Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Tim Bradley getting a highly questionable decision over Manny Pacquiao, the dastardly Rafael Nadal winning his seventh French Open, or the dangers of your favorite ramen place opening a shop that’s close to you, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
Now that we’ve all had some time to rest, recover, and reflect, let’s talk about what impressed you at E3 2012! I’m going to use today’s column to discuss a few of my favorite things from E3 2012, which makes this edition the nerd equivalent of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Exploring the show alone is way different than doing it as part of a large editorial team, so there are a lot of things that I missed (and several that I ignored). There are also things that played better to you guys at home/work than it did to me at the show. I want to hear all about that stuff too. Please leave a comment below on what E3 2012 games and happenings impressed you. I’ll kick things off with….
1) The Unfinished Swan: I love this game so much. It’s clever and inventive. It’s difficult to explain, so please check out the video below and let me know if you have any questions about it. If I could make out with a game, I’d make out with The Unfinished Swan (I’m not really sure what the means). It was easily my favorite game of the show.
2) Dishonored: This game is getting a ton of buzz and all of it is deserved. The dev team is being headed up by the excellent Harvey Smith, so it’s no surprise that it looks and feels like a steampunk Deus Ex. With its cerebral stealth-action and RPG elements, I expect this game to be critically acclaimed. Check out the video interview here.
3) Beyond: Two Souls: Most of you know that I’m a big fan of Quantic Dream. I loved Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain. I’m totally sold on Beyond. If Quantic Dream makes it, I’ll buy it.
4) Razer BlackShark: When I first saw this headset’s press shots, I was totally into it. When I saw it in person and tried it on at the show, I knew I must have it. It just looks cool. When the PR rep mentioned that the mic was detachable, I said, “Screw that! I’m going to leave it on all the time.” I’m going to wear it in public and sing “Space Oddity” dozens of times. It will be amusing (t0 me) for at least the first 100. “This is ground control to Major Tom.” Check out the Razer BlackShark in the video below.
5) The Last of Us: I was surprised by how much this game grabbed me. I think Uncharted is a great series; I know why it’s good and I know why millions of gamers love it. That said, it didn’t resonate with me. The Last of Us has several Uncharted elements, but I’m more intrigued by the former’s character dynamics and story. Naughty Dog is a fantastic developer and I expect another top-notch game, only this time I think I’ll dig it on a personal level.
6) Prom Week: One of my friends from Sony told me to check out this game at the IndieCade booth. I’m so happy I did. It looks like a cute and simple Facebook game, but there’s a lot going on under the hood. It’s fun to play the game’s different scenarios, but I could spend hours making the high-school kids in Prom Week interact in my fishbowl of behavioral psychology. Check it out here when you have a moment.
7) AIAS Music Performances: One of my favorite things to do between E3 appointments is pester my friend Debby from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. That’s usually more than enough to enjoyably kill a few minutes between meetings, but the AIAS had fine musicians in the house! Taylor Davis, Kyle Landry, and Lara Dewit played some excellent videogame music with keyboards and violins. The Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda selections were my favorites. Naturally, everyone loved the Super Mario Bros. selections. Check out the clip below.
8) Pachter-Palooza: Of course there were plenty of great parties at E3 2012. My favorite was the Wedbush Securities bash, which I refer to as Pachter-Palooza. It’s just a fun event with some really important people and a handful of idiots (like me). My favorite story of the show had to do with someone I met at this party. It was just a cool and touching thing…that I’ll tell you all about in the next Coffee Talk.
9) Square Enix: Let’s get the bad part out of the way — my Square Enix appointment was a total bomb that resulted in zero video interviews. That was annoying as hell. That said, I was really impressed with the company’s lineup and surprised that it didn’t get more attention. Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs, Quantum Conundrum, Final Fantasy Dimensions (job system!!!), and Hitman were just some of the sweet games on display. Out of all the third-party publishers, Ubi Soft was getting the most attention (a lot of it deserved and some of it not). Square Enix should have gotten more love from the press.
10) The Peeps: The best part of E3 2012 — and really any E3 — is seeing old colleagues, strengthening bonds, and meeting new people. It was fun working on E3 videos with my excellent friend Justin. I super-enjoyed spending time with my pal Emily. I see Paul all the time, but it was cool to experience E3 with him. Perrin is still my Turkish princess. It was cool meeting Kevin after exchanging dozens of emails with him. I miss living with Ted in San Francisco. My friend Brad flies in from Japan for several videogame events and it’s always awesome to see him. I dressed as my friend Nathan for the Sony press conference (he has a uniform of sorts). Also, Tina-nana!!! I could go on for a few thousand words, but I’ll stop there.
Now it’s your turn! What were your favorite E3 2012 games and happenings?