Hey folks, Valkor here. Though E3 2010 has come and gone, all the good times that were had shall remain in my heart. Believe me it was my best year doing the meet and greet, hangin with my boys from 2D-X, and slappin fives with the gang from DualShockers, The BitBag, and mad ups to the guys over at Ironstar Movement. What did I think of the show overall: I thought it was brough back to its original form. Last year, it just seemed to be a little tight, this year it was more spread out. Lots of booth babes this time around; I didn't get any shots last year as they were not as prominent this year… either that or I just didn't pay close attention. Either way E3 does, what E3 does best and that's deliver the gaming goods on a large scale and I'm glad to be a part of it.
We're kicking things off with a look at titles from Sega aka the home of the Dreamcast and maybe... possibly... Dreamcast 2 (A fella can dream...)
Sonic 4 (Hands on) - The little blue hedgehog is back to his original 2D form and looking ever so good! Graphically the game has some serious polish to it, utilizing the power of the next gen hardware, which gives the game a crisper, more solid feel. Sonic and his foes are well animated, though Sonic is a bit slow on the go, but once he gets started he really cuts loose. He also has a nice lock-on feature that will allow him to attack multiple enemies in succession, rather than just bopping from enemy to enemy. And after playing one level on the Grassy Hill stage… yea I'm sold!
Sonic Colors (Hands on) – This game is only for the Nintendo Wii, which is a great mesh of 2D and 3D Sonic. In title, your job is to free these squid like creatures called "Wisps", who gives Sonic powers that are activated by waggling the Wii-Mote. The game controls great and shows off some serious speed and I especially got a kick out of the 2D elements. The level I got to try was ultra cute filled with candy pick ups and I could even run through popcorn. And here I thought the game was called Sonic Colors because of the Backdrops.
Vanquish (Hands on) - Anyone who's played this game knows how bad ass Vanquish is! Vanquish is a 3rd person, Sci-Fi shooter that puts you into the role of Sam, a soldier who is outfitted in some serious Mech Armor. You'll dip, dive, slide and blast your way through an amazing open world and defend against some big bosses. I duked it out with this spider-mech creature, where I had to blast his legs first in order to take him down. Mind you I went in with no instruction and after a few minutes of play, I was tearing through the stage with the quickness! The game is fast! Really fast! Blazing fast! Make you wanna stop and catch your breath fast! Loved it!
Phantasy Star Portable 2 – Think of this as a more polished Phantasy Star Zero, with a deeper character creation system, which includes body type, voice, and gender and tighter controls. Graphically the game looks great and controls even better than I'd expect. Also if you owned the first Phantasy Star Portable, you'll have a limited character transference – you'll be able to transfer some elements of the character you created but not the levels or weapons you acquired in that game. But you will be given a new weapon and some notoriety in this one.
Conduit 2 (hands on) – This game threw me for a freakin loop! Why? Because it looked so damn good that if I didn't know any better, I'd swear this was either a PS3 or Xbox 360 game! But it's on the freakin Wii! The game looks twenty times better than the original – more solid, less grainy, definitely well polished than the first one. I've been told that a lot of qualms that most folks had with the first one will get fixed here. While I didn't get the chance to play the single-player mode, I did do multiple player, which was a lot of fun. You not only have to watch out for other players, but also background elements as well. In the stage I got to play, we maneuvered around a fallen spacecraft that was still plenty active. If a player hangs around the exhaust too long, another player can switch it on and burn that player to a crisp! You have more weapons and I'm told the story will be deeper and involve much of the original cast. I believe Kevin Sorbo will be back as a voice and I hope Mark Shepard makes a return as the voice of the main character. One to watch!
Yakuza 4 (Hands on) – The game is already out in Japan and now being localized for the states. I got the chance to play around of the latest build, mostly in the fighting area. Rather than follow around with one character, you can now play as four different characters, each with their own strengths and abilities. The fighting system is much like the first with the addition of a "Heat Bar" that when its full, you can pull off some seriously damaging moves!
Shogun 2: Total War – You want a deep RTS (Real Time Strategy) game, with an army at your control, real time weather effects and lighting effects that'll make you say "DAMN! That looks nice!" Then Shogun 2 is for you. Though we only got to watch the gameplay, from what I was told you have the option to choose from 9 different clans, with hundreds of soldiers at your disposal, each with their own animation, also the game utilizes Sun Tzu's "The Art of War". I don't know what that means but it sounds pretty bad ass and makes me want to run out and get a high-end desktop just so I can find out.
Finally I got the chance to check out a slew of games from the Sega Dreamcast that will be available via PSN and Xbox Live. Look for Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventures, and Super Monkey Ball 2 among other DC titles that will get a bump in the graphics department as well as other bonus features. Overall definitely the best booth of E3, I had a blast returning again and again.