Posts

Showing posts from June, 2015

That's Not Your Gun, Ripley

Image

E3 2015 - And the Rest

Image
Also: Microsoft / Sony / Nintendo
This year, it felt like everyone and their mother had an E3 press conference. EA and Ubisoft had their usual spots, and Bethesda, Square Enix and even PC Gamer, who held a PC-focussed event, had their time in the spotlight.
Bethesda kicked things off on Sunday evening with a well-received look at some of their biggest forthcoming titles, most notably Doom, Dishonored 2 and Fallout 4. I'd elaborate on their presser, but I haven't watched it yet - you can't beat my E3 coverage! I did however see the Doom trailer, and I thought it looked really unappealing. Perhaps I’ve gone soft, but exploding demons and severed arms don't really do it for me anymore.
The E3 conference, aka An Evening with Pele, opened with a trailer for Mass Effect Andromeda. The teaser revealed little about the next chapter in the Mass Effect saga, though it did confirm the return of the Mako buggy (fuck sake) and a “holiday 2016” release date. Need for Speed looked l…

E3 2015 - Nintendo in 500 Words

Image
Also: Microsoft/ Sony
I can't say that I enjoyed sitting through Nintendo’s Digital Event. Their presentation was charming and well put together, just like their games, but it was in desperate need of a Splatoon-like shot in the arm.
The show kicked off in style with Iwata, Reggie and Miyamoto appearing as muppets. They gradually transformed into the main characters from Star Fox, an inventive way of announcing the latest entry in the well-loved series. Star Fox Zero appeared to make convincing use of the Gamepad and has since been confirmed as being developed by Platinum Games, who have had a very busy E3. I thought it looked dated, sparse and visually unappealing, especially having just watched space combat in No Man's Sky. Still, it never hurts to start things off with a big name.
Real Reggie was up next, talking about new Amiibos and a partnership with Activision via a new Skylanders game. I couldn't care less about Amiibos, but Nintendo are onto a winner here and I …

E3 2015 - Sony in 500 Words

Image
Also: Microsoft in 500 Words

It was 2am and I was fading fast. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it past the opening montage, let alone stay awake long enough to see Shawn Layden’s strange beard. However, by 3.30am I was wide awake, unable to stop thinking about impossible games come true. Sony owes me a good night’s sleep.
The Last Guardian, straight out the gate. It’s not vapourware, it’s a game and it looks magnificent. I was mesmerised by the way the creature moved and I cannot wait to learn more about how it interacts with the boy. 2016 is a very vague release date, and I do worry about further delays, but TLG is alive and well and Sony has turned a potential disaster, and a long running source of embarrassment, into the toast of E3.
Guerrilla’s new IP, Horizon Zero Dawn, looks great and is a huge departure from their previous work. We can all now stop making jokes about Killzone RPG and look forward to hunting robot dinosaurs in 2016. New Hitman fell flat and I can’t must…

E3 2015 - Microsoft in 500 Words

Image
“The Greatest games line up in Xbox history”. That’s what Microsoft claimed, but did their press conference live up to its lofty billing? I didn’t think so, but then I did abandon the stream for twenty minutes to do the washing up.
MS opened the show with a new entry in a little known series called Halo. I’m not a fan, but going by the Twitter reaction, it seemed to hit the spot. Recore was the first of a dozen or so games that looked nice, but I know I’ll never play.
Don Mattrick must’ve been spinning in his grave when he heard the next announcement. Backward compatibility is a huge move by Microsoft and a shot aimed directly at Sony. MS has slowly but surely corrected past mistakes; the Xbox One is a very different console to the one revealed at E3 2013, and all for the better. “We won’t charge you to play the games you already own” – it feels like that should be a given, but times have changed and it’s good to see MS continuing to move in the right direction. Here’s hoping that S…

E3 2015 - Preview & Predictions

Image
"PS4 architect Mark Cerny is working on finishing The Last Guardian". That's right, it's E3 time!

I love E3. A week of press conferences, new trailers, surprise announcements, gown men whooping at map pack announcements, and unparalleled levels of internet snark - what's not to like? It is the best and worst of video games and I look forward to it every year.
So, what can we expect from this year's extravaganza? I reckon at least one of the following:
1. An all-new trailer for The Last Guardian, the first since 2009 2. Half Life 3 for 3DS 3. Reggie Fils-Aime squirting off a squid into a crowd of journalists, whilst screaming "NOW you are fresh"
I'm also convinced that this is the year that new Timesplitters and Shatter 2 will be announced. I'm even more certain than I was in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011........ It's not happening is it?
Microsoft is up first on Monday, so let’s start there. Halo 5 and Forza 6 will get plenty of stage time…

Monthly Round-up: May 2015

Image
In Case You Missed It: Bloodborne - Good & Bad Nights / Blue Skies & False Nostalgia / Squid & Demos
May Playlist
1. Yakuza 0: I'm about twenty hours into the latest Yakuza, a prequel set in the 1980s, but I'm not sure if I'm going to finish it. It pains me to say this, but I haven't entirely enjoyed my time with bubble-era Kazuma and Majima. Don't get me wrong, Zero definitely has its moments, but overall it is falling a little short.
The narrative and supporting characters just aren't as interesting as I had expected. The cut scenes feel longer, though they probably aren't, and I'm skipping through dialogue that I'd usually at least make an attempt to understand. I've also found the combat to be frustratingly unbalanced - I struggle my way through Kazuma's encounters but hardly break a sweat as Majima.
Every now and again, something wonderfully Yakuza happens and I'm reminded why I love this series. It’s good, but it's n…