From June 2nd to June 4th the biggest event of the videogaming industry is going to occur once again and, going by the latest news, it´ll be returning to former glory. All of the many-year-hyped-up games have been released, so what we want to know: Is E³ 2009 going to give us the next wave of big hype-worthy titles to look forward to? We don´t know, but we can guess. In the following have fun with Flyingfisch´ going-all-out predictions of what we will see at this year´s E³!
Fanboy´s favorite: Nintendo
Despite what many bitter people think, i´m choosing a more positive stance, saying that we´ll see a lot of awsome stuff from Nintendo this year. In the recent past and present, Nintendo surely was lacking games…but they lacked games in general. This ominous “Nintendo only makes casual games!”-stuff simply holds no truth. The marketing side of Nintendo focuses on the casual stuff, yeah, but how does that worsen the games i like? Having explained that, there will be “casual” games, but there will be the opposite stuff as well.
Nintendo´s main pull this year will be MotionPlus. This little thing is going to be the Wii´s second launch, and by bundling it with nearly every game that makes use of it, it will ensure to be successfull. WiiSports Ressort will be one of the showcase titles, but we already saw that one last year, so there´s bound to be more. We will see EA´s Grand Slam Tennis and Ubisoft´s Red Steel 2.
Nintendo themselves will reveal RetroStudio´s new Wii-Game, the return of Raven Blade. This is going to be Nintendo´s ultimate “hardcore´s” gift, realizing a game that has never really been developed, but was quite hyped back in the days. And it´ll be the perfect in-house title to show off sword fighting. It´ll also be Nintendos first west-RPG effort.
Another title to be revealed is Starfox Universe, developed by EAD Tokyo. It´ll be the inofficial sequel to Starfox Adventures, though with more focus on flying-vehicles and less staff-fighting. The level-structure returns to the N64-game´s open-route-system. The main focus will be on balancing out the gameplay not getting too arcady but also not too slow. As a special feature, Starfox Universe will feature online-features that allow for friends to seamlessly join your singleplayer-game, just like Fable 2 did it. Instead of being as straight forward as former Starfox-games, this title features a ton of epic missions, each full of action, story, atmosphere and whatsoever. Some special multiplayer-online-missions (16-player coop against an enormous fleet of Andross´) will make this the must-have.
Instead of making another Mario Galaxy for Wii, Nintendo´s going to release a new platformer-IP. Featuring a sympathic character in the vein of Zelda´s Link, it´ll be a more realistic, mature platformer, that´s just as good as Mario Galaxy, but with a more coherent game world instead of many small levels. Think of Zelda without fighting, but jumping. Maybe this will be Kid Icarus.
A game that noone expected at this point will be coming from Factor5: Star Wars Rogue Squadron 4. After having taken so much shit they´ll return to what they can best: Take a genre that´s relatively easy in terms of gameplay and focus on its presentation. RS4 will be the most beautiful Wii-game in a pure technical point of view. It´ll also feature an optional MotionPlus-control method where you hold the Wiimote like an airplane´s joystick which will simulate a much more immersive way of controlling a starship in battle.
As for other 3rd-parties, i expect Capcom to finally announce Resident Evil 5 for Wii. The masters of porting anything to anywhere won´t miss that money. There´s also going to be one new game from Square-Enix that´s on par with the effort´s of a mainline Final Fantasy-game. Maybe the remake of an older, still popular game, who knows. As for my personal out-of-the-dark-blue prediction, i say that Capcom will announce an action-game based on the famous BERSERK-manga, of course featuring MotionPlus.
The Nintendo DS won´t be forgotten, and, besides Zelda: Spirit Tracks, the biggest news will be Super Smash Bros. DS. It´s actually surprising that it hasn´t happened by now. A new Mario-platformer will be there, too, as well as the long awaited new 2D-Metroid-game. The first DSi-exclusives games will be shown, Mario Paint DS being one of them. Other games will feature DSi-excklusive features. The DS-virtual console will be revealed, featuring GameBoy, Color, Advance and more.
At the end of the day, Nintendo will announce the game that everyone wants the most: The Legend of Zelda Wii. We will see a short teaser-trailer, showing a gorgous, natural environment, cel-shading visuals, but a complete different, more mature style, compared to TWW´s. After a silent start the camera slowly sooms out and suddenly we see that it´s not a medieval environment, but the modern present. The trailer will end with the punch line “Past reached Present – The next link is you“, and Miyamoto is going to explain how Zelda Wii will be all about MotionPlus and pulling the player more into the adventure himself instead of playing a preset character, which was always Miyamoto´s intention, but now, with modern visuals, it´s harder to hide the game character, thus openly making the player the character of the next Zelda-game. Release date is end of 2009, worldwide.
Mass Effect 2 will be heavily featured, showing all the new things that make it different from the first one. Maybe we´ll even get a first glimpse of procedural story-telling. Bioware talks about how they´d like to turn the Mass Effect-franchise into a big universe, with lots of spinoff-games of different genres that take single events and retell them more detailed and in a different way, like, for example, a Mass Effect-first person shooter or a strategy-game.
Peter Molyneux will reveal Dimitri, the most complex AI-game ever created. Despite how Peter might overhype his own game again, this truly will be awsome. A learning AI that you will be able to talk to with time going by. It´ll also be able to integrate Dimitri into the Xbox360´s menu-interface, allowing for scifi-like gaming. “Ey, Dimitri, send friend XYZ a message that i want to play once he´s online” – “Alright, master”. Or something like that.
An unexpected game will be Age of Empires: The Real Experience. Unlike former installments of the franchise, this will be medieval action-game in 3rd/1st-person. The singleplayer campaign will feature a rich story, while the online-multiplayer will be the real pull: Allowing a f-ton of players playing together, literally allowing for medieval war battles. What makes this game different to other games is its more realistic approach. Think of Assasins Creed (style, setting) meets Battlefield (gameplay).
3rd-Party-support will be strong, of course, and we´ll see that. As for a megaton, Square-Enix will announce that FF13 will be released on 360 not only in the US and Europa, but also in Japan.
The Third Place: Sony
I´m (not) sorry, but i just don´t care. If anything, there should be price cut.
After all, no matter what happens, it cannot get worse than last year for Nintendo, can it? Then again, it was kind of fun to get dissappointed after waiting many hour into the night for the rumored “second conference”…only to get the same stuff about Animal Crossing Wii and WiiMusic again, lol…sigh. Oh, and let me tell you that i´m not really THAT positive as the above text might imply. I just thought that it´d be boring to make another pessimistic prediction. Have a nice E³, everyone, and remember that you heard the “facts” here first!