Monday, June 08, 2009

Post E3 Notes

Based on your e-mails and my own observations, here are the games that received nearly-universal praise last week at E3.

1. The Beatles: Rock Band
Everyone loved this game. I have no idea how anyone could not love this game. It's clear from the trailers that Harmonix has lavished an enormous amount of attention on the details, and it looks letter-perfect. Here's a trailer to show you what I mean: The Beatles: Rock Band trailer.

Also, I'm including a second trailer that has nothing to do with the game, really, just because it shows how incredibly clearly Harmonix understands The Beatles:
The Beatles: Rock Band (cinematic trailer)

It's hard to believe this right now, perhaps, but we're going to look back in ten or twenty years and see Harmonix as one of the greatest game developers of all-time, and this is an era in which they are absolutely at the top of their game.

2. Splinter Cell: Conviction
Everyone at E3 who e-mailed and saw this game said it was absolutely spectacular and totally blew them away. It was even mentioned by several people who aren't particularly fans of the series.
Splinter Cell: Conviction trailer

3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Looks absolutely beautiful, and I only hope the gameplay matches up to the graphics.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves trailer

4. Madden 10
This game received almost universal praise from known hard-asses, and for once, I think it's deserved. It's clear that the developers really have tried to make the game more sim-like. I watch videos and see that most of the stupid shit I associate with Madden has been entirely removed from the game. Pasta Padre's site has a ton of videos up.

Oh, and on a side note, the hard-asses hated NCAA as much as they liked Madden.

5. Scribblenauts (DS)
This is one of the most creative games I've ever seen. It's designed by the same team that made Drawn to Live, another remarkably creative game. The basic premise is that you input words to receive objects that then help you complete a level. The game recognizes over 10,000 words, and the possibilities are nearly endless, as is the wackiness.

That description in no way does the game justice, but try these links:
Scribblenauts Eurogamer Preview
Scribblenauts trailer
Developer walkthrough

There were plenty of other notables at E3, but I think these games received the most positive attention.

Project Natal also recieved quite a bit of attention, although in positive/negative terms, it was very mixed. While I was originally extremely skeptical that this would ever be anything more than a novelty, after finding out that Johnny Chung Lee (yes, that Johnny Lee) was on the project team, I'm taking it much more seriously.

I also noticed that EA and Ubisoft are supporting the Wii to a far larger degree, seemingly, than anyone else, and it will be interesting to see how that works out.

In general:
--most people miss Kentia (that was always my favorite hall)
--everyone said the show was "meh," which surprised me

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