Thursday, May 11, 2006

E3 Wrap-Up

Galley Brother and Personal Hero B.J. was there and has this report:
Wii: Console: The best looking of all of the new consoles. It’s very small and very hot, but I’m not sure if they cheated to reduce the size. The power brick could be as big as 360’s or bigger. I couldn’t see one so I can't tell. The graphics are a bit nicer than this generation’s, but they don't compare to the 360 or PS3.

Controller: Freakin awesome. Very odd for about the first 10 seconds, after that it seems very natural. The motion sensors worked very well, and there did not seem to be any lag. I had a little difficulty with aiming/pointing at first. The Nintendo guy told me the problem was that we were set up a bit too close. This seemed like a reasonable explanation and in any event, the problem was minor.

Games: Nintendo claimed that there were 27 different games to play. This number is a bit inflated because some of the different games were the bare-bones baseball, golf, and tennis game that are all going to be packaged together. Still, there were a bunch of games that seemed to be pretty far along in development. I played Red Steel and Madden.

Red Steel: FPS game with shooting and sword fighting. Very generic. Looks like it could probably play on the current systems. You aim with the remote to shoot, move with the nunchuk (that’s actually what they’re calling it, only they spell it correctly). Shake the nunchuk to reload/open doors/press buttons. The game forces you to shoot guys with guns and swordfight guys with swords, even though I completely wanted to go Indiana Jones and shoot the boss who used a sword. The controls were pleasantly responsive and made a nondescript game pretty fun.

Madden: The most fun I had playing any game there. The graphics looked pretty identical to PS2 Madden ’06. In the demo, you start out doing the pocket presence throwing drill, then the field goal kicking drill, then 2 minutes as the Steelers against the Seahawks. To throw the ball you press the direction pad/button on the remote for the corresponding receiver and make a downward flick/throwing motion with the remote. To kick, you line up your kick, press a button to start the kicker moving and flick the remote up--the harder you flick it, the more kicking power and if you don’t hold the remote level while flicking it up you add some slice in the direction you’re tilting. When running the ball, you juke by moving the remote and stiff arm by moving the nunchuk.

PS3: Console: Big & ugly. Absolutely gorgeous graphics, I’d say probably better than the 360, but I never saw the 2 side by side. Did I mention it's going to cost $600?

Controller: It’s the same controller they’ve been using for years. And, as such it controls exactly the same. I sort of missed the force feedback, but it’s something you can live without. The 6 axis of movement worked very well for controlling the plane in Warhawk, and felt pretty natural. Warhawk was the only game that used this feature.

Games: I’d say they had about 10 different games playable. Most of them were listed as being 30 – 50% complete. Gorgeous graphics, but I felt like I’ve played them all before. I played Sonic, Heavenly Swords (or Heavenly Blades), Resistance: The Fall of Man, and Madden.

Sonic: I only played about 10 seconds of this and didn’t get to see Sonic running at full speed, but it felt like just about every Sonic game since Sonic Dreamcast.

Heavenly Sword or whatever it was called: You play as an attractive scantily clad chick who swings two big blades/swords to beat up guys in what I’d say in an ancient Rome setting. The playable level had you in a small coliseum type room beating about 4 waves of soldiers and the boss. Lots of destructible tables. Gorgeous to look at incredibly fluid controls, very cinematic. Problem is its God of War with better graphics and a chick. Her weapons and the way she used them looked exactly like the weapons in God of War.

Resistance: FPS with human soldiers fighting aliens in a ruined/destroyed city. It’s you and a bunch of AI controlled humans launching an attack on aliens in a ruined city (the urban combat was similar to a WWII shooter with aliens instead of Nazis). Lots of stuff on screen, very pretty, very good AI. Like most FPS games feels like it has been done before.

Madden: The new features, like playing as the lead blocker, weren’t playable. Incredibly detailed, but played the same as Madden ’06 PS2.

Random games:

Justice League PS2: Top down, hack & slash, that gives you 2 Justice League heroes on screen and a bunch of enemies. Think X-Men Legends with 2 people in your party instead of 4--and slower. Everything moved slowly, I was surprised to find out that the game was almost done.

Deadrising 360: 3rd person action game where you’re a freelance newspaper reporter trapped in a mall/park in a zombie infested town. Everything can be used as a weapon, you have to stay alive for 72 hours waiting for a helicopter to rescue you, and you try to save some people. Fun, lots of stuff on screen at once, very interactive environments. Each weapon only has one attack; the zombies are slow enough to not seem very threatening. Could end up being a very fun game.

Frontline, or Front Mission, or Last Line 360: Deeply generic 3rd person shooter for the 360. The only thing that makes it different is that you’re on a planet with lots of deep snow so you move slowly.

Okami PS2: Cell shaded, action/platformer with calligraphy elements (at anytime you can switch to a calligraphy pad draw something and have it affect the environment. Very pretty look, seems somewhat different.

Stranglehold 360 & PS3: John Woo-Chow Yun Fat action game. Incredibly destructible environment. Shoot columns and debris comes off; enemies cover their faces from flying debris, lots of John Woo style action, slide across tables & counters, diving onto carts and shoot people while the carts are moving, build up points and pull of a special move to clear the room and bring in doves. Used bullet time, looked fun, didn’t seem overly original.


Michael said...

One of the guys at kotaku filmed the opening-door rush this morning (friday may 12). The entire crowd surged towards the nintendo booth, completely ignoring the sony booth.

morning surge video.

Anonymous said...

I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that all of the Galleyslaves were married. FX

Anonymous said...

What does Married have to do with it?

Anonymous said...

They are all married. I'm pretty sure there are even some kids in the mix too.