Between Sega Europe's painful restructuring and Activision's dismantling of Radical Entertainment, this past week has been another one of those weeks that we'd rather forget. It's always unfortunate when people lose their jobs, and downsizing doesn't often instill confidence that the affected industry is moving in the right direction. These moves are a continuation of the state of correction that the video game industry is in—especially in the console sector.
It's our E3 spectacular! We talk about the conferences, we talk about the games and we talk about the Wii U! Plus, with all of the recent controversy over violence in video games, as the industry finally gone too far? With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik and Dylan "I still haven't got the hang of this ending thing" Collins.
Bastion made a name for itself thanks to its beautiful aesthetic and the use of a narrator. But what other games could benefit from someone giving essentially a play-by-play of the action on the screen? Dorkly tries it with just a few popular franchises.
After a year of silence, Nintendo has its press conference where it was demonstrate to the world why it needed a Wii U and 3DS and why it should stay away from smartphones and tablets.
Judging by Twitter, the result was a wash. Nintendo did announce games for both the Wii U and 3DS. The Wii U got Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, Wii U Fit, Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition, Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3 as well as support for video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and Amazon Video announced. The 3DS got decent titles like New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario Sticker Star and Luigi's Mansion 2.
The thing is that show attendees, and those watching at home, were looking for more—especially from the Wii U. Why, after owning an Xbox 360 and/or PlayStation 3, should someone pick up a Wii U? That was the question that needed answering and it seemed Nintendo didn't do a very good job of doing so. All hope is not loss as E3 (as of this writing) is not over so there is time for more announcements. But after a year's wait, it looks like many are going home to be content with their 360s and PS3s until their successors show up.
On this episode we examine the state of Portable Games. Brad also brings Dragon's Dogma to the table, and Mike and Chi weigh in on Max Payne 3. This episode also features what is surely the greatest Thumbs up, thumbs down of all time! With Dylan Collins, Chi Kong Lui, Brad "Bromance" Gallaway, Mike Bracken and special guest Michael Cunningham.
Nintendo wanted to get the jump on everyone and release its "concept presentation" ahead of the big E3 press conferences. Perhaps it also wanted to get it out of the way so as to not cause any confusion—at last year's E3 Nintendo took some heat for not being clear that it was just announcing the system, its name and showing off conceptual game ideas. At any rate, you see the Wii U Gamepad, Mii Universe and some more conceptual game ideas. Hopefully, the games and more specific talk about the hardware will be at Tuesday's press conference.
The almost universally laudatory critical reaction to Xenoblade Chronicles has heaped ambitious praise on the project. Not content to appreciate Xenoblade's design on its own merits, many critics have asserted that it points the way towards "saving" the JRPG. There are good reasons to be dubious of this assertion. For the moment, though, I want to focus on something Xenoblade gets right, and the best way to do it is by focusing on something it gets very wrong: Valak Mountain.
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