Thursday, May 28, 2009

My E3 2009 Preview (Sony)

E3 is next week as bombs will be dropped regarding big games for the next year. Then again, if all these announcements of new games are already happening now with today's announcements of some Sega racing game which is Mario Kart but with Sega mascots like Sonic and such, Def Jam Rapstar, a rap karaoke game by EA, and the Pre-E3 special on GameTrailers TV tonight with new footage of Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and more. I already shared my thoughts about Nintendo and Microsoft with what they may bring to the show next week, but now it is finally Sony's turn and perhaps their conference has at least a clear indication of what should be shown at this event.

Final Fantasy XIII - I'm not sure if Square-Enix is showing up to E3 because of the swine flu, but expect a big showing for FFXIII especially with the billboards already showing up at Downtown LA featuring the main characters. The footage above is from the Japanese Trial Version that was released with Advent Children Complete, but Squenix have said that they won't bring this demo with the US release of Blu-Ray Advent Children next month. Then again, making the demo downloadable on PSN is not out of the question as I think they are considering it for the US audience that wanted to play this that don't want to import. Hopefully new areas will be shown next week beyond the demo and a more clearer release window since it is still next year worldwide. Will it be playable at the show floor? Who knows, I just hope it is not an extended trailer of the same old stuff with a couple more seconds of new stuff added in. Honestly, I'm not really a Final Fantasy fan as the only one I played through all of is FFX, but I'm willing to give the franchise another chance with XIII since the demo blew me away when I first saw it in action (That battle music is also epic stuff).

Project Trico - This seems inevitable at this rate that Project Trico will be shown next week at the show.  While some considers this the PS3's saving grace, of course it is not that blockbuster that everyone will buy. It will just be another appreciated title by the hardcore like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, but who knows if others will buy it. If this is actually shown, expect it to be the overall game of the show since the gaming press loves everything the Ico team does since the previous two are such special games.

Heavy Rain - This PS3 exclusive will also have a big showing at E3 since it is another critical darling among the hardcore crowd. If u don't know about Heavy Rain, this game is context sensitive (quick-time event) driven with tons of moral choices that will make a difference in the story and the characters. The developers have said that it is still a long way off (like next year), but expect Sony will go crazy with this at their press conference.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - This is a big week for Uncharted 2 as new footage will be shown on GameTrailers TV tonight as mentioned earlier and the multiplayer beta begins next week on PSN if you're a Qore subscriber and bought inFAMOUS at its launch. I have mentioned on Twitter to various game journalists about wanting to see some new levels other than the ones already seen for both single and multiplayer. The first Uncharted was my first PS3 game and I actually did love it for what it is, which is an awesome exclusive. I have high hopes for the sequel continuing the adventures of Nathan Drake in various spots of the world, but there are some skeptics that believe that Naughty Dog adding in co-op and versus multiplayer may affect the work on the single player. However from what I seen so far, they have been delivering on that end with the epic setpieces, the gunplay, and the charm that is Drake himself feeling like a true character. I'm betting on a co-op demonstration of this game will happen at the press conference.

(As I'm typing this, the PSN Store finally updated for this week).

God of War III - Of course, Sony's big gun is God of War III and I am hopeful it makes a big impact at the show with an awesome trailer, gameplay demonstration at the press conference, and a playable demo at the show floor. The first two games were that damn good and I also have high hopes for this third one to end the trilogy with a bang (especially if you have seen the ending for God of War II). This one is also out next year and will be worth the wait.

Gran Turismo 5 finally coming after all? - GT5 Prologue has been out for a while (well last year) as Polyphony Digital have been spending lots of time on the real GT5 being the real deal for racing simulations. I just hope my man Kaz finally announces something related to GT5 next week because this will be another must-have for the PS3 whether you love the franchise or not (I might as well get a wheel for this as well).

Kojima's next game? - With Metal Gear Solid 4 out and now part of the greatest hits lineup out next month at 30 bucks (finally I can buy and play this masterpiece), who knows what's next for Kojima, but with all those teasers after teasers (since he loves to tease), is his next game another Metal Gear title being a prequel of sorts, or will it be something completely different (like Zone of the Enders 3 or whatever). All signs and clues are leading towards a MGS5 or a prequel (or MGS4 Existence for both PS3 and 360).

The rest of Sony's 1st party lineup - While some may claim that Sony has the best first party lineup of the big three (I can somewhat agree with them), I have faith that they will deliver the goods this upcoming year with Uncharted 2, Ratchet & Clank Future: Crack in Time, MAG (Who knows if that game will deliver, hopefully a multiplayer beta gets announced for PSN), the continuing support of the SingStar franchise, and maybe some new IPs and sequels to to other franchises (Jak, Sly Cooper, Heavenly Sword, etc.). Also, what's next for LittleBigPlanet? Will Media Molecule show off new levels and other goods for their remarkable game? Who knows, but it better be good for me to play that game again.

What about PSN and Home? - Playstation Network continues to evolve with firmware update after firmware update, but will there be a major one next week aka 2.8 that promises the goods like in-game voice chat and full PS2 backwards compability? On the downloadable front, I'm just happy they are continuing to deliver on more risky original titles like Fat Princess and the new Pikeljunk Shooter, so I'm hopeful of more original games being announced for PSN and maybe the rumored Starhawk will happen too (I don't have Warhawk). Of course, I want more classics on this service, but it is okay letting XBLA getting the goods on those. Home is also evolving to its full potential even though some would say it already failed on its promise. With things like a playable Buzz space, on-disc features, and other giveaways, maybe Home will be cool after all. Lastly, PSN better fix their online connection issues even though I fixed my fortunately because it is getting frustrating for some users out there.

Okay, that's it for the PS3 other than the inevitable price drop has to happen now and maybe the Slimline SKU is true after all.

As for PSP, Sony is promising a second coming for the handheld, but I'm skeptical about it because they are just releasing more of the same titles that consoles have and better on them like Tekken 6, Rock Band Unplugged, Soul Calibur, and more. Maybe more games being available both at retail and as download like Patapon 2 might be the solution with the PSP to compete again with the DS. Perhaps other exclusives like Final Fantasy Dissidia and Monster Hunter will give PSP another push, but I don't see it happening.

That's it for Sony and yes I'm ready for E3 and bombs to be dropped!!

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