Mike and I had our hands all over tons of hot new titles and products at E3 2011!

This is a side blog where I'll list what we saw and played alphabetically along with our thoughts.
Game on!

Nintendo Wii U
-Console itself appears to be roughly the same size as a Wii with rounded corners.
-Controller is lightweight, screen is very vibrant. Analog sticks feel somewhere between a Wii classic controller and the 3DS analog. Face buttons are Nintendo DS-esque. Could not imagine playing a fighter or shooter with this controller.
-Two shoulder buttons on each side, two set on top like the Xbox 360's RB and LB, two set under, best described as Dreamcast triggers.
-Backwards compatible with all Wii games and accessories.
-Does NOT play Gamecube titles.

PS Vita
-Coming Soon!

Lee's Best in Show!
Here are the games that wowed Lee the most, in no particular order:
-Kirby Wii
-Dark Souls
-Mass Effect 3
-Sonic Generations

Mike's Best in Show!
Here are the games that wowed Mike the most, in no particular order:
-Mass Effect 3
-Peace Walker HD
-Sonic Generations
-No More Heroes

I'm going to record what we saw and played here and add more detail later. We'll be ranking titles on a 1-5 scale as I did last year gauging anticipation.

Catherine - Lee 4/5 Mike 3.5/5
-Punishingly Difficult. To my understanding they patched the JP version and added an "easier" difficulty.
-When a dev was asked to define the genre he said "RPG/Puzzle-Horror".
-Incredible art style, can't wait to pick up a copy!
Release Date: July 26, 2011 NA

Dark Souls - Lee 4/5 Mike 3/5
-Fans of Demon's Souls rejoice! Same controls, layout, style, and difficulty!
-Attendants dared players to complete the demo, alas I was forced to play a slow knight character and eventually fell.
Release Date: October 4, 2011 NA

Dead Rising 2 Off the Record - Lee 2/5 Mike 3/5
-Frank West design changed slightly, looks badass.
-Same pick up item A, hit Zombie B gameplay.
-Camera is back, easy to take pictures quickly, compared to DR1.
Release Date: Fall 2011

Dragon's Dogma - Lee 2.5/5
-Game plays and looks dated, perhaps an early build?
-Action RPG, hack and slash style gameplay, AI of companion characters was competent in combat, but they were constantly running into me outside of fighting though.
-Cool enemy designs.
Release Date: Early 2012

EyePet & Friends - Lee 1.5/5 Mike 1/5
-We only actually played this so we could sit on a comfy couch in the Sony booth.
-Features multi-player, is more of an expansion pack to the first title than it's own experience.
-For the kids.
Release Date: N/A

Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Lee 1.5/5
-I was hoping for a huge gameplay re-haul a la FFX to FFX-2, but instead got the same linear paths, press X to win combat, and HORRIBLE soundtrack that we experienced in FFXIII.
-Possibly the first Final Fantasy title I won't ever touch past that demo I played.
Release Date: Q1 2012 NA

House of the Dead Overkill HD - Lee 3/5 Mike 3/5
-Was available for play in 3D, we were forced to also use the "gun" controller for the PS Move. The handgun, but the rifle.
-An HD version of the Wii experience pure and simple.
-Some of the 3D effects were very neat, especially during the boss battle. Still not buying a 3D television though...
-Not a complaint about the game, but the gun controller layout made this very uncomfortable to play, I'll be using a naked Move controller for this one.
Release Date: October 25, 2011 NA

Kid Icarus: Uprising - Lee 2.5/5
Release Date: Sometime 2011

Kirby Wii - Lee 4.5/5
-A game completely absent from Nintendo's presser but fully playable on the show floor!
-4 player multi-player. Player 1 is forced to play Kirby. 2, 3, and 4 can choose between Meta Knight, Dedede, and Waddle Dee!
-Simple layout, sideways wiimote, move, jump, and attack. Attacks were surprisingly varied depending on what direction you pressed while attacking.
-Kirby has all of his classic power ups.
-Think Kirby Superstar mixed with Brawls Subspace adventure mode, except it doesn't suck! (Brawl sucks, not Superstar, to be clear)
-Surprised by this title, a ton of fun!
Release Date: Fall 2011

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The - Lee 2.5/5
-Three demo options, Flying, Dungeon, and Boss. Played Dungeon.
-Demo revealed a lot about the story. Introducing villains, Link's friends, and even this game's "Zelda".
-They fixed the HUD! It's much less ugly now.
-Game is still very reliant on Wii motion plus to do any action in the game.
-Same nitpick as last year, having the button that's been "roll" now be "sprint" is really awkward for someone who's played a lot of Zelda.
-The booth babe at the station I was playing was inadvertently trolling me while I played. She gave me hints that were distracting me from what I knew I was supposed to do. Oh well...
-Still a low level of excitement from me over this game.
Release Date: Holiday 2011

Mario Kart 3D - Lee 3/5 Mike 1.5/5
-Customizing your kart is pretty neat. Monster truck wheels!
-The game looks to be on par graphically with the Wii Mario Kart (I'm not kidding).
-Got to play 3 separate courses. The "hang-gliding" and "underwater" sequences are neat, adds some variety to gameplay.
Release Date: Holiday 2011

Mass Effect 3 - Lee 4/5 Mike 5/5
-Saw a gameplay demo played live by a developer.
-Witnessed the opening set piece of the game, something they won't be showing until the game hits shelves in March.
-Scale of the opening scene is enormous. The Reapers have touched down on Earth, help us, Shepard!
-Got a peak at the skill tree and menus! Awesomely expansive, they brought some of the RPG back to this Action-RPG.
-This game is going to be incredible.
Release Date: March 6, 2012

Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker HD Edition - Lee 2.5/5 Mike 4/5
-Controls are great, dual analog works wonderfully. Shooting and aiming mapped to L1 and R1, makes Xbox 360 control awkward.
-I personally played Peace Walker with a PS3 controller while my PSP was hooked to my TV... this is pretty much that.
-Great to know that more people will get to play this game. Underrated on the PSP!
Release Date: November 2011

Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D - Lee 3/5 Mike 3.5/5
-Incredibly well done port! Controls wonderful, looks great.
-The codec sequences are really neat in 3D. The game utilizes the bottom screen space extremely well.
-If you've already played the game this might not be the reason to pick up a 3DS, but it definitely helps the argument.
Release Date: Late 2011

Minecraft (Mobile) - Mike 2/5
Release Date: TBA 2011

NHL 12 - Lee 2.5/5 Mike 3/5
-New features, Winter Classic mode, glass breaking, goalie checking. Frequency must have been turned up high as I broke glass twice in a period.
-EA Dev confirmed that Winnipeg's team will be in the game at Retail, they're just waiting on a name and logo.
Release Date: September 13, 2011 NA

Ninja Gaiden III - Lee 3/5
-Gameplay flows very well, dare I say a much easier game than even the Sigma versions of the past two Ninja Gaidens.
Release Date: Early 2012

No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise - Lee 3/5 Mike 3.5/5
-Same great experience as the Wii version. Graphical upgrade looks fantastic.
Release Date: August 16, 2011 NA

Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City - Lee 2.5/5 Mike 3.5/5
Release Date: Q4 2011

Resident Evil Revelations - Lee 3.5/5 Mike 3/5
Release Date: Sometime 2012

Resistance 3 - Lee 2/5 Mike 2/5
-If you've played Resistance 1 or 2 you've played this.
-We played a horde-esque mode where you fought waves upon waves of enemies.
-This franchise will never rise above average if they don't mix it up!
Release Date: September 6, 2011 NA

Silent Hill Downpour - Lee 2/5 Mike 2.5/5
Release Date: Late 2011

Sonic Generations - Lee 2.5/5 Mike 3.5/5
-Played both the PS3 console version and 3DS portable version.
-Each level has you playing once through with the original (true) Sonic, sidescroller, super-fast greatness, then as the current generation (lame) Sonic.
-They finally made Sonic fast again! Start up speed, jumping, it all feels like it should.
-I enjoyed the feel of the 3DS version a lot more. The 3DS version also had a boss battle that was playable which was an updated version of Sonic 3's final boss! Super cool!
-Remaining optimistic that this title doesn't follow the dreaded "Sonic cycle".
Release Date: November 22, 2011

Star Fox 64 3D - Lee 2.5/5 Mike 2.5/5
Release Date: September 2011

Street Fighter x Tekken - Lee 4/5
-If you've played SFIV you're good to go! Camera is slightly pulled back from the action. Stages are crazy distracting, so much going on!
-Roughly 10-12 characters available for play. Tekken characters have had their movesets retooled obviously.
-Played 2v2 format, when either character is KOed the match is over. IE Your Guile is KOed while your Ryu is in the wings full health. Too bad, the round is over. Promotes strategic character switching.
Release Date: Q1 2012

Super Mario 3D - Lee 2.5/5 Mike 3/5
-Before sighing and saying "Just another Mario game" listen up!
-This game falls somewhere in between Super Mario Bros. 3 and Mario 64. While Mario traverses 3D environments there isn't that much depth. Think Little Big Planet foreground and background kinda.
-Mario can't attack in his regular form and can only jump on enemies. When Mario is hit he loses his hat and becomes mini-Mario (a la old classic Mario Bros.)
-First level ends with a castle and a flagpole!
Release Date: Sometime 2011 (Rumoured)

Twisted Metal - Lee 3/5 Mike 2.5/5
-Demo is still freezing a year later!
-Played a new multiplayer mode that was a spin on capture the flag in which you capture your opponents general and feed him to a meat grinder on wheels. You then control a missile that you must fly into the other teams "statue" to score points. Weird... Fun.
-Fast paced, lots of fun. Fans won't be let down.
Release Date: October 4, 2011

WWE '12 - Lee 1/5 Mike 2/5
-Game looks fresh, that is to say, different than previous iterations, not better.
Release Date: November 22, 2011

Signing off on E3 2011,
Lee Skwarek & Mike Haynes