Metanorn Special: E3 2013

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It’s a battle between One & 4 at this year’s Expo

spring13-jrowIndeed, it’s that time of year where game announcements are confirmed after many leaks, the console wars flame on and we realize how many games we want to buy and how bad at accounting we would be by the time we’re done. Overcooled & my Anivision Podcast co-host steev will be joining me in this E3 post as you scroll further down, so for now I’m gonna set the table for the week’s events to come.

Our coverage this year on Metanorn will be dialed down in that we’re just going to do pre-E3 and post-E3 blogs about the events, so the play-by-play posts will be gone in favor of writing about what news appeals to us and opening discussion in the comments section.

Looking Back @ E3 2012

Click the spoiler for a recap of last year’s events. Show ▼

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MicrosoftmicrosoftJun 10 @ 12:30 PM EST EAeaJun 10 @ 4:00 PM EST UbisoftubisoftJun 10 @ 6:00 PM EST Sony
sonyJun 10 @ 8:30 PM EST
NintendonintendoJun 11 @ 10:00 AM EST

ps4 vs. xboxone

This could get expensive…

Two of the biggies in the gaming business go on an all-out pitch to convince you to buy their new console when it comes out later this year. Something unique from past generations of home consoles is that these systems have already been revealed (especially in Sony’s case) long before E3 has even happened. What I think will be needed most with both press conferences we see is one word: clarity. Microsoft was the more guilty party of the two (“Xbox: On”, “Confusion: On”), but with so much concern about rental & used games, online connectivity requirements, what the console actually looks like among many other pressing issues, both companies are going to need to make sure that we know as many details about their system as possible. There’s also the price issue to consider…

Maybe you’ve already defined your allegiance, maybe you’re on the fence, or you’re every PC gamer that needs to write the same comment that ranks as one of the internet’s most redundant; this is a huge moment for these two companies to really explain their systems and the many reasons why we should buy them. And remember, if you’re backwards-compatible, you’re backwards.

Also, don’t buy an Xbox One on eBay. Trust me, you’re going to end up looking a fool.

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Seriously

The poor Wii U has been abused plenty by a number of developers and publishers, and quite honestly, with good reason. Nintendo is not going to have a big event on E3′s 1st official day as they normally do, instead opting to release a Nintendo Direct video which they have been doing for the past few months. In many ways, I see this as an effective adjustment their E3 approach. Everything us fans get from E3 is from the internet anyways, so having a big stage at the Nokia Theater and having executives go up in front of people and be wooden in their following of the script to a T and not be personable is an unnecessary enough thing that Nintendo can just cut out. I also like that there’ll be a chance to play whatever games we can at a Best Buy; and before you ask about why don’t they just release demos on the eShop, imagine how slow that would be. You’re better off using gasoline to head to a Best Buy even if it’s out of your way.

At this point, Nintendo needs to get its superstars some big time games on the system to garner much attention. That starts with the promise of actual footage of the newest Super Smash Bros. game, which you might remember was announced in 2011, much to the surprise of Smash Bros. leader Masahiro Sakurai who probably spat out whatever he was drinking when he saw that image on the screen.

How’s Gaming Been in 2013 So Far?

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It’s been pretty good, wouldn’t you agree?

Save the next-gen console wars, it’s been a rock solid year for gaming. The PS3 and 360 are both in their twilight years as it’s become time to usher in this next generation of consoles, so you’d expect developers to have squeezed as much juice as they possibly could out of these consoles. Grand Theft Auto V may very well end up being the peak for the PS3 and 360 when it comes out in September.

I commented during last year’s E3 event that I thought the true winner of E3 2012 was the year 2013, and the games that have come out so far have been great. If you look back at the March release schedule, you could’ve sworn it was an October or November quality-type month with many great and anticipated games coming out each week for different platforms. Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite are strong contenders for Game of the Year, Gears of War: Judgment got a nice breath of fresh air from developer People Can Fly (as did DmC from Ninja Theory) while God of War: Ascension may be a little bit tired, and Injustice: Gods Among Us is a great fighting game where the D.C. heroes and villains didn’t have to deal with Mortal Kombat peeps… well, until this coming Tuesday.

The surprise game for me so far is called Guacamelee, by Drinkbox Studios. They took the popular Metroid action-adventure formula and applied it to Mexican wrestling; it’s a formula that I’m a huge fan of and Guacamelee is one of my overall faves for 2013.

And after E3, the hype of all these new games will be cast aside briefly as The Last of Us will be out and likely establish itself as another GotY contender.

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I hope everyone’s prepared to say hello to a new era of gaming. There may be some amazing things to come in the future with these new consoles, but I was still pretty impressed by a lot of recent games in 2013. I’m completely engrossed in Ni no Kuni right now, for example. I sat there leveling up and grinning ear to ear because I was so overwhelmingly pleased to simply exist in this game world. The Ghibli charm translates over perfectly into video game form, allowing you to actually interact with these mystical yet inviting environments.

Other than Ni no Kuni, I’ve unfortunately fallen behind on a lot of current games. I’ve spent more time nursing some retro cravings with older games. It’s not that there aren’t a lot of good games, it’s just that I’ve been terribly distracted. I have DMC, Soul Hackers, and Bioshock Infinite, but they’re still sealed in their wrappers. That’s how many good games there were – I didn’t even get to play them all yet! I felt like the current gen could go on forever, but I suppose the time has come to try something new to push the envelope even further. I will miss you, current gen. I will miss you, and the money I have to spend to keep up with all this new stuff.

This year at E3, what I really want to see are games. I don’t care about Netflix, Kinect, or whacky motion controls. I care about what I want to play on these mechanical boxes, because that’s what I’ll mostly be using it for. This is Nintendo’s last chance to sell me on the Wii U so I hope they actually reveal some info about the new Smash Bros. and something other than another Mario. At the very least, I’ll be happy to see more 3DS games such as Pokemon XY get attention, because that looks amazing. The 3DS has been neglected for quite a while, so it’s about time they announced some new games. I don’t really care about Microsoft since they rarely have any console exclusives that catch my eye. The Xboned doesn’t seem like too good of a deal either. The PS4 is a big question mark since all we really know is what the controller looks like right now. Unless they scare me away, I’m almost certain I’ll end up buying one though. So far Infamous: Second Son looks great and I bet they’ll have a bunch of other new games that make me want to empty my wallet for them too. Let the conferences begin!

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Growing up in an unhealthy environment, filled with nothing but the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre and computers, lead steev to the man he is today, a slightly disturbed video game loving anime otaku. Twitter // Google+ // Anivision

This year has already seen a plethora of good games and there are still plenty more to come. My favorite game so far has to be undoubtedly the reboot of Tomb Raider. Lara Croft was turned into a very likable character that you really feel bad for because she goes through more suffering in one segment of the game than most of us will go through in a lifetime. The story is compelling and offers some great set pieces that will drop your jaw to the floor. Another reboot which caught my eye was DMC, Devil May Cry. The Devil May Cry franchise is known for their devilish style and this game does not disappoint. Ninja Theory did not hold back and they created easily the best DMC game to date. The new Dante has an emotional side that really makes you care about him and what he goes through. I couldn’t finish talking about the games I liked if I didn’t mention BioShock Infinite. I get something called virtual sickness, and even though this game made me dizzy and nauseous, I still had to finished it. It was just that good. The story is so complex that you’re head will hurt and you’ll probably argue with someone about it. Of course with so many great games already out and still to come, there are a few titles which left me underwhelmed. God of War: Ascension and Remember Me are two games that I almost didn’t finish. For both games the story was just not very good and the combat system either left you frustrated or bored. I will admit that because this year has had such great games already that my impression of the two might be slightly colored, but even at best they aren’t games I would recommend to someone.

It has been many years since I have been excited about E3 and this year proves to be not only exciting, but has everyone guessing about what will happen next. I am really looking for two things at E3 this year. First is just a better understanding of what the hell Microsoft and Sony are doing with their new consoles. With Microsoft talking about their not-always-on-just-sometimes-on console DRM and used/loaned game policies I am still very confused at how exactly it will work. I might just be slow witted, but I think someone on stage telling me exactly what it is they are doing will help. Inline with that, I want to know what Sony plans on doing. The reason being, Microsoft really handled their DRM and used/loaned policies well. From what I do understand they aren’t going to be profiting at all, the publishers and developers will be. Sony will either piss off gamers by doing the same or piss of publishers and developers by not doing it. The second thing I want to see is games!!! Kind of an obvious choice, but there are a lot of games I am super excited about and I am in desperate need of seeing more about them. Destiny is the game I am most excited for and Bungie released an E3 teaser trailer that made me moist. I can’t wait to see what else they’ve got for me.

I do have one prediction for E3 this year… E3 will end badly. Most people are going to walk away both happy and yet frustratedly angry, some will walk away confident that their brand one and the other brand tanked, and a select few will walk away trying to see the brighter side of it all, but will know in their heart that the next generation is going to be an ugly bloodbath.

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E3 is actually kind of upon us right now since Konami did a pre-E3 event in which they confirmed Kiefer Sutherland as the new Snake. Jack Bauer = Snake. We’ll miss David Hayter, but what a great replacement.

What news are you most looking forward to at E3? Have you decided which new console you’re going to buy and if you’re going to buy it on launch day? You going to Best Buy, kid? We’ll be back later this week with our overall thoughts on the week’s news.

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38 Responses to “Metanorn Special: E3 2013”

  1. Hato-kun says:

    This is going to be the craziest E3 since 2006. I can’t wait for all the meltdowns and megatons and fanboy tears.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Oh, there will be tears…

    • Jrow says:

      A megaton (though not quite exactly) just happened for me with that Mirror’s Edge 2 teaser. It’s happening!

      • BlackBriar says:

        I’m not familiar with Mirror’s Edge. What can you tell me about it?

        • Jrow says:

          It’s a parkour game where you play is Faith, a delivery girl. First game was released in 08, great ideas but execution wasn’t as great as it could’ve been. People like me hoped for the day a sequel would happen, and sho’nuff it did. :)

  2. D-LaN says:

    Ah FE:Awakening…. The game tht got me interested in FE series :D All I care abt E3 atm is whether or not theyn will show a trailer for SMTxFE.

    • Jrow says:

      If I’m correct, the last time we saw that announced there weren’t many details about what the game would be like, so if that’s still the case as I’m thinking, then hopefully a gameplay trailer will surface this week.

  3. Metalsnakezero says:

    After what has Microsoft has done I only care about what Sony and Nintendo has to offer and 3rd parties too.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    It’s E3 time again. Where did the past 12 months go? I didn’t feel so long. Concerning games, this year is fairly strong and the new E3 titles look promising. First and foremost, the anticipation for me is Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and luckily there’s a PS3 version. I have the third one for PS3 and played the previous games on my brother’s Xbox 360. What I like most about the AC franchise is variety in both lead characters and historical periods and best of all, the new one’s historical period is going to be centered in the Caribbean and I just happen to be from there. Most of all, I’d like to get to know the new ancestor who turns out to be the grandfather of AC III’s Connor Kenway. Captain Jack Sparrow… meet Captain Edward Kenway. If I get a PS4, Watchdogs and Infamous: Second Son will automatically be on the list.

    Sony always manages to get the upper hand over Microsoft. The Xbox One is definitely going to be the system that will be struggling to gain buyers. I amazed the Wii U still gets mentioned after so much negative press. Nintendo’s weak point is in its consoles while it’s strong with its handheld systems. It needs to find a balance in order to save face. The only reason a 3DS would be taken into consideration is so I could play the newer versions to games like Pokémon, mainly Pokémon X and Y.

    I’m a faithful Sony fanboy but sadly I’ve yet to get a PS Vita in my hands. However, since I got my PS3 Christmas last year, I’m going to hold off about wanting a PS4 until the eventual slim version arrives. If there’s anything that should be known about Sony is that whenever a new console comes out, it’s like a prototype for the buyers to find flaws in the systems so the company can build from the mistakes with the newer models. It was done with the PS2 and PS3 so there’s no reason to think this time will be an exception. I was in a rush to be up to date but this time, I’m willing to wait.

    • Jrow says:

      I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this to you, but I did play AC3 and really enjoyed it and am definitely planning to get Black Flag. My knowledge of the history of AC isn’t too grand since AC3 was the first game I beat, but the pirate theme will allow for more naval ship missions and maybe more luscious environments.

      At the point you’re at, it’s a good idea to wait. You have so many games through the generation that you’ve missed out on, like the Uncharted series and the Ratchet & Clank series, so while you may be salivating at Infamous: Second Son, it’s not like you don’t have the previous 2 games to play.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Yeah, I’m a loyal AC fan and I eagerly await Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s release. The E3 Cinematic Trailer just got out today and it’s awesome. I look forward to playing as Edward Kenway. How they continue to make these Assassins so brutal and epic is beyond me.

        True, the best to do is wait and I have a whole list of games that I want to go through but missed out on and that’s not including the ones that came out this year and most of what I’m after are franchise sequels. For example, I want to go through Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 before Lightning Returns comes around next year. Plus there’s Infamous and the Batman: Arkham games. Speaking of which, I wonder if E3 will be talking about Batman: Arkham Origins.

  5. Karakuri says:

    …I still have yet to buy a PS3 (and I don’t think I’ve even ever laid eyes on a physical, real life and not a picture Xbox), so this 4 vs One stuff is already waaaay over my head. ヽ(´ー`)ノ

    On the other hand though, I look forward to seeing the games that will be coming out for the consoles.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I still have yet to buy a PS3, so this 4 vs One stuff is already waaaay over my head.

      Ooh, you have it worse than I do. It was after I got my PS3 Christmas 2012 that I heard the PS4 was coming out. That was very discouraging to hear after so many years of trying to get a new console.

      • D-LaN says:

        Ooh, you have it worse than I do.

        I don’t even have a console…. (No my PC and iPhone doesn’t count, though I’m planning to get TWD iOS and 999 iOS when I finally make an account)

        • BlackBriar says:

          Oooh, that’s definitely worse. Hopefully you’ll finally get one. I’ve only had my PS3 for almost 6 months. I never looked to buy any games for PC because of concerns for the game depending on the computer’s processing power or that there would be some glitches stopping me from enjoying the gameplay. Besides, I prefer a controller to a keyboard anyday.

    • Jrow says:

      Start saving up your money for that shiny new PS4 that you know you’re gonna want at some point! :p

      • Karakuri says:

        Ugh, I might just skip over the PS3 now that Square Enix made that announcement. OTL

        • BlackBriar says:

          If there’s any consolation, you can stay up to date with everyone by getting a PS Vita. After all, just like the PS3, it’s going to have a remote control function with the PS4.

        • Jrow says:

          Versus XIII and Kingdom Hearts 3, damn, I thought Versus was in development hell and had lost so much interest in KH3, but to bust them out back to back was the start of Sony’s epic run toward the end.

          • Karakuri says:

            Don’t you mean XV? xD Man, I was ready to cry tears of joy at just that, but then they whip out KH3. …And then the borrowed games/internet connection policies. ….And then the price.

            • Jrow says:

              Hmm, I might’ve just seen when the Versus XIII logo was still on the screen.

            • Karakuri says:

              Yeah, it looks like they’re ditching the whole Versus XII name and just calling it Final Fantasy XV now.

            • BlackBriar says:

              It was previously named Final Fantasy Versus XIII before changing it to Final Fantasy XV. Because Square Enix was so focused on this project that there wasn’t any mention of a third Kingdom Hearts and I’ve been anticipating that for years since finishing the second installment on PS2 and prequel story on PSP.

  6. T.K. says:

    Oh boy, the start of the year has been insane with the PS4 being officially confirmed as early as February. You can feel all sorts of energy from the console war 6 years ago slowly building up as each day creeps closer to June 2013. It’s like the holy grail war of gaming, with the 3 main houses!

    What I’m most excited for is surely the new IPs that are coming out. There has yet to be actual gameplay from Destiny, Ubisoft hasn’t fully showed nor explained what’s up with Watch Dog’s asynchronous multiplayer, maybe a showcase of Beyond Two Souls, The Last Guardian (maybe not) and Final Fantasy (HAH, who am I kidding.) and lastly more Kojima goodness from Phantom Pain.

    It’s time to switch time-zones and re-tune the body clock.

    • Jrow says:

      The holy grail of gaming consoles, though which character best fits the Ouya system? Small little gaming system…

      Microsoft opened up with Phantom Pain which looked real nice. An open-world MGS could be really something. Watch_Dog’s MP is really interesting to me because it seems like there’s so much potential for what it can do and how fun it is.

      I got one of my wishes with a Mirror’s Edge 2 trailer, now I’m hoping for the same thing with Beyond Good & Evil 2.

    • Cybersteel says:

      Destiny reminds me of Gun Gale Online for some reason :/

      • Jrow says:

        I think I’m really going to love Destiny because it feels a lot like Halo & Borderlands were put in a blender and out came Destiny.

  7. Kyokai says:

    I haven’t gamed to my heart’s content in the last few years so I’m not so much ‘in’ on the platform wars. Though, I appreciate the fact that the industry is keeping its pace and breaking through many boundaries in not only gameplay but interaction.

    With every E3 conference, there will be disappointments and elation mixed together. However, I hope in terms of variety, everyone comes out of happy.

    • Jrow says:

      You were playing Tomb Raider earlier this year, right? Do you remember how far into it you got?

  8. Highway says:

    I can’t imagine that Sony’s policies on DRM and game sharing will be significantly different from Microsoft’s. And honestly, I think they’re both going to shove their consoles further into niches. I don’t mind the idea of a media hub, but I wonder if Microsoft realizes that everyone in North America has the worst piece of consumer electronics ever made, and they’re basing a ton of their strategy around it: The cable company provided cable box / DVR. Seriously, the worst thing anyone has to deal with, because the cable companies don’t care.

    And I’ll be honest about gaming: I barely do any anymore. My time is taken up watching anime and playing WoW. And if I wasn’t playing WoW… then it’s likely I wouldn’t be playing anything. Nothing big captures my attention, and everything that’s small and buzzy seems too hard to get into. So I basically play no games except one that was released 8 years ago.

    • Highway says:

      Well, I was wrong about Sony and DRM. I’m very surprised. Looks like Microsoft has really screwed up the first phase here. I could see a couple ways they could make some of the goodwill back:

      - Games significantly cheaper. If Sony sells for 60-70 dollars, sell for 40. Prove that ‘aftermarket sales’ and ‘piracy’ has really been such a horrible thing, and that you haven’t just been blowing smoke up our asses.

      - Turn off the f’ing Kinect. Not ‘software’ that those jerks could turn on whenever they wanted. Let it be unplugged.

      - Drop the price. Heck, $299 with 2-year Live Gold commitment, which everyone’s gotta get anyway.

      - Daily check-in. Really?

      Sony looks brilliant, because they know that aftermarket sales are gonna be declining rapidly as people just get stuff digitally delivered. They still get to keep those high prices because “waaaah, resales”. And it sucks, because I still dislike their controllers (maybe this one won’t feel like a teeny toy in my hands…).

      • Jrow says:

        Huge cheers, one of the loudest and most genuine I’ve ever heard watching an E3 press conference in years. Microsoft appears to be in a real bind with how well Sony’s conference was received.

        1. Would be nice but also probably be a confusing financial process not met well with developers and publishers and would likely have to be limited to Xbox One-only games.
        2. It is something people would want, but it’s a core feature of that console and one that’s most unique from the PS4, so they want that on. To me, buying a Xbox One and then not plugging in the Kinect would be a waste of great tech and just shoving aside a significant part of that console.
        3. is an interesting one because they sampled subsidizing before with the $99 Xbox 360. They could find ways to offer the console at cheaper prices while locking potential buyers into 2 years of Live.
        4. Things like that are just dumb and too overbearing. Players just want to play games and have fun playing them, they don’t want to feel entrapped in somebody’s over obsessive concern with DRM and piracy.

        • Highway says:

          I dunno, how does game licensing work now. Especially if Microsoft is trying to sell so much stuff through their own online store, just bully the developers into charging the lower price. Remember, the reason we have to pay so much is because all their profits evaporate thanks to second and later sales, right? That’s what they’ve been telling us. So it’s put up or shut up time.

          Mainly I want them (the publishers) to be shown for the lying hypocrites they are, because I don’t think they’ve been losing, well, anything on the secondhand market. The people who buy used are the same people who don’t buy at full price ever. If it’s not used, they’ll just wait until it’s old and buy the game when it’s discounted.

          Re: Kinect – to me there’s a big difference between ‘interesting tech’ and ‘invasive spying device.’ “We can turn it on whenever we want, and you have to have it connected” turns into invasive spying device. Plus, I don’t really think it’s that interesting. If I wanted a Kinect, I could have gotten one for my 360. Of course, I also think that they ruined a great looking interface for the Modern Kinect-friendly one, so that’s just another bias against it.

          • Jrow says:

            I’ll just say it, I really don’t like talking or commenting on stuff with you. I try to engage in conversation here (even though I passed on your initial comment), but I really don’t see eye-to-eye with you on pretty much anything, and the bias you have toward this subject gives me no reason to continue discussing this.

            • Highway says:

              That’s fair, I know I’m pretty rough on big business in gaming (and in other fields as well).

  9. PrimeHector says:

    Does anyone here work in the gaming industry?

    • Jrow says:

      I kinda wish I did, but no. :( It’s kinda why I dialed down the coverage from past years; seemed more and more like a bad use of our time to recap coverage people can easily watch or see on other game sites.

  10. […] E3 coverage took a backseat but our gaming reviews kept their pace. Be it Otome, BL or even demo. […]

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