What We Didn’t Report: Week of June 15

Hay guise, sorry about the lack of posts in the past week. I had absolutely zero time this past week to write about anything, including last week’s “What We Didn’t Report” segment (which is posted today; “better late than never” as they say.) Anyway, while Joe was holding down the fort, I was scouring through the interwebs during my downtime at work and found quite a few goodies to share with you all. Without further ado, here’s this week’s stuff we didn’t report.

The End of K-On! and The Resurrection of Suzumiya Haruhi

Source: Random Curiosity

She exits the pool before she did.
She exits the pool before she does.

It’s finally over. Time flies when you’re rockin’ out to cute animu girls playing muzak. I’ll certainly miss  Tsumugi’s subtle lesbian fantasies, Ritsu’s bokke antics, Yui’s Rain Man-esque skills, Azusa’s innocent faux-tsundere quality and Mio’s unhealthy fear of barnacles. Okay, this isn’t really newsworthy. What’s newsworthy is the fact that Haruhi and the SOS-dan is really back, and it’s no joke. While the new Haruhi episode was aired a few weeks ago, I thought it was just a one-and-done deal. Coinciding with the final ending of K-On!, a new episode of Haruhi, called “Endless Eight”, broadcasted on Japanese airwaves this week. The entire episode is all about the SOS-dan’s summer activities, which apparently includes fanservice, frog suits and Mikuru being meek the entire time, or so I’ve been told. I haven’t seen the episode yet, so don’t spoil it for me! In any case, I’ll really miss the keionbu, but I’m really glad that the overbearing, uber-selfish, teenage overlord is back, and I certainly welcome her return.

(Postscript: That screencap totally reminds me of Phoebe Cates coming out of the pool in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Is Kyoto Animation referencing 80s teen movies now?)

Bioware Interested in Ninty’s Waggle

Source: Kotaku via Joystiq

According to a Kotaku report that Joystiq reported, Bioware is sorta kinda interested in the Wii. Dr. Ray Muzyka of Bioware said, “If we did a Wii game, I think we’d approach it with the target audience in mind first and the vision of delivering an emotionally powerful narrative and go back to our basics in terms of some of the pillars of gameplay we’d like to bring to bear — exploration, progression, customization, conflict, story, narrative, and characters.” In other words, they’re developing a game where your moral choice is determined by how hard you waggle your Wii-mote.

In all seriousness, anything other than friggin’ party games, and well, more friggin’ party games is more than welcome on the Wii. But as it stands, Dr. Muzyka’s comment should be taken with a grain of salt.

Don’t Believe Everything, Not Even the Head Cheese!

Source: Kotaku

Microsoft CEO pitching for Natal and OxiClean.

On Thursday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, plainly said that a new Xbox will be shipping next year with Natal, Microsoft’s groundbreaking motion sensing peripheral. Of course, everyone was losing their shit when they heard the news. People seem to forget how challenging it is to release a new console; if Microsoft is developing a new console, their partners and the third party publishers, will certainly not be pleased about the prospect. So obviously, the Xbox division had to calm everyone’s fears and confirms that there will be no new Xbox anytime soon. Of course, there are always conspiracy theories abound.

More Cute Japanese Robotic Servants

Source: Danny Choo

And to close off this week’s news, we present to you Hina, the coffee-semi-making-and-preparing roboto:

This tiny robot can grind beans, add hot water (sorta), and serve coffee. Okay, so it’s not perfect, but I can’t create a robot this adorable (or at all for that matter).

That’s it for this week’s edition of stuff we can’t bother to report ourselves. Enjoy the weekend, and don’t forget to tune in to the Unwound show at Japan-A-Radio this Sunday night, 5pm Pacific. We’ll be back bloggin’ next week!

Post-E3 Chatcast(TM) Wrap-Up

E3 has come and gone (last week). We still have one more article to write about E3, so Joe and I decided we should write this article together in a chat-style format. Since we don’t have our own equipment to do podcasting, nor did we have any time to get together during the week, we’re doing this the ol’ ghetto way. Joe coined the term chatcasting(TM) and we hope this will take off and slowly rid of liveblogging, much like how podcasting is taking over live talk radio. (Okay maybe not, lulz)

Without further ado, here’s our chatcast (and our longest blog post yet) on what went down on E3!

Joe: So we’ve been covering E3 for the past week now and I have to say this year really brought out the sequels, remakes and series reboots. All of the big three console makers had a bunch of these during their press conferences.

Jesse: Yeah. Pretty much the same story from the last E3. Not to say it was boring or predictable mind you.  There was a fair share of “wow” moments.

Joe: Halo, Mario, Metroid, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, I’m surprised Sony didn’t announce a new Crash Bandicoot.

Jesse: Crash Bandicoot is no longer owned by Sony and Naughty Dog by the way.

Joe: Well let’s talk about one of those “wow” moments, Kojima announced not just 1, but 3 Metal Gear titles.

Jesse: Yeah, it was a bit of a “wow” moment.

Joe: We got Metal Gear Solid: Rising for the 360, Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker for the PSP, and Metal Gear Solid for the arcade which looks like an arcade version of Metal Gear Online.

Lightning bolt action baby!

Jesse: I was a bit surprised about an MGS announcement for the 360… and disappointed.

Joe: Were you hoping for MGS: 4 to be ported?

Jesse: Not necessarily. At first I thought, “awesome, Kojima is handling this new MGS for the 360.”  Then when he showed up on the Sony press con, he said that him and his MGS4 crew will work on MGS: Peacewalker. Which makes me a bit pessimistic as to who’s actually handling MGS: Rising. Is Kojima actually directing, or is he just Jerry Bruckheimer?

feature_e3_chat_mgspeace
Is Kojima and company only working on Peacewalker and not Rising?

Joe: Not only that, but the way Kojima talked about how MGS: Peacewalker was a TRUE Metal Gear Sequel, he made it seem like he was talking down his earlier appearance at the MS press conference.

Jesse: Yeah, exactly. I’m not a trying to be strictly rooting for the 360. As a primary 360 owner, it is a bit disheartening. But, business is business. I really need to get a PS3.

Joe: Well you are forgetting one important thing with MGS: Rising, something we don’t know that could change everything. Lighting bolt action baby!

Jesse: Hahaha. Because of that tagline, I’m expecting Raiden to do naked cartwheels like he did on MGS2. Hopefully, Kojima’s second string team can do a good enough job to pull it off.

Joe: Well moving on from that disturbing image, let’s take a step back. So we posted our thoughts on the big three’s press conferences, but let’s talk about defining moments of those press conferences were. You go ahead and start with Microsoft.

When it red rings, it becomes HAL 9000. (Oh ho, I made an RROD funney, I are teh edgey!)
It stares into your soul!

Jesse: There’s no question that Microsoft pulled out a rabbit out of its top hat with Project Natal. Now, first of all, yes it’s a prototype and yes it’s not proven, and yes this could be just like that Killzone 2 “in-game” graphics trailer back in E3 2006. But much like Killzone 2’s announcement 3 years ago, Project Natal kinda does lead to new gameplay and interactive possibilities. It could be the start of something big. Maybe this is where the Holodeck begins!

Joe: I agree that Natal was Microsoft’s big moment during the press conference.

Jesse: Will it replace traditional gaming in the near future? I don’t think so.

Joe: I defintely don’t think so at all either. However, I like how they took an existing technology and idea and really refined it into their own.

Jesse: But, game developers, nay developers in general should continue the research and development of gameplay without the aid of a controller or handheld device.

Joe: It’s really taking motion control to a whole new level, with 1:1 body 1:1, and speech recognition. I’m glad Microsoft is taking a risk. Will it work out?

Jesse: Well, not for all games anyway. I wouldn’t want to play Street Fighter, for real.

Joe: Hey as long as I can control my menus all Minority Report style, I’m good to go!

Jesse: As to will it work out? I think if any company can do this, it’s gotta be Microsoft. (Or Google, but they’re not in the games business, thank god)

Joe: And we’ll be one step closer to sentient machines taking over and enslaving humanity, I mean the Natal prototype does look like a mini Hal after all.

Jesse: LOL Yeah it kinda does. But hold on. If Sony or Nintendo announced Natal, do you think the media would take it seriously?

Joe: That’s a good question, I could see Sony, but not Nintendo.

Jesse: I’m not an expert in computer engineering, but I’d assume it would take considerable research, manpower and resources to even attempt this.

Joe: I mean if you look at Nintendo’s track record, they don’t tend to repeat technology, so it’s hard to think they would announce something that basically says, “Hey guess what those Wiimotes? Throw them away! This is the real shit!”

Jesse: And with Sony being in last place, and Nintendo doesn’t have as much technical resources, only MS can do this because the company has all three.

feature_e3_chat_wiimotion
Is this the future of controllers, more peripherals and attachments?

Joe: And they have the Wii Motion Plus anyways. Which they claim is more accurate than Natal is.

Jesse: That’s true.

Joe: Which is a good segue yeah?

Jesse: Well, one more question, and then let’s move on. Now the bigger question is, is Microsoft too late to do this? I think, in the public eye, Microsoft have jumped in the bandwagon too late. Or maybe, they didn’t have the chance at all. The one major hurdle to MS’ plan for world domination, is itself.

Joe: Well I think people need to realize that consoles are no longer limited to 10 year or less life cycles.

Joe: Natal could very much well come right in the middle of the 360’s life cycle. Or maybe it could lead the way to the next generation console.

Jesse: I don’t mean to suggest that the 360 is nearing its end. I’m suggesting that the timing for MS to jump on the motion sensing controller bandwagon is not good. They should’ve done so in the beginning, same with Sony. Public perception will take this as, MS and Sony copying Nintendo. Even though theirs could be superior to Nintendo. Don’t you think so, or are you done with this question? LOL, I thought you wanted to be serious business with this “chatcasting.”

Joe: That’s chatcastingTM

Jesse: Okay, how about this… NEXT! Nintendo, better or worse than last year’s showing?

Joe: And well, it’s blantantly obvious they are copying Nintendo by jumping onto motion control.

Joe: Nope! Let me get one last comment off.

Jesse: Type faster!

Joe: Really it comes down to the games. The technology is awesome and all, but just remember motion control was revolutionary when it was announced for the Wii. I just hope developers really think of creative ways to use this technology instead of just more shovelware, but in HD. So that’s also a good segue into Nintendo!

Jesse: The press did test out Burnout Revenge with Project Natal, so maybe there’s hope for high fidelity games with motion controls. Okay, so yeah… Nintendo, worse or better than last year? You answer that first.

Joe: Defintely better, I was listening to an interview with Denise Kaigler, the VP of Corporate Affairs and Nintendo. She said they defintely heard the outcry to last year’s press conference of Cammie smiles and Ravi Drums. So in response, they drugged Cammie up something good so she wouldn’t smile… ever!

Jesse: LOL. So they replaced her with a cyborg?

Joe: In a stylish 70 style white bottom deal too! I think they did a good job of not relying too much on sales numbers, but I can say I am really sick of seeing all these marketing photos they use of casual people enjoying the Wii and DS.

Jesse: I thought it was a better presentation too, but it’s still a far cry to what MS and then later Sony had to offer. I think the best part of Nintendo’s presentation is the first and last game they presented.

Joe: Yeah it seemed a bit subdued compared to the other two, but at least they announced games that the audience would actually care about.

Thank God, 2D Mario is back on the console!
Thank God, 2D Mario is back on the console!

Joe: I’m honestly really excited about New Super Mario Bros Wii

Jesse: And the new Metroid game from Team Ninja… at least a little excited about it.

Joe: The DS version of New Super Mario Bros was awesome and the 4 player co-op is really icing on the cake. It’s looks really chaotic playing with all 4 people.

Jesse: I agree, I love 2D Mario platformers. And this one looks like a blast.

Joe: Finally a party game that doesn’t involve 50 million mini games.

Jesse: I don’t know about you, but I’m more excited about this than Super Mario Galaxy 2. Although you know that I don’t like Mario in 3D.

Joe: I am excited about Super Mario Galaxy 2, but I just can’t shake the feeling that it should be an expansion pack if anything.

Jesse: Hopefully New SMB Wii will have hidden levels and crazy glitches like New SMB for the DS. This is like the first “true” sequel to a Mario game isn’t it? I mean, in the NES you have SMB 1, 2, 3

Joe: Yeah unless you count Yoshi’s Island.

Jesse: SNES only had one with Super Mario World.

Joe: But even Yoshi’s Island 2 had enough differences from the first one to make it feel like a new game.

Jesse: Okay correction, first “true” sequel to a Mario game in a LONG time.

Joe: That launches this holiday doesn’t it?

Jesse: I think so. But don’t take my word for it; I don’t really keep track of 3D Mario games. Hahahah

2D Metroid is also back on the console!
2D Metroid is also back on the console!

Joe: Well that last game they announced, man was that a real surprise to me. After not warming up to the Prime series, the trailer makes it look like the next gen Metroid game I always wanted.

Jesse: Yeah, but the more I watch the trailer, the more I realize that, it isn’t your typical Metroid game.

Joe: People are already QQing about it, saying those kind of sentiments.

Jesse: I mean, I don’t remember Samus ever speaking with an actual voice.

Joe: They also complain that it doesn’t give you the same feeling of isolation that the other Metroid games had.

Jesse: LOL. I’m not saying it’s bad per se, I just realized it is all.

Joe: Honestly, are people going to complain about a new Metroid game?

Jesse: If it turns out horrible, then yeah I can see it happening.

Joe: It’s like I can imagine Nintendo right now being like “WHAT THE F— DO YOU WANT CORE GAMERS???”

Jesse: LOL. Well speaking of getting what you didn’t ask for. What is up with the Vitality Sensor thingy that Iwata presented?

feature_e3_chat_vitality
Finally! I can finally play doctor, without being asked to take a seat by Chris Hansen.

Joe: Uhh yeah that made the audience give out a collective, uhh what? Basically Iwata was like, hey guess what screw 1/3 of the gaming population. They NEVER will get into gaming! So I’m going to bridge the gap with this!

Jesse: Or maybe he’s going senile?

Joe: You could use it to you know, check your heartrate? Maybe we could make a lie detector game?

Joe: Maybe when you die in real life, your character dies?

Jesse: What could’ve helped if there was an actual game that uses this. A demo, anything!

Joe: I’m Iwata, and I’m rich bitch! And I’m OUT!

Jesse: Hold on. I have this feeling that the reason they even brought this out was that they’re trying to combat MS’ Natal. They’re trying to be different.

Joe: More like they were like, “Quick come up with something! We got nothing!!!”

Jesse: LOL. Exactly! The picture of their heart monitor thing, looks like it was photochopped in a few minutes. I guess that’s pretty much it with Nintendo. I know there were a lot more games that they presented compared to last year.

Joe: You need to post some of those up on the site.

Jesse: But personally, it’s nothing to write home about.

Joe: So let’s move on to Sony. Sony I think, really hit it out of the park this year.

Jesse: Yeah for the first time in this generation.

Joe: The PSP GO! Your thoughts?

Jesse: Firstly, I noticed that Sony was a lot more self-deprecating this year, than in years past. They made themselves look more likeable instead of the big badass company you love to hate.

Joe: Yeah they poked fun of the fact that they had information leaks. Including the PSP Go! Which seemed like it really wasn’t supposed to be leaked.

Jesse: They made themselves a bit endearing and at least sympathetic. Yeah the PSP Go! What is up with the (!) exclamation point? LOL

feature_e3_psp-go
This is Sony's iPod killer?

Joe: It’s like Punch-Out!!! You gotta say it with enthusiasm.

Jesse: There’s nothing to be enthusiastic about the PSP Go to be quite honest.

Jesse: Can I explain myself for a bit?

Joe: Yes please.

Jesse: (1) It’s priced at $250, (2) you can’t play your PSP UMD-based games, (3) it’s fatter than an iPhone, (4) and also, after the Apple keynote address at this week’s WWDC conference, the PSP Go is effectively useless to the crowd its trying to appeal to. I don’t know if you remember that part of Sony’s conference. Kaz Hirai pointed out that the PSP Go’s main target is really the iPhone/casual crowd.

Joe: Yeah I do remember that.

Jesse: He didn’t say it specifically, but he mentioned “people on the go” and “a casual demographic on the move.” I doubt he’s talking about the DS, because the DS has more hardcore gamers than casual.

Joe: Well even the design of the PSP Go itself seems to appeal to that kind of demographic. Very minimal, just the screen itself. Slide out controls.

Jesse: Even still, I think again, it’s one of those “too little, too late” situations.

Joe: Honestly, points (1) and (2) you made are more than enough, to turn off most people.

Jesse: (1) and (2) turned off the hardcore crowd. But that’s not Sony’s motive with the PSP Go in the first place. It reminds me of how they lost their dominance in portable music to the iPod. They thought their Walkman brand is unbeatable. As it turns out, iPod took over Sony’s seat in the portable music player category. I doubt the iPod crowd will even flinch to think about getting a PSP Go, over the iPod Touch/iPhone. So, anyway, even though Sony’s press con was a lot better than years past, the first hour was really dull and rocky, don’t you think?

Joe: I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it’s that hopeless, but I will say it’s defintely underwhelming.

Jesse: It barely had anything, except for Uncharted 2 and MAG, but most of the time was friggin’ montages.

Joe: And yes all the talk of the PS2

Jesse: And PS Home!

Joe: and the PSP games, which really ehhh I’m not interested in.

Joe: I don’t have time for epic style games. I have them for games I can play on the can.

Jesse: However, they did pick up steam in the second half of their presser.

Sorry, we don't have a screenshot for Final Fantasy XIV.
Sorry, we don't have a screenshot for Final Fantasy XIV.

Joe: Yeah once they got to the games for PS3 it defintely picked up momentum. The announcement of Final Fantasy XIV was one of the biggest shockers. It was like hey we know we’re not even done with FFXIII yet, but here’s the next game!

Jesse: I almost forgot about that game… I mean, I shouldn’t have, but I almost did.

Joe: Even if it is just an MMO, it was still a great surprise announcement.

Jesse: Yeah it was a shocker, but while I was watching it, I noticed that the graphics weren’t PS3 graphics, so I immediately knew it was the sequel to FFXI.

Jesse: Or the very least, a spiritual successor.

Joe: Hopefully the next MMO from the Square Enix won’t be as hardcore as FFXI was.

Jesse: Ugh, tell me about it. But that’s for another time!

Joe: If they can appeal to the World of Warcraft crowd, I think they can really give Blizzard a run for their money.

Jesse: Help me refresh my memory a bit though, what other games they presented?

Joe: MAG. 256 player online!

Jesse: That’s in the beginning. I mean, refresh my memory of the second half.

Joe: To not go in order God of War 3.

Jesse: MAG by the way does look amazing.

Joe: God of War 3 to sum it up, looks like more of the same. BUT for me, not a bad thing. It could be just what Sony needs to really have a definitive must play action game for their system.

Jesse: No not at all. Not too exciting, but not bad. Kind of like Halo: ODST or even Halo: Reach.

Joe: Uncharted and Ratchet and Clank were great, but I don’t think they’ll draw more Halo-ish kind of gamers than God of War could. Another announcement was a racing version of Little Big Planet.

Jesse: Yeah, even though Uncharted 2 in particular looks amazing.

Joe: Called Mod Nation: Racers

Jesse: I hate cart racers, and I’m sure I’m not gonna like this one either.

Joe: Yeah this looks like a real hit or miss. The idea is novel, but it doesn’t have that general appeal that platformers have that makes Little Big Planet work.

Jesse: I don’t know, I don’t get why they chose a cart racer out of all the possible genres. I guess it’s the only “kid-friendly” genre that adults can play? But I digress.

Joe: Well we’ve come a long way since Fighter and RPG Maker for the PS2! The last big announcement was The Last Guardian, the next Team Ico game. Once again it was all trailers, but Team Ico has yet to dissapoint to really redefinte what an epic game is.

Jesse: Yeah, I’m excited, but I really wish they’d show gameplay.

Joe: I’ll defintely be keeping my eye out on the progress they make for it.

Jesse: I think we’re at a point where, CG cutscenes are no longer exciting. And should never be used in marketing a game ever again.

Joe: Well we’re at a point where CG cutscenes ARE gameplay.

Jesse: But some companies still use CG cutscenes that doesn’t use actual in-game graphics. Like the new Wolfenstein game.

Joe: And Dragon Age.

Jesse: Wolfenstein’s cutscenes looks like it came from 10 years ago.

Joe: Anyways I’m glad to see that Sony took a lot of momentum out of their press conference this year.

Jesse: Not showing off numbers too much (or at all) is always good. So, let’s wrap this up.

Joe: Yeah I was thinking the same thing

Jesse: Who “won” the E3 press conference show-off?

Joe: For me personally? Sony

Joe: It finally gave me a reason as a PS3 owner to be glad I made that purchase.

Joe: To know that they actually have exclusive games coming out.

Jesse: Really, that’s unexpected. For me, it’s Microsoft… but only by a VERY small margin.

Joe: Yeah honestly it really is close, if I didn’t own a PS3 I would give it to Microsoft.

Jesse: I’m excited for Sony because of MAG, Uncharted 2 and its other exclusives.

Joe: This definitely was the E3 of “Hey look at all these exclusives we have!”

Joe: After last year’s announcement of FFXIII on the Xbox proved no franchise is safe from going multiplatform.

Jesse: I’m also excited for Microsoft because of Alan Wake (finally showed some gameplay), Splinter Cell Conviction, MGS: Rising, etc.

Jesse: But really the icing on the cake and the 360’s X-Factor is Natal.

Joe: Yeah there’s a lot we didn’t talk about, which leads me to one final question I want to ask.

Joe: What one game did we not talk about are you most excited about?

Jesse: I think this question should be saved for a later chat session, but real quickly, out of these 3 press conferences, the game I’m really excited about… this is a shocker… New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Joe: Wow, will that be the game that finally makes you get a Wii?

Jesse: Maybe, maybe.

Joe: Or at least start hanging out more often with people who own them lol!

Jesse: Hahahaha, yeah, I hope you get the game, so I don’t have to! But seriously, I might get the game, and it’s probably a good time to get a Wii, especially since there’s a few nice games that are coming out for the system.

Joe: Muramasa for one.

Jesse: And games that doesn’t have “party” in the title! How about you? Out of the 3 press conferences, and only these conferences, which game are you excited about?

Joe: For me, it is quite a tough choice but I am going to say God of War 3. I was surprised about how much I loved the first game. And the second game felt just as fresh despite being very similar.

Jesse: The third game looks like it’ll be just as good, if not even more epic.

Joe: I want to see the next generation upgrades they made, plus for me, the storyline has always been a big draw. I love their take on twisting Greek Mythology, and if you didn’t know God of War 2 ended on a cliffhanger, literally. So I need to know how it ends! LOL

Jesse: Hahaha, well on that note then, we should leave a cliffhanger of our own. Are we going to do an overall discussion on the games themselves that were shown at E3?

Joe: Yeah maybe we could do like an actual podcast style next time with some of the other crew.

Jesse: Alrighty, well on that note, we’ll end it right here. So take it away man! LOL

Joe: Hope you all enjoyed this first ChatcastTM! Remember the Unwound Show is on every Sunday at 5PM PST.

Four Days of E3: Nintendo Press Con

Day 2 of E3 has wrapped up and from it came Nintendo’s press conference. Nintendo had been lambasted by more of the hardcore fans for last year’s E3 press conference. With Nintendo’s major announcements being Wii Sports Resort and Wii Music, it was hard for many of those hardcore fans to be excited about the upcoming year. Did Nintendo learn their lesson from last year’s press conference and actually provide exciting news for these same gamers?

While I won’t go into detail about every point they talked about, I will touch upon what I think were their highs and lows.

Real Games for Real Gamers!

feature_e3_golden-sun-ds
Finally! I hope the next iteration is a console version.

On the high point of their press conference, they finally announced a few games that hardcore gamers would care and be genuinely excited about. Mario returned in two flavors, 2D and 3D. On the 2D front you have New Super Mario Brothers. Old school Mario platforming gameplay, but now you can play with up to 4 players. Mario Galaxy 2 looks to have the exact same gameplay as Mario Galaxy but with a couple of new items. So it feels a bit like an expansion pack, but it does have Yoshi so I can forgive it for that.

They actually focused a bit of their new releases segment on RPG’s which is great since the Wii is really lacking in a top name RPG. Final Fantasy: Crystal Bearers hopes to be this game and it looks fairly impressive. I just hope it’s a full fledged RPG and not a Diablo-ish dungeon crawler like the Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles series. They chose to revitalize another series that hasn’t been seen since the days of GBA, Golden Sun DS. Honestly, I wasn’t blown away with it, and I was a big fan of the first two. I guess it’s been so long it just looks a bit generic for my tastes, but hopefully it’ll prove me wrong.

Samus Bounces Onto the Wii Again

The biggest announcement for me was Metroid: Other M, which is being developed by Nintendo and Team Ninja. The game looks to be a mix of 3D action, a la Ninja Gaiden, with 1st person shooting a la Metroid Prime. (No word if Samus was “enhanced” to Dead or Alive size) It looks like the next gen Metroid I always wanted since I never was too fond of the Prime series. The trailer showed fast paced action, what looks like quick time events and many familiar faces including everyone’s favorite villain Ridley. So kudos for Nintendo for actually showing off games most hardcore gamers would care about.

Trailers are the NEW Gameplay!

However Nintendo’s press conference was not without their share of lows. For all these great games they showed off, they were all trailers and we all know trailers are never true indicators to what the game actually plays like. So even though I am excited about all those games, I will have to reserve judgment until I see some actual in-game footage.

Nintendo Loves their Peripherals

Even lower than that however was Nintendo’s biggest push of the conference, the Wii Motion Plus. Already announced last year during the conference, they showed off the Wii Motion Plus in action. Frankly, I was not impressed. They were using Wii Sports Resort and Grand Slam Tennis to show off the range of motions the Wii Motion Plus could do, but it was hard to translate that to people not actually using it. When all is said and done too, these were all just mini-games that really took advantage of the Wii Motion Plus. When will a developer really come up with more innovative uses for the Wiimote?

This is a Joke… Right?

feature_e3_vitality-sensor
You can now play "pull my finger" on the Wii. How forward-thinking!

Lastly, not quite a low point, but more like a “uhh….what?” moment. Sataru Iwata came out and did his best impression of a lullaby by talking way too long about bridging the gap between casual and core gamers. Now with that long speech you’d think something totally spectacular was going to come next, something that would steal all the thunder away from Microsoft’s Natal. What he delivered was this. Leaving the audience and myself completely baffled, you’d also think he’d show off something amazing to go along with it. Nope! He left the stage shortly thereafter. I felt like I had been rickrolled by Iwata.

Sorry No Ravi Drums This Year

To sum it all up, Nintendo’s press conference definitely had it’s share of exciting games to look forward to on the Wii and DS, but ultimately their press conference felt very lackluster. I mean really, what was up with them showing pictures of casual people enjoying the Wii and DS every 10 seconds? I felt like I was in a Nintendo infomercial. I’m sick of peripherals at this point and that new Vitality Sensor is quite possibly the last straw. Stick to good games Nintendo and you’ll get back the audience that has long since deserted you.