Sunday, June 12, 2011

E3 2011: The Experience

Today I return to talk about E3. But this year was different. Usually I talk about the conferences and how different new games look awesome and how I probably won't even get to play them for a long time or at all. But, again I say, this year was different. This year I got to experience E3 hands-on. This year: I got in. (See what I did there kids?)

E3 is truly the magical place as it looks on TV. Watching it on TV or from the internet is definitely not the same as experiencing it in person as most would guess. I think one of the biggest things to see at E3 are the booths. Oh the glourious booths. With most games set up as if each booth was a giant arcade; you can tell this was E3. No where else would you see something like this even if they are just 5 minute demos or a quick preview of the game. You know full well that most of these games will not be out until next year or later this year (or sometimes cancelled altogether), which makes you feel even more privileged to be here.

But I can tell you one thing, if you are a dedicated Gamer and happen to go to E3 (which every gamer should experience) one thing you have to know about E3 is that it is both an equally amazing and brutal place to be.

If you are a dedicated gamer, like me, you will have to stand in the biggest lines you have ever waited in just to try the biggest and best games at E3. At E3 I spent most at my time at the Nintendo and EA booth and hardly touched any other big company game maker. Don't get me wrong, from both game company and studio, their games were a blast to play. I just wish I went to more big studio or company booths to play their games. From Nintendo I got to experience the Wii U, Nintendo's newest gaming innovation system. The line wasn't so bad either since I got to meet some new acquaintances here (The 3 hours was a breeze). The new controller is comfy even with the ambitious touch screen built into it. The new games displaying in their new HD glory was also quite a treat to witness and get my hands-on. Their was also a series of tech demos which included one for Legend of Zelda which was awe-inspiring. Link has never looked so good in full 1080p resolution. And a giant spider...hate those guys.

From the list of games I got to play was something called "Chase Mii" and New Super Mario Bros Mii. The New Super Mario Bros. Mii game is just really an update to the older (it actually isn't really that old) Wii title and updated with HD graphics and you can now play with you Mii character. Now with Chase Mii, this was quite an interesting party game. 4 people take 4 Wii controllers and play as 4 different colored Toads while they look around for the 5th person using the new Wii U controller and his Mii character is dressed as Mario. The 5th player uses the Wii U controller and its screen and hides in the game while the other four players try and catch him and can only see (honor system, although the Nintendo observers who pointed out my location was kinda was annoying) on the TV screen. This was one of the few games which demonstrated the potential the system has.

Other stations included a shooter which has people dressed as Samus as their Mii characters and one character taking control of Samus' spaceship called Battle Mii; another fun game to play, but didn't really push the hardware either.

Here's some gameplay that IGN recorded:

The other 2 games included were Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online and Shield Pose. Shield pose was another nice mini-game and probably one of the cutest games of all. Here's why:

After that it was the 3DS games. The new games looked really great, unfortunately as I played with more of those games I got to see how unnecessary and how 3D really needs some work on the 3DS. Hopefully Nintendo can fix this with a 3DS lite in the future (I honestly don't want to see the 3D to become more or too gimmicky on this thing I want it improved). There was one really great game that was a joy to play on 3D and that was the free Excitebike game 3DS players can download now for free. This is how 3D should be seen on the 3DS; with the other games it looks unfinished and broken honestly. It was also how I thought 3D was going to be seen. Excitebike probably is the best (and possibly, only good) looking 3D game on the 3DS right now.

Other games to look forward to on the 3DS are titles such as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, StarFox 64 3D, Luigi's Mansion 2, Mario Kart, and Kid Icarus. I didn't get to play with the last 2 titles on that list, but the other games were a joy to play. Super Mario was a game that really took me back to my roots as well. They combined elements from both Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 64 making a completely refreshing new Mario game. It feels new in a sense that, well, even if the levels are shorter, you can sometimes forget how the levels for Super Mario Bros. 3 were short as well. And that's ok really. This is new for a 3D like Mario game, but it also isn't 3D since it also is a side-scrolling Mario game. Its like the new
Sonic game, taking out modern Sonic, but not really either. To clear up my stupid explanation, here's some gameplay:

And that's all I really tried on a day at E3. You could spend hours or literally the whole day trying everything out at Nintendo. Nintendo is just that fun. The other 3DS games were really fun to play with especially Luigi's Mansion 2, which I was unfortunate enough to miss out on the first outing for the Gamecube and been wanting to try it out for a long time. Hopefully I can get my 2nd chance on the 3DS. The demo really piqued my interest.

Now I wanted to try out at least one more game before E3 ended and unfortunately for a dedicated gamer, this means on missing out on a lot of other good stuff at E3, which was the sad truth for me. But even for that fact I wanted to at least try out one of my most anticipated games that was at E3. Unfortunately both Bethesda and 2K games didn't really have their games open to everybody so I stuck with a video game and movie franchise that I had loved for many years and didn't want to miss my chance on playing their latest game. Here I am talking about Star Wars: The Old Republic. Now I had to sacrifice a whole lot to play this game. I wanted to check out other booths, but I knew if I wanted to play one of the most popular games that's not even released yet, I would have to wait at one of the longest lines for E3 located at the EA booth (which I also like to add was the best booth that I saw at E3)..., about 5 and a half hours and 2 free posters later, I got inside to begin playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. First we were treated to a 7 minute video explaining the different types of attacks each of the character types we could play. I couldn't really pay attention to the video at this point due to my full bladder and just wanted to play the damn thing. I don't want to say I was furious or even a little mad, because I wasn't. I half expected it to be quite long and I made the decision that I was going to play this game no matter what. And I did. I didn't care I took the weakest character (Jedi Padawan) with the slowest mission imaginable; I got to play SWTOR (As an added note: Gameplay was great and so were the mechanics). How many people can say that in the world? Not many (Besides the other people in line with me). I am proud to say that at this years E3 I played one of the most anticipated games that probably won't be out till next year (And been waiting for a little over 2 years since it was announced) and got free stuff out of it. Oh, yeah.

There is a tad more to be said at E3, but I can say: This has been one incredible experience and no gamer should miss it for the world. I leave happy and tell myself to never do this ever again for any other E3 I visit in the future. Well, it was a fun E3 and thank my good friend (and new friends) for getting me there and hope they had fun as they put up with me while I stood in that line...and they didn't. So here's to another great E3...

...did I mention I got to hug and take a picture with Felicia Day?

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