[Friday Five] E3 Picks
No E3 would be complete without an editor’s own picks for his favorite games at E3. Likewise, we have our own list as well. No question about it though, each editor’s own tastes come through with their personal tastes, as I believe you’ll see in mine.
Ninja Gaiden 3
The series always appealed to me because of its visuals but was always a hopeless endeavor as I got beat by random grunts and sucked up my acceptance of “dog mode.” The game still retains much of the difficulty that fans have come to love, as can be seen by the relentless grunts throughout the early build, and also has a much more cinematic focus, which players will feel through the onscreen command sequences in both boss fights and cinematics. The demo concluded with a terrifying boss fight against an arachnid mecha, where players have to take down individual legs while dodging missiles coming their way. Once each leg is ready to be destroyed, players have to mash on the attack button to sever it. A perfect blend of strategy and gameplay execution, which we hope to see more of in 2012.
If you haven’t tried Nanostray for the DS, it is one of the most fun shooters on the DS< which is saying a lot with its inclusion of notable titles like Metal Slug and Contra 4. With Nano Assault, I had no idea what to expect, with the premise being that players are now on a cell destroying the viruses themselves. Like Dream Trigger 3D, this game has some of the best uses of 3D visuals yet, effectively teleporting players into another world in an experience that simply cannot be delivered without 3D visuals. The ship now moves along a cell as though it were a planet, taking out the threat in classic twin stick shooter fashion. The boss fight was also quite engaging, which changed from a top-down view to a side view where players have to move along a path, while shooting down obstacles, avoiding projectiles, and shooting the boss itself. Fans of twin stick shooters won’t want to miss out on this come the third quarter of 2011.
With 3D visuals in place, this latest iteration of the Mario Kart series gives an incredible sense of speed you normally would not find elsewhere. Outside of visuals, the game comes with customization options for karts that can be bought with coins collected throughout tracks. Get ready to rice up those karts, Mario Kart enthusiasts. It also helps that this is consistently the most fun racing game any player can get their hands on either. Easily one of my favorites and a no-brainer for my preorder, which should be paid for and filled by the fourth quarter of 2011.
Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3
Okay, most people probably won’t understand how this made the list. But it’s just as much of a no-brainer when I’m both a hack-and-slash fan and a Gundam fan. It retains the features that longtime fans have come to love, or critics have come to hate. The new cel shaded art style resembles an actual anime more than ever and is a treat to the eyes. New additions to the cast such as Unicorn Gundam are even more fun to play and make the Dynasty Warriors Gundam universe more complete than ever. Beware of violent nerdgasms when this game comes out on June 28.
Those who know me know that I’m not the biggest FPS fan. Shooting just isn’t my thing. If you’ve ever seen The Office, just think of the episode where they play Call of Duty in as a team training exercise. I’m Jim. But Dead Island is so much more than that. It has RPG elements with weapon customization and unique character traits, making each character a different experience. Either sneak up behind zombies as Xian or draw all the agro as tank Sam B. The actual mechanics are a gem, too, featuring a focus on melee combat rather than shooting as in most other FPS. Maybe that’s why I already favor it and why I will be picking it up come September 6.