The Stickman's E3 2012 Awards.
Right...well...this week was...interesting to say the least. What's said has been said, time to move on to more fun things! Like awards! WE ALL LIKE AWARDS, RIGHT? YES.
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Hello and welcome to my 3rd Annual E3 Awards! This year I'm flying solo due to my former partner abandoning me, so to compensate I've added more awards and written in more detail, we don't need him to have a fun time, do we? No! Here are my 17 Awards for the best and worst of E3 2012, followed by the final votes for People's Choice. Enjoy the show, and let me know what you think in the comments below!
In what turned out to be a series of disappointing/over-hyped Conferences, Ubisoft's was the only one that was consistently engaging and fun to watch. So the presenter was terrible and the "surprise" backstage presenter in the form of Internet "sensation" Tobuscus proved to be a waste of space, and even annoying when the two got together in a desperate attempt to ruin what had been an otherwise great showing. But enough with the downers, let's get to why it was the best. Why was it? Because it gave us what we wanted, games and new ones at that. No statistics, no DLC bullshit, just games. Showing off two of the biggest multi-platform titles of the show in the form of Assassin's Creed 3 and Far Cry 3, both of which look stunning despite unneeded titties from Far Cry 3's side. We were given our first look at some Wii U games a day earlier than anyone expected in the form of ZombiU, the (rather rubbish looking) Avengers game and most excitingly, Rayman Legends. And things were wrapped up with the first surprise of the show in the form of new I.P Watch Dogs, which made a huge splash on the Internet because it looked brilliant. All in all, a great showing from Ubisoft marking two years on the trot where they've had one of, if not the best Conference of E3.
2nd Place - Microsoft.
3rd Place - Sony.
Whilst I'm sure people will tell you that Microsoft was the worst showing, I can't help but feel that's only because it was the first on the show, had we known that most of the Conferences would disappoint from the start I would hope people would instead choose EA due to the sheer blandness of their Conference. Whilst Microsoft had RE6, Tomb Raider, Halo 4 and Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (To name a few), EA had a slew of boring, uninteresting demo's and trailers for things we mostly already knew and didn't care about. Things kicked off to a bad start with the grand unveiling of Dead Space 3, a game that looks to be everything you don't want from a Dead Space game, i.e. it's a co-op action shooter. After that, time was wasted on sports games no one cares about and bland CoD rip-offs even less people care about. The only real highlight for me was Need for Speed : Most Wanted, which was the only genuinely interesting title shown during the hour and a half of the lackluster presentation. No surprises, no excitement, and their best franchise ruined. Truly a terrible showing from EA.
2nd Place - Nintendo.
3rd Place - Sony.
Whilst I had no real obligation to include the Wii in that title seeing as nothing was shown or announced for the console, which is pretty much dead now, I felt I might as well give it one last hurrah in some small recognition on a small blog on a smallish website. Anyhoo, yes, the Best Wii U game for me at E3 this year was Lego City : Undercover. Why? Well, firstly there wasn't a whole lot else to choose from beyond Rayman Legends, ZombiU and Pikmin 3, and secondly because this is the Lego game I've been waiting for since the "franchise" was first revived. I played all 3 of the Lego Island games when I was a kid, I loved them to bits and this sandbox title looks like a true spiritual successor to that. It may or may not turn out to be any good, but from the trailer and 10 minutes of gameplay I've seen, I'm very excited for this game and it currently remains my main reason to own a Wii U when it comes out. Sure, it may not be Lego Island and there probably won't be any skateboarding or Pizza delivery, but...hell it looks like a ton of fun!
2nd Place - Rayman Legends.
3rd Place - ZombiU.
With my new rule that Wii U/PS3/Xbox 360 Awards had to be games exclusively available on said console, I found myself with little else to choose from really, not that I wouldn't of chosen it anyway because it looks great but when it comes to 360 exclusives I can only really think of this or that Gears of War prequel thing that I really, truly don't care about in the slightest. So, I'm what you'd call a fan of the Halo series, Halo Reach, the last main title and the last game from creators Bungie was my favourite game of 2010 by a long way so I'm looking to Halo 4 with a huge amount of anticipation for more of that great cinematic, mature FPS experience even if the developer has changed. What we saw at E3 felt strikingly similar to the original Metroid Prime which is, by no means a bad thing so long as we get a mixture of this new style of exploration and the same action packed shooting we've come to expect from Halo. All in all, Halo 4 would of probably been my favourite 360 game of E3 regardless of if anything else was actually available to choose from...unless they'd announced Alan Wake 2, in which case...YES.
2nd Place - N/A.
3rd Place - N/A.
Whilst there were two games shown during Sony's Conference that made me wish I wasn't so poor that I couldn't afford a PS3, it was The Last of Us that easily stole the show for me. I do loves me some post-apocalyptic goodness, especially when it's so thoughtfully and cinematically made like this. I do believe that this game will most likely be a Game of the Year contender come 2013. It just seems like that perfect storm of impactful story, unique and interesting gameplay and some truly stunning visuals that will bend PS3 owners wallets over the sofa and rape it clean of all its money, and with good cause! There was some great amusement from the fact that after so many people thought Ellen Page was playing the girl in this that they had to change the look of the character, which we then found out was because Ellen Page was actually starring in ANOTHER Sony exclusive title that we didn't even know about, but the fact of the matter is The Last of Us looks stunning, and I'm very very jealous of people with the money to get a PS3.
2nd Place - Beyond : Whatever the subtitle was.
3rd Place - Sly Cooper 4.
To be honest, it was slim pickings this year for me in terms of handheld titles, whilst last year we had Mario Kart 7, Resident Evil Revelations and Super Mario 3D Land, this year we had a lot of highly anticipated 3DS titles that were missing in action entirely and a Vita lineup that leaves a lot to be desired. So, without a Metroid 3DS game to jerk off over and my interest in New Super Mario Bros 2, Luigi's Mansion 2 dwindling around "Eh" levels as of now, I had no choice but to give Konami an award for something... *Shudder*. As much as I hate them, they've really turned the Castlevania franchise around as of late with Lords of Shadow seeming to be the new sub-franchise they're playing with as of now. Whilst Lords of Shadow 2 sounds interesting (although I've yet to play the first) I'm far more interested in the 3DS spin-off, which promises to blend the Metroidvania gameplay we know and love with 3D graphics and combat more similar to its big brother console title. Only time will tell if the hybrid pays off, but for now, I'm very much interested.
2nd Place - Luigi's Mansion 2.
3rd Place - Epic Micky : Power of Illusion.
This was the hardest Award to choose because when it comes to Xbox 360/PS3/PC titles at E3 this year, there were a ton of great looking ones. Assassin's Creed 3, Colonial Marines, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Need for Speed, Hell even Black Ops 2 showed some promise but, my heart wants for what it wants and it wanted for Resident Evil 6. Whilst this may instil anger in many of you, I simply am very excited for this game and finally seeing it in action has only further increased my giddyness. For starters, we have 3 different styles of Resident Evil going about here, we've got the more survivalish horror aspect, which is clearly inspired by Resident Evil Revelations, we have the full scale action gameplay that's more akin to Resident Evil 5 (a game you all loved so much I understand) but even more actioney, and we've got a "RUN LIKE FUCKING HELL" style of gameplay from Resident Evil 3, all of which has been finally brought into the present day with tighter, more precise and modern controls as well as yet another graphical upgrade that makes you go "Wow", which marks the third main installment in a row that has looked stunning, take notes CoD. All in all, Resident Evil 6 is looking to be a stunner, whether or not it turns out that way is something we'll find out in October, although I am very hopeful indeed.
2nd Place - Assassin's Creed 3.
3rd Place - Tomb Raider.
Sadly, I just used up all my material for Resident Evil 6 on the above award but yes, it's my overall favourite game of the show. It looks brilliant from both a visual and gameplay perspective, it's got horror, it's got action, it's got a fucking awesome soundtrack, whilst all the games I chose for awards so far looked fantastic and I can't wait to give them a go (Or read about how amazing it is in the case of The Last of Us) it was Resident Evil 6 that shone the brightest for me. Roll on October I say!
2nd Place - Assassin's Creed 3.
3rd Place - The Last of Us. *Sniff*
Okay, so there were probably worse games at E3, and there is still some slim hope that this game could be good, that said, at E3, Dead Space 3 was by far the worst game I saw, not because it looks bad graphically or the gameplay is poor...it's just everything the Dead Space franchise isn't and I truly despise it for that. So, first and foremost is the co-op, whilst not the end of the world by any means, it significantly takes away from the feeling of dread and isolation past Dead Space games have triumphed in. More alarmingly is the change of pace from dismemberment based survival horror to action packed cover based shooting, despite the strategic removal of limbs once being the USP of Dead Space as a franchise, it now seems to have been eliminated entirely in favour of RATATATATAATATAAA machine gun fire, which is truly horrifying. And not in a good way. Finally, throw in the stupid foul mouthed bromance bullshit every co-op shooter in the world has and what you have here is essentially Army of Two in Space. I understand that in order for a franchise to avoid becoming stale, changes need to be made, but what's happened here is not a simple breath of fresh air, its a complete reinvention of a franchise that's only 2 games old, and it's essentially removed the last big (and good) horror franchise from the market. I've heard murmurs that the co-op can be removed but if that's the case, why not show this? Until I am proved otherwise, Dead Space as a game franchise is dead to me thanks to EA's desperate bid to give the game a more mass appeal, or a Mass "Effect" if you will. Well, here's your reward EA, the worst game of E3, enjoy it you money hungry bastards.
2nd Place - Splinter Cell : Blacklist.
3rd Place - N/A.
You could replace "Biggest" above with "Only" and it would still apply. I don't know whether it's that Microsoft and Sony are holding the big reveals for Next Gen platforms, or that E3 is no longer considered the place to unveil big titles, but this year’s show was completely baron of "HOLY SHIT" reveals. That is, except for Ubisoft's Conference, which we've already established as the winner of E3's 5 annual Presentations, and their closer was one of the biggest reasons for that. Watch Dogs, a completely new I.P which many are assuming to be a next gen title despite it's supposed 2013 release, was easily the biggest surprise of the show for me, which is a surprise in itself because it's hard to be surprised by something you've never heard of, as opposed to a new sequel in a popular franchise. The surprise in Watch Dogs is both that we heard nothing in the way of leaks or rumours about it beforehand despite it clearly being a huge project, and the fact that it looks bloody amazing. Apparently, it's a sandbox game where you're able to hack into electronics such as phones, traffic lights and train systems and play merry havoc with the world around you. It's visually impressive, and with what seemed to be a unique multiplayer aspect to it, this really is one to watch...DAWG...sorry.
2nd Place - Beyond.
3rd Place - ZombiU.
Hoooooooooooooooooooly shit was this awesome! Yet another win for Ubisoft, who were clearly the best company in attendance this year, mainly due to their knack for being creative, which was most apparent in the above demo for the controversially leaked Rayman Legends, which had it not been leaked weeks beforehand, could have been a contender for Biggest Surprise. It certainly was a surprise to hear such an awesome looking sequel was landing so soon after Rayman Origins rocked the platforming world late last year. Anyway, whilst the whole game looks great, it was the musical level that wrapped up the demo which really blew both mine, and the collective minds of all the g1's watching it with me this year, it was just so fucking rad! Rayman Origins set the bar for visual and musical excellence last year and it's already clear that Legends is going to raise said bar to new heights, and I seriously can't wait to see more from this game later in the year when it's apparently planned for release.
2nd Place - South Park Shenanigans.
3rd Place - I LIKE FRENCH FOOD.
Oyyy...this game again. Yes, not only was this the worst game for me this E3, but also the worst moment, because frankly, there's nothing worse than seeing one of your most beloved franchises jump the shark live alongside millions of people. To be honest, from all the rumours (Which turned out to be leaks) I'd read beforehand, I'd already set my expectations low and my dread levels were sky-high. But even after all that I still felt like I'd just watched a baby seal being beaten to death with sacks of money whilst powerless to help it. Okay, so once again I state that for all I know this was just a really bad showing and the finished game could be exactly what I want, but the fact of the matter is this is an E3 Awards, not Game of the Year (Or Gimpy) and if it's E3 showing was piss poor, then that's all I can judge it from. The moment that trailer played, I knew EA's Conference was going to be a kick in the balls for me, and that is a truly awful moment indeed.
2nd Place - WONDERBOOK.
3rd Place - Nintendo Land.
Okay, so Spider-Man isn't really an "under the radar" franchise by any means, but it'd be fair to say that The Amazing Spider-Man game's first gameplay showing at E3 was not one of the more highly publicised titles of the show. This is a shame because, whilst far from perfect, this game is looking like it could be a ton of fun and I'm very excited to see Spidey back in an open-world environment, which is exactly where he belongs in my opinion. I think it's safe to say that I'm not the only one who bums Spider-Man 2 The Game, and the prospect of having a current-gen counterpart that supposedly combines some newly acrobatic and pulse-pounding web-slinging with combat mechanics akin to the brilliant Arkham games is a truly nerdgasmic one indeed. Throw in the rather sexy looking new Spider-Man getup, and the added enticement of unlocking full Spidey comics to read at your own pleasure as well as the random street crimes we all know and (some) love and you've got yourself a game that is looking mighty fine indeed, and one that certainly went under the radar at E3 this year, a poor marketing choice from Activision seeing as it comes out in 2 weeks.
2nd Place - Lego Lord of the Rings.
3rd Place - Aliens : Colonial Marines.
Seriously, where the fuck was BioShock Infinite? Having made appearances at the last two E3's (I think) and with its much delayed release supposedly coming before E3 2013 it seems very odd...nay, stupid of 2K Games to have absolutely nothing in the way of gameplay, demos or even bumper stickers to plug this highly anticipated title. I would go so far as to say it's suspicious that the game gave E3 a complete miss. Is something up with its development? I certainly hope not because it looks stunning, but after at least 5 years of development time and numerous delays on top of its absence this year, I'm starting to worry that Infinite may either be giving this generation a miss, or possibly ending up residing in development Hell for all of time. What we've seen from the game so far looks polished and ready for release, so what the Hell is going on? We certainly didn't find out at E3, which is most peculiar indeed.
2nd Place - INsane.
3rd Place - The Last Guardian.
I'm sorry, but like with what seems to be every Bethesda game, I just don't get the hype for Dishonored. The game, that's been getting a lot of attention at E3 just seems to be a rip-off of every iconic game franchise of the past decade with everything from Thief, Assassin's Creed, BioShock, Half Life 2, Fable and Deus Ex all seeming to be heavily borrowed or "Stolen" from. The main problem I have with the game is that this stupid combination of every popular game ever doesn't seem to work, in fact at times the game looks very silly for something trying to be mature and edgy. Wikipedia describes it as a "First Person Neo-Victorian/Steampunk Stealth Action Game", but I could give them a much easier genre title, I'd call it a "Clusterfuck". Pick a genre, or even two genres and go with it, having Victorian style guns and buildings makes no sense when you've then also got stupid looking mech's and clockwork gadgets everywhere. Okay, so the game may turn out to be good, but with Bethesda's track record of pleasing everyone but myself and what I've seen of the game so far, I am not interested, or impressed.
2nd Place - Ni No Kun, or Pi po Dun, or Need mo Cunt or whatever.
3rd Place - Sony Super Melee Smash Brawl Bros.
Artistically, Rayman Legends was the winner for this particular award, but, sadly, I was simply too blown away by the sheer detail and visual effects shown in the 10 minute demo of Watch Dogs for me not to give it this award. It doesn't help that I'm a sucker for grimy wet and arty looking things, but I think we can all agree that this game looks to be the bee's knees. How much of this is bullshit? I don't know. Ubisoft does have a history of making things look better in promotions than they do in real life (Red Steel, Raving Rabbids etc) but from what I could tell, this demo was played live on the stage by someone. I may be wrong on that but that leads me to believe that this game is going to look fucking gorgeous on whatever platform it ends up landing on. There are a lot of "HURR DURR" PC elitist shits who think that this demo was running on PC and that proves PC IS DA BEST YURRRH but we don't know what platform it's playing on, and we don't know what platform it's coming out for, regardless, this is a sexy game.
2nd Place - Rayman Legends.
3rd Place - Assassin's Creed 3.
Whilst it doesn't hold a candle to last years trailer for Assassin's Creed Revelations, which was not only my favourite trailer and moment of E3 2011, but also probably my favourite trailer of all time (OF ALL TIME), this was still a fucking epic trailer and once again rocked my socks off during Ubisoft's stellar Conference. Sure, it may be CGI, but Creed has a tradition of making mini-masterpieces like this for E3, a tradition which stretches all the way back to Assassin's Creed 2. Besides, it doesn't really matter if the trailer is CGI, if they then go on to show you how fucking amazing the game looks in action anyway. This is hard to write about because, as always, the proof is in the pudding above, but needless to say Assassin's Creed had the Best Trailer of E3 2012, like it probably has for the past 3 years.
2nd Place -Resident Evil 6.
3rd Place - Castlevania : Lords of Shadow 2.
1st Place - Ubisoft : 15 votes.
2nd Place - Sony : 4 votes.
3rd Place - Nintendo : 2 votes.
1st Place - EA : 11 Votes.
2nd Place - Microsoft : 5 Votes.
3rd Place - Nintendo : 3 Votes.
1st Place - Watch Dogs : 7 Votes.
2nd Place - The Last of Us : 4 Votes.
3rd Place - Rayman Legends : 3 Votes.
1st Place - Sing : 9 Votes.
2nd Place - Wonderbook : 6 Votes.
3rd Place - Nintendo Land : 2 Votes.
Well, huh, the People's Choice was as interesting as ever, clearly you guys hate dancing and wonderment. Still, it's your vote and I can't do anything about that, right as it may be. So, that's E3 all wrapped up for this year! Stay tuned for more Space Penguin, Desert Island Cartridges, Reviews (Indie Game : The Movie review coming soon), Lists and more! Later gators!