Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dammit Miyamoto, Calibrate the &%$&ing Motion Plus!

So today I watched Nintendo's and Sony's press conferences at E3.  I had planned on watching Microsoft's as well but I missed it.  Based on what I've been reading it doesn't seem like I missed anything special.  Apparently the executives appeared to be 'trying too hard' to make the Kinect (the final title for Project Natal) look fun as if they were afraid of people being unimpressed.  Take that statement with a grain of salt as I did not see the conference personally.

Nintendo really surprised me this year.  Their showing last year was pretty bad aside from Mario and Metroid, and it seems they learned from their mistakes.  As someone who is obviously foremost a Nintendo fan, it's probably hard for people to find credit in me stating that Nintendo's was the best conference of the Big 3, but make no mistake, it truly was.
They opened right away with what I wanted to see the most:  The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.  In other words, Zelda Wii has a final title and there's finally some footage of it.  Visually, the game is similar to Twilight Princess in designs but is instead cel-shaded.  I currently have mixed feelings about how I think it looks but I'll withhold judgment until further down the road.  A lot of the concepts that were revealed were pretty cool but my happiness couldn't help but be ruined by Miyamoto's horrible performance at attempting to play the game.
They asked the audience to turn off wireless devices a few times, believing that was the problem with the motion controls, which were clearly not working properly.  However, the odd motion-translation acted much the same as it does in Red Steel 2 when the Motion Plus falls out of proper calibration.  Hence the title of today's post; I was quite irritated that Miyamoto didn't even think to try re-calibrating the Motion Plus.
So, if Nintendo failed in any way this year, it was making Zelda the weakest portion of the show.
Moving on from that annoying display, we were hit with some giddiness-inducing gems.  In no particular order:

On the Wii
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Donkey Kong Country Returns

On The DS
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Dragon Quest IX

On the 3DS
Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
Starfox 64 Remake
Paper Mario
Kid Icarus Uprising

There is another remake evidently coming to the 3DS as well which was not announced and it appears Nintendo wants to keep it under wraps.  Screenshots were found at hidden links on Nintendo's site but have since disappeared.  I'll give you a hint: Hey!  Listen!
The 3DS itself has also caught my interest.  As I covered in my review of How To Train Your Dragon, I do not like the 3D gimmick, however I think I can look past that in this case.  For one, the 3DS doesn't require any glasses and it includes a slider to adjust the depth of the effect to the point of having it completely turned off.
Of course those are not the only games that were showcased, just those that piqued my interest.  For everything else, check out e3.nintendo.com.

And now we move on to Sony.  I feel like Sony had a good presentation ready to go and then decided to pad it to three times the length with ads.  "Something cool, an ad to tell you how awesome we are, something else cool, 3 more ads to tell you how awesome we are" etc.
Ignoring the ads, the fact that almost 4 years after the PS3 came out they were actually pushing the PS2, and they're celebrating a new racist marketing campaign for the PSP, it was a strong showing.
The Playstation Move performed really well ignoring a bit of lag.  The movements themselves were translated perfectly, they just showed up slightly later than the player actually performed them.  All wireless controllers have input lag, in this case it was just a tiny bit more noticeable.
I'm definitely interested in trying it out, no matter how disturbing it is in appearance.  The glowing pink ball on top of a phallus haunts me.  Unfortunately, the cost of admission is a bit high as the wand itself comes in at approximately $50, the control pad (equivalent of the Wii's nunchuck) at $30, and then there's a camera that it uses as well which I don't recall the price of (or if they even gave a price).
However, speaking proportionately, if the amount of money spent to get the most out of a Wii controller is worth the intuitiveness of that experience, then the Playstation Move seems at a fair-ish price.  I won't deny that it certainly outperforms the "1:1" movement presented by the Motion Plus.
The highlight of Sony's conference absolutely had to be the surprise showing of Portal 2.  Glad0s is back and she sounds angry.
The next best thing, however, was oddly enough also the worst thing of the conference.  Jerry Lambert, or rather 'Kevin Butler', made a "surprise" showing as well.  He made a bunch of really bad jokes and, much like the commercials he appears in, came off like a really annoying version of William Shatner.  He then performed a segway into a pretty awesome speech about video game patriotism.
As for actual games, only two caught my interest:
Sorcery - a game exclusively for the Playstation Move in which the wand is used as, well, a wand to cast spells.
Twisted Metal - I don't remember the proper title for this installment in the franchise but it's still a new Twisted Metal after quite a long time.  To be blunt:  Looks good.

UPDATE:  Well, the images of the aforementioned 'secret remake' are back up on the official site and the game is on display on the 3DS page.  In other words, it's not a secret anymore.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.  The most revolutionary Zelda title to date is receiving a remake on the 3DS and I couldn't be happier.

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