Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Microsoft's E3 Conference 2012: No-so-live Impressions

It's that time of year again, people. I missed the Microsoft conference live again this year, but caught Gamespot's recording a few hours later. So do Microsoft have any surprises to pull out of the bag this time, or will it be more of the same old franchises, more Kinect and more media stuff? Given how these things have turned out since I started watching them, and the fact that we're at the end of an extremely long console cycle here, I wasn't exactly holding my breath.

0:00:06 - Looking at the empty stage wondering if anything's going to come out of this besides misery, despair and Halo. :D

0:00:23 - The Xbox 360 start-up logo. Weird.

0:00:35 - Straight into a video. Call of Duty, surely. Serious face is serious.

0:00:56 - Nope Halo 4. Still haven't played that PC copy of Halo 1 btw. :D

0:02:19 - Well, that live action trailer was a load of corny looking, nonsensical shit. But never fear, Master Chief's here.

0:02:38 - He seems oddly unfazed by the ship crashing a few feet directly above him.

0:03:00 - A giant ball? What?

0:03:31 - Sure looks like Halo.

0:03:44 - Graphics are quite nice though.

0:04:58 - "Activity all around us" - four minor enemies at most.

0:05:17 - Okay, in fairness, that's a lot of enemies. No wait, they're running away. :D

0:07:19 - Maybe if I knew anything about Halo, I'd be pretty pumped right now, but all that footage has me thinking about is a new Metroid Prime. Come on Retro, get on it!

0:07:33 - Nooooooooooooo! Sexy AI girl is dying. Or something.

0:07:47 - And the crowd goes wild.

0:07:56 - No, I won't welcome Don Mattrick, lady.

0:08:17 - Wait an minute. The conference was exclusive to Xbox Live gold members on the 360? Bloody hell, Microsoft.

0:08:29 - One Xbox fanboy wooing the sales figures in the audience. Douche chill!

0:09:02 - Yep, the magic of Kinect. Rider, meet horse; horse, meet rider.

0:09:57 - Another trailer.

0:11:04 - I guess this'll fill that niche for brutal torture left by 24.

0:11:25 - Yep, Splinter Cell. Well, at least it's not a Kinect game. Probably.

0:11:42 - Throw in a few vials of nerve gas and a shadowy American behind it all and that's totally a plot from 24.

0:12:29 - Looks like Sam's been watching some Starsky and Hutch DVDs lately. :D

0:13:36 - Kinect voice recognition - still not a compelling gameplay feature in any way.

0:15:57 - You know, I might be into this though. As far as stealth goes, it seems much more along the lines of Assassin's Creed than old school Splinter Cell. The spy stuff in the series always looked appealing, but it always looked way too demanding for me. Really hope Kinect isn't required for this though.

0:16:41 - Compelling single player. My favourite kind, as always.

0:16:54 - Zzzzzzzz EA Spots stuff. What could they possibly have to show for 360 at this point?

0:17:54 - Kinect again. So, nothing then?

0:18:58 - Changing formations with Kinect might be the first useful thing anyone's come up with for voice commands on Kinect so far. Substitutions look kind of fiddly though, and everything else is bleeping gimmick central.

0:19:51 - Madden stuff. Time for a quick power nap methinks.

0:20:41 - Shenanigans! No way this hasn't been rehearsed and choreographed to death beforehand. I'm on to you, Joe Montana.

0:22:04 - "A new darkness threatens Albion". Oh, goody Fable: The Journey. I heard it's on-rails.

0:22:27 - Not Keanu Reeves unleashes his Kinect magic and suddenly we're watching the intro to Super Mario Galaxy.

0:23:00 - Not really. It's more like Dragon Quest Swords, but somehow even less appealing.

0:23:42 - "Only the best games are on Xbox" [Citation Needed]

0:23:52 - Fucking really? Another Halo and and that shitty on-rails Fable game make this the biggest year for games on Xbox?

0:24:38 - So I guess this segment is Microsoft making sure core gamers know they're being catered to this year. here comes the trailer for the next Gears of War.

0:25:24 - Sure looks like Gears, but I wonder what Ice T thinks.

0:26:11 - And a Forza trailer.

0:26:29 - Street racing. Bold new direction, guys; If it weren't for the dubstep, I'd be convinced I'd warped back to 2002 somehow.

0:27:42 - Looks like the content provider announcement segment. Always a highligZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

0:28:06 - Hold the phone, guys. Searching movies by genre is coming to Xbox.

0:28:25 - Yeah, we get it, guy. Xbox Bing Horse Porn.

0:29:06 - "The magic of voice search". Kinect really isn't that magical. Okay, Microsoft?

0:29:18 - Oh good, the same shit again in Spanish. :D

0:30:56 - Do people really watch sports through the 360? Really?

0:34:38 - Xbox Music. The dream of Zune lives on.
0:36:42 - Some fitness game now.

0:37:14 - A Nike branded one. All that lead-up for this? :D

0:38:10 - I'm genuinely starting to nod off now.

0:41:38 - Some Xbox Live talk. Maybe some cool XBLA games, so I don't have to gnaw off my own arm to stay awake?

0:42:09 - Nope. Smartphone to Xbox connectivity.

0:42:23 - Hey, you know what I like to do while playing games or watching TV? Not look at my damn phone.

0:43:20 - Xbox Smart Glass. What?

0:45:28 - That TV stuff looks pretty useless. Looks like they're going to use it with the 360 to try and combat the Wii U's tablet as far as games are concerned. Pretty clever move.

0:46:42 - I'll bet that's exactly how Madden works on the Wii U.

0:46:59 - Looks very Wii U-like in terms of functionality. I'm guessing it shouldn't be hard for devs to move over their Wii U specific features to this. It'll be intresting to see how this affects the Wii U.

0:48:04 - Internet Explorer on Xbox. Finally. :D

0:48:32 - So you control it with voice commands or with the touch screen on your smartphone? Doesn't sound much less clunky than the other browsers to me, mate.

0:49:58 - Oh God, another forty minutes to go. :D

0:52:03 - I wonder if they're going to do something cool like bringing XBLA games to Windows 8 or if he's just talking about Games for Windows Live here.

0:52:12 - Tomb Raider. Again.

0:52:34 - "Mature", but is it "dark"?

0:53:28 - Still looks very linear, and like they've upped the amount of gunplay significantly.

0:53:37 - Somewhere, someone's already working on a clean Lara mod.

0:54:36 - Number of tombs raided so far: 0

0:57:31 - Timed exclusive on the first DLC.

0:58:18 - Some original games? Could it be?

0:59:40 - Ascend: new Gods. Don't know what to make of this so far. It has stabbing dudes at least.

1:00:22 - Still none the wiser on Ascend. Some kind of multiplayer character action game maybe?

1:00:59 - LocoCycle from Twisted Pixel? No idea either.

1:01:47 - Matter. Some kind of platform puzzle game for Kinect, I'd imagine. Yet another 2013 title.

1:01:55 - Well that segment was uninformative. Moving onto some Resident Evil 6 stuff now.

1:02:23 - At long last, something I actually care about. Leon S. Kennedy, motherfuckers.

1:02:54 - "This sucks!" I don't know, Claire, I thought Splinter Cell looked marginally interesting.

1:03:13 - Liking this so far. Looks very reminiscent of RE2, complete with old school zombies. That door opening animation look the exact same as the one from RE4.

1:03:29 - Lots of throat stabbing in this conference so far.

1:04:26 - Some RE4/5 style fast zombies in the last area. Looks like they're mixing it up. Okay.

1:04:46 - Yes! Leon's roundhouse kick is back. How I missed it in RE5.

1:04:59 - Leon also seems oddly unfazed by a plane crashing within close proximity to him.

1:05:15 - I'm guessing this section will involve pressing X to not die in the final game. Looks kind of cool though.

1:06:24 - Why would she try to save him? He was obviously dead already.

1:07:18 - Nice. Looking forward to this in the Autumn.

1:07:33 - Wrecketeer?

1:07:46 - Yay, Kinect. Well, at least it's not being demoed by kids.

1:08:28 - This is such a blatant Boom Blox knock off, it's not funny. It even sounds like Boom Blox! Looks pretty lame.

1:09:35 - I'm not worried at all, Alex. Not even slightly.

1:09:49 - Ooh, the South Park RPG.

1:11:17 - South Park: The Stick of Truth. Man, I really hope this turns out good.

1:11:29 - Tery and Matt. Finally someone likeable at this conference.

1:11:49 - Oh snap. XD

1:13:38 - Sounds cool.

1:13:44 - More Dance Central. Joy unbounded!

1:14:12 - It's Ushah. I wonder how everything's going in Greenvale.

1:14:53 - No, it's just the R&B guy, performing on stage no less.

1:16:04 - Still fourteen minutes to go.

1:18:32 - Totally just skipped that whole thing. :D Thank goodness I'm not watching live.

1:19:02 - "Ushering in a whole new era of entertainment". Nice, Don, real nice.

1:19:59 - One last thing, eh? Let's see, we've already had Halo, Gears, Forza AND Fable. Well it's not going to be first party then. :D

1:20:09 - Oh, of course! It's CODBLOPS 2. Time for another nap.

01:25:29 - In the few minutes while he's been sniping everyone below, how come nobody's noticed and tried to shoot him?

1:27:07 - In the interest of time...? Did they just skip one of their own long-ass, non-playable sections. :D

1:27:39 - Sure looks like Call of Duty.

1:29:13 - What did I miss, guys? I've been reading Joystiq in another tab. Not even kidding.

1:31:51 - It's finally over, and so is the conference.

Well, that was sure another Microsoft E3 conference. At least we were spared the kids demoing Kinect stuff this time, even if they seemed intent in ramming the device's game-enhancing magic down everyone's throats. Smart Glass, like the Wii U last year, looks like it could have a lot of potential for similar new types of gameplay. It's coming so late in the 360's life though that I don't think we're going to see many significant or interesting uses of it until the next console rolls around. If they exploit it well enough, I can actually see it stealing a lot of the Wii U's thunder.

As far as games go, there wasn't a whole lot to get excited about. Microsoft pretty much wheeled out the usual suspects, both first and third party. They didn't really show enough of either RE6 or South Park to know what to expect from either, but as a fanboy of both, I'm excited to see more. I'm definitely interested to see more Splinter Cell too. I'm sure fans won't appreciate how dumbed down the stealth looks to be, but a Splinter Cell set in the world of the older games, but far less frustrating to play sounds really appealing to me. Tomb Raider, I'm still not convinced about. It still looks incredibly linear as far as the platforming goes and the over the top violence both performed by Lara, and inflicted on her by the environment seems like a really jarring addition to the franchise. Beyond those, nothing else shown really piqued my interest one way or the other, unfortunately.


Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

JiliK said...

Thanks! I always enjoy doing these; they make watching the conferences a bit more fun, even if they're as boring as this one was. :D