I’m aware that this is an anime blog, but I’m also a huge gamer. I rarely leave the house without my trusty 3DS, and I’ve debated for countless hours on the whole “Old Square vs. New Square”, “Virtua Fighter vs. Tekken”, and “Final Fantasy vs. Dragon Quest” topics.
Anyway, E3 is over, and most of the editors have gone home to write up their pieces on the show. So, I’d like to take one night and get away from anime chatter and discuss a few of my personal highlights from the show.
What I liked
The most obvious highlight has to be the unveiling of Wii U. Like their showing of the Wii, Nintendo managed to deliver a presentation that was both effective and impressive. While the little while box has much to prove, the potential is incredible. The second screen on the U-mote offers a number of possibilities that simply weren’t possible on previous hardware, and the total backward compatibility with Wiimotes and the like ensure that I didn’t waste that $100 on two remotes and nunchucks. Third parties are reportedly excited to work for the system, so (hopefully) this means that we won’t have a repeat of last gen, where second-string titles got dumped and used to fund HD titles.
On the software front, there were a number of pleasant surprises. Konami led the charge with their announcement of collections for Metal Gear Solid, Zone of the Enders, and Silent Hill. All of these would sport a shiny HD make-over, and hit the current generation of hardware.
The surprises continued with a stealth announcement of the long-running Itadaki Street franchise in America. This fall, the US will get its first taste of the series when it’s released as Fortune Street. For the uninitiated, Fortune Street is a collaboration between Enix and Nintendo. It places characters from the Mario Universe against characters from Dragon Quest in a Mario Party-esque game. Specifically, the game is a cross between Monopoly and Mario Party, as players buy up property, gamble in casino games, and more as they compete to clear boards.
And then there’s Animal Crossing. I’ll admit it: I’m an Animal Crossing fan. Three installments all saw me playing a continuous year for one hour a day. This installment looks like it’ll be just as big of a time sink. New furniture pieces, the ability to hang things on the walls, and the ability to swim are a few major improvements highlighted in the trailer. I’m hoping the improvements don’t stop there, though – the game has many improvements that could be made, from more interactive furniture to more dynamic townspeople. There is great potential for a killer sequel. Hopefully, this won’t be squandered.
What I want to see more of
Sly 4, without a doubt. It’s been six years since the last time the Thievious Raccoonus made an appearance on a console. And, frankly, his colorful adventures have been missed. Unfortunately, at the same time, it has been six years, and Insomniac’s talents have been mostly focused on games like Resistance and Ratchet. I’ll have to see more than a sizzle reel to really get excited about this.
What I wanted to see
In a nutshell: Japanese RPGs! With so many titles just begging to be translated, so many huge titles on fans’ radars, there was simply no excuse! Unannounced hopefuls like Xenoblade, The Last Story, or Pandora’s Tower were missing in action. At the same time, games that have American dates, like Persona: Innocent Sin were also absent.
Fewer games with a 3 or 4 tacked tot he end: Halo 4, Gears of War 3, Resistance 3, Uncharted 3, Modern Warfare 3… you get the picture. We’re starting to see a lot of sequels saturate the show. I’m hoping that publishers realize this and start to change gears come next year’s event.