Cary’s E3 Yarn

Well I’m going to do the totally unoriginal thing and write a blog about my impressions on the news and previews at this year’s E3. I didn’t go this year, but it amazes me how far technology has gone since I first went to E3 back in ’96 (or was it ‘97?). With video technology on the Internet now, you can watch the previews and conferences at the show, and it’s like you’re there! That kind of technology just wasn’t available when I first went! I remember when our press kits were paper in folders, then CD’s, and now you just download assets on Web sites! Wow! Anyway, here’s a little overview on news I read about E3 2010 that caught my attention.

New Tech

Looks like the new technology shown this year was the PS3 and 360’s motion controls, and the Nintendo 3DS. I can’t really get excited about either of them though. With the motion controlled devices, for me it’s really the lack of any interesting games announced at the show. Most everything looked like something we’ve already seen on the Wii. One of the things that I like about the 360 and PS3 is they’re NOT like the Wii, they’re different and that’s what makes them special. But now they’re trying to imitate the Wii? Don’t get me wrong, I like the Wii, but more often than not, I’d rather just use a regular controller.

Apparently Sony is making a Move game with characters from Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, and others, which only sounds interesting because I like some of those characters (it would be really neat if they would put Ape Escape and Loco Rocos in there). And Little Big Planet 2 might be fun. Other than that, the only other games that interests me are the ones starring that Burger King guy that they’re supposedly working on. Remember when they did Burger King 360 games before? They were horrible, but they were also hilarious! As far as 360’s motion controls go, I certainly like the name “Kinect” better than “Natal.” But again, not really any games on it I really want to try just yet!


The 3DS from Nintendo was the other big tech announcement. It’s similar to the DSi, but the top screen uses 3-D stereoscopic technology and no glasses needed. But the reason why I can’t get excited about it too much is because I’ve been blind in my left eye since birth, and I can’t see those kinds of effects in games and movies.

Luckily, you can turn the 3D effects off on the 3DS. And I’ll probably still get a 3DS because the games announced for it look pretty fun! Nintendo announced an Animal Crossing game for it, so I’m already sold. Other interesting 3DS games announced included Nintendogs & Cats, Mario Kart, Paper Mario, and Pilotwings Resort. And Namco has a few 3DS games planned such as Pac-Man & Galaga, and Ridge Racer, too! Really the only 3DS game Nintendo announced that I wasn’t as excited about like others were is Kid Icarus: Uprising. I never really liked the NES Kid Icarus game, and from the videos, I really can’t tell what KIND of game Uprising is supposed to be, so I need to learn a little more about it before I get interested in it.

What worries me is that with more and more movies being in 3-D, and video games starting to be that way, too, there may become a time when ALL video games are in 3-D. I know that might not happen for a while, but what do I do when it does? I won’t be able to review games to their fullest extent because of my disability, and I may have to hang up my game reviewing hat when that does happen. And since I’ve been working hard to make that dream become a reality since college, it kind of bums me out that there may come a day soon where I can’t do it anymore. I’m lucky I’m able to review games for GamingWithChildren now. I think what I’d better do and try and review as many games as I can, and go to as many trade shows as I can and enjoy what little time I have left playing games before everything goes all 3-D!

Best E3 Game of the Show!

Well, enough depressing stuff. Care to take a guess as to what my favorite game of E3 was? Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Wii! I’m a huge Kirby fan, and I even think Kirby games are better than Mario ones. Anyway, in this one, Kirby is made out of string and the enemies and worlds look like they are made out of fabric and stitches. Kirby can use a section of his yarn body to grab enemies and wrap them in yarn. He can also use his string like a grappling hook, and can even pull sections of the stage closer to him, crinkling up the fabric background in the process! Two player co-op is there, too! Kirby can’t suck in enemies in this game, but he can turn into stuff like a tank, a car, and a parachute. It may not be a typical Kirby game, but sometimes Kirby is at his best when he’s doing something new and original.

Other Nintendo Gems

Of course, there were lots of other Nintendo games announced at the show I took an interest to. I’m not really biased toward Nintendo, but they do tend to make more of the cheerful, whimsical games I enjoy.

First off is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I really like the compromise they made in the graphics. It has the adult Link that many fans love, and the cel-shaded graphics from Wind Waker that I liked! I also hear it’ll have orchestrated music like what Mario Galaxy had, so I’m all over that. Only problem is that Skyward Sword won’t come out until 2011. Although that really doesn’t surprise me, and delayed games don’t bother me anymore—more time to play the games I’ve already got! But what will Nintendo have for their big holiday release? Maybe it’ll be Kirby’s Epic Yarn? Yeah!

Austin based Retro Studios is working on a 2-D platformer called Donkey Kong Country Returns. I hope it’s more like Jungle Beat, because that was a brilliant game. But the DKC games weren’t shabby either. I have fond memories of playing DKC with my little brothers. Brother Jeff was so young when the first DKC came out that he could barely talk. One of his first words ended up being “Donkey Kong” so he could communicate to me that he wanted to play that game!

Other Nintendo gems were Mario Sports Mix, which looks to be more Mario fun with activities like Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey, and I can’t wait to try Dodgeball! And Pokepark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventures looks to be a cute game for young Pokemon fans. Hey, I LIKED Pokemon Channel! It was cute!

Pac-Man’s 30th Anniversary

The other thing I kept my eye on at this year’s E3 was to see if Namco was going to do ANYTHING for Pac-Man’s 30th Anniversary. Well, for better or worse, looks like they are. The good news is they announced Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX, a follow-up to the Xbox LIVE favorite. This time it’ll be on PSN, too. Looks like it’ll have more fun game modes and mazes than before. Only bad thing is I’m afraid when I play it, I’ll end up saying it’s what the first game should’ve been in the first place. As good as the first one was, anyway.

The other Pac-Game announced I’m not so pleased about. It’s Pac-Man Party for Wii, a motion-based mini-game board party excursion. Yeah, like the Wii needs another one of those. And Pac-Man’s already BEEN in a Mario Party game. Anyone remember Pac-Man Fever on the GameCube? No? Well that’s because it wasn’t very good.

I don’t really like how they changed Pac-Man’s look. He now has pupils and whites in his eyes. I know that Pac-Man has gone through lots of redesigns in the past, but I thought the last design they’ve used since Pac-Man World was the best. I do like the redesigned Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde ghosts however. They look more distinct, and I actually like the ghost monsters just as much, if not more than, Pac-Man himself. But what irritates me is the new playable characters they added. A black cat, a yeti, and a one-eyed robot? What the hell? At least Pac-Man Fever had the decency to put other Namco characters in theirs, like Asteroth and the Ridge Racer lady. Putting these new guys in there doesn’t make any sense!

I hate to sound pretentious and snooty, but I’m such a big Pac-Man fan that I think I could probably make a better Pac-Man 30th Anniversary celebration game myself. I probably wouldn’t make another mini-game collection, but if I HAD to, I would take out all those new characters and put in Namco classic favorites in their place, like Mr. Driller, Mappy, The Prince, or Klonoa. And I would make sure the mini-games were Namco related, too. Space games would be Galaga themed, medieval ones maybe Druaga, etc. I wish Namco workers actually read my blogs!

Third Party Treats

And here are tidbits on the rest of the E3 games that caught my eye:

Capcom had a lot of fun games. I’m looking forward to Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I hope characters like Phoenix Wright, Okami, and Zack & Wiki make it in the roster, as well as my old favorites Mega Man, Cammy, and Tron Bonne. Speaking of Okami, the DS sequel Okamiden looks amazing. Okami was my Best Game of the Year for 2006, and the sequel looks great even though it’s on the DS. And it stars a puppy version of the Okami dog. Who wouldn’t love that? And finally, Ghost Trick on the DS is made by the same folks who created Phoenix Wright, and it stars ghosts. And I like ghosts!

Square-Enix had a lot of stuff shown, but only the classic stuff interested me, like Final Fantasy: Four Warriors of Light and Dragon Quest 9 on DS. Too bad I don’t hardly have time for RPGs anymore. One Square-Enix game I will make time for is from their Taito branch: Space Invaders: Infinity Gene. Looks like another great follow up to their Space Invaders Extreme series.

Also looking forward to Portal 2. I heard it’s going to be for PS3, but I also hope it’ll end up on Xbox LIVE as well. Not that it matters now that I have both consoles. But I do have more controllers on the 360, which would make the new co-op levels easier. The evil computer GlaDOS is one of my favorite video game villains ever and hearing her again in the E3 trailer made me all tingly. “I think we can put our differences aside, in the name of science. You monster.” EEEE!

Konami had a lot of stuff shown, but the only game that interested me was Otomedius Excellent. It’s kind of a combination of the Gradius and Parodius shooters. Only ‘problem’ is it has a lot of sexy anime women in it, so it won’t be very family-friendly. But I love those shooters so I think I’m going to play it anyway!

I have absolutely no interest in the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World movie, as it looks a little TOO silly and is filled with teenagers. And I hated being a teenager and don’t want to have to sit through a movie that relives that crap. But while a plot about a guy who has to defeat seven ex-boyfriends to win the heart of a pink-haired girl sounds stupid for a movie, I’d definitely play a video game about that. Especially when said video game is download only and is a 2-D side scrolling beat ‘em up in the style of TMNT. And has 8-bit and 16-bit graphics and chiptune music by Anamanaguchi (hope I spelled that right).

E3 goers said Epic Mickey is looking to be more like a typical 3-D platformer, but that’s OK to me since you don’t see as many good 3-D platformers like we used to. Plus, I think it’s probably what Kingdom Hearts should’ve been anyway. Who cares about all those dumb anime characters anyway? All I really wanted to do was tromp through Disney themed worlds and characters, and Epic Mickey looks to do that. I know a lot of people are surprised by the darker tones of Epic Monkey, but have you ever read any of the old Mickey Mouse comic books? They’re actually pretty dark, too, and it’s cool they’re bringing back a little known Mickey arch-nemesis: The Phantom Blot!

I’ll probably also check out Super Scribblenauts. Looks like they fixed the controls and added adjectives to the words you can make! Natsume’s Lufia DS remake doesn’t look a thing like the old games, but I think I’ll still give it a try anyway because I like action-RPGs and the character designs look cool. And I loved Lufia 2 on the SNES. In fact, I’d rather just see Lufia 2 on the Wii Virtual Console. And finally, I’m glad XSEED is bringing a trio of Ys titles to the PSP (Ys 1 and 2, Ys 3, and Ys Seven). I really got into the DS Ys game, and XSEED is pretty awesome.

And that’s all I have to say about E3! In the comments section, feel free to tell me I’m off my rocker for my game picks of the show, and let me know what got you excited about this year’s E3!

No Responses to “Cary’s E3 Yarn”

  1. As far as motion control stuff goes, I wasn’t very interested in that either. The lineup of launch titles on Kinect is pretty pathetic, to be honest. I must say that I think Kinect is a terrible name, though. Someone on a comments board somewhere mistyped it as Kinetic, and that would have been much cooler.

    I’m sorry to hear about your disability, but I think the time when everything turns 3D is still a long ways off. I certainly hope so, anyway, as I’ve never really been a fan of it myself. But the 3DS does look very cool, not even because of its tech but because of its lineup of games, which is huge, and has some really cool stuff in it.

    As far as other games, MvC2 really caught my interest when I heard Dante and Deadpool were in. Portal 2 is coming to 360 as a full retail game, but the PS3 is supposedly getting a better version because the console is getting Steam in some form, so the game will have Steam support. (If only the 360 got Steam, maybe we’d finally get the TF2 updates!) I’d never heard of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World before now, but it does look very fun.

    Other than that…I don’t know. E3 coincided with finals week for me this year, so I didn’t follow it as closely as I might have liked to, but I saw very little that really jumped out at me. There was some new info on Gears 3, Halo Reach, and stuff like that, but nothing that really gave me an “Oh snap!” moment. And I was hoping to see some gameplay or something of a shooter called Brink, but I don’t think that ever showed up anywhere.

  2. 360 does have the TF2 updates! I’m so happy to get the TF2 updates on the PS3. I hold a grudge with EA and Valve for that explicit reason.

  3. No, the major TF2 updates for classes, maps, new gametypes, etc. are still missing on 360 as far as I know. The second they put those in I’ll start playing once more.

  4. Okay… PS3 Move Ape Escape think you very cool.

  5. Ooh; the Big N actually announced Ani Kuro for the 3DS?! I thought they were just some “leaked tech demo” screens–SCORE!

    Don’t get too down by convincing yourself everything will be all 3D in the future–if they do, I won’t play it ’cause those things hurt your eyes, and it’s just a gimmick. It’ll be a bit more utilized than the DS mic, but not too much in the end, I think.

    Making a game 3D doesn’t make it better, and it’s just one more thing that the devs have to make a team to produce. Ups the budget with no concrete benefit. Maybe the first wave or two will be all 3D, but I predict it will abate after the first year.

    I hadn’t heard about that “Ghosty from PR team”! I really don’t have time to follow much gaming news anymore, so most of the things I “hear” from your writing are all new to me. 🙂 It’s easier and more enjoyable than filtering though all the “infotainment” out there that passes as “games journalism”. In the old days I loved GameFan mag–yup; random closing info!

  6. I totally agree with your Pac-Man comments.
    I really wanted to comment on the move to 3D. Like you, my wife can’t see 3D due to only having vision in one eye, There is also a good percentage of the population that gets motion sickness from 3D or if you’re like me it can trigger a migraine. I really hope 3D is a fad like Quadraphonic sound was back in the 70’s.

  7. I love you!!!!!!!

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