Well, E3 is over, and it was yet another good year. The next generation is on and we have plenty of new games to talk about. We also have new details on previously announced games. This coming year should be a pretty exciting ride.
For the new consoles, it seems that Microsoft left smelling like shit while Sony left smelling like roses. Between the used games debacle, the high price, and the Kinect requirement (which may or may not be an NSA spying device), Microsoft will have an uphill battle gaining the market dominance the 360 enjoyed. I’m not sure even the new Halo game can save it. Meanwhile, the PS4 is really courting the indies, has a cheaper price, and has no universal used game policy. Personally, I will not be buying either at launch. There are very few launch titles that appeal to me (though Infamous: Second Son could be entertaining and Quantum Break piqued my interest) and none that make be want to buy a system Day 1. Either way, this should be one interesting race to follow.
The message of Nintendo’s press conference was “We thank you for you patience.“ They needed to go big or go home, and they did neither. They announced some good games, and expanded on some others but almost everything is scheduled for a nebulous, “2014.” The biggest problem is that Nintendo needs games now, not next year and it doesn’t help that most publishers have left them for dead. They basically have until the end of the year to get sales up or else they risk the Wii U being an “abandoned platform.”
Their biggest announcement was Mega Man in Smash Bros. As a fan of Smash and old school Mega Man, this is the announcement I’ve been waiting for. Next was Mario Kart 8 which looks amazing. I loved Mario Kart 7 as it took what I loved about Mario Kart and simply refined it. If this can be as good as MK7, then this should be pretty sweet. The new Donkey Kong Country game looked like a return of the classic barrel-blasting gameplay I loved way back when. Pikmin 3 still looks great as does the Wonderful 101. The two new Legend Of Zelda games should be a great as always. Super Mario World 3D looked fun, but I’m really starting to get burned out on Mario platformers. I’m also a little miffed that they still haven’t brought back the super cape.
In other announcements, I’m excited for Star Wars Battlefront 3 being developed by Dice. I’m afraid of how EA will screw it up with DLC and Origin. I have the same feelings about Dragon Age 3 and the Mirror’s Edge reboot. Watch Dogs still looks awesome, though I hope Ubisoft doesn’t screw it up with accounts and DRM. Batman Arkham Origins looks great on home and mobile consoles, though I’m disappointed that it won’t have Mark Hamill. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the Leisure Suit Larry remake. The new XCOM game looked alright. Rome: Total War 2 looks like a blast. Lastly, a company called Innex showed off some cool wireless retro controllers.
It was a good year, maybe not great but good. I would have loved to see more info on Beyond Good and Evil 2, Prey 2, Cyberpunk 2077, or more of Nintendo’s plans for the future. Is Nintendo planning a Wii U price drop or when are they bringing accounts and Miiverse to the 3DS? I have mixed feelings on the news that Deus Ex: Human Revolution DX wouldn’t be a Wii U exclusive. I am very disappointed that Ubisoft and EA have more-or-less abandoned the Wii U for the foreseeable future. Either way, it should be another thrilling year in gaming.