I had my hands all over tons of hot new titles and products at E3 2010!

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

I'm going to pretty much keep this to point form for now. For the most part it's coming from my handy note pad I carry with me on the show floor (Blank entries will be updated as soon as possible).

Nintendo 3DS - Release Date: Fiscal Year 2010 (Apr. 2010 - Mar. 2011)
-Liking the colours, overall a blockly design however compared to what we've been used to since the DS Lite.
-It has a 3D "slider" to adjust the amount of "3D". The effect can be turned completely off if desired.
-Top screen is the only to display 3D images, bottom functions the same as the original DS (More heavy duty stylus).

I stood in line for an hour and 20 minutes to get 20 minutes to of time to see as much as I could on the 3DS stage. While the line has organized chaos, Nintendo had booth babes on either side touting DS XLs featuring new game demos from the floor (such as Golden Sun Dark Dawn and Super Scribblenauts), this was a great addition as it ultimately saved me time! As you moved closer to the front of the line the ladies were carrying the 3DS itself. Viewable on these were some live action mini vids showcasing the 3D effect (A glass breaking, a flower growing) and after that some game stills of first party Nintendo characters (Mario, Samus etc.). At the end of this demo Link came on screen. Using the analog stick I was able to adjust the camera so that Link appeared to be standing outside the frame of the screen, I was sold.

The 3D effect is only achieved when the 3D slider is of course on and the viewer is positioned correctly. Both your eyes are needed for this to work (Sorry to those with eye patches), should you close one eye the image appears to be 2D again. This means that "capturing" footage of these titles in 3D is impossible to an extent. A couple girls were also carrying a sort of 3D pong game. You move your paddle with the stylus and the ball bounces back and forth between the front and back of a 3D tunnel. The end of the tunnel displayed what the cameras were looking at, ie as if I was starring through the 3DS itself. When the time came we all rushed on stage to what I like to call "Mini-E3". I tried to see all I could in the the seemingly short time I had.

Games on the stage that I was able to see in time:
-Mario Kart
-Paper Mario
-Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater (Personal favourite, demo of gameplay, only able to control the camera)
-How to Train your Dragon (The movie trailer)
-Resident Evil
-Kingdom Hearts (port of the first game, originally on the PS2)
-Kid Icarus
-Samurai Warriors 3 (Fully playable)
-Professor Layton (Fully playable)
-Some point and click mystery game... forgot the name. (Fully playable)

Overall, very neat. While the 3D doesn't feel like a gimmick as much as the waggle of the Wii and touchscreen of the DS felt like at first, the real story here is the underlying graphics. What I saw was on par if not trumping the PSP, and even the Gamecube and PlayStation 2 in some cases. MGS and RE especially looked very pretty, the latter looking almost identical to RE5 cut-scenes (I know right!)

Save your pennies, gamers.

PlayStation Move - Release Date: September 19, 2010 NA
-Controllers themselves feel nicely weighted, comfortable to hold.
-What the Wii wanted to be.
-Motion tracking is serious business, no more flicking your wrist or waggling, you have to replicate the motion in real time.

Microsoft Kinect - Release Date: November 4, 2010
-Tracks your movements well enough (Maybe slightly better than the PS2 eyetoy).
-Sorry, couch potatoes this is not for you (Or for anyone for that matter).
-Exhausted after playing the game for 5 minutes, I was jogging full speed in place, why is this fun?
-$150 paper weight/lawsuit catalyst (To quote Mike Haynes: "Someone is going to seriously hurt themselves.")

Tits of the Iceberg's Best in Show!
Here are the games that wowed me the most, in no particular order:

-Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
-Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
-Golden Sun Dark Dawn
-Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The
-Little Big Planet 2

I'll also hit each game with a score out of 5 to gauge excitement factor. (1 being super meh, 5 being I want to take this home right now)

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - 1/5
-Not a fan of the series.
-Mixing it up with different characters.
-If you found the first two interesting but boring feel free to pass on this one.
Release Date: November 16, 2010

Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 - N/A
-The Xbox 360 Slim I tried the demo on froze before I could even start a game (Hopefully not a sign of things to come).
-Unfortunately didn't have time to try it again.
Release Date: Q1 2011

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair - 4/5 *TotI Best in Show!*
-Incredible! 6 player co-op Castlevania!
-Played as Alucard (duh).
-Standard Metroidvania, demo was only one player unfortunately.
-You can control the camera at any time. You can focus on allies or see the entire map on one screen (like a doll house haha).
-"Iga" himself was standing behind me while I was playing before he was interviewed by Gametrailers.com. I'm still shaking.
Release Date: TBA

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - 1/5
-I'm a huge Castlevania fan, and prior to playing the game was NOT liking the direction it seemed to be heading.
-Ugh... Generic Hack 'n Slasher.
-Plays somewhere in between God of War and Bayonetta, but no where near as tight as either.
-QTEs are wholly confusing and pretty annoying.
-Not looking forward to this title.
Release Date: Fall 2010

Dead Rising 2 - 1/5
-Extremely Underwhelming.
-Shallower control scheme compared to the first title.
-It's more of a zombie beat 'em up, if that makes any sense.
-Graphics and effects seem a bit retro-grade, less impressive than even the first title.
-A lot of items, but not a lot to DO with them. Combo items are fairly neat.
-Hopefully has a solid story? (haha)
-Overally uninterested in this title at the moment.
Release Date: August 31, 2010 NA

Donkey Kong Country Returns - 2/5
-Ryan and I tried a couple levels in co-operative mode (I was DK, Ryan was Diddy).
-Think New Super Mario Bros. done in the DK Country style... and you can pretty much guess what this is like. Awesome to see a Donkey Kong title like this however.
-Uses nunchuk/wiimote control set, using the analog stick to move on a 2D plain is very touchy.
-Combo moves available (I could lift Diddy up and then jump into the air, Diddy could then hold A to bust out his jetpack and hover us both over short distances).
-It's either difficult or we suck, we died a lot (I honestly blame the controls).
-Not too impressed by this one.
Release Date: November 1, 2010

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light - 4.5/5 *TotI Best in Show!*
-Adorable art style, FFIII + IV remakes style but further chibi-fied.
-Colours are subdued and relaxing, looks like a water colour painting.
-Crown system is pretty cool, each member of the party can equip a magic "crown" that endows special abilities or stat boosts. Crowns can also be enhanced.
-Battle system
-Demo broke the 4th wall to much hilarity.
Release Date: October 5, 2010 NA

Final Fantasy XIV (14) Online - 3.5/5
-Demo "walkthrough" was by appointment only. I convinced them to let me in based on my 5 year addiction to FFXI.
-I didn't get hands on, but I saw the game up close.
-Beautiful graphics (WOW eat your heart out).
-More to come.
Release Date: 2010 (Vague)

Fist of the North Star Ken's Rage - 3.5/5
-A few different characters to choose from, all with different play styles.
-Game looks great, captures the subject material perfectly.
-Kicking ass feels responsive, there are some crazy silly moves.
-Dragon Ball game devs should take a page out of this games book.
-Looking forward to the full game!
Release Date: Fall 2010

Front Mission Evolved - 2/5
-If you like Front Mission, you'll like this, unfortunately I wasn't really won over by it.
Release Date: September 14, 2010

Goldeneye - 2.5/5
-Played a game of 4 person spilt-screen deathmatch.
-Classic Controller Pro seems to be the default here. Uses all four shoulder buttons, IE if you have a regular Classic Controller you're screwed.
-A revamped version of "Archives" was our stage.
-Cool special abilities that are character specific (Oddjob throws his hat using the grenade button).
-Iron sights, melee button, grenade button, all these things are FPS standards, but NOT in Goldeneye.
-Not digging the sensitivity of the camera and character controls.
-Slightly curious to see how they do the single player mode.
Release Date: November 2, 2010

Golden Sun Dark Dawn - 4.5/5 *TotI Best in Show!*
-I'm a HUGE fan of the first two games.
-Incredible! Uses the touchscreen to preform "psynergy" in the game world, and of course control the tide of battle.
-Familiar GS look, but with a 2.5D twist (Think Pokemon HG SS compared to Emerald).
-Battle scene is amazing! All the psynergy favourites from the first games return (Ragnarok!) with a glorious extra dimension. Allies and enemies are all rendered in 3D and fully animated.
-The puzzles are on par with the first two titles, and oh so familiar.
-Fans of the series get hyped! This game is going to be incredible.
Release Date: Holiday Season 2010

Gran Turismo 5 - N/A
Release Date: November 2, 2010 NA

Kane and Lynch 2 Dog Days - 3/5
-Enjoyed the story in the first game, felt gameplay was adequate.
-Played an 8 player game of a cops and robbers-like mode live.
-Digital video-esque graphic style may be lost on a lot of people as the game under the security camera filter isn't all that pretty.
-Game itself was fun, came in first on my team!
-Hopefully the single player game will be demoable, I want to see more from this game.
-I am increasingly interested.
Release Date: August 24, 2010 NA

Killzone 3 - 2.5/5
Release Date: February 2011

Kirby Epic Yarn - 3/5
-Finally a Kirby game for Wii!
-Visual style reminds me alot of Yoshi Story for the Nintendo 64.
-Kirby is made of yarn and thus transforms into different shapes...? I've seen him be a parachute, car, balloon (duh) etc.
-Interesting and colourful, I want to see more.
Release Date: Fall 2010

Lara Croft: Guardian of Light - 2.5/5
-I had my doubts about Lara's isometric co-op adventure, apparently they were unfounded.
-Fun control scheme, Geometry Wars meets Gauntlet Legends.
-Co-op abilities and puzzle solving is quite neat.
-Had fun, looking forward to the full game.
Release Date: Q3 2010

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The - 4/5 *TotI Best in Show!*
-I HATED Twilight Princess, thank god they changed up the style.
-Looks like a french surrealist painting, super colourful and fantasy-esque (Not sure if want). Huge mushrooms and trees everywhere, the enemies are reminiscent of Wind Waker.
-Stood in line for 40 minutes, felt quick however. There's tons to see and people to talk to in line (Gamer camaraderie, who doesn't like Zelda?).
-They STILL made Link right-handed... damn it. At least he looks a bit cooler this time around. I still believe he should be a boy but whatever, he's at least wearing actual pants this time around.
-Controls are a bit clumsy at first RE: selecting items, however sword play works quite well.
-Uses wiimotion plus to track your movements, precise sword cuts are a result. Using the bow reminded me of Wii Sports Resort.
-In game calibration! Simply have Link raise his sword skyward (pun?) and slice straight vertically to get things in sync.
-Need to see more, especially regarding the story, otherwise I'm legitimately looking forward to Skyward Sword!
Release Date: 2011 (Vague)

Little Big Planet 2 - 4.5/5 *TotI Best in Show!*
-Was really excited to check this one out.
-Uniquely pretty like the first, if not more so.
-New Items! (Power-ups), got to try out a level featuring a grappling hook. I can't wait to see what the user base can do with these new elements.
-Jumping feels less floaty, overall the platforming controls feel tighter which was one of my main concerns.
-A bajillion new stickers and costume items.
-I wish I could take this game home right now.
Release Date: November 2010

Mafia II - 2.5/5
-Fully destructible environments are very neat.
-Simple controls, clumsy gameplay. I was constantly taking cover on the wrong sides of things.
-Camera is touchy and too close to the character when your weapon is drawn.
Release Date: August 24, 2010 NA

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - 3.5/5
-Very familiar feel, long time fans.
-Looks great! Really digging the style. The characters look incredible, the attacks are stunning, just wow.
-Control scheme is easy to pick up, works, and is not that much different, simplification considered.
-Played on arcade stick and got whooped by a stranger (I'm no slouch either).
-Dante is based on DMC3 Dante! YES! Let's get CRAAAZY!
-Can't wait to see more on this title, be it character reveals or the rumored story elements.
Release Date: Spring 2011

Medal of Honor - 1.5/5
-Medal of Honor: Modern Warfare 3
Release Date: October 12, 2010 NA

Metroid: Other M - 2/5
-Didn't have much time to play, but watched it being played alot.
-Not a fan of the controls at all, switching from sideways wiimote to pointing in first person is awkward.
Release date: August 31, 2010 NA

Rock Band 3 - 2/5
-It's rock band all right...
-Solid visuals, more of a next gen feel.
-Being able to import all past tracks is incredibly awesome.
-They showed the keyboard and guitar pro later in the week, alas I was out of time to try them out.
Release Date: Q4 2010

Sims 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and NDS port) - 2.5/5
-October 26, 2010 release date, free downloadable content available day one.
-The gentlemen demoing it to us said there will be a 3DS version as well early next year (Launch title?).
-Ability to upload created character and buildings etc. to an online database.
-More to come later.
Release Date: October 16, 2010 (Unconfirmed outside of the presser I saw)

Sonic 4 - 2.5/5
-Game is going to be episodic.
-Sonic's starting pace is still TOO SLOW. Faster Acceleration is a must.
-Incredibly long levels (compared to the Genesis days).
-Levels are not a linear left to right either, there is a lot of vertical and what is seemingly backtracking. I should not get lost in a Sonic side-scroller!
-Reminds me a lot of Sonic Rush for the NDS.
-Lots of fan-service for long time fans. The music and enemies included contain a lot of throw backs.
-Semi-cartoonish style is a bit different, liking it so far however.
Release Date: Episode 1, Late 2010

Sonic Colors - 2.5/5
-Sonic Unleashed, minus the werehog, plus crazy lasers.
-Fairly fast paced, you can jump, slide and boost.
Release Date: Late 2010

Super Scibblenauts - 1/5
-Same as the first, which isn't inherently a bad thing, I'm just not excited as I was the first time around.
Release Date: October 2010

Tron Evolution - 2/5
-I'm not a fan of Tron in the slightest.
-Interesting visuals, enough to keep me interested in finishing the demo.
-At the end of the day it's a movie game...
-Game crashed on me during a lightcycle race.
Release Date: November 1, 2010

Twisted Metal - 2/5
-Feels like TW.
-Super fast paced.
-Controls are a bit off, square to accelerate, X to hand brake, a HUGE learning curve to the controls in general.
-Game crashed hard in the last 30 seconds of the deathmatch I was competing in.
Release Date: 2011 (Vague)

Two Worlds II - 1/5
-I actually didn't mind the gameplay in the first game, it was horrible, but addictive.
-The first title had the most horrendous cutscenes and ridiculously stupid plot of any game I've ever played (And I've played Dynamite Heady).
-Played the demo with an attendant watching me so I had to hide my disgust.
-Horrible, worse controls and combat than the first, which I thought would be impossible.
-This game is broken, so help me God.
Release Date: September 14, 2010 NA

Valkyria Chronicles 2 - 3.5/5
-Liked the PS3 edition? Now you can play on the toilet!
-Demo was playable on the PSPGo only, the only game to be demoed on the Go.
-Scrapbook visuals transfer well to the PSP.
-Same great gameplay, it's a buy for fans.
Release Date: August 31, 2010 NA

Vanquish - N/A
-Didn't have time to get hand on with this one.
-Very clean visuals, steeped in Sega's style if that makes any sense.
-Standard Third-person shooter fare.

Yakuza 4 - 3/5
-Sega correspondent told me they will not be removing any content (Hostess Bars etc.).
-Best Yakuza title to date, though not that much has changed since 3.
-Multiple characters to play as with different fighting styles and abilities (Strong character can lift fat guys!).
-Weapons available in the demo were purely for fun and included a Spear, Katana, and Sticks (?).
-Much more violent than I was expecting.
-Fans should be looking forward to this one!
Release Date: Q1 2011

Signing off on E3 2010,
Lee Skwarek

“Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock-n-roll.” - Shigeru Miyamoto