|Duke Nukem 4eva, baybee.|
Another year, another post-E3 week, with only a mere 358 days until the next event. Get marking your calendars, people who attend E3. Disclaimer: I wasn’t at E3, though it has long been an ambition of mine to attend it. Ideally, that would be in a professional capacity, though. Anyway, I thought I’d touch on the announcements that piqued my interest most throughout the event.
Silent Hill HD Collection – It was Konami’s pre-E3 video that highlighted the upcoming release of this little collection of gems. Having recently espoused my interest for the survival horror genre, I’m feeling torn as to whether I should start catching up on the series now, or wait until this collection comes out and experience it all with high-resolution textures, etc. It will interesting to see where they go on certain design aspects, such as the film-grain in Silent Hill 2 that was designed to muddy-up the CGI animations to prevent them from looking too crisp. Moving into HD re-release territory seems to sort of embrace the idea of such crispness.
WiiU – Nintendo’s big console announcement was arguably E3′s main event, and certainly not undeservedly. Everything about the WiiU is exciting and different, in a way that seems more exciting, if perhaps less different, than the original Wii. Nintendo’s primary goal here is to reconcile its family-friendly Wii unit with the hardcore gamers market. I absolutely loathe the phrase, but it is exactly what Nintendo have set out to achieve, and definitely looks promising for now. My only concern is that the specifications seem to set it reasonably close to the 360, from what I’ve heard, and this doesn’t really push it into next-generation territory.
|A far cry from the dull and dingy confines of Rapture.|
Mass Effect 3 – Bioware’s agonisingly delayed closer to the completely excellent Mass Effect trilogy had a bit of a rough ride during E3. During Microsoft’s Conference, most of the Kinect-enabled voice commands left me feeling a bit cold. Visually, the game looked great, if mostly similar to ME2, but the prospect of talking to my TV whilst playing didn’t do much to inspire excitement. Then, the next demonstration of the game showed us a turret-based on-rails sequence. On-rails segments are take-it-or-leave-it as far as I’m concerned, and certainly aren’t an element of Mass Effect that leaves me frothing at the mouth. It looked as if we’d have to settle for these until the final day saw the release of the Fall of Earth trailer. This video is literally so exciting that I had to watch it five times in a row, and then I had to find something else to do to stop myself from watching it more. Judge for yourself, anyhow. Oh, and more information on it here.
Dance Central 2 – Dance Central is a game that I have loved from pretty much the second I saw it announced. I don’t have the room for a Kinect at home, and to be honest I still see it as a side-salad to the 360, something to be done when others are around but rarely to be indulged alone. When I finally got the chance to try out Dance Central at PAX East, I loved it, but was a little surprised that you couldn’t play with multiple people at the same time, particularly as this had been demonstrated when I had first seen it: people jumping in behind the main player and taking part. It turned out that this was merely something optional that didn’t actually count in the game proper. Dance Central 2 has remedied this, and now I can’t wait for it to come out so that I can leave all aspiring dancers in my wake.
|Chaos ensues in Duke Nukem Forever.|
The game was prevented from being reviewed until release, and so this weekend saw a flood of reviews start to come in, all of them supporting how I’d felt about the game. If it wasn’t the poor mechanics, it was the lacklustre graphics. If it wasn’t the graphics, it was the awkward feel of the Duke’s sexist behaviour in modern times. As a youngster, exchanging flashes of pixellated cash for flashes or pixellated boob was a winning concept. As a guy now in his mid-twenties, it doesn’t feel totally clear if we’re supposed to be laughing with the Duke, or laughing at him. Anyhow, most reviews seem to wrestle not only with how they feel about the title, but this similar idea of how we should feel about it. Are we supposed to praise Gearbox for simply having worked the title past the finishing post? Should we expect anything more from a game that struggled its way through multiple developers? There really was little hope that the game would ever be brilliant, but it still feels as if it has missed the mark.
|The strangest boss battle that I have ever experienced.|