Yeah, so I think I’ve reached my “sell by” date as a person who writes about videogames. This E3 has been exhausting, and I barely even had time to write anything about it until last night. It always seemed so easy in the past. Off to the glue factory for me, I suppose. Normally by now I’ve slammed together a 15-20 solid write-ups, but this year I’m scrabbling desperately just to reach the double digits — but I can’t really claim quality over quantity. Oh well! At least the games I’ve been looking at have been good, although I ended up being typecast as the Nintendo Booth Guy again. My own fault, I guess, for insisting I have the chance to go to the mats with 3DS.
Speaking of which, it’s amazingly good! My impression of the 3D screen isn’t quite as positive as my initial thoughts since I’ve seen more games in action*, but at the very worst I simply don’t see the 3D and hit the slider the turn off the visualization to create what amounts to a better-looking-than-PSP portable game. No real downsides, there.
Anyway, here’s what I’ve had time to see this week:
- Metroid: Other M. No real surprises with this one. It’s Metroid, by Team Ninja, and was more or less the same as it was in March… if perhaps a bit prettier than its last viewing.
- Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Meh, Camelot. This is the most average and unremarkable game I’ve seen by far. But then, I’ve avoided anything with Sonic in it.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns. I liked the original Donkey Kong Country… for a few levels, and then I got bored. But I like what I’ve seen of Retro’s take on the series. Maybe I will grow jaded after a few levels of this one, too. Who knows?
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. This is pretty dang good! I liked the vaguely impressionist aesthetic even before Miyamoto revealed it was inspired by Cézanne, who’s always been my favorite artist of that particular movement.
- Shigeru Miyamoto and co. on Nintendo’s current lineup. Featuring occasionally pithy remarks.
- And… a piece on Halo: Reach’s Firefight mode. Which one of these is not like the others? I’m really bummed about this article, because I had to travel to an event to check out this news and then leave immediately to do the write-up, meaning I missed my chance to meet Nathan Fillion. I just started re-watching Firefly a couple of days ago, so maybe it’s just as well. I probably would have done something uncharacteristically fannish and blown my carefully cultivated public persona of unflappable bemusement.
And then the two genuinely valuable things I’ve written:
Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Remember the beginning of Kirby’s Adventure, where it tells you how to draw Kirby? Imagine if they had stopped at the outline portion, and the outline had been made of yarn. The genius of this game is that the arts-n-crafts look is more than just fancy visuals; it permeates the level design and the game mechanics. It’s such a great, inventive take on the classic platformer! I haven’t talked to anyone who hasn’t been impressed. By Kirby! That’s just crazy.
The industry’s couch trip. This is probably something I will be exploring in more depth in the coming months. Not that I want to beat a dead horse. But I guess that would be totally in keeping with the Epic Games style! Except in addition to beating the dead horse, you’d get bonus points for dismembering and mutilating it in “cool” ways. Bulletstorm: The kegstand of videogames™!
Well, now it’s time to do… stuff.
* Incidentally, Alice Liang wrote about half of those impressions. Not sure why I got the solo credit.