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Nintendo’s E3 Press Conference: All About The Games Baby!

Today was a big day for Nintendo. It was the first day that we got to see how games will look and work on the Nintendo Wii U. We got to see the different ways that the WiiU Game Pad will enhance our game play in a myriad of unique ways. The first new game to be shown today was Pikmin 3, A RTS/Action management game in which the player uses up to 100 plant like creatures called Pikmin to complete different task to advance the game. The game uses the Game Pad monitor to show a map of the surrounding area and allows you control over where the Pikmin can go. The game can also be played with just the Game Pad, giving you a top down view of the world, allowing for more deeper strategy game play. The original Wii Remote can also be used. It allows you to aim the Pikmin and throw them at basically anywhere you can aim at. Shaking the nunchuk will make the Pikmin charge up before attacking.

The next game to be announced was Batman Arkham City Armored Edition. It’s the same game that was released in 2011 with all the DLC, but with the additions that Game Pad add to enhance the experience. The Game Pad allows for all the menu’s to be accessed on the touch screen, such as the map always up while playing, quick access to change your gadgets on the fly, upgrade your skills and gadgets, scan the surrounding area for clues, and show a meter called Battle Armor Tech (BAT…I see what you did there). BAT allows Batman to do more damage during combat. What all this does is allow the player to stay in the action, while all the menu interactions are taken care of on the Game Pad.
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Sony’s E3 Press Conference: The Best Is Yet To Come

According to Jack Tretton, I have been gaming for 17 years! Holy hell I’m old. Where has all that time gone? Anyway, I’ll move on before I get sidetracked and reminisce. As always, the PlayStation Press Conference opens up with Jack Tretton acknowledging the gamers and thanking them for their support. There are times where it seems he is reading from a script but there are times as well where he talks as he’s one of us and I always appreciate that from him.


The Press Conference opens up strong, with David Cage from Quantic Dreams attending the stage to discuss his teams new game, Beyond: Two Souls. Beyond will follow 15 years of Jodie’s life, allowing you to experience the life of a person who has the ability to see spirits. Jodie is played by the actress Ellen Page. Your actions and decisions will determine her fate as you engage in this emotional action thriller. Quantic Dream clearly believes there is an audience out there for adult gaming. With the release of Heavy Rain, and a first look of Beyond, I think they have proven their point.

Shortly after, Tretton talked about the PlayStation video “Michael”. As many of us guessed, the video was a teaser of what was to come, PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royal. SuperBot announced the title will be releasing for the PlayStation Vita as well, which will be cross compatible. What’s pretty neat about this, as they demonstrated, the Vita can be used as a controller to participate in this game. It wasn’t until I realized that I have 2 PS3 controllers that I now have a third! I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed. We didn’t see really anything new. We saw the same level and characters as it was first announced, with the addition of Nathan Drake, and Big Daddy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to this title, but I felt they could have released a little more information. More characters, levels, or some footage on some characters attacks. Along with the announcement of cross play for PlayStation All-Stars: Batlle Royale, LittleBigPlanet 2 has been confirmed to receive a DLC that includes the cross play feature as well as additional costumes and levels.

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Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference: A Pleasant Suprise, Even Without Many Surprises.

Coming into E3 this year expectations were low on what Microsoft had to show, if anything. They had few exclusive titles, and everyone expected them to concentrate on a couple of games, but primarily the Xbox 360 as a media device. Well surprise, surprise because they didn’t stray far from the expectations. Although no real large reveals came to fruition, Microsoft still managed to hold an impressive conference by showcasing many big titles, great new media functionality, and of course, some decent Kinect stuff as well.

The show started off with a bang. Halo 4 is what every core gamer came for, and boy did it deliver. It offered stunning visuals, new enemy types, and what seems to be another great iteration to the Halo series. This was followed up by a nice lengthy demo of the much anticipated new title in the Splinter Cell franchise, Splinter Cell: Blacklist. The latest stealth action game featuring the awesome Sam Fisher looks to take the game in an over-the-top killing spree. Sam seems as lethal as ever as he moved through an enemy base with ease using the games mark and shoot gameplay from the last Splinter Cell. Also accompanying the game is Kinect voice commands, allowing the player to distract guards and call in air strikes with their voice. The worst part of this demo (and a devastating loss for this long time Splinter Cell fan) is the loss of Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher, sad to see him go.
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The Top 100 Nintendo Games

You’ll have to excuse us if things get a little quiet around here; I still have a lot I need to do to prepare for this year’s E3 (not to mention a few articles I still need to write before the event), so I won’t have much free time to contribute to Player-2. I’m sure my colleagues will do a fantastic job of picking up my slack while I’m gone (especially considering how well they’ve kept the blog running these past few weeks), but given how few contributors P-2 has, it’s inevitable that one person’s absence will have an impact on its output.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you all some of the most recent happenings at Nintendojo. As you may not know, last week the website celebrated its 100th issue since its relaunch two years ago, and to commemorate the event we put together a list of the top 100 Nintendo games of all time. Of course, it would be impossible to objectively rank games that span over seven console generations, so rather than try to organize them by overall quality, we divided the list up into five smaller sub-lists that each covered a specific time period. I was in charge of organizing the top 20 games of 1996-2000 (with a little help from Nintendojo’s co-editor-in-chief, Andrew Hsieh), but I also made a small contribution to the top 20 games of 2006-2011. I have to say, looking back on all of the great games to have graced Nintendo platforms, I’m glad I was fortunate enough to experience many of them at the height of their importance. I hope you enjoy our little trip down memory lane as well, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks!

Back in Black (and White)

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Pokémon, so you can imagine how excited I was when Game Freak announced a pair of direct sequels to Pokémon Black and White instead of the typical “third” version we were all expecting. Not only did this buck the release pattern the series had been following since its debut, but it hinted at bigger changes still in store for the aging franchise.

With so many potential directions the games could take (and so little information on them), I went ahead and compiled a round table of predictions for Black 2 and White 2. Of course, all of that hard work was invalidated the moment CoroCoro hit newsstands and revealed the first concrete details about the pair, but I hope you’ll give our predictions a look (preferably before reading the CoroCoro information) nonetheless! If anything, it’ll be amusing to see just how wrong we (well, mostly me) all were.

Final Fantasy VII Turns 15 Today

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Final Fantasy VII is 15-years-old today. It’s crazy to think it’s been that long since the game was released back in 1997, becoming one of Square Enix’s (then Squaresoft’s) most acclaimed works almost instantly. And while there have been rumors that the company could be saving a remake of the title for its 20th anniversary (which have been circulating since the hyped tech demo back at E3 2005), I’m sure I’m well in the minority here when I say this is something that should never happen. Why, you ask? Well, let me give you my top three reasons why I think this remake should never come to be.

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RPG Binge

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Hello, my name is Kevin, and I have a problem.

You see, no matter how many games I own, I continue to buy new ones. Constantly. This wouldn’t be so much an issue if I actually got around to playing all of them, but as it stands I think it’s safe to say the number of unfinished titles I have littering my room handily outnumbers the ones I’ve completed (or, for that matter, even started).

That’s why I’m resolving to use this blog as an impetus to make some headway through my massive backlog. I recently ordered Jade Empire and Dark Souls from that evil wonderful vendor, Amazon, and until they arrive I hope to finally complete some of the titles I never got around to finishing. First on the agenda will be Ico (which I began this past autumn when I purchased my PlayStation 3), and following that I’ll be making my way through The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Dragon Age: Origins, Jade Empire, Dragon Quest VI, and Dark Souls, in roughly that order. Of course, I’ll be posting some brief impressions of each title as I play it, which will hopefully impel me to see this little marathon run through to the end.

This RPG binge will likely last me all the way up to the release of Xenoblade Chronicles, which I’ll be covering more in-depth when it finally hits North American shores this April. And since my colleagues will also be playing the game, you can expect to read some of their impressions, too, giving you a nice range of perspectives on what is arguably the biggest (certainly in terms of scope) Wii title of the year. Of course, my commitments to Nintendojo (and any website I may be asked to contribute to) will delay when I can begin this marathon, but I’m hoping to start it within the first week of February.

Until then! *stocks up on potions*