I didn’t know whether I was going to get the opportunity to talk about all of E3‘s glorious and wonders here, but as it turns out, I’ll be divulging everything here.

It wasn’t easy finding everything this year. I thought that when Spike said that they had E3’s exclusive coverage for this year, that they were going to do more than cover the absolute bare minimum. They aired the Microsoft press event, and Sony‘s event…and then for some reason decided start on on a year-old Ink Master marathon. Where did the rest of the E3 conference go…to a tiny screen on gametrailers.com. I guess gametrailers has some kind of affiliation with Spike, but I was expecting all day coverage on TV the way that G4 used to do things. Neither have I really been able to find archived footage of it, so finding comprehensive information has been a bit difficult.
Anyways, I’m mad a Spike…I don’t need or want to go in depth to that. You’re here for one reason today: E3. So let’s get down to brass tax.

Microsoft and Sony made large stage performances on the E3 stage this past week, as well as a number of third party game developers for the consoles. Nintendo also had it’s own independent conference that coincided with the E3 press event. I’ve been all over the interwebz looking for the best of all the presentations, and I’ve got some stuff here…so let’s get started.

Microsoft’s Conference was the first up for the day, and though they went very heavy on software, they also announced a few more details about the Xbox One that they didn’t make available. The biggest question mark they shed light to was the price point.

The Xbox One, at this point in time, is set at $499 US/£429 UK/€499 European. It’s a little steep, but this is also considering that the Kinect is included with the console on release, in all versions that they might have. Last time I looked at Best Buy, the Kinect for the 360 was right in around $100. That puts the price point for the console itself and the other included components right in around $400. I really don’t think that’s too outrageous, but it’s still pretty pricey.

Microsoft is still reluctant to post the full specifications to their new console, but if you want to know what they’ve up to this point, this might be a good place to look.

Microsoft also announced that available immediately is a new version of the Xbox 360, made to look more like the One, with cleaned up hardware.

Xbox360E_Console_Sensor_78_RGB_2013

The price point for it is decent, and Microsoft is planning on supporting it with new games for quite a while now still. I’ll link you to some more info in case you’re interested.

As I mentioned, Microsoft is going to keep supporting the 360 with new titles, through the release of the Xbox One, and that brings me to the focus of Microsoft’s presentation…games!

Microsoft has quite a few exclusive titles that they brought to the table for this show, and here’s a few of the ones that caught my fancy.

Dead Rising 3
dead_rising_3_game-wide

Dead Rising 3 is Capcom’s latest installment to their addition to the vast number of zombie games on the market. Slightly more serious in tone than the past two installments, DR3 lets you craft weapons from your surroundings to rain down devastation on the zombie population that stands between you and your objective. I’ve never played DR1 or DR2, but this one has me interested.

Forza Motorsport 5
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Forza Motorsport was Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios answer to the Playstation exclusive Gran Turismo franchise. I’m really not the authority to say how well Forza matches up to Gran Turismo’s physics, car collection, customizability, map selection, or graphics…but i will say that I’ve always been impressed with the franchise, and I’m interested to see how it looks on the X1.

Halo
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It wouldn’t really be Xbox party if the Master Chief didn’t show up. And sure enough, the bad boy in green did. That’s about all I can say about this game though, because there is a startling lack of information out there. It doesn’t even have an official name at this point. The most official title I’ve found is “Halo (for Xbox One)“. There are a couple of theories out there as to why the lack of info, the one that I believe is that 343 still has a lot of development to do, and they wanted to give Microsoft just enough rope to be able to reel everyone in. We’ll see if it works, I guess.

Killer Instinct
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The legendary fighter returns…sort of. It was an Arcade fighter turned console fighter back in 1994 on the SNES. It borrowed a lot of style and components from both Street Fighter and Mortal Combat. Not original by any sense of the word, but I played it and found it fun at the time. It’ll be cool to find out what the next iteration advances on from it’s big brother several console generations ago.

Minecraft Xbox One Edition*
minecraft-confirmed-for-xbox-one

I don’t see anything increasing in the graphical quality of this game, as the blockiness is part of its appeal. This game has a cult following, one that I’m reluctant to join because I hear that it can suck people in worse than WoW in some cases. In the past year or so Mojang made the decision to port it over to the 360, and it’s had some amazing success. They’ll continue to offer it on the One once it hits markets, but you’ll never find a physical copy of this game, as there has never been one in the games history.

Project Spark
Project_Spark_BK

This game is a bit of an enigma to me. The game is completely customizable; from the landscape, to the characters, even down to the plot and objectives. I don’t think that the creation is based on resources either, like Minecraft. I don’t really get what this game is about, unless it’s supposed to be like a God simulator. I dunno…I’m anxious to see what the deal with this game is.

Quantum Break
Quantum-Break

This was one of the few titles that Microsoft decided to announce at their Xbox One reveal a number of weeks ago. Not a lot of sense could really be made of the title then, but it’s evident now that this is some sort of time travel mystery game, that unfolds in episodic content, with some live action storyline, like a TV show. I wonder if this is supposed to work like The Walking Dead, or maybe Halo 4. The game looks interesting as hell. I’m betting that the time travel works more as a plot device, and less of an actual gameplay element like Prince of Persia had it. Either way, I bet it’s gonna rock.

The last Microsoft exclusive that really caught my eye is by far my favorite part of E3, and might end up being the console seller for yours truly.

Titanfall*
TitanfallReveal

Titanfall is a multiplayer only title where you can switch between either a free-running first person shooter, or pilot-able mechs, called Titans, capable of immense destruction. I actually just found out not long ago that this was a multiplayer only title, no single player at all. I love a good campaign, so I’m not sure how I feel about this, but this game looks beautiful. And I love a good Mech game. Mech Warrior and Armored Core used to be my jam. Add a little dash of Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed to that, and this game could be completely amazing. I hope I’m not overhyping it up.

Those were the highlights I saw from the Microsoft conference…and while we’re still on the subject, Microsoft made clear a lot of the…for lack of a better word, issues that had a lot of people up in arms after their reveal event.

Yes, the Kinect will always be on, but it can also be paused. That’s not a lot of assurance with everyone that wants to worry about the government or hackers looking in on us…but don’t we already have smartphones and laptops with built in cameras that already have cameras installed anyways?

There’s also the issue of DRM and selling of used games. Microsoft has made the selling of games to certain retailers possible, and made it so that the retailer and the publisher both benefit, and you still some money back. They’ve also made it possible for the limited sharing of games with friends and family. You don’t have to take my word for it; take theirs instead. You can get it straight from the horses mouth here.

Moving on now…Sony took the stage after Microsoft was done. And finally, finally…we got a look at what the Playstation 4 will actually look like.

playstation4console

sony-unveils-the-playstation-4-2

Honestly, I expected something a lot more sleek and sexy than this…but whatever. All they want it to do is play games, so if that’s what it does, and does it well, there’s really nothing to complain about. That’s been their whole platform for this campaign; the PS4 is a fully amped gaming machine…nothing more, nothing less. Though don’t get me wrong, it still has a blue-ray drive, so it’ll still play movies. The price point for this machine is $399 US/£349 UK/€399 European, beating out the X1 by a cool benjamin. I really don’t know if that price has there motion controller (Move I think) included in the price, but the high initial price of the PS3 is what crippled it early on. They came ready to compete this generation.

I won’t drone on about the tech specs of the PS4 while more informed people are doing it right here…so, on with the games.

Blacklight: Retribution*
Blacklight-Retribution-Wallpaper

Blacklight: Retribution is going to be a free-to-play FPS set in a futuristic urban environment. This already is a playable PC game, and I could be mistaken, but I think this is predominantly a multiplayer game. I’m willing to bet this is a game whose true purpose will be to showcase the speed and beauty of the PS4’s graphics. Looks pretty cool regardless, and with a price of $0, you’re pretty much guaranteed to seek it out at some point.

Drive Club
Drive Club PS4 Evolution

Why is this on my list when you know that Gran Turismo is going to pop up too? Well, of the small amount I know about this game, I still think it sounds pretty cool. This is racing game that has a very social aspect to it. It is a very team based racer, and it’s up to you to build your team. This is literally a car club game, where you compete against other clubs for prestige. It promises incredible graphics, but let’s see how it stacks up to Gran Turismo. Speaking of…

Gran Turismo 6
Gran-Turismo-6-36

This game pretty much speaks for itself. It is the standard when it comes to driving games. Excuse me…racing simulators. Forza challenges in pretty much every way, but this has always been a great franchise and has been around a lot longer. You can definitely stand to see a slew of new cars and maps. The game also promises a new physics engine, a new aerodynamics engine, and a new rendering engine. The game is promising a lot, and I guarantee you all we’ll notice are the shiny new cars.

inFAMOUS: Second Son
original

New main character, new set of problems. 7 years down the road from inFAMOUS 2, our new protagonist, Delsin Rowe begins developing powers, and becomes a target for the newly-formed Department of Unified Protection, or DUP. Naturally, he’ll do what he can to go against their wishes. I really know next to nothing about this series, but have always sat back and thought that it looked pretty. If I end up acquiring a PS4, this will be a title I pick up.

Knack
GT_massive_Knack_02-20-2013

I really don’t know what to say about this game besides it just looks cool, the same way Katamari Damacy did. In fact, I’m pretty sure this was developed by a Japanese company. I can’t do this game justice by way of explanation, so maybe Sony can do a better job here.

Killzone: Shadow Fall
275416KillzoneShadowFall02

I feel like you either know this franchise or you don’t, and as I never had a PS3, I was one of those people that sat back and had my friends tell me, “Don’t worry, it’s cool.” All I really know of the series is that the perpetual enemy is the Helghast, and this game is no different. 30 years past Killzone 3, and they are still a thorn in your side, so gear up and get ready to shoot.

The Order: 1886
ps4-game-6948-lower-marq

Go back to 1886. No, really. Take what you have now, and go back to 1886. This game looks exactly the opposite of steam punk. Instead of taking the past into the present, it’s taking the present into the past. My info on the game is limited, but I know that I’m seeing farely modern guns brought back to the pre motorist days of horse drawn carriages. You know, slap a tazer and an M4 in the hands of Sherlock holmes type stuff. You’re a member of an elite order of knights tasked with conquering an ancient evil. Up to the task?

Transistor*
Transistor

The art style of this game is what really catches my eye. Transistor is a sci-fi RPG, set…someplace and sometime in the future. You acquire this mystery weapon of unknown origin, called a Transistor. The weapon looks like something akin to one of Cloud Strife’s buster swords later in the game of Final Fantasy VII. All along the story of the game, you’ll piece together Transistor’s mysteries in the pursuit of the original owners of the weapon. The appeal of this game, as far as I’m concerned, is completely visual. But the gameplay is supposed to be fast-paced, and requisite of some strategy and forethought, so this could turn out to be a big breakaway hit.

Now, I’m admittedly since I skipped over a generation with Sony, so I wanted to include one more game for them, so…

Warframe*
warframe

This is another one of the “Free-to-Play” from launch titles that will accompany the PS4’s release. A 3rd person action game, focused on co-op and teamplay, you set out and do battle in numerous locations seeking artifacts to upgrade your Warframe. Build your stats, build your team, build your arsenal, and do battle. I don’t get the impression that there is a multiplayer element to this beyond a co-op campaign that can accomodate up to 4 players. It’s free, so why wouldn’t you check it out.

* The titles above listed with a (*) will also be released on their previous generation counterparts.

Now, as imagined, there are nearly twice as many titles being released cross-platform as there are console exclusives. I saw a lot more potential in these cross-platform games than I did the majority of exclusives, so let’s take a look at a few.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag*
Assassin-s-Creed-4-Black-Flag-Is-Official-PS3-Version-Has-Extra-Content-2

I still haven’t finished Assassin’s Creed 3, because it just feels like it’s dragging on and on. Even though I’m having my own personal problems with it, I am very excited about 4, if for no other reason than pirates. Swashbuckling, ship-to-ship combat, a yo-ho-ho, and certainly a few bottles of rum, what’s not to love. No, honestly, once ships came into play in the franchise back in like Brotherhood or Revelations, I’ve been wanting them to do a pirate game, and here it is. I’m stoked.

Call of Duty: Ghosts*
CODghosttrailer-lead

The next leg of the franchise with a new cast, a new story, certainly some new guns, and…a dog! Not the pack of dogs multiplayer perk from a few of the previous games, a teammate through the campaign. I don’t know why it’s taken so long for this idea to come around, but I’m glad it did. Beyond the graphics engine, we can pretty much stand to expect exactly what we’ve received in the past: a pretty good campaign, and time-murdering multiplayer. Call of Duty has pretty much set the standard when it comes to FPS multiplayer (both Infinity Ward and Treyarch), and unless they really screwed this game up, you can probably expect to give all of your weekend to this game.

Destiny*
destiny_desktop

I haven’t decided what next gen console I’m going to invest in yet, but I’ve had this game pre-ordered for months. Bungie, the people that brought us the original Halo franchise, now bring us Destiny. We must fight to protect the last Human city, and fight back across the battlefield of our own solar system. The early media for this game showed the experience extending beyond the console, expanding at least social aspects of the game to possibly our smartphones and tablets. This is supposed to be a game that, no matter how you play, will bring everyone together in an experience that fuses single player, co-op, and multiplayer together. Like I said, I already have this game pre-ordered, and I’m eagerly awaiting its release.

Final Fantasy XV
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I pushed the Final Fantasy franchise out of my mind a long time ago, while it still holds one of my all time favorite titles. Final Fantasy VII is almost inarguably the greatest title the franchise has produced, and deserves a nomination for greatest game…EVER. That being said, once Final Fantasy X was released, the franchise lost a lot of ground, and a lot of its fan base disappeared. I’ve been wondering when a good time would be to step back into the franchise.
It’s never easy to try and explain the plot of a Final Fantasy game, and more just suffice it to say that it’s a fantastic adventure. It does appear that way, and I’m really interested to see how the combat works since they left behind the turn-based model (yea, I’ve been out of the game for a while). Now might be the time to jump back in.

Kingdom Hearts 3
kingdom-hearts-3-720p-wallpaper-hd

God, how long have we been waiting for this. Never mind the handheld versions of the games that have been out since KH2, they’ve been waiting for ages to put out a full console sequel for this Disney/Square Enix giant. All we really know right now is that it is in development. As a result, there’s no date remotely in sight…in fact it might be a lot like Watch Dogs, and wait till next E3 to announce anything concrete for us. It’s been long awaited though.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain*
MGS5_E3_2013_poster

Metal Gear Solid has gone open-world, and given us a much more vast amount of freedom to accomplish our goals than ever before. Greater stealth options, myriads of vehicles at our disposal, a more dynamic CQC system…I’m just hoping I can dive back into the story. I missed out on MGS4 and MGRising (No PS3, realy kicking myself now), and I know that there’s a lot of story that can be told, but MGS3 was a prequil, and Snake was looking pretty spry in the demo for MGS5, so maybe this is a prequil too. They could have made another Snake though…maybe, no? I dunno. It’s a departure from the normalcy of the franchise, and looks pretty impressive to me, I’ll find it.

And lastly for me…

Watch Dogs*
WatchDog_hero

With seemingly the whole country worried about our government spying on us, there has never been a better political climate for this game to arrive at. This game was the sweetheart of E3 2012, and it’s now finally within our grasp. With the entirety of cities power grids, computer systems, and online data at your hands, there is nowhere you can’t reach, and nothing you can’t see. The city is your weapon. Take down the badest of the bad guys in ways that PRISM would be impressed by. We hate the idea that the government was spying on us, but if you were in the other seat, and let’s be honest, wouldn’t you want to have some fun?

There are a number of games that I skipped over or may have omitted, and while finding a full list of new titles is hard, this is the most complete list that I can find right here.

Now, I’m been pretty mum about Nintendo up to this point, and for good reason. They didn’t show up this year. No, really, they decided that they didn’t want to have a showing at E3 2013, at least not in any capacity the same as Microsoft, Sony, or the 3rd party developers. They instead held their own private conference via Nintendo Direct. Frankly, I’m pretty sure they know that they’re playing a different game at this point, and if they showed up like they did last year, they wouldn’t be there to compete. They did have a booth though and showed off some of their software. These were a few of the bigger news makers.

Mario Kart 8
468px-Mario_kart_8_logo_large

We’ve got another new installment of Mario Kart here with the expected new levels, new characters, and a new anti-gravity system? Not sure how that’s supposed to work.

Pokemon X and Y
Pokemon-X-Y-Logo

Pokemon has gone 3D! Or, they’ve at least moved into the world of polygonal graphics with the launch on X and Y to the Nintendo 3DS. I can’t even keep up with how many Pokemon there are now, I stopped counting at 151. Expect Pokemon X and Y to hit shelves in late October this year.

Super Mario 3D World
Super-Mario-3D-World-1-1124x1152

Nintendo wouldn’t have bothered showing up at all if they didn’t have a new Super Mario title to announce, and they didn’t disappoint. I thought they’d already covered the great 3D aspects of the game when they put out Super Mario Galaxy, but I would be wrong. I’d love to tell you about some of the new gameplay here, but my only takeaway was the new catsuits. Catsuits. Be excited if you want, but I think I’m just going to sigh, and move on.

Super Smash Bros for Wii U
logo-sb-wii

I kind of beat around the bush with the rest of these Wii U titles, but I’m legitimately excited about this one. There’s always a big hubbub about what new characters the franchise is going to add to their lineup. Last year Solid Snake and Sonic were the big additions. This year…I finally got my wish.

Megaman-Super-Smash-Bros-debuts-trailer-featuring-the-Blue-Bomber

I’ve only been asking for Mega Man since the original Super Smash Bros on the N64. It’s about time. He’s also being joined by the Villager from…well, what is he from…Animal Crossing? And also…the Wii Fit Trainer. An odd choice on that one, but her moves look pretty good. Not quite as good as my Blue Bomber’s though…

megaman1

smash_bros_wii_u_mega_man_float

megaman4

SupersmashBros

It sounds dumb, but this may be a console seller for me. I’ll be getting my hands on this as soon as I can.

For a fuller list of what Nintendo is serving up on their plate, look here.

Well, that’s just about everything I can wrap my head around. These are all the games and various tidbits of information that peeked my interests this past week at E3. If there’s anything else that you would have liked to see, or if you want to share a few of your favorite moments from the past week, please feel free to comment.

I’ll be back next week. I don’t know what my subject will be, but it’ll be hard to top this one. Won’t stop me from trying though. Till then…

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– CVSleen

Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs

Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs

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