The NZGamer staff take a look at what their favourites were at E3, and what they think of the DS and PSP.
Welcome to the NZGamer Roundtable. Every other week members of the NZGamer staff will volunteer to give their respected thoughts on a particular topic or question relating to the videogame industry.
This week's Participants:
-Shaun Hunter (a.k.a. Phoenix)
-Mat Ellin (a.k.a. ellin)
-Daniel Simmons Ritchie (a.k.a. Dannyboy)
-Reuben Duff (a.k.a. supermario)
-Morgan Bates (a.k.a. Munkah)
-Jaz Rignall (a.k.a. Jaz)
QUESTION 1: E3 has come and been, and with all the new information and titles announced, what games which made an appearance at E3 are you looking forward to?
Morgan: I'm looking forward to the now renamed Conker: Live & Reloaded formerly live and uncut. This is the game I pretty much bought my Xbox to get. It was one of the best N64 games as Conkers Bad Fur Day but now it runs faster and has better graphics on Xbox with Xbox Live multiplayer support. Whether or not it will stand out much on Xbox Live from the other shooters is another matter. The single player game is the same as in Bad Fur Day but the smoother frame rate is the main reason I want this game. In my opinion the original N64 game was a great platform game let down by a slow frame rate and the N64 controller wasn't the best either.
Shaun: This year will certainly be big for me in terms of gaming. There are a lot of titles coming out soon, some of which were showed at E3. I've been anticipating Gran Turismo 4 since the first few screens were released, and the information showed at E3 only raised my want for this game. I have to mention DOOM III, from the E3 trailer, it is shaping up to be a very solid game. More anticipated games include DRIV3R, Metal Gear Solid 3, and while not technically shown at E3, GTA San Andreas. Looks like a very expensive year if I plan on getting all these quality titles.
On top of those games I'm also interested in seeing how the Nintendo DS and Sony's PSP will develop over the coming year. I'm keen on buying myself a PSP if the price is long enough, as I have yet to devote myself to a handheld system.
Mat: I didn?t see any games in E3, I only looked at the DS and PSP.....
Jaz: I didn't see anything that interested me at all. Just remakes and sequels.
Shaun: Yeah I do agree with you Jaz, there were a lot of remakes and sequels. However sometimes the best games are sequels. Sure they may not have as much new gameplay built into them, but most sequels usually build on the strengths of the past games.
Morgan: In Nightshade's case I think it built on Shinobi's weaknesses, but yeah Ninja Gaiden is really more of a sequel and it's one of the best games I've played all year. Looking forward to Halo 2 as well and does Killer 7 make anyone else want to ask what happened to Killer 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6? Anyway Doom 3 is definitely on my list of must have titles this year. Almost for abut the new Zelda, it looks great.
Daniel: Zelda, Zelda, Zelda!
Who would have guessed Nintendo would finally start work on a mature ass-kicking Zelda? It was a beautiful climax to Nintendo's E3 press conference. Sure I loved Wind Waker as much as the next Nintendo fan, but seeing those horse mounted moblins riding towards the camera, the heat-blurred sun flickering in the background and the orchestrated background music pumping and building - sent shivers down my spine. The new Zelda has easily became my most anticipated game by far.
The DS, now that was nifty. Sure I'm not convinced that having dual screens isn't a gimmick, but the possibilities a touch screen holds certainly helps justify it. I am certain Nintendo has a bunch of killer apps that weren't revealed at E3 to really utilise the DS hardware. Perhaps what interests me the most about the DS though is the Wi-Fi support, regular N_Gamer readers will well be aware I've been itching for some online Nintendo action for quite some time. With the possibility of running your DS right through your home connection (free of cost to Nintendo) we could finally see Nintendo embracing online multiplayer. As for the PSP, to me it's a mini PlayStation 2 with a major battery-problem - it does nothing for me.
I am also extremely interested in Halo 2, particularly the multiplayer which to me sounds like a game that is worth the price of admission to Xbox Live. And with other intriguing software like Fable and B.C. I may well be picking up an Xbox later this year.
Reuben: Vampires. Flaming Pigs. Shoggoth. Pirates. Crazy axe-wielding rednecks.
E3 this year was pretty decent. Can't decide if the PC world had a better showing than the consoles, but it was pretty good all round.
Vampires The Masquerade is looking tastier by the day. Only thing about it is that it can't come out until Half-Life 2 does. FFS.
Rome: Total War. Even if this game tried it couldn't be anything short of amazing...so good. Having to satiate myself with Medieval until this bad boy arrives.
Call of Cthulhu is looking more interesting by the minute...gogo Love Craft. Funny thing is I've never read anything Love Craftian before yet this game has my heart all a flutter.
Pirates, was this game even at E3? *hides away* Because I only really read pre-E3 information about it and after, not at the time. But its look so fun. Sid Meier and his peeps have it going on...
Then there was Evil. Resident Evil. They didn't really show much new at E3 but they showed enough to make me run around my room a few times, bashing my toes into boxes and games. FUN FUN.
You guys thought I wasn't going to mention it...ZZEELLLLDDDAAAA. HA!
New Zelda is looking tight...I kind of wanted another Cel-Shaded Zelda. Maybe on N5.
I have to say DOOM III on Xbox didn't impress me one bit and the complete absence of the PC counter-part kind of saddened me. But since its coming out so soon I don't really care.
QUESTION 2: What are your thoughts on the games that were shown at E3, and in particular, how well do you think the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP will go?
Mat: I see both being a success. Its not Nintendo's intention for everyone to buy a DS, that's what their GameBoy series is for. The DS is adding a new aspect to games, and has already got support from many developers which shows that this is not just a gimmick, this machine is what the game industry needs; something different. The PSP will give the handheld market a wake up call, a machine this powerful will be able to rival graphics of the next consoles as its all on a small screen. Its obvious this will do well, all ready there's comments from gamers wondering who on earth will buy a DS when there's a PSP. The one major problem with the PSP that isn't to do with battery time is the unoriginality of games. You've paid $130 for a game you have on your PlayStation 2, why would you pay another $130 for the same game again?
Morgan: I think the PSP might suffer because of the short battery life, and the higher price point Sony will probably have on it. The only thing it really has going for it is it's more advanced than the DS and Sony already have good brand recognition in the console market. It's hard to say at this point who has more developer support but Nintendo already have a head start on the games as the DS will play GameBoy games. If Nintendo want to make sure the DS is popular all they need to do is slap the GameBoy name on the DS, like GameBoy DS. They could bundle a 3D version of Tetris with it!
As for what Sony should do with the PSP get all the developers they can and market the PSP for all it's worth, just don't mention the short battery life.
Reuben: Can't people remember the Pocket Station or whatever the hell it was called. That was Sony?s first venture into the handheld market and it sunk faster than the Lynx. Hehe.
I foresee it selling bucket loads, but I'm not really sure who too. Maybe tech geeks. Average consumers aren't going to buy one. Parents aren't going to buy one for their kids as they'll be way too expensive. No ones going to buy something whose battery life dies out before Lord of the Rings finishes. Is it supposed to play music as well? And cook me breakfast!
Sony's marketing in the sector of media-players isn't all that great at the moment either. The iPod has sunken the Sony MP3 player ship well and truly. I can't help but feel the PSP is trying to give too much too soon. Sort of like the N-Gage but not as poorly planned.
The DS I'm not so sure about. I wonder what's going to happen to the GB once the DS is launched and how far developers are going to push the 2 screens as an application to gaming and not a gimmick. Sonic-Rub (real name anyone?) looks to wear the screen down pretty fast, although Nintendo said this wouldn't be the case. But still makes you wonder.
As far as sales go I'm actually putting my money on the DS. Just because it is cheaper and because the PSP's price tag/add-ons aren't really enticing enough. Plus Mario 64 X 4...come on. Who doesn't want Mario lovin'.
Plus Morgan is right. 3D Tetris would rule. Sept if it was like those crappy Zoo ones that came out, those were truly crap. Portable WarCraft would sell the systems ... mmmmmmm ... portable WarCraft. Portable StarCraft would sell like 20 million Units in South Korea
Shaun: I think the PSP will go well, and will target gamers which haven?t yet bought a GameBoy (such as myself). I will be very interested to see how the PSP develops over the coming months, and depending on price I will certainly be looking into buying one.
The Nintendo DS for me is a mixed bag. I think the idea of two screens is something that Nintendo will either pull off with a huge success or will fail miserably. Two screens will indeed make gameplay different, whether or not it will be for the better is yet to be seen.
Nevertheless, both the PSP and DS will be very exciting when they are released into the gaming community.
Morgan: I'll just add that I don't think I will buy a PSP seeing as I already have a PS2. As for the Nintendo DS I'll wait and see how it does.
That's it for this E3 roundtable, be sure to tune in next time where all madness could break loose. Also, on a side note, this will be Reuben's last feature as he has now left the staff of NZGamer, (as said in recent news article).