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by Ethos

The Dust Has Settled: Day 3 – Ethos

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Hey guys, another long day for me and another absentee day for Riddles on the most important week of the year for gaming. I’m just going to continue to drill that point home until he shows up.

Also, because it’s a special week, the regular features are being pushed unless Riddles decides to do an E3 version of Hey! Look! Listen! Yes, it’s been a while since Scatter Storming, but suck it up. Distance makes the heart grow fungus or however it goes.

Anyway, because of said long day and because of no big conferences, it’s harder to line up my thoughts, but here goes.

Gimme

Damn You 3DS!! -
Remakes and re-imaginings really shouldn’t be getting me this excited, but goddamn it, they are. Hell, I’m even hyped for Animal Crossing, and that game hasn’t changed in a billion years! It’s been so long since a new console of any sort came out, I forgot the deep anticipation it can bring. Oh well, at least FFIX just came out on the PSN, so I’ve got that on my PSP to distract me.

Miyamoto and Aonuma say things -
See? Losing steam. Miyamoto held his little post-conference conference thing, but the only interesting thing to come out of it was when he almost confirmed orchestration in Zelda until Aonuma later said that Miyamoto could have been talking out of his ass. Fun! Speaking of Aonuma, IGN has an interview with him that doesn’t really reveal much, but is an interesting and pretty candid read. Worth it if you care at all about Zelda. Speaking of, he talks about why the art style for Skyward Sword sparked my optimism for the title. He mentioned that they always come up with the art style after the gameplay direction has been set in stone. He also mentioned that super-realism doesn’t allow them to have as many quirky elements that Zelda is known for. Hence my guess that the more personality-filled art style will reflect a more personality-filled game. Because Twilight Princess was fun, controlled well, and had a vapid game world.

That’s all I got, I need to sleep. Let’s start taking bets on when you all think we’ll see Riddles again. I’m thinking July. Any takers?

The Dust Has Settled: Day 2 – Ethos

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

All right, guys. A lot went down today. Because of Microsoft’s lackluster showing, I forgot what E3 could bring. Nintendo gave a conference like they remembered who put them in their high chair to begin with, and Sony brought a solid if not slightly underwhelming showing of their own. At least Sony seemed more in touch than Microsoft.

In any case, like I’ve stated before, Riddlethos.com is not your source for news, so I’m sure I’m going to miss 982375493 things in my reactions here, but I want to hit you all with what stuck out to me today.

Kevin Butler’s “I Am Canadian” speech -
Kevin Butler really said nothing in his surprise appearance, but he nailed his performance and made me feel like Sony really isn’t pulling a Nintendo and pushing the hardcore gamer aside. It’s the sort of thing that makes one realize why propaganda speeches during wartime really do make a difference. Anyway, for those of you who don’t understand the reference in the title, just watch below. This was a big deal back when it aired in my little country.

Wait, I actually want to play my Wii again? -
Seriously, besides Super Mario Galaxy 2, I’ve had absolutely zero desire to even pretend to care about the Wii recently. Remember that Soapbox I wrote just the other week? I pronounced Nintendo a long-lost cause with Mario Galaxy 2 being a glimmer of a hopeful future.

Now, I still hate that the Wii refuses to go HD. Hate it. And Nintendo doesn’t seem to be picking up any of the slack in the online community department, but they somehow managed to make me want a bunch of games for that ridiculous console.

The personality is back!

The Zelda demo was a undeniable disaster, but the consensus from impressions on the showfloor is that it really was technical difficulties and the game controls well. It’s still motion controls, yes, but I’d far prefer working motion controls. And the enemy design seems to be discouraging straight-up waggle, so that’s a plus. I also love the art style. The Twilight Princess/Wind Waker hybrid has breathed personality back into the way Zelda looks. I just hope the game follows suit and brings back the life we haven’t seen on a console since Wind Waker along with the mystique and dense game worlds of the N64 iterations.

Then Nintendo surprised me by making me want two other games. 2D platformers, they may be, but wow do they ever look fun. Donkey Kong Country Returns is long overdue, and looks to have all the magic, challenge, and tight game design as the classic Rareware creations. The bigger surprise for game I want is Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It’s challenging Metroid: Other M for worst name, but it’s also in the running for greatest art style ever. It has a bit of a Yoshi’s Story vibe, but looks far more vibrant and creative. When I first saw Kirby’s picture behind Reggie, I remembered Kirby 64 and winced. But then the gameplay happened and now it’s another Nintendo title that I legitimately desire.

Oh right! And then there was Epic Mickey. The concept art rocked, then the screenshots looked terrible, and now the demo was sweet! It desperately made me want HD, yes, but it looked to be creative, fun, and more deep than I’ve come to expect from the Wii. Very strong showing from a console I thought I was done with.

"Sorry to keep you waiting"

3DSawesome -
That’s pronounced “Three Dee Ess Sawsome” by the way. And to conclude Nintendo’s already impressive show, they busted out the 3DS. We knew it was coming, but it still looks sleek, adds an analog stick, and had a very self-aware Kid Icarus trailer that showed off graphics rivaling the stuff we had just seen for the Wii. There are people who are saying it’s barely better than the DS’ current graphics, and that just baffles me. Maybe the trailer was fudged, but all the screenshots across the board are showing significant improvement in my books. Also, what’s up with all these awesome remakes?
-Star Fox 64
-Ocarina of Time 64
-Kingdom Hearts (although not necessarily a remake, I’ve heard reports of drastic changes…)
-Pilot Wings Resort (wait, is this an original title? Either way, it’s sweet)
-Paper Mario (another one that’s up in the air. Remake or new title?)

Either way, the software lineup has me extremely excited. But what about pricepoint and release date, Nintendo? Even Zelda was a vague “2011″, can’t even match that?

Right, not Nintendo -
Because of Nintendo’s surprisingly strong showing, I kinda forgot what Sony showed. LittleBigPlanet 2 looked really impressive, but a bit too daunting for me to be too interested in. Portal 2 for PS3 is really fucking sweet, and I never played the Sly Cooper games, so I’ll always take a HD collection. Even that Sorcery game for Move didn’t look terrible. But playing that would mean buying the Move, and I don’t have a reason to do that yet.

Golden Sun! -
That’s it, really. I’m excited that this exists.

Well I’m really tired and still need to eat. I probably missed a billion things, but you guys can fill that blank! What caught your eye or underwhelmed you from Day 2?

Quick Notes

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Pretend these are gaming notes

Hey, it’s the most important week in gaming. Do you know where Riddles is? What the fuck was I on when I decided to run a site with that guy?

I’m having a busy day at work, but before I write my The Dust Has Settled for the day, I thought I’d post some quick thoughts since that feature won’t go up until later tonight.

-Epic Mickey doesn’t suck! Who would have guessed? Not me!
-Kevin Butler may not have actually announced or said anything, but goddamn it if that speech wasn’t awesome.
-People seem to care about Twisted Metal. I don’t.
-Nintendo had a hardcore conference? What?! No Vitality Sensor? What?! I’ll fucking take it!
-No ICO trilogy confirmed. TGS?
-No Last Guardian anything. Boo.
-I now care about Kirby.

More to come later tonight.
What’d you guys take from today?

The Dust Has Settled: Day 1 – Ethos

Monday, June 14th, 2010


Hey folks! I made a shitty placeholder banner until Riddles is able to put one up. I mean, the Green Day one was really pretty, but not very relevant anymore in a very relevant week.

Speaking of, I’ve decided to make this segment for this week! A lot can happen during one day at E3, so I thought I’d collect my thoughts as things are winding down now.

Let’s throw Microsoft a (small) bone -
Yes, the press conference was all kinds of awful, but the new 360 does look really slick, and I’m definitely a sucker for the whole “the release date is NOW” thing. Still, I love how they put “built in wifi” as a selling point when even the fucking Wii had that at release. THE WII.

win

Joel McHale was awesome -
I missed the EA press conference (I hear it was just fine), but I was able to catch most of the Ubisoft one. And MAN did Joel McHale ever save the show. I mean, a lot of people didn’t laugh because they felt like they shouldn’t have been, but he made the general uncomfortable feeling of those conferences more bearable. He was improvising inappropriate jokes and saying things that people were thinking. He countered it all with “I’m getting paid for this” over-the-top compliments, but it was worth it for when he’d make fun of a bad hair dye job of a presenter or point out bad AI in Ghost Recon.

Speaking of the Ubisoft Press Conference… -
It reminded me that sometimes good games are shown at E3! Shaun White Skateboarding (he’s actually a professional skateboarder too…) actually looks to be bringing the ridiculous fun of Tony Hawk back in inventive new ways. Yeah, I sounded a bit like PR there, but it’s true. Hopefully I’ll be able to create a character though, because I have no desire to play as Shaun White.

Next was the Rayman demo. The moment the name “Rayman” was mentioned, I lost interest, but then I instantly gained it back again as the art looked beautiful and the game looked to be simple 2D platforming goodness.

Also, Laser Tag? WHAT?! Who gave the green light on that?!

And that’s kinda it from Day 1, really. At least for stuff I saw/cared about. What about you guys?

Top 3 Worst Moments of Microsoft’s Press Conference

Monday, June 14th, 2010

So Microsoft’s press conference just happened, and I think it blew everybody away. With its terribleness. Their “hardcore” section at the beginning showed already announced games with nothing surprising, and then they blew into their Kinect casual awfulness. While the entire show was really bad and embarrassing, and because Riddlethos.com is not really the place for up-to-date e3 news, I thought I’d highlight the absolute worst 3 moments of Microsoft’s 2010 press conference.

3 – Skittles
To be completely honest, Kinectimals doesn’t look all terrible. Just in the sense that the tiger was adorable and the technology seems impressive. Still, I didn’t care about Nintendogs, and so I don’t care about Kinectimals. Why this moment qualifies for a top 3 finish is because of the pure ridiculousness of cutting to a small child saying “Skittles” over and over again. The kid and the tiger were cute, but I found myself wondering – not for the first or last time I should add – what happened to the gaming culture I used to know and love. I’ve already let Nintendo slip out of my heart, do I have no hardcore haven anymore?

2 – The Dancing, Oh Boy the Dancing…
While most of the other Kinect games didn’t look terrible for what they were – Nintendo games in HD – one title in particular, did. I forget what it’s called, but it doesn’t matter. It was awkward dancing that looks like it’s trying to be Dance Dance Revolution but without the gaming skill element, and so completely exposing the nerdiness of 95% of the people who play games. And Microsoft apparently didn’t want to hide that fact, so they got a nerdy white boy to talk about how he’s now an amazing dancer because of this game. Then he proceeded to dance poorly along with the music. This wasn’t the worst part though, it was when the two people in the background were spectating but then were just so into the dancing that they just had to join in! HOW EXCITING! I winced. A lot. And I went to a music theatre high school.

Would have much preferred this

1 – Worst Use of Twins Ever
Man, at least we had Felicia Day last year. She was nervous, yes, but it was a likeable presentation that made Twitter and Facebook demonstrations a bit less painful. This year Microsoft decided to take all the focus away from the actually pretty cool video chat technology and instead inserted in the most painfully executed script I’ve heard in a while. Some chick was talking about how Kinect is going to change everybody’s life and people were just starting to tune out when she mentioned her twin sister. Then people perked up. She called her sister, but before anybody in the audience could begin to conjure their teenaged perverted twin fantasies, they started the most awkward conversation in English history. It was so contrived, so forced, so uncomfortable that I almost couldn’t believe it was happening. It was that bad, even for the already obviously scripted conversations.

So that was my, er, bottom 3. What about you guys?

E3, Mother Fuckers!

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Well whaddaya know? Riddles actually was able to provide consistent, entertaining, and informative content during my absentee weekend. People can still surprise you. Speaking of surprises, Microsoft’s press conference hasn’t even started and there’s already news trickling out of E3.

Well, let’s just call it precum and get the comparison out of the way. USA Today leaked one of Microsoft’s “big” announcements for their press conference. The article has since been taken down, but Microsoft later confirmed that Natal is officially named “Kinect”. Yup, that just happened. So far a bunch of apps and rip-off Nintendo games have been confirmed. Also, a Star Wars game. So… E3 has started with a bang? I was going to keep an open mind with these new controllers, but when all you have is Nintendogs and Wii Sports, I’m a hard sell.

Keep your eyes glued! Riddlethos will be providing E3 2010 reactions all week!
(IGN)

Sunday Soapbox: Are We The Waiting – E3 Hopes and Dreams

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Hoo-ah. It’s Sunday. E3 2010 kicks off in less than 36 hours. For people like myself, this is something to get excited for. E3 2010 is the single greatest deluge of gaming information in a given year. Exciting announcements, tons of demonstrations, tons of new videos and media, and of course, impressions from the show floor. Like all E3’s before it, E3 2010 will set the general tone and direction of the game industry for the next  year. So, it’s a big deal, and it’s definitely something to be excited for as a gamer.

E3 is almost like Christmas for gamers. Every year, there are those couple of announcements or game reveals that we’re desperately hoping to see. Sometimes our wishes come true, and sometimes they don’t – but, hell, making up the wishlist is half the fun anyway. So. Without further ado, let’s discuss some things I’m expecting – or hoping – to come out of E3 2010

New Wii Zelda Title – Well, this one’s a given. We’ve been looking for concrete information on this game ever since we got over Twilight Princess – which, if you’re like me, wasn’t too long after release. Sure, we’ve had a few clever handheld titles to tide us over, but Toon Link’s dual-screened appeal is wearing thin, if you ask me. We need a new Zelda game. Die-hard Zelda fanboys like myself are losing faith, and that’s something that I, personally, never thought could happen. I’ve all but given up on Nintendo as a company; all I ask now is for them to give me Zelda – alive and unspoiled.

The Last Guardian

This is a similar case, actually. It’s been five years since Team ICO gave us Shadow of the Colossus. I understand, of course, that if they hope to live up to SotC’s brilliant standard, it’ll require some time. But, the cat’s been out of the bag for a while – they released a trailer last year, if your recall. And then, we didn’t hear a thing. Hopefully, with E3 2010, that will change.

Oh, and confirmation of the rumored Shadow of the Colossus/ICO HD remixes (ala God of War collection) would also be great. Eh? Eh, Sony? Come on, now.

Persona 5, Anyone…?

This one’s a bit of a long shot, but it’s not impossible. I wasn’t sure if Atlus would be at the show, initially, but a quick Google search confirmed that they are – and while a Persona 5 isn’t on their list of games to showcase, perhaps a surprise reveal could be in store? The Persona series has performed well enough in the states; I think E3 would be a fine place to announce it. For PS3. Please.

Ninja Theory’s Devil May Cry 5

This has been rumored in the past, and I’d love to see it confirmed at the show. Ninja Theory, the developer behind Heavenly Sword and the soon- to-be-released Enslaved: Odyssey to the West might be the developers behind the fifth installment of Capcom’s demon-slaying franchise. It’s definitely a franchise that could use a shot in the arm, especially if it’s to contend with the high bar set by Bayonetta. And who knows, Ninja Theory might be the ones to do it.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Last, but certainly not least. It’s been over four years since Kingdom Hearts II. I’m losing interest in the franchise fast. I don’t want to see it devolve into an endless stream of portable spin-offs. Nomura needs to get his shit together, and give us some info on the next real installment in the Kingdom Hearts story. Am I right, or am I right?

Well, that’s my wishlist. Or a part of it, at least. I could go on and on about E3 wishes, but I have to work tomorrow morning. And besides, the show will start soon enough anyway – so all wishful thinking will be rendered moot.