|Posted by Jason Rhoades on June 9, 2013 at 1:10 PM|
Is there any way to actually contain the excitement and hype that swirls around E3 like a cyclone? Let's make this simple: there isn't. This is the largest, most glamorous, event for gamers all year. The time is now for an entire week of jaw-dropping gameplay debuts and spine-tingling announcements and surprises. Every year there's always something that sweeps away the crowd. The one announcement that causes fans to erupt into a joyous uproar.
Like other gamers, every time E3 comes around we start to daydream and think about what that one announcement will be that we wish to hear the most. We decided to take both of our top five choices and share them with you. Understand that if any of these are announced, we will most likely die from over-excitement.
Jason's Top 5
5. "Pokemon Snap" Sequel
There were a lot of sequels that were debated for this list, but this sequel is impossible to overlook for many reasons. "Pokemon Snap" still remains one of the best spin-off games in the "Pokemon" franchise. It was so succesful that many thought it would instantly get a sequel with each new generation of Pokemon. Unfortunately, fans were forced to watch for years as both the Gamecube and the Wii came and went with no word of a new entry. The hope eventually whittled away and died.
What Nintendo needs to realize is that the Wii U is the perfect console for the long-awaited sequel. The gamepad is obviously a natural fit for a camera and there are hundreds of new pokemon that fans are eager to snap pictures of. Another Nintendo system cannot slip by without this game.
4. "Magic: The Gathering" Adventure Game
"Magic: The Gathering" is the longest running and most successful fantasy card game in the world. There have been countless lush and imaginitive fantasy worlds introduced within it's fiction. There are hundreds of wonderfully unique and colorful characters existing within those worlds too. "Magic" has an amazingly rich and diverse universe full of intriguing lore and awe-inspiring events. It's been an age long dream to finally get a video game that actually portrays the worlds and storylines of this fan favorite card game.
Should it be an RPG with a focus on story, or an action-adventure game with a focus on combat? Should it be developed in a similar style to Bethesda's games, where exploring the world is paramount to everything? Perhaps it would be better with Bioware's signature way of developing characters that you develop a connection with. Sony Santa Monica has experience with epic fantasy and amazing combat which could also adapt well into the "Magic" universe. It doesn't matter who, and it doesn't matter how, because they all sound terrific. What does matter is that fans want more than "Duels of the Planeswalkers."
3. "Avatar: The Last Airbender" Fighting Game
Yet another fictional universe that has only gotten meager, half-hearted attempts to bring itself into the video game world is "Avatar: The Last Airbender." The currently released "Avatar" video games are uninspired hash-ups that only focus on the gimmick of using motion controls to simulate the control of the elements. Unfortunately, that concept did nothing to please Airbender fans around the world.
While a lot of genres can work to show off the game's diverse cast of characters and worlds, "Avatar['s]" equally important focus on combat would make it perfect for a fighting game. Fighting games are probably the most effective way to showcase a high number of characters with different abilities and fighting styles, which is definitely the case with "Avatar." Even among each element, there are still wildly different ways to fight. If the developer was daring enough, they would work in an unprecedented level of manipulating the actual fighting stage by having the benders being able to use the actual elements on the stage.
2. "Little Big Planet 3" goes 3D
In what has become one of the PS3's greatest moments in the industry, the unveiling of "Little Big Planet" was such a breath of fresh air for the gaming scene that it went on to become one of the best new franchises on the console. While the first game delivered it's build-a-platformer promise in a great package, the second game perfected it, resulting in one of the most charming, and innovative games of all time. What's next for this inventive, quirky franchise?
Remember when Mario went 3D? All of a sudden, the amazing charm and atmosphere from "Super Mario World" exponentially grew as Mario was able to run in a circle for the first time. Now it's "Little Big Planet['s]" turn for the same drastic transformation. Thanks, in large part, to next-generation technology, adding this new dimension should be feasible. When you look at what players created in the first two games, it's tough to contain the excitement for the possibilites.
1. "God of War" X "Heavenly Sword"
Unless the game looks undeniably epic, simply announcing a new "God of War" game wouldn't have the same impact it used to. Franchise fatigue is running dangerously high right now. "Heavenly Sword" is more suitable for a new sequel since it's world is still fresh and players have only gotten to experience a single game. Would players want to abandon Kratos entirely, however? That's where this epic crossover begins.
Imagine this beautiful merging of two amazing action games for a moment: a two-player action epic that puts Kratos and Nariko side by side in a battle across two seperate mythologies. Alternatively, you could bring Kratos into Nariko's mythology entirely. Just the thought of these two swinging their chained blades in the same world, on the same screen, is utterly magnificent. This crossover would be a cooperative masterpiece, and the most epic two player game of the generation.
Jonathan's Top 5
5. 3D open-world "Pokemon" adventure game on Wii U
It's impossible to think of this generation of games without thinking of perhaps the most popular RPG franchise to date. The "Pokemon" series has generated more sales and interest from fans than most other franchises combined. With each new iteration Nintendo releases two versions of the same game, with slight differences, like the types of Pokemon available in each.
Fans have yet to receive a proper entry into the series on home consoles, despite the numerous spin-offs like "Pokemon Stadium." Some have said that the Gamecube entry, "Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness" was a decent fairing, but with an awkward story, difficult mechanics, and confining players' sense of exploration, it abandoned the traditional "Pokemon" formula. If Nintendo were to announce a proper entry, or even a remake of one of their handheld titles on the Wii U, with 3D graphics, it would drive PokeManiacs crazy!
4. "Final Fantasy" fighting game (On home consoles)
When was the most recent "Final Fantasy" title released? When was the most recent GOOD "Final Fantasy" title released? The answer to that question will take you back to the beginning of the PS2 age, or to some, even the PS1. "Final Fantasy" has held such a high pedigree for RPG's in the past, but in recent memory, it has only been a target of criticism and laughter. However, the fighting game genre might suit the designers slightly better. Square attempted this in the past with the port of the PS1 title, "Ehrgeiz." "Ehrgeiz" was by no standards a good game, but it gave fans what they wanted, a 3D fighting game with "Final Fantasy" characters.
More recently, however, Square Enix had another attempt at this idea with "Dissidia: Final Fantasy" on the PSP. As many fans who have played the "Dissidia" games know, they are fantastic blends of RPG mechanics and fighting game combat. If Square was to take this same combat, maybe even as another entry in the "Dissidia" series, and release it for the next-gen systems, it would give people a reason to start talking about "Final Fantasy" again, and more importantly, playing it!
3. Jak & Daxter & Ratchet & Clank: Next-Gen Crossover Adventure
One thing that was painfully missing from this console generation was the release of light-hearted cartoony-style games that gamers of all ages could play. Anyone who has played the "Jak & Daxter" games know that it was easy to play, but had some fantastic writing and very adult themes. Anyone who has ever played "Ratchet & Clank" can immediately tell that the game's writing is very family-friendly, but the gameplay is rather difficult. What if these two franchises were to finally get the crossover fans have dreamed about?
Having already referenced each other in their games, studios Naughty Dog and Insomniac both represented Sony and helped develop the Playstation's brand by introducing several mascots such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Nathan Drake. Of course, none of them compare to the two pairs of deliquent duos that helped define the PS2 era of gaming. Would Jak jump through time into Ratchet's world, or would Ratchet discover Jak's planet, or would the game be a case of freaky friday, where they reprise each other's roles? Who knows, but no matter what they would do, it would be awesome!
2. A (Good) Gundam Game
This may be of a shock to some, but as Westerners, we gamers don't always get the greatest games to come out of Japan. Any popular anime that has made it big internationally, or at least here in the West, will probably see a game release... a really bad, poorly localized game. This wouldn't be such a bad thing if it weren't for the fact that there are some really good games for those same anime that exist in Japan! One such example is Gundam.
Gundam has seen literally dozens of releases here in the West, none of which are actually any good, and most of which aren't even decent. For each new Gundam series there exists about three new games, with an additional fourth crossover/fighting game in Japan. As a result, there are some incredibly fun ones, like "Gundam Extreme VS," a title that has, because of the ability to play Japanese games on Western PS3's has tripled in value! I myself am a huge Gundam fan and, ignoring the fact that some great games already exist for the franchise, would love to see a brand new, next-gen, 3D Gundam game where players get to feel what it's like to actually pilot a Mobile Suit. It could combine the story and scenarios from the UC timeline, like "08th MS Team," with gameplay like that of the game "Hawken." If that doesn't make a Gundam fan already excited enough, then what if you could play mini-games with Haro!?
1. Kingdom Hearts 3
My final dream game announcement for this year is a game that is all but confirmed to come anyway. To be clear, I understand fully well that this game is coming, as teased in the secret ending of the latest handheld entry, "Kingdom Hearts 3D," and yet it is still a dream to hear about it!
"Kingdom Hearts" fans have had to sit and wait, and purchase three different handheld systems in the time we've waited for KH3. We have played and purchased and watched YouTube videos and joined forums and read articles, just for a hint of when we might be able to return to any one of the wonderful Disney worlds. Yet all we ever hear is, "We will be announcing something soon," "We are working on the game," or "Please be patient." Patience can only last so long, and with new machines on the horizon, it would only makes sense to announce something on the future of the series. Seeing as how this hasn't happened for an entire console generation, I'll consider it a dream. But even after skipping an entire console generation, "Kingdom Hearts" fans will still wait patiently, because that is how strong our love is for the game.