Tag Archives: E3 2012

The missing videogames from E3 2012

Well, E3 2012 has come and gone, and the general reception to it as a whole has been…pretty lackluster. That no one company “won” or really brought out the big guns or even seemed to understand what to focus on. It all felt like padding and skirting around what’s to come and that there’s still no reason anyone should purchase a Nintendo Wii U or feel excited about Internet Explorer becoming available on Xbox 360 for all your non-gaming browsing needs.

A few new games got announced or shown off more, and that’s all good. Truly, many of them look like a whole bag of fun. I’m really interested in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, Assassin’s Creed III, LEGO City Undercover, The Last of Us, Dishonored, and Watch Dogs. Now, of course, I probably won’t get all of these games when they come out, especially considering some are for the PS3 or next-gen consoles, but they have at least got me thinking about them.¬†Mostly the ones from Nintendo.

However, some games did not appear in any capacity, and that’s a little saddening. Maddening, too, considering a few are–to me, mind you–crazy big properties that could really have had an impact on an audience the size that E3 2012 draws.

Here’s what got no love this year…

Animal Crossing 3DS

Breaks my animal-loving heart, this one. It’s coming out this fall in Japan, which leads me to believe it’ll arrive in the United States by spring 2013, but man. This should have been a launch title. This should have be a post-launch window title. This should have been more than something kept in the shadows, let out occasionally to eat and breath. It’s a game designed around using your 3DS every single day. Think about that. It’s probably being held back to align with the Wii U–whatever, Nintendo.

Fantasy Life

I am really worried about Fantasy Life. It first surfaced in August 2009 with a really charming art style and the promise of living a typical life in a typical fantasy realm. Baker, merchant, priest…your call. Looking back at it now, I see Professor Layton’s London Life in a lot of those screens; unfortunately, that style was not to last, as the game got reskinned for the 3DS, looking different but still touting great gameplay. Nothing new has been reported on it for a long, long time, and so it might be dead and done. Boo.

Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 3/Rocket Slime 3DS

Boats. Boooooats! I’ve not yet completed my copy of Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime for the Nintendo DS, but the time I spent with it was a great. Light-hearted Zelda-like action full of puns and crazy tense tank battles. It’s a quirky game that truly deserves a sequel like this. Japan is getting it. Will the United States though? The silence is kinda telling…

The Legend of Zelda Wii U

Nintendo showed some demo-like stuff last year for a new Zelda game on the Wii U. You’d think that some 365 days later they’d have more to show or solidify with that project. Um…nope. New consoles from Nintendo live and thrive on new experiences from their constant standbys Mario and Link, and it just doesn’t seem like that’s happening this time around. Which is, obviously, quite worrying.

The Last Guardian

Guess the devs are still working on that pivotal cinematic scene where your birdy companion dies in a tragic way and somber music plays for two minutes while you use up every tissue within arm’s length.

So, yeah. Hopefully more info on these games will pop up in other places this year. It’s just a shame we didn’t get much on ’em from the people working on them at E3 2012.

What were you hoping to see this year that didn’t make an appearance?

Let’s give it up for extreme violence at E3 2012

First, a true fact: I am not at the physical E3, set at the Los Angeles Convention center, but I can still hear the clapping.

Clapping, in general, is a standard at a convention or event where someone talks and then pauses in anticipation. It’s also pretty much expected when shown something exciting, such as a new game trailer or even just a teensy weensy teaser to get the blood a-pumping and the heartrate up. It’s a reaction, and it is, more or less, a confirmation that what was shown was appreciated or desired or looked upon favorably. Golf claps and sarcastic, slow-building claps that are found only in cinematic talkies are different beasts. However, from what I witnessed via live-streams of E3 2012 press conferences, there are two instances of clapping that struck me as…woefully odd. Disappointing, too.

One happened during a live demo of The Last of Us, and the other during a live demo of God of War: Ascension, and both are sad reminders of why the media portrays gamers as violent-minded folk. When you clap for extreme violence, you are clapping with genuine excitement. You clap because you care.

In God of War: Ascension, during a boss fight, Kratos does his QTE thing and rips out a monster’s brain and then slices it in half, as if the ripping out the brain didn’t already do the needful. This got a rousing reaction from the crowd, with applause to back it up. In The Last of Us, Joel takes the head of a man attacking him and slams it repeatedly into a small dresser until the side of it–the dresser, that is–is covered in blood and the man is unmoving. The audience at the conference really liked this moment and decided to let the world know by starting giving it a round of applause.

Both of these moments immediately made me uncomfortable. I myself felt no need to clap; granted, I was watching from the other side of the United States, first in an office and then second in bed in my pajamas with a kitty cat by my feet. I spent most of the God of War: Ascension live demo reading the comments over at GiantBomb and laughing along, but I did watch the live demo for The Last of Us with genuine interest. I loved when Joel got shot and kind of stumbled back, but brushed it off due to the intense scenario he and that Ellen Page girl were in. I loved how crazy fast everything was happening, and I loved why Joel had to do that horrible thing to that man–to survive, to keep going. I don’t love the moment itself, but the push behind it. That kind of violence really shows the grittiness of the game and that it is in fact¬†The Road and all post-apocalyptic tropes and themes, and that to keep on truckin’ one has to do what one has to do. By no means should these actions be applauded–but they should be understood. The audience members clapping like little kids on Christmas morning clearly did not understand what was happening on that big screen in front of them.

I’ll end with this polar opposite scenario then. In LEGO City Undercover–a debut videogame I now desperately want, but only on the Nintendo 3DS as I’m still not convinced a Wii U is worth acquiring–police detective Chase McCain races down a criminal, tackles him in broad daylight on a populated city street, and the evildoer explodes into LEGO bits and studs. No one clapped.