E3: A Few Of Our Least Favourite Things

Yesterday we talked highlights so today it is the turn of lowlights. No, I haven’t accidentally cross-posted from my hair care blog, we’re still talking E3.  As we sat around the dying embers of the news feeds reflecting on what it was we did not like about this year’s show the mood in the Towers darkened and deepened.  (Which coincidently is how this hair care blog defines lowlights.)

Some on the team, especially Toby enjoy surprises.  Remember that the next time you see him carrying something fragile and find yourself in possession of an inflated, empty crisp packet.  I also suspect he may have suffered at least one PS3 hardware failure.

The lack of surprises, and the fact that Tretton has the audacity to stand on a stage and talk about how amazed he is regarding customer loyalty, while Sony continue to ignore the prevalent yellow light of death issue.

[drop2]Now, if you can stretch your memory all the way back to Sunday you may recall reading Kris‘ most recent Sunday Thoughts.  Those thoughts contain a few none-too-subtle hints about what it was about E3 this year that got his goat (in the sense of the turn of phrase, not what happens when Sony gets your goat).

It’s got to be a tie between the Nintendo and Ubisoft conferences. I mean both had some good, fairly interesting games at them but the presentation was absolutely awful. It’s hard to decide if Mr. Caffeine or the Wii U announcement was worse, but at least Nintendo had Reggie talking like a robot to make me laugh.

He was not the only one of us to suffer some consternation at that particular element of Nintendo’s presentation.  Try to put yourselves in the shoes of our resident news hound, Dan, as he tried to sniff out the facts from the curiously obtuse descriptions on offer:

Biggest letdown was Nintendo confusing everyone with the Wii U. Was it a new console? Just a new controller? Some clarity at the time would have been appreciated.

To provide a sense of editorial balance it is appropriate that I include Jim‘s least favourite thing now lest you all start thinking we don’t have a bad word to say about anything Microsoft presented during E3.

Kinect. Prior to E3, I had been flirting with the idea of picking up a unit, especially as there was much talk surrounding how Microsoft and partners were planning on integrating motion controls into upcoming titles. However, what we got was a messy chain of child demonstrations and laggy footage. Though the Ghost Recon “Gunsmith” feature was fantastic to watch, in practice I can’t help but feel that it would be more of a hindrance than anything else.

[drop]Kinect was not the only motion controller whose E3 offerings were met with derision from members of the team.  Both Chris and myself singled out the PlayStation Move as being significantly deficient in showing anything promising for the next year.  There were the vague hints contained within Ken Levine’s mutterings regarding Bioshock Infinite’s Sony-encouraged PS Move flipflop but nothing tangible.  I will spare you my own ramblings on the subject as Chris put them much better:

PS Move shows all the signs of becoming an afterthought for Sony, with its primary use now being an alternative control scheme in FPS titles. Apart from a glimpse in a montage, the only time PS Move featured in Sony’s keynote was the awful looking Medieval Moves, as the excellent looking Sorcery faded to a long-distant memory.

Medieval Moves by the creators of Sports Champions seems to be a game built around the weakest two components of their former title, featuring ranged attacks from its Archery mode & melee attacks from the Gladiatorial mode, tied together by a rather pathetic looking on-rails game, something which Kinect has been heavily criticised for in the past, but in comparison to the likes of Ruin, Star Wars, Disneyland and Sesame Street looks distinctly last gen and absolutely rubbish.

With that we wrap up our collection of what left us feeling most disappointed during this year’s E3 happenings.

How about yourselves?  What was your biggest flop or failure, source of disappointment or disillusionment?



  1. For me it was the fact Sully has lost his moustache

    • HE WHAT!!!!
      *checks trailer*
      I’ll be damned…
      The blinking of an eye, and ND has gone from favourite game deve to most hated game dev, on my list.

      • The ring on Elena’s finger was far more shocking than Sully’s moustache for me…

    • I never noticed. I thought he looked different from the first 2 games, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

      • Lol I must admit it took a second watch of the trailer for me to put my finger on what was different about him. Given Drake’s obsession with Sully’s moustache, I’m sure it will make it into their back-and-forth banter somewhere in U3 :D

    • Perhaps it’s going to be released as DLC? Beard skins?

    • Hey, mans allowed to shave now and again

  2. I bought MOVE and sub controller on launch day and just don’t use them. The tech is good for sure but I prefer my DS3 for fps’s etc.

  3. Love the piccie of Robbie the Robot and cute girl. That picture is from ‘Forbidden Planet’ a cult 50’s SciFi film that starred none other that a young Leslie Nielson (naked gun etc) who starred as the captain.

  4. I decided to watch the MS conference for the first time this year (on my ps3 – which was a little odd). I found that that it just highlighted almost every reason I don’t own one. The main reason the havey focus on FPS (which I don’t really enjoy at all) and the now heavier focus on Kinect games (FPS with Kinect was just about the worst thing they could have shown me).

    Though Disneyland Adventures peaked my interest (having been there around 20 times in the last 19 years) it just made me want to go to the them park rather than play the game.

  5. Have two Move Controllers and a sub, and although I love what they can do and the tech is superb, very little game support at E3 is worrying and making me wonder if it was a good investment. Sure my 4 year old will love Eyepet and Friends but really would like to see more for the PS Move

    • I have some great fun with my daughter on Start The Party or Singstar Dance and I loved (really, really loved) table tennis within Sports Champions, but its just half-hearted in comparison to the competition.

      In core games like SOCOM, KZ3 etc its easier for a typical gamer to flick their thumb on an analogue stick than to wave their arms around, there’s no cursor drift and its such an established console control system that re-learning something else just see’s you dying. Lots.

      Away from the core, 3rd parties are getting on board, but none are pushing Move, it’s simply an awkward alt control scheme, the two tennis games for example (Top Spin & VT) should have been brilliant Move games, but weren’t. They were simply ‘waggle’ with none of the deft touches of table tennis Sports Champs – which seems such a long time ago now.

      Whilst someone could no doubt point to a long list of Move supporting titles, very, very few of them are compelling to either core or casual demographic, with a pad being easier & quicker for the core & most of the titles lacking the fun aspect that made the Wii so popular.

      IMO – Just who the hell is Move for? All its doing is mirandering down a middle road, not defining itself as being anything other than a ‘good tech’ It is not leveraging its unique selling points in any meaningful way and its not competing with the other two motion techs in the ‘fun’ genre.

      I would love to see more for Move but for now I regret falling for all Sony’s PR and ending up spending so much on it meaning I’m all but locked-in unless I want to take some hefty losses.

      • It’s very disappointing to see PS Move get little dedicated software. They can comment about how the PSP has received little support after launch but can’t see that this peripheral is also suffering with the same problem, or just don’t care right now.

        I’m glad I so far have only bought one controller, and at least for Sports Champions it was worth it. The controls were so enjoyable because of their accuracy and comparability with real life.

        I wish one console manufacturer would get some kind of development balance, because it’s hard to buy games when each manufacturer’s platform have holes like this in it T_T

  6. How can you not like Mr. Caffeine?
    Or not.
    It wasn’t….
    Definitely better than KB’s appearence last year…
    No, it was horrible.

  7. The seeming lack of actually exciting things to talk about in the conferences, chief culprit being Microsoft. I haven’t got a clue what to say about Nintendo but the Wii didn’t do too badly so we’ll see. There seemed to be a lot of regurgitated information and few surprises but the internet, leaks and my desire for videogame news don’t help that.
    Seems I’ve found more disappointment than enjoyment from this years E3. *shrugs*
    But the most disappointing thing? Not being there …

  8. Looking back, I can see how people are disappointed with PlayStation Move. Personally, I thought the archery was the best mode in Sports Champions (as long as you were using two controllers.) I will probably be picking up Medieval Moves myself, though I would have preferred a much more mature title to sink my teeth into, such as Kinect’s upcoming Ryse.

    • I’ve had quite a lot of fun with the Move; Eyepet, Tumble, Top Darts and Sports Champions frisbee, bowling and table tennis (not so keen on archery, volleyball and the awful gladiator parts). Sony just aren’t showing me any promising Move games on the horizon.

      • Is Sorcery officially dead then? I hope not!

      • See my reply to DrNate on page two of the comments.

  9. Biggest disappointment for me was the Rainbow Six rumor turning out to be just a rumor. Ubi’s conference was pretty bad with Mr. Caffeine, but at least they had some decent games. Kinect look really bad in some of the games MS showed, but at least MS are supporting it. We barely saw anything of Move, it’s becoming a joke how Sony aren’t supporting it, I’m so glad I didn’t buy one.

  10. A certain level of insanity is expected at a Ubisoft conference these days so I rather enjoyed that. The confusion offered up by Nintendo has to be remembered as this years biggest flop though – I hope they top it next year; perhaps by announcing the WiiU-Thm&Us Plus, we’ll never know what it is but it’ll glow blue so everyone will buy it!

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