs of excitement when I saw certain scenes. I’m such a softy for Shinra. Verdict: Talk to someone who downloaded it to figure out the graphics issue out of curiosity … but I own it already, so NBD.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction:  Thoroughly impressed. Great graphics, and I like the idea of Sam Fisher going rogue. He is a definite badass in this one. Not too much to say on top of that. Verdict: My brother loves these games. Odds are, he’ll buy it, and then I’ll get his opinion — but it looks like a solid purchase. 

  • Super Mario Brothers Wii: I’ll be honest. When I heard that THIS was one of the announcements from Nintendo, I was definitely crestfallen. Seriously, SMB? That’s the best you can do, Nintendo? And then, I watched the trailer. It actually looks pretty fun. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I imagined myself playing with my boyfriend, and the ensuing fight as he failed some sort of co-op move. It looks like it could be a lot of fun, in a Legogame-esque sort of way. It’s not just multi-player on the same levels, but co-op, as well. Verdict: Will probably buy after the price goes down. 
  • Just Cause 2: I never played the first game, but I’m intrigued after watching some of the developer walkthrough. I like the idea of base jumping, and the flexibility of the use of the parachute. Also, the main character seems like a badass. Verdict: Will monitor coverage and reviews for. Odds are, I won’t be buying this one, though. 

  • InFAMOUS: At first, I was sorely unimpressed by the graphics, and the plot. But, as I watched more of the trailer, I got into it a little more. I love the idea of having comic book-esque graphics incorporated in the game, and the propoganda laced throughout it. Also, sidequests in an FPS … especially ones that allow you to choose a path (ie, good or bad) … are always good in my book. However, I was not too excited about plot development through your character’s cell phone/audio tapes you find. Even in BioShock, I didn’t like this … I want to be fully immersed in the plot, not have it played on the peripheral while I’m doing something else in-game. Why even have a plot if it’s optional to even learn about? Verdict: Knowing me, I’m just intrigued enough to buy it, as long as it doesn’t get horrendous reviews. 
  • Metroid: Other MHoly sickness. This game is going to be AWESOME. I love that Nintendo went back to the 3rd person POV, it’s more classic Metroid. No more needs to be said. Verdict: I will pre-order, call out sick from work, and beat it in 3 days. And then brag to everyone within hearing.

  • Left 4 Dead 2: While I was surprised that this game came so soon (no more downloadable content for the first one, Valve?), it looks like it’s going to deliver. Seriously. From new kinds of ammo to melee weapons, there’s all sorts of mega-satisfying ways to slaughter zombies. And, even the developers got their asses kicked. Verdict: My LIVE friends and I are going to go to town on this one. I am going to startle myself into an anyuerism if I’m not careful. 
  • Quantum: This one was definitely just “eh” for me. The character design was very Gears of War-ish – big guys in big armor. Except, Marcus Fenix would have never accepted help from a girl, especially a mouthy one. Verdict: Will not buy, may not even play.
  • Final Fantasy XIII: If you’ve read my blog before, it’s pretty clear that I’m a pretty die-hard FF fan. YES, I can be obstinate and old-school, but I’m a fan. I think what I’m most excited about is that this is coming out for the 360 … which takes the wind out of my sails about buying a PS3. All I really saw was a battle, which was very busy and very visual. Odin was appropriately B.A. I hope it doesn’t follow the trail of the last few games and get too pretty/empty. Verdict: Who am I kidding? I’ll buy it, if only to experience the triumph of playing a Final Fantasy game on the 360. 
  • The Agency: I was unimpressed by the graphics of this one at first (it’s no Splinter Cell), I am intrigued by the plot. I love a good sneaking/spy/espionage/assassin game, and this one seems to fit the bill pretty solidly. The music in the trailer struck me first — always a good sign. Verdict: If it continues to sound and look cool, I’ll definitely give it a buy. 
  • Metal Gear Solid: Rising: There was almost no information about the game in this trailer, but it gave me goosebumps. ‘Nuff said. Verdict: I don’t even need to beat around the bush. This game is going to be incredible. 
  • Lego Harry Potter: While I’ve heard many cry about the lame-itude of Lego games, I’m still in love with them. They are deliciously childish, and I love that. Plus, you can’t die. I consider myself a gamer, but when it’s something not-serious like Harry Potter, who cares? Verdict: Buying it as soon as it comes out. 

My First ComiCon … MegaCon 2009 March 1, 2009

Filed under: gaming — lexd @ 11:59 pm

This week, I majorly indulged my closet inner mega-nerd and did something I’ve been wanting to do since my sophomore year of high school … 

I went to a comic convention. 

I’d seen photos of all the other ones across the country … all the cosplay … trinkets … shows … sessions … competitions … and when my coworker asked me earlier this week if I was going (because my inner nerd has been coming out at work for the last few months), I was determined to go. There would be no excuse not to. I was so determined to go, in fact, that I was going to go alone (to a comicon … alone, just think about that). 

I ended up going with my coworker’s husband and a couple of his friends, and had an amazing morning. We got there pretty much right when it opened, and as I saw costumed people heading into the Orange County Convention Center, I got SO excited. 

Also, through some preliminary discussion (feeling each other out, what we were all interested in, etc) I found out two of the guys loved the Dark Tower series by Stephen King (one of my favorite series EVER), and another was a Final Fantasy fan (not only was he a fan, but he agreed that FFIII/VI is the best in the entire series. We were friends)

We arrived and got lost in a sea of unicorns, ninjas doing actual ninja moves (backflips off of a wall! nuts), Star Wars characters, Watchmen characters, a bunch of people from Naruto, and a whole host of other costumes (singing pocky sticks?!). 

I was glad we got there early — it was seriously full by the time we left. It was amazing, though … walking around the booths and talking to the guys I was with, I was more at ease and relaxed than I’ve been in a long time. It was a great feeling to just nerd out without worrying about anyone judging me. The bf still makes fun of me sometimes, and HE doesn’t even know the extent of it. 

See if you can follow this one: my coworker’s husband’s big b in his fraternity is a graphic artist for LucasArts (previously was with Marvel, DC and others, he has an amazing track record!), so we got to see his art and talk to him for a little while. Then we split up, pursued our own separate ways for 30 minutes, and were pretty much burned out (and it was getting SO PACKED, the “nerd stench” was unreal).

I came away from the convention with a Chilly Willy t-shirt, two Dark Tower graphic novels (I’m kicking myself for not just buying the collection for $10), and an odd feeling of being seriously okay with my nerdiness. It was an AMAZING time — I’ve never been in that sort of atmosphere before — and I can’t WAIT for the next one.

Thanks again to Mark, Adam and Ben for taking me in and showing me a great time!