Konami’s Pre-E3 Announcement
by Matthew Burnside on June 3, 2011
Gamers around the world are gearing up for this year’s E3. Gaming sites are full of rumors and spoilers for next week’s news. It’s information about information we’re getting excited about. I don’t know why, but us video game addicts eat that shit up like graduation party food. We can’t get enough of it. Fortunately, Konami invited me to their own spoiler party yesterday to try out some downloadable titles and view trailers for their larger upcoming titles. It was a fun prequel to what E3 has in-store for us this year.
Before I dive into video games, let me give it up for the catering company hired by Konami for the event: Hey, catering company. Your fancy-ass pizzas were amazing. The combination of toppings I’ve never heard of and expensive cheeses did sexual things to my tongue. And those balls of cheesecake covered in chocolate… I’m getting blood work done as I type this to test for diabetes. Ya did good, kid.
With that said, Konami has some interesting games lined up for the near future. Disappointingly, none of those involve new games from the main story of Metal Gear Solid. There wasn’t even anything new about Metal Gear Rising. We were ensured those games are moving along nicely, though. I guess waiting to show us a more polished preview is for the best. An hour long video played, showing us what they have planned. Some of it we all expected, some of it a pleasant surprise, and some of it made me scratch my head.
First – more insight to the port of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater to the 3DS. If Nintendo can manage to make the 3DS hardware not suck in its next iteration (or if you can put up with that DAMN screen), this could turn out to be a great port. The visuals hold up better than I expected and a well made 3D game can be a blast to play. By making good use of the gyroscope and accelerometer to enhance the gameplay, rather than using it as a gimmick, MGS:SE3D (phew…) has a chance of becoming one of the first must-haves on the 3DS. It appears the motion is used mostly for balancing and peeking around corners. I like that. Give me the rest of Snake Eater the same as before, running smoothly, and I’m sold.
Good news for Pro-Evolution Soccer fans: The game is coming again this year, as usual, and it looks good, as usual. Not much to talk about here. It’s getting the same treatment all sports games get. There are small gameplay enhancements. In this case, the one-on-one interactions are getting beefed up with more ball handling trickery, yet the mechanics are getting more intuitive. Not much change in the graphics. I liked the stadium sound. The crowd noise was pretty exciting.
Konami’s next third-person action title, NeverDead looks… um. I don’t know about this game. The script seems cheesy as hell, although, as we all know, that can lead to a fun time. Your character is immortal, which is cool, I guess. Walking around on fire sounds badass. I’m not sold on the part about your limbs getting ripped off, then crawling around to pick them up and reattach them to your body. Also, Konami made sure to stress the character is immortal. I can’t count how many times that word was used. It made for a boring video. The game could be fun, though. We’ll have to wait and see.
Next came the news that excited me the most. I love a good survival horror title and I think the latest happenings in Silent Hill look intriguing. Director Michael J. Bassett appeared in the video to briefly touch upon Silent Hill: Revelation. Personally, I sort of like the first Silent Hill movie. The story isn’t great, but the setting felt like the game’s to me. Luckily, Bassett agrees. He may do something good with it.
Fans of Silent Hill’s past efforts will be excited to know that they will be seeing collections of Silent Hill 2 and 3, gussied up in pretty HD. There was also a mention of Silent Hill: Book of Memories for Sony’s NGP, but only that it exists. The next chapter for the main consoles, Downpour, looks interesting. A convict is released from jail, but finds himself in Silent Hill after a bus accident. Who knows what is going on after that, but it looks creepy. The game doesn’t look all that different from when we last saw it, but it looks good. In typical gaming fashion, it was pushed back to winter.
We may not be getting any new Metal Gear Solid anytime soon, but there was more news about the franchise. In November, The MGS HD Collection will bring us HD remakes of MGS2, 3, and Peace Walker. Not to be left out of the HD remaking, Zone of the Enders 1 and 2 will be packaged up in 2012.
Last year, Kojima made a point to talk about the future of gaming and the cloud. This year we finally see what he means. He believes someone should be able to stop playing a game on a console and pick back up in the same spot on a portable device. I agree, this would be nice, but his method is a bit overcomplicated. “Transfarring,” as Kojima calls it, requires you to own the same title on both a portable device and a console. That is expensive for one game. Come on. I ain’t no fool. The first title to get this treatment is Peace Walker for the PSP and PS3. Annoyingly, you have to connect the systems and create a save-type file. In the future, I can see this as being great, so long as it’s wireless and only takes a single purchase. You know? Like the cloud. Right now, it looks too expensive and complicated. Oh, and Konami is working on a new engine called, “FOX.” Looks pretty, but we barely saw anything from it.
There were some downloadable games on display to play. Most were whatever — MLB Bobblehead Pros (a kid’s baseball game), Red Bull Fighters (a freestyle motocross game), a Burger Time remake, and Jimmie Johnson’s Anything with an Engine (a battle cart racer). They weren’t bad, but I won’t be talking about them next week. Two did shine, however. Puddle, a physics/puzzle game for XBLA and PSN (which you can use the Move with), is a nifty title. You tilt the level back and forth to let liquid flow from checkpoint to checkpoint. The levels were fun, but their art design was amazing. From power lines, to plants, and even inside a human body being x-rayed, this game impressed me with it’s creativity. The screens had terrible glares in them, so I wasn’t able to get decent pictures. Sorry.
Lastly, Skullgirls looks to be a fantastic arcade fighter. With art from Alex Ahad and some solid gameplay, this is the game I am most excited to play upon completion. It feels like MvC, but a little more forgiving. It has the feel of a tournament fighter and performs that way as well. But for someone like me, a button masher, MvC is only so fun. My friend and I had a blast with it, and we are fairly neutral when it comes to fighting games.
Did I say, “lastly?” Of course there was one more little teaser. Stuck on the end of the presentational video was a big flaming “C.” It looks like next week still holds some secrets and we are getting some Contra news.
It you want to see the presentation, head over to Konami and sit back. It is filled with a ton of boring moments in between the good stuff.
This year I will be all over the floor of E3 to bring you closer to the action. I’ll try not to repeat too much of what will be reported by every gaming site you go to. Friend of the Nerdist Theater Adam Dorsey and I will be sure to seek out the good and the extremely bad for you. Who knows what else will happen?
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