E3 this year may have have run the gamut with the keynote releases ranging from awesome to just downright dull, but as usual, the games are the star of the show, and this year gave gamers everywhere some great reasons to be exciting and start stocking up time off days from work and cash to purchase games with. So what are the games that caught my eye the most? Hit the jump.
Wii and 3DS:
Nintendo usually never disappoints, and this years E3 showing was no exception. Rather, it was one of the better showings Nintendo has had in years, owing to a strong showing of titles that stemmed from the roots of Nintendo's gaming history.
Donkey Kong Country Returns: Yes, I know I already linked this title. Retro Studios is taking up the mantle of Rare for Nintendo (and fast becoming the new Rare) and tackling another classic Nintendo series. From the look of it, this one has all the charm of it's namesake series, with beautifully constructed 2D gameplay (with great new moves) and gorgeous bright graphics. If you ever enjoyed the originals, Donkey Kong Country Returns is quite possibly one of the best reasons from this E3 to dust off the Wii again.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Is it possible to not mention a Zelda title? Doubly so, as you'll see later. In any case, Skyward Sword is the built from the ground up Zelda Wii title that we've all been looking for since we finally polished off Gannon once and for all (right...) in Twilight Princess. Miyamoto's latest foray into Nintendo's classic series brings new use to the Wii system with 1:1 sword control, allowing players to engage in spot on swordplay with enemies that will block and react to the players actions, forcing them into sword duels. Although the footage is a little rough, you'll still see several items both old an new (including a cool sort of beetlelike gauntlet that you can fly around picking up and dropping items) as well as new ways to use said items. Several other enhancements are shown off, although as far as I've heard, we have no release date yet.
Kirby's Epic Yarn: You have never seen such a cute game in your life. Clever too.
Metroid: Other M: As I've stated before, even though I love Metroid and am excited to get my hands on a new Metroid game, I'm still very skeptical of the development team responsible for this one. Team Ninja may make some good games, but those games aren't Metroid, and while the gameplay looks great, the story seens still have me wondering if I'll be pressing the start button a lot.
Kid Icarus Uprising: Sorry to keep you waiting indeed. The last Kid Icarus game was released way, way back on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, and has become a cult classic legend in it's own right. After Brawl featured Pit (the protagonist) as a playable character, fans began hoping for this one. Now it's officially coming, and for the new 3DS as well, so not only is it a new Kid Icarus, it appears to be the systems primary launching title. It looks like a lot of fun as well.
Goldeneye 007: It's coming back. If you loved the original Goldeneye, then start grabbing your friends.
Sonic Colors: I can't say the title has me supremely impressed, but the game looks fairly decent so far with some vibrant levels and really impressive graphics for a Wii title. Will the gameplay match up? No way to know for now.
Epic Mickey: Despite the amusing fun you can have by switching letters in that title, this game warrants watching. Come on, it's a Mickey Mouse game were you can choose to be a not so nice Mickey by dissolving everything rather then fixing it. At the very least, the fact that you'll be playing through a world of "forgotten or cut" Disney characters and scenes while deciding to save them or leave them to their forgotten existence is an intriguing one, and the paint abilities look like a lot of fun.
X-box 360 and Kinect:
While a lot of the newer stuff showed off by Microsoft was for their Kinect add-on, a lot of developers had some great stuff to show off, such as
Gears of War 3: Yes, I'm giving this game two trailers, because it's that awesome. If you've been living under a rock for the last few years, then here's the lowdown. Gears of War is a third person tactical shooter with a lot of violence, gore and fun. Gears 3 marks the final game in the trilogy and the close the the events of the first two games, as well as a lot of new weapons, enemies, and gameplay modes. Lock and Load.
Halo Reach: Bungie's final foray into the Halo Universe (for now) gives players the chance to experience the epic fall of the military stronghold planet Reach shortly before the events of the first game, in which the entire planet was burnt to a cinder and every last Spartan (save one) met their end holding the line against the unstoppable Covenant juggernaut. Being that Reach is the "military stronghold" however, that just means that there is a lot of prototype military hardware laying around, leading to the largest (and most fun yet) weapons compliment yet. With new and old game modes, a changed combat system and a focus on more tactical gameplay, the newest iteration of Halo seems to be the closest thing to the original PC version dream from all those years ago. Bungie claims it's reworked engine allows for players to battle alongside AI compatriots against up to 70 AI enemies at once (last I heard) on battlefields much larger then any previous Halo title. Oh, and you'll get to fly spaceships and engage in dogfights. Excited yet?
Metal Gear Rising:* While I can't say much since there isn't much to go off of. It's a Metal Gear title, that's all we really know, but the fact that you get to play with a sword that cuts darn near everything looks pretty awesome. There will probably be an achievement for turning some poor sap into Fillet Mignon. Can it slice bullets? Don't know, want to find out.
That's all for today, tune in tomorrow for another great chunk of gaming goodness, I'll be at this all week. I'm not even halfway down my list!
*Denotes a release on a second platform such as PC or PS3