E3 2012: The Aftermath

*NOTE: This was written as a personal blog post, and very late at night. There will be no shortage of grammatical errors.*

E3 2012 is officially over, and news is finally starting to slow down. Now that most sites are done with the previews and the interviews that follow the convention, I feel that it is the perfect time to post my thoughts on the week. As I have mentioned in recent posts, E3 is my most anticipated time of the year. More than Christmas, more than my birthday, and even more than the day after exams. Come E3 week, my bottom is glued to the couch, my eyes are peeled to the television, and my hands are glued to my phone. Unfortunately, this year’s conferences were nothing but a big disappointment (for the most part).

Starting the show was Microsoft’s press conference. Unlike previous years, Microsoft decided to open with Halo 4, rather than close with it. What an excellent way to start the show. The game looks graphically advanced, which is a first for the series. I have found that Halo has never been a graphical showpiece, despite being Microsoft’s heaviest hitter. The new location looks familiar enough to the franchise, but it was only settling us in before the premièring of Master Chief’s new enemies. Personally, the Prothean Knights (I may have their names wrong) look a lot like an enemy out of Skyward Sword, which is not a bad thing. The new weapons have also caught my eye, making me begin to imagine a whole new arsenal.

After a satisfying introduction, Microsoft did little to keep my attention. At one point, there was an extraordinarily lengthy portion of the conference with absolutely no games. Microsoft’s focus on “entertainment”, rather than video games, ended up sullying the entire conference, making it the worst of the big three. Ending with Generic Brown Shooter 9 did not help.

Later that night, Sony took the floor. While Sony’s conference was packed with games and exclusive footage, the Vita/Move-owner in me was left unaccounted for. On the bright side, The Last of Us looked better than I could have possibly imagined, God Of War Ascension looks like God of War, and Beyond seems to push the standards for both the narrative and technology that we are so comfortable with. On the down side, Wonderbook.

With a day of conference behind us, all eyes were on Nintendo. Nintendo’s position was unique this year, considering that it has a next-generation console due by the end of the year. This, plus the momentum of the 3DS, led most to believe that Nintendo was the clear-cut winner of E3. We couldn’t be more wrong.

The conference started with Pikmin 3, showing off the power of  Nintendo’s new console. Personally, it looked weaker than expected. There is no justifiable reason why The Last of Us or Halo 4 (running on a six-year old machine) looks more impressive than the “next-generation” console of 2012. At least the game looks fun (very fun, at that).

Nintendo lost me once they showcased a bunch of 2011 blockbusters. I have played Batman Arkham City, as well as Mass Effect 3. Nintendo claims to have third party support, but it means nothing without new titles. The 20 minutes spent on NintendoLand didn’t help. By the end of the conference, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Disappointed that the Wii U had no Zelda HD, or Galaxy 3, or Starfox. There was no Metroid or Retro Studios. There was just NintendoLand. The following day had an hour long conference showcasing 3DS software that has already been showcased. No Majora’s Mask 3D? No new announcements at all?

Most of my expectations were not met, by the end of the week. But not all was so gloomed. Looking past the Usher and Prometheus trailer, E3 2012 was the debut of some incredible things. Watch Dogs, Ubi’s new IP, looks incredible. THIS is the next-generation, whether or not Ubisoft will admit it. Ubisoft also raised hopes with ZombiU, and impressed with Assassin’s Creed III. So no, E3 2012 wasn’t half the spectacle I expected, but at least there was Star Wars 1313.

And the winner is…..Ubisoft.

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