Okay, so the big three have shown off their wares at E3 2009, and talk about a day of surprises. I've decided to present my personal opinion to the three conferences, each one describing what I liked and didn't like in each one, ultimately presenting my favorite game shown.
Microsoft: Microsoft really did have a good year at the last E3, but something tells me that they're starting to cave in to the casual gaming market. No better evidence is the NATAL project, a full-body motion camera and voice recognition piece of hardware. Now, a lot of people are really excited about this. I personally find it to look frustrating. I don't want to yell at my screen telling it to do stuff; I'd much rather use a controller of some sort. It feels too much like Sony's EyeToy taken to another level. Also, the "Milo" idea feels troublesome, and Peter Molyneux has a nasty habit of hyping up a huge game, even if this isn't much of a game at all. Not to say that I'm not happy with Microsoft's presentation. The integration of so many online worlds like Facebook and last.fm into the Xbox 360 is actually pretty cool. I was really excited about the New Xbox Experience months ago, and this is getting me excited as well. On the gaming side, Halo: ODST and the announced Halo: Reach look to be good continuations of Halo.
Personal Favorite: Alan Wake. Initially, I didn't know much about Alan Wake, but seeing the game in action really brought it into perspective. The dynamic storytelling and haunting environment in the demo were simply superb. I really liked how they presented the story and I must say that I found it better than many of Microsoft's other games that were presented and announced.
Nintendo: Nintendo struggled last year, bringing few hardcore titles and relying too much on the casual market's input. They were guilty of it this year too, but fortunately, they had a few surprises as well. New Super Mario Bros. Wii looks to be a great party game; it reminded me of Smash Bros. in fact, only a bit less intense. The appearance of Super Mario Galaxy 2 was a surprise, with Mario exploring new worlds and even letting Yoshi appear. The revival of Golden Sun was another shocker. The Wii Motion Plus looks to be worth it, as I am one of many who want to see how Red Steel 2 pans out. Although it could've been better, (more new IP's could've helped), Nintendo apparently has made some strides toward satisfying both hardcore and casual markets...
Personal Favorite: Metroid: Other M. ...and no better example is this. I loved the Metroid Prime series, and seeing the trilogy-conclusive Prime 3: Corruption was a heartwrenching moment. I was shocked when I saw that Team Ninja logo appear in the trailer, and I began wondering who that blonde lady was. Once they showed Samus in her Chozo armor, everything changed. The mix of third-person action and first-person combat reminded me of Ninja Gaiden, but the visceral beam and blasts were amazing. 2010 is already looking to be a winning year.
Sony: Sony's conference last year was actually quite good, and so was this year. They've finally nailed the connectivity of the PS3 and PSP, and the Playstation Network is getting on the right track. They did seem to neglect the PS2, but the PSP and PS3 stood tall. The PSP Go!'s internal memory is an excellent idea, as is the ability to download or purchase at retail PSP titles. I'm hesitant to purchase it, however, with its rather steep price point. The PS3's collection of exclusive titles like MAG and Uncharted 2 show that they have some good titles in the works. However, the motion control just doesn't look innovative anymore. The tech demos felt too simple. When Sony was doing what they do best, presenting games, the show was great. Oh, and God of War III? Awesome.
Personal Favorite: Assassin's Creed II. I liked Assassin's Creed, but behind all the technical capabilities, there was repetition and redundance in the missions. Fortunately, Assassin's Creed II's new world, varied weapons, and awesomely created architecture impressed me. The new ancestor's two hidden blades are amazing, and I can't wait to see the other weapons and skills he's able to wield. The buildings and world design are astonishingly creative; I did find it fun to just wander the city in the original, and there seems to be even more opportunities to do that in the second installment.
Well, they're be more E3 goodness soon. Can't wait!