E3 is tomorrow! Can you believe it? It feels like only yesterday I was hunched over my work desk watching the big three conferences each showing gamer’s just why they should be playing their consoles. Gears of War 3, the Sony Vita and the “reveal” of the Wii U being a just a handful. Every year is always exciting and every year I always watch all the updates as they happen. This year however is different as I finally get the chance to actually attend E3 itself. Excited? You bet I am! So before setting off for my flight to Los Angeles, I thought I would quickly write up the ten things I’m most excited about for this year’s show. The games or events that have me counting down the minutes till E3.
It’s been a long journey, that’s all I can say about this title. Way back in 2007 these words from Shigeru Miyamoto started the fuel for the Pikmin hype fire, “I certainly don’t think we’ve seen the last of Pikmin. I definitely would like to do something with them, and I think the Wii interface in particular is very well suited to that franchise.” Later confirmed the following year during Nintendo’s developer roundtable it looked like fans of the series were going to the a third adventure with Olimar and the Pikmin. However it was not to be. E3 after E3 went by with not so much as a single screen or piece of information. I was disappointed to say the least. However last year Miyamoto confirmed the game had been moved to the Wii U with a recent announcement cementing the chances of a showing at E3 2012. I should really count myself lucky that my first E3 is the one that will finally debut a game I’ve been waiting on for five years. Woo!
I loved the original title back on the Gamecube and enjoyed the new features implemented in the sequel so have high hopes for what I believe is one of Nintendo’s best franchises. After such a long break it’ll be refreshing to see the little critters once more and with the touch screen and HD visuals, this could steal the entire show for me.
Wii U In General
We’ve barely had any real information on what has been one of gaming’s biggest mysteries over the last year, but come E3 all will be revealed. With console specs, the control itself, Nintendo’s online plans, third parties, the games themselves and just about everything still to be covered in detail at the publisher’s press conference, there are going to be plenty of surprises. Plus the confirmation of a new Mario and Pikmin title being playable at the show is definitely no bad thing…
Reisdent Evil 6
Resident Evil 4 was one of the best games I’ve ever had the joy of playing. Taking a series that was slowly becoming outdated and giving it the dramatic overhaul it so desperately needed. Then five came split opinion thanks to the addition of co-op and a more action focused adventure that meant horror took a backseat. It didn’t feel like Resident Evil. Things are going to change though as CAPCOM promise that this entry will take the series back to its roots.
With three campaigns to play through, each offering very unique experiences, plenty more Mercenaries mode and the starring of both Leon and Chris, a first in the series, I cannot wait to see what’s revealed at E3.
Luigi’s Mansion 2
Luigi’s Mansion got a raw deal when it was released on the Gamecube. Always criticised for not being a true “Mario” title nor having the same oomph, many shrugged it off and waited for Sunshine which would arrive a little down the road. I loved it and thought the Ghostbuster’s style adventure was just begging for a sequel. Well, it may have been a long wait, but it’s nearly here. With a surprise announcement at last year’s E3 we’ve heard next to nothing since on the 3DS exclusive. Will we be seeing Luigi and the Poltergust before the year is out? I hope so.
Assassin’s Creed 3 is looking like a true sequel for the series rather than what felt like mere expansions with Brotherhood and Revelations so getting the chance to go hands on with this adventure is truly exciting. However, the anticipation doesn’t end there. Far Cry 3 is looking stunning offering the kind of “plan your attack as you wish” gameplay I love in shooters. Rayman Legends for the Wii U looks to provide more platforming fun and it’ll be interesting to see what features of the console the game uses. Then there’s last year’s Killer Freaks from Outer Space which showed plenty of promise. What form will this game be in?
Finally there are also rumours of surprise announcements at the UbiSoft conference including that of the publisher’s biggest brands. To me it seems like Ubisoft have a fantastic line-up and with potentially more to come I for one can’t wait.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
After Mario Kart 7 on the Nintendo 3DS I thought I had exhausted my appetite for the karting genre. That was until I saw Transformed’s last two trailers. While you might argue that taking to the skies and wet stuff may be borrowing an idea or two from Mario’s last outing, Transformed actually features proper flying and boating sections that offer three very unique racing types. With characters reaching far back into SEGA’s history and courses that change every lap, it seems that this may have what it takes to claim the karting crown from the portly plumber.
I’ve played nearly every Halo title to date and while I tend to always find the campaigns fairly… meh, the online multiplayer often has me hooked for months on end. (In fact I played Reach earlier today!) With Bungie gone and 343 Industries taking the helm, fans may be worried, however all footage shown so far seems to prove the developers know what they’re doing.
With Microsoft’s conference happening tomorrow, we can be sure Halo will take center stage hopefully letting people go hands on. All I can say is as long as 343 can deliver a multiplayer even half as decent as previous entries, I’m in.
The Embarrassing/Hilarious Conference Moments
These happen pretty much every year at E3 and while some are just downright excruciating to watch, a lot of them are also very very funny. Highlights in the past have included Konami’s conference two years ago in its entirety. From evil staring men to awkwardly slapping wrestlers it was a train wreck that you couldn’t take your eyes off of. Microsoft’s Kinect demonstrations in recent years have also featured some laugh out loud moments including two enthusiastic guys playing Kinect Sports Season 2 and the cringe worthy fist bump between two kids showing off Disneyland Kinect.
They may cause gamers to complain, but it just wouldn’t be E3 without these moments, and I for one can’t wait to uncover more this year.
Getting to see games we already knew about at the show is great, but hearing about ones we were never expecting is fantastic. Recent titles that spring to mind include Donkey Kong Country Returns, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Halo 4 and Portal 2 on PS3. I had no idea these were coming and the genuine feeling of surprise with each of these reveals is something that you really only find at E3.
Some publishers may have shown their hand already as far as secrets go, but I’m sure there will be some unexpected debuts thrown in as well.
Epic Mickey 2: Power Of Two And Power Of Illusion
I am a big Disney fan, not modern Disney but rather back when the company made movies that were actually good so you can imagine how much fun I had with Epic Mickey nearly two years ago. Okay it wasn’t the greatest game ever, but it did show promise with ideas that while not too complex, could easily be expanded on with a sequel.
Well we got not one, but two very different games on the way and it looks like Mickey may be coming back to gaming in a very big way. Co-op on the home console version should be great fun and there’s still plenty of history, cartoons, theme park rides and Disney goodness left to throw in. And as if that wasn’t good enough we’re also getting a tribute to the classic platformer Castle of Illusion on the 3DS too. I cannot wait to check out the Disney booth.