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Shogun Gamer's Best of E3 Awards [E3 2010]

Now that there’s been a good week and a bit to digest the goings-on of E3 2010, the Shogun Gamer staff decided to sit down and discuss the event. One of our favourite things as gamers is competition, and as such every booth and game at E3 was competing for our attention. Here we highlight some of the best booths, companies, and games that E3 2010 had to offer. Of course there were plenty of games on the show-floor, and many that we didn’t get to make time with, but these titles represent the very best of what we saw as decided by those who were covering the show.

Best Conference

Seems like each year more and more companies offer up their own private press conference during the week of E3. Joining the “big three” this year were dev. houses: Konami, Ubisoft, and EA. So, of these power-house press conferences who reigned supreme? The votes were tabulated and Shogun Gamer is willing to declare the winner:

Nintendo

Corey: While I am often disappointed by Nintendo's franchises and announcements in recent years, I have to say I was really impressed at their ability to deliver an entertaining and exciting conference that was packed to the brim with announcements. Kudos for their opening skit too.

Wyatt: Nintendo simply took my breath away with lots of fan-boy love and the announcement of reboot after remake of classic titles. Did I mention the 3DS?

Casey: Nintendo provided the press conference we’ve been waiting on for the last few years. They rolled out all the “Triple A” franchises that we’ve been waiting on, and threw in a couple of huge surprises. The only disappointment I had was walking out of the theater realizing that I had been tricked into being excited for Goldeneye on the Wii.

Best Game

A category that is guaranteed to evoke controversy regardless of the selection that is made, no other was debated a thoroughly as this. In the end it came down to a few proud and passionate gamers that pressed points harder than others to sway the team over to a decision. The winner for best game of E3 2010 goes to:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Corey: It's rare that a game's action so perfectly parallels that of the pre-rendered cut-scene trailers. Deus Ex is shaping up to be a must play game with its superb graphics and over the top gameplay.

Casey: Deus Ex’s presentation at the Square Enix booth left me speechless… for a while. After I regained the power of speech I went about telling everyone how amazing it was, and why it should win for game of the year. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen… yet. We were however able to at least give it the award for best of show at E3 2010.

Biggest Surprise

E3 is famous for throwing curve-balls. While plenty of people out there devote their lives around exposing the secrets of E3 in the weeks leading up, there are always plenty of other surprises unleashed on the populous during the week of the show. While there were plenty of large surprises sprung on us this year, one did stand above the rest:

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Ian: We've heard murmurs of a new Kid Icarus game for a while with companies like Factor 5 supposedly at the helm. But it was nice to see the winged Pit pop-up at E3 in a game that looks like a technical showpiece of the Nintendo 3DS.

Wyatt: As much as Kid Icarus has been thrown at Nintendo as some “you have to remake”, it seemed it would never happen. Until now.

Best New Platform

While this one might seem like a gimme as Nintendo was the only one of the big three to showcase a new platform during the press conferences, there were plenty of other contenders on the floor. Even though Microsoft had a new Xbox, and plenty of third-party companies had new gear there wasn’t much debate on this one and the winner shocked absolutely no one:

Nintendo 3DS

Casey: This is something that we knew was coming, but had no idea what it would look like, work like, or have for software. The 3D camera has to be my favourite feature, but after going hands on I have to say the actual display is a little underwhelming.

Rob: This is pretty awesome. Pretty friggin' awesome. I was a sceptic like all of us, I had my doubts. You're going to be make us wear goofy glasses, aren't you, Nintendo? Seriously Nintendo, it's not funny anymore; just admit it. These are just repackaged unsold Virtual Boys. But then I saw the backlight... and it was pretty.

Corey: 3D without glasses seemed to be a gimmick, but Nintendo has once again set the stage in console development with the 3Ds. It actually looks really cool and works surprisingly well. It's exciting to see these kinds of developments actually happening.

Wyatt: Has to be the coolest tweak/next gen version of a platform I’ve ever seen. The 3Ds seemed as if it was a gimmick at first, but after hands-on and amazing testimonials, it’s best of show by far.

Best Action/Adventure

These games are becoming the next big thing for consoles. While plenty of people with cite FPS as the genre of choice for the majority of games, no one can argue the sheer quantity of Action/Adventure titles that have been coming out in recent years. With all these great games to choose from, who would emerge victorious?

Red Faction: Armageddon

Corey: Out of nowhere on our last day we were invited to watch gameplay for Red Faction: Armageddon. I had low expectations since I didn't like the recent Red Faction game very much, but then they showed us the magnetic gun and threw an entire building and its structural steel at an enemy. Want.

Casey: Red Faction has been a pretty reliable series so far, but nothing has looked as much fun as the latest title showcased at E3. The magnetic weapon that was showcased that lets you drop buildings on people… just mind-blowing with the amount of possibilities that it provides.

Best Sports Title

The Sports genre is saturated by long standing series that repeat early with newer and bigger advancements and ideas. Every now and again we see someone new step into the ring to try their hand at grabbing some of the rather wide birth of gamers. So which would it be this year, the return and advancement of a classic franchise… or something altogether new?

NBA Jam

Ian: EA has updated the classic arcade b-ball game in a pitch perfect Wii port. The on-court action is still fast and performing a flaming slam dunk feels extremely satisfying even if you're holding a Wiimote in your hands.

Casey: I’ve never been much for sports games, those that did draw me in were the arcade classics like Jam and Blitz. NBA Jam was one of my favourite sports games of all time. The ability to customize your player, fly ten feet in the air, and play with a ball set ablaze made it a gem that I spent a ridiculous amount of time on and I’m glad to see it coming back.

Best RPG

The RPG genre seems to be the one with the absolute most passionate of fans. While there was a bit of a split as each of us had our favourites on the floor from either returning franchises, or something new exciting that we wanted to highlight, the debate did settle on one title that we could all agree was a fantastic looking game:

Fallout: New Vegas

Wyatt: Um, it’s the next game after Fallout 3, but in Sin-City! What else is left to say?

Rob: I emphatically say YES to another helping of Fallout 3 but better. It may not have been the freshest game shown at E3 and may very well have just been a stew made from the leftovers over at Bethesda. However, Obsidian spiced up the years old game but good with all kinds of new ideas. Also, Fallout 3's relevance /has no/ expiration date, apply liberally.

Corey: Some people will want to cast Lightning Bolt against me for this, but I counter with STFU. It's very effective. I'm tired of turn based RPG and Fallout New Vegas has kept everything you loved from Fallout 3 and improved drastically on the gameplay mechanics and menu systems. Along with a new story, this is shaping up to be another home run title.

Best FPS

Ah the FPS, for years now it has been the most scrutinized in the world of console gaming. Whether you prefer over-the-top arcade action or realistic military shooters there’s a little something for all action fans in this genre. With such a deep market, there was plenty to choose from, but in the end only one could be crowned king:

RAGE

Corey: To be honest, I have not really been impressed with ID software. They are known for making great engines that set the bar (Doom 3) and then milking their historic franchises until their names alone burn your ears (Wolfenstein). Rage has once again set the bar, and to top it off...IS A NEW IP. A really slick looking IP too. The ID5 engine is looking amazing and I can't wait for RAGE to hit the shelves.

Casey: This has to be one of the best looking demos of the show. RAGE brings together everything I love about games like Borderlands and Fallout, and then ramps up graphics to a level I never thought possible on a console. RAGE is definitely one of the best games of the show, this was an easy pick.

Wyatt: Once again, my first impression was FAR FAR off on this one. Looking like a clone of recent wasteland FPS titles. Rage is the furthest from a rip-off, it’s raw, it’s smart, it’s inventive and surprisingly enough it’s new.

Best Racing

Racing is a genre that has witness a bit of a resurgence over the last year or so. There were new franchises stepping forwards to take the center stage like ModNation, Blur, and Split/Second while we eagerly awaited for new Sim franchises like Gran Turismo and Forza. So who would take first in the race for Shogun’s best of E3?

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Casey: HOLY $#!T! This was a title that I have wanted to see releases for such a long period of time now that I’d gone through every stage of grieving in its loss already. To see a trailer for Need for Speed appear at E3 this year was quite possibly one of my favourite E3 moments EVER. Yes, I love the franchise THAT MUCH.

Wyatt: By far my favourite racing title ever (the original that is) and now with a re-skin and full re-vamp, this re-make is looking pretty sexy.

Best Fighter

Fighters are not unlike the RPGs. There are people that are willing to fight for the death to defend their favourite titles. Technical fighters will call out arcade titles, and arcade fanatics will drop gloves at the mere mention of anything against their beloved genre. With so much controversy it’s hard to pick a side without catching the wrath of someone, but we did come together in the end:

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

Ian: MvC3 gets the best fighting game nod simply because you can pit Dante against Deadpool. ‘Nuff said.

Casey: Firstly, it needs to be said. There was no blue and gold Iron Man playable on the floor. That right away gave it fighter of show for me. Aside from the color issues being resolved, the game plays just like I wanted it to, and looks way better than I had hoped. This will definitely be where I settle all my debates for the foreseeable future.

Wyatt: It’s been 8 years since the second MVC title; we’ve all waited long enough.

Corey: Marvel VS Capcom 2, but with new amazing characters and in beautiful HD 3D. Oh, and Dead Pool moonwalks when he walks backwards. ‘Nuff said.

Best of Nintendo

Now we get down to the nitty-gritty, the best of each of the three platforms. Nintendo had a ton of new and returning franchises on parade at their press conference and playable on the floor, with so many to choose from this category took quite a bit of whittling down but eventually we reached consensus on the best of the bunch:

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

Ian: Nintendo usually likes to stay in a comfort zone when it comes to their core franchises but Kirby is certainly taking a different route. With a surprising art style Kirby's Wii debut proves that Nintendo isn't resting on their laurels.

Casey: This is another one of those announcements where I started to wonder if this year’s E3 was built just for me. I’m a huge fan of Kirby, and I’ve been stuck waiting on a return to the side-scrolling platform of old. Kirby’s Epic Yarn brings back what I love, and offers a new twist to and old stand-by.

Best of Microsoft

Microsoft this year felt a little like a company divided. On one hand were the casual market games focused on the new generation of gamers with the Kinect and a series of party-styled games. On the other hand we had a return of some major franchises and the births of new hard-core style games. In the end though, only one could win:

Kinectimals

Wyatt: My landlords won’t let me have pets, enough said.

Ian: You can pet a cute adorable Tiger in first-person view via the wonder of motion control. $150 purchase of Kinetic justified!

Casey: Wait… what? Really, we’re going with Kinetimals? Stupid democracy…

But seriously:

Gears of War 3

Corey: It was either this or Kinectimals. Plus...chainsaw guns...So stay tuned for Gears 3.

Casey: Gears is one of the strongest series around. I’ve known people that converted consoles just for the pleasure of this one. After the end of Gears 2, I can’t wait to see what’s next for the dynamic duo… er… quartet now I guess? Gears 3 is looking bigger, better, and sharper than ever.

Best of Sony

Sony seems to be walking the line this year. The blend of motion control games without leaving the hard-core out in the cold is an interesting strategy but will it pay off? With 3D games, motion control games, casual and hard-core all in tow picking a favourite was no small feat:

Little Big Planet 2

Corey: LPB was a great idea, but the new ability to make games (not just levels) is mind blowing. The value you're getting out of this title and the endless brilliant user content is going to set the bar for user generated worlds. In addition to adding the Sony Move to enhance item creation, this is a game that simply must be acknowledged.

Casey: Little Big Planet 2 surprised me with how drastically different it was from the first game. They don’t even seem like they are in the same league, and yet they share a title. The amount of customization you can do with LBP2 is just insane, and I cannot wait to see what the world comes up with for me to play when the game releases.

Best Booth

After an unfortunate turn down on the crazy of E3 within the last couple of years, E3 was back in full swing this year. That meant big sound, big events, and lots of booth babes to entice us into seeing the latest and greatest video games. With so many companies vying for attention, who was it that made the biggest splash?

Lucha Libre: Heroes Del Ring!

Corey: THEY HAD A F*CKING WRESTLING RING AND A LIVE LUCHA WRESTLING MATCH!? OMFG.

Casey: I really think Corey has hit the nail on the head with this one. Lucha Libre’s booth was hands down the craziest most amazing thing at the show, plus we all got sick wrestling masks for swag!

Rob: Oh mans. I don't know what entity held the title of Bad-awesomest booth at E3 till now, but Lucha Lubre just took your crown (belt?)! Dudes in elaborate masks defying gravity as they flip around the ring clothespinning each other is something everyone should see.

Best New IP

One of the best things about working in this industry is getting to see the newest and freshest games before anyone else. New IPs are where we really get excited, though we may have fanboy chubbies for returning series, new IPs are the bread and butter of our world. So with so many new and shiny franchises, which would reign supreme?

Brink

Wyatt: Brink fills all of the gaps that seem to have been forgotten in FPS games, MOVEMENT. I am so stoked for this game and it looks gorgeous.

Corey: Brink’s stylish visuals and unique gameplay are reminiscent of Mirrors Edge. But with more violence, so you know I'm in.

Casey: It’s like a beautiful baby made of some sexy game orgy. Mirror’s Edge, Team Fortress, Borderlands, and a dozen other games lend it some solid ideas. When it comes together though Brink is uniquely its own game.

Best Returning IP

Finally we come to our last category for E3 2010. These are games that have been around the circuit once or twice in the past, but have surprised us by becoming new again. Returns to classic favourites were a huge part of this year’s show, and that made this hard to call. At the end of the day though one did manage to push itself to the front of the pack:

Twisted Metal

Ian: It may not have entirely been a surprise but seeing good old Sweet Tooth appear on the PS3 was definitely a sweet moment for most gamers.  Twisted Metal wasn't just a nostalgia trip though at the gameplay and visuals were tight and the promise of intense online battles is definitely an exciting prospect.

Casey: With this and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit returning this year, it really was a great first E3 for me. I love Twisted Metal and I have been complaining for years about its disappearance. Finally we have a new Twisted Metal game to get excited about!

 

And there you have it! The best of the best from E3 2010. While there are plenty of games that we would have loved to see represented and promoted, and perhaps there will be some sore feelings for the next little while about favourites falling by the way-side.

As always our intent is to start a discussion and get you thinking, so which were your favourites from the show?