Monday, 14 June 2010

Feature: My Predictions of E3 2010

With E3 only one day away, I felt I should do a feature on my predictions of this year's show.  For those of you who don't know, E3 (otherwise know as the Electronic Entertainment Expo)
is a gaming event used to host conferences from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Spread across 3 days (one conference each day) E3 is home to all major game related shenanigans, such as brand new consoles and technologies, flagship games and new 3rd party titles. It's pretty much the biggest gaming event of the year. This year's Nintendo conference starts June 15th, followed by Sony's conference on the 16th. You can watch E3 live on, and I should think ONM will be showing it on their site as they did that last year.  Now, onto the feature itself...

There's already a lot of things that set to be announced at this year's conference, and a lot of other things that will most probably be there. Then there's just stuff we know we won't get, but want badly. Still, this year's lineup so far is probably the best I've seen in a while. From the new Nintendo handheld to Zelda Wii and Metroid Other M to Golden Sun DS, many announcements are set to make this the best E3 for a very long time. Which announcement do I expect the most out of? Well, it's a tough call between the next home console Zelda game and Nintendo's new handheld console, but I'll start with the latter. Let's begin...

The Next Nintendo Handheld
Let's start of with what will probably be the biggest part of this year's Nintendo conference: the new handheld confirmed to be revealed. Currently known as the 3DS, this new system isn't just an upgrade of the current line of portable consoles, it's brand new, and it'll have new 3D technology fitted in. While 3D gaming isn't that great, considering the fact you have to wear a pair of stupid glasses, Nintendo manage to fix this problem by making it possible to play 3D games without the need for glasses. How? Well, some Japanese company introduced this feature a year ago on an extremely expensive mobile phone. They allowed Nintendo to use this tech on a new handheld, and the 3DS was born. Of course, the new handheld isn't actually going to be called the 3DS, it'll be called something different and hopefully better.

We've already heard a lot of news on this console since it was first revealed a few months back, such as news that it will be backwards compatible with all DS games as well as the mighty DSiWare which must mean the new handheld will include an SD card slot or the ability to transfer all your DSiWare applications onto the new system. More recent news that you will be able to turn the system's 3D on and off isn't all that exciting, but worth a mention nevertheless. Then there's all the rumours that have popped up all over the internet even before Nintendo announced the system. Some ideas are quite ridiculous, such as the assumption that the new handheld will have "close to PS3/360" graphical power. Personally, I think that's ridiculous, but is it the truth? Only time will tell. A more believable graphics related rumour is that the system will have more or less Gamecube style visuals, which makes much more sense since the DS had N64 graphics. If it at least has GC style visuals and is relatively affordable, I'm definitely in. When will Nintendo's 3D system be available to buy? No idea, but Nintendo have confirmed it will be out before the first quarter of 2011. Also, rumours have suggested it will be out in October this year. A bit soon maybe? As for new 3DS games, the only rumour going around about that is a brand new Animal Crossing game, which will apparently be the launch game for the system. Of course, you can never trust rumours in the end, whether the new console will have gargantuan graphics and an early release date or not is completely unknown. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Information and rumours aside, what is my opinion on the new handheld? Well, so far it's my second most anticipated announcement of this year's E3 conference that we currently know about. Hopefully the new console won't end up a complete flop like Nintendo's last 3D handheld and hopefully it won't cost a ton either. Will the so called 3DS live up to it's expectations? We'll find out at the show. Now for my most anticipated announcement of this year's conference, which is...

The Next Legend of Zelda Game
Before I start talking about this announcement, let me say that I'm a massive Legend of Zelda fan. In fact, it has always been my favourite series since I was introduced to the gaming world, and the most recent Wii title (Twilight Princess) will always be my favourite game of all time. But now, after more than 3 years of waiting, there's a new contender to challenge that title. Yes, it's the new Zelda Wii game. At last year's E3, there was no sign of the Green hero in the conference. No trailers, no screenshots, no anything. Then, after the conference, Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed the big N were working on a brand new Zelda game for the Wii, but they wanted to keep it a secret for a while and not give anything away except one piece of artwork (above). In a later interview, Nintendo said to note the fact that Link has no weapon in the image. After speculating, the internet came to the conclusion that your partner (in picture) has the ability to transform into a sword.

Since the new Zelda game was first announced we haven't actually heard a lot about it, except it will be giving the series a big overhaul in the structure department (or something like that.) While I'm excited, this could be a life or death decision for Nintendo. Remember what they did with Majora's Mask? While that game has a lot of fans it had nowhere near as much impact as it's predecessor which is probably because of the change of structure. Then again, if they get this right with the new Zelda game, it will make me, and a lot of other fans very, very happy. Then, there's the rumours. A few months back a member of Japanese website 4Chan gave away some info on the new Zelda. This may not sound like much, as you are probably thinking they're just rumours, right? Wrong. In the past the same site has given away many rumours that ended up true, such as the full storylines of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Metal Gear Solid 3 and Kingdom Hearts 2. If what this member says is true about Zelda Wii, then we're in for a treat. I'm not going to give away any of the rumours here, but check this video if you want to see them. Now then, when's the game out? Well, a few months back that guy on the Nintendo Channel (y'know, the guy from "Ninty News") said the game will be sometime this year, but Satoru Iwata says it may be out next year. Still, I don't really care as long as it does come out!

Now you know what's been confirmed and what hasn't, what's my opinion on this announcement? Well, like I said before this is my most anticipated game for a long time, and the announcement I expect Nintendo to give us the most out of. This new title in the Zelda series will be fully revealed at the conference, which means we should expect at least one trailer. Oh yeah, for the lucky, lucky people who get to go to E3, there will be playable demos of the game there too!

Other Announcements and Predictions
Now, I've talked about the two biggest announcements of this year's conference, but what else will be at E3? Well, it's highly probable that we'll see some new 3DS games at the conference, possibly that rumoured Animal Crossing game. What do I want for the system though? In the past, I've thought about portable versions of Wii Sports Resort for the system. Think about it, Wuhu island would be awesome in 3D! Golden Sun 3D would be pretty cool too, as the effects would work well in the battle system. I'd also like to see a 3D Sonic game for the 3DS using the Sonic Unleashed day engine. In fact, anything fast would work very well with Nintendo's new handheld. Take Starfox and F-Zero as an example here. Also, if the system does have Gamecube style graphics, how about portable versions of our favourite Gamecube games, like Super Mario Sunshine, MGS: The Twin Snakes and (wait for it...) Zelda: Twilight Princess? If any of my above predictions come to life on the 3DS, it'd probably be the best handheld ever. At least, if it had some great new games too.

It's quite obvious that we'll most probably see more of Metroid: Other M at this year's conference. alongside Zelda Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2, this new title in the Metroid series is probably going to be one of the biggest releases of 2010. We don't know a whole lot about the story for this game, but it will be following on from Super Metroid on the SNES. Other M will tell a more emotional story based heavily around Samus, and the full voice acting helps this a lot. Voice acting in the Metroid games was first introduced in Prime 3. It worked very well as every character had voice acting except Samus herself, but this time Nintendo are finally giving Samus a voice, and from what we've heard it suits her a lot. Aside from the more emotional turn, we don't know the actual plot of Other M, but hopefully all will be revealed at the conference.

Surprisingly, I haven't mentioned that game yet. That game is Pikmin 3 for the Wii. Want to know why? That'd be because there's simply nothing that we know about it, except it's a new Pikmin game and it's going to be on the Wii. I would've done a full section on this game if we knew enough about it. Sorry. Nintendo have confirmed it will finally be revealed at this year's conference though, which is very exciting news.

Less exciting but still worth a mention; We'll probably hear more about the next game in the "Wii" branded series of games: Wii Party. Now I'm not all that excited about this game. It's basically the next Mario Party game with more innovative minigames and less exciting characters and locales. It'll probably be at E3. Right, now that's over and done with let's talk about something much more exciting: Golden Sun DS. A sequel to one of the greatest RPG series' ever created, this new Golden Sun game is the first on a console other than the GBA. We heard about this game at last year's conference, and the small amount of fans of this series have been awaiting more news about the DS iteration ever since. Unfortunately, nothing's popped up for a whole year. Hopefully, we'll see more of this new game at this year's E3.

3rd party developers also help to make this year's conference a cracker. The one game that I can't stop thinking about is Super Scribblenauts by 5th Cell. It's basically last year's Scribblenauts game without the dodgy controls and bad level designs. This new "true" version of the original also introduces a new Adjectives system, allowing players to add to items using words like "giant" and "Turquise". Should be good, as long as no new gimmicks and glitches are introduced. Nintendo's past rival will also have 2 new Sonic games on show; Sonic Colours and Sonic 4. I'll start with the latter; Sonic 4 was originally announced as "Project Needlemouse" a while ago, then months later it was confirmed to be a sequel to the classic Sega Mega Drive Sonic games. Sonic 4 will be in downloadable parts, rather than being a full 30 quid game, with the first of these "episodes" being released in the summer alongside Sonic's other new game which I'll talk about in a minute. Anyway, Sonic 4 takes classic 2D gameplay with improved 3D graphics and wraps it together in one nostalgic bundle according to Sega. There were originally some gimmicks in the form of "minecart" and "pinball" stages, but Sega have thankfully removed these which really shows they've been listening to their fans. Sonic Colours for the Wii on the other hand answers my prayers, as that will be made completely out of levels using the Unleashed Daytime engine. Colours actually excites me more than Sonic's blast to the past, but it's all opinion I guess. At the risk of repeating myself by saying we haven't heard a lot about Sonic Colours, I'll move on. Sega have clearly shown a special effort to please their fans with these two games. They'll most definitely be on show at this year's E3.

Well peeps, that's the end of this feature. I'm pretty glad I managed to get this done in time. Yay!
Anywho, see you next time. And enjoy E3!

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