E3 2012: Sony Press Conference

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Now to cut the crap and get into something that I delayed because I had finals, which I suppose is a very valid reason for not writing about a Gaming Expo.

Sony began with a trailer featuring an uncountable number of games, which was nice until it got into the three minute mark, and I could only identify half the games, which you want to prevent at any cost, because you are selling things that move so quickly that they cannot name.  But hey, at least it began with actual games, unlike Microsoft.  

In a very odd move, Sony’s first item was David Cage’s new game.  For those who do not know who he is, he is the creator of Heavy Rain, an interesting game that suffers from the fact that it wanted to be a movie more than anything, and it would have been a crap movie due to the eye rolling plot and flat characters, even “Future” Man was boring in the playthrough that I was.  But this is different, because David Cage is now taking you into Beyond: Two Souls, a game advanced enough to render realistically sweaty faces, but not to realize that the tech demo  they posted a few months ago.  Seriously the story of an futuristic society with sexbots and AIs obtaining free will, is a FAR better plot that a girl who is connected to some form of spirit named Ivan, who takes her on a multipath adventure over the course of 15 years.  Now, both of them are leagues better than one about an Architect, a photographer, Rodney Brando, and “Future” Man, trying to figure out who dun did murder some children.  So at the very least, Davey is learning, and he decided to let you play with superpowers, I hope, since there was just an in-game cutscene, no gameplay.

This was followed by a showcasing of Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sony’s long winded Super Smash Brothers look-alike.  While the gameplay is interesting with how it handles kills and meters, there is no visible score system, making it hard to tell whether or not anybody is winning.  And the fact that despite the reveal of two new characters, we just got 4 of the 6 debut crew.  The two new characters were Nathan Drake, a predictable choice due to Uncharted’s popularity, and Big Daddy, a regular foe in Bioshock, a game whose creators declined the possibility of it coming to the PS3, only to eventually be released.  I’m sorry, but I thought the title implied this being an exclusive All-Stars party, not one with characters who we later ported over.  Granted, the game they are imitating had Sonic, and Solid Snake, characters who only made real appearances on the developer’s systems as of 2001, and 2000 respectively, with handheld titles.  Besides, Big Daddy looks like he’d be a lot of fun to play as, due to his drill arm and rampaging style.  

However, I have one major gripe about the game, and that is the visuals, I will go one record of tweeting, in response to @Ray2P’s tweet asking, “Why does it look like #PlayStationAllStarsBattleRoyale has the graphical prowess of a PS2 game?” To which I responded, “Because they [Sony] couldn’t be arsed to find a uniform style [For Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale].  Rendering characters that look so different and making it flow is hard!”  And it is true, if every character requires its own set of shaders, they will not all be able to look as good as the game they came from, because there is no uniform style to remove the burden on the Playstation 3 and Vita.  Look at Super Smash Brothers Brawl, characters like Toon Like were redesigned to use the same graphical shaders as Mario and Ike.  But whereas Nintendo has a uniform vibe, Sony is all over the place from Kratos, to Parappa the Rapper.

After the three minute battle demo, we then heard some good news for the PSV, how it was getting PSOne classics, which shocks the hell out of me, because I thought it was there from launch, and how it was getting a lot of support with the 200 PSN titles that Sony plans to release over the next year.  Now, I must ask, how the hell do they have 200 games to release in a year?  And who would be willing to keep up with all of these titles?  I mean, Retro City Rampage, Guacamelee, and Unfinished Swan, all look great, but if you provide to much at once, then players will just get tired of keeping up and will give up on the PSN.  Also, they mentioned a criminally great deal where you get 12 games for free every month if you have PlayStation Plus, which is $5 a month.  Hell, this month you get games like InFamous 2 and Saints Row 2, and if you quit PS+, they are still on your hard drive whenever you want to play them.  How the hell is this even profitable?  And giving everyone in the conference a free year of membership?  Very nice, I am jealous since my friend could have made use of it.

  This was followed by the announcement of some PSV spin-offs, like Assassin’s Creed III, whose console version looks pretty damn sweet, although the newly shown ship battles look like they are not that fun to control.  And Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, which they couldn’t be bothered to show a single screen for  And the Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, the spin-off, is getting a limited run with a white Vita, which seems pretty sweet if the game is good.  Except for the fact that the Vita’s memory cards are still criminally overpriced.  I don’t plan on giving it a second glance unless it ends up being $200, but I doubt it.  Also, no support for Playstation 2 classics?  The hell is wrong with you

This was then followed by a demo of 4-player Co-Op in Far Cry 3, whose main game looks great, even though I should hate all the characters.  It seems self aware of how dumb it is, and it looks so damn pretty thanks to the colors.  Also, I can laugh whenever it tries to be mature or edgy, so that is a plus.  What is not a plus it the generic looking multiplayer, I can say this about the other non-single player modes, but it is sad to see a guy with such an awesome beard and voice, stoop to presenting something this lackluster.  This was followed by Wonderbook, which looks awful and is Sony’s final attempt to bring the Playstation Move into stores, but this is a shit Harry Potter game by J. K. Rowling, who could not be arsed to record a video message about the game she is writing.  And this whole multiple games idea, nope, it will never work out for you, ever.  

As an apology for that dull peripheral that nobody wanted, they showed God of War: Ascension’s single player and-Zzz… Wassat?  Sorry, just thinking about the gameplay makes me want to take a nap.  Now, I never played a God of War game, and this put me to sleep, that has got to say something about how dull and predictable its mere style has gotten.  Even Elephantmen bored me due to how hard it is to see anything detailed in the damn game.

We then wrapped up with The Last of Us, the best looking game of Sony’s conference.  From the scarce ammunition, evident health bar, and amazingly reactive AI of the game, it could very well give Survival Horror the kick up the ass it has been needing for years now.  I also thought that it seemed very human, with the exception of all the killing that MUST be done.  If it is the apocalypse, why the hell are people killing each other?  Wouldn’t you just fight over food and water?  And the main character dup of a bearded dude named Joel and an AI controlled teenage girl, seem very capable of stealth, so why fight?  This could all just be demo smoke and mirrors, but what else am I supposed to judge it by?  The game still looks wonderful, but I am trying to not look too hard, for the sake of my wallet.  Hell, I plan on spending about $500 by the end of the year on games, I don’t need to lust over a PS3.

In the end, Sony’s conference represents E3 2012 pretty well, a few neat surprises, but a lot of talking out one’s ass by claiming how they are the best, and don’t even get me started on the stupid things the host said.  Of all the 4 E3s that I have seen, this has been the most Lackluster, but I think that it needed to be.  This Generation is coming to a close, and few people are willing to squeeze a last bit out of the current consoles.  

The next year will be very top heavy from the looks of things, with an even duller Q4 for 2013.  The 3DS shall have interesting games, or so I hope, while the Vita stagnates a mere year after launch, which is fucking pathetic Sony, you had all the cards, but you failed at a launch that was very easy in theory.  Why?  Your own greed!  The 3G model that is pretty damn useless and uses AT&T.  The memory cards that are twice as much as they could easily sell them for, or just could have used SD cards, because those are dirt cheap.  But now, I just look forward to the 3DS, and tonite, we will see whether or not my hype is justified, and if not, I blame Level 5’s localization staff for being small and ineffectual.

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