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(Hi there. Long time no see. A very long time actually, almost one month and a half!
Blame games, tumblr and my vacations.)

I know how much of old news this is.

So. E3 came, went, and everyone was really excited by that afterwards, which’s exactly how things happen, since it always leaves a big impact on everyone. From what I could tell, since I only watched the three big conferences (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo) and EA’s one, it was all split into one big joke and some awesome innovations.

Then again, isn’t it always like that?

Admittedly, it wasn’t exactly like I expected. And some things were just as expected, for the better or the funnier.

Nope, not THAT funny!

First big conference to brighten my day was Microsoft’s. And not even one minute in, while they were starting with the first level of Modern Warfare 3 (which was already spoiled to death, but I care not), a controller error happens for a few seconds, and I swear 80% of the viewers (online, not the audience, they’re somewhat obliged to not laugh at errors) at least giggled a bit. Now, that could be considered just a typical error, but we’re talking about Microsoft here. Anything bad that happens is ludicrously increased due to Kinect’s overall failure. Not to say it’s a complete gimmick, but it was made to sell more XBox 360 units due to its multitude of uses, from lazily browsing through your movie playlist to awkwardly talking to someone or making sure the whole buyer-spectrum is increased, since now older people can enjoy exercising games and girls who barely play games can just buy a dance one and do some steps.
Not a bad move, just awfully planned and rushed.

After that and a literal flood of bad games, even more bad Kinect action (what was that whole Star Wars: Kinect even about, good God Lucas stop the cow milking), the only thing that made my jaw drop a bit was the new Ghost Recon game, and its weapon customizing system. My God, what is that? Truly nice just to look at.

Come on, this IS awesome.

Though, truth be told, the whole thing was really just a big scripted presentation after all, just like all of Microsoft’s.

Now, for Sony’s little show…

"Calm down everyone, this apology will just take lots of minutes."

I was hoping for Kevin Butler making fun of the whole PSN Hack in any way but, instead, what we got was Sony’s CEO Jack Tretton apologizing every time he got the chance to. Which, to be honest, just made for a poor presentation. Not that I don’t understand his heartfelt apologies (which wouldn’t be so “heartfelt” if he didn’t made millions out of PSN itself), but the way the entire first half of the presentation was focusing on that was kinda sad. Pitiful even, if I might say so myself, but I suppose that’d be exaggerating. After all, he did what he was supposed to, even though Sony’s apology-gifts could be better.

Now, the second half… Here’s where the magic kicks in. See, back in 2010, Sony thought it would be cool to introduce 3D technology to games, making sure people were able to play them like so by just wearing a pair of glasses, while obviously with their PS3 connected to a Sony television which performed all the magic. And they thought it’d be cool to innovate on that too. Which brings me to the Playstation TV, a television that allows you to play split-screen games with other people while viewing your own screen fully (yes, glasses, obviously).

Can it do my homework? Nevermind that, still awesome.

Not only that, but they also announced their new portable console, the PSVita. Ok, not the brightest of names, but hey, still quite something! Specially when you get to actually play your game on a TV without losing your progress and/or the graphical quality! Yes, it really looked like a good portable console, and I wanted it right away.

That is, until the third (and usually biggest) conference.

OK, the whole "Wii" name is kind of an appeal.

Let’s face it, Nintendo always manages to pull some incredible technological show and, since they’re the last ones to present, it’s like the other companies just go to a corner to silently cry (yes I am exaggerating for comical purposes don’t bash on it). But this year was off the chart with Nintendo’s new console, WiiU. Firstly, that’s the most ridiculous name ever. And secondly, this funnily-named console is pretty much Nintendo’s entrance to the actual game market.

Yes, I said entrance.

You see, pretty much all of Nintendo’s customers are loyal ones, who tend to go just for the same old franchises, buy new consoles just because it’s a family-brand one and all that which we already know. Now, though, Nintendo’s bringing in the heavy firepower to counterattack this gen’s consoles, not just with the system’s specifications, but with how it handles it. Many new titles seem to be coming to it, and a broader range of genres as well, including the ones everyone thought were feared by Nintendo, like “gorey” First Person Shooters.

WiiU fact sheet, dated from the end of the conference.

About the controller, which possess augmented-reality, you may think it’s just something to take our eyes away from the fact that this new console “won’t stand much of a chance against the other ones, specially new ones!“.
I beg to differ:

Then again, I’m not gonna place high bets on it either. Let’s just wait and see, shall we?

Signing out again, hopefully without more breaks,
Arthur Müller.

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Dead Island

What’s this? Another zombie game!? Oh God not again–oh look, a family.

How lovely this family looks!

Dead Island is pretty much your average zombie-killing game, but with a few twists! I mean, who would’ve imagined that a zombie outbreak would hit an island, and a paradisaic one out of all places? The plot still isn’t fully revealed, just that you wake up after a night’s party, with the outbreak already wrecking havoc upon the island. From what you can see, the mechanics are kinda… Mended with the ones from other games. Almost like a rag doll, but cute and functional (at least we hope so).

The game does have on thing that’s essential for most of this genre, but quite often and, sadly, forgotten: Stamina. After some period running and/or attacking, your Stamina Bar decreases, and this depends –obviously– on the weapon you’re wielding. I hope it’s not just on that, seeing how there’s rain in the game which would, realistically speaking, slow you down a bit and even slip (think Dead Rising 2). Speaking of which, wasn’t there a workbench mechanic on it, so you could put weapons together? In Dead Island, this seems a bit more explored, seeing how you can also fix your weapons.

What have they done...!?

Also, while on the weapons subject, some zombies seem to have some. Or, at least, to use their bones as some kind of weapon (like “The Butcher”, who flails his radius/ulna around to hit you). Therefore, you need to focus your attacks if you want to survive longer and, obviously, to choose your opponents, since your stamina bar depletes kinda fast. So you get to also break arms and legs in Dead Island, aiming on said limbs to weaken your undead enemies, or even disarm them.

Dead Space, anyone?

Not that it’s all that bad, I mean, it’s a mechanic that makes perfect sense. It’s just slightly over-used (in “”gaming terms””). Then again, I never said I didn’t welcomed it! This fine piece of unreleased game also has, mind you, a few things from an RPG game. You know what else it borrowed from some RPG engines? Fast-travel.

Oblivion (well, yeah, not the only example, but the more practical one) says hi.

But he just wants a hug!!

One thing I didn’t quite understood was, if there’s quests and all that, but the island is so big it makes the use of fast-travel valid, why would they like to focus on it being “a very pretty place where you can doze off for a bit, given its beauty”? You’ll probably use fast-travel a lot, I hope there’s some way to circumvent this.

And please God let it not be awful collectibles like the diamond suitcases in FarCry 2.

There’s quests, side-quests, survivors to save here and then randomly (I don’t know why but I keep smelling Dead Rising, must be the weather). Even though some have weapons and others are quite capable of defending themselves (so it seems), only the four playable characters (in principle, remember, it’s being developed) are “Heroes“, which means they fly around and blow shit up with their laser vision fuckyes—

No, not really. That’d be cool, though. But that just means they aren’t affected by the virus, which is indeed very handy.

How brave of her!

On the small –photo-subject of different enemies, I mentioned “The Butcher” earlier. Well, there seems to be more, like “The Suicider”, “The Ram” and “The Drowner“. But this is taken from wikipedia, so I’m not placing any bets on the enemies names. Also, there are slightly stronger zombies, it seems. I just wish they had more enemy versatility. I mean, why can’t they adapt? At least I also hope they adapt.

And see what I meant with “rag doll” earlier? Not to say that’s an entirely bad thing, but it’s not good either. Since this will be a multi-platform game, I kinda wished they’d start doing the PC version first, instead of porting things over (it never ends well). But that, sadly, doesn’t seem to be the case, here. I know, there should be a video below, but they disabled that feature for some mysterious (right) reason. Instead, have this:

Really wish there were something more to make me actually feel the slight urge to play this game. Since it is most likely being ported, graphics won’t be all that “marvel” they could be on computers.

Ah well, who cares about them? I play roguelikes for God’s sake.

(I own none of the images/videos/links above)

Amazed how I spent hours (I blame Worms 4) to write this small review,

Arthur Müller.

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(Sorry if I sound like an excited salesman, it’s just sheer excitment!)

I should get one of those for me, it looks nice!

I was supposed to do this a while ago and, well, since I don’t like to procrastinate –actually, I do, but end of the world and all that-, it’s best if I take this out of my chest:

2011 was oh my God Apocalypse is the year of gaming for computers, hands down. There. Sure, you could say “Oh but Steamworks is on PS3 now!”, or “Oh My God! Kinect for the X360!“, but that still wouldn’t change my mind. And yes, I am well aware that this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. (E3 2011) still needs to happen, and my opinion still is resolute. Yes, Nintendo will most likely blow everyone’s mind like they did with the Wii and 3DS, and we’ll probably see yet another scripted presentation by Microsoft, and some more motion-failures by Sony.

God forbid we have another speech about there being no “competitive industry” and that “we are all gamers at heart”.
Also, he masqueraded quite well PSMove’s flaws:

But I have to admit, I do think we’re all gamers at heart, no matter the platform. It’s just that I’m more used to PC gaming.

Speaking of which, not only I was sure some titles wouldn’t fail to get on PC as soon as they were released, like Super Street Fighter IV and Fable III, but there are amazing games just this semester, including but not limited to!:

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Now, let’s assume you never, never played The Witcher. First of, I’d recommend it to you, strongly. Unless, of course, you dislike Computer RPGs mixed with some action and a mature (read: with sex and nude content) story filled with options. Fine, mainly three paths (Good, Neutral and Evil), but it made the game all that much better. That and the gameplay as a whole. When you play it, you’ll see what I’m talking about. And when you play The Witcher 2, you will not tell me what happens I haven’t played it yet God damn it!

But I can vouch for its integrity as it being an amazing game, truthful to Computer RPGs. Maybe not as open-minded or nonlinear in terms of choice as Baldur’s Gate II or Planescape: Torment, but still.

And here, a few, nice battle scenes from The Witcher 2:

Those graphics. Can’t wait to buy (“Gasp, you actually buy games!”) this gem!

Total War: Shogun 2

This. You can always expect good things from the Total War series, and Shogun was a game to remember! Back in the days, it was one hell of a strategy piece, making it an even more remarkable experience for any Total War fan. If you never played Shogun, rather, never played a Total War game, but like strategy ones, then that’s a shameful display of your overall knowledge and experience in the gaming world. Take a look at this siege battle from Shogun 2:

Sweet, and this one is definitely worth it!

Portal 2

Why am I –and will– speak of multi-platform games, such as this “piece of precious stone” right here called Portal 2? Because, contrary to popular belief, I think they shine the most on PC. Specially if the ones I talk about are developed first (or separately) for PC. Ported games, though, are another story. Try playing a rally racing game on your keyboard, it’s not as fun as it’s frustrating.

You obviously played Portal… Right? … No? Whoa. OK, fine, here if you own an nVidia GPU or here if you own an ATi GPU so you can get Portal’s First Slice (11 levels) and some other games. Now, on to Portal 2. Better gameplay, graphics, soundtrack, a compelling, amazing story and even better puzzles! Granted, the ones from the first game were pretty much straightforward, but now you have up to, if I recall correctly, six hours of solid Single Player! “Oh but that’s too little boo hoo.” well cheer up, because it has multi-player modes, challenge maps and an amazing co-op!

Anyway, this teaser makes me feel the chills every time, and with good reason:

That makes it, what, the third worth PC purchase so far? I haven’t even started on the games to be announced/released! Oh buoy.

Duke Nukem Forever

You, young reader who never played a Duke Nukem game, know nothing about how excited I was when I first saw the teaser. And when I looped it for the first ten times. So on, so on. Come on, it’s been on the making for over ten years! Thing is, Duke is your over-the-top typical american hero. Blonde, strong, proficient with any kind of weapon or fighting style and, more importantly, he doesn’t give one simple fuck about morals. At all. Which is exaggerated in Duke Nukem Forever, very much so.

Honestly, it can even seen stupid to most players, and it is! It’s stupid to the point where you’d feel shame in knowing this game will be played by many in a blissful way! And that’s the best part!! See, Duke was made to make fun of so many things that I can’t even begin to count. Which is one of the reasons why this game will be (yes, future, few weeks actually) truly amazing. In the very least.

Here, look at this. LOOK AT THIS:

Sure, the release date was pushed twice (it launches June 9th now, for sure), but I’m patient, I can wait.

Guess what: Dungeon Siege III

Yet another multi-platform game! You’re probably still wondering why I said “PC gaming” back then. You see, Dungeon Siege is almost an epic in computer gaming, destined to fill our lives with an excellent story, already present since Dungeon Siege I, and more action since Dungeon Siege II. If there’s one thing about this game series, it’s atmosphere. Seriously, you can’t play this and not get immersed in what’s happening, hell, even fear plays a factor in this game. And this series is specially fun due to its multi-player and co-op modes, which double the fun!

This video may not show much, but I am somewhat excited for this game, so check it out:

Until it’s release, though, I’ll just have to sit and wait.

Yes, it's Red Faction: Armageddon!

Wait. A new Red Faction game? You bet it is! Gameplay’s been improved, meaning this baby will present better destructive scenarios, more weapons, tools, enemies and an amazing concept, the Magnet Gun. It’s pretty much obvious what it does in the video below, but to simplify things: You can attract two objects with simple “shots” (clicks, rather), which means you can make the side of a building fly right into an alien, or make an alien soar through the terrain and collide against something, even another enemy! Red Faction‘s soundtrack never really attracted me, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t set the mood for an amazing experience! To top it off, this’ll launch together with Duke Nukem Forever, if I’m not mistaken. Yes, June 9th will be a busy day for some of us.

I was going to mention three more games, but they’re so big in their story, depth (ok, one of them isn’t) and fame (so to speak), that I think they deserve special posts.

Not to say I won’t talk about motherfucking Duke Nukem Forever when it comes out, just so you know.

(I own none of the images/videos above)

Wondering if Valve will announce something at E3 just for fun,

Arthur Müller.

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(I seem to speak an awful lot about Sony, gotta check that sometime)

And the PSN is up again! This time, I hope, at full force. Then again, it was no surprise to everyone when it went down shortly after powering back up again, due to a server overload. Good users, after changing their passwords, were informed they could download 2 of the following games for their PS3: Dead NationinFAMOUSLittleBIGPlanetSuper Stardust HD or Wipeout HD+Fury. This offer is valid up to 30 days after PSN Store is up and running again and, in my humble opinion, this is just a small offer of theirs.

Hooray, a racing game! Then again, there could be more.

I’m not saying the games listed are bad, not in the slightest! First of, you get LittleBIGPlanet, where you can pretty much make any game you want, limited only by your imagination (and one or two game mechanics, but let’s leave it at that). Wipeout HD is another really fun game, then again, I love racers, so I’m kinda suspicious. But we also have Dead Nation, a good shoot’em up, like it’s “predecessor” (well, made by the same company, anyway), Super Stardust HD! All of the mentioned with multi-player action, which is a smart option by Sony, given how multi-player games can make all fun last a little while longer. Or a bit more, depends on your friends and on the game!

Dead Nation also has really amazing graphics, at least for a shoot'em up!

If you’re a fan of single-player games only, there’s inFAMOUS, which is OK, I suppose. I mean, I for one like Prototype way more than inFAMOUS, but that’s just good old me. Now, what was I saying about games? Oh, yeah! Their selection seems good, but it’s not that much, honestly. With so many good single-player games to be released as well, like Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, an exclusive JRPG, but a good one nevertheless. Speaking of JRPGs, White Knight Chronicles, another incredible title which could’ve easily been put as a free game for a period of time. Or even Heavenly Sword, an amazing hack’n slash game which was highly regarded by everyone. With Killzone 3 released, I thought they could also give Killzone 2 for free, but for a lesser period of time (something like a 3-day-limit or so), it’d work wonders. Hell, even Siren: Blood Curse would be an excellent, excellent choice!

"Hey we're sorry PSN was down, here, have this awesome game instead, free of charge!"

“But it’s not that easy to get such games for free and” oh, cry me a river then. Do you know how low PSN being down would look like if they gave one of the mentioned (and exclusive) games earlier, doing something like what Steam’s doing with their deals, one game per day for a period of 30 days? And then, maybe, a mash-up of the top 6 most downloaded games on the 31th day. Hell, this would make everything look ignorable. But no, they did that. It wasn’t that bad of a move, but it seemed a bit… Inconsiderable of them.

I’m not complaining about their choices.
I’m just saying they could’ve acted a bit smarter there.

(I own none of the images above)

Thinking about playing Dead Rising 2 anytime now,

Arthur Müller.

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