I’m going to keep this brief for now, but I think there’s a lot to talk about from Nintendo’s showings this year; both because of what Nintendo revealed and what Nintendo did not reveal. Nintendo held two separate conferences this year (one for WiiU and a second for Nintendo 3DS) and my first reaction to both was disappointment. I am disappointed that the games I most wanted to see are not at the show, and Nintendo made some strange decisions of which games to feature at their events. Some of the most exciting and interesting game announcements have been made after the press conferences through interviews. Specifically, I felt that Project P-100 for WiiU and Fire Emblem: Awakening for Nintendo 3DS should have been featured at the press events.
However, once the dust settled, my reaction to Nintendo’s game lineup changed for the better. I’m not extremely excited about what was shown this year, but I am satisfied. I’m satisfied with the WiiU’s launch lineup and the capabilities of the platform itself. I am satisfied with the holiday lineup for Nintendo 3DS as well, but I am still not convinced that I need to rush out and buy one.
In particular, I am very pleased to see Pikmin 3 finally revealed. I have never been a huge fan of the original games, but the announcement has renewed by interest in the series enough that I plan to play through Pikmin 1 and Pikmin 2 soon.
The other highlight of Nintendo’s lineup is Nintendo Land. When the game was first announced, I was not interested and simply wished that Nintendo had devoted that stage time to something focused more on “core gamers”; something like The Legend of Zelda. However, when I saw the games being played and began reading impressions from people playing the demos my interest grew. For the first time, I am excited about a mini-game collection being released and, as long as Nintendo doesn’t choose to sell the game separately for $50, I plan to purchase it.
Today, both Microsoft and Sony held their annual E3 press conferences, but both were underwhelming. While I had hoped that Microsoft might focus on games and announce a few new games, instead they announced no new major releases and focused almost exclusively on expanding the media features of the XBOX 360. I love that my XBOX 360 is capable of doing all of these things, but I use my XBOX 360 for games first and foremost and right now there is a severe lack of titles that interest me.
I expected a much better presentation from Sony, and they certainly did a much better job of focusing on games, but their conference suffered from a lack of new announcements. With the exception of Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls, Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation, and Wonderbook everything that was shown had already been previously announced.
Despite their lackluster press conferences, there were a few noteworthy games. While none of them are really my taste, Halo 4, God of War: Ascension, and The Last of Us are all sure to be hits when they are released. The demo for The Last of Us was particularly impressive. I was also glad to see more of Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale, but I’m still not entirely sure how the gameplay works. I’m hoping to see more footage from the game during the rest of the week.
However, the real highlight today was Assassin’s Creed 3. Ubisoft demoed the game at their own press conference and again at Sony’s press conference. Both demos looked great and for the first time I am actually excited about an Assassin’s Creed title. Ubisoft truly stole the show today with Assassin’s Creed 3; it’s looking to be one of the best games of the year.
Last year, I wrote multiple articles before and during E3, but my expectations for E3 2012 are much lower. My expectations for Sony and Microsoft are especially low. At the very least, I am looking forward to hearing more about Nintendo’s WiiU, but I’m unsure if I will like what I hear. Nevertheless, I am interested in hearing more about some video games that have already been announced, and I also have a couple of predictions (though I do not think they are anything groundbreaking). Continue reading