While most of the Padinga staff is off checking out games at Sony’s press conference (like suckers), I’m here, whispering sweet nothings in your ear, swaying your opinions away from them. The silly fools, when they return, they will have a mutiny on their hands! Rally to me, Dear Reader, and delight in the correctness of my opinions! On a serious note, though, I’m just speaking for myself here, guys. Obviously I can’t dictate to you which conference was more exciting for you.
Now I think both Microsoft and Sony had ho-hum conferences this year, neither one really nailing it. Between them, though, I think Bill Gates came out on top. I know that’s an unusual opinion, maybe even an insane one. Let me quality it first with a few points:
-I don’t like portable gaming. Just on principle, I can’t get into it, so the Vita stuff is lost on me. It was cool to see “Uncharted” on the handheld, but I just can’t fathom why I would play such an epic, cinematic game on a freaking city bus. That crap is designed for a darkened room with chips and a flat soda.
-I don’t like 3D. As the great Christopher Nolan pointed out, 3D is a misnomer, it implies regular images fail to convey three dimensions. So yeah, the branded monitor is really cool, but there is less than zero chance that I will buy it, so…
All right. Now if either 3D or portable is a big deal to you, then obviously you’re going to think I’m nuts here. But if you’re a gamer who prefers to play at home and doesn’t like 3D, then I think Microsoft had the edge. Hit the jump to see why…
1. Mass Effect 3 Voice Control. Is literally the coolest thing in the history of ever. You can freaking talk your way through the dialog sections, and command your squad mid-combat by barking orders at the screen. Sony tried to act like they were the “exclusivity” console, but none of their cross-platform sweeteners can touch this one. And look, I’m biased, but I’m not that biased. I admitted that PS3′s “Portal 2″ was the superior version last year. This year, “Mass Effect 3″ belongs on the 360.
Also, “Ghost Recon’s” use of Kinect was actually pretty cool. The weapon customization thing was a lot more interesting than I expected, and I’d actually love to see a game really capture the combat experience with motion control.
3. Gears of War 3. One of the things I’ve always disliked about Sony’s game division is their fondness for quantity over quality. Yes, they have “Infamous,” “LittleBigPlanet,” and “Resistance,” but a new “Gears of War” game is worth all of those put together for me. You’ll notice I left out “Uncharted,” which is a P.I.M.P. and a real challenge to Microsoft. Still, the “Uncharted 3″ demo was a huge letdown: there wasn’t a single new gameplay mechanic or interesting progression for the series. Yes, a sinking boat is cool, but we’ve been doing that set piece since the original “Modern Warfare.” I’m a little worried that Naughty Dog’s venerable series is running dry on ideas. If so, they’ll join “Resistance 3,” which has been stripped of anything original and reassembled as a “Killzone” knockoff.
Meanwhile, the “Gears” beta has got to be one of the best betas in the long, sad history of betas, and “Gears 3″ is primed to outstrip the rest of the franchise by a country mile. Honestly, the demo at MS today was just a victory lap, I think Epic already knows this one is in the bag. Is anyone with an Xbox seriously telling me they won’t be buying it? Nothing in Sony’s exclusivity camp can match “Gears of War 3.” Playstation has the numbers, but Microsoft has the big guns.
4. Kinect. I think the Kinect is coming into its own. Some of that person scanning action they pulled off was really impressive, “Dance Central 2″ looks absolutely awesome, and we’re finally getting some hardcore games that use the bloody thing correctly. The motion control is whatever, but there are genuinely exciting possibilities with the camera and voice control. And come to think of it, that Live TV stuff they’re planning is going to be really cool, too, and far better than Sony’s comparable programs.
Now yes, maybe you scoff at Kinect sports. But I double scoff at freaking PS Move “NBA 2K.” Even Kobe Bryant couldn’t make that stupid crap look like a good idea.
5. Halo. I don’t think anyone was shocked to see a “Halo 4″ trailer, but hey, it still counts. It’s a new title in arguably the biggest franchise of its generation, and I don’t think Sony can match that with any of their exclusive titles. Add to that the “Halo HD” remake with co-op support and you’ve got a pretty strong phalanx of Master Chief this E3. And let’s be honest, Master Chief is the Mario of this generation. There, I said it.
Oh, but with all of that said, let’s be clear on one thing: Star Wars Kinect sucked.
let’s start the insanity