Thursday, September 28, 2006

X06 Update #3

My last update from Barcelona, already at the airport. This morning, Peter Jackson didn't talk to anyone directly, I am afraid. But I have seen a number of presentations and can give you some idea of what they are like.

Viva Pinata can be compared to Animal Crossing, but only to some extent. I take it you are familiar with AC, so let's focus on a few differences. You yourself are not a character and take the view of an invisible god, much like in Black & White. You tend to the garden and, depending on your actions and subsequent changes to it, that will attract different creatures. It looks highly original and a lot of creatures are incredibly cute. There is also a television series coming out on 4kids Enterntainment. I really cannot vouch for long-term playability, though. For a start, you shouldn't get too attached to those creatures, because a worm can get eaten by a bird, for example. And to enable a bird to mate you will have to smash a worm and reveal the candy inside (only that will get a bird 'in the mood'). There are a ton of hidden features, though. So I do believe the concept will work.

Peter Molyneux did not present any Fable 2 footage, since he felt it wasn't ready. He did share a great deal of his vision for the game, though. One juicy example: you will be able to have sex in the game, both protected and unprotected. The latter will often result in children being born, who will grow up and can become as good and evil as yourself. Having dropped the 'acorn growing into an oak tree' interaction from the original game, this will be included in the sequel. Further still, there will be a fully interactive environment. Molyneux gave the example of a small gypsy camp in a place called Brightwood Forest. When you first encounter it, you have the option of killing all inhabitants. If you do, the camp will have vanished a year on If you don't, it will grow into a village and eventually a smaller town over time. Fable 2 really looks like a very promising title.

Assassin's Creed, the only non-exclusive title in this list, looked stunning in yesterday's demo. You are free to find one of many ways to approach the target and eventually get close to your victim. Though the actual act of killing seems rather short-lived, the game emphasises both the setup and the get-away. You can climb any building (though this will draw attention to yourself) and there are various methods of transort like horse-riding, which looked beautiful. This is going to be one of the hottest action titles of 2007.

Alan Wake from Remedy of Max Payne fame was everyone's favourite, I guess. Though it seems far from release, the presentation revealed awesome visuals and a compelling, frightening atmosphere. I got goosegumps within seconds of the presentation starting. Alan Wake is going to be the next Half Life 2, if these guys don't mess anything up.

Shadowrun looks okay, but it's nothing special, graphically speaking. It has some interesting gameplay features, but I have my doubts whether this can become the Xbox360's Counterstrike.

Crackdown looks very poor, in my opinion. The graphic style seems to be kind of cel-shaded, but not too obviously. If you took a screenshot from it, it would look like that GT racing game for Wii from Ubi Soft. You just don't know where the developers want to go for style-wise. And so it just ends up looking barely Xbox (or Gamecube) quality.

So a good number of titles do raise the bar significantly, most look good and a few are quite poor and gimmicky. Altogether, X06 was a very successful event for Microsoft, though, even without a major announcement. Sony, competing directly with them, will have a hard time trying to equalise in terms of their games portfolio.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just saw a video of Alan Wake, the graphics are gorgeous.

In other news...Pokemon assaulted Japan today. Madness!

Anonymous said...

Did you get to meet and talk to Assassin's Creed producer Jade Raymond? She looks pretty hot for a game producer. I used to see her on the American game channel G4 all the time and I knew she worked on games. But I never thought that she was high up in the rankings like producer of the game.

Anonymous said...

BROAWAY REVEALED

G5 DUAL THREAD split into to gekko threads and 2x 2 32 bit fpu so 2x cpu threads 4xfpu threads 2x gamecentric extentions per thread over gekko plus opterizations and silicon on insulator tech included
think of broadway as 2 gekkos at 729mhz running in perfect hurmony with the inclusion of gaming extentions and silicon on insulator my uni friend doing on the job training at ubisoft france says there real world benchmarks say 2x 1.0ghz gekkos running as one cpu based on g5 dualthread all dedicated to games cpu work no sound processing or hd processing

zin said...

where did you get that from?

Anonymous said...

nice @ fable 2.
well, i havent played fable1, but i'm afraid that this game will again be like "undone" when it is released. molyneux-games are so full of innovations, that the developers are more occupied with implementing those innovations rather than smoothing the gameplay itself.

Gesh said...

Wow.

I just checked X06 coverage out.

Lo and behold !
The Wii just depreciated and slumped all the more.
The Wii line up palls on for people who acquired a taste for 360 I'm afraid.

The production values of any X 06 title alone seem to exceed those of all Wii titles combined(not trying to exaggerate there).


And not just from a visual perspective but much more from a sheer presentation wise and scale wise perspective.

The 360 projects all look very serious, professional and promising not least.

I think "massive" is the right word. 360 has a "massive attack"
in the making.
Wii games in comparison really fall short.

I don't consider myself a hardcore gamer but somehow the "hardcore" 360 games still allure me more than the wannabe unconstrained Wii games.

Excite Truck and Wario aren't my cup of tea.
Zelda is great granted but it's still very similiar to Ocarina of Time.
Mario Galaxy got delayed, and Red Steel looks so so.

I was expecting Nintendo to set the record straight with Wii once and for all concerning 3rd party support.
But somehow I doesn't seem to yield fruits (yet).

The 3rd party support reminds me of the N64 and Gamecube days to be honest.

When I contemplate the situation I get the feeling that Nintendo intentionally refrains from competing with Sony and Microsoft.

Even if they won't admit I think their strategy is similiar to Disneys.They design their games with kids in mind first and foremost.
Lets not kid ourselves there.
Thats what they always done and thats how they have always been successful.
I assume they are comfortable with their approach and situation and simplydon't want to put the success they always had in that sector on the line by trying something they might not be good at ( or not as good at as the competition).

Otherwise it just doesn't add up why Nintendo never considered taking any great action to change the image they are tainted with.

I strongly presume that Nintendo acts like this on purpose.
And expecting them to change is propably a wast of time.

Blizz419 said...

got a link about that broadway info? if not then i assume your spreading verbal diarhea

Anonymous said...

Sex in fable 2? Thats just too fucked up man. Not that i think its immoral to show sex in a video game but once you start having virtual sex with characters in a computer game you know your life is going in the wrong direction.

Blizz419 said...

there was sex in fable 1, its not like they will show the sex, they dont want AO rating none of these publishers have the balls to make an AO rated game for a console.

Grandmaster B said...

Gesh, MS have a few good titles that the hardcore will mainly like, big deal.

Sorry But I dont think Nintendo would be concerned too much about these.

I had a look at Gears of War, it didnt blow me away. It is just another FPS with a new different things. I am not giving a biased view here but really, big deal.

Anonymous said...

I posted this on the official Red Steel blog :) :



"Hi Red Steel team,

To be honest, I had been detesting your game ever since E3.
I wasn't able to cotton myself on to the visual quality of your title.

See, the thing is, I have played the creme de la creme on Gamecube, and when I was to compare the visual quality of your game to Resident Evil 4s for example your title really left me with something to be desired.

I simply didn't come to terms with the fact that a Gamecube game could look so much better than a next generation Wii title like Red Steel.

You really left me in the mist with some of the shots you posted I'm afraid to say.
I thought you were just a bunch of lazy ass devs who didn't give a .... about aesthetics.

Most of the shots and videos you released merely seemed to sport first generation Gamecube graphics with a stylised touch to it.

The polygon count was low, the lightning was too subtle, the texture work lacked finesse and didn't incorporate effects like bump-mapping for example and your art style was so so (it certainly didn't work wonders for the overall impression).

Furthermore, the shots you released after E3 never matched the PC prototype version shots that made the rounds prior to E3.

I really questioned your approach and good will.

I just couldn't resign to the fact that Gamecube games like Resident Evil 4, Rebel Strike and Metroid Prime just totally put your game to shame as far as graphics are concerned, sporting excessive bumping effects, high polygon counts, massive lightning, detailed textureworks and vivid artstyles alltogether.

To make a long story short, I was very bitter and antipathetic about your game ever since I saw videos of the E3 build.


BUT..


..thank you so much for releasing these new shots they have ultimately restored my faith in your title and talent and I'm reconsidering buying your title finally.


Merci.


By the way, please keep on polishing and optimizing the graphics , I am sure you'll be able to get even more out of Wii til you reach deadline.

And please believe me, I just don't endorse any type of BS, or put my name, or put my image on something just because.



Bye."

Anonymous said...

one question: what about the Wii version of "splinter cell da" if microsoft got the exclusive deal for it?

Falafelkid said...

Hey Grandmaster. Don´t bother responding to Gesh. He´s just spamming:

The production values of any X 06 title alone seem to exceed those of all Wii titles combined(not trying to exaggerate there).

That is the most ridiculous statement ever. It also shows he didn´t read my post. Anyone wonder what nick this guy posted under before?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Falafelkid but I have to disagree with you on this one.
Even if Gesh overacts a little bit, he still made some valid points nonetheless.

I agree that Nintendo seems to be more focused on pleasing kids with games like Wario , Excite Truck, Mario, Pokemon etc.
It hasnt change much in that regard.
You shouldnt label it as spam.
That was mildly over sensitive from you.

Grandmaster B said...

I agree that Nintendo seems to be more focused on pleasing kids with games like Wario , Excite Truck, Mario, Pokemon etc.
It hasnt change much in that regard.
You shouldnt label it as spam.
That was mildly over sensitive from you.


Ummm? As far as I know they are just trying to make fun games for all. If you want to think they are for kids then go ahead. You should think more before you speak, your comment is stupid.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Grandmaster.

Thanks for taking your time to reply to these guys. But please consider what has been said:

The production values of any X 06 title alone seem to exceed those of all Wii titles combined(not trying to exaggerate there).

Anyone suggesting this and anyone defending this point of view is a complete and utter fool, paid to post this kind of outrageous stuff - or both. Please don´t waste your time.

Anonymous said...

But the production values indeed aren't on par with 360.
And Nintendos games really appeal to the majority of children and less to adults.
Thats a know fact.
Older gamers prefer 360 and Sony.
Many publishers have lost faith in Nintendo.
Their whole style is too japanese and to colourful and too family friendly.
PS3 and 360 are more serious platforms and have a more massive and constructive library of games.
Nintendo is sort of in a niche market.They appeal to the joung japanese anime-pop culture.That demographic is their focus.
Another problem is the name "Nintendo" vs. the name "Sony".
First of all the names "Sony" and "Playstation" simply sound hip,fresh,attractive stylish and robust, while "Nintendo" and "Wii" sound more coltish,playful,foreign,kiddy and clumsy.
Many people associate gorgeous,nimble and industrial and stylish design with Sony while Nintendo is basically famous for Mario and Gameboy.
So when casual people walk into a electronic boutique, and see that stylish new "Playstation" entertainment system -from the same company they got a television, or a walkman, or hi fi equipment from - with a rich portofilio of games on the shelves, next to a Toys re us like plastic cube with colourful buttons on it and no DVD playback, it certainly becomes less difficult to make a choice.
It's the same reason why Opel for example will never be as successful as BMW, even if their cars are more innovative."BMW" sounds better than "OPEL" and their cars have an edge over them in aestetic,the overall design is solid.

As much as I would like to see Nintendo on top, image nowadays is everything I'm afraid.

Falafelkid said...

The fear that Nintendo only develops kiddie games has been refuted a million times already. I am not going to comment on this yet again.

Anonymous said...

But don't you agree that Nintendos games appeal more to younger demographics ?

Maybe you are just disoriented or misleaded, since you only see mature journalists at press events playtesting Wii..

Falafelkid said...

This discussion is as dead as anything. Please stop spamming or, if you want to argue this properly, back this up. Disrearding productions like Zelda: Twilight Princess or Super Mario Galaxy is preposterous. Those franchises have set standards for the entire industry and will continue to do so on Wii. Any maybe I have played all three next-gen consoles myself and know what I am talking about.

Anonymous said...

1. The colourfullness( No need to elaborate)

2. The cuteness (No need to elaborate)

3. The purple design of Gamecube(No need to elaborate)

4. Pokemon, Kirby, Animal Crossing, Yoshi all have cuddly toy like shapes and colours.


5. Zelda link : Green "elfen" boy fights evil.


6. Mario : Plumber jumping through colourful cartoony flower world fighting cute enemys.


7.No NCL real time strategy games(advance wars is colourful,less serious and for handheld) ,No NCL FPS, No NCL mature content like Baldurs Gate, Max Payne, Silent Hill, Final Fantasy, Lucasarts adventures, No realistic racing games like Forza 2, Grant Turismo, Moto GP

8.Comercials airing between kids programs, cartoons etc. predominantly.

Falafelkid said...

Yeah, yeah. Eternal Darkness, Geist, Resident Evil 4 and Metroid Prime never happened. Stop spamming, this has been discussed to death on this blog - and your point of view was always shown up as fanboyish.

Anonymous said...

"Eternal Darkness, Geist, Resident Evil 4 and Metroid Prime never happened."


Again, this is not Niontendo!

NCL!

NCL, Nintendo headquarter Japan.

No mature content from NCL in 20 years is a known fact.
Those titles are either 3rd party (Capcom) or 2nd party like( N-Space) or (gone like Silicon Knights *lol*) or located in America my dear friend.
Please get your facts right before you shout at me.

Falafelkid said...

Oh, sure. And Sony has only the best first party titles. Honestly, who pays you people?

910do said...

I don't see the point of this, you like mario, zelda, buy Wii, you wanna play "mature games" as you say, buy a 360 or a PS3, but don't comme complaining in a couple of years that their obsolete controller is not fun anymore and you want a 3d pointing device like the wiimote !!!, as far as graphics go, I just saw the 3 new screens from Red steel, and man it restored my faith, it looks awesome, and it's a 1st gen game, so there will be more polished and away better looking games in the future.

THE ROCK said...

@ Grandmaster biatch...with a name like yours you are the biggest biatch of them all.

honestly, nintendo are good making familiy orientrd games, platform and adventure, this by is their method of opperation. what is the big deal. DO YOU MAKE GAMES...SHUT UP!

I think I know your 8 yaers old and your mad at your mom for not leting you play mature games. shut up and suck on a monkey nipple, BECAUSE IT DOSENT MATTER WHAT THE HELL YOU THINK!

pitendo said...

fal dude wazzap man?plz dont give a shit about the haters...i saw the new screens of red steel today..so the wii haters is not capable of good graphics?think again...and sex in fable?whats next?lesbian sex?gay sex?that is what u call next generation?give me a break.thanks nintendo for everything!

Anonymous said...

biatch kids

some guy said...

I’m just going to give my opinion on this matter. I don’t understand what all the anger is about on either side (both pro and anti Nintendo). Why is everyone so extremely polarized? This is not politics people these are video games! The entertainment value of any game is only ones personal opinion, that’s it. There is no authority that can tell you what game you will think is fun or what console that will be the best. If you buy a PS3 or a Wii because you feel that it will bring the greatest entertainment value that’s great, but if you only buy a console (any console) because of the brand then that is just sad.

I am not trying to offend anyone but I just feel that we are becoming less like gamers and closer to brand loyalists; that would make us nothing more then consumer whores.

Anonymous said...

the rock is grandmaster biatch

Grandmaster B said...

Hi Grandmaster.

Thanks for taking your time to reply to these guys.


I am not defending anyone Rock (AKA IALS). I just get annoyed with people stating things incorrectly.

It is only a old misconception that Nintendo games are for younger demographics. It is quite a ludicrous and as Fal said old argument. It is just silly.

For starters Nintendo have a large fan base, ones that are very loyal. And these are fans that have been playing games probably before you were even born. If their games didnt appeal to these now grown up gamers, then who are all the people buying their games?

Which company has the highest selling franchiese and games today? Nintendo are near number 1 as far as I know.

Now come and tell me that most of their sales are from kids, but sorry I dont think so.

Sure you could argue these grown up gamers grew up playing Nintendo games so they have an emotional attachment. But really most people stop sleeping with their teddy bears.

And you cant tell me that Xbox and PS games dont have games that are for kids either.

Nintendo make games that try to appeal for all, and as far as I am concerned that is smart. After all, who is the most profitable company in the gaming market? Go to Nintendo and have a crack at them if you think they make kiddy games. They will tell you the plain facts and show you their financials, laugh in your face and kid you out the door.

Nintendo try to cater to as many demographics as they can.

Another thing, for all the Mario and Pokemon games that have sold in the millions, how many of their sales have gone to kids? You dont know and I dont know so whats the point of arguing. Nintendo would have a good idea.

heh anyway I wont go into it any further.

The end?

Anonymous said...

I dunno Fal...as a 360 owner...and a rabid Nintendo fanboy (Wii60 FTW!) I have to admit...MS' showing during X'06 was pretty damn strong.

I'm not saying that the software shown blows away Nintendo's Wii offerings..but it has made me contemplate in delaying my own personal Wii purchase.

The only Wii title that's poised to blow me away is Zelda...but I've waited long enough..why not wait longer?

Guitar Hero II, Gears of War, Sonic, Lost Planet, Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six Vegas, Forza 2, etc...coming THIS year...and man...ALL the games coming out in 07...there's a healthy stock inline for the 360.

I dunno..I LOVE my Nintendo..but I really am faced with a financial dillemna. I realize the Wii will kick ass...but do I really need one ASAP?

...perhaps for Zelda I may. ARGH!

-Keeko ca

Falafelkid said...

Hey Keeko.

I dunno Fal...as a 360 owner...and a rabid Nintendo fanboy (Wii60 FTW!) I have to admit...MS' showing during X'06 was pretty damn strong.

Sure, that´s what I have been writing about. At X06, Microsoft revealed a number of outstanding titles and only a few duds. Altogether a pretty strong lineup. But don´t worry, only Sony has to face this lineup head-on. Nintendo have wisely chosen not to compete on this battleground. They have originality as their unique selling point.

Anonymous said...

...however...

..as a gamer...perhaps not hardcore, but well versed in what games I like to play...MS really does appear to offer the best gamercentric focus...and I appreciate that fact.

Then there's Sony and Nintendo...perhaps competing for the mainstream casual gamer. Wii with it's new software focus...and Sony with the focus on the movie watching audience.

Could MS be the happy medium...or could they be focused on too small of a demographic?

-Keeko ca

Anonymous said...

I.A.L.S. = ...


Let's play a game of IALS is.

910do said...

Fal', you should really consider removing the anonymous comments, it's getting really annoying.

Carmine M. Red said...

Microsoft is doing a lot of things right this generation... so why aren't they selling?

Their sales are actually tracking slower than expected, with Europe being slow to adopt them, Japan not caring, and only America remaining a stronghold. They've only moved 7 million units worldwide, by my estimate, mostly in America, so if they don't have a hot holiday season then they've practically already lost all the momentum they were trying for.

ALSO, the X360 is getting very little Japanese support... that alone is keeping many traditional and hardcore players away from them.

But still, I really do think that Microsoft deserves to be respected, and maybe pitied a little. They've done nothing as outrageous as Sony, but they still haven't "broken out", maybe because there may be a real price barrier at $300 or $250 that the mass market won't go for no matter how cool your console is. If that price barrier really exists, then it almost completely justifies Nintendo's plan to not use expensive tech.

~Carmine M. Red
Kairon@aol.com

Anonymous said...

LOL! Carmine!

You make a good point. The only reason I own a 360 is because I bought it used off some stupid kid for an IRRESISTABLE price.

...I was waiting for the then Revolution myself. I was going to swing the 360 for a profit...but after I had a good month's session with it..I cannot remove myself from it. It really IS a great gaming console. It turned me from a MS hater into a MS lover.

I really hope MS gains some ground on Sony this gen...because like I said...they've made one hell of a gaming machine focused on GAMING.

-Keeko ca

Anonymous said...

I just saw the Shadowrun trailer from E3 (a little late, I know) and I like the gameplay they referenced. I hope that it ends up being like that, even though your comments are pretty neutral.