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E3 Closing Impressions

June 9, 2012

E3 this year has been quite jam-packed. So jam-packed with juicy, juicy news that we at Huttstuff just can’t decide what to write about.

I will try to create a little sum-up of upcoming games and line-ups that stand out for me.

Starting with the Wii U, Nintendo has been very quiet about it since last E3, but this E3 they have come out guns blazing, trying to hook the hardcore gamers back onto their system with several third party multiplatform announcements such as Batman Arkham City and Mass Effect 3. But will the crowds of hardcore gamers jump back to Nintendo for games they have likely already played on other systems a few months before? Perhaps.

Wii U’s third party onslaught has been surprising. The Wii has not previously been the ground for multiplatform games, but rather a playground for shuffleware. Now, UbiSoft’s Assassin’s Creed 3 will be making a release on the Wii U. Perhaps a fresh big third party like this will pull interested hardcore gamers back in, but only time will tell if Nintendo’s late arrival to the franchise will pay off.

With Microsoft and Sony keeping their next console behind closed doors, will the Wii U, which now seems to match the power of the Xbox 360 and PS3, be able to face off its next gen competitors who have already established strong fan bases already before they come into the fold? Sony has said that they don’t want to be the first next gen console on the shelves and will want to surpass the PS3 specifications. Can Nintendo compete on such a market when higher specifications are expected every gen?

Nintendo also announced the usual run-of-the-mill first party releases for the Wii U including Luigi’s Mansion, F-Zero and the long awaited Pikmin 3. For die-hard Nintendo fans this will certainly be a great year for Nintendo, regardless of speculations of future competing.

Owners of the PS Vita also had something to cheer about after E3 2012. The exclusive title from UbiSoft, Assassins Creed 3: Liberation, is built from the ground up to make the most of the PS Vita hardware. Liberation will feature the first ever playable female assassin. It is a completely open-world adventure like its console counterparts, and this time you will be running around 1760ies New Orleans. Liberation will also feature some kind of touch controls as well as link to PS3 players’ Assassin’s Creed 3 to unlock unique items for single player such as Connor’s tomahawk and unique multiplayer skins. Along with all these lovely news, Liberation will be bundled with a new crystal white version of the Vita. Want sooooo BAD! So all in all it sounds very interesting.

 

Something else that will get PS Vita players jumping of joy is that all PS One titles on the PSN store will be fully playable on PS Vita as well.

I must own one!

But moving on: At E3, gameplay demos were shown for Lego Lord of the Rings. Traveller’s Tale are keen to recreate the massive trilogy, giving all the little Lego counterparts of the movie icons a sense of progressive character development like the movies did so well. It looks slick as every Lego game, full of fun, addictive collection and easy manageable controls. The skill wheel, which first premiered in the Lego Harry Potter games, is back, giving each character a unique library of skills e.g. Legolas can use his bow to shoot at targets, Sam can use kindling to set fire to wooden barricades that threaten to halt the fellowships progression. I didn’t manage to sit through the entire thing because I had a mind-numbing headache from a caffeine down, but I could probably speculate Hobbits can travel through small gaps, Gandalf can use the basic levitation skill that has run through all the Lego games since Lego Star Wars, and I’m betting Frodo can turn invisible to navigate past hazards using the ring. I’m very excited about this, as I’m also excited about Lego Batman 2: DC Heroes which looks fantastic. Search these both if you enjoyed any of the other Lego games.

Some other interesting tidbits for you: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has a very special guest designer. None other than Snoop Dogg. That’s right, you read that right. Snoop Dogg has designed his own stage for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and done a track of his own to play over the fight. The stage has the fighters encircled by golden statues, and Snoop himself sitting on a throne in the background, surrounded by very lovely-looking ladies. He is a true playa … get the pun? No?

Ok, moving on: Snoop’s stage on Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will, however, only be available if you pre-order Tekken Tag Tournament 2. If you love Tekken and love your A-star rap artists, this could be the hook that pulls you in.

You may be wondering why I haven’t covered anything from Microsoft’s conference or even mentioned Halo 4. I will say it right now: I don’t own an Xbox 360, and before you label me a fan boy, you must admit, Microsoft hasn’t had the strongest E3. They showed off Halo 4 and Fable: The Journey for Kinect. I have no reason to be jealous, because Microsoft just didn’t spark up any interest in this E3.

Finally, I have to talk about ModNation Racers 2, wait wait … no, sorry, I mean Little Big Planet: Karting. Yep, the guys who gave us ModNation Racers have been hard at work stuffing Sackboy into the driver’s seat. The gameplay looks essentially like karting fare with the colour, pop and simple gameplay that makes Little Big Planet 2. Little Big Planet: Karting is described as a fun, addictive, adventure, karting game. Yes, adventure. Much like the previous two Little Big Planets, there will be a hub world where Sackboy travels from. The Creator Curators are back designing worlds for you to zoom about in, in your own fully customizable kart. The levels will range from traditional races to battle modes (including King of the Hill and Capture the Flag). The demo that was shown at E3 showed a battle between racers on two massive zeppelins in the sky, and we are assured that the full Little Big Planet: Karting level editor will be included with the tools that the designers themselves us, so it looks like it’ll carry on the great creative traditional its predecessors set out.

My, my, my, is there a lot to mention about this year’s E3. The Last of Us finally shows us its dramatic gameplay, Tomb Raider can come and settled my nerves, Assassin’s Creed 3 has stunned us, Star Wars 1313 and BEYOND: Two Souls has intrigued us. Lets just say there is still plenty to talk about, and we will no doubt be talking about it on Huttstuff for weeks to come.

E3 this year has made me excited for a lot of upcoming games and really sold hardware to me. I guess that’s the point, but it’s the one time where we gamers are treated to shocking announcements and stunning first looks at games we are dying to play. E3 is always a treat.

Image Link: Digital Trends: Uploads

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