Top Ten E3 2012 Announcements
Now that E3 has come and gone, it’s time for just about every gaming journalists, websites, magazines, and anything covering the newest technology to rank the best of the best from this year’s convention. Seeing as only one of my previous predictions kind of came true, E3 was sort of straightforward and down to business. Still though, there’s plenty to be excited about this coming year, and these ten entries are more than enough to satiate even the hungriest of gamers.
10. Nintendo Land seems likely to be the Wii U’s pack-in game
Featuring 12 unique, Nintendo themed attractions, Nintendo Land for Wii U is a mini-game amusement park of fun. Or at least Nintendo is hoping it will be. With well-known Nintendo games such as Donkey Kong, Animal Crossing, and The Legend of Zelda among the attractions, the game is sure to appeal to Nintendo fans as well as new gamers looking for something fun and simple (not to mention this will get the names of games and characters out there for Nintendo to market to gamers later in the Wii U’s life). Only half of the game’s attractions were on display at E3, so six more games are still to be represented here. I’m hoping we see some Metroid and Star Fox action later!
9. Star Wars 1313 looks stunning, but remains a mystery
What is known about the new Star Wars title is scarce, but that still was enough to cause quite a stir. Star Wars 1313 is a bounty hunter’s tale on level 1313, a location in Coruscant, and that’s pretty much all that’s known about the game. The debut gameplay trailers is impressive, showcasing what the game calls in-game footage, and not cutscene or prerendered graphics. From the mini demo, it looks like the game is a shooter (probably third-person), and looks almost Uncharted like with environmental reactions and plenty of gunplay. The game is very early in development, so don’t be surprised if we don’t see it again until much later in the year.
8. Snoop Dogg is going to be in Tekken Tag Tournament 2
I may have gotten ahead of myself earlier in stating that the Snoop D-O-double-gizzle would be a playable character in Namco’s upcoming fighter Tekken Tag Tournament 2, but the rapper will definitely be featured in the game’s soundtrack as well as have his own personalized stage. From the reveal trailer you can clearly see Snoop rendered in full 3D sitting in the background, so the chances of him being a playable character are still out there (I’m rooting for it. Come on Namco!). But still, this is the type of news that I want as a gamer: something completely ridiculous and fun.
7. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate is coming to the 3DS, and will feature Trevor Belmont
The Castlevania series has been going strong for the good part of 20 years, and the series has seen a sort of rebirth in the form of 2010’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Konami saw a good thing in that game and has decided to keep the action coming with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. The game will feature Trevor Belmont as the lead protagonist (the same hero from Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse on the NES), and will be a 2.5D sidescroller. Past DS entries in the series have been extremely well received, but this one dares to do something different, by ditching the 2D animation style and focusing more on action and strategy (or so it seems). I’m always up for killing vampires when it’s this fun.
6. Assassin’s Creed III’s trailer is absolutely amazing
A video game trailer is supposed to do two things: showcase a new/upcoming game, giving you some inkling to what the game is about, and to sell you the game. The new trailer for Assassin’s Creed III does just that. With the right amount of excitement, mystery, set pieces, and voiceover, the new trailer is fantastic. I can point to this video and say with authority, “this was the trailer that made me want to buy the game.”
5. LEGO City Undercover is the open world LEGO game we’ve wanted
LEGO Grand Theft Auto?
Perhaps that is the best way to put it.
LEGO City Undercover is an upcoming Wii U title (possibly an exclusive) by Telltale games, the people behind the successful LEGO franchises of games (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, etc.). This new game is not based on a property, but instead is entirely unique. The sandbox style gameplay lets you run around a huge city, going undercover to stop bad guys, and generally have a good time (because isn’t that what playing with LEGOs is all about?). LEGO City Undercover appears to have similar gameplay mechanics to past LEGO titles, but that can be forgiven if the game is what everyone
thinks hopes it is.
4. Pikmin 3 is coming
Announced by none other than series creator and Nintendo genius Shigeru Miyamoto, Pikmin 3 is coming to the Wii U. The game will follow in the footsteps of the two previous Gamecube games, and will have new Pikmin, new characters, and even multiplayer mode. Pikmin 3 might not make it as a Wii U launch game, but I’ll be happy to wait if it means I can flick Pikmin at Bulbmin on my Wii U GamePad with ease. I hope this is a sign that Nintendo is going back into it’s deep inventory of games to make quality sequels (there still hasn’t been a proper sequel to Star Fox 64 IMO).
3. Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass
Microsoft is prepping to take over your entire entertainment center. With the official announcement of SmartGlass for the Xbox 360, Microsoft is going to connect every technological device you have. By downloading applications on the Xbox 360 system, your mobile device (smart phones, iPhone, or Android), and your tablet (including the iPad), you can access tons of cool stuff between devices. Start watching a movie on your 360 and finish it later on your iPad. Listen to music across devices. Or use your tablet as an extra controller for certain games (much like the Wii U’s gamepad). Considering many gamers already have many, if not all, of these things in their possession now, Microsoft is planning to sweep up the entertainment at home market in one swoop. Time will tell, but this is an exciting time for gamers and entertainment fans in general.
2. South Park: The Stick of Truth is coming along very nicely
Upcoming RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth was a bit of a mystery prior to E3, but just about every question about the game was answered at the convention. The game is being made by Obsidian, the folks behind Fallout: New Vegas, it’s being written by series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, it retains the show’s iconic art style and vulgarity, and it’s entirely original! A killer new trailer for the game and plenty of gameplay demos show us that the game is anything but a simple cash-in for the series, and is shaping up to be one of the better RPGs out there. Not to mention one of the best games created based on a cartoon or TV show.
1. Brand new Mario games for everyone!
Nintendo has a penchant for basically remaking the same game, tweaking one or two things, and selling millions of copies of said game. The biggest example of this is the Mario franchise. This year at E3, Nintendo announced no less than four games that directly feature the mustached plumber: New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS, New Super Mario Bros. U for Wii U, Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the 3DS, and he’s sort of in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS. That’s four games in development in the Mario franchise (including the Luigi outing), and I want to play every damn one. That’s the thing that makes Nintendo special: no matter how many new titles come out, I still want to play Mario. There’s something magical about the character and his games. They are always fun, and that’s what is at the core of a game. Thank you Nintendo… Thank you.
As far as E3’s go, I am hearing a lot of folks saying this year’s wasn’t as memorable as past years. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t physically at the convention, but I say to them who cares? There are tons of new games coming out that I’m more excited for than I was before the show, there’s a lot of new information and videos for games I’ve already known about that make me even more excited to play them, and there is a bunch of potential all around the board. If E3 is supposed to do anything, it’s supposed to expand the gaming medium, and you can’t do that without games. Sure, there wasn’t any extremely cool news about new consoles, but there was enough content to make this gamer satisfied. I can’t wait until these titles come out, and I certainly can’t wait to see what next year’s E3 has in store.