Sunday, June 9, 2013

My E3 wish list.

Let us pray.

Some of my most fevered hopes have been practically confirmed prior to the show, but there are some big questions I'd prefer to see answered in a certain way, a few developers I want to hear more from and a few franchises I really hope we'll see again.

Now is the witching hour - the dreamy twilight of possibilities before the crushing reality of facts sweep us away with tomorrow's lineup of press conferences.  We've all been very good boys and girls this year, and certainly deserving of good cheer.  Come - let us hope.


#1 :  #PS4NoDRM

A simple, earnest prayer that Sony does not go down the same road as Microsoft, at least in terms of disc-based media.  I feel we'd all have a much less-negative reaction to the Xbox One if (a) it didn't require that once-every-24-hours internet connection and (2) if it wasn't inflicting DRM on physical media.

Without those two things, I think we'd all feel pretty damn great about the One and the things it can do, as opposed to feeling so totally deflated by the things it must do.

Here's the thing, though... if the PS4 does have the same bullshit DRM and licensing crap as the Xbox One..?  The same insistence on connecting to the 'net whenever it needs to and not necessarily when I want it do?

...I'll still buy it.  Why?  For what point or purpose? What possible reason?

Here's ten: SCE Japan Studio (teams 1 and 2), Media Molecule, Sony Santa Monica (teams 1 and 2), Sucker Punch, Guerrilla Games, Guerrilla CambridgeEvolution Studios, Team ICO (who will, I trust, release another game one day), Naughty Dog (teams 1 and 2), Polyphony Digital, Ready at Dawn, SCE Bend, and Quantic Dream.

Okay, so thirteen.  Sixteen if you count the two-team studios, and many more if you want to count all the indie devs who get help through Santa Monica (eg, Thatgamecompany, Minority).

As it was at the dawn of the current gen, Sony has my custom - and they haven't let me down yet.  But that's what Xbox fans were saying until the One was unveiled.

Please, Sony.  #PS4NoDRM.


#2 : More of the same.  Bathe me in the games I love. 

Let them pour over me like frothy ocean surf, and other weirdly-sexual imagery.

The such-common-knowledge-it's-not-even-a-rumor-any-more attendance of Mirror's Edge 2 at this year's E3 will be cause for much jubilation if we finally see some wicked-smooth first-person parkour animations again, and I'll be cheering as loud as anyone, but here are the... seventeen franchises that I'm dying to see come to a gaming platform near me:

Mirror's Edge 2.  Obviously.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 is rumored to make an appearance at Microsoft's presser tomorrow.  But... come to think of it, that's been the rumor for the past half-decade.  Fingers crossed!

Resonance of Fate 2.  Rare is the JRPG that I adore, and rarer still is one whose combat system successfully walks the tightrope between fast-paced action and turn-based strategy as successfully as Resonance of Fate.  Easily one of the forgotten gems of the current generation, and one title I would import in a heartbeat if localization fell through.

Or heck, a Vita port would please me deeply.

Valkyria Chronicles 4.  I'd love to play the PSP's Valkryia Chronicles 3 in English, but I'd be ten times more excited to hear of a new title in the franchise coming to the Vita or PS3/4.  Despite dropping way back in '08, Valkryia Chronicles remains one of the most aesthetically pleasing titles on the platform - and a welcome exercise in capable, endearing narrative and progressively richer mechanics as the franchise developed.

The Next Thing From Drinkbox.  After Guacamelee, I'm day-one-ing whatever they make next.  They're awesome.

Mark of the Ninja 2. Mark of the Ninja, I feel, was the single best console game to release in 2012.  It was more perfect than any other title that year with divine design that, I'm afraid, did overshadow the spectacular Far Cry 3 and miles-deep XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

If its sequel is exclusive to Xbox One... well shit, I might have to buy an Xbox One.  But given that MotN got a Steam version, I'm hoping a future investment in a gaming laptop will suffice.  Y'know what?  It's my fantasy, let's go whole hog:

Shank 2, Mark of the Ninja and Don't Starve on Vita.  Oh, and speaking of XCOM...

XCOM: Enemy Unknown on Vita.  If it can work on a fucking iPad, it can work on the Vita.

Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 2.  It's been all-but-confirmed as being at the conference, but I'll still be grinning like an idiot when we finally see a trailer.

Ratchet & Clank Future 3.  Wouldn't that be awesome?

Uncharted 4.  But don't call it Uncharted 4.  Ooh!  A sequel to Golden Abyss would be nice.

Darksiders III.  Here's my fantasy: In a stunning move, Nordic Games realizes they don't have the teams or the talent to make a proper sequel in the Darksiders franchise, and sells the rights to SCE Worldwide.  Acknowledging that Darksiders' combat rests on the shoulders of Devil May Cry, SCE sub-contracts different aspects of the game to its various third and first-party studio friends.  Ninja Theory to oversee the combat, ex-Ubisoft Montreal team members to oversee the platforming, Naughty Dog to write the script, Sucker Punch to build the open world and Sony Santa Monica and the ICE Team to pull it all together and ensure the presentation blows our minds.

This will never happen.  But I can dream.

Gravity Rush 2.  That game is begging for it.

Persona 5.  Rumored to be at the show!

David Hayter back as Snake in Metal Gear Everything.

Kevin Conroy back as Batman, and Mark Hamill is back as the joker.  In Batman everything.  Forever.

God of War Vita.  The platform needs a good 3D brawler (Guacamelee's got the 2D covered), and Ready at Dawn's work on the PSP was stellar.

Something new from Platinum Games.  The folks who gave us Metal Gear Rising, Bayonetta and Vanquish are due for an announcement.

And that... should... do it.  Oh!  While I'm dreaming:

Okami II, directed by Kamiya, coming to next-gen consoles, no waggle involved.  Yeah, that'll do.


#3 : Remember who your audience is. 

We don't give a shit about Kinect or Move or anything that doesn't involve a traditional input method that's not a touchscreen.

  • Keep the kids off the stage - they're not good actors, and it's deeply uncomfortable. 
  • In fact, don't use actors.  Ever. We hate them. 
  • When a bunch of nervous developers get up on stage and, through sheer force of will, get themselves through the biggest public speaking gig of their life, we love them
  • Sony, don't spend more than two minutes telling us about how useful the trackpad on the DualShock 4 is.  We don't care.
  • We don't care if your new music game is in some way connected to a popular rock band - we don't need said band to come up onstage and lie about how great they think the game is. 
  • We don't care if you can get sports stars up on stage to shill a sports game they had nothing to do with creating, so they can lie about how great they think the game is. 
  • Don't piss in our face and tell us it's raining.  If you come out and start talking about DRM on the next gen, it had better be apologetically and without any of the two-faced doublespeak we got from Microsoft this week.  
  • Y'know that part at the start of your press conference when you tell us how awesome you are and how successful everything you do is?  I appreciate that - for some Godawful reason - you have to do it, but keep it short.  We know who you are and where you've been.  We're here to find out what's next. 


#3 : New IPs.  

Techland, Ubisoft, Bungie and Respawn have already led the charge with fresh new properties we're all excited by.  I'm not really surprised to see Bungie and Respawn going after FPSs the same way Ubisoft is leveraging its experience with open-world adventures, but I'm most happy that Techland is really carving its own path with its open-world first-person survival-platformer-slash-brawler, Dying Light.

More new, baby.  Just not too new.  I don't care if it's a fad in Thailand, I don't need to control video games with a peripheral that hooks up to my dick.  Reggie was right when he said we want the familiar and the new in a single package.

Annnd... what else...  Ooh!

#4 : Immediately throw your trailers up on YouTube.

We all hate seeing the feed from the stream and then being completely unable to find a direct-feed copy of the trailer for your awesome new game.  Let us help you get the word out about your awesome new game!

Finally - and to reiterate:

#5 : #PS4NoDRM

Amen. 

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