Aloha, fellow gamers!! This is the time of year that we all look forward to on the yearly gaming calendar (next to the dates of certain game releases we are looking forward to) is the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as “E3.” This year, the conference takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. As with CES 2012 and the AIA 2012 Convention, I will be doing this for the rest of E3, and now that day two of E3 2012 is complete, I wish to provide a few briefs about my five favorite stories made today at the show.
1) LEGO City: Undercover Announced: The Nintendo the next LEGO franchise title is the crime-fighting, Grand Theft Auto-esque LEGO City Undercover. Being developed by Traveller’s Tales, the same team behind the great LEGO Batman, the new game puts you in the shoes of main character Chase McCain, a detective in LEGO City who fights crime. The Wii U gamepad (we’ll just refer to it as the “WiiU-Pad”) will be used to contact dispatch for new missions, to scan for criminals who are hiding on the game screen, and much more. Similar to LEGO Batman, it contains a sense of humor (I love those references to “The Matrix”), combined with awesome looking action. Nintendo also announced a handheld version of the game for the Nintendo 3DS, but no footage was shown. As a huge LEGO fan (see here and here), this game looks to be as much fun as the other recent LEGO games.
2) The Nintendo Wii U will support TWO Wii U Tablet Controllers at once: When the Wii U and the new tablet controller were both unveiled at E3 last year, many gamers and journalists wondered, “Would the new console support more than just one tablet controller?” For a while, Nintendo itself was mum on the subject, but at their press conference today, we finally got an answer: YES! Nintendo of America head-honcho Reggie Fils-Aime revealed that the Wii U would support two WiiU tablet controllers on the Wii U console at the same time. Next question: how much would an extra WiiU tablet controller cost?
3) Madden NFL ‘13, RPG-Gaiden-Something-or-Other: Madden NFL ‘13 brand new “Connected Careers” mode is described by Senior Designer Josh Looman as a combination of the old superstar and franchise modes from past iterations of the franchise. “Franchise mode is dead. Online franchise mode is dead. Superstar mode is dead. It’s really the first true sports RPG,” stated Looman. In Connected Careers, players will have the option of controlling individual football players or coaches, the latter being more like to the standard “you call the plays, then use all the players” gameplay style of Madden we’re used to. The mode can be played alone or in an online league of 32 players, dismissing any distinctions between online and offline franchise modes we are used to seeing. The game’s role-playing elements include goal-based gameplay and “level-up” style player progression, as players can achieve weekly, season, and career milestone goals (i.e., rushing for over 1,000 yards in a season with a running back, etc). Should you reach those goals, players will earn experience points that can be used to purchase skill and ability upgrades. Another nice bonus is that at any point in their career, players can retire their athletes and coaches so they can start new players for their teams, and there would be NO disruption during any given ongoing season of play alone or against friends.
4) Star Trek: Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto will be reprising their roles from the 2009 film, playing Captain James T Kirk and Mr. Spock respectively, as the rest of the bridge crew (Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Scotty and Bones) will also be in the game. The Federation duo of Kirk and Spock will face a variety of Gorn adversaries with varied strengths, as the antagonists wish to rebuild their once massive empire. In this new Star Trek videogame, it’s up to Kirk and Spock to make sure that that never happens.
5) Star Wars 1313, the first M-rated Star Wars game: Lucasarts showed off the upcoming bounty hunter-focused game on earlier today on the show floor (and initially debuted it on the most recent episode of GameTrailersTV on Spike). Star Wars: 1313 is a mature-rated (a first for the franchise) Star Wars PC title that puts you in the role of a currently-unnamed bounty hunter as you explore Level 1313, located deep below the surface of the planet Coruscant. The game represents a huge collaboration among LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation, and Skywalker Sound. Just based on that amount of math, it equals EPIC. Let’s hope the game lives up to this high pedigree based on that large union (since the Force Unleashed games were kind of take-it-or-leave-it).