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Cynic Gamer: E3 2009

E3 has come and gone and with all the dust finally settling in, it’s time to get a recap of all the bollocks we got to see and hear.

The biggest news from Mickeysoft this year was without a doubt Natal. Indeed, three years after Nintendo has revamped its Gamecube with motion control and called it “Wii”, Microsoft has decided to jump on the bandwagon and appeal to the mass market Nintendo apparently has so graciously managed to convince that minigames are the future. Bye bye hardcore gamers, hello grandpa and grandma trying to exercise and stay fit until they drop dead from exhaustion!

Microsoft of course wouldn’t be Microsoft if there hadn’t been some confusion. The days after E3 rumours started flying around that Natal was actually going to be some sort of upgraded X360 and even Steve Ballmer got caught in the confusion until Aaron Greenberg, director of product management, set things straight. Great going Microsoft, even your own CEO hasn’t got a clue anymore about what his company is actually doing.

MS also had some actual gaming news as well: Metal Gear Solid coming to X360! Great news if it weren’t that the MGS franchise is so old that even Konami doesn’t care anymore about whether or not to give Microsoft a piece of the Snake. Or let’s talk about Alan Wake. The game is still under development and should arrive Spring next year. If it doesn’t get delayed again of course. Maybe they should rebrand it to Alan Forever?

The rest of Microsoft’s news: Halo sequel, another Halo game, XBLA games, and – whaddayaknow – more sequels… Originality anyone? And please… don’t start about the partnerships with Facebook and Twitter as that’s just… sad.

Guess what: the big news at Sony was… motion control called The Wand! A controller with a ball on top that can be tracked by the Eye Toy. Why didn’t they just call it Eye Toy 2 Enhanced??? All that power of the PS3 is going to be used for minigames? My god, has the world gone crazy?

To make it even better, Sony introduced the PSP Go, a PSP but without the UMD slot and those that already have a PSP should definitely buy this PSP Go because… yea, why actually? To be able to download the games you already had on your normal PSP? Or because it’s so much smaller and has 16GB built-in memory that you actually NEED due to the fact there’s no more UMD slot? All this downloadcraze is getting on my nerves, what’s wrong with going to a shop and buying a game on a disc?

Further news from Sony: Final Fantasy games, sequels to popular franchises (guess that’s why they’re called “franchise”), a ton of PSP games (on UMD), DLC for LittleBigPlanet, Mario Kart Wii made a child with Sackboy (aka Mod Nation Racers) and finally two actually original titles: MAG (online multiplayer) and Agent (by Rockstar).

Biggest absense was the announcement of a pricedrop for the PS3, something just about the entire industry is crying for. But hey, when was the last time we had Sony listen to anyone else but themselves?

Little news from Nintendo actually. There was a buttload of games announced for both Wii and DS but one can easily summarize them: Mario, minigames and… sequels. And that for the “innovative company” Nintendo always claims to be.

Actually, they did have an innovation: the Wii Vitality Sensor which is a pulse meter that actually nobody cares about and sounds to be absolutely ridiculous! I’m sure Nintendo will be staying on top of the sales charts for the coming year though as every Jack Schmuck buys crap for their kids.

Two games based on movies: Avatar and a new game to celebrate 25 years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We all know how the majority of games based on movies are so we REALLY are looking forward to these… NOT! For the rest all the attention went to sequels, minigames and “Project Eden” which is the codename for some secret project they didn’t want to tell anything about. So what the hell did they mention it for?

Electronic Arts:
Surprise, surprise! The publisher that’s known best for milking every last drop out of a franchise actually had some new stuff to show. I guess they ran out of cows to milk: Dante’s Inferno, The Saboteur, Dragon Age: Origins, APB and Brutal Legend. None of these games are completely original but of course it’s hard to be that these days with just about everything having been done already. Still a nice effort from EA. Let’s hope some of these will actually be any good as otherwise we’ll have to do with only sequels to “proven franchises” like The Sims and Littlest Pet Shop. Heaven forbid!

The Rest:
For the rest there was a buttload of trailers for plenty of games but nothing spectacular was announced except for… sequels! It seems that the entire gaming industry over the last couple of years has changed into an industry of milking and minigames, with the occasional bad game based on some shitty movie passing by. Oh well, at least there were booth babes again this year…

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