E3: On the bright side

I’ve stated a few times that E3 this year has been a bit dull. But, this being the Internet, plenty of people tend to take something that was merely okay and claim it was an absolute irredeemable train wreck. I’d like to be a little more positive, so I thought I’d close up my E3 blogs this year with some games that I can’t wait to play. And this doesn’t even include everything I’m interested in or curious about. Just the ones that I’m most looking forward to, in no particular order.

New Super Mario Bros 2 and U – I grouped these together for the sake of simplicity, and they are pretty similar. But they also both look absolutely fantastic, and I’ll be getting them both, no question. Nintendo doesn’t drop the ball with NSMB games, and the hook in each of these — especially the coin overload in the 3DS title — seem like clever enough twists to support a new game within that framework.

Beyond: Two Souls – I had my problems with Heavy Rain, namely that the twist made no sense whatsoever, but it was still a cinematic experience with real consequence. Beyond looks like it builds on those concepts with some otherworldly concepts. I wish I knew a little more about the actual gameplay, but on sheer storytelling prowess alone Quantic Dream has me interested.

South Park – I had heard it looks like the show, but I don’t think anyone realized just how much it looks like the show. Really just an amazing showing at the Microsoft conference, and the bits of writing we’ve heard definitely show that the game is keeping the show’s sharp wit.

Watch Dogs – To join the chorus of praise here, this looks great. I’m calling it now: Ubisoft could be introducing its next Assassin’s Creed level franchise. Speaking of which.

Assassin’s Creed 3/Liberation – I’m already in the tank for Assassin’s Creed, but seeing Connor’s quick movements and climbing skills really looks like it sets this game apart from the previous “trilogy” of Ezio. It may not be the leap from AC1 to AC2, but it looks awfully close. Meanwhile Liberation has me interested mostly on the concept of its unique hero and setting. Plus I like the idea of taking an AC game on the go properly since the PSP one was pretty terrible.

Pikmin 3 – I never got much into the Pikmin franchise, and I’ve considered picking up one of the existing ones. But now that I’ve seen this, I think I’ll wait. The GamePad controls just seem so natural, it really seems like the ideal way to play.

Star Wars 1313 – Finally, a Star Wars game without Jedi. We don’t always have to be Jedi, for God’s sake.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star – I love the Paper Mario series in general, and ever since I first saw the Paper Mario 3DS teaser I was all for it. The concept just clicks so well with that aesthetic, and the lengthy gameplay demonstration during Nintendo’s 3DS showcase just cemented it further for me.

Castlevania LoS Mirror of Fate – The DS Castlevania games were universally good, sometimes great. This one looks like it builds on the exploration that made those so fun, and mixes some of the more complex battle mechanics from Lords of Shadow.

Halo 4 – Halo is looking better than it ever has, with some reflections of the Metroid Prime series, a free “season” of co-op story content, and a new story that will let them get away from the intractable Covenant mythology.

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