If there’s one thing I find fascinating in video games, it’s choice. Choice is something that doesn’t really exist in other media (well, there are choose your own adventure books, and VNs, but one’s a gimmick, and the other goes hand in hand with video games), and if used well, they can add a lot of depth to a game. However, I have a weird way of admiring choice in games. If used superficially (like, say, one or two lines changing, maybe changing the colors of a scene, but nothing more), I’ll consider it kind of a waste. If a game goes beyond that, I start to get impressed. How about a nonlinear mission structure with the only restrictions in place to prevent the plot from derailing? That, my readers, is Deus Ex.
Hey all, E3 has come and gone, and the staff has their thoughts. We’ll be addressing a few questions:
1) Of the Big 3, who “won?”
2) What games are you looking forward to? What surprised or interested you the most?
3) What games disappointed you? What games had you wished you seen moar of?
For the longest time, I’ve never given PlayStation Plus much thought. Sure, they advertised free games for the service, but after giving up on the Xbox, paid online services seemed abhorrent. At one time or another, I thought that the ability to play console games online was a premium service that was well worth the cost. Later on I realized I can get almost the same experience on just about every other gaming device, but for free. Subscription fees just for the ability to play games online seemed rather silly. As you can imagine, I remained determined not to spend a dime on any sort of subscription service.
However, while watching the E3 2012 Sony conference, I realized there may be some pretty good incentives to try out PS Plus. With titles like Infamous 2, Just Cause 2, and LittleBigPlanet 2 offered for free, I decided to try the service. While I probably would’ve bought Infamous 2 if it never went up for free, I never would’ve bothered giving Just Cause 2 or LittleBigPlanet 2 a chance. And that would’ve been a damned shame, as I’m finding Just Cause 2 to be insanely fun. I can do crazy shit like attach a car to a helicopter, fly high up, swing it around, and fling it. And to think, were it not for PS Plus, I would’ve missed out on this title.
And last of the Big Three conferences is Nintendo’s. With the new Wii U console looming, Nintendo had a much larger task this E3. Rather than coasting, which is what Microsoft and Sony seemed to do, Nintendo had to sell the Wii U to the audience. Nintendo started off pretty strong with this. They aired a pre-E3 presentation, which illustrated the Wii U’s numerous features. Many of the features listed were pretty cool, and were set to literally appeal to every audience: casuals, core gamers, you name it. However, once we get to their conference, things start to go downhill.
Well, E3 2012 has come and gone, and like anyone who followed it, I have quite a few opinions on it. But that’s no surprise; E3 is where most companies show you what they want you to see the most (for that year), and I’m sure that these companies want you to talk about their achievements, developments, reveals, and the like. So I’ll be happy to oblige. First off, we’re starting with Microsoft, a company that has failed to really impress at E3 the past few years. And this year happens to be more of the same, though with a few twists.
Judge: Hey there ladies and gentleman, Laevatein and I here to give our reactions to Sai Mecha Colony Side, Round 1 just like we did for the Earth Side, Round 1. To get things kicked off, any initial thoughts about the pairings?
Laevatein: Well, it seems like most of my picks won.
Judge: There were definitely a lot of staple choices in this round. First up: Turn A vs. Tauburn (72.3% vs 27.7%). Pretty easy matchup for the Turn A.
Laevatein: Yeah, I fucking love the Turn A, so I voted for it. I’m kind of surprised, since it seems nobody likes the designs, but, well, it destroyed the Tauburn, and I can see why. I fear for the Turn A’s performance in the future.
Judge: Really? I don’t think it will have much trouble. It may look extremely goofy, but it’s a classic. Butterfly wings ftw. Second matchup: Kshatriya vs. Durandal (61.84% vs 38.16%) . I had a feeling Kshatriya would easily win.
Recently, I’ve discovered the wonderful company that is Falcom. Having been around for a very long time (longer than Square, even), Falcom is pretty much one of the Japanese giants. However, unlike Square, their games never caught on as much outside of Japan, as they never set up a Western branch. Additionally, until recently, they only ever developed games for the PC, and handed out licenses to third parties for console ports (which almost always wind up being quite bad).
Anyways, so the Ys series of games is pretty famous for pretty much pioneering the action RPG genre. While Ys I and II did a good job of detailing what happened to the land of Ys in the past, Ys Origin takes a further look into what went on, and specifically, concerns itself with climbing the immense tower and coming up with a solution to Ys’ demon problem. So how is Ys Origin? Is it worth throwing $20 (or whatever insane price it’ll be at after some Steam sale) at your computer screen? Well, despite constantly comparing it to Ys: Oath in Felghana (an excellent remake of the third Ys game), I’m having fun with it.