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PixlTalk E3 2012 Episode Four: Post Mortem

Take a look back with us for an honest reflection of this year’s E3.

A lot of people are down on this year’s E3, but were the games really that bad? We think not. In fact, all of us are in agreement that the games looked fabulous this year. So why was E3 so bland? Find out on this special of edition of PixlTalk: E3 Post Mortem.




06/09/2012 at 07:17 PM

Jules and J-Bone team up under one roof, under one podcast? The Hellblock Heroes and the Triforce worlds collide? Mr. 117 approves. I just started listening, I'll come up with a real comment eventually.

Growing up I missed out on many physical gaming magazines. I had a subscription to Nintendo Power and I still remember the Gamecube launch, and I remember reading about Luigi's Mansion and everything. I missed out on everything else though, so I never got the chance to read a bunch of publications while I was on the toilet. My toilet time has never been as eventful as that. I would just drop the hammer of dawn and bug out.

I was ranting a bit about E3 to Mike in his video series and I asked him, "What is E3 even for anymore? Is it for us?" I didn't feel like this expo was really for me, it was more for investors, people who majored in business, and PR. The Nintendo conference ended so flaccid and was so pathetic with that lame-ass Nintendoland fireworks display. After the fact, Reggie had the nerve to go talk to the Spike guys and say, "I think we did amazing, people are super excited!"

I like Reggie, but this Expo is just full of business talk and fluff. When I watch people do interviews and see reps showing off a game it's as if they are all being watched over by some malevolent monster that's going to suck them into the abyss if they say one thing out of turn, show any human behavior, or free will. Everybody is required to save face, talk their product up, promise you the moon, and say whatever it takes to satisfy shareholders or executives. Can you even act like a gamer, or a skeptic at E3 anymore? Can you be treated like an intelligent consumer? From what I see you have to just keep your mouth shut unless the words coming out of your mouth are, "We're all super excited! This game looks like it'll revolutionize gaming and entertainment, it's the biggest gameworld ever, you've never seen a shooter like this before, there's unlimited possibilities in this game, it'll harken the rapture and take all of you into nirvana where you can watch unicorns poop popsicles."

I love Crysis 3 and I'm going to buy it the day it comes out, but one of their guys was giving an interview on G4 and he was asked an honest question by Morgan Webb. She said, "So when you come into this encounter, what options will players have regarding ways to engage it?" So the fucking guy says, "Well theoretically there's unlimited possibilities." I'm not a fucking idiot buddy, and we're not talking game theory.

Crysis 2 is one of my favorite games and I spend more than enough time studying how Crytek designs levels and does what they do. There will be 2 general options, stealth combat or action combat. The point is to kill, you will eventually kill something, and you will kill the enemies in two general ways, either being noticed or not. You have a silent bow, a knife for executions, two guns, a heavy weapon, possibly some explosive accessories, and there should be some environmental explosives clustered near enemy spawn zones or hubs. The AI will be programmed to run tasks and patrols while you have time to watch from afar and figure out if you want to sneak into a certain area or if you want to start shooting.

When people ask honest questions you shouldn't insult their intelligence or try and take them for a ride. Just answer the question. This is why I like GDC better, people seem more honest and laid back there. I don't want you to sell me Willy Wonka's fucking golden ticket. I want honest insight, technical information, and reflection on how the game is coming along, and what you're striving for.

Jesse Miller Staff Writer

06/11/2012 at 10:15 AM

Hey Michael, glad you enjoyed our rare teamup episode.  

I hear you on this year's E3.  This wasn't a year that was really for gamers.  It was geared towards showing the products that would theoretically move systems and product off the shelf - which really is always the goal of E3.

I honestly think we'll see less emphasis on E3 in the coming years and more company specific events.  Nintendo didn't wow us with their press conference, but I think they'll have a better showing at the future Wii U event that will see the announcement of a price point and release date.  That's when we'll get all the basic details that we're looking for (online strategy, achievements system, packaged/launch games, etc...).  This is Nintendo's normal MO, but I bet other companies will do this as well.  Sony already reveals quite a bit through their official blog, after all.

I was impressed with Crysis 3.  Admitedly I'm not overly familiar with the franchise - I know that it exists and that it's pretty to look at - but with so many other shooters out there and the fact that I have more of an affinity towards platformers and adventure games I just never made time for it.  

That said, what I saw of the third title has enticed me.  The open world looks like it could open up greater possibilities - it looks like a better realized version of what Rage should have been.  

I think the press conferences were so bad this year it overshadowed the fact that a lot of good games were showed off.  Beyond: Two Souls was a pretty big reveal, Metro: Last Light looks fantastic, Tomb Raider is looking like just the thing that the series needs, Dishonored is one of my most anticipated titles this year, ZombiU brings back horror in a big way, Paper Mario: Sticker Story will certainly get play on my 3DS later this year...there are so many good games coming that I'm starting to get scared that I won't be able to play them all.  All in all, not a bad problem to have.


06/11/2012 at 12:59 PM

I'm glad you guys brought up the fact that E3 started out as a sales event of sorts, because I never knew that, and it makes sense when you see what it serves as today. If your prediction about E3 is correct and the company specific events become more important, I won't have a problem with that at all as long as those smaller company specific events get the coverage they deserve.

E3 might not always have the tone I look for, but the thing I've always loved about E3 is how accessible and well covered it is. The entire expo week I could just turn on the TV and find hours of coverage on both Spike and G4, and if that wasn't enough I could go online to Pixlbit and get a bunch of info here too. It's very well covered and very convenient. Making it so accessible and convenient to watch allows it to get to a mass audience and for a plugged in gamer like me it makes my duty of following it much easier.

If the company specific events become the new hotness, I just want them to be very easy for me to get to. I don't want to have to sign up for any mailing lists, forums, memberships, or jump through a dozen links online just to get to some coverage. Now assuming your prediction is true J-Bone, if the company specific events are the new hotness, are you guys going to cover them closely and report on them like you would E3?

The Nintendo press conference was a big downer at E3, but I still want to like the Wii U, they just haven't given me reasons. If the Wii U event you mentioned is going to be the thing to watch, I'm really excited about it and optimistic still. I want to see price point, release date, I want to see more games.

I just want the type of information a consumer needs to have. E3 didn't give us the type of info a consumer needs, it just gave you fluff and attempted to woo you with shiny junk and expected you to be excited for the sake of it. We need a real event that explains the real important info: price, release, what you get for your money, bundles, launch games, post launch games in the works. All of this isn't much to ask, those are all necessary things that have to exist if you want to make a successful product, and people didn't get any of that info at E3.

You should give Crysis 2 a chance some day if you have the time and it's at a nice price. Crysis 2 is mechanically my favorite shooter I've ever played. It's not my favorite franchise, or my favorite anything else, but when it comes to mechanics and level design it's one of the best in the business. The action-combat and stealth-combat works perfectly in their level designs and the mechanics are built for it. The game knows what it wants to offer and it executes it well. I was able to spend at least 50% of the game in Cloak mode sneaking around and executing people from behind. I was able to play this FPS game like an old Splinter Cell game and I loved that. Crysis has influence and DNA from Halo, Call of Duty, and Half Life strewn all throughout it. Even with all those influences, it manages to create it's own identity, look, and feel.

Jesse Miller Staff Writer

06/11/2012 at 01:07 PM

Absolutely - we'll be covering any kind of event that pops up to the best of our ability.  Most will likely be streamed through various social media - very much like how E3 was this year.  You can also expect to see more of a presence from us at events like PAX East (the east coast guys that we are) and others.

Crysis 2 is on a long list of games I want to get to.  Luckily for me the summer brings a game drought that will allow me to catch up on others.  At the moment, I'm almost done blasting through the Sly collection (at the end of 3 now).  I'll be reviewing a couple of quick games next in the form of Lollipop Chainsaw and LEGO Batman 2 - after that who knows.  My backlog is a mile long, which is something many PixlBitters out there can relate to.

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