Nice article. :) I appreciate someone who doesn't pull his punches - I'll be keeping an eye on Kris Graft from now on. Ta for the heads up.
Plenty of negative words were written and said after this year's E3, but maybe the most attention-grabbing piece was this one from Gamasutra editor-in-chief Kris Graft called The E3 of Disillusion. He was quite pointed in his criticism of E3:
"On the grand stage in L.A., at the event that I've heard called the "Super Bowl of Video Games," the world's biggest video game publishers made clear at whom they would direct hundreds of millions of dollars of investment: Bloodthirsty, sex-starved teen males who'll high-five at a headshot and a free T-shirt."
"E3 2012 was unabashed pandering to the lowest common denominator, more than ever before. The video game industry wants to be respected as a medium that can be held up to the same creative standards as a New York Times best-selling book or an Oscar-winning movie. Instead, the games industry is complacent in further developing its relegation as a semi-interactive Michael Bay mocking bird."
"If you witnessed E3 as an intelligent enthusiast of video games, you realized the sad truth: The joy is dead, delight is gone. Joy and delight just aren't worth the monetary investment anymore for big-budget games. Joy and delight are replaced by 'I ****** your **** up, and I'm a bad-ass, let's crack open a Dew.' It took all of these games in one place for me to finally, reluctantly, admit that this is what triple-A video games are now. At least that's how E3 and triple-A game publishers apparently want to portray the world of video games. Are you not entertained?"
Wow Was it that bad?
I didn't pay much attention to E3, so I can't say one way or another, although from a distance it seemed kind of bad. I haven't been that interested in it for some time, really. I guess the thing Kris Graft complains about is what I have felt for a while now -- E3 is an event that is focused more on hyping up sequels and big-budget releases with less of a focus on new IPs, and since I tend to not get as excited about that stuff as I do new IPs and games that go in fresh directions, I don't pay much attention. I suppose I'm an enthusiast, to use Kris Graft's word, and while I'll play a lot of those sequels and probably have fun doing so, there's still a boring element of familiarity with them that doesn't get me too excited. But I guess there were also a few new IPs of interest there too, buried underneath all the noise.
That's the gaming industry in general these days though -- the big money and big hype is going to be pumped into what sells, just as it is in the movie industry. Anything that takes a chance or moves in a new direction is likely to be lost underneath the blockbusters -- it's still out there, you just might have to look for it a little bit.
Plus, there's an age factor... I'm not old in human years (sometimes I physically feel like I'm 80, but that's a discussion for another time), but I'm getting up there in gaming years. You're never too old to play games, don't get me wrong... but most of the gaming community is young, and you reach a certain point where you don't really feel a part of it anymore. With E3, it feels like most of the products are being pitched to that crowd, so a lot of what goes on there doesn't feel aimed at me.
Ironically though, it's quite possible that the game discussed at E3 that I might be looking forward to the most is the one that will probably turn out to be the crudest, filthiest, most immature one of them all...
Game-wise I've mostly just been spending time with Dragon Age over the past few weeks. I went back to replay Origins after having played in on PC a couple years ago because I wanted to get a save file going on my 360 that I could import into Dragon Age II, which I had decided to play on the 360 instead of the PC. I thought I would just whip through Origins real fast, but it was like rediscovering an old friend. I wound up playing through it two times in full with a few other characters started just to mess around with. It's a better game than I remember, maybe my favorite RPG of this gen. They did a good job too adapting what was really a PC game by design to the console.
After that, I got into Dragon Age II, the game that many Origins fans have said is a terrible travesty. Well, it's not terrible, but it is just so... different. It's stunning how far removed the game is from Origins in many ways. It's still a pretty solid game, but if you love Origins, you will definitely be taken aback by how many things have changed and how many changes seem unnecessary.
Once you get past the adjustment period, there's some good stuff in Dragon Age II. The cast of characters turns out to be likable, or at least the females do; the male characters on your team with one exception are peckers. I think my favorite was Merrill, the nervous, naive, socially awkward forest elf. I imagine she got on some people's nerves, but her story was the most interesting one to me.
Depending on your taste, Merrill's fish-out-of-water cuteness will either put you under her spell or make you want to push her into traffic
I definitely was let down by by how little the characters from Origins were seen in Dragon Age II. In fairness, the ending of Origins did kind of wrap up those characters pretty well, but I was still disappointed to not see more of them. And the one major character from Origins who did seem bound to play a major role in future installments -- Morrigan -- isn't even in the game at all. Plus the game in general left as many questions as answers storywise. Overall, it was a tad bit disappointing but at the same time, I liked it more than I thought I would, probably because I was expecting the worst based on all the hate the game gets.
I think I will play a little bit more of Dragon Age II before moving on. I have Dead Space 2, Just Cause 2, Darksiders, and newly-added-to-backlog games in Assassin's Creed Revelations and Donkey Kong Country Returns to decide from. Maybe Assassin's Creed since ACIII is the only game right now I can think of that I'm considering buying on day one this year, and I want to catch up with things storywise but also give some time between Revelations and III so that I don't grow sick of it. I'm also trying to decide if I want to add Final Fantasy XIII-2; I was never really too interested in it but it's $19.99 right now at Amazon.
Other entertainment stuffs have included the NBA Playoffs and Game of Thrones.
Speaking of peckers...
After sitting in the waiting queue for months at Netflix, I finally got the first season of Game of Thrones sent to me recently. I'm through season one, and now the challenge of how I will watch the recently completed season two is upon me. I don't think I have it in me to wait for it to come out on Blu-Ray, so I might have to subscribe to HBO. If you are at all into high fantasy, definitely check it out. Once the show starts picking up the pace in the later part of season one, it is very entertaining and hard to pull away from, unless you're not into gratuitous sex/boobs/butts/wangs and violence (actually there's not THAT much of that stuff, but when it does happen, the show is not afraid of going a little overboard with it ). I can't wait to get into season two, even though I've had some of it spoiled for me (it seems near impossible these days not to stumble across spoilers for this show online).
Well that's all for now. Thanks for reading
I missed E3 this year, the first time in a few years. I can't say that I regret it from what I have heard so far.
With regards to Game of Thrones I am loving it. Nearly finished watching season 2. All I will say is that Joffrey is a character I would NEVER tire of punching.
@wavey_gravey I had seen so many people talking about how unlikable Joffrey is before I watched the show. I actually had liked Jamie Lannister less than Joffrey for most of season one... until the end of Episode 9. That's when Joffrey immediately became one of the most unlikable characters ever :D And then the next episode, there's that part where Joffrey and Sansa Stark are standing on that ledge, I was hoping she would push him off haha. I felt a little bad wishing harm upon a kid but I imagine I wasn't alone lol
The fact you said you "didn't pay much attention" says a lot about this year's E3. Not many people did. There was nothing beckoning gamers to watch this year. Those of us who did, though, saw pretty much what Gamasutra saw, though I think they might be giving the industry too much credit. It's always been about dollars and cents, but this year it was about dollars and cents, minus any trace of common sense.
@GeekyDad Seems like that's where things are in general with the industry -- do what we can to sell games first, worry about how we look doing it later (or never). Even people within the industry have complained about E3, so it will be interesting to see how it is next year. At this point I'm not sure I'd mind if it just went away completely though.
@naju890_963 Seems like it was a waste of time for many of the people involved, from the media covering the event to the fans watching it from home. Hopefully it is fixed in the future