Posts with tag e3
It's all about the games, games, games
At E3 2013, Microsoft was all about the hardware – the Xbox One had just been announced a few weeks earlier, and we were getting our first look at some hardware peripherals and the power that came along with the new hardware. The story shifted considerably this year: with the rumored 7-inch Xbox branded Surface tablet shot down, today’s conference was all about three things – games, games, and games. Oh, that’s one thing? My bad. There was a lot of games.
Today’s Xbox presentation at the E3 game conference was packed with demos, trailers, and confirmations of some of the world’s biggest franchises. We were given a first look at Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which basically now looks like some sort of futuristic mix of Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall and the Call of Duty: Black Ops series of games; we got a look at Inside, an unofficial follow up to game developer Playdead’s hit game Limbo, and even an in-depth look at Assassin’s Creed: Unity, the next-gen exclusive fifth entry in the popular Assassin’s Creed franchise, and a look at Forza Horizons 2, the next entry in Microsoft’s long running racing franchise.
But, the big reveal? Our best look yet at Halo 5, shown alongside the announcement that Microsoft would be bringing the entirety of the Halo universe’s main four games to the Xbox One in the aptly named Halo: The Master Chief Collection. With Halo: CE Anniversary, a new beefed up version of Halo 2, dubbed Halo 2: Anniversary, as well as the original versions of Halo 3 and Halo 4 remastered for the Xbox One – alongside the entirety of the series’ online and offline multiplayer content, The Master Chief Collection is basically a Halo fanboy’s dream come true.
But then, if it’s a dream come true, why was it so unsurprising? That’s because today’s E3 presentation basically confirmed that a massive set of Xbox rumors leaked by anonymous neogaf user and supposed Microsoft insider ntkrnl were pretty much 100% accurate. So essentially, if you had read and believed those rumors, you knew exactly what Microsoft and the gang were up to – all the way down to Forza Horizons 2‘s “dynamic weather system”. Hey, at least you got the first word.
Because it’s so darn awesome, we’ve embedded Microsoft’s Halo 5 and The Master Chief Collection trailer after the break below. If you’re as big of a Halo nerd as I am, you’ll want to watch this – and feel free to speculate about the Arbiter’s role in the trailer below!
Version 1.0.298 now available
Are you one of the few lucky souls who have managed to get their hands on an OUYA console early? Well then A) we’re jealous, and B) you’re in for a treat – OUYA has just released a brand new firmware update in time for E3 (yes, E3 madness continues) that brings about some much needed new features and improvements. Engadget had recently gotten ahold of a retail OUYA unit presumably running this firmware and found things to be much improved and – dare we say it – retail ready, so if you’ve got yourself a console early you owe it to yourself to give this a try.
Some new features include a new Discover section in the OUYA store, a redesigned store layout, performance improvements, update indicators on games that have available updates, region restriction capabilities for developers to “region lock” their games (ugh), Android apps respect TV safe zones, and sleep/wake capabilities right from the controller (hooray!).
OUYA’s update is now available, so go have at it and be sure to report back on any other changes you find!
Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong all return
Let me get this out of the way right away – I’m a huge Nintendo fan. I am. I own a Wii U Deluxe Edition – I got it on launch weekend, and couldn’t wait to get tapping away on the console’s unique new controller. I believe that the Wii U is a next generation console, and hold faith that it’ll make a triumphant comeback in the marketplace now that consumers have seen what Sony and Microsoft – especially Microsoft – have to offer this time around. I’ve bought just about ever Mario game in the last 15 years, and have beaten Super Mario 64 more times than I care to count.
Why then, am I so… underwhelmed?
Sitting down to think about it, I think that the problem is firmly that Nintendo came to E3 swinging, but they came swinging with yesteryear’s games. It’s like Nintendo goes through a checklist of games, and that checklist hasn’t changed fort least two decades now. New 3D Mario game? Check. Zelda? Check. Donkey Kong? Check. Then for a “surprise”, they “remake” a few games of yore to tug on some dormant nostalgia-based heartstrings. I can just imagine what some conversations within the conference room at Nintendo HQ have been like recently.
“Hey, people liked ‘Zelda: A Link to the Past’. Let’s make a sequel to that!” “Hey, people liked ‘Yoshi’s Island’ – what about Yoshi’s Island 2?” “Donkey Kong Country is pretty well known… let’s get someone to redo that!” and so on and so forth. And then don’t get me started on the bluntness of games like “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker“, a remake of a game that came out barely ten years ago. That’s the true definition of laziness – Nintendo didn’t even bother to remake an old Zelda game for the Wii U, like “Majora’s Mask”, because that would have taken actual effort and problem solving skills. The Wind Waker is modern enough to be a fairly straightforward port.
So I guess what I’m getting at here is, as much as I love Nintendo – and I love Nintendo – I want to live in a world where Nintendo innovates instead of simply rehashes. I see absolutely nothing wrong with a new 3D Mario game every generation, nothing wrong with a new Zelda game every five or so years. But I want to see new games, too. New IP, new ideas, new concepts, new style. Nintendo constantly out innovates itself in the hardware department, but doesn’t often enough do their new hardware justice with fresh software.
So, as I sit here with New Super Mario Bros. U paused and my Wii U’s gamepad sitting next to me, do I want to go save the princess yet again, or do I want to go discover a new adventure today?