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Posts tagged “killer instinct

Why Killer Instinct’s Release Means So Much to Me

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Everyone knows that I prefer Sony’s consoles over Microsoft’s. I find the exclusives to be far better, the company has a more pro-consumer attitude, PlayStation Plus is a bargain compared to Xbox Live- the list goes on and on. Of course, I bought a PlayStation 4 on launch day last Friday and I haven’t regretted it for a second. It’s fast, has convenient updates, an awesome Share functionality, and those graphics are to die for. However, if there is one glaring problem with the system, it’s the lack of must-have software. Even if DriveClub actually made the launch, I’d still say that Sony’s lineup of exclusives is lacking. Killzone: Shadow Fall is actually entertaining, but not “run to the store and get a copy” good. No, as far as software goes, I actually give the edge to Microsoft.

Now, I haven’t played the Xbox One yet, obviously. I have Forza Motorsport 5 on pre-order, and it looks like, based on reviews, it’ll be another top-tier entry in the series. I love Forza so much that it’s a must-have, more so than any exclusive Sony managed to launch alongside their console. However, the big seller for me is Killer Instinct. I have commented on KI in earlier blog posts, praising how awesome it looks, but also bemoaning its sales structure. When it really came down to it, though, I knew I wanted KI all along after waiting about 17 years for a sequel (KI Gold released on the Nintendo 64 on November 25, 1996). It’s not just the fact that I love the franchise that makes it a selling point, though. It’s actually the memories of the times playing the earlier entries, which are the reasons why someone who prefers Sony consoles is actually taking the plunge on a Microsoft console on launch day.

This was more than just a game. This was a slice of my childhood.

This was more than just a game. This was a slice of my childhood.

I love KI for its characters, unique fighting system, and the, for its time, cutting-edge visuals. The original games were more than that, though. Killer Instinct and KI Gold weren’t just about mashing buttons (I was horrible with fighting games as a child) with Fulgore and Spinal in an effort to take down Eyedol and Gargos, or taking on the dojo in KI Gold to learn each character’s moves. It was about my three brothers and I sitting around the TV in our dining room taking each other on in matches, with my oldest brother dishing out a majority of the pain with Fulgore. It was a game we all took interest in, leafing through old GamePro magazines and strategy guides looking at combos, movesets, and promo art. It was about me being able to play a bloody and violent game, despite the fact that pretty much every other bloody game made me squeamish as a child, a little-known fact. There was just something about the game, and its sequel, that made me overlook that facet of it, and actually helped me to eventually overcome that hurdle once I reached my teenage years. These weren’t just games to me: they were a part of my childhood and my camaraderie with my brothers. When it comes to video games, nothing means more than that, and I think many people who have fond memories of playing with friends and siblings can attest to that.

That’s why, when news of a new KI broke during Microsoft’s E3 press conference, I started cheering and pumping my fists into the air in my living room. That’s why I’m so unbelievably psyched about it, feverishly combing through the Double Helix Games forums and watching the streams on Thursdays for any new bit of info I can glean from them. That’s why I’m throwing down $500 for a console that is a successor to the 360, a system that sits and collects dust most of the time on my TV stand and that I can honestly say, at least for the original models, is one of the most shoddily-built pieces of trash ever manufactured. Even if it’s only launching with six characters and no story mode, Spinal, Fulgore, and that story mode aren’t far behind, and the content it has at launch is still plentiful, making it worth taking the plunge. This new Killer Instinct is a rebirth for a franchise that means more to me than just being a series of great games. The fact that it’s even coming out in less than 24 hours is still surreal to me. I never thought this day was going to come, but lo and behold, that day is almost here. Tomorrow, I’m going to download KI on my new Xbox One and recall those fond memories of my childhood as I set out to make new ones in a new generation for the franchise. This, folks, is why I’m buying the Xbox One on launch day, and I can’t think of a better reason than that.


Losing My Instinct

Hello all! Today, I’m going to ramble on about a few topics. This is going to be similar to my “Raiding Tombs and Reading Comics” post from earlier this year. I mentioned it then, and I’ll say it now, that I really need to do this more often. Anyways, off I go!

Shin Gundam Musou!

For those confused by that title, it’s the name of the next Dynasty Warriors: Gundam title in Japan, which, if brought stateside, would likely make it Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 4. Why it isn’t called Gundam Musou 4 is because it has to do with the gap between the release of Gundam Musou 3 and this one. Since it has been a few years now between releases, they wanted to make it a compilation of sorts. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be all three bundled into one game. It’s actually going to have the return of Official Mode, which will feature plotlines from various Gundam anime series, similar to how things were done in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 and 3. It will also have an Ultimate Mode, which is supposed to be an original story made for the game. I can only hope the plot isn’t as bad as Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3’s. That was…boy, that was awful. It was essentially nothing but mindless ramblings about “possibilities” between all of the pilots while the Knight Gundam just randomly appeared out of nowhere at times to fight. Yeah, talk about convoluted. Let’s not do that again, Omega Force.

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What I’m excited about is that not only is Shin Gundam Musou going to be released on the PlayStation 3, but the Vita, as well. It’s also going to have over 100 playable mobile suits, a return to a more realistic art style, and more enhancements. You can find more info here, where my good friend from the Koei Warriors days, BlackKite, has translated the Famitsu article released yesterday and listed all of the known information he could glean from it. Many thanks to him, and here’s to hoping that Shin Gundam Musou makes it to western territories. It comes out in December in Japan, so we’ll probably see it next Spring, at the earliest, depending on whether they opt for a full localization with English voice acting, or just a text translation and a digital release on PlayStation Network. Even if it doesn’t make it stateside, there’s always importing, but I have faith it probably will make it across the Pacific.

Trophy Blunders

If it hasn’t been made painfully obvious by my PSN Trophy card on the sidebar, I do love me some Trophies. I currently have 47 Platinum Trophies, and thanks to what may be a programming or coding error in Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, I may have Platinum #48 by the end of the week.

See, in the original Dead or Alive 5, you had to fight 1000 times online, collect tons of titles in order to unlock Alpha-152, and somehow make it through Survival on the hardest difficulty, which required you to fight through 100 straight opponents that could read and counter your every move with inhuman levels of skill all the while having very limited health regeneration. The game wasn’t voted a 10 out of 10 in difficulty in obtaining the Platinum for nothing. It was seriously that hard, and the only way Survival was even remotely possible was if you spammed a certain move with Leifang over and over, which wasn’t fun in the slightest nor was it a sure-fire way to win.

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Fast-forward to a few days ago, where I gazed at the Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Trophy list and noticed one trophy in particular, called “Survival (Tag) Cleared”, which requires you to complete all courses in Survival (Tag) Mode. I figured it may not be as hard, as I now have two characters to swap between and recovery items are dropped after every opponent that is defeated. It turns out, not every course needs to be completed at all. Naturally, I played on the “Rookie” course first with Ryu Hayabusa and series newcomer, Momiji. I blew through it with relative ease, when all of a sudden the Trophy pops. I didn’t complete every course, though, so I laughed and was even slightly disappointed. Clearly, either it was worded improperly or there was some sort of blunder with the programming of it. What I initially believed would be a difficult Platinum suddenly became very attainable because I didn’t have to complete Survival (Tag) Mode on the hardest difficulty. In DOA5 Ultimate, only 100 matches need to be played online and there is nothing that needs to be farmed or collected excessively in order to obtain any Trophies, either. Now, if only Ranked Matches in online mode worked properly…

Trophies aside, I’m definitely enjoying DOA5 Ultimate. I’ve taken a liking to Momiji, who plays like a faster Ryu Hayabusa, but certainly has her own quirks that set her apart from him. I still need to try out the other newbies, though.

Xbox One Cometh…Maybe?

Microsoft announced the release date of the Xbox One yesterday, which is November 22nd. That’s just in time for Black Friday, but honestly, is anyone actually expecting to find any of these, as well as PlayStation 4’s, on store shelves on Black Friday? My bet is on these being sold out on day one. Someone else may be getting my reserved system, though.

The reason I say that is because I’ve been having second thoughts about keeping my Xbox One pre-order. The thought initially stemmed from how Microsoft is handling Killer Instinct, particularly how it will essentially be an unfinished game on launch day, sporting only 6 characters and no story mode, with two more characters and story mode coming sometime next year all for $20. The price seems reasonable, sure, but I was under the impression that Killer Instinct would be a complete title at launch. I’m talking at least 12 characters, a full-blown story mode, as well as other staples like online, training, and perhaps stuff like survival and time attack. I want the entire package on day one. I don’t like this whole “Let’s release the game in pieces across a few years” practice. Double Helix has announced that there will be a “Season 2” around this time next year that will feature another 8 characters for $20, but I honestly don’t want to wait that long to get content I should be getting at launch. I mean, hell, Fulgore hasn’t even been announced yet and there’s only one launch slot remaining, which means it may not even include the main character at launch. I’m sorry, but that’s asinine.

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Let me do some comparisons here. Take Skullgirls, for instance, which is a crowdfunded and indie fighting game and not produced by someone with deep pockets like Microsoft. Skullgirls launched with 8 characters, a full story mode, GGPO netcode, a deep training suite, and hand-drawn (read: very time-consuming and high-quality) visuals, all for $15 as a digital download. When you take this into consideration, Killer Instinct simply isn’t that good of a deal. I wish Microsoft would just delay the game until next year and release it once it’s a full-fledged title. If they want to add DLC characters afterwards, fine. That’s the norm nowadays, after all.

That isn’t even the only factor, either. Besides Killer Instinct, the only other game I would want for the Xbox One at launch is Forza Motorsport 5. However, the PlayStation 4, which I am definitely buying, no ifs, ands, or buts, is going to launch with Drive Club, which likely won’t be as good as Forza 5, but it’s free for PlayStation Plus members, so there’s nothing to lose by downloading it. That fills the “driving game” void right there. Add to the fact that the PS4 is releasing one week before the Xbox One for $100 less and the fact that I’m buying Watch Dogs and likely Killzone: Shadow Fall on launch day, and I’m looking at total expenses for the PS4 launch at around $520. Is it really wise to spend that much on a console, then turn around and throw down $560 for the Xbox One and Forza 5 a week later just so I’m completely torn between the two systems? I’m thinking I’d rather 1) save money, and 2) not overwhelm myself with two consoles and instead focus on enjoying one. It’s not like I don’t have the option of buying the Xbox One later on. When I really think things through like this, I think it just makes logical and economical sense to just wait on the Xbox One, as much as it’s going to kill me that I won’t get to play Forza 5.

That will end my ramblings for today. Thanks for reading, everyone!


The Greatest E3 Ever?

Whew! What a week! I knew there were going to be some surprises last week, what with new consoles taking the spotlight at E3 in Los Angeles, but there were some that were completely unprecedented, making for some announcements that will live on in memory forever. I’ve been tracking E3 for many years now, but not a single one has excited me as much as this year’s event. It’s pretty simple for me to say that this is the best E3 I have ever seen.

Where to start? How about Microsoft’s conference? I walked away rather satisfied, to be honest. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a big Xbox guy, but after seeing their conference on Monday, I hopped on Amazon and pre-ordered one. I know about the whole used game deal and online check-ins, but folks, like I said in my last blog post, a console is only truly as good as its games. And, damn, does the Xbox One have some nice exclusives coming its way, many of which will be on or close to launch.

My favorite pick, of course, was one of my most-anticipated announcements: Killer Instinct. It’s real! It’s actually happening! I was literally cheering and pumping my fists in the air as soon as the “KI” logo hit my screen. It has been far too long since the last entry in the series, and now, it’s coming back on the Xbox One.

So, here’s the skinny on it. The game is going to be available as a pseudo free-to-play title, where you’ll have access to every mode, but only Jago is playable. You’ll have the chance to play against every other character, though, and if you happen to like some, you can buy them separately and piece together your own game. Or, you can just download the entire game that also comes with the first season pass for characters, which will entail multiple versions, including some sort of collector’s bundle that is hinted to be containing a port of the original Killer Instinct, which would be amazing.. There will be no physical release, which bites, but it’s better than not getting it at all.

Gameplay-wise, I’ve heard it borrows some elements from both previous KI titles, as well as some elements of Street Fighter, both IV and Third Strike. To me, based on gameplay vids, it looks like KI, but at a faster pace. Characters leap and attack swiftly, with combos being fast and somewhat chaotic. It definitely has the ridiculous combos of the old games, which is a plus, and it has Ultra Combos. My only concerns are that it lacks both finishers and Ultimate Combos, which could be added later on at fan request, but it’s weird that they’re not there. From what I’ve heard from people who have played it, it’s been getting a warm reception and plays well. Jago, Sabrewulf, and Glacius have been revealed, with Fulgore, Spinal, and Cinder being confirmed as far as returning characters go, from what I’ve heard. The devs have also said that they want to put in more female characters than the series previously had in order to balance things out and that there will be new characters, naturally. Development is being handled by Double Helix, and while they don’t have the best track record, they’re working closely with Rare veteran Ken Lobb and seem pretty passionate about the project, so I really don’t have many concerns on that front. Besides, most of the people who made the game within Rare before have left, so it wouldn’t make a difference if Rare was developing it.

The visual style does sort of borrow from Street Fighter IV a bit, with character models being exaggerated and some ink splashes during load screens. I’ve heard people complaining about Jago’s steroid-ridden look, but I dig it. He actually looks more badass than he did in the first two titles. Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but we all have our opinions, and besides, there could always be alternate outfits that could pay homage to his older looks. Sabrewulf and Glacius look spot-on and are fitting evolutions of the characters. I really want to see Glacius in action, but that will have to wait until EVO next month, where I’m hoping they’ll reveal more characters. All in all, I’m very excited for Killer Instinct. This game alone makes me want an Xbox One on day one.

That’s not all the Xbox One has, though. Dead Rising 3 looks promising. The franchise is back to being Xbox-exclusive, like the first title was. It seems to have shed the silliness of the first two titles, for the most part, going for a more bleak tone. It’s more wide-open now, with a city to traverse instead of indoor environments. Hordes of zombies block you at every turn, and the game tasks you with trying to navigate through and around them in order to survive. Plus, the crazy weapon-crafting makes its return, which would have been a criminal omission. I’m definitely keeping my eye on this one as a possible launch pick-up.

A more sure-fire purchase, for me, is Forza Motorsport 5, which sports a new A.I. feature. In fact, there is no A.I. Every opponent that you race against is based off of the behavior of your friends, with their driving styles and habits being mimicked. If your friend is aggressive, their “ghost” will be, as well. Opponents will even drive their cars, too. It’s yet another push towards innovation from Turn 10, which I’ve come to expect, that propels Forza further ahead of its competition. The game looks drop dead gorgeous, to boot.

Then there’s Titanfall, which is the big project that upstart developer Respawn has been working on since its founders (or should I say “founder”, since West left and only Zampella remains) left Infinity Ward. Now, I’m not too big on FPS titles nowadays, as many lack true variety and innovation, but Titanfall looks to be pushing the envelope. Battles seem like legitimate battlefields, rife with action and well-populated. Mechs stomp around and destroy everything in sight while soldiers boost and kick off of walls to get around in a sort of parkour-esque fashion. The game is also supposed to be taking advantage of the Cloud-based structure of the Xbox One, too. The visuals don’t look very appealing for a next-gen title, but graphics aren’t everything. Titanfall is definitely one title I’ll keep in mind, though it won’t hit shelves until next year.

Now for Sony. Their conference was loaded with jaw-dropping moments, including one where they pretty much danced all over Microsoft by stating their clear defiance of restricting used games and any sort of online check-ins, choosing to trust their consumers instead. Sony didn’t have to worry about piracy with the PS3, and probably won’t have to with the PS4 if they can keep it airtight, so online check-ins are probably one thing they may have never considered. However, used games were up in the air until the show, and now we know we can still share and trade-in every game. Online passes and DLC-locked content will still exist, however, but that’s on a publisher-by-publisher basis.

As far as games go, I’m happy to say my prediction of Final Fantasy Versus XIII turning into Final Fantasy XV and coming to PS4 was correct, and my heart was pounding during the entire trailer as Square-Enix finally decided to show this amazing-looking title off after a long hiatus. FFXV looks astounding and will surely deliver a new kind of Final Fantasy experience. The announcement directly after FFXV, though, was out of left field. Never, in a million years, did I foresee a reveal for Kingdom Hearts III, but there it was, and I was so happy that I think I nearly cried. I could definitely hear my voice crack, that’s for sure. It’s been far too long of a wait, and it’s going to be even longer as it isn’t close to being finished, but it’s finally coming and that’s all that matters. What takes the wind out of Sony’s sails with these two announcements, though, is that they’re both headed to Xbox One, so these are two potentially ginormous exclusives that have slipped through their fingers.

What Sony doesn’t have to worry about losing, though, is its first-party titles. Sucker Punch’s inFAMOUS: Second Son is definitely the game to own on the PS4. It improves upon everything the first two entries built up, with improved parkour and fully-destructive environments that truly give Delsin’s smoke/fire-esque powers a greater punch as well as letting him use the terrain to his advantage (think toppling towers and bridges). This is the reason I’m buying the PS4, though it won’t be available until early next year, so there will be a bit of a wait.

We won’t have to wait long for Killzone: Shadow Fall, though, as it’s coming on launch day. I’ll be honest. I’ve never liked the Killzone franchise. It has stunning visuals, sure, but gameplay-wise, it’s always been ho-hum and unremarkable, making it easy to bubble it in with almost every other shooter on the market. Shadow Fall, however, may make me change my mind. It takes the linear levels and cookie-cutter gameplay and throws them out the window. Now, every level is open-ended, allowing you to tackle several objectives in any order you wish. Player freedom is almost always a plus, and it’s great to see huge levels where you can think more tactically about how you engage unsuspecting guards instead of running through scripted events one after another ad nauseum. As for gameplay, Shadow Fall is introducing the OWL, which is like a floating sentry bot that can give you covering fire, supply shields, stun enemies, and allow you to zip-line across gaps, making getting around the new, large levels a breeze. Plus, besides the OWL, you work alone, which means no having to put up with hokey one-liners from butch sidekicks you don’t even care about.

Sony also announced some indie titles, and one that really stood out to me was Mercenary Kings, which comes from Tribute Games, the makers of Scott Pilgrim VS The World: The Game. It has a similar graphical style, but its gameplay is more like Metal Slug with explorable levels and weapon customization. It looks like a boatload of fun, especially with four-player co-op.

There are also two thrid-party titles that, while not exclusive, will sport exclusive content for the PS4. The first is Ubisoft’s amazing-looking open-world title, Watch Dogs, which will have an additional hour’s worth of gameplay. This title was pretty much one of very, very few good things to come out of E3 2012, with its genre-pushing design and gameplay that allows you to hack an entire city, from taking money from civilian bank accounts, to hacking security cameras, to activating various elements of the city to help break off pursuit of police officers giving chase, and more. It’s definitely a huge departure from Grand Theft Auto-style open-world titles, but I think it’s going to be one of the best titles this year and a definite day-one purchase for me on the PS4. Expect this one to blow people away.

The other title is Destiny, which looks more and more impressive each time I see it. The PS4 is the optimized platform for the title, meaning it will get new and exclusive content before anyone else. The title itself, though, looks like a deep and engrossing online experience. Just the very thought of being able to explore a wide open world with tight FPS mechanics and a MMO-style loot system with friends sounds like a great way to whittle the hours away, and hopefully with a constant flow of new content, can be an experience that lasts for many years to come.

The Xbox One and PS4 both have titles I want, so, while this does sound asinine, I have both pre-ordered. There’s definitely enough on each console to make buying both worth it, even if I have to wait a couple months for some of it. One console I haven’t been convinced of yet, though, is the Wii U. That is, until now. I actually found Nintendo Direct at E3 to be underwhelming, as the next Mario title is nothing but Super Mario 3D Land blown up for the Wii U, and then there’s a new Donkey Kong and Mario Kart that I admit I will buy once I pick up a Wii U, but they won’t make me buy a Wii U this holiday. What will ultimately make me buy a Wii U is Super Smash Bros., which is coming next year, meaning I’ll wait until then before I take the plunge. I was going to buy Super Smash Bros. anyway, but now that my favorite game character of all-time, Mega Man, is a playable character, it’s officially a must-own. Just bask in the glory of this reveal trailer. I’ll let it speak for itself.

All in all, E3 was excellent this year. I expected no less, given that there are new consoles on the horizon and, with them, plenty of surprises. The wait for both to launch will be arduous, as well as impatiently waiting for more characters to be revealed for Killer Instinct, but with about five months left to go until at least the Xbox One launches, there’s sure to be even more surprises along the way.


The Pre-E3 Hype Train

I know, I know. I’m writing up a new post after a week of inactivity and there’s no Ultimate Spider-Man nor Tomb Raider review. Work was killing me last week and, sometimes, I just don’t have the drive to write as a result. However, today is a special occasion, as the biggest gaming event of the year begins today: E3! Well, technically, it begins today. The actual expo doesn’t start until tomorrow. Only the conferences are today, but those are the majority of what anyone really cares about from the show anyways.

Today, at 12:30 PM EST, will be Microsoft’s conference. Now, I’m sure you’ve heard all of the hoopla about the Xbox One’s used game policies and mandatory online functions, and I realize it’s ugly, but let’s look past it for now as a console is only truly as good as its games. I’ve never been overly impressed with Microsoft’s exclusives, with Forza and Fable being the only two I really care dearly about. We already know Forza Motorsport 5 is going to be a launch title, and that’s fantastic. As for the latter, I’ll use it to start what I hope to hear from Microsoft’s conference.

A New, Non-Kinect Fable Title

Fable IV is rumored on some asinine list that’s been circulating the ‘net for the past week or so. If you read the list, some of it is a total joke. I mean, I love Mega Man games, but were not getting a new one, folks, and if we do, I may just go into cardiac arrest. Anyways, whether the list is real or not, I absolutely want to hear of a new Fable for the Xbox One. I don’t want another Fable: The Journey, I want a tried-and-true follow-up to Fable III, though with less of the whole being a king deal and more of just being a hero (or villain) like the first two titles, with total freedom to cause as much mayhem as possible. I know we’re getting a remake of the original, titled Fable Anniversary, for the 360, but I think the Xbox One could definitely use some Fable love as well to help get it off of the ground.

Did Someone Say “Killer Instinct”!?

Does anyone remember Killer Instinct, which originally released in arcades, was ported to the Super Nintendo, and hasn’t been heard of since Killer Instinct Gold on the Nintendo 64? I poured God knows how many hours into those games, and for good reason. Killer Instinct wasn’t just a “me too” fighting game of the time. It had blood and violence, which one would mistake as a blatant ripoff of the far more popular Mortal Kombat, but it wasn’t as severe, only garnering a “Teen” rating on both titles, and it managed to forge its own identity with a rather varied and unique cast of characters (you can play as a raptor!) and a dial-a-combo system that let you chain combos just by hitting the right buttons after special moves, allowing for some sick and ridiculous combos.

Anyways, Microsoft has noted that Rare is bringing one of their “historic” franchises to the Xbox One, and with the recent trademark renewal fiasco that Microsoft had to go through with Fox over the name “Killer Instinct” as well as an announcement where Microsoft themselves announced that they were successful in refiling said trademark means there has to be some sort of plans for the franchise going forward, whether it be a remake or a new title. They wouldn’t go through all of the effort if it weren’t the case. It should be noted that Rare also has two other historic franchises in Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark, both of which appeared on the 360, so they could very well be possibilities. If a new Killer Instinct is announced, though, I’m probably going to defecate in my pants. Seriously. It’s been too long since we’ve last seen it.

As for Sony, they’re obviously riding a lot of momentum into E3, seeing as their primary competition is not the chagrin of gamers everywhere. What I don’t want to hear is any sort of online DRM or used game limitations, similar to Xbox One, but I’m going to say right now not to be surprised if it happens, folks. It’s quite possible that Sony could be keeping mum about these issues until after E3 so they can keep that momentum as long as possible. That’s enough of that, though. Here’s what I do want to see.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Finally.

We’ve been waiting forever for it, we know it isn’t vaporware, and at the PS4 reveal, Square-Enix explicitly said there would be a “Final Fantasy announcement” at E3. I’m putting my money on Final Fantasy Versus XIII being a PS4-exclusive and possibly being renamed Final Fantasy XV. The last time this game was seen, it looked phenomenal, with dynamic, real-time action a la the Uncharted series combined with a very Kingdom Hearts-esque battle system. If there’s one thing I want to be playing on my brand spanking new PS4, it’s a new Final Fantasy, and with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII coming out next February for the PS3 and 360, it could be possible that it will be the sendoff for FFXIII, which is synonymous with this generation, and Versus XIII may be what marks the next generation, but like I said, under a new name to mark a new generation for Final Fantasy. Of course, the Final Fantasy announcement could be, and this is a slim chance, a Final Fantasy VII remake, but Square has already gone on record as saying that they won’t remake it until they can top it. I say they already topped it with Final Fantasy IX, but that’s just me.

Other possibilities? Final Fantasy XIV is set to launch on the PS3 this year, but what if it came to the PS4, as well? How about a new Dissidia for PS4 or even Vita? Speaking of Vita, how about a port of Final Fantasy Type-0 while you’re at it, Square?

First-Party Overload

Sony has the best first-party exclusives on the market, hands down. We already know a new inFAMOUS is on the way, as well as a new Killzone. We know Quantic Dream is hard at work on Beyond: Two Souls on the Ps3, so I don’t expect to hear much from them on the PS4 front. Considering The Last of Us drops this Friday, I don’t know if Naughty Dog is ready to show off the other project they’ve been working on as they probably don’t want to steal any thunder from their soon-to-be-launched title. Incomniac is too busy trying to make people believe that Fuse is worth owning, so who knows what they’re doing on the Ratchet & Clank front. A new R&C on the PS4, though, would be amazing. With that kind of graphical prowess, they could make a new R&C look almost like a Pixar movie. The Last Guardian has been in limbo for a while, but Sony insists it isn’t cancelled, so I think they decided to hold it off for the PS4 to help bolster the launch lineup. There’s also Sony’s stable of Indie developers they’ve been emphasizing as of late, so they all could be set to reveal titles for the PS4, as well. All I know is that Sony, for the most part, knows what it’s doing when it comes to first-party titles, and to expect them to come out guns blazing on this front. At least, that’s what I hope.

I won’t comment much on Nintendo. I think we all know what to expect from them. All I know is that they better come up with something and soon, as the Wii U is failing, the 3DS is struggling in the US, and they have barely any third-party support to speak of. People are even starting to say that Nintendo should just get out of the hardware business and simply make their titles for other platforms. It’s hard to argue with that. The Wii U’s existence simply isn’t justified. Why make a console that only plays your own games? On top of this, there are reports that the 8GB version of the Wii U is being recalled. My guess? Nintendo is either replacing the SKU, or, and this is my bold prediction for Nintendo, they’re dropping the price on the 32GB Deluxe console to the same price, $300, or perhaps even less, at $250. They say they’re “rebalancing” but if they’re recalling every unit, that isn’t balancing anything. I work in retail, so I’ll let you all know if I get a recall for them at some point, and I’ll let you know whether it’s only a partial recall (which we call “overstock” recalls, where only a set quantity is returned) or a recall on every unit. Needless to say, Nintendo is slowly finding themselves backed into a corner, and with them opting out of a press conference this year and instead only going with a Nintendo Direct on Tuesday and some smaller events at the show, it has me worried about what little they could have to say and reveal.

No matter what happens, something tells me this will be the biggest E3 ever. We have two new consoles going neck-and-neck, with surprises for both of them no doubt, a big question mark for Nintendo other than knowing that we’re getting more Mario, and who knows what third-parties are up to besides what look like a couple leaks from EA regarding Mirror’s Edge 2 and Dragon Age III. I hope everyone enjoys the conferences and the show, and when the dust has settled, hopefully we’ll have a lot to be excited for.