Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Own Private E3 Wrap-Up

The majority of what knocked my socks off at E3 (especially when it comes to RPGs) can be found at RPGFan's Wrap-Up. I'm pretty E3ed out at this point, but thought I'd give one final post on the event I spend the other 362 days of the year pining for. It was interesting this E3, it didn't feel as exciting as last year. Noticeably absent was handheld RPGs, and maybe after all the years we have been showered with handhelds, it was due time for the console games to shine. There are some big console games hitting us, notably: Final Fantasy XIII-2, Deus Ex. Human Revolution, Dark Souls, Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny, Skyrim, etc.

One game I didn't spotlight that I wish I had more a chance to was Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. The game not only looks gorgeous, but it has so much to partake in. From the four playable races to the six faction quests and more than a 100 sidequests - Amalur will keep people busy. I think what I liked most about it was it seemed to have the right type of balance. It's there for the hardcore and also the more casual fan, something Dragon Age 2 failed to create as noted by John McCarroll who wrote the preview for RPGFan. In the midst of all of this, there's some fast-paced combat in the vein of God of War - fun and furious. Sometimes, I'll jot notes down about how I felt during a presentation - in my notebook, I have a big "WOW" underlined three times and, no, it's not in reference to World of Warcraft. That was a game I had little interest in, but now it has won me over, and I can definitely see me devoting some hours into it with my boyfriend, who I'll be the first to admit these games are more geared towards.

I was also quite impressed with the direction of Risen 2: Dark Waters. I can always respect developers who really look at feedback from others and try to make a more stand-out game. Of course, I love the pirate theme they're going for, and the effort going in to make the experience authentic. If anything, I think it will blow the first game out of the water, pirate style!

Other than those two, Star Wars: The Old Republic really caught my eye - so much I made it number one on my list for RPGFan. I'm not a Star Wars fan, nor an MMO fan, and this managed to capture my heart. Why? I think it brought what I love about BioWare games into an MMO, so it's not doing anything revolutionary combat-wise. Honestly, when companies try to go off the WoW model, it rarely ever works, where the Old Republic is going that's different is making choice the big draw. That's amazing to me as it's something that's such a personal venture, and it's being implemented into an MMO. This is totally the first MMO I will devote my life to, I'll let you know when it's out if it's everything I hoped it would be.

Catherine was another game that lured me in, and I'll be honest, I was on the fence about it since I generally dislike puzzle games. I like how the game is trying to take a stance about relationships by drawing on the answers you provide them throughout the game. While the puzzle part still isn't winning me over, I really think I can bear it for the awesome places this game is going. I'm officially sold.

Also, while I tried by best to stay away from Silent Hill: Downpour, in order to not hype myself for the survival horror experience I've been craving, I couldn't resist. So far, I like the direction of the game, it feels like the real Silent Hill experience. Not to mention, having a convict as a main character slowly blurs the morality lines. I'm trying not to over-hype myself, as some of the gameplay seemed a little too "the answer is obvious," which I'm guessing is just because I had a short demo that I'm sure was from the beginning of the game.

Mass Effect 3 was by far the best demo of the show, because I'm still thinking about it more than a week after. For more information, check out my preview. If a demo can get me that invested and emotional, just imagine how mesmerizing the entire game will be. Although it's a little bittersweet as this will be the last entry, but I think BioWare will make it one hell of a ride, and not an easy one at that. The demo foreshadowed that for me in more ways than one. I turned to my fellow staff member, Liz, and I go, "Am I just tired or did that make you teary-eyed, too?" It was an I-thought-I-was-the-only-one moment, and later I found even more people confessing the same. Why does March have to be so far away?

Besides those games, I suppose my greatest disappointment came in what wasn't shown. Unfortunately, Innocent Sin wasn't there, but it was too difficult to transport a dev-kit to show it off. Plus, Atlus had Devil Survivor Overclocked and Devil Survivor 2 that more than made up for it. However, the Tales series was nowhere to be found. I was most looking forward to that for resurrecting the JRPG love, especially Graces f for consoles. The Tales of Abyss 3DS remake is looking at an October release, so this was especially surprising.

The other disappointing part of E3 was that a lot was behind closed doors, and because I'm with a site that covers only RPGs, I didn't have access to all the games I wanted to see. Most heartbreaking was Bioshock Infinite , which I've heard nothing but great things about from just about everyone. I even heard the demo left quite an impression. On the upside, I did find out that the game will feature a gay character, who is struggling being true to himself. I love when games capture more than one audience, and I truly hope this will be a great gay character. For more info on this, Gay Gamer did an excellent interview about the character.

All-in-all, I think E3 is such a tease. You see all these great games and then you have to wait months until they can be in your hands. Until then, we'll just have to make use of the numerous previews that this event produced. Feel free to leave me a comment about some of your favorite titles from the show!

3 comments:

  1. E3 gets a lot of flak for being 'disappointing' this year - in part I can't blame them because tons of stuff WAS behind closed doors with super long lineups. And then there's the lack of Japanese stuff. On the other hand, there was tons of great NON-Japanese games, and, if you were patient enough, great stuff behind doors. Unfortunately media like us don't have that kind of time (exception being my lucking out with The Witcher 2), but lessons learned for next year!

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  2. The best part of E3 was meeting you guys.

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  3. BOOM! That's why we heart you, Derek!

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