I've seen several "lists" from what folks are looking forward to seeing more of at E3. Frankly, most of them don't appeal to me too well. So here's my list:
Max Payne 3 Is this coming out in 2010? What's the gameplay like? Is it a sandbox game? I'd love to see more. Payne is a great character and Rockstar will do him justice.
I Am Alive I'm still pretty fuzzy on what this game is about. The teasers look great, and we know the masses love apocalyptic survival games. Will we see more of it at E3? I hope so.
L.A. Noire I've been waiting patiently for the game over the years... and it seems like we're finally getting closer to a release date. With Rockstar at the helm, it won't be rushed. But is a 2010 release in sight?
Medal of Honor Since this game already is set for release, it's not imperative we see a whole lot of teaser stuff. It's time to see real action from this COD wannabe. Will it be good enough to dethrone the Activision monster?
MLB 09 The Show continues to deliver for me. As a baseball fan and a gamer, I feel like it's been many years since my appetite for a quality baseball video game has been met with a great title. The Show is that title. So much so, that I am trying to figure out how to have a PS3 in my home by the time 2010 comes around and Target Field opens (I traded my 360 with a buddy in the meantime).
Road to the Show has granted me hours of gameplay, and I still haven't played more than 10 games on the normal gameplay setting. The Show is a well-built, fine-tuned game meant to stand up to the test of time. Bravo, again, Sony.
After spending a quick few games playing the 3-inning demo for MLB 2K9, I have a few impressions. Obviously the final build of the game could vary from the demo, so please allow my take some slack.
Hitting. The timing and the realism of how the ball plays off the bat is much improved over last year. I was pleased with the difficulty level and ability to read the pitch out of the pitchers hand. Being able to pull the pitch to a grounder or fly ball is also a good thing. Borrowing from MVP 2005 is a good thing, 2K!
Pitching. Gone is the ridiculous "process" of performing a pitch. While pitching isn't a breeze, it's much better in 2K9.
The crowd. This game, by far, has the most realistic and seemless crowd movements and reactions. Bravo for paying attention to this detail - it really adds to the presentation.
Commentating and sound. The addition of Gary Thorne and Steve Phillips is a much needed breath of fresh air. Gary is, in my opinion, one of the best and natural voices for video game commentating, and Phillips does a decent job of filling in the dead space. The sound effects of bat and balls, along with the crowd, were fairly accurate...
Presentation. This year, the cutscenes have been removed and the game flows in real time. Even when skipping ahead, it seems natural and moves at a very smooth pace. The game has a better "broadcast" feel than I've ever seen in a video game.
Framerate. The game looks great and runs smooth...but will it do so when replays and celebrations are included?
Fielding. I was a little perplexed that I couldn't control my outfielders as well as I'd like. A couple times a fly ball landed right next to my player...as if he wasn't standing underneath it. This is something that might be easily adjusted in the final build, or could be changed with a slider or setting.
Tags. Several times when trying to apply a tag, the runner ran right through my player, and no tag was applied. Annoying.
Replays - It's only a demo, but it didn't have replays or cutaways of big moments...wish this could have been included in the demo.
Control scheme. The demo doesn't give the player any idea on how to steal, dive, slide, etc. Really confusing why this wasn't included.
Will framerate and game flow be helped by downloading the game to the 360 hard drive? Hopefully.
Will there be more stadiums and unlockables this year? I'd love to see more uniforms added.
Will the minigames affect your team and/or players throughout the season or in the offseason?
Overall, I'm cautiously optimistic that this years MLB game will take some steps in the right direction. The Xbox 360 needs a decent baseball game again.
My Call of Duty: World at War review is coming soon... but I thought I'd give my two cents about the game.
There's two very different opinions going on in my head regarding COD5, based on what I've seen other gamers say. First of all, there's an overarching sentiment among reviewers and critics that COD5 is a complete ripoff of Modern Warfare, and really doesn't take the game into any new territory. Industry people are unhappy that two separate developers are making games for the same franchise, and they believe the maker of COD4 is the real innovator and COD5 is a paint-job over the last installment. I understand some of that argument and can agree with much of it.
But the truth of it is that COD5 is a great game. It's entertaining, fun and action packed. The multiplayer gives gamers an opportunity to play new maps and enjoy some different weapon strategies. One area COD4 dropped the ball is that they did not release more DLC for their giant online following. COD5 is prepared to do that, and it starts with a lot more attention given to the multiplayer functionality and options.
So my feeling is two-fold. Yes, COD5 is only a slight upgrade to Modern Warfare, and the WWII setting is played out. But don't be mistaken: COD5 is a great game to play.
Nothing will humble a man and de-masculinize him more than walking into a local video game store and asking the clerk for a copy of LIPS. Just walking up to the counter drains any ego one may have left. I know others have done it too, because the first Gamestop I visited had no copies left. "Yeah [smirk], I guess somebody must be buying that game," the employee chirped. "Well, I hope my wife likes it," I replied, hoping everyone in the store heard WIFE. The clerk returned an untrusting look, like he'd heard the line a thousand times before. His co-worker smiled as he typed inventory into the computer next to us.
I guess my ego is a small price to pay for having a happy wife, who enjoys our 360...but she'll have to buy LIPS 2 next time.
I've been mildly following the hype that has surrounded the NXE. This morning I downloaded the update and began using.
Wow. What a difference a download makes. I've been thoroughly impressed with the new interface, and more importantly, how quickly and seamlessly it moves along as users flip through the screens. Being able to download the game to your hardware is also important - and hopefully it reduces the chance for a RROD scenario.
What's the most ironic about the look is that it's a "rip-off" of two competitors that have dominated their respective markets: Apple and the Nintendo Wii. Good update, MS. I'm sure you'll find a way to get me to spend money on your new features/content.
I'll admit, the storyline did not "suck me in" when the game fired up. After getting some of the tips Brad suggested, I'm beginning to really dig into the game. It's clear that as a gamer who's used to going from one objective to another, Far Cry takes a different approach. Often the player is assigned missions that are miles away on the map, and in order to travel to them, 30-40 minutes of fighting through outposts and small villages is required.
A big key to the game is unlocking weapons. Now that I've unlocked more weapons, the fighting is becoming more realistic and fun. I've got to admit, the Flamethrower is awesome!
Since I'm only a quarter of the way into the game - there's lots to discover before giving a verdict. So far it has taken a while, but Far Cry 2 is growing on me.
October is chalk full of game options... Fable 2, Dead Space, Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 round out a list of great games. Hopefully the critics are able to sift the good from the bad - cause I sure don't have time to play them all.