Tuesday, 5 June 2012

E3 2012: Day 2 Thoughts

Well, the second day of E3 is now over and although there are some E3 related stuff and announcements being made in the coming days, I still think the end of today's conference officially marked the end of this years E3. As such, I think we should just get right down to it and talk about today's conference provided by Nintendo!

NINTENDO

So, I was excepting the Nintendo conference to be really good and guess what? It was! Nintendo really brought their A-game and showed off some pretty cool stuff and definitely got me hyped for the Wii U launch. However, I have to admit that it wasn't as good as I would have wanted.

You see, although I definitely think Nintendo managed to be among the best this year, they still made a few mistakes. First of all, they didn't really reveal all that many games, especially not first-party games. A lot of people, me included, were expecting to see Zelda, Super Smash Bros., Metroid and/or whatever else, but we didn't get any of that. Oh, they showed several games, but they were mostly third-party games and other relatively small and casual type games which wasn't really what we wanted. There wasn't really any big surprises or unexpected reveals either and I guess that's not absolutely necessary, but it would have made the conference MUCH better.

All that being said, I still really enjoyed this conference. The opening alone was the best opening this year and it really filled my heart with the type of childish joy and laughter that only Miyamoto can provide. It started with Miyamoto himself walking out on stage after a video of him getting ready while being surrounded by a bunch of Pikmin. He then showed of Pikmin 3 that will be coming for Wii U and a bunch of its features. I don't really have a very strong connection with the Pikmin games, but even I fell in love with this lovable little title!

The next big reveal was New Super Mario Bros. U which, as expected, looks fucking fantastic! It's basically a new game in the “new” Super Mario range with a few new tweaks. As far as I know, the bat-suit upgrade, at least I think that's what is was, is new and allows you to fly or glide in the air, basically making it a new version of the cape from Super Mario World, at least from what I could tell. They also showed us how in multiplayer, a fifth player using the Wii U gamepad could place blocks and pads around the level in order to help the other players out and overall, this just looked brilliant!

We also got to see the Wii U exclusive Armored Edition of Batman: Arkham City. In addition to featuring playable, armoured versions of both Batman and Catwoman, this version will also utilize the Wii U gamepad for several unique and interesting features. For instance you can use it to scan the area in order to locate bad guys, you can use it to change equipment on the fly or you can use it to control the remote control batarang using the motion sensors. You will also have access to a new BAT-mode (pronounced BeeAyTea and not Bat for some reason) which involves a meter that fills up during combat and when it's full, you can activate BAT-mode to make Batman even more powerful.

The last game-reveal to mention was Lego City: Undercover. I really wasn't expecting this, but I really liked this game, it looked pretty damn awesome! It had humour, action, puzzle-solving and of course that wonderful and impossible to dislike Lego aesthetic! This game will also utilize the Wii U gamepad for special features like displaying the game map and dispatcher calls and scanning for bad guys with thermal or infra-red vision. I also had to chuckle a bit at the pretty humorous parody or homage to Mario they put in at the end of the trailer where the main character built a pipe and went down it Mario-style, complete with sound effect! That just made me chuckle.

Apart from that, there wasn't all that much else that was all that fantastic. Don't get me wrong, there were several other announcements like a bunch of third-party titles for the Wii U including Mass Effect 3, Darksiders II and Aliens: Colonial Marines, but overall, it was just glanced at and wasn't really given that much attention. The did reveal some pretty neat 3DS titles including New Super Mario Bros. 2 that features a gold-Mario upgrade and the Raccoon suit from Super Mario 3, Paper Mario: Sticker Star that has an emphasis on stickers and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, the somewhat unnecessary sequel to the original Luigi's Mansion. Other than that, the only other significant thing mentioned was Nintendo Land, a kind of virtual theme park for the Wii U featuring locations and games inspired by various Nintendo franchises. At first, I didn't think this would be my kind of thing as I thought It would be a bit too casual and “kiddish” and although that was somewhat true, it actually did look kind of interesting. It seemed like it could end up providing some fairly unique and pretty fun gaming experiences that will take full advantage of the Wii U gamepad capabilities and I for one, look forward to trying it out!

SUMMARY

Overall, I think Nintendo did a pretty good job. Yes, it was a bit disappointing that there weren't more titles revealed and I also would've liked to see a price for the Wii U, especially since they announced that it will be released this holiday, but all in all, they did pretty well. I found myself much more invested in what they had to say and the things they showed than I were with plenty of the other companies this year and Nintendo really have a unique ability to find and connect with my inner child. I am really hyped for the Wii U and I really can't wait to see what they can come up with for it, but unfortunately, this conference was just a teeny, tiny bit too disappointing. Again, I think they did really well, but I really don't think they did enough to grab the top spot this year. So, in closing, I would say that my final “ranking” of this year's conferences is EA at fifth, Microsoft at fourth, Sony at third, Nintendo at second and Ubisoft still at the top! In terms of games, I still have to put The Last of Us at the top, very closely followed by Watch Dogs, Beyond: Two Souls and Assassin's Creed III. I really enjoyed both New Super Mario Bros. U and Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition as well, but I don't think they got me fired up enough to put them up among the best games of E3.

So, with that over with, my little overview of this year's E3 is over. I might do some sort of top ten or best and worst type video about it at a later date, but for now, I think I'm going to call it a day in terms of E3 and rather focus on getting the new episodes of the show released. I won't promise anything here and now in terms of when the episodes will actually be released, but barring any unforeseen circumstances, it shouldn't be that long of a wait. In any case, I thank you for reading my opinions on E3, I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you keep checking back at this site regularly for updates. Thank you all again and goodbye!

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