On this week’s episode of Gamer Next Door Weekly I lay out the latest on the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare leak, Nintendo’s big E3 bomb, and more.
Episode 3 of “Ladies in the Lobby” is here! Who has a better controller? Better exclusives? What would I do as Console War General? FIND OUT:
Today Nintendo showed a new gameplay trailer for the highly anticipated Mario Kart 8 for Wii U.
The long running kart racing franchise will see lots of familiar faces on the track, including Metal Mario, Shy Guy, and all seven of Bowser’s Koopalings who will be playable for the very first time. There are also previously announced favorites like Peach, Yoshi, Bowser and the other usual Mario suspects.
You’ll get to try them out on remixed classic course like Moo Moo Meadows from Mario Kart Wii, Toad’s Turnpike from Mario Kart 64, and even Donut Plains from Super Mario Kart. There will be a total of 16 remixed courses and 16 new courses, including the amazing Rainbow Road.
There will be special objects in each course that showcase new gameplay mechanics such as anti-gravity, which allows racers to drive upside down or up vertical surfaces. Hang glider, motorbikes, and underwater racing is back, along with a new spin boost that Nintendo thinks makes racing “even more exhilarating.”
But it wouldn’t be Mario Kart without the items right? The famous Piranha Plant can now be attached to the front of your kart and will chomp at other players, or even eat fallen banana peels or shells. Plus with each bite you get a boost of speed. There is also the Boomerang Flower that allows you to stun players with a boomerang which can hit multiple players. You can throw it 3 times forwards or backwards.
Another month another episode of “Weekend Confirmed!”
On the docket this week are a number of topics surrounding the recent Wii U launch announcements, including some debate about pricing, the strength of its launch title lineup, and who Nintendo is courting as the console’s core audience. Developer Klei’s Mark of the Ninja gets some universal admiration from the crew, as well. We pull everything together with some early impressions of Borderlands 2 and, of course, Finishing Moves.
I want to add that my early impressions of Borderlands 2 are just that, early impressions. After playing more and reflecting, there is MUCH more for me to say about the game and I intend to do so including boss fights, inventory management, and difficulty scaling…but that is for another time.
Catch the “Behind the Scenes” video here:
Every year publishers and developers compete for the attention of media members and gamers everywhere with their showings at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, and this year was certainly no different.
Microsoft had a strong showing with their flagship series, Halo and the return of Master Chief and Cortana in Halo 4. They announced the latest installment in their other 1st party franchise Gears of War titled Judgement. At their press conference they also displayed many new Kinect integrated titles and debuted the new Surface Glass integration that will be available on their new tablet.
Nintendo had the only new hardware of the show with a revamped version of the Wii U set to debut this fall. I know most people were hoping to get a release date and pricing for the unit, but Nintendo is still being vague about it, instead just citing Holiday 2012 as the launch window. I’m guessing that we’ll set an actual release date announced in Japan at TGS later this summer. They did have playable units on the show floor where they showcased the New Super Mario Bros., Pikmin 3, and newly announced ZombiU from Ubisoft.
Sony had the best software lineup by far out of the big 3. Their press conference wowed with new footage from The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s upcoming take on the “infected zombie” theme that seems so popular lately. At their press conference fans were also happy to see a lengthy and brutal demo of God of War: Ascension, which will introduce multiplayer into the series for the first time. Sony’s version of Smash Bros. called Playstation Allstars Battle Royale also was playable on the show floor, and I have to say it was one of the most fun games I got hands on at E3. The real stunner from Sony this year though, was their new IP called Beyond: Two Souls featuring Ellen Page. It features Ellen as a girl with some sort of telekinetic powers who quickly becomes a person of interest.
After coming off an amazing 2011, virtually sweeping Game of the Year awards with The Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda showcased their upcoming new IP Dishonored. The buzz on this game was so hot it was on my “Must Play” list for E3 this year. After going hands-on with the game I understand why. So much of the game reminds me of Bioshock, which is certainly a great thing, but it has stealth elements that can be quite challenging. Definitely looking forward to playing this game this fall.
The publisher who really stood out for me this year was Ubisoft. They introduced a new IP titled Watch Dogs that no one in the media saw coming. It is an open-world game that fuses the stealth aspects of Deus-Ex with the crime spree, driving antics of Grand Theft Auto. The demo they showed was very impressive, with the main protagonist utilizing various pieces of technology to control the environment in a “Big Brother” way.
But my Game of Show goes to Assassin’s Creed III. I’ve been a long AC fan and everything I’ve seen so far from this game just continues to keep wowing me. From the first demo I saw at GDC earlier this year to the hands on time I got with the revamped multiplayer, this is the game to watch in 2012. The new protagonist Connor has an interesting story and the new combat mechanics look great. I’ll have a more in-depth look after their multiplayer showing at San Diego Comin-Con next month!
As per usual, there were many things I did not get to see and many more that I just don’t have time to talk about here! But keep checking back here for more updates as the big holiday season approaches.
The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo is THE event of the year for gamers. Every year at E3 there are huge announcement made, technology is unveiled, and amazing game demos are shown.
This year marks my first E3 covering for Machinima. It is crazy to think how far I’ve come in a few shorts years, and I am proud to be part of the team! I will be conducting a variety of interviews and showing viewers what the E3 experience is all about. Starting Monday June 4th with the press conferences, you can watch our LIVE streaming coverage at MachinimaLive.com and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Page for lots more video content throughout the show.
On my last appearance of “Weekend Confirmed” I said I thought the lineup this year was a little lackluster. Just 1 week later I am already starting to eat my words. Here are some of the things I’m excited to see at E3 2012:
1. Nintendo Wii U – Nintendo’s new console debuted at E3 last year and I got to participate in a tech demo showcasing its abilities. However, it was a highly controlled environment, and frankly, did not show the full picture of what Wii U is capable of. This year I hope Nintendo really shows what the console can do, along with announcing key launch titles that better include MARIO!
2. Tomb Raider – Last year at E3 I came away from this Square Enix title a little apprehensive. I wasn’t sure if I liked this new, deconstructed Lara Croft, or if I was angry that Crystal Dynamics took one of the few strong females in games and made her a sissy. I do like the creative direction the series is going, very reminiscent of “Uncharted.” This is one of the few demos that I am going to go out of my way to see, and I hope I come away a believer.
3. Dishonored – I have yet to see any extensive gameplay from Bethesda’s new title but the buzz is HOT! Every journo I’ve talked to has said that this game is likely to be “Game of Show.” Coming off a big showing with Skyrim last year which went on to become Game of the Year, Bethesda is looking to have another strong title. With an intriguing storyline involving assassins, it is very possible that this Bioshock and Deus Ex mashup could be the darling of E3.
4. Gears of War: Judgement – This recently announced title is the latest from the Gears of War franchise. It will be on the cover of the July Game Informer issue and is expected to debut at the Microsoft Press Conference. If you played GOW3, then you know there aren’t a lot of options for continuing the storyline with the lovable Cogs. So, expect this title to be a prequel starring Baird and Cole Train. It is also worth mentioning that EPIC Games has passed development of the series onto People Can Fly, the studio responsible for Bullet Storm.
5. Assassin’s Creed III – I’ll admit it: I am a big Assassin’s Creed fan. This is one of the few franchises that I will stick by through thick and thin, and yes even silly tower defense mini-games. I have seen extensive gameplay of this title already but the fate of Desmond is still unknown. I am expecting to see part of his storyline at E3 and hopefully learn more about the new Native-American protagonist, Conner. I was originally hoping to see some multiplayer action, but I’ve been told that it won’t debut until Comic-Con next month.
Those 5 are just the tip of the iceberg my friends. There will be TONS more to see including these awesome items:
I will have more blog posts for you next week and hopefully some vlogs too! If there is something specific you’d like to learn about or see, let me know by tweeting me @andrearene, leaving a post on my FB fan page, or by commenting right here!