Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Top 9 Shockers of E3 2013

9) Halo (5?) on Xbox One

The most alluring trailer of Xbox One's presentation had to be Halo's. For a full minute we're treated to a cloaked wanderer in the desert, going nowhere in particular. Then suddenly, a giant figure emerges from the sands, taking the form of a giant mech. At a minute and a half in, eagle eyes can spot Cortana's chip on a necklace in an armored hand. The cloak is pulled back and there is Master Chief in all his glory. The game's title simply said Halo, though due to certain plot-y elements, it appears to be 5. Chief is back and he's lookin' good.



8) New Xbox 360 redesign

To fall in line with the Xbox One's design, Microsoft unveiled a new iteration of the Xbox 360 that looks more like the One. This release will presumably trigger a price reduction on older models and the new model will take the price points of current models. Oh and they also released on Monday, so you can pick one up right now. I like that they do that with redesigns. Good on you, Xbox



7) Playstation 4's online multiplayer is through PS+ only


The days of free online gaming with Playstation have ended. No longer will Sony try to entice gamers through their free PSN multiplayer. The good news is that PS+ still comes with all the features it's known for (cloud saves, game collection, free titles, early beta access), and that they're not hiding streaming media services behind the PS+ pay wall. That's right, you don't have to pay an extra fee just to watch season 4 of Daria on Amazon Instant. Nice.

6) Megaman is back! Kind of!




Well it's not the game we were all hoping for, but if Pit making an appearance in Brawl could revitilize his series, there's no reason the Smash Brothers colossus couldn't do the same for the Blue Bomber. At the very end of the new Smash Bros. Trailer in the Nintendo Direct, Megaman make his presence known with rock remixes of classic Megaman jams, toting some heavy artillery, and all the squeals fans could muster. I wish they would have chose the Megaman Legends version, in which he looks more like a person instead of a tiny dollman, but at this point I'll take what I can get.


5) Microsoft stuck with their DRM guns and Sony took full advantage of it. Directly.

Image from IGN/Reddit
The gents at Xbox did a commendable job of not mentioning their strangely restrictive DRM issues we've all heard about by now. From having to authenticate your game once every 24 hours to effectively eliminate game borrowing through the use of user registration, the Xbox One offers an unexpectedly tight control on games and it's leaving gamers asking whether they really own the games they buy. So of course you'd rather not make gamers more angry by mentioning the sore subject again at E3 right?

Well Sony sure did, and they didn't do so lightly. Direct comments like "And it won't stop working if you haven't authenticated within 24 hours" to a room of screaming fans shows Sony more than willing to poke the Microsoft bear. Subtlety may not be Sony's strong suit, and fans love it.

4) Final Fantasy Versus XIII = Final Fantasy XV



Amid rumors of the rebrand, Final Fantasy fans finally had their hopes substantiated by Tetsuya Nomura himself. A new trailer for Final Fantasy Versus XIII was revealed, showcasing incredible graphic and playstyle not before seen in a Final Fantasy game. The most surprising aspect is the gameplay. As Noctus is zipping around in the game with his invisible swords, you can see commands in the corner that seem to point to inputs from the player, ala Kingdom Hearts. Perhaps they're finally departing from turn-based combat in favor of faster gameplay. The final surprise was revealing it was rebranded to Final Fantasy XV, making it a numeric title, and thus symbolically more important in some way. I just want the game. Come on Squenix, throw me a bone here.

3) Kingdom Hearts III FINALLY GEEZE



IT'S HERE. IT'S FINALLY HERE. KINGDOM HEARTS III. THE GAME TO TIE TOGETHER ALL THE NONSENSE GAMES THAT HAVE BEEN COMING OUT FOR THE PAST 8 YEARS. OH AND THE GRAPHICS LOOK LIKE KH1 COLORS, BUT FAR BETTER DETAILS AND I WANT TO CRY IT LOOKS GREAT SORA'S FIGHTING HEARTLESS WHERE'S MY TISSUES.


2) FFXV and KHIII are not console exclusive


Okay, this isn't really number 2, it should be somewhere around 7, but that would have spoiled 3 and 4. In a rather substantial blow to the exclusive titles for Sony, both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III are going to be multiplatform. For the first time in history, Xbox owners will get to experience the Disney/Square combo powerhouse that fans have been enjoying for years. And for only the second time, Squenix's flagship series Final Fantasy will also enjoy a release on the Microsoft console. Though Final Fantasy's multiplatformship wasn't very surprising, Kingdom Hearts is eliciting almost as bad a reaction as FFXIII from die-hard fans.

1) Star Wars Battlefront

Fans have been begging and crying and sweating and gnashing teeth and kicking walls and screaming at the top of their lungs. And finally, after Disney shut down Lucas Arts studios, Star Wars Battlefront is back in the limelight. Its trailer was only slightly better than the Duke Nukem trilogy trailer from E3 2008.

Come on EA. You can't dangle a new entry in one of the best Star Wars Series of all time in my face, but only show me one T-47 airspeeder, an AT-AT, and some snow. Look at this.
That being said, this news makes me warm inside, even though it shouldn't since it's using DICE's Frostbite 3 engine.

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