E3 2010

E3 2010 highlights and announcements wrap-up

by GamingBits on June 25, 2010

in E3 2010

One week later and I’m still digesting tons of the E3 2010 news and announcements. Nintendo delivered a great new tech innovation with the Nintendo 3DS along with some Wii and 3DS games for Nintendo fans. Microsoft surprised many with the new Xbox 360 hardware redesign and the introduction of Kinect (Project Natal). Sony delivered on some amazing 3D and PlayStation Move games (like the surprise, Sorcery), as well as the much anticipated and rumored Twisted Metal on the PlayStation 3. There were also plenty of great looking games from EA, Square Enix, SEGA and more game publishers.

As this chapter of the Electronic Entertainment Expo is closed, here’s a rundown of some of GamingBits.com’s exclusive coverage and highlights from E3 2010:

Top 10 impressions from E3 2010.

Pictures from the E3 2010 show floor.

Nintendo 3DS impressions and 3DS game lineup.

Dungeon Siege III, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, MINDJACK and Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light impressions.

Conduit 2, Sonic Colors, Vanquish and Tournament of Legends impressions.

Mad Catz Rock Band 3 gear, Call of Duty: Black Ops Controllers, Gunnar gear and more.

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit impressions.

Two Worlds II and nail’d impressions.

TRON Evolution impressions.

Upcoming puzzle games for Nintendo DS and iPad from Mumbo Jumbo.

Nintendo E3 2010 Press Conference highlights.

Sony E3 2010 Press Conference highlights.

Microsoft E3 2010 Press Conference highlights.

Keep a lookout for follow-ups on these games and hardware announcements in the months to come, here on GamingBits.com!

See more E3 2010 announcements here.

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SouthPeak Games showcased several of its upcoming RPG, racing and even chess fantasy fighting games at E3 2010. I spent some time being introduced to SouthPeak Games’ Two Worlds II and their off-road racing game, nail’d. Here are some of my first impression on the games and what they’ll be offering you.

Two Worlds II demo impressions
Two Worlds II is an action-RPG headed to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in Fall 2010. I had a hard time getting into the first Two Worlds game, so part two is going to be a tougher sell. I’m pleased to say that Two Worlds II is looking, and playing, much better than the original. The environments, textures and enemies are looking vastly improved. In the gameplay demo I tried, the swampy area and its adjacent town looked like a nice dark and rich fantasy land to spend hours exploring.

In addition to the murky outside areas, I was given a preview of the interior of a tower or dungeon of some sort (see picture above). The atmosphere looked great, with dank stone structures highlighted by torches and candelabras. There will also be a high degree of customization, allowing you to tailor your character how you like to play. There are tons of spell concoctions you can come up with (such as calling upon multiple bursts of fire on your enemies). I couldn’t quite wrap my head around all the customization options and spell conjuring of the deep RPG in the limited time I had with Two Worlds II. I can imagine the game will ease you into all these options with the hours you’ll put into it. Whether you like playing as a mage or swordsman, you’re bound to find a character type you’ll like.

The action doesn’t stop with the single-player campaign. Some multiplayer online modes (like "Jewel Run") and downloadable content will extend the gameplay life of Two Worlds II. It’s already been hinted at that an upcoming DLC expansion will take place in a "floating island."

I was also told that Two Worlds II will be offered as a Collector’s Edition, which will include a figurine, map and more (such as exclusive content from retailers). It’s likely to appear at GameStop, so keep a lookout for it here. Specific details on the Two Worlds II Collector’s Edition are to be announced, but it could be anywhere from $69.99 to $79.99.

If you overlooked the first game in the series, definitely don’t let that deter you from checking out Two Worlds II. For more details and updates on Two Worlds II, visit the official website at www.twoworlds2.com.

nail’d demo impressions
is a vastly different game from Two Worlds II, but its also coming from SouthPeak Games. The off-road racing game will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in Winter 2010. Of course, one of the first things you’re likely wondering about is how this compares to the other recent off-road racer, Pure. nail’d feels like it goes at a bit higher speeds, and, if you can believe it, higher jumps (along with some scantly clad female racers). nail’d is less about pulling off tricks, and more about the speed.

There is also a crazy amount of alternate paths to race through. It definitely makes the tracks feel more open. You might come across some environmental hazards as well (like jigsaws and rings of fire). The sense of blistering speed comes across great in nail’d. Some of the characters looked very ragdoll-like when they crashed. nail’d could use a little more polish on some of the character models. If you can’t get enough of high-speed all-terrain vehicle and motorbike racing, nail’d should hit that spot.

For more details on nail’d, visit the official website at www.naildgame.com.

Thanks to SouthPeak Games’ Aubrey Norris for making these previews possible! Keep a lookout for more upcoming games at www.southpeakgames.com.

See more E3 2010 news from GamingBits.com here.

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There were hundreds of games for the hardcore players to check out at E3, but there were a few gems in the mix that should appeal to a larger audience, accessible to anyone who likes a challenge of the mind rather than fingers. Mumbo Jumbo was one such game publisher I met with at E3, with several new Nintendo DS games to show. These Nintendo DS games will start to be released this summer. I was given a hands-on preview of a few of their upcoming DS games, which should appeal to just about any gamer and make for some challenging gaming on the go.

Starting in Summer 2010, the following Nintendo DS games will be released by Mumbo Jumbo:

– 7 Wonders II
– Mahjong Journey: Quest For Tikal
– Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy
– Puzzle Expedition
– Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena

From these games, I had spent some time with a couple in particular: Puzzle Expedition and Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy.

Puzzle Expedition is a platform strategy game, where you must guide two characters through 100 different levels. The player takes turns guiding each of the characters to a portal (level exit) by pushing rocks, getting through platforms and other obstacles. The game challenges the player to think out the moves carefully. Hastiness will lead to your character getting trapped. Should you get stuck, the level will restart. A grid overlay system will allow you to plot your moves carefully. Puzzle Expedition looks like a nice challenge and brings a refreshing change to the puzzle/strategy game genre. Puzzle Expedition will also be released on the PC alongside the Nintendo DS release.

Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy is a "seek and find" game, which also features some adventure elements and, yes, even a story. Wrapped around the gothic graphical theme of Edgar Allan Poe, it brings a bit of a darker theme to the "seek and find" game genre (right up my alley!). Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy was previously released for the PC last fall, which you can try a demo of here. PC gamers can check out the second "Midnight Mysteries" game
which was just released, Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials. The Nintendo DS release of The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy has a zoom function to properly allow the player to search through the scene for hidden objects. It works nicely on the DS platform, and the graphics and animation are rich with gothic overtones. Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy should make for some fun late night gaming, anywhere you are. The Midnight Mysteries series will also be hitting the iPad within the next couple months, so make sure you seek it out there as well!

Keep a lookout for these brain challengers from Mumbo Jumbo on the Nintendo DS, with a few other games releases planned for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (including Luxor on the iPad). Expect some Mumbo Jumbo games to be available as DSiWare games from the DSi Shop as well (titles to be announced). Mumbo Jumbo worked with Nintendo on selecting some of their games best suited for digital download via the DSi Shop.

See more details on Mumbo Jumbo games at MumboJumbo.com.

Big thanks to Dawn McKenzie from Mumbo Jumbo for making the Nintendo DS game previews possible at E3!

See more E3 2010 news from GamingBits.com here.

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SEGA had a massive presence at E3 2010, with a wide variety of games being demonstrated on the E3 show floor. The games I had the opportunity to spend the most time with were Conduit 2, Sonic Colors, Vanquish and Tournament of Legends.

Although I admit I wish there were more Mature rated Wii games like SEGA previously offered with Mad World and House of the Dead Overkill, you should know by now that the Mature game market on the Wii didn’t fare too well. In fact, Tournament of Legends (formerly Gladiator A.D.) was one such game that was showcased at E3 which was toned down to a Teen rating in order to have a better chance in the Wii market.

Nonetheless, SEGA and its developers are continually evolving and learning from its previous releases. SEGA’s community is vocal, and SEGA’s Community Team and developers are very receptive to their fans. This means you can expect some nicely polished follow-ups to SEGA’s franchises. Read on below to learn more on some of the exciting games shown at E3 and what you can expect from SEGA in the months ahead.

Conduit 2 preview
Available for Wii in Winter 2010

High Voltage Software gave a hands-on multiplayer preview of Conduit 2 on the E3 show floor. One thing I was curious of right away was the new Wii MotionPlus controls being introduced. The Wii MotionPlus will allow for a bit better tracking and more open space of motion (you previous Conduit players may recall the screen shake that could happen when returning from a pause or losing battery power on the Wii Remote). Another new piece of hardware being introduced for Conduit 2 is PDP’s Headbanger Headset. The headset will finally make for improved multiplayer communication on the Wii. No more environmental woes with the Wii Speak.

Conduit 2’s multiplayer will support 2 to 12 players online with game types like Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Point Control and an "Invasion Mode" (like "Horde Mode" in Gears of War 2, where players combat waves of enemies). The multiplayer maps are based on some of the single-player environments and offer a nice variety of paths. During my multiplayer match, I found a few underground pathways, high up sniping points and even had a few spills on some unexpected paths beneath me. I had my fun burrowing through some pathways to reach a sniping point, or going invisible and unleashing a humiliating blow to unsuspecting opponents. The multiplayer gameplay was fast and the new environments looked like they will be a blast to play online. There will be a return of some previous maps from The Conduit. In the multiplayer game, you will have six different characters to choose from, each with six new skins.

There wasn’t much being revealed on the single-player game yet, but there were a few morsels dropped which should be exciting to Conduit fans. The story is being crafted by Jason L. Blair, who worked on the writing and drafts of other sci-fi FPS games like Borderlands and Prey. The single-player campaign in Conduit 2 picks up immediately after where The Conduit concluded. It’s unknown at this point whether Kevin Sorbo will be reprising his role in Conduit 2. Expect to see the return of the All Seeing Eye (A.S.E.). You can also look forward to bigger and more varied environments, which so far have been confirmed to include the original setting of Washington D.C., Oxford England, China, the Amazon, and even Atlantis. The campaign will feature at least 6 major environments. For those of you wondering if there will be a Collector’s Edition, as done with GameStop for The Conduit, it’s currently unknown (although I did try to find out!). Keep a lookout for more details on Conduit 2 to be unveiled by SEGA in the months to come prior to the Winter 2010 release.

Big thanks to Oscar Bustamante from High Voltage Software for the enthusiastic lowdown on Conduit 2!

See more details on Conduit 2 here at the official website.

See several screenshots from Conduit 2 below.

Sonic Colors preview
Available for Wii and DS in Holiday 2010

Sonic Colors was a pleasant surprise on both the Wii and DS. Just announced a couple of weeks prior to E3, this game captures Sonic’s spirit and speed in an all new style. The Wii version alternates between a 3D and a 2D (or 2.5D) view. It’s your goal to reach the end of each level as fast as possible, with a dizzying amount of alternate paths and bonus items whizzing by. This opens the game to plenty of playthroughs and exploration. The DS version is a 2D action game, with a cell shaded art style. I really enjoyed the gameplay level demonstrated, with a boss battle at the conclusion. The animated style and dual screen action looked (and played) excellent on the DS. This will be one Nintendo DS game I will be looking forward to. On both of the platforms, the sense of speed was well executed and the environments were vivid. If you’re a fan of Sonic, it looks like Sonic Colors will deliver. Keep a lookout for it in Holiday 2010.

See more details on Sonic Colors here at the official website.

See several screenshots from Sonic Colors below.

Vanquish preview:

Available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Winter 2010.

Wow, Platinum Games is really on a roll. After introducing us to fresh games like Bayonetta and Mad World, the developers at Platinum Games prove there is no shortage to their over-the-top creative vision for gamers. The third-person sci-fi action shooter is fast paced and very fun. Shinji Mikami (creator of Resident Evil series) is at the helm of Vanquish.

Vanquish is a visual and aural attack on the senses. The portion of the demo I played had me fending off a massive boss, who would launch hordes of missiles. Various turrets and ammo crates would help me to lay the lead into it, but it proved to be challenging. With the help of a few slow-motion sequences, sliding, and covering attacks, I was able to get its health down. A quick time cut sequence at the end had me literally shoving a huge rocket into the boss. Vanquish is looking excellent. You do not want to miss Vanquish when it hits the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

See several screenshots from Vanquish below.

See more details on Vanquish here at the official website.

Tournament of Legends preview:

Available for the Wii on July 6, 2010.

Tournament of Legends is the first game coming out of this batch of SEGA games, which is also from High Voltage Software. It’s an arena fighting game based on mythological creatures and characters. This is a Wii exclusive game, entering at a nice price of $29.99. The game supports local versus combat (not online), as well as a single-player story line. I can’t say the moves are intuitive, since it is motion-based combat with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, but after a couple of rounds you should start to get the hang of it. A few on-screen prompts guide you as well. Visually, this is a great looking fighting game. From the individual character models to the environments (which, by the way, come to life at times to distract your fight!). In between matches, you can patch up your armor before the next round, making you into a little smithy. It’s not required to do, but it was fun to frantically try to patch yourself up before the limited time expires (and seeing your opponent tap away as well). It keeps the adrenaline going between matches.

I couldn’t help but wonder what Tournament of Legends could have looked like if it was a mature rated release (under its previous name, Gladiator A.D.), but it looks like High Voltage Software have managed to come up with a much better looking and more colorful cast of fighters than what was previously shown. If you enjoy a friendly fighting game and making your challenger really workout to beat you, Tournament of Legends should be a fun diversion to break out with friends.

See several screenshots from Tournament of Legends below.

See more details on Tournament of Legends here at the official website.

Thanks to SEGA, Sandbox Strategies and High Voltage Software for making these game previews possible!

See more E3 2010 news from GamingBits.com here.

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Top 10 impressions from E3 2010

by GamingBits on June 22, 2010

in E3 2010

E3 2010 has come and gone, but not without leaving some memorable impressions. There was way too much to consume in just a few days time. Reflecting on the last week, there were definitely some announcements that left strong enough impressions. You can bet continued anticipation over the next few months before their release.

While Kinetic and PlayStation Move presented new possibilities for motion-based and immersive gaming, I was really more excited for the visual and technical evolution of 3D on the Nintendo 3DS and some of Sony’s 3D PS3 games. There also proved to be a strong evolution of some long running games and fan favorites. If I had to narrow down the top ten memorable gaming announcements from E3 2010, and what I would want you to keep on your radar, this would be it:

#1 – Nintendo 3DS unveiling and 3DS game lineup

Nintendo’s E3 press conference wrapped up with the unveiling of another feat for the next Nintendo DS. Although eager attendees were only given a couple of minutes with the Nintendo 3DS, the brief showing of Mario, Samus, Link and more Nintendo characters in 3D looked incredible, all without the need of any 3D glasses. Not since the Wii’s debut in 2006 were the lines at Nintendo’s E3 show floor so packed. Backing up the technological marvel is an impressive roster of games for just about anyone. From Zelda to Resident Evil to Metal Gear Solid, big franchises will be supporting the 3DS. See more on the Nintendo 3DS technical specs and 3DS games in development here.

#2 – Dead Space 2 gameplay presentation

How often to you get to sit in on a game demo on Unitologist Church pews? Visceral Games hosted an incredible showing of Dead Space 2 gameplay. The behind doors preview showed one of the most amazing environments in Dead Space 2, a Unitology Church. The gameplay looked solid, audio was intense and yes, it was scary (the attendee next to me jumped). Dead Space 2 is a game you don’t want to miss. If you haven’t played the original Dead Space, you have plenty of time to catch up before the January 25, 2011 release of Dead Space 2 on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Watch the official Dead Space 2 website for more.

#3 – Killzone 3 gameplay presented in 3D

Guerrilla Games presented Killzone 3 during Sony’s press conference using RealD 3D glasses. The perspective from a jet pack jumping across icy platforms with embers and snowflakes fluttering by looked astounding. The announcement that the 3D would be coupled with 100% PlayStation Move gameplay compatibility promises that Killzone 3 will be one of the most immerse sci-fi shooters to arrive in 2011. Keep a lookout for more on Killzone 3 here.

#4 – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword announced for Wii

Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto unveiled the next Zelda game for the Nintendo Wii to a screaming crowd. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will have improved controls over the original Wii Zelda game and support the Wii Motion Plus, as well as sporting a revamped look. Although the latter part of the demo was marred by technical glitches/interference, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be high on the list of Wii gamers when it is released in 2011. See more details on The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword here.

#5 – Dungeon Siege III behind doors presentation

Behind Square Enix’s E3 booth, Obsidian Entertainment was giving a little peek of its upcoming action-RPG for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, Dungeon Siege III. From what was shown, the graphics, lighting and gameplay all looked like an action-RPGers dream. Hopefully Square Enix and Obsidian Entertainment will bring more screenshots and gameplay footage to the public soon. For now, I can tell you that it’s looking like a richly woven fantasy (filled with loot) that you shouldn’t miss, regardless if you’ve played any of the games in the Dungeon Siege series. See more details on the Dungeon Siege III preview here.

#6 – Twisted Metal announced for PlayStation 3

Just before the conclusion of Sony’s E3 Press Conference, the big guns were rolled out on one of Sony’s beloved car combat franchises, Twisted Metal. Rolling out on stage in Sweet Tooth’s ride, David Jaffe finally came clean and gave a demo of the Twisted Metal PS3 game from Eat Sleep Play. Prepare for multiplayer mayhem in this much anticipated PS3 game. See more details here on the official Twisted Metal website.

#7 – Project Natal gets official Kinect name and game lineup announced

Kinect, the Xbox 360 motion sensor formerly known as "Project Natal," finally was named. Although the price wasn’t announced during the press conference, retailers have placed the price tag at $149.99 at the beefed-up looking (and performing) Wii Sensor Bar. Microsoft’s E3 Kinect game demo during the press conference felt very much like a Nintendo family-friendly motion gaming pitch. There were a couple of Kinect games announced that looked like they could be fun for seasoned gamers, such as the tentatively titled "Forza Kinect" and "Star Wars Kinect." For more details on Kinect, visit xbox.com.

#8 – Gabe Newell’s Portal 2 PlayStation 3 announcement at Sony E3 Press Conference

Valve Software’s Gabe Newell made a surprise showing at Sony’s E3 Press Conference. Those familiar with Gabe Newell’s outspoken criticism of the PlayStation 3 were probably most surprised with his on-stage appearance. This was to make the announcement that Portal 2 on the PlayStation 3 would be the "best version," which he confirmed would have Steam Cloud support on the PS3. Keep a lookout for more here on www.thinkwithportals.com.

#9 – GoldenEye 007 announced for Wii

Nintendo Wii gamers clearly got some of the most fan service, including this announcement for GoldenEye on the Wii. The first-person shooter makes a return, exclusively to Nintendo’s Wii system, from Activision. With multiplayer support, others will fear you as Jaws. See more details on GoldenEye 007 here.

#10 – Xbox 360 Hardware redesign and freebie for Microsoft E3 press conference attendees

Microsoft unveiled a new Xbox 360, which received a face-lift and a scaled down footprint. Ditched are the interchangeable faceplates in favor of a sleeker and glossy look that pays homage to the original Xbox. With built in WiFi and 250GB, hopefully this new Xbox 360 hardware proves bulletproof to the infamous red ring of death. See more details and pictures of the new Xbox 360 here. Media, enthusiasts and others who attended Microsoft’s E3 press conference were given the new Xbox 360 system. This would lead to hopes that other press conferences would give away hardware gaming swag, as demonstrated by someone sitting next to me at Nintendo’s E3 press conference. Alas, after he hastily patted down his seat following the Nintendo 3DS unveiling, we would soon find out it was not to be. And that leads us back to the #1 anticipated E3 announcement, the Nintendo 3DS.

See more E3 2010 news from GamingBits.com here.

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