E3

So, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is going on right now in LA.  In 2007 and 2008 it seemed to have lost some of its luster due to an altered format and competition from big game shows in Japan and Germany.  It seems to have regained some of its clout as several of the big gaming companies have used the last couple of days to debut a bunch of upcoming games.  Here are the games I’m most interested in (note: this list contains ONLY games that were debuted at this year’s E3.  There are many other upcoming games that interest me that are not listed below.)

New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Nintendo, Wii)
Just like 2006’s New Super Mario Bros. for DS, this game is a 2D old-school platformer. The gimmick is that it allows for up to 4-player cooperative/competitive action, and players 2-4 can enter and exit the game at any time. It had better be a lot fucking longer than the DS game. It will hit stores late this year.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo, Wii)
Mixed feelings on this one. I love a new Mario game but the space theme again? I already felt that the first Galaxy was basically Super Mario 64 in space. More of the same is cool but it almost seems like it should have been downloadable expansions instead of a full sequel.

Metroid: Other M (Nintendo, Wii)
My, how things have changed when I’m more interested in this game than the previously mentioned Mario games. It’s being developed by Team Ninja, the team from Tecmo that make the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive games. I’m confused because these guys all quit the company – so is Team Ninja independent now or did Tecmo just replace all those guys? Anyway, this title looks to be very story-heavy for a Metroid game and also pretty action-oriented.

Golden Sun DS (Nintendo, DS)
Oops, I never played the 2 GBA Golden Sun games but by reputation they’re supposed to be very, very good so perhaps I’ll play this one in 30 years.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (Konami, PSP)
I don’t know much about it but I really liked the previous MGS for PSP so there!

Metal Gear Solid Rising (Konami, Xbox 360)
This is the first big MGS game debuting on a non-Sony system since 1990. Too bad MGS4 will apparently still be PS3-only.

Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve, Xbox 360)
I haven’t even played the first Left 4 Dead (it’s too new and I’m too cheap) but it’s chock full of zombies and is made by a beloved development team.

Shadow Complex (Microsoft, Xbox 360 Live Arcade)
A downloadable game with 3D graphics and 2D gameplay, with exploration and nonlinear action in the vein of Metroid and Castlevania. However, the settings look like deserted cities.

HARDWARE

PSP Go: A new handheld from Sony that is meant to coexist with the regular PSP. It’s quite small and games are download-only. There will be some crossover with the PSP library but eventually most PSP Go games will be exclusive. So far, I’m not sure if it’s actually more powerful than the regular PSP or what.

“Project Natal”: An interesting development from Microsoft and basically their answer to motion controls. It’s basically a camera that monitors your whole body’s movement so essentially your body is the controller – you don’t hold anything at all. They demoed it with some racing games. It seems cool but looks can be deceiving – the Wii motion control looked a lot better than it really was three years ago.

konkluzions: My biggest disappointment is a lack of anything NEW from Nintendo. They haven’t launched any great NEW properties since 2001. Everything they’ve introduced since then has been aimed “non-gamers” – I’m referring to releases like Nintendogs, Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Brain Age, etc. At the same time they seem content to milk their hardcore franchises in ways they never have before. Evidence:

’91-’00 ’01-’10
Mario games released 3 5
Zelda games released 4 8
Metroid games released 2 7

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