E3 Recap Day 3 – E3 is my Destiny

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You know the saying that they save the best for last? Well that pretty much sums up my last day. I saw a lot of games and a lot of sweet surprises I didn’t expect. To start the last and biggest day of course I started at the Activision booth and Call of Duty Dog, I mean Ghost. The best part of the demo was the theater it took place in, full leather recliners and mega surround sound. Call of Duty looks great but they just showed the same game play areas that they revealed at their Sunday event so nothing really new was unveiled. Honesty after seeing the new mechanics that Titanfall and Destiny bring to the shooter genre I can’t help but feel like Call of Duty is really looking like an old dog, that needs to be taken out to pasture. I did get a cool T-Shirt though and sat with super space pimp Cheapy D.

Destiny is the new franchise from Halo creators Bungie and it looks like it may be my game of show edging out Titanfall but only by a hair, things can change as these games get closer to launch. Whats not to like, Destiny is a class based MMO shooter with dynamic world events, quests, mounts and of course epic loot. Destiny was demoed on PS4 by a group of devs and looks to be pretty far along as they actually allowed me to film the demo and they usually don’t let you unless they’re pretty confident in the final product. The reason Destiny may be my game of show is that it  has the most replay-ability and of course the multiplayer looks wicked. Watch my video and see for yourself.

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Next up was Ubisoft and they definitely had one of the strongest line ups they’ve ever had. A big surprise up their sleeve was Tom Clancy’s The Division, an open world RPG, 3rd person, MMO shooter that is visually stunning and doing something we’ve never seen before. You can watch the demo I was basically shown HERE but we were treated to an extended demo of real time game-play. In our demo a 3rd player dropped into the game via an app on their tablet and was controlling a support drone that could tag targets, heal and even battle with the party. This feature is pretty awesome as you can still play with your friends if you were on the road and earn experience even when you aren’t at your console. The Division is a title to keep an eye out for and from what I saw it’ll definitely be on my radar.

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Next up was South Park the Stick of Truth, the new RPG from Obsidian entertainment who most recently brought us Fallout New Vegas. South Park the Stick of Truth is an RPG in a style reminiscent of the Super Mario RPG games. You’ve got an open world with traps, enemies and puzzles but when contact is made with an enemy the game switches into your classic Japanese style turn based battle system. South Park the Stick of Truth is literally a playable version of the South Park show with all the wit and banter expected from your favorite characters. The demo had one of the longest lineups at E3 and it didn’t disappoint, I usually don’t laugh out loud at video games but I was busting a gut every time Cartman opened his mouth or dropped the F-bomb. Unfortunately when I asked about a release date all I was told by the devs was that it would be available some holiday season and they really got a kick out that smart ass answer.

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A definite highlight of the Ubisoft booth for me was getting a private demo of Assassins Creed Black Flag from the game’s lead designer Sebastian Berton, he was the guy responsible for the new Naval battles introduced in AC3. Behind closed doors I was shown a demo with the main character Edward Kenway accepting an assassination mission and having to track down his target on a small secluded island. Quickly though a simple assassination turned into the target fleeing onto his ship and Kenway having follow for some good ship to ship combat. After the target’s ship was disabled we were then able to board and take out our contract, resulting in a nice reward and a new ship to add to our fleet. A cool new feature that seems to be the trend was that we could use a tablet for displaying a real time map, sending our fleet out on missions and much more. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any footage or pictures but the developers definitely are taking good advantage of second screen functionality. The world in Black Flag is huge, filled with side quests and dynamic missions. For example after our victory we came across a small island with a ship wreck, after closer examination we found a corpse clutching onto a treasure map. So then we were off searching for some pirate booty (sorry I couldn’t resist) on a small island with ruins and a Spanish expedition party. In typical AC fashion we were treated to some nice environment traversal to the location shown on the treasure map, BTW we had the map displayed on our tablet the whole time so no fumbling in menus which I might add is pretty nice. Meanwhile as we reached the top of the ruins an optional mission occurred where the Spanish were holding 2 pirates captive, after stealthily taking care of the guards we now had 2 extra bodies in our army and a nice treasure to boot. I won’t lie I’m a huge Assassins Creed fan and from what they showed it looks like they are definitely listening to the fans and fixing many of the wrongs from AC3. All in all I had a really good time checking out the Ubisoft booth and I can already feel my wallet hurting. I did also check out Watch_Dogs but there wasnt anything diffrent than what was shown during the Sony Press Conference.

After Ubisoft I went to check out Disney Interactive’s booth where I saw Fantasia Music Evolved and Disney Infinity. At first I was pretty skeptical of Fantasia, Harmonix released a trailer that was pretty terrible in my opinion and left people wondering what the hell is this game? Well after my demo I can say that we might have another fun music game to get our hands on, figuratively speaking. Fantasia takes advantage of the new Kinect on Xbox One and the motion tracking is definitely improved from the original Kinect. Fantasia allows you to conduct the music and remix songs using the motion of your arms like Mickey did in the movie Fantasia and that’s where the name and influence come from. Check out the video above of Queens Bohemian Rhapsody being played live and demonstrating the game play. Finally I got an extended demo of the toy box mode from Disney Infinity, Disneys answer to the Skylanders franchise. Using the Disney Infinity base you can bring your toys to life, now you can play with your favorite Disney characters in story mode and the limitless toy box mode. Check out the extended demo I got below, I safely say that you’ll probably want to hide this one from the kids or your going to be stuck buying a bunch of new Disney toys.

At this point my final day was almost over and I was was pretty much wiped, fortunately I had my fill of E3 and felt like I got to see everything I was looking forward to. Over the coming weeks I’ll do more write ups on games I played and saw. I’ll also do a breakdown on the new consoles and offer my opinions. I can say right now though if I had to only buy one system I’m definitely leaning towards the PlayStation 4. I will buy both consoles of course but Sony is just killing it and doing so much right with the development of the PlayStation 4. With that we end another E3, next up is PAX in a couple months where we’ll get to see more of these titles again and get even more hands on time. Thanks for reading and feel free to message me if you have any questions regarding E3.

Check out my gallery below and follow me on on Twitter @RicF, also check out our YouTube Channel for more videos.

By Ricardo “Rico” Ferreira
@RicF

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E3 Day 2 Recap – Nintendo and the Witching Hour

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Its a me, Rico! and here we are with day 2. If you couldn’t tell already I was at Nintendo’s booth for a good portion of the second day. My experience at Nintendo had me giddy as a child on Christmas morning and utterly disappointed when I realized that I didn’t get the presents I was asking for. Nintendo had some great games on display but they forgot the major franchises at home in Japan. I guess Nintendo is cool with showing up to a gun fight with a kitchen knife. That being said though I did play both of the new Mario titles, Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8. I can easily say that these are must have games for the Nintendo fan. Super Mario 3D World is pretty much what you’d expect, its an HD version of the excellent 3DS title with a much larger scale. For starters Nintendo has added 4 player co-op like New Super Mario Bros and that each character has unique abilities, for example Peach’s floaty jump is back. Another new addition is the cat suit that allows characters to attack enemies with a scratch attack and the ability to climb walls, flag pole included. Nintendo was only demonstrating the new cat suit and co-op functionality but I’m sure there will be other abilities and power ups. Mario Kart 8 was the other major Nintendo title on hand that I spent a decent amount of time with. The new addition besides the beautiful HD graphics was the ability for the carts to transform into anti-gravity karts and literally drive up the walls changing the dynamic of the courses and adding new more course options. It wasn’t ground breaking but when I was playing Mario Kart in HD I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face.

Unfortunately though some huge games were missing, no Pokemon XY or Smash Bros. which quite honestly both games should have been showing and playable. A big problem the Wii U has is a lack of games and Nintendo didn’t do much to comfort Wii U owners, Mario Kart and Smash Bros don’t even come out until next year. As we all pretty much know the Wii U has just become another Nintendo box and I guess that’s OK but it would be nice if they could get some other major titles and fast. Another highlight of hanging out in Nintendo’s booth was a random Conan O’Brian sighting and he was super effective, at creating crowds.

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With Nintendo and the kids games out of the way it was time for some adult action. (I kid, I kid or do I?) Anyways, Square was kind of a let down as I couldn’t get into their demos because they were super busy and shit the bed with organizing their press appointments. Not to be totally disappointed though most of what they were showing was at PAX East or simply a trailer that everyone at home could see, so I don’t feel like I really missed anything. The real highlight of their booth was Saints Row IV and of course it was off the hook. Imagine GTA plus crazy and you’re still not even close, now you have super powers and a fricken dub step gun, nuff said.

After the disappointment of the Square booth, EA surprisingly came to my rescue or my money I’m not sure. EA has at least two new IP’s with Garden Warfare and one of my favorite games of the show Titanfall. I mentioned Garden Warfare the other day and I got to see another demo of what looks to be a garden fresh take on the shooter genre.

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Titanfall is definitely one of my favorites from the show, behind closed doors they showed us an extended multiplayer match. Between this and Destiny next year will see some awesome new shooters that do more than the genre is currently. If this game was available at launch the Xbox One would have a killer app but unfortunately it isn’t going to be available until March 2014 and I have my doubts about that.

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After I was done with EA I moved on to the Witcher 3 and got to see an extended behind the scenes demo. CD Projekt Red looks to deliver one of the largest and most dynamic open world RPG’s with the Witcher 3. Gone are the problematic boss battles from Witcher 2 in fact there are no bosses battles per say but giant monsters that can be randomly encountered in the world, or your quests. CD Projekt promises that there over 80 unique creatures in the world to hunt down and battle with their own strategies and abilities to make them very distinct. The dialogue system is also being reworked to add more character and life to the game. Another system added are dynamic side quests that can have world impacting repercussions that can come back to haunt you later depending on how you resolve them. All in all the Witcher 3 looks to be a wicked evolution to the franchise and will probably end up being next years best RPG from what I saw.

I also had a chance to check out the Nvidia Shield and Ouya but I’ll try to do a separate write up on those another time and with that we end day 2.

Check out my gallery below and follow me on on Twitter  @RicF, also check out our YouTube Channel for more videos.

By Ricardo “Rico” Ferreira
@RicF

E3 Day 0 Recap – Sony Drops the Bomb

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Wow, would simply be an understatement for the opening day of E3.

Xbox came out swinging by revealing games, games and more games. Not only did Microsoft show a suite of excellent exclusive games, they opened their conference with the first gameplay trailer of Metal Gear Solid V a move that would certainly make any core gamer happy. Little time was spent on anything but games however Microsoft did reveal their exclusive partnership with Twitch for video game streaming. Unfortunately the conference was marred by a couple technical glitches, and a poor sexist joke that probably should of been kept at home with the boys. That being said though there were some great reveals by the Xbox Camp, most notible would have to be Titanfall from Respawn Entertainment. Respawn are the original creators of the Modern Warfare franchise and this game looks awesome. It’s a fast free running shooter with mech combat all rolled into one, and it looked stunning. The Titanfall reveal was definitely the high point of the conference which was a good one regardless of the missteps.

Xbox One Conference Low Points

Next stop EA, sports sports sports naw just kidding they had celebrities too! Seriously though EA had a great conference without any technical glitches. The usual suspects that fill EA’s coffers were all on display, new Madden, NBA and FIFA games were displayed as expected. Surprisingly though Garden Warfare was a new franchise reveal, from a company that isn’t known for doing anything but the usual yearly fare. Garden Warfare is a multiplayer first person shooter based in the Plants vs Zombies world, that looked like a fun new take on the genre. Of course other EA work horses Need for Speed and Battlefield 4 showed great demoes as well. In what seems to be another move to win back the hearts of gamers EA also revealed their biggest surprise a new Mirrors Edge game that fans have been demanding since the originals release.

The clear winner of the press conferences though had to be Sony. Sony’s conference was long and dragged at times but they came with the bombs and shot the opening salvo in this next round of the console war. Sony had 10 stations on stage where games were being demonstrated live during all points of the conference and showed drop in and drop out multiplayer in titles that supported it. Sony definitely delivered when it came to reveals with new exclusives from Square we saw Final Fantasy,  and Kingdom Hearts which are sure to satisfy the hardcore. A new title from Ready at Dawn called The Order 1886 is a Victorian Era multiplayer survival shooter that looks to show a lot of promise. A definite highlight of Sony’s show was the exclusive gameplay reveal of Bungie’s new title Destiny. Destiny looks to blend the world of fast paced multiplayer shooters with those of Loot driven MMO’s to breath some new life into what some may call the tired shooter genre. With that said though the real news of the conference came in the form of several megaton bombs that Sony dropped directly aimed at their competitors. Firstly the news that PlayStation 4 supports used games just like any other system released to date was huge. Microsoft has been severely criticized over their policies and the fact that they are still unclear have gamers in outrage and Sony obviously decided to side with their consumers on this issue. Next was news about DRM and that PlayStation 4 has no authentication that requires you to be connected online, period. Finally the last surprise was that the PlayStation 4 will be available this winter for $399 and with that Sony literally dropped the proverbial mic. I was 4 rows from the front of the venue and with each of these announcements the crowd went wild. There was a definite energy in the air of excitement for the next generation and Sony might have won a huge battle before the systems are even released.

I’ll try to do a roundup each day but things are pretty crazy here, just watch the Facebook page and here for any news. Check out some pics and video from day zero and remember to follow us on twitter @RicF

By Ricardo “Rico” Ferreira
@RicF

Call of Duty: Ghosts – All Access June 9th 11am PT

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Call of Duty: Ghosts – All-Access, is a live, 30-minute broadcast that will kick off E3 for Call of Duty and features an exclusive first look at gameplay levels from the title, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with the Infinity Ward team, and more.

Here is how you can watch the Call of Duty®:  Ghosts – All-Access program:

  • Live on DIRECTV (also available for on demand streaming through the DIRECTV Everywhere platform, as well as on demand through DIRECTV on Demand)
  • Tune into Callofduty.com for the livestream
  • The Machinima app on Xbox 360

The program airs on June 9th, at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET.
For further information visit www.callofduty.com/ghostswww.facebook.com/CODGhosts or follow @CallofDuty.

By Ricardo “Rico” Ferreira
@RicF

Nintendo Brings E3 Games to More Than 100 Best Buy Stores

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Games shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo video game trade show are usually playable only by the few industry insiders who make the trip to Los Angeles each year. But Nintendo and Best Buy are teaming up to make sure people across North America can get their hands on a select list of Nintendo’s E3 games. Demos of the games will be playable at 110 Best Buy locations, including 89 in the United States and 21 in Canada. The games will be playable 4-8 p.m. local time on Wednesday, June 12, and 1-5 p.m. local time on Saturday, June 15.

Note that participating Best Buy stores are subject to change. Best Buy locations in the following Canadian cities are scheduled to participate:

Canada Locations:
Ontario
North York
Toronto
Mississauga
Windsor
London
Ottawa
Kingston
Brampton
Oakville
 
Quebec
Montreal
Lasalle
 
Manitoba
Winnipeg
 
Saskatchewan
Saskatoon
 
Alberta
Edmonton
Calgary (2 locations)
 
British Columbia
Vancouver
Langley
Richmond
 
Nova Scotia
Dartmouth
 
US Locations:
Alabama
Birmingham
HuntsvilleArkansas
Fort Smith
North Little Rock

Arizona
Phoenix

California
Culver City
Elk Grove
Emeryville
San Jose
Tracy
Visalia

Colorado
Denver

Connecticut
Manchester

Delaware
Wilmington

Florida
Brandon
Fort Myers
Gainesville
Kissimmee
Miami
Pensacola

Georgia
Augusta
Duluth
Savannah
Smyrna

Iowa
Cedar Rapids
West Des Moines

Illinois
Bloomington
Schaumburg

Indiana
Greenwood

Kansas
Overland Park
Wichita

Kentucky
Florence
Lexington
Louisville

Louisiana
Harvey

Massachusetts
Cambridge
Dedham
Worcester

Maryland
Frederick
Glen Burnie
Wheaton

Michigan
Ann Arbor
Flint
Grand Rapids
Rochester Hills

Minnesota
Eden Prairie

Missouri
St. Louis

North Carolina
Cary
Fayetteville
Pineville
Winston-Salem

New Jersey
Iselin
West Paterson
Woodbury

New York
Albany
Amherst
Long Island City
Syracuse
Valley Stream
West Nyack

Ohio
Fairborn
North Olmsted
Reynoldsburg
Toledo

Oklahoma
Oklahoma City

Oregon
Portland

Pennsylvania
Erie
King of Prussia
Pittsburgh
Reading
Whitehall

South Carolina
Greenville
North Charleston

Tennessee
Brentwood
Knoxville
Memphis

Texas
Arlington
Austin
Houston
McAllen
The Woodlands
Tyler

Utah
Sandy

Virginia
Charlottesville
Glen Allen
Virginia Beach

Vermont
Williston

Washington
Lynnwood

Wisconsin
Greenfield

 

By Ricardo “Rico” Ferreira
@RicF