Sunday, June 5, 2011

E3 Excitement!

I'm about to depart for E3 tomorrow, and I felt it was blog-worthy to discuss what I'm most anticipating. These posts are tough for me to write, because I always feel like I'm forgetting something. Mostly, I look at E3 as a time to write and get my gaming adrenaline on. Here's what I think will spark me most!

Mass Effect 3 - I'm hoping the demo will prove to me that this trilogy is going to go out with a bang! It'll be sad to see the series end, but if they can do Shepard's story justice and leave it ending on a high note, it'll keep me happy. Much like the second game, I really want to know what decisions we made in the first two games will come back to haunt us and carry weight in the final entry. Yes, I want my Kaidan-Shepard-Garrus love triangle to play out in all its dramatic glory.

Silent Hill Downpour - I've stayed away from reading much up on Downpour because I'm worried about getting myself over-hyped. As my previous blog entry stated, I really feel like the survival horror genre died this generation, and Silent Hill has been the only series to really live on. I enjoyed Shattered Memories' psychological elements, but it wasn't a scary game; it definitely left much to be desired. I'm really hoping Downpour can keep my enthusiasm alive for the genre, and maybe prove to developers that there is still a market for these games.

Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny - I remember when I first read details of this game - I just knew I had to play it. Rune Factory Frontier, the only other Rune Factory game to hit a console, was one of my favorite games to date. The world was just so mesmerizing, the characters wildly offbeat and fresh, and every day when I ventured off my farm I felt like I was putting together pieces of an amazing puzzle. Tides of Destiny's whole premise is already looking quite grand, and Rune Factory never fails to disappoint me in the quirky character department. I've been craving a console game like this ever since Frontier, and I can't wait to see how it's shaping up.

Tales of Graces f - I'm not sure if this will be at Namco Bandai's booth, but I definitely hope I get to see some of it. I've been dying to play a quality JRPG on the big screen, plus I'm a huge Tales fan. There's always something about the characters and their interactions that make the journey worthwhile. And, when all is said and done, I really do have fun with the gameplay. The last game that I played that was even close to a Tales game was Arc Rise Fantasia, and I immensely enjoyed that, but it's been close to a year now since that game was released. I need me some real Tales! I should also note that I'm stoked for Tales of the Abyss 3DS, mainly because that's my favorite Tales game, hands down. Tear, Jade, Guy...that game just killed it with its characters! Let's see if Graces' characters can captivate me like Abyss' did.

Tomb Raider Reboot - I've missed my girls who can kick ass and take names, so I'm super stoked for the new Tomb Raider game. What's even more promising is that the developer promised there would be more effort going into making Lara Croft a realistic female. They don't just want her to be a sex icon with no depth, and this is a nice change of pace. I've always supported Lara from the beginning because she was always very gutsy and headstrong, but the new title should give layers, and truly make her a stronger, well-rounded character. You bet I'm stoked!

Persona 2: Innocent Sin - The Persona party has been kicking for quite some time now. All it took was the release of Persona 3 to get everybody back on the bandwagon. Since then, people have wondered about the part of Persona 2 that North American fans never got to experience. Thanks to Atlus finally confirming its plans to release the game in the fall, I couldn't be more excited, and that includes me. Although I found the original Persona remake to be a bit archaic, I'm hoping the second game feels more modern. The news that the JP version of the Innocent Sin remake has its own quest creator entices me even more. It's clear this might go above and beyond what you'd normally expect from a handheld title, but I shouldn't expect anything less from Persona.

NHL 12 - There's no game I pour more hours into than the EA iterations of NHL. I always find a part of the game to lose myself in, and each year EA makes it more and more realistic, feeling like you're actually playing hockey. NHL 11's big lure was the advanced checking physics, sticks breaking, and its first ever Ultimate Hockey League. From what I've read, NHL 12 is making the goalies matter - with new goalie interference calls being implemented into the game. It's just one of the touches to make the game feel real, and I'm really stoked to see how it will pan out. And, of course, we can always count on EA for improving just about everything they can from the previous iteration. Call me optimistic, but I don't think anybody else will ever have a hockey series quite this well done and addictive. With 2K calling quits on the hockey front, I think I'm not the only one with this mindset. :-)

Bioshock Infinite - I'll be honest here, what's keeping me intrigued for Infinite is all the praise I've been hearing in the press. I think anytime you have a beloved series, it's hard to meet expectations. If you are doing such a good job that you blow people away with a demo, you've got something great on your hands - something that will probably be award-worthy. Time will only tell if all the fuss is really justified.

I'm probably missing something here, but off the top of my head these are the games I'm most excited to see. E3 is always a tease like that, it gets you invested in games that you have to wait for in agony for months. It only adds to the anticipation, but what I truly love about E3 is that I always find a couple games that I never really thought much of to add to my radar. I'm sure I'll report here when I get back about what I feel is shaping up for the better and what I feel is just missing the mark. Either way, we're in a great age for gaming, and I can't wait for the E3 madness to begin!

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