E3, Day 2.June 16, 2010
Don’t forget to check out Day 1 of E3 right here.
I started my second day a little slower than yesterday, still fighting whether I should continue or not. Today was a little easier to shake the feeling of “WhyTF bother?” , Alarm didn’t go off on my phone, a little worrying, but I think I know why it didn’t go off, so, this time, I won’t be powering down and changing batteries, powering back on and expect the alarm to stay put (even though the little symbol was still in the taskbar.)
Didn’t see too many games today, spent most of it talking with developers of controllers and peripherals. But, here is what I did get.
Transformers: War for Cybertron.
I was very cautious about this game. There hasn’t been a good Transformers game in… ever.. I think. Transformers 2 was playable, barely… but not very fun after you play a couple maps and realize…this is all you’re going to be doing. The first Transformers movie game failed as well, being too little and too shallow. Transformers Armada wasn’t bad, but wasn’t hyped either.
Transformers War for Cybertron is being developed by High Moon Studio, a subsidiary of Activision. After playing Transformers:W4C. I can’t wait for this game to come out. The controls are pretty easy to get your head around. A-Jump, B-Grenade, Y-switch weapon, X-reload, Left trigger zoomed, Right trigger fired. The bumpers are assigned to special abilities of the particular Bot you have selected. Left stick button was to transform, which aided in faster travel, and the right stick button was to melee attack.
We where placed in a 5 vs 5 match, Autobots vs Decepticons. We where allowed to create our own Transformer. Which sounded a lot cooler than it really was, I’m not sure if they are going to expand upon this or not. But we where given about 20 different “presets” to select from, then we could choose the chassis and color. hopefully in the final you can select different body parts and such.
We started in a defend the base type game called “Power Node” I believe, same concept though, you have to capture a “Power node” and make sure the other team doesn’t take it back over. As the game began and I got a sense of the controls, they felt good. Smooth and responsive. shooting and aiming was easy. Moving around as a vehicle took a little longer to get use to, and wasn’t like driving in a racing game. it was acceptable though. Actual gameplay was really fun, It wasn’t a particularly intense match as we, the Decepticons, owned face. at halfway point we where ahead by 100 points. in a 300 point match. So, yeah, it wasn’t even close at the end. The Camera never got in the way or stuck behind something while I was playing. Graphically, it looked great. The game is running on the Unreal Engine, so of course it’s going to look good. So, as of right now. The game looks, plays, and feels great. It’ ships June 22nd. So next week.
Power Gig: Rise of the Six String
Here, I played a new game from Seven45 Studio. The studio, from what I’ve seen, hasn’t done anything else, this is there first actual game. They are, though, a break-off of “First Act” Manufacturing. Who make guitars and so on.
Keeping that in mind, we’ll have a look at everything. Graphically, it looks alright, nothing mind blowing, but it looks about as good as Rock Band did in it’s day. What really matters is how the “Track” moves, right?. Well, it seemed to flow pretty smoothily, I didn’t see any hitching or stutter (As I did see in Rock Band 3, it’s farther off from release, so, it’s still being worked on.) The straight down approach of the board never sat well with me, I very much prefer the tilted look of GH and RB. The actual guitar instrument(above) felt very good, very sturdy, and very much like a real guitar, which it is. When I got into the game, I tested pressing down and strumming before the game actually started, the sensitivity under the fret board felt very good, it picked up easily, and picked up strumming well, responsive, no sense of lag.
Once in the actual game, again, it felt responsive, there was a large window of error too. I could strum pretty late or early and still hit the note. it did effect my multiplier though. dropping it down one notch, keeping a perfect “strike zone” would increase the multiplier. missing a note right out, would lose the whole multiplier. This type of system seemed to work well, and continually rewarded you for doing well. I wasn’t allowed to select a higher difficulty, which I would have liked. I’m interested to see how the different settings work. For the setting I was on, all you had to do was mash on a fret board and strum, you didn’t have to single pick any strings, or tap an individual string on the fret board.
The problem… was, it just wasn’t that fun… everything worked right, but, it just didn’t catch me. And the “drums” (above).. don’t have pads or anything, you basically pretend to drum over a sensor, which triggers the note on screen. From what I’ve seen, this wasn’t working for many people, I saw a few staff at the booth having to explain how to do it “right” in order to get it to trigger. it simply didn’t look fun at all. But the guitar looks great, and from what I was told, it will work with Rock Band 3. Which, from the pricing I’ve heard on the “Premium” Rock Band Guitar, is a better option in terms of price.
Mad Catz Peripherals:
This, is the new “Pro” model (Not Premium) Wireless Mustang Rock Band 3 guitar… if you want to count, there are 102 buttons. That….is… in…SANE
each button feels spongy, but not bad. I think a click wouldn’t have felt good, and I can see that going with a spongy like depression is more realistic to a real guitar, while these are far softer and don’t require nearly as much strength. Which is good too, after all, it is a game and you don’t want to get fatigued. The strings feel too loose to me though, This isn’t a deal breaker at all, but, just a preference I guess. the controller looks good, but the neck had a significant give when I applied torque to it, more so than the original RB controller. Overall, it looks like a good medium ground for people wanting to get into “real” guitar work, but not quite ready for the real deal. I was also told it’s MIDI compatible, whats that mean?. if you have a MIDI adapter, you can use it as…basically, a real guitar.
The R.A.T. 7:
I didn’t get many pictures, but I did talk with one of the creators of the Mad Catz R.A.T. 7 “mouse” Nearly everything about this mouse is customizable. The pinky rest can be removed, or replaced with 2 other rest options, same with the thumb rest, the palm rest is also interchangable and also length adjusted. the knob at the end can be unscrewed, this holds the weights, you can go without, making it light, or add several weights to make it heavier. every button (but the small center button just under the mouse wheel.) is customizable. the wheel on the side, to me, felt a little too lose, but still clicks unto place and is completely customizable as well. The person I talked with mentioned how several of the guys working on it had set it to default as the volume for the computer. it will feature the fastest DPI seen in a mouse, at 5600dpi. They will release in July, no exact date yet, but July was told to me as the window month.
Overall, it felt very good, and with all the customization allowed, anyone could have this mouse and have something completely different than there friends R.A.T.
And finally, I talked in depth with the guys at Razer about there new 360 controller, and there Six Sense prototype. First, I’ll talk about the Six Sense (videos above.) Basically, it’s 2 “sticks” with there own analog “knubs” like on a PSP, “But much better, if you know how the PSP is” I was told, which, I knew exactly what he was talking about. the “sticks” use an electronic magnet inside of a base you set up, that can sense the exact position, and velocity of the sticks. From the videos above, it looked pretty accurate and easy to use. Even with as much as the guy has probably done this, you can see that the latency is quite low, which is going to be required in order to get people to want to use it.
While talking about it to the couple of people I was in discussions with, they very much avoided saying “like the Wii”. when I finally came out and said “Like the Wii” they quickly said “No, this is going to be far quicker, accurate, and precise.” I was then directed toward one of there developers named Daniel, He explained a little further on how they worked and offered to give me a demonstration on how well it works with RTS games, like League of Legends tomorrow, as today was pretty packed. I said I would return tomorrow to take him up on it. He said he uses it exclusively. That’s got to say something about the product. So, come back tomorrow and I’ll have a video of that.
This is the Onza, Razer’s first push into the console business. and from the feel of the controller, there pushing hard. The buttons are WAY sensitive and have a shallow travel, it was a little shocking at first, but I preferred it over the traditional controller very quickly. The D-pad felt good, it was going for more of a PS controller than an Xbox controller… and that is definitely a good thing, as the original 360 D-pad sucks. a unique aspect of the controller is the sticks. While at there default, feel much better than typical 3rd party controllers, these have a special feature that allows you to adjust the tension. there is a little ratcheting wheel just under the stick head that you can turn which allows for a looser feel, or a tighter feel. This worked out pretty good, when it got really loose, the stick still felt evenly looser, which is a huge pet peeve of mine on 3rd party controllers, the sticks ALWAYS feel way looser at the edges of its rotation then in the center, and I hate that. these felt good under full rotation. Under extreme tension though, it felt a little uneven. I don’t see this being much of a problem though, as it was at it’s max tension and wasn’t easy to move, I see that MAX tension being a little much for anybody. The biggest problem with the controller was it’s wire. this is a corded controller. Here is hoping they come out with a wireless along side when it launches.
The rest I’ll save for another day, but I want to leave with one more “interesting” item I saw.
DXT “Extreme Gamer” 10-disc Changer:
This crazy device is a 10-disc changer for both the PS2 and PS3. I was told the PS2 version would be 119$, if I remember correctly, and the PS3 version would be $149. While it seems like a great concept, and the design isn’t bad. I’m worried about the price. It seems a little steep, But, again, it’s a 10-disc Blu-ray changer. which is very nice. So, it would be a good add-on for movie buffs. Also, maybe it would help the PS3 run cooler and quieter during movies.
I got a lot more than that today, but This is a lot to take in for now, I’ll stagger some of the other stuff throughout the week.. Since… ya know.. I’m got time..