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Sam’s E3 Summary and Review of MICROSOFT [Updating Periodically]

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This post will be covering my comments on the various events that happen regarding the XBox360 during the E3 Expo. This does not cover everything that occurs during the event of the expo, and instead things that just interest me and/or have relevance to this blog. This is by no means an up to date ticker on the events (I live at the other side of the world), thus the event is held at night for me.

Update #1 – Natal’s Name Revealed

Was reading on Joystiq about the special preview of Natal. A few games were announced and the new name of Natal was revealed…. Kinect. I personally thought Natal had a charm to it but whatever I guess. My big question is what was with the clothes they had to wear!? White polyester ponchos? Is it a battle of who can survive longer on stage? The Kinect or the journalists!? The games for it shown seemed to be similar to the games on the Wii…. I wonder what else will show up…. Would love to see some creative events like that over here through, especially if I was invited o_o

Update #2 Argh!

Was going to stay up a bit later to catch a quick look at the press conference, however I soon realized that it was at 3AM over here rather than the 2AM I thought it was…. dont think I will be able to handle staying up that late tonight…

Update #3 – Fast Release for the Slim

Gotten up for a drink, still not wide awake yet but I am sure I saw word that the un-named Xbox360 Slim is being shipped out today. Okay, from the looks of it, it actually looks visually appealing, but isnt it kind of mean to people who just bought it through their current campaigns (Aka. The Justin Bieber campaign)? Still, they say it should hit shelves by the end of the week… look forward to it.

Update #4 – Whats this?

“If you want to play Call of Duty over the next three years, you want to play it on Xbox 360.”. This was apparantly mentionedI dont atually play this game either way due to my lacking of FPS ability, however I assume this would have to do with the DLC content which seems to be on a timed exclusive system.

Update #5 – Codename Kingdoms

I wonder what this could be?

Update #6 – Ubisoft Exercise Game

Watching the new exercise game from Ubisoft. It is like an updated version of Wii-Fit with more measurements being taken however it seems to be a more serious game in comparison to the Wii game series. Still, friend gym challenges seems like a real laugh! Name to be Motion Sports? Character designs arent that impressive through, your custom character so far just seems to be your body on fire…. as mentioned by the hosts of that show as well. My only real complaint, which is similar to every other fitness game, is that doing this too much, especially with more movements like this game will end up having you in agony in your joints the next day!

Update #7 – Overall Microsoft Presentation

I would first off like to give credit that is due to Gamespot.com who provided live and recorded feeds of all the conferences so far. Hopefully the Ubisoft and EA ones shall be released soon. I would now like to describe my thoughts on certain areas of the conference. I will skip series I am not familiar with since I do not own an XBox360 at the moment and I don’t think it is right for me to comment on series that I do not know.

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First off all I have to comment on the presentation stage. Looks pretty sweet in the green. Not sure if the other companies will use the stage but with different colours or different decorations, but I think the green suits it quite well.

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A few games were first shown which I am not familiar with, however the first series that was easily recognizable was Metal Gear Solid: Rising. This seems to be more focused on Raiden, a character made famous in Metal Gear Solid 2 for having to run him around a level whilst naked, which seems to have earned him popularity, especially from the game show X-Play which have made a few references to it over the years (If I remember rightly, they used it in their Sexy Beach 2 review to torture Adam Sessler). I played Metal Gear Solid 4 first, and played the others later, and personally I do feel that the series could have happily been ended at that point, but the addition of another game, I will have to play it to see if it is a worthwhile addition. From the looks of it, definately more Hack and Slash then the prior game, seemingly adding a more western touch to it (If you could say that). How will multiplat affect the game I wonder? Kojima would have been better having his own little mini-conference for this I think through.

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They showed a few more games which I dont know much about and then they arrived at the Kinect part of the showcase. First off they showed the means of navigating the menu’s with the new features. Honestly, I think it would be quicker to just use a controller to navigate since I am sure that will definately be more accurate than voice interactions. Same as the hand on the screen, the interactive controls are more just for “another reason to do a task” then something new and innovative.

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Next up was the VideoKinect tool, which, wasnt this kind of possible already to do on the XBox360? I suppose this is just a video chat tool with some extras such as sharing movies etc. I must question how many parents would own a video gaming console since a lot I know dont seem to at all…. but hey, gaming is definately fun for all ages and I support both young and old to get into the spirit~

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So they showed off some nata… Kinect games and first up was one involving looking after a tiger named *Checks* Kinectimals. Judging from the name I think there is going to be more than just a tiger, but overall the game is cute and is obviously aimed at the younger generation of gamers. The animation and design of this game was overall charming, however I wasnt really able to comprehend how much there would be to do in this game, since I dont see the whole looking after a pet by itself be a lasting appeal (Same as why I didnt buy EyePet). Still, for kids who like animals…. cant really pass this up. Heck, I believe I have a relative who would buy a console just for this game.

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So next on the lineup was KinectSports…. which I hate to say it, seems to be essentially a rehash of both Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games for the Wii. I think the basic sports games are definately a good thing to include with the product, but judging from the action of the presenters, it still seems to be the same flailing of the arms and legs that made M&S at the Olympics famous (Yes, I spent hours infront of it and then unable to move for days D=). Least it is a different variety of games to Wii Sports, make it a not so similar copy. I shall skip the next few games which include a Kinect Adventures game which involves rafting and all the things you would expect in an “adventure” as well as a racing game, which judging from other racing games shown in their event as well as what is expected by other companies, is pretty weak.

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Dance Central was a big game presented in the Kinect part of the presentation. Now, I am a big fan of dancing games such as DDR, Stepmania, Para Para Dance and the likes, but this game really reminds me of Just Dance on the Wii, and this makes it not a bad game by any means, but for someone like me, you also end up in agony after a few songs, especially as active as these songs. Still, I loved the purple theme of the stage and it looks like an overall fun game to play. Afterwards, another racing game and Star Wars game were shown, both with Kinect support which concluded the game part of the presentation, leaving one big announcement to go….

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The XBox360 will be released in a completely new incaranation dubbed by non-official sources as the XBox360 slim which is apparently going to have market price of $US 299. The appearance is much more appealing and I like the black over the white…. potential of removing the infamous RROD?!? Who knows, maybe, maybe not, hopefully at least there is a reduction of RROD’s in comparison to the original design. Least they put in a Wi-Fi connection now….. I was shocked to see that the original only had an Ethernet port. Kotaku also has a guide on how to transfer data from your old XBox to a new one if you take the plunge…. you can access it here.

Overall, I found it an enjoyable show even if I am not an owner of an Xbox360. Would be nice to have one to complete my collection, but I am only a poor university student with other hobbies to consider. Anyway, that wraps up my conclusion of the Microsoft conference.

Whilst I didnt watch it live, I did watch the Ubisoft conference live and I must say, Gamespot did an absolute awesome job of delivering it to the masses. If you want to see the rest of the events live, go here. Streaming was of good quality with very few drop outs (That is something for Australia) and there is a chat room for all registered users to chat about. As well, there is a live blogging that updates every minute with the latest updates by the crew that is there. I shall bring you the other companies convention summaries as they are posted up on Gamespot (EA and Ubisoft for today I think….), as well as any other interesting games announced .Next up is the Nintendo Conference through, I am excited!

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Sam
Founder of The Otaku's Study. I have been exploring this labyrinth of fandom these last fourteen years, and still nowhere close to the exit yet. Probably searching for a long time to come.

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