So PSN was down for a while. We all know that. At some point it came back up, and people had to reset their passwords. I changed it on the PC, didn’t try to actually log on on the PS3 for ages. But now I can’t log in. My old password doesn’t work, my new password doesn’t work. I apparently didn’t use my real birthday for this account (I could’ve sworn I did, but it claims I didn’t, might be my fault), so I can’t reset my password through their “forgot your password” page. Now I called Customer Service, gave them my email/login, PSN ID, full name, and serial number on the back of the PS3 (same PS3 I’ve had since January 2007). They got back to me saying they can’t validate my account with that info. That’s a bunch of bullshit. I’ll try again soon, and they better get their shit together.
I’m angry.Tagged: sony psn failure bullshit
Interesting press conference by Nintendo. Let’s take a look at what was shown.
First up was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda. Link’s Awakening is coming to the 3DS Virtual Console today and Ocarina of Time 3D comes out next week (as we know). Also, Four Swords is coming for free to the DSi this Fall, and Skyward Sword launches on the Wii this holiday season. That’s all well and good, but we already knew about OoT (and have been waiting for it) and 3 out of these 4 are just ports. It’s nice to get an approximate release date on Skyward Sword though. They also didn’t show us gameplay or anything, it was all talk. There’s also a Legend of Zelda symphony tour this Fall, and an accompanying CD, as well as an OoT 3D official soundtrack coming out in the future, and a promotional gold Wiimote in conjunction with Skyward Sword. That’s the end of the Zelda portion of the show though, so let’s move on.
Then they moved on to other 3DS games. They showed us Mario Kart, Star Fox 64 3D and Super Mario 3D, all coming out this year. Mario Kart looks good, some of the same, but one thing I noticed was customizable karts, as well as gliders and driving underwater, which could be fun. Plus Mario Kart is always good. Star Fox also looked good, and it will have motion, touch, and camera elements. One of these is that you can see shots of your opponents’ faces during multiplayer. Not that interesting, but it’s something. Super Mario looks really good though. It reminded me a lot of Super Mario 64, and generally looks like a solid Mario game. It looks good on the 3DS as well. The raccoon suit makes a return, so does jumping to the flag.
After that, we saw some of Kid Icarus: Uprising, a game that unfortunately STILL does not have a release date. Nonetheless it looks good, and it has 3v3 multiplayer. They also mentioned use of augmented reality cards, though I’m not sure exactly how that will work. Considering we saw this game last year, Kid Icarus not being a launch title was already a disappointment, the fact that it doesn’t even have a launch date yet is unfortunate. It will come eventually though, we just have no idea when. Nintendo also showed off Luigi’s Mansion 2, coming to the 3DS. The original was an enjoyable game, and this looks like it will be too.
Before moving on to Nintendo’s new console, they showed a medley of 3DS games coming in the future, which includes Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Ace Combat 3D, Tetris, Cave Story 3D, Resident Evil: Revelations, Driver Renegade, Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions, Tekken 3D, and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D. Reggie also told us that a free 3D version of Excitebike will be coming for free to the 3DS Virtual Console. It all looks pretty good, but it’s not terribly exciting. Lastly Reggie introduced Pokedex 3D. It’s also free through the Nintendo eShop on the 3DS, and is, well, a Pokedex. You start out with 16 Pokemon, and can get more from friends and scanning things. You can also superimpose your Pokemon into pictures, sticking a Cobalion in your living room or something like that. Enough of that though, let’s check out “Project Cafe.”
It’s not Project Cafe anymore. It’s the Wii U. And Nintendo didn’t do a great job explaining it, but it is a new console. 1080p, a revamped online service (though it wasn’t discussed much), and backwards compatible with all Wii games and accessories (balance board and the rest). The grand majority of the discussion was not about the tech specs of the console, but on the controller. As you can see above, it’s biggest feature is a 6.2” touchscreen. It also sports 2 analog sticks, L and R triggers as well as bumper buttons, rumble, gyroscope and accelerometer, a microphone, built-in speakers, and an inward-facing camera. That’s a lot of tech packed into just a controller. One of the big things they showed was the ability to continue a game on the controller instead of on the TV, if a family member wants to, for example, watch a baseball game instead. The Wii U console still does all the rendering itself, and sends the graphics/sound to the controller, so it’s not a portable device in that it can’t run without the main console, but it can be used off the TV. Another obvious application is putting HUD type information on the controller screen, cleaning up the TV for a better experience, or using it so different people can have private views in multiplayer games. One prototype they showed off was “Chase Me,” where players use the TV to chase another player, who has a bird’s eye view of the level and all of his enemies on his personal screen. Another use was to use the screen as a zooming/aiming function, a sniper scope or to aim a baseball when pitching. But let’s get beyond prototypes and concepts, and look at some actual games.
Hmm, actual games. Nintendo didn’t have too much to say. The only first-party game they mentioned was Super Smash Bros, and that really was little more than a mention. It’s being done by the guys who are currently still busy with Kid Icarus, so it’s not coming soon, but it will be made for both the 3DS and the Wii U, and there will be some sort of linking and interactivity between the two. Sounds good, but it seems so far off and purely an idea with nothing concrete that it’s hard to look forward to it right now. Everything else they showed was third party. This included Lego City Stories, an open-world Lego game, as well as Darksiders 2, Tekken, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online, Dirt, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Metro: Last Light, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. I believe the trailer they showed of these games was all PC/PS3/360 versions, but it does a good job of showing what developers are on board, and what is being planned in the future. The Wii U won’t be out until 2012, so there’s still time for more details, more first party games, and prices, as we haven’t been told any of that, but we’ll find out in time.
All in all, Nintendo had an interesting conference. I found it very surprising that they showed a new console without any first party games to show. The console itself intrigues me, but not enough is known right now. How will online work? Hopefully they completely revamp it, because as it is now, it’s nowhere near competitive to Sony or Microsoft’s online offerings. How much will it cost? What are some games we can actually expect on launch day, especially first party titles? Besides Wii U, we saw nothing of Wii games except for Skyward Sword, despite the fact that the Wii U is at least a year away. The 3DS didn’t show us much we didn’t know. I would have liked to see something more interesting for the Wii, something more concrete for the Wii U, and something we didn’t know about for the 3DS. They get a B from me.Tagged: e3 nintendo legend of zelda 3ds mario kart star fox mario kid icarus luigi's mansion pokedex wii u super smash lego darksiders tekken batman assassin's creed Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon dirt aliens metro ninja gaiden
Beginning of Nintendo’s E3 conference.Tagged: e3 nintendo miyamoto orchestra zelda
Time for Sony.
Let’s just get it out of the way. Jack Tretton starts with apologizing for the whole hacking brouhaha, apologizing to publishers, retailers and consumers, and thanking them for sticking with Sony. Enough of that though. GAMES TIME.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The trailer was fairly standard Uncharted stuff, nothing unexpected. However, standard Uncharted stuff is awesome, so that’s not the worst thing in the world. Multiplayer beta starts June 20, the game releases November 1, but during October Subway will have a special where you can get access to the full multiplayer. For those of you that are interested.
After exclusive #1 was exclusive #2: Resistance 3. Also not surprising, looks good but nothing we haven’t seen. It’s being bundled with a Move setup for $150. After that they briefly featured a collection of God of War handheld games (Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta), remastered for HD on the PS3, as well as the well-known Team Ico collection.
Who comes to E3 for games though? No one. Sony then showed us a fancy cheaper 3D TV. 24” PlayStation branded 3D TV, with a special splitscreen feature that uses the 3D tech to give 2 players completely different images, so you can play splitscreen and still enjoy the full screen. The TV along with 1 pair of glasses, an HDMI cable, and Resistance 3 is $500. Looks like a pretty good deal, but I just bought a TV, so…oh well.
Ok back to games. Next was NBA 2K12, with Move support. Passing, stealing, and blocking are now point-and-click movements, and it looks quite simple. I could see it being a problem trying to point at moving players, but it seemed to work pretty well. I’m not a huge basketball fan so I won’t be picking this up either way, but everyone else will find out how well it works October 4.
Next: Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest. It’s a cartoony action game that uses the Move for things such as sword/shield combat, bow/arrow combat, and puzzles. Unsurprisingly, the motion controls seem to work pretty well. And I know I’ll sound like a Sony fanboy, but this is how motion controls should be done. Buttons are a huge help to motion controls, as impressive as Kinect is from a technological standpoint, the ability to give binary input in the form of buttons (or more complex input in the form of analog sticks) is immensely helpful. Anyway, Medieval Moves looks like a fun cartoonish romp.
I don’t know why they did this, but they showed Infamous 2. The day comes out tomorrow. Actually, looking at my clock right now, it comes out in 28 minutes. Considering they didn’t bother showing Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, it seems like an odd choice to show a game that’s literally about to come out. Anyway, it looks pretty good, not much else to say. After that they mentioned that they’re bringing more robust Move functionality to LittleBigPlanet 2. Yay, I suppose.
Next was a short trailer for Starhawk, a shooter/vehicle combat game that is the spiritual successor to Warhawk. It didn’t show much, but the emphasis is on space, looks interesting. After that was a short teaser for Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, coming out in 2012. It looks like the remastering of the old Sly Cooper games was leading up to this.
Next was an interesting title from the makers of Eve Online. Dust 514 is an MMO shooter that interacts with Eve Online. The two games make up 1 persistent universe, and they interact in battles and the like. This wasn’t mentioned during E3, but it’s worth it to note that CCP has said that Dust 514 will not have a subscription fee like most MMOs, but instead will use micro-transactions to make money. Beta will be out before the end of the year, and the full game will be released next Spring. It looks interesting, and Eve has always intrigued me, so this may be my foot in the door.
After Dust 514 they discussed Bioshock Infinite. The trailer looks beautiful, and exclusive for PS3 the game will be bundled with the original Bioshock on the same disc, so if you missed out on the first one you can try it now. Also they hinted at a Bioshock product on Sony’s new portable (which we will discuss shortly), but didn’t give any real information about it.
Saint’s Row: The Third was the next game, simply to mention that it will have an exclusive game mode and game content on the PS3. Good to know. After that was a preview of a Star Trek game that I believe is just called Star Trek, but it could just not have a title yet. It’s a co-op action adventure, with Move support (surprise surprise), and we’ll get it in our hands in 2012.
Following suit from Saint’s Row, Sony took this time to brag about exclusive content in non-exclusive games. SSX will have an exclusive level modeled on Mount Fuji, complete with, I think he said, 10 drop zones. Need for Speed: The Run will have 7 exclusive supercars. Battlefield 3 will include Battlefield 1943 on the same disc, only on the PS3. Sounds like Sony and EA are good friends right about now. After that, Kazuo Hirai came out to mention PlayStation Suite, Sony’s effort to bring PS content to non-PlayStation devices, such as certain Android phones and tablets. Nothing else was announced, we’ll find out more later. Next was the real reason Kaz came out though: Sony’s new portable.
Previously called the NGP (Next Generation Portable), Sony showed off the PS Vita. 2 analog sticks, 5” multitouch-enabled OLED screen, touchpad, sixaxis motion, front and rear cameras. The wifi model is $250, the 3G model (with AT&T, unfortunately) is $300. It has cross-game chat with friends through the Party feature, and you can also find users around you with the Near feature. But enough of that, let’s get to the games.
You liked Uncharted? How about Uncharted: Golden Abyss? It’s made by the same people who did Syphon Filter and the PSP Resistance game, though Naughty Dog is overseeing development. It looks surprisingly good for a handheld game, and it looks a lot like the Uncharted we know and love. Obviously the graphics aren’t quite as good, but since the screen is so small you can get surprisingly close. You can use the sixaxis motion, touch controls, and regular buttons to control Nathan Drake when climbing. Touch controls seem to make climbing somewhat trivial, but I suppose there’s not supposed to be a lot of difficulty in the climbing segments anyway, so it’s not a big deal.
Next up was an action RPG by the name of Ruin, though it said the title is tentative. The overhead view reminds me of old-school RPGs, Diablo and its ilk. If I get a Vita, which I don’t know if I will yet, I would definitely look into Ruin. One nice feature of Ruin (and, it sounds, other Vita games) is cloud saving between the Vita and the PS3. This way you can save your game on the Vita, then move to the PS3 and pick up where you left off. After Ruin they showed a little bit of the Vita version of ModNation Racers, really only showing the track creation mode. I imagine the rest of the game is what you would expect. Track creation relies heavily on the touch features of the Vita, and it seems to work pretty well and seems very easy, so kudos to them.
Lastly they showed a little bit of LittleBigPlanet and Street Fighter x Tekken before wrapping up with a video of a medley of Vita games, including WipEout 2048, Hot Shots Golf and more. Vita should launch in 2011, so we won’t have to wait long.
Sony had a lot to show. Some of it wasn’t terribly new, some of it they didn’t have much to say, but nearly all of it was interesting in some form. The Vita looks good, the games look pretty good (hopefully most of the ones they showed are launch titles), and their PS3 games also look good, though a lot of it was what we expected and not much more. B+.Tagged: sony uncharted resistance god of war ico nba move infamous medieval moves starhawk sly cooper dust bioshock saint's row star trek ssx need ofr speed battlefield vita ruin modnation racers street fighter x tekken e3
Too many conferences. Time for Ubisoft.
Personally I think they started with their best foot. They showed some of Rayman Origins last year, but this year we got a demo of 2-player co-op. The game has co-op for up to 4 players, and it looks like a lot of fun. It’s a colorful sidescrolling platformer that honestly looks like it should be a Wii exclusive, but it’s coming to all 3 consoles (plus the 3DS). I love platformers and I love Rayman, so this is right up my alley.
Next was Driver: San Francisco. I’m not really familiar with the previous Driver games, but it looks okay. For those who don’t know, it’s a sandbox driving game. Personally if I’m looking for a good driving game from E3, I’m looking at Need for Speed: The Run rather than Driver. Doesn’t look that bad though.
After Driver was Far Cry 2. Wait. What’s that? This was Far Cry 3? You sure? You sure? Well then, it fooled me. I understand that sequels always have (and should have) plenty of similarities, but this just flat out looked like Far Cry 2. Not that much of a bad thing, FC2 looked good, but still.
Next they talked about a World War 2 game. My first reaction was “God dammit, we don’t need another WW2 game.” But Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 isn’t a traditional WW2 game. It’s got more attitude, which seems to be a theme recently, especially amongst shooters (see: Gears of War, Borderlands, Bulletstorm, Overstrike, etc.). I imagine that will get old at some point, but for now I’m still eating it up. Stitch, Crockett, Chok, and Montana are the guys that make up the “Furious 4,” which hopefully means some fun co-op. The teaser looked amusing.
Next was an interesting title. The Adventures of Tintin. I really enjoyed Tintin comics back in the day, but I’m honestly not sure how I feel about the game. It looks a bit peculiar, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. After Tintin, however, was a more complete look at Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
Future Soldier is a lot of what we’ve come to expect from Ghost Recon games. Good tactical shooters, and Future Soldier doesn’t look to disappoint. The emphasis on team strategy looks like it’ll make a fun game, and the Gunsmith feature we saw during the Microsoft conference will make it even more enjoyable. Also, Ubisoft announced Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online, a free online game that links to Future Soldier, allowing you to share achievements between the 2 games.
Last year Ubisoft showed a little bit of Maniaplanet, and this year they weren’t yet ready to show us Shootmania or Questmania, but they did show us Trackmania 2: Canyon. It looks a lot like the original, which was a ton of fun so that’s not a complaint. The emphasis is still on creating and sharing, of course. You’ll get a chance to try it for yourself this September.
Now time for some motion gaming. You know how much I love motion gaming. First up: Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking. It’s a Kinect augmented reality minigame anthology. Personally I don’t like minigame collections, the only one that has seemed to do it well is WarioWare: Smooth Moves. But we’ll see, Raving Rabbids isn’t that bad, so Alive & Kicking could be good. The augmented reality stuff seemed to work pretty well on stage, though the few games they showed didn’t seem all that interesting. Time will tell, and we’ll have to wait until November 8th to find out. After Raving Rabbids was Just Dance 3. The first 2 have sold very well, so I guess they didn’t need to show you the actual game, but rather YouTube clips of people playing Just Dance games. I suppose that works, especially if the third is exactly the same as the other two, there’s not much to show. It’ll be out this October.
Next up is a very interesting “game.” I put that word in quotes because I’m not really sure it’s much of a game. I’m talking about Rocksmith. It’s a guitar learning tool. I suppose you could say it’s a more realistic version of Guitar Hero or Rock Band, but the emphasis seems to be on teaching you the guitar. Not that that’s a bad thing, I could see this helping people learn guitar. My only problem is that you have to buy a guitar, but then again if you want to learn the instrument, you’ll have to get one anyway. I would absolutely play it if I were willing to pony up the cash for an electric guitar. Maybe I will at some point, I would love to learn. Also, just like Just Dance 3, they didn’t really show any footage. They showed a couple of glimpses amidst talking heads, and it looked like a more complex version of Guitar Hero/Rock Band (which is to be expected), but it would have been nice to get a better look. Worst comes to worst we’ll get a good look when it comes out this October.
Continuing the streak of not showing their games, Ubisoft announced Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012. Not much else to say, they talked about how well the previous installment sold, and that’s about it.
Ubisoft ended their press conference with none other than Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. The trailer looked gorgeous, and the on-stage demo afterwards did not disappoint. I haven’t played much of the previous games, maybe I’ll finally pick one up. It comes out this November.
So that’s Ubisoft’s press conference. Everything they showed was okay, but not much was all that great. It was a solid showing though, and for that, Ubisoft gets a B.Tagged: assassin's creed brothers in arms driver far cry just dance raving rabbids rayman rocksmith tintin tom clancy's ghost recon trackmania ubisoft your shape e3