By blog on Jun. 17, 2010.
And not before time, either.
So, I had big reservations about this handheld. I mean, what’s with the huge push for all things 3D at the moment? It seems so 80’s to me. I’ve not gone and seen any movie in 3D, and I’ve never felt like I was missing anything. It just seems a bit absurd, sitting there in those multi-coloured glasses.
So when Nintendo announced that, not only less than a month after bringing out the huge and unwieldy DSiXL, they were upgrading the handheld, that it was also going to be 3D, I was disappointed and angry with Nintendo. I mean seriously… I’m getting real tired of Nintendo rehashing the same few games that bring them huge revenues, and then filling shelves with shovel ware to confuse those not in the know into spending money on crap games.
Nintendo finally showed off what the handheld was going to look like at E3 this week, and I have to say, I’m quite impressed with the look of the machine.
When I first heard about the analogue stick, I thought it sounded very out of place with the handheld, but it actually looks alright in there. The larger screens are nicer, too, and apparently the hardware in there to rival the Wii. That makes me think two things; it’s great that the graphics will be that good, and oh my the Wii sucks.
The reports from people who’ve actually had a chance to play a demo are very positive. So far people are all saying really good things about how it plays and how comfortable it is to play. The 3D is able to be turned on or off, which I’m very pleased about, and apparently there’s also quite a bit of room to move in terms of still getting the 3D image rather than the two images separating.
I’m feeling a lot more positive about the handheld, and I’m looking forward to more info on it. Nintendo still isn’t saying much, and they’re still rehashing game after game, but when one of those games is Ocarina of Time, I’m not too irritated.
By blog on Jun. 17, 2010.
Microsoft unveils their new peripheral, the Kinect.
Okay so with E3 about to wrap up, it’s about time I started covering those games that stood out to me, or in this case, the hardware. Because, really, that’s what this year’s E3 has felt like, a very hardware-centric expo. Both Microsoft and Sony have shown off hardware that can only be described as a blatant attempt to raise sales by making their consoles more like the Wii; but I’ll come back to that later.
In this article I’ll be looking at the Kinect, and I’ll take a look at Sony’s version of the hardware in another entry. Basically, the Kinect is very, very similar to the Wii’s infared motion sensor, save that the Kinect is being billed as having a better sense of depth.
Microsoft, in it’s usually grandiose way, unveiled the Kinect – formerly known as Project Natal – at E3, with Cirque du Soleil performers riding in on a giant animatronic elephant whilst all the attending gaming press had to wear cult-like white robes to get in to see the show, and there was a whole bunch of other stuff going on too.
They’ve previewed 14 titles so far, all of which, save one, seem to be aimed at children. The graphics for the games associated to this device are poor, and the gameplay, if you could call it that, is pretty much a rip off of Wii Sports and Wii Fit titles. Seriously, it’s that bloody blatant that Microsoft just wants some of Nintendo’s profits from the damn Wii.
The Kinect could have something going for it, one day. In terms of a fancy Minority Report remote for a 360 it’s actually pretty nifty, but in terms of a US$150 peripheral to play some crappy games, it’s down right ridiculous. Does Microsoft really think they’re going to steal enough of Wii’s market to make this worth while? A Wii right now, with Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and a MotionPlus controller will set you back roughly £169.99, whilst a Xbox 360 Elite is £189.97, and whilst we don’t have a sure RRP from Microsoft for the UK yet, speculation puts it at around £120. That’s nearly twice the amount of the Wii, for essentially the same sort of set up. Now, the only thing that’ll sway people to pick up the 360 and Kinect over the Wii is the fact that the rest of the game library for the 360 isn’t crap, like it is for the Wii.
Basically, I can see that this has some interesting aspects to it, and heck year I’d love to flick my hand left or right to scroll through movies on my 360, but I’m sure as heck not going to pay £120 for it!
By blog on May. 20, 2010.
Nintendo is apparently planning a pretty good line up at this year’s E3.
It’s looking like it will be a pretty big year for Nintendo, and I’m interested to see the reactions after E3 is over. In terms of hardware, Nintendo is going to be showing the new 3DS, which will be great for those of us who are hanging out to see more details of this latest handheld. Nintendo is not the only company going for broke with the whole 3D thing, but theirs is the one that is portable and doesn’t require any peripherals. Quite frankly I’m still very leery of the whole thing, and hope I’m presently surprised.
Software is the key thing for Nintendo this E3, with more information expected on the Wii titles Conduit 2, Epic Mickey, Lost in Shadow, a remake of Metroid: Other M, and of course, the big kicker, Zelda. I pretty much don’t care one little bit about any of the games save Zelda, so I’ll talk about that a little. For the last year we’ve not heard anything on the game. At all. Pretty much since one piece of concept art was released, and a hint that perhaps Link won’t have a sword in this one, we’ve learned nothing in twelve long months. Now, I cherish Zelda games, so it’s pretty frustrating to wait that long with nothing… until now! Or, well, E3. Nintendo has said that they will be showing a great deal on the new Zelda title, including story-line, setting, and a brand new control scheme. I enjoyed the last Zelda DS title, even though trains weren’t really my thing, and I also enjoyed Zelda: Twilight Princess an awful lot, but I’d love to see a soul-sequel to Ocarina of Time, if perhaps with some of the grittiness of Twilight Princess thrown in.
The DS is set to get some groovy new games, too, with Dragon Quest IX, Golden Sun DS, Okamiden, Super Scribblenauts, and Pokémon Black and White. I’m actually quite interested in a few of these games. The Dragon Quest series has been a very enjoyable one, and Golden Sun has also caught my eye. Okamiden has some very cute visuals, but Super Scribblenauts has no interest for me at all. I found the first game tedious, so the second doesn’t seem like a great idea. The Pokémon games are a little interesting, because I do usually give the new ones a try. But I keep asking myself, why? Aren’t they essentially the exact same game? So not sure, but still interested in learning more about that one.
By blog on Jun. 4, 2009.
If you have been following the happenings at this years E3, or are a Star Wars fan, or a MMO fan, you will have no doubt heard of Bioware and Lucasarts collaborating on a new MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. I had actually been looking this one up just a few days ago and was getting very, very, excited.
I will couch this by saying, I am not a huge fan of the Star Wars franchise. I appreciate the immense scale and interesting back story, but the last three films, the prequel series to those that came out in the 80’s, I found to be pretty much too bad to watch. They really sucked, in my opinion. I mean sure, some of it was okay, but my goodness, the petulant Anakin was too much for me! There was something so… uninspired about those films, considering the material they had to work with. I found them cliched and boring, even if some of the fight scenes were fantastic.
As a player of Lord of the Rings Online, I believe that MMOs can adapt good fiction into good gaming, so when I heard of a new Star Wars MMO being done by the people who created one of my all time favorite games, Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn, I was tentatively excited. I went over to their site and checked it out, looked at the classes listed so far, and thought it actually looked pretty fun. I really enjoyed Knights of the Old Republic so the idea of being a Jedi in game again, but with more depth, sounded pretty good. On the site, I liked what I saw.
Then IGN uploaded an article about the demo of the The Old Republic at E3, and I felt a little more uncertain about the game. Certain questions arose in my mind when I was reading the article, and so far I haven’t been able to satisfy them. For starters, what’s with the name in the demo? With the entire game being voiced – which could be absolutely horrendous – are we able to choose our own names for each class? Secondly, with all the dialogue options being set up in much the same fashion as Mass Effect, what happens if a few of your fellow MMOers want to take one option, whilst another two want to take another option? How does that effect the story line for group quests? Thirdly, and most importantly, how is this an MMO? I mean, we aren’t talking multiplayer online gaming like Diablo 2, are we? Because that’s not an MMO.
So yes, there are a lot of unanswered questions at this stage, but I acknowledge that it is still early days. I would like to see this realised as an awesome game. I am not going to stop playing LOTRO, but I am open to picking up new MMOs, especially when they look great, have an immense capacity for expansion and exploration, and aren’t WoW. Here’s the trailer from E3, there’s no denying it looks bloody fantastic, it depicts the sacking of Corruscant, and there is rumor of another trailer coming soon in which the Republic are repelling the Sith, which I would love to see.