Monday, June 08, 2009

Top 10 Highlights of E3 2009

Here are what I consider to be the 10 most exciting announcements that were made during E3 2009 in reverse order. Bear in mind that I am totally bored with the FPS genre and not too keen on most modern action games either, so don't expect to see the likes of Halo, God of War etc represented in this list. Click on the title to view a trailer/video about each one.

10. Metroid: Other M (Wii)
I absolutely loved the Metroid Prime series so anything within the franchise is going to pique my curiosity, however I hate the Ninja Gaiden titles and there's a danger that this game is going to be a similar hardcore action title. Hopefully the combination of Team Ninja and Nintendo will deliver a quality game.

9. Golden Sun (DS)

The two Golden Sun games on the GBA were classic old school RPG's with excellent puzzles and thoroughly charming graphics. A third game is very welcome indeed and somewhat unexpected given the amount of time that has passed since The Lost Age was released.

8. Scribblenauts (DS)
The concept of this game is just brilliant, and if it works as well as it appears to from the footage I've seen it could be a contender for my Game of the Year. Basically, you have to reach a star on each level, and in order to do so you enter words on the touch screen, which are then turned into physical objects or creatures. There are apparently over 50,000 words contained in the in game dictionary, and they include the likes of Cthulu, so if you wish to summon an inter dimensional god, go right ahead!

7. Forza Motorsport 3 (360)
Sony may have been showing off Gran Turismo in PS3 and PSP format once again, but for me that series was eclipsed by Forza Motorsport 2 and I won't be going back. Forza 3 looks to be even better than the last game with noticeably better graphics and even more customisation options, including the ability to record, edit and share videos.

6. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

The original Galaxy is one of the finest examples of game design I've ever had to pleasure to experience - continually inventive, always entertaining. So I do of course welcome the idea of a sequel. I do have some concerns though, chiefly that this game apparently started off as a remix of the original, which kind of shows in some of the footage with bosses simply being reused. Then there's the name - couldn't Nintendo have been a bit more imaginative than simply sticking a 2 on the end? Even Super Mario Universe would have been and improvement. They've still got time to change it I guess.

5. New Super Mario Bros (Wii)
Yeah, another Mario game, and this time it's a 2D one. The four player mode looks cool (although I doubt I'll ever play it) and the new power ups look like their going to be implemented better than those in the last game. I have rated this higher than Galaxy 2 simply because it's closer to being released.

4. ModNation Racers (PS3)
Sony are applying their "Build, Play, Share" ethic that has worked so well with Little Big Planet to a new genre - that of the kart racer. The demonstration from the press conference made it look extremely easy to put a track together, the idea of having an infinite amount of new tracks is exciting. Let's just hope the game play ultimately backs up the premise.

3. The Last Guardian (PS3)
This is the third in the Ico & Shadow of the Colossus "series", and it shares the same aesthetics as those two games, except of course it's now in glorious 3D. Instead of having to climb and take down gigantic creatures, it appears that this time you have befriended one and must use them to navigate the game environment. Check out the awesome trailer, which features background music from Miller's Crossing (it works surprisingly well).

2. Project Natal (360)
If this works as well as it appears to in all of the demo videos, that it will truly be amazing. Thanks to a new camera attachment, full motion capture in now possible in your living room, allowing you to use your entire body as a controller. More exciting than that though was the the voice recognition and the way that the cameras can apparently scan items you hold up to it in seconds, like the drawing in the Milo demo. Really exciting stuff!

1. Tales of Monkey Island (Wii, PC)
The original Secret of Monkey Island is one of my favourite games of all time, I have replayed it so many times over the years that I've lost count. So the prospect of all new Monkey Island makes me very happy indeed. Five new monthly episodes from Telltale Games, the people behind the episodic Sam & Max, Strong Bad and Wallace & Gromit games. There's also a Special Edition coming to Xbox Live which is the original game remastered in HD and with rerecorded music and dialogue. It looks like 2009 is going to be the year of the monkey!

I am also really looking forward to Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins, but as I already knew about them I didn't include them in my top 10.

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