June 18th, 2010
Since I’m now writing for Kombo (articles have been pending for 2 months now), I lent my ideas to a recent list of anticipated games for E3 and sadly none of my comments were added to the article. So, in the mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle, I have decided to post my pre-E3 ideas here, followed by some short after-show impressions.
Zelda: Skyward Sword
Zelda: Twilight Princess was the apotheosis of the Ocarina of Time-era design—a template which was ultimately a 3D culmination of the prior 2D games up to that point. Perfection is nice and all, but it’s been 12 years since the franchise’s last major revision. Aonuma-san and crew must be wary of this, so I most look forward to the way they’ll attempt to reinvigourate the franchise. Wii Motion Plus will obviously be at the heart of their attempt, but I’m also curious as to whether they’ll tinker with the orderly, dungeon-per-dungeon design that has characterised the series since its existence. Okami tried this and mostly failed, I think that Nintendo can reinvent themselves better.
After the show: As expected, the design sensibilities from the DS games have been wisely adapted to the Wii. Won’t know if they’ve made any fundamental changes to the franchise until it’s released.
Dead Space 2
Having interjected the original Dead Space narrative with a supporting comic, animated movie and stand alone game (Dead Space: Extraction), Dead Space 2 stands to represent whether EA are genuine or will waver on their commitment to Dead Space as a trans-media franchise. Dead Space: Extraction worked well as a conduit in connecting the various pieces of narrative, Dead Space 2 has the potential to turn the franchise into a cross-media universe.
Dead Space 2‘s place in the narrative seems to suggest that Visceral Games will finally explicate on the franchise’s psychological elements. Again, I think that there is much potential here and I hope that it ascends beyond mere graphical tomfoolery and blind sided plot twists.
After the show: Meh. More of the same and no commitment to diversification.
Metal Gear Solid Rising
It’s curiosity above all else that has me anticipating the reveal of Metal Gear Solid Rising. How on Earth can Konami develop a Raiden sub-story without narrative complication? The placeholder pic used in Microsoft’s E3 press conference last year seems to suggests that Rising will take place around the events of Metal Gear Solid 4. So, they’ll either focus on Raiden’s rescuing Sunny from the Patriots or go post-MGS4 with a bionically configured Raiden. Either way, expect Devil May Cry-flavoured action in a cybernetic landscape.
After the show: Uncertain as to how Konami will smoothly integrate the slicing controls without killing the pace, but at least it has found something of a niche (“cut!”), even if I disapprove of the violence.
Estpolis: The Lands cursed by the Gods
Already released in Japan, I’m just looking forward to reading more hands-on impression of the action RPG remake of Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals. I’m not sure whether the deviations, such as the screen-filling boss battles, will meld well with the original design, so I hope that the reporters at E3 can find me an answer. Regardless, Neverland, the developers of the SNES original, have recently restored my faith in another SNES RPG classic Harvest Moon through their sublime Rune Factory sub-series, so I am not overly concerned.
After the show: Haha! As if anyone would cover this game when they could write about slow motion headshot and decapitations.
Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2
I don’t like the way Capcom have part ridiculed Bionic Commando: Rearmed by flamboyantly promoting the inclusion of a jump mechanic in its sequel. I guess it’s a pretty funny jab, but the lack of jump wasn’t just an incidental exclusion in BC:R or the original game. The absence of a jump mechanic supported the titular swinging functionality, so I imagine that by including jump, Rearmed 2 will only further the challenge in dexterity.
After the show: Like Zelda, won’t know until it’s released. Nothing else worth commenting on.