• E3 2009 Report

Hey folks, Valkor here, back from two days chillin in L.A. gettin reacquainted with an old friend called E3. Where have you been buddy? We missed the fun, the booth babes, the gaming, the booth babes, and… and… booth babes. Sadly TOV won’t have any this year, and I can only blame myself for forgetting my charger for my cam, but I refused to do what I did with CES 2008 and buy a disposable UGH!!! Ok so I come back without pics of booth babes, but I do bring you tons of gaming action.

First off my impression of the show; It wasn’t that bad. Actually it was a lot of fun and not really as crowded as 2005, though it took 10 – 20 minutes, depending on the game, to get in some game time. It appeared though the booths were plenty big, there weren’t so many as was in yesteryears. I mean as soon as you walked in, all the big guns, Sony, Nintendo, Sega, Konami, EA, were all right there, when they used to be plenty spread out. I know that this is just a beginning and I believe next year’s event will be bigger and badder, bringing E3 back to its former glory.

Now, on with the gaming previews.

G.I. Joe (PS 3, Xbox 360, DS, Wii, Mobile, PSP) – Not so much based on the movie, this two player co-op/competitive arcade style shoot em takes place after the movie, but with a taste of the cartoon series tossed in. I got see some gameplay action a couple of months back, this round I was able to go hands on. With a behind the view of the characters, which you get 16 to choose from (Not from the very start; you unlock the rest as you go along); you shoot your way through several levels, takin out Cobra troopers, and trying to get the high score. Gameplay was pretty smooth and fairly simply, as you’re mostly dealing with two buttons, but there are specials you can perform. Also there’s tons of extras, most famously are the PSA from the old cartoon series.

Brutal Legends (PS 3, Xbox 360) – I’m not the biggest Jack Black fan, but I was quite surprised by his voice role in Brutal Legends. He plays a rocker who gets sucked into the demonic dimension, and now he must battle his way out. Along the way, you’ll hear Jack’s voice as he comments to what’s going on around him, or dialogues with other characters. He’s equipped with two weapons: An Axe and a serious electric guitar that shoots killer lightning. The animation is wild, especially on Jack’s character’s facial expression and blood pours in buckets. You also get to perform some sweet special moves, certain moves cause you to perform deadly acts in slo-mo. Brutal Legends will be the one to watch, especially around these TOV parts.

Sonic All-Stars Racing (PS3) - Simple and fun, it’s Sonic. Racin around a track against other Sonic and Sega characters, not bad. Plus you get some nifty weapons to assist you in getting past your opponents, also I liked the commentary.

Dance Dance Revolution (PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) – Well… it’s DDR. Nothing “really” special to get excited about. However the tracks Konami has chosen this time around is pretty sweet. Expect a mix of old and new; we’re talkin Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Bobby Brown, Diana Ross, Ne-yo, and Vanilla Ice, just to name a few. The Wii version makes use of the Wii balance board and nunchucks, so you’re not just using you’re feet, you have to use your whole body, hips and all. (As was demonstrated by the designer… wow… just wow…)

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Wii, PSP, PS2) – Shattered Memories takes you back to the beginning of the Silent Hill series, reimagining for a newer audience and newer system. You play as (Jack) and you start out looking for you’re daughter Cheryl. You begin with just a flashlight as your only tool, but later you’ll get to use other items like a Cellphone, which you can use to dial numbers in the game, take pictures, or use as a GPS. The opening stage that I played was a bit long with nothing going on, but that really sets up the mood and heightens the spook factor because you don’t know what’s around the next corner or door. Controls uses the Wii nunchucks, one for movement and the other for the flashlight. The game was very easy to get into and I look forward to getting more play time either at it’s release or prior to it.

Saw (PS3, Xbox 360) – I never thought it was possible to make a game from Saw the movie, but damnit Konami pulled it off… sorta. You play as () a detective who was investigating the Jigsaw murders, now caught in a Jigsaw trap. You make your way through several of his traps, but along the way you’ll meet other characters who are also caught in Jigsaw’s game. You’ll either witness their demise, see the results of those not wishing to play, or somehow get incorporated into the other player’s game. The game does its best to try and not hold your hand to solve the traps, which means you have to use some thought. However there are subtle clues strewn about to, but they’re very subtle. Personally I think this is a one trip wonder; once you play it through and solved all the traps… that’s it. Game over man. Game over.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (PSP) – I didn’t get the chance to play the big boy version, but the pocket version was… just ok. You play as Bumblebee (But if I am not mistaken you can choose a character from either side), shooting your way through multiple stages taking out same colored baddies and bigger transformers. You can pick up weapon upgrades and Energon cubes for energy. You’re also equipped with some slick moves such as a cool special involving the characters transformation. Simple, needs more energy refills to be more enjoyable, but others a simple straightforward shoot em up.

DC Universe (PS3) – This is a highly anticipated title for the MMORPG crowd. You customize your own character and play alongside the DCU characters against other DCU characters or player creations. I started out in Star Labs battling it out with Bizarro Supes, Solomon Grundy, And Lex Luthor, while protecting Wonder Woman. The version I played could use some tightening in the controls, but others not bad. Using your powers takes some getting used to, but the game has promise and I can’t wait to see the finished version.

Ghostbusters (PS3, XBOX360) – I didn’t think I’d get the chance to go hands on with this title; another game highly anticipated. It was just too packed, but when I finally did I was enthralled by the animation and voicework of the original cast, but the controls definitely take some getting used to. The stage I got to play had the team battling it out with The Stay Puft Marshmallow man, and he’s one tough cookie. Looks great, plays great, and I can’t wait for the final version.

Batman Arkham Asylum (PS3, XBOX360) – This is the game I NEED right now!! I’m a huge fan of everything bats from the films, the comics, and even the old school video games. But this one will beat them all. The game starts you off as Batman; he’s captured the Joker and is bringing him back to Arkham. But the Clown Prince of evil escapes, sets all the prisoners free, and now Bats has to put things in order. First the game is easy to get into. Right away you’ll be jumping, punching, and kicking your way in seconds. Your to main buttons are the attack and counter buttons which you’ll use to string together some amazing combos and will allow you to tackle more than one guy at a time. Second, there’s tons of dialogue, which gives the game a real cinematic feels. A good example is when Oracle calls Batman as he’s making his way through the asylum. That’s right you don’t stop to talk, you just keep going and the characters handle the rest. I stopped the game right after I tackled some gunman that I have to dispose of quietly. Since they’re armed out and could kill Bats in seconds. Stay tuned to the pages of TOV as you’ll sure to see more of this game.

Red Steel 2 (Wii) – I don’t know too much about this game, but my understanding is that it doesn’t take place after the first game and it makes use of the Wii Motion Plus add on to add more realism to your sword play. I can say that the game plays great and definitely easy to get into, which is good for me since I don’t own a Wii and not use to the mechanics. I love the cinematics and the smooth animation, and I look forward to seeing more of this game.

Final Fantasy Dissidia (PSP) – Square has got it goin on and they know it. They’re booth was rocking, mostly due to the giant LCD showing of the trailers for Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children Complete, and all their games on the show floor including Dissidia. Dissidia is a fighting game involving all the major characters from past Final Fantasy games, heroes and villains. The first battle I choose was Squall vs Sephiroth. Gameplay is damn good, and I was able to pull off some mean combos. Animation has a Crisis Core feel to it, but the CGI movies are where it’s at. Needless to say this is an exciting game for the PSP and I can’t wait to get my hands on this game.

Food Network: The Game (Wii) - Fans of the "Cooking Mama" series will definitely enjoy this game, that will bring the chef out of anyone. You're job is to put together various creations and at the end the Food Network judges will judge how well you did. In the demo version I played, I had to make steak and eggs. You can make it in real time, which means cook by actual minutes, or if things are going to slow, fast foward. In the end I think I did a decent job. I'm looking foward to giving this game a full run.

This is just a taste of what went on at E3, and I wish I had the time to play ALL the games. But when you’re the main guy at TOV, you’re doing more talking than playing. However keep your eyes on TOV’s GameView section as we’ll try to get our hands on games that we did or did not get to see. See you next year at E3 2010.