Staff Commentaries: Games of E3 2009

E3 is over, and we now have a ton of games to look forward to in the coming year(s). However, not everyone is going to be looking forward to the same thing. In fact, one person could be looking forward to a game, while another could have no interest whatsoever. Given in the past that our staff here at Diehard GameFAN has had wildly different tastes from each other, I thought it would be interesting to see exactly what games we were all looking forward to.

diehardjack2Aaron Sirois choses:

God of War III (PS3) – I’ve been a God of War fanatic ever since I played the demo of the first game for the PS2. When God of War III comes out, it will be the fifth year anniversary of the series. What better way to celebrate than to bring down the mighty Zeus and all of Olympus? I’ve been biding my time as far as saving up for a PS3 until this had a firm release date. Guess it is time to start pinching pennies.

Scribblenauts (NDS) – This was a game I was merely intrigued by when it was announced. After seeing it in action and hearing the downright praise its getting from people who’ve got to play it, I’ve got to say I can’t wait for this game to his shelves. The ability to create pretty much anything you can think of and use it to solve puzzles just has me tickled pink with excitement.

godofwariiiAce Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (NDS) – I’m a huge Ace Attorney fan. This game will let me play as Edgeworth and bring back characters suck as Fransizka Von Karma and Detective Gumshoe. Enough said.

Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny (PSP) – I was happy we PSP owners were getting a Soul game. When I discovered Kratos would be a playable character, I became very very happy.

ModNation Racers (PS3) – I’m not much of a racing fan, but one look at that track creation tool has me dreaming up all of the crazy courses I can create. If this game plays half as well as MarioKart, we’re in for a real treat.

Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3) – Insomniac has raised the bar with each game in the series. With the possibility of co-op play and the best storline in the franchise, I’m dying to see how this one turns out.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (NDS) – Phantom Hourglass was a hell of a game with a few problems. Without that silly dungeon that you had to play through six or seven times, Spirit Tracks is already better in my book. Plus, Link gets to use a whip!

ashethumbAshe Collins choses:

Star Wars The Old Republic – I’m not a crazy MMO player. The only one I ever got into was Guild Wars for lack of a monthly fee. What I’ve seen of The Old Republic has me drooling. Not only does it have the RPG and story sensibility of KOTOR, but it’s being handled by one of my favorite RPG crafting companies. And the cinematic trailer was amazingly done.

Dragon Age Origins – An interesting new take on the fantasy RPG by Bioware. This one looks a lot less clean than some of their others and certainly more bloody. While the showing at E3 wasn’t anything terribly new if you’ve been following their site, the game does look to be shaping up quite well.

Mass Effect 2 – Sequel to one of my favorite RPGs yet? Yeah I was already interested before E3 but the gameplay footage shows some great tweaks that were much needed and should make this title even more interesting than the first game.

Final Fantasy XIII – It’s a Final Fantasy title, so of course I’d be interested. The cinematics as always look amazing. SquareEnix hasn’t every really done anything underwhelming in that area. And the one or two fight scenes we saw looked well done as well.

modnation1Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker – More Metal Gear action on my PSP and Kojima is more involved than last time? And it’s more story on Big Boss? I’m so there. But what’s up with the multiple boss’s?

Uncharted 2 – The first one looked great and what I saw on the second was was stunning. The gameplay demo was brilliant and it really looks like this one will be as much fun as the first if not more so.

Brutal Legend – I’ve been following this one for awhile before Activision dropped it. Jack Black lends his voice to the crazy main character and several rock legends guest star and to top it off it’s like playing in several Heavy Metal covers at once? Heck yeah.

Resident Evil PortableResident Evil on my PSP and it’s a new game and not the director’s cut of the PS One I’ve played to death? I’m in. Don’t even need to see gameplay yet. I’m in.

My Best in Show would have to go to

ModNation Racers – I’ve been mildly interested in Little Big Planet since it came out. The option to create your own sackboy and levels was appealing. Put that idea into a Kart racer and you’ve got me hooked. The track creation alone would make this title worth having and if it plays half as good as it looks it will be one great game.

Michael O’Reilly choses:

Mod Nation Racers looks sweet, I can’t wait to get my hands on it and create some chaos.

I think, as they were presented, both Natal and Sony’s motion controllers are not the direction I want games to go in. I’m sorry but I don’t play video games to exercise, I play them to avoid exercise. Having said that however, if it’s not a scam, I think that what Lionhead is working on with Microsoft’s controller is pretty sweet. I have to take anything Molyneux says with a ocean sized grain of salt however.

uncharted21I’m instantly curious about Crackdown 2, and the two new Halo’s have my attention, but I’ll tame my inner fanboy on those two until I get a better take on what they are doing with them.

Assassins Creed 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 are also high on my list of things to watch, as both original games were excellent yet flawed, and hopefully their sequels can improve on what went wrong.

Uncharted 2 continues to excite me with every snippet of information I get on the game.

Lastly, upon further review, Nintendo is hearby banned from making presentations at E3.

superbus_smallAileen Coe choses:

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (NDS) – I enjoyed the original, so seeing the other games come out here makes me giddy.

Scribblenauts (NDS) – The concept of solving puzzles by writing in almost anything and having it manifest itself on the screen rather intrigues me, and I can’t wait to try it myself.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona (PSP) – The localization on the PS1 version was…subpar, to say the least. A new translation, plus more content and tweaked balance, has my ears perked.

layton1Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny (PSP) – The idea of a portable Soul Calibur fills me with glee.

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (NDS) – Like Aaron, I’m a big Ace Attorney fan. I missed the old characters in the fourth game, so being able to see them again in this game (and playing as Edgeworth) is something I’m looking forward to.

The Last Guardian (PS3) – There’s not a lot out there like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, so another game from the same makers after four years is music to my ears.

Trauma Team (Wii) – The different scenarios and corresponding differing styles of gameplay has me wishing the game was coming out sooner than a year from now. Also, yay for Kimishima making another appearance.

Also, I was excited about the new Front Mission…until I saw it was going to be a shooter. Going from turned-based strategy to action? That leaves me rather skeptical. But then, Disgaea apparently made the leap to platformer just fine, so who knows?

Ian Gorrie Choses:

Coolest presentation of the show:
Square Enix – Amazing stuff! That guy didn’t send me the high res pics of the LCD displays.

Most anticipated releases:
God of War III – The smoothest and most impressive demo that I saw at E3.

Bayonetta – Devil May Cry except with more booty. After all, the witches hair-clothing disappears when she uses a super move.
ff131Dragon Age – The media sneak preview showed this game to be badassed, character variable and seemingly non-linear storytelling, and they provide the boo-tay as well; the assurance of “adult content” is given. The dragon fight looked fun.

Final Fantasy XIII – Yeah. I want to play it.

Darksiders – Post apocolyptic badassery as one of the four horsemen –

Should be interesting:

White Knight Chronicles – Might be an interesting “true rpg”

Muramasa: The Demon Blade

Uncharted II – Looks interesting

Assassins Creed II – Appeared interesting



Why does The Last Guardian have the Millers Crossing soundtrack?

Wizards of the Coast had one guy playing their Magic the Gathering launch title for xbox arcade in the back of the place? It’s coming out on the 17th of June.

superbus_smallChristopher Bowen choses:

I’m… not sure what to get excited about. Maybe this is me being a typical Negative Nancy, but here’s what my bullet-point of E3 was:

* Team Ninja works on new Metroid. Oh boy. Does this mean we get to see the literal version of the “Zero Suit”?

* Final Fantasy XIV! Oh boy! At the same time it was announced that Final Fantasy XIII… would be out in a year! Shit or get off the pot, Squeenix!

* A new Metal Gear Solid! With RAIDEN! Why should I be excited about a game with a character I hate again?

* Didn’t I just spend $50 on Left 4 Dead, a game that is supposed to be perpetually updated? I’m getting another one now?

* The thought of my body being a controller via a webcam-like device, especially with Microsoft being involved, is FUCKING CREEPY.

* A new Halo game. This is like a new Madden game; just as inevitable, just as mediocre.

* Crackdown 2… OK, this is nice, I have to admit.
forza-3* Rock Band: Beatles? Did someone sedate Yoko?

* APB: Yet another shitty modern game to use an old, beloved name!

* God of War 3. Wake me when they admit they stole their gameplay from Rygar.

* PSP Go… no. Just no. I could go off on this bullshit for hours. Fuck you, Sony.

* Golden Sun DS. My friends are so excited about this, they almost forgot this was the definition of a paint-by-numbers JRPG. No, really… if you look really hard at the box, you can see “48” underneath the main logo.

So… positives… uh, yay Crackdown 2, yay to Forza Motorsport 3, a tepid yay to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and a gigantic fuck you to Sony.

Here’s the one thing I am excited about at E3:

The Last Guardian – As I look wistfully at the Playstation 3, a system I do not own but look at almost weekly, I’ve seen games come and go that make me think of taking the proverbial Nestea Plunge. MLB: The Show is an amazing baseball game, but not a system seller. Then they came out with Valkyria Chronicles, which was our GOTY for 2008, which made me wince, but not break; no game is worth $450. Then they started showing off Heavy Rain, which is extremely tempting, but I was able to talk myself down from that on the basis that I got really, really excited about Shenmue, too. Then they added Cross Edge to that, which weakened me a bit more, in addition to the fact that I really, really want a system that I can add space to without having to pay 500% over normal price.

Then I saw the trailers for The Last Guardian. That’s it: I’m buying a PS3.

I have a three-strikes rule when it comes to buying a new system: there has to be three games on a system that make me excited enough to drop enough to pick the system up. Team ICO pulled the coup off with a game that looks like a mix between Shadow of the Colossus, The Never Ending Story, and Old Yeller. It looks like a standard puzzle game, but the interaction between the kid and the griffon looks precious, and by precious, I mean heart-bending. This is the kind of game that could get this old, stone heart pumping again. I was entranced.

I can’t wait to buy it for what will be my new system.

mark120Mark B. Choses:

Things I’m looking forward to coming out of E3:

Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story looks as amusing as the last two Mario and Luigi games, so I’m seriously anticipating that one.


– I’m on the fence about Bioshock 2. If the game can be more like a System Shock 2 than its predecessor, I’m in for one. If it’s just more Bioshock, I’m uninterested. I’m hoping for the former, though, so it can go here for now.

Tekken 6 looks very impressive, what with the large roster and the two-player co-op beat-em-up mode included, but the fact that I can customize characters to absurd degrees (or so the videos tell me) is pretty much the deal-maker for me. I like stupid stuff like that, I dunno what to say.
mario1Dead Rising 2 looks to be everything I was hoping it would be and more. Can’t ask for anything better than that.

– If anything is going to convince me to actually BUY a PS3 after Monster Hunter 3 was moved to the Wii, it’s probably going to be White Knight Chronicles.

– Either that or Heavy Rain.

Trauma Team looks pretty much like what I thought the franchise should become as the games evolved, and I am very pleased about this. WOO FORENSICS!

Endless Ocean 2, while still not sounding as cool as Everblue 2, sounds like a good improvement over the first, and I want it so very much.

Things I’m not looking forward to coming out of E3:

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows doesn’t look particularly like a Castlevania game, and though it’s visually impressive, I’m not certain I’m sold on it even a little bit.

– Can anyone explain to me why Team Ninja making a Metroid game is supposed to be a “good” thing? Anyone? Because all I’m getting from that is “Metroid with sword play” or “third-person Metroid” which would be like first-person Metroid EXCEPT WITH A DIFFERENT CAMERA ANGLE. Wait, am I seriously seeing a promo image of Samus giving a goddamn monster a GODDAMN BULLDOG?!? Oh, FUCK YOU Team Ninja.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Ten dollars says it stinks.

Final Fantasy XIV? REALLY? You haven’t even released the PRIOR one yet! Ooh, ooh, lemme guess. The main character… will either be an emo boy or an emo girl… who looks like Ziggy Stardust… and has a lot of belts. How close am I?

A.J. Hess choses:

The hits from E3 2009

1. Project NATAL. Microsoft and Sony are trying to leapfrog the Wii, and I give them credit for it. I give MS the edge because of Peter Molyneux. He never hits his targets, but his aim is so lofty that it is still impressive when he misses. And for all the naysayers out there who are squawking about there not going to be any games for this for a long time, remember this: You are playing games on a chopped down computer. If someone released a new joystick that with an extra button, you’d need to update your drivers or download a patch. Well, there’s plenty of room for title updates for full motion support on your hard drive.

2. Modern Warfare 2. I love, and still play, COD4. And I’m so sick of WWII shooters. A great, present day, tactical romp is waiting, and already on my must buy list for the holidays.

mw13. Halo 3: ODST/Fall of Reach. Halo is Microsoft’s big brand for a reason. More from that side of the fence is always a good thing in my book. And with ODST including a little mode called Firefight, they are giving me exactly what I’ve wanted since Gears of War 2. Co-Op shooters FTW.

4. Star Wars: The Old Republic. I just kicked the WoW monkey off my back last month. I guess that’s enough time in remission for the MMO bug. If Bioware can put out a game half as good as Knights of the Old Republic, I’m in, bugs and all.

5. Assassin’s Creed 2. I really, really liked the first game. The trick was to play a little bit out of control, instead of trying to be so precise. Strangely, that tactic really opened up the gameworld to me as it was meant to be instead of what so many other people thought it was. And the occasional physics trick, like knocking a Templar off the top of a huge building to fall to his death instead of grinding it out with him…anyway. I feel like this game has legs, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Playing through the Renaissance is just icing on the cake for me.

guydesmarisfinishedGuy Desmarais choses:

-GUY DESMARAIS’ BEST IN SHOW AWARD: New Super Mario Bros. Wii: I have always been a fan of Mario, and I have always enjoyed live multiplayer more than online multiplayer. This will most likely turn out to be the game that my friends and I play more than anything else, thus replacing Mario Kart Wii for the next year or so.

Super Mario Galaxy 2: More Mario Galaxy cannot be a bad thing, as long as the levels stay as imaginative as they were in the first version. I just hope that this time around, Yoshi turns out not to be a time-based gimmick that disappears as soon as he gets hit, as it was in Super Mario Sunshine.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: I really enjoyed Phantom Hourglass, so I just can’t wait for this one. The train gimmick could be good in creating the illusion of a huge world despite offering the standard number of dungeon.

Left 4 Dead 2: I will hopefully have a decent PC by the time this game hits, so I will be able to enjoy it for real instead of having to hog my friend’s machine every time I’m over to his place. I just want to see what type of boss zombie they can come up with.

nsm1Metroid: Other M: Metroid is just about the only Nintendo franchise I have never been able to get into. Even though I am not of fan of Star Fox, I was still able to enjoy his N64 adventure. As for Samus, I am all the opposite of Mark on this one. Seeing her bulldog a monster seemed fun to me, but like I said, I am not the traditional Metroid fan. I might give it a try when it comes out.

The Beatles: Rock Band is going to be my favorite Rock Band game of all time, I have no doubt about it. My father is a huge Beatles fan, so I grew up on their music and know most of their catalog by heart. I have no real musical talent, so this will be the only way I’ll ever be able to “play” their songs. I will be the first in line when this game comes out. I might not get the whole set because while I prefer Rock Band‘s drums, I prefer Guitar Hero‘s guitars, but still. It ALMOST makes me want to shell out money for that McCartney bass. ALMOST.

-I would like to finish by mentioning Modnation Racers for PS3 and the avatar based kart game for the XBox 360. As a kart racing games fan, I think it’s about time that real quality entries into the genre make it to these systems.

Mohamed Al-Saadoon choses:

Metroid: Other M Sure some may decry that an actiony Metroid designed by Team Ninja of all people to be blasphemy but if I have my huge boss battle against Ridley I’m not really complaining.

My only fear is that the anime characters look cliched and not especially interesting.

Mario & Luigi 3: I’d prefer a new Paper Mario but I’ll take this. Should be better than Golden Sun DS :P

metroidSuper Mario Galaxy 2: SMG was amazing and I’m glad they’re giving it another go.

Forza Motorsport 3: Forza 2 shat all over Gran Turismo with it’s carefully blended mix of simulation and arcade racing. With over 400 cars in FM3, I’m gonna be busy for a long long time.

Mass Effect 2: Mass Effect is still one of my favorite games this generation despite it’s many flaws (poor level design, long loading,combat relying more on stats then skill) as it truly felt epic in the way that it made you believe you were part of a huge galaxy (which was actually very small gameplay wise) and if the sequel addresses these flaws, I have a new game to add to my “greatest of all time” list.

Hearts of Iron III: Nothing new was shown at this year’s E3 but this strategy epic is going to consume me all summer. I just know it.

East India Company: Playing the beta of this title really showed me that Paradox may have a sleeper hit on their hands. I just hope that the strategy layer is as good as the ship to ship combat.

Dragon Age: Orgins: Can Bioware finally top the classic Baulder’s Gate series? While I wish I had more choices in starting character (why have a dwarven commoner but not human commoner) this has the potentiol to elevate Role Playing Games to the next level.



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