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Here's Five Games Brad Sorta Liked Not So Long Ago

Or, Another E3 Top Five In No Particular Order.

The irony of putting together a personal list of Top However Many Games Of E3 is that you aren't actually selecting the best of all the games at the show. Since E3 is far too big for any one person to see in its entirety, your sample size is limited by necessity to whichever games you, yourself, managed to get up close and personal with. Ryan's top five, for example, looks very different from mine simply because he saw a pretty different set of games than I did. That's just how we divvy up appointments and such. 
 
Also, I like better games than he does. That's right, I said it. The gauntlet is thrown!

Anyway, you may have noticed we're all about irony around here, so let's proceed with another list of my five personal favorites from the show, shall we?
== TEASER ==

Limbo


I budget myself one downloadable emo indie darling per year. In 2008 it was Braid. Last year's was Flower. This year, Playdead's gloomy, tactile side-scroller Limbo is the frontrunner for "mopiest game I can get overly enthusiastic about" thanks to its minimal black-and-white art style and array of gruesome death animations. I also like how nobody says anything and there's no music. There's a purity of focus to it, and that focus is "try not to get killed by the million things in the forest trying to kill you."  
 
Here, watch this video. Seeing Limbo in motion communicates more about it than any description, though a large part of understanding the game's appeal is feeling how responsive the controls are. (Seriously; I made Vinny play it right after the Quick Look and he immediately got what I was talking about.)

  
   

Come to think of it, the entire Summer of Arcade promotion looks pretty sweet this year; I'm also excited for the DOTA-meets-Team-Fortress-2 multiplayer in Monday Night Combat and (dude!) a whole new 2D Castlevania game that's not on a handheld. But Limbo's the one with the earmarks that tell me I'll probably still be thinking about it in December when we're arguing over the games that mattered most this year. 


Journey


Good thing Limbo is out this year, because thatgamecompany's next PSN whatchamacallit Journey will probably take the emo crown in 2011. Or whenever it comes out, since the company's head creative guy Jenova Chen said at E3 that the game will "hopefully" be done next year. As promising as the brief snippet looked at the show, I'm willing to wait a while for the team (now all of nine people strong) to get this right.
 


Journey's art style alone is enough to make you take notice, and it looks as fluid and gorgeous in motion as you'd think it would, looking at still pictures. But the game also appears to be thatgamecompany's first foray into making a real video game--with a character you move around via analog stick and buttons--and not just an experimental think piece. Well, OK, Flower kind of had a narrative and some collectibles, but this one has a vast world to explore, peppered with the last traces of a long-dead desert culture. There are unconventional platforming mechanics, and a strange, accidental multiplayer component that involves... singing?

It's a weird-looking game that I found highly intriguing. Here's all the info about Journey I managed to glean from the game's sole showing at E3, but it wasn't nearly enough to satisfy my curiosity.
    

InFamous 2


Oh, you wanted me to pick a game that comes on a disc? Fine, here it is!

All I can say about InFamous 2 is that it looks like the first game, except better and more. New city, more powers, deeper combat, wider range of bad guys trying to bring you down. Sucker Punch even says the frame rate will be better this time around. The first game was probably my favorite open-world game ever, from a pure gameplay standpoint, and from the little I got to play at E3, none of the important core mechanics are getting messed with. There's just a lot more being layered on top, including, yes, electric tornados.

Like a lot of people, I'm not a huge fan of the new character design for Cole, but frankly I couldn't care less what he looks like, as long as the gameplay is on point. And so far it appears to be. (Sucker Punch says Cole is still subject to change over the next year before release, anyway.)

What's that? You understand I brought a clip setting this game up? That statement is accurate.
 
  
      

Mortal Kombat

 
Until we play more Mortal Kombat with more new characters, there's probably not much more to say about this that Jeff and I haven't already repeated ad nauseam through every available channel. It's a throwback to everything I loved from the Mortal Kombat II era, but it feels modern enough to hang with Street Fighter IV and all the other recent fighters.

It's got turnaround kicks.

You can uppercut a guy out of the air.

See, I'm repeating myself again. Get back to me when I can play as Raiden. Until then, perhaps you should just listen to the man himself for more. 
 
  
   
 

StarCraft II 

 
No, wait, this wasn't at E3. I can't do that just because I really want to be playing it right now, can I? 
 
OK, how about... 
 
 

Zelda: Skyward Sword 

 
Someone explain the widespread ambivalence over this one; I think it looks like everything you'd want out of a Wii Zelda game. The visual style retains just enough of The Wind Waker to keep that sense of whimsy I expect from the Zelda series, and the sword and shield controls feel accurate and responsive, just like you wanted the ones in Twilight Princess to be.  
 
I especially liked the high skill ceiling (at least relatively high, by the series' standards) on the combat that I got to play at the show. You can sort of hack and slash your way through most enemies, but perfect timing on your use of the shield and the way you orient your sword slashes will leave enemies even more vulnerable, letting you take them out faster. It felt really satisfying. 
 
  
    

OK, so it doesn't look like they're necessarily going to dispense with the overworld/dungeon/new item/boss format that's propped up every Zelda since the beginning of time, but if enough of the core mechanics feel new and rewarding, I'm not worried if the overall formula feels familiar. Besides, we've barely seen any of Skyward Sword so far. Who knows what else might be in store?
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Posted by Brad

The irony of putting together a personal list of Top However Many Games Of E3 is that you aren't actually selecting the best of all the games at the show. Since E3 is far too big for any one person to see in its entirety, your sample size is limited by necessity to whichever games you, yourself, managed to get up close and personal with. Ryan's top five, for example, looks very different from mine simply because he saw a pretty different set of games than I did. That's just how we divvy up appointments and such. 
 
Also, I like better games than he does. That's right, I said it. The gauntlet is thrown!

Anyway, you may have noticed we're all about irony around here, so let's proceed with another list of my five personal favorites from the show, shall we?
== TEASER ==

Limbo


I budget myself one downloadable emo indie darling per year. In 2008 it was Braid. Last year's was Flower. This year, Playdead's gloomy, tactile side-scroller Limbo is the frontrunner for "mopiest game I can get overly enthusiastic about" thanks to its minimal black-and-white art style and array of gruesome death animations. I also like how nobody says anything and there's no music. There's a purity of focus to it, and that focus is "try not to get killed by the million things in the forest trying to kill you."  
 
Here, watch this video. Seeing Limbo in motion communicates more about it than any description, though a large part of understanding the game's appeal is feeling how responsive the controls are. (Seriously; I made Vinny play it right after the Quick Look and he immediately got what I was talking about.)

  
   

Come to think of it, the entire Summer of Arcade promotion looks pretty sweet this year; I'm also excited for the DOTA-meets-Team-Fortress-2 multiplayer in Monday Night Combat and (dude!) a whole new 2D Castlevania game that's not on a handheld. But Limbo's the one with the earmarks that tell me I'll probably still be thinking about it in December when we're arguing over the games that mattered most this year. 


Journey


Good thing Limbo is out this year, because thatgamecompany's next PSN whatchamacallit Journey will probably take the emo crown in 2011. Or whenever it comes out, since the company's head creative guy Jenova Chen said at E3 that the game will "hopefully" be done next year. As promising as the brief snippet looked at the show, I'm willing to wait a while for the team (now all of nine people strong) to get this right.
 


Journey's art style alone is enough to make you take notice, and it looks as fluid and gorgeous in motion as you'd think it would, looking at still pictures. But the game also appears to be thatgamecompany's first foray into making a real video game--with a character you move around via analog stick and buttons--and not just an experimental think piece. Well, OK, Flower kind of had a narrative and some collectibles, but this one has a vast world to explore, peppered with the last traces of a long-dead desert culture. There are unconventional platforming mechanics, and a strange, accidental multiplayer component that involves... singing?

It's a weird-looking game that I found highly intriguing. Here's all the info about Journey I managed to glean from the game's sole showing at E3, but it wasn't nearly enough to satisfy my curiosity.
    

InFamous 2


Oh, you wanted me to pick a game that comes on a disc? Fine, here it is!

All I can say about InFamous 2 is that it looks like the first game, except better and more. New city, more powers, deeper combat, wider range of bad guys trying to bring you down. Sucker Punch even says the frame rate will be better this time around. The first game was probably my favorite open-world game ever, from a pure gameplay standpoint, and from the little I got to play at E3, none of the important core mechanics are getting messed with. There's just a lot more being layered on top, including, yes, electric tornados.

Like a lot of people, I'm not a huge fan of the new character design for Cole, but frankly I couldn't care less what he looks like, as long as the gameplay is on point. And so far it appears to be. (Sucker Punch says Cole is still subject to change over the next year before release, anyway.)

What's that? You understand I brought a clip setting this game up? That statement is accurate.
 
  
      

Mortal Kombat

 
Until we play more Mortal Kombat with more new characters, there's probably not much more to say about this that Jeff and I haven't already repeated ad nauseam through every available channel. It's a throwback to everything I loved from the Mortal Kombat II era, but it feels modern enough to hang with Street Fighter IV and all the other recent fighters.

It's got turnaround kicks.

You can uppercut a guy out of the air.

See, I'm repeating myself again. Get back to me when I can play as Raiden. Until then, perhaps you should just listen to the man himself for more. 
 
  
   
 

StarCraft II 

 
No, wait, this wasn't at E3. I can't do that just because I really want to be playing it right now, can I? 
 
OK, how about... 
 
 

Zelda: Skyward Sword 

 
Someone explain the widespread ambivalence over this one; I think it looks like everything you'd want out of a Wii Zelda game. The visual style retains just enough of The Wind Waker to keep that sense of whimsy I expect from the Zelda series, and the sword and shield controls feel accurate and responsive, just like you wanted the ones in Twilight Princess to be.  
 
I especially liked the high skill ceiling (at least relatively high, by the series' standards) on the combat that I got to play at the show. You can sort of hack and slash your way through most enemies, but perfect timing on your use of the shield and the way you orient your sword slashes will leave enemies even more vulnerable, letting you take them out faster. It felt really satisfying. 
 
  
    

OK, so it doesn't look like they're necessarily going to dispense with the overworld/dungeon/new item/boss format that's propped up every Zelda since the beginning of time, but if enough of the core mechanics feel new and rewarding, I'm not worried if the overall formula feels familiar. Besides, we've barely seen any of Skyward Sword so far. Who knows what else might be in store?
Staff
Posted by Ryax

all good games

Edited by Blair

I love this list, Brad.  I'm down with most of these games.

Posted by slax0r

There were 6 games on this Top 5 and 4 games on Ryan's Top 5.
 
AM I TAKING CRAZY PILLS?!

Posted by FreakAche

@slax0r
Starcraft 2 doesn't count.

Posted by Mechanized

I wish Link had pink hair again.

Posted by Cheapoz

My ambivalence towards new Zelda is that it looks entirely like old-Zelda.

Posted by dbz1995

Mortal Kombat!
 
It must be said.

Posted by JiuJitsuka85
@slax0r:  Epic Giantbomb Mindtricks.
Posted by mrkatzenjammer

Journey looks really interesting

Posted by KaosAngel

Starcraft II is the only game that should be on there.

Posted by NoXious

StarCraft 2 is on my top 1 list. Release this already! 
I want to enjoy the single-player. Terrans rule!

Posted by MeatSim

This list should just be Mortal Kombat times 5.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

Good list.  I'm excited for the new Zelda, too, though I'd like to get my hands on it to test the combat mechanics myself before I commit to a purchase.  Guess I'll have plenty of time to mull it over and watch vids, but it looks solid enough for me.

Moderator
Posted by Vorbis

I think my gaming tastes are closest to Brad, always seems to agree with him on games.
 
Good list.

Posted by RobotHamster

All great games Brad.  Limbo and Journey seem to be the best downloadable games to be coming out.  Zelda is Zelda so we know its going to be good.  I'm not the biggest fighting fan but MK looks to be a fun game to try and bring me into the genre.  And inFamous 2 looks to be a fantastic game, maybe even take a page out of Uncharted 2's book and get goty's. 

Edited by crusader8463

While I can't say I approve of your taste in the game, hate me some Starcraft, but it warms the cockles of my heart to see at least someone mention a PC game. Just wish we actually had an exclusive or two worth buying some time this year. Hope I can win the lottery soon and buy some small developer somewhere and make my dream PC game. Totally worth wasting my entire lottery winnings on.
 
Also, here's hoping that limbo comes out for PC. I really don't want to have to hook up my 360 and buy some of those silly Microsoft space bucks just to play that game.

Posted by MAST

I'm loving Brad's list. Those are exactly the games I'm wanting to play. Even Starcraft 2.

Posted by Cazamalos

if anyone at sucker punch is reading this, please bring back the infamous 1 voice actor of Cole, pleaseeeeeeee

Posted by masterpaperlink

Wow i agree with him for once

Posted by Spaceyoghurt

Agree with Limbo and Journey, great picks. Other than that, very predictable. Those will most likely be solid games of course, but I have no real hype for them.

Posted by Sil3n7

Great stuff.

Posted by demontium

Glad to see Zelda

Posted by ImperiousRix

Only Limbo and Mortal Kombat really interest me here.    

InFamous 2 looks like more InFamous, which... I'm not necessarily down for.  Journey I don't know enough about to get excited, I'm no RTS fan so Starcraft II is out of my mind, and Legend of Zelda... ooh boy.  

I don't wanna waste comment space with all my problems with the direction (or lack there of) that the Zelda series is heading in.

Posted by Andrela

Infamous 2 looks sooo good. I rarely get hyped for games but I can make an exception for it.  
 
Zelda.... I'll have to play it before I can make a judgement. You guys seem to think the controls are quite good, others have been quite negative. It remains to be seen

Posted by ThatFrood
@crusader8463 said:
" While I can't say I approve of your taste in the game, hate me some Starcraft, but it warms the cockles of my heart to see at least someone mention a PC game. Just wish we actually had an exclusive or two worth buying some time this year. "
What!
Civilization 5?
You, sir, can go eat a dick. Straight up.
Posted by zudthespud

I don't own a PS3, an Xbox Live membership or a wii so really all I want to hear about is Starcraft 2.

Posted by crusader8463
@ThatFrood said:

" @crusader8463 said:

" While I can't say I approve of your taste in the game, hate me some Starcraft, but it warms the cockles of my heart to see at least someone mention a PC game. Just wish we actually had an exclusive or two worth buying some time this year. "
What! Civilization 5? You, sir, can go eat a dick. Straight up. "
GAH! I keep forgetting that game exists! No one ever talks about it so I never think about it! 
 
Is that going to be PC only though? I though I read somewhere that after that civ game they made for the consoles a year or so ago they are making all future civ games multi-platform? I pray not, but it wouldn't surprise me.
 
Just wish we actually had more then one potentially exclusive game worth buying some time this year.
Edited by djaoni
@crusader8463 said:

" @ThatFrood said:

" @crusader8463 said:

" While I can't say I approve of your taste in the game, hate me some Starcraft, but it warms the cockles of my heart to see at least someone mention a PC game. Just wish we actually had an exclusive or two worth buying some time this year. "

What! Civilization 5? You, sir, can go eat a dick. Straight up. "
GAH! I keep forgetting that game exists! No one ever talks about it so I never think about it! 
 
Is that going to be PC only though? I though I read somewhere that after that civ game they made for the consoles a year or so ago they are making all future civ games multi-platform? I pray not, but it wouldn't surprise me.
 
Just wish we actually had more then one potentially exclusive game worth buying some time this year. "
TrackMania 2     
Elemental: War of Magic
 
But that might just be me.
Posted by Deathpooky

I think for Zelda it's a combination of the cringe-inducing presentation of the game at the press conference, and the feeling of "oh, so you made Zelda again, only with Wii controls which so far have proved to not work at all for standard games."  I think everyone's willing to give it a shot, but the complete adherence to the Zelda formula means that it's going to be almost entirely judged on the Wii controls and execution, both of which looked suspect. 
 
Nintendo proved with Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 that they can execute their classic game designs to perfection with just enough innovation, so here's hoping they can do the same with Zelda.  But I don't think I can get hyped about it anymore.

Posted by Jayzilla

I know that what I am going to say is going to come off as exceedingly shallow, but I am not getting a new Zelda game that LOOKS like it is from this decade(2010-2020). I have seen this game in it's other forms already and I am ready to get it once it starts looking like it belongs in the here and now.

Posted by HandsomeDead
@freshym said:
" I wish Link had pink hair again. "
Get Jeffree Star as the main character of Skyward Sword and I would be totally sold.
Posted by Lazyaza

Had zero interest in Infamous for two main reasons; the lead character design and the sheer awful lack of color that the game so desperately needed.
 
Both these things are changed in the sequel and they also seem to be going further away from realism and in to the realms of comic-book-awesome-over-the-top-ness.  My interest in the sequel is 10 fold of the original.

Posted by AhmadMetallic

why is this personal list submitted as an article? no really

Posted by JackSukeru

I had some opinions, but I'm gonna save them for later and just rewatch that Limbo Quicklook, hoping it will come out for PSN or PC eventually.

Posted by AlisterCat

Nice broad list.

Posted by Jazz

Limbo and Journey look interesting, SC2 is going to be great..everything else..especially MK is very much a *shrug*

Posted by StingingVelvet

The ambivalence over Zelda from moi is simple "BEEN THERE DONE THAT 10 FUCKING TIMES."  I had the same feeling over Mario Galaxy and Prime 3 though, and have it over every other Nintendo game introduced at E3 people wet themselves over.
 
So maybe no one should listen to me.

Posted by Raven_Sword

 
Ryan dosent like good games, News @ 11. lol, jk Ryan.

Posted by freakin

fuck you Brad, great list.

Posted by Cybexx

I like this list. I am stoked for all those games (Just realized Starcraft II is THIS month!). I agree with you that Zelda is getting a bad rap, the technical problems during the stage demo didn't help, but I am excited to see what direction the rest of the game is taking. I was hoping for something revolutionary but I will take another top tier game on a well oiled formula.  
 
I also love Sucker Punch so inFamous 2 is sitting just behind Portal 2 for my most anticipated games of E3 2010. Sly 2 is one of the most amazing sequels ever developed (seriously go play Sly Cooper then play Sly 2, my god that is progress on an already fun game) so if they get even close to the evolutionary step to that game it will be awesome.

Posted by TheCheese33
@Ahmad_Metallic: Because it's an interesting read. Not everything has to be "NEW DETAILZ 4 TEH HALOZ"
Posted by Cold_Wolven

I knew Brad would pick Limbo just by the impression i got from the QL. Journey is intriguing and Infamous 2 looks loads fun (and hopefully that subject to change for Cole's look comes soon). Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will definately be a must play.
Edited by Crushed
Posted by GetBentTheVideoGame

I don't really understand people's response to Skyward Sword thus far either.  It seems like the first genuine test for real motion controls in a full length, non-sports game, unless you count Red Steel 2 (which I don't). I'm glad that they've decided to use the Motion+ to go deep with the combat. I'm also intrigued by the SotC style jump/grip meter. The game has so much potential.

Posted by RVonE

Fuck yeah Journey! I'm really looking forward to that game...or whatever it turns out to be.
Posted by Damian

To be completely honest, I could use a little more nauseam. 
Good thing Jeff's list is still on the way. More nauseam for everybody!

Posted by xxMarkIt8Dudexx

Starcraft II looks awesome. Portal II is my most anticipated since The Last Guardian was a no show..

Posted by Addfwyn

Brilliant list, agree with all 5 of these picks (putting it well above Ryan's list for me, where I ranged from 'wtf' to 'eh, okay' on his picks).  I guess Brad DOES like better games than Ryan. 
 
Very glad to see still the love for the more indy PSN/XBLA stuff, as that is where some of the most interesting and innovative stuff comes out I think.  Journey looks absolutely stunning, no surprise.

Posted by MetalBaofu
@slax0r said:
" There were 6 games on this Top 5 and 4 games on Ryan's Top 5.  AM I TAKING CRAZY PILLS?! "
As someone else said Starcraft 2 doesn't count, and Ryan's list has 5 games....it's just that one of them may or may not ever actually become something(Face Ace).
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