Hello everyone! Welcome to the First Annual edition of CrossTopix’s All-Gamers Week!!!! Since I’ve started CrossTopix, I (STVO) have always wanted to do discussion on video games both past, present, and future. Since 1996, I loved reading issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly where there was coverage about the hottest new games (and the hot booth babes) from an amazing show that seems like heaven to a video game nerd like me. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is one of the highlights of the year for me and considered to be an equivalent to a week of the Superbowl to the most hardcore of gamers.
Tonight, we start this week off with the speculation thread. Tonight I will be commenting as well as a new contributing writer, hardcore Xbox 360 gamer, Mark Shenefelt (Xbox Gamer Tag: whysoserious08.) He will be sharing his thoughts with me tonight and post thoughts later on. Matt B. Wild of Explicit Gamer.com is expected to join us this week as well sharing his thoughts during and after the show!
Folks, this is Mark, welcome him...
Without further ado, LET’S SPECULATE!
Of the games announced so far from E3, which ones have interested you the most so far?
STVO: Last year’s E3 returning to the glory it was in 2006 and the years before was a greatly welcomed return. Last year Nintendo revealed New Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Sin & Punishment 2, Microsoft showed off Alan Wake, announced Metal Gear Rising, and showed off Project Natal. Sony had some very exciting announcements as well. Here’s hoping this year’s edition meets or exceeds last year’s presentation.
As for the titles I anticipate, a couple stand out from IGN’s Big Game List: http://games.ign.com/articles/108/1086456p1.html . Naughty Bear on PS3/Xbox 360 looks like a simple yet entertainingly funny title following in the footsteps of Conker’s Bad Fur Day. While I still haven’t gotten around to playing the original Dead Rising, I want to play that as well as the upcoming Dead Rising 2 as it looks like it will be an insanely fun game where I can kill zombies in oh-so-many different ways, and trust me, I love fighting hordes of zombies! On the download side of things: Bonk, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, and the long-awaited return of NBA Jam should be amusing to see as I will likely look into downloading at least one of those titles this year. Gears of War 3 and Halo Reach will satisfy my Xbox 360 urges from Microsoft. Little Big Planet 2 should be a winner and while I don’t own a PSP and likely won’t for a while, I’m interested to find out more on Parasite Eve’s 3rd title known as The 3rd Birthday, I loved the first game. As always these titles are only the beginning, the bigger and better titles are usually revealed at the show.
Mark : Well, where to begin? I suppose, first off, I should mention that for the past couple years E3 has just not done it for me as a gamer. Microsoft, at least, has changed their style to showing more of the games expected to be released within the year to early next year. No longer do they show a game that may be two to three years out. That wouldn't be so bad if they showed an ample amount of game play footage and information on the games, however, mostly we see just cinematic trailers with a couple teases of in-game footage and maybe a couple tidbits about what we may see in the game come release time. It seems we get to see more of the game during other, not-so-big, events later in the year, which makes me, wonder if E3 is really even worth it. I suppose if you really wanted to show a game before it is released in July or August that would be ok, but do we really need this big of an event to do that? Well hopefully this year can change my mind. As for the announced games that I find interesting, I'll make a list of the top 5 and why:
1. Rage - Published by Bethesda Softworks and Developed by Id Software, Rage looks to me like Fallout/Borderlands hybrid, which is nothing to laugh at. Both those games were great, and Rage looks to take the best of both worlds offering a giant, war-torn, world with tons of sidequests, creepy freaks running around, looting (a personal favorite) and the bottom line; blowing S**t up! Not to mention graphics that look amazing and a team that helped create DOOM. Add in vehicle combat and a ton of gore and you have my attention.
2. XCOM - 2K Games and 2K Marin join together to take on a reboot of a sci-fi franchise. This studio is responsible for Bioshock 2, which in my opinion was decent, but I love the Bioshock franchise and that is why I have high hopes for this game. 2K in general makes good games and I am excited to see what they have to show for this one.
3. Mafia 2 - Another game by 2K, Mafia 2 is a sequel to the original Xbox game; Mafia. While that game was disappointing, it did have potential. Years later and everything that needed help in the first game appears to have been given a lot of attention and after watching a couple of gameplay trailers for the sequel, I can definitely say this will be on my radar till release day.
4. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier - Plain and simple, I love these games from Ubisoft and the last in the series spent a lot of time in my console. The graphics were tight, the controls spot on and they updated the game with a ton of DLC. If they keep up the same routine while adding new things I will continue to buy. I can't wait to see where they go from here, however, I do partially feel like I would like the series to go back to its roots and leave the whole 'future soldier' thing out of its games for a while. I would love to see a Ghost game set in Vietnam. Of course I think other games should head to that war too such as COD and Battlefield (they did once before but not with a campaign and updated game engine from DICE).
5. EA Sports - I have to combine these into NHL 11, Madden 11 and their new MMA game. EA no doubt started off poor with sports games for the new generation. However, now they are dominating the field. While their Madden series doesn't have much competition after gaining exclusive rights to the NFL license, that doesn't mean that they stop improving on the franchise. Each year they get better and better and I am excited to see what is next. Same goes for NHL 11, which is already looking promising with a new physics engine that will make hitting in the game more realistic!!! And most of all, the new MMA game which I think if they follow Fight Night 4's graphics and control scheme they will be hard pressed to beat even by THQ.
2. Sony/Microsoft are ready to go the motion control paths with their consoles with PSMove and Project
Natal. Will these devices deliver at E3 and will you buy at launch? Also, feel free to add some titles you'd
like to see for each device and make a prediction what the official name for "Project Natal" will be.
STVO: Okay, I like my Nintendo Wii system but it’s not as good as my Xbox 360 or PS3. Why is it that? The motion controls just don’t live up to the hype that was initially built up for it. Okay so titles like Boom Blox and Wii Sports are fun to play with motion controls, but other games get gimmicky, repetitive, or just plain dull. Usually when I play a game, I try to opt for the Gamecube or Classic Controller option instead. Anyway we’ve been here and speculated that on CrossTopix (well Nick Smith and I at least) let’s not make this one a rerun.
I’m reading that Sony/Microsoft want to price their equipment at $80-$100, a stiff price but very reminiscent of Nintendo releasing their balance board for Wii Fit at this price. If we really expect motion controls to be the standard for gaming, these devices NEED to be responsive! Also, they better work their tails off to make sure they don’t receive buckets of shovelware like the Nintendo Wii regularly receives and exceed them in what they usually exceed Nintendo in: mature titles. I want to grab a giant gun and blast the Flood in Halo, I want to grab my Dragon Sword as Ryo Hayabusa and slash demons in a full 1080p HD beauty of Ninja Gaiden 3, and so forth. No more wave controller (or with Xbox: your hand) at the screen to play skiing, snowboarding, or a track race, lets be more creative with motion controls! If I see these kinds of titles at E3, it will hold my interest, if I read reviews about them delivering; I’ll shell out some cash! In the meantime, I’d rather have a game controller.
As for Project Natal, it will have a new name. I’ll guess X-Perience, RefleX-box, or Xbox 1080. I know I’ll be wrong most likely….
Mark: On the Xbox 360 side of things, I suppose it was only a matter of time before Microsoft and Sony played catch up with Nintendo in this field. Personally I think motion control is a neat gimmick but should by no means become the standard for videogames. Just like 3D, I hope motion control is a kind of fad that may not go away but becomes an option for gamers. If I feel like picking up a controller then I should be able to. I can't see playing games like Halo or Fable by doing nothing but moving a controller or standing in front of your TV. Nor should that be acceptable by the gaming community. I will most likely buy at launch if some good titles are announced or if I feel like throwing a bowling ball down an alley without leaving the house, but I don't see myself using motion controls on my hardcore games. I will give the leg up to Sony though because at least, like Nintendo, the gamer will have the controller and the motion controls all at once, which is something that turns me off about Natal. For Xbox, I would like to see a FPS that comes with a full sized gun (ala DuckHunt) that will work with Natal. As for the name for Natal? " Xbox Motion" or "Motion-X" or something.
3. How the heck will the Nintendo 3DS work? Will Nintendo revolutionize again or will it end up as just another gimmick or perhaps a Virtual Boy?
STVO: Well, well, well… Looks like the “always behind” Nintendo (first the disc-format then online, then HD-gaming…) has finally taken a leap and decided to be the first company to produce a console in 3D. I’m interested but at the same time upset. Last year I purchased a Nintendo DSi because I thought they wanted to pump a few more years into the system’s life by going the route of gaming downloads. With how many models of the DS they have produced and the GameBoy as well (I was suckered into a Gameboy Color followed by a Gameboy Advance) this shouldn’t be a surprise. 15 years have passed since the Virtual Boy and Nintendo hasn’t released a colossal failure. Nintendo has proven that they can make a gimmicky premise such as a two-screen stylus controlled portable or a video game console requiring a motion waving controller to be successful.
My guess is the 3DS will be the same format as Nintendo DS with the two screens and quite possibly a stylus but holographic images emitting from the screen. Some will require you to touch the holograms some will require you to dodge. I don’t know if it will require glasses or not, preferably not. Finally there are only two more things I can say: Nintendo will make it work and Sega should port their old Time Traveler arcade game to it!
Mark: I don't know and I don't really care. I will say this, Nintendo DS has had a long and productive life and I am sure Nintendo wouldn't make this move unless they were sure it would generate some buzz and revenue. It might not be as big as the Wii was with motion controls because 3D technology is still new to us as consumers and developers so I am sure there will be some uncertainty. Add to the fact that they keep coming out with different versions of the DS every year or two which might put people off.
4. Make a list of 6 titles you'd like to see shown that have been announced but not revealed or that you'd like to see (answers i.e.: Zelda Wii 2, Pikmin 3, a new 3D Megaman game, Goldeneye for Xbox Live Arcade, etc.)
1. StarFox Sequel: Traditional air fighting like StarFox and StarFox 64, absolutely no outside the vehicle
battles! Also, unless Nintendo is REALLY confident that a 2nd or 3rd team really feels they can capture
the spirit of StarFox, have a Nintendo internal team develop it. Preferably for Wii, but WiiWare or
DSiWare would be fine too. While they’re at it, how about releasing the original StarFox from SNES on
the Virtual Console?
2. Zelda Wii Sequel: A given for me. I like Mark’s ideas and agree Zelda needs to be fresh. I don’t care
for Wii Motion Plus, but if I have to get it to play this, I will. The rumored concept of Link not having a
sword is interesting, but shouldn’t be the whole game. Maybe start it off right away with him having
the sword and a foe steals it later on requiring you to use your bombs , bow and arrows, etc. until you
corner that thief and challenge it to a fight then carry on again. Also, keep the graphic style to Ocarina
of Time and Twilight Princess, leave the Wind Waker-style for the portable systems.
3. PaRappa the Rapper 3: It’s cutesy, but sue me, I love that series! Put it on PS3, make it 1080p and just
create a luscious 2D environment with our familiar flat, paper-thin friends sing their funny songs in an
4. Pikmin 3: I’m on a sequel frenzy, but I love these titles. Pikmin with the Wii remote could be very
fun and if Miyamoto is involved with this title like the other 2, I would love to play it again. The game
may appear cute, but it requires a lot of strategy and those giants show no mercy on eating your
Pikmin alive or horrendously murdering them by stomping on them!
5. 3D Mega Man Title (Not MegaMan Legends 3): Sorry to all the Legends fans, the first game was
decent but holds no candle to the original MegaMan series 1-10. My buddy Matt B. Wild did an article
previously on Explicit Gamer discussing this issue and when he brought the idea of the original Blue
Boy fighting classic enemies such as Cut Man or Guts Man in full 3D glory, I drooled. Capcom filed a
trademark to “MegaMan Universe”, could this be a new title? One I’ve waited for since the PS1/N64
6. Any New Exciting IP: Cop-out answer but I love a new series waiting to happen or one solid
6. Any New Exciting IP: Cop-out answer but I love a new series waiting to happen or one solidstand-alone title. In this generation we have seen Alan Wake, Little Big Planet, Gears of War, etc. I love sequels but I also like expanding with new games and characters (or for puzzle games, concepts.) So Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Capcom, etc. Get CRACKIN’!!!
Mark: I like all your ideas STVO. A new Zelda game is always welcome, but they need to do something new, I suggest adding RPG elements to the game such as leveling up and item looting. Goldeneye for XBLA is another great idea, but they did release Perfect Dark already so it might not sell as well. I would like to see something more for Borderlands, either a sequel or some new DLC announced. I don't think it was announced as an attending title but I would like to see some Two Worlds 2 game play footage and more about the game. I, unlike the mass population, loved that game. It had terrible graphics, bad voice over and glitches/frame rate issues everywhere, but it was fun and had some of the best looting/item management in an RPG. I would also like to see some Red Dead Redemption DLC and Battlefield Bad Company 2 DLC announced. Lastly I would LOVE to see Far Cry 3 announced with some footage shown. Far Cry 2 was great, some of the best graphics on the console with great game play ideas. There were just a few glitches and no winning MP or DLC support to make it stand above the rest.
Alright! That is all for the speculation! Check out all the news all over the web and tomorrow on G4TV. As of right now, it has been confirmed that Project Natal is now being called Kinect! Lots of late breaking news and by joining CrossTopix on Facebook, Twitter, or even MySpace, we’ll link you to many of the stories around the web and create fun discussions! All Gamers Week continues all this week and by joining the fan pages, you will know when updates are made to the website and more!