I must say that staying up all night (I really hate regional time differences sometimes) and practically losing all of today as a result was well worth it, because -in a nutshell – E3 was amazing!
Like: right now, nothing else matters in my life amazing.
SONY banished all of my fears about the PS4 being too pricey or having used game restrictions, and did it with utter glee. Just look at Jack Tretton’s face, and the applause.
The PS4 is riding a wave of positivity and goodwill right now, whilst Microsoft are looking like a bit like panto villains. Annoying as having two consoles not THAT different on the market is, and all the arguments between your friends over what’s better, I think the competition between Microsoft and SONY is good for the both of them. It forces them to innovate and not get lax but on their toes. After the negativity surrounding the XBOX One reveal, if SONY weren’t sure of their used game policies, they definitely are now and made sure that we do too.
That’s not to say Microsoft had a bad conference at all. I would say it was one of their strongest, perhaps until the $499 price was mentioned and their trumping by SONY. But they did LOTS right, focusing only on the games once they got the TV and Windows 8 nonsense out the way a few weeks ago.
My Microsoft highlights were:
Horse stealth! Kiefer Sutherland doing a good job! Those weather effects! This is going to be a must have, even though I SUCK at Metal Gear games, the controls just don’t sit well with me. It was clever of Microsoft to open with a franchise closely associated with PlayStation. Having said that, MGS2: Substance was out on Xbox, MGS3 hit the 3DS recently and the HD Collection was out for both 360 and PS3. Speaking of those consoles, its out for current gen as well as next gen consoles, so I wonder whether I will get it for PS3 or 4. Judging by how juicy next gen is looking, if financially viable I may be getting my first ever console at launch (or within the first year).
While Insomniac Games‘ XBOX One exclusive looks pretty fun and humorous (and makes me feel like they’ve betrayed us PlayStation-ers) THIS is the thing that almost makes me feel like I’m missing out by getting a PS4. Giant mechs can lead to sluggish gameplay but this feels slick and… just awesome. Kudos.
Titanfall is developed by EA, another company seen as gaming ‘villain’s. But to be honest, I think they had a LOT of strong material. And unlike Titanfall, a lot of it is going to be on both new consoles (huzzah), such as:
I’m really not a fan of ‘real world shooters’ like Battlefield or Call of Duty but I’ll be damned if that building crashing down wasn’t INCREDIBLY impressive. And the size of the map! Am I going to be converted? Who knows. Once again, this is out for current and next gen but the choice seems pretty obvious.
They also teased us by announcing a new Mirror’s Edge (about time!) and…
I think a recurring theme of this year’s E3 has been about just giving gamers what they want, being a bit (understatement) overdue about it but still there is a feeling of the companies knowing what people are clamouring for and just going… ‘we want to make you happy’. Which leads me nicely onto…
I don’t think I could BE any happier. Like, as soon as I saw this I had that warm gooey feeling I think people in relationships (what are those?) have. Kingdom Hearts II came out in 2006, so this one has been a long time coming. We’ve been kept happy with some very good spin-offs, some not so good ones and the upcoming HD remix but its finally time to get on with it. Although the end of the teaser only said ‘in development’ so we don’t know how long Square Enix intend to take getting on with it. How about the second HD remix next year and KHIII in early 2015?
At first we all believed this to be PS4 exclusive and one of SONY’s triumphs, but today Square announced this is due for XBOX One as well. Part of the huge fanboy in me is a bit disappointed, although the spin-offs have been on Nintendo handhelds and mobile (in Japan) , the home console entries have always been synonymous with PlayStation. It does take the wind out of my bragging sails a bit but the more people who get to experience the sheer joy of new Kingdom Hearts the better.
ACTUALLY, touching upon the HD Remix. We are FINALLY getting the Final Mix version of the first game, and in Europe the remake of Chain of Memories – things we thought we would NEVER EVER get. Similarly, the gorgeous looking Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is giving us the International + Last Mission version of X-2, which we thought would remain Japan only forever, like KH Final Mix. The fans are being listen to, and their wishes are being granted. Eventually.
But the wish to end all wishes, and confirming what the internet predicted two years ago: FINAL FANTASY
Versus XIII XV
Behold its majesty.
It’s finally coming!!!! At some point. The thing they announced as a PS3 exclusive at E3 2006. At least 8 years later its coming to XBOX One and PlayStation 4!!! Eeeeeee! It’s not surprising its become multi-platform: its now a main-series entry and after all the work put into it they may as well release it to as many people as they can. I do wonder how long its been in development for next-gen consoles for. It started development in 2008 for PS3, so are they just porting the game to next-gen or did they switch to next-gen development at some point – possibly when they stopped and re-started in 2011. If the former is true, why are we not getting a PS3 version? And will it not look as good as games developed for PS3/XBOX One from the ground up? This is Final Fantasy we can’t have that!! Although saying that, graphics aren’t everything and the game still looks incredible, with the wonderfully Japanese gothic art design and crazy physics.
Another thing that crossed my mind is now the game doesn’t bear the XIII isn’t its title anymore, will it have anything to do with that whole mythology? This would make it the first main series FF to be properly related to another (don’t start me on that VII/X Shinra link). Personally, I’d prefer if they re-worked the narrative to make it its own thing, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will tie all that universe up and hopefully do it well – its gotten horribly convoluted so far.
So currently Square Enix seem to be in the good books of all the fans, which is rare for them. I know they are being exceptionally good to us right now but I’d love to hear something on bringing Final Fantasy Type-O outside of Japan. As a Vita title maybe? The handheld is still criminally under represented and as much as I love the PSP, even I don’t want to upgrade just yet. Also, I know they are almost certainly working on it, but I’d love to see an announcement and a few screens of Final Fantasy VI for iOS. Argh… SEE?!? This is what happens when games companies show us nice things, we get greedy and we want more.
We want it all.
And we want it NOW!
Kudos to everyone for a spectacular E3 though. The thought of owning a PS4 and playing Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts III, Star Wars Battlefront, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and maybe even trying some of the incredible new online experiences like Battlefield 4 and Destiny (which I didn’t even cover so quickly: makes me less gutted about Titanfall and very cheeky of SONY to counteract MS having MGSV in their conference but having Xbox darlings Bungie show off their game as the main part of the PS4 conference) as well as the host of self-published indie games SONY are rightfully behind.
I thought that this current console generation was going to be my last hardcore one, as life would take over and gaming would become a casual pastime I’d dedicate less and less effort on. Not anymore.