Newsarama's BEST OF E3 2010

E3 2010 has come and gone. We've given you lots of coverage on individual games and publishers we saw there, and have a bit more on the way still, but wanted to take a break from all of that and tell you what in particular you should be excited about. From exclusives, to new technology, industry stalwarts to brand new properties. So sit back, relax, and prepare to drool as we tell you what Newsarama's best of the best were at E3 2010.

    Best PS3 Exclusive

Seth:

Scott Pilgrim: The Game  This is just a timed exclusive, but still a big deal for PS3 gamers. More than just a comic book video game tied to the release of a movie adaptation, the Scott Pilgrim game isn’t just four player co-op fun, it has the rare feeling of being a game created by gamers for gamers.  Its all-star line up of River City Ransom style gameplay, sharp pixel art and chiptune soundtrack shows that everyone involved with it has a real love of gaming and the individual media that it is composed of.  Scott Pilgrim: The Game looks to be a cross generation title not in the way that motion controlled games seek to get mom and grandpa involved, but instead to link generations of core gamers together. It’s fun too.

Lucas:

MotorStorm Apocalypse (3D) Man did this ever take me by surprise. I was not at all sold on 3D gaming before my Sony showcase tour. It seemed like an unnecessary gimmick that would never catch on, from price to convenience (who wants to wear extra glasses while gaming?!). Then I was sat down in front of this racing game. I don't really play a ton of racing games and don't have a lot of experience with MotorStorm as a series. Regardless, I started playing with these crazy 3D glasses on, and everything about it blew me away. The added depth gives a much stronger sense of speed to the game. Buildings are crumbling all around you, and things like crashes, bumps, and large chunks of concrete and metal slamming onto the hood of your car are so much more visceral with the new technology. An early build, this game played smoother than a lot of finished products, and just looked so beautiful. It takes about 15 seconds with this game to sell you on 3D. Now if only Sony would send me one of those gorgeous 3D Bravias so I can properly review their games...

    Best Xbox 360 Exclusive

Seth:

Untitled Star Wars Kinect Game   It might have a very long way to go in development, but Untitled Star Wars Kinect Game will fulfill the Force wielding Jedi fantasies that most gamers have had all their lives.  Just a few disjointed seconds became the Kinect debut night’s leading take away, even over the events of the bizarre Cirque du Soleil presentation.

Lucas:

Untitled Star Wars Kinect Game Gotta agree with Seth here. There are a lot of really fun looking (and playing) Xbox 360 exclusives on the way. Halo: Reach plays so far like the best of the series. Many Kinect titles show a ton of promise (more on that later). But nothing made me jump up and shout in joy like seeing a guy standing in front of a screen, flicking his wrist for his light saber to activate, then spinning it around in perfect conjunction with his movements. Well, nothing except when he then reached forward quickly with his left hand, sending a stormtrooper flying with the power of the Force. The graphics were a wee bit underwhelming, but honestly, for 1:1 lightsaber and Force wielding action, you could practically give me vector graphics and I'd be happy. This is one I'll be watching like a hawk and waiting for on the edge of my seat. In the meantime, fans have , , and to keep them company in the closer future.

    Best Wii Exclusive

Seth:

Lost in Shadow   Shadows in gaming have always been little more than graphical after-touches, but in Lost in Shadow has an entire game world built and left untouched save for the shadows it casts.  This Wii platformer challenges the player to concentrate solely on the background of the game, where a young boy, reduced to just his shadow, seeks to reclaim his physical body.  In the shadow world, a slight shift in light turns a small crack into a deadly gap or a simple picket fence into a spiked pit, and no matter how hard you try you will still accidentally look into the foreground, get yourself killed, and love it.

Lucas:

Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Video Game OK, so super long and cumbersome title. That aside, this game was just so much glorious old-school fun. It's not the most technically good, or pretty, or innovative game. But the combination of the show's humor (written by the actual show writers), and the ability to control not only Batman, but others like Robin and Guy Gardner Green Lantern made me feel like a kid again in a way not enough games do. With Lost in Shadow, Conduit 2, Metroid: Other M, Goldeneye, Donkey Kong, and Disney Epic Mickey, this was NOT an easy category to give a "#1" to. Ultimately, outright fun won out, and really, isn't that what gaming is all about? Regardless, it looks like this is a year where the Wii won't be collecting much, if any, dust for hardcore or casual gamers alike.

    Best Portable Game

Seth:

Kid Icarus: Rising  After almost twenty years in title role exile, Pit is ready to make a comeback in a big way.  This triple-A launch title designed by the minds behind Super Smash Bros. Brawl looks to be the killer app for the Nintendo 3DS. Kid Icarus: Rising sticks close to the ancient but unforgotten Kid Icarus canon, including the dreaded Eggplant Wizard.

Lucas:

Kid Icarus: Rising Again we agree, and this one is simple. The trailer for this game, made entirely of gameplay, looked like a trailer for a Wii game. The sheer graphical capability of the Nintendo 3DS alone makes me super excited for the new handheld. Then going and watching the trailer play on the 3DS, with the same fidelity, and in 3D without glasses, it was clear that when this game and system does come out, there will be a LOT of conversation about it. I was just glad to get into the conversation early.

    Best Shooter

Seth:

Hard Corps: Uprising (working title)   Side scrolling shooters have been dominated by the Metal Slug series for years, but Hard Corps: Uprising from Konami looks to expand on a seemingly simple game concept.  Sharp animations, exciting co-op play, tight controls and even cut-scenes animated by the legendary anime producer STUDIO4°C, this downloadable title seeks to launch a new franchise.

Lucas:

Killzone 3 (3D) Yup, another surprise for me. I wasn't blown away by Killzone 2, with some oddly slow spots, a ridiculously anti-climactic final boss fight, and a bit short of a campaign. Sitting and playing this game in 3D again strengthened my 3D resolve, and made it clear that this final part of the Helghast trilogy is bringing the pain. Again, depth is key for shooters; distance is longer when you feel like you're actually traveling it. Aiming, for someone who has actually fired a gun or rifle, is actually easier with the added depth as well. The game, in early stages and not due out till next year, was also notably faster than the previous installment. Lush outdoor forest areas were a nice addition to the endless ruins of the previous chapter as well. This will be the game you take out to show friends just how damn pretty 3D can be on your PS3.

    Best Sequel

Seth:

Kirby’s Epic Yarn   A good sequel doesn’t just bring back beloved characters, but uses them in new and interesting ways. Just when you think one of the most beloved and proven versatile characters couldn’t bring anything new, he manages to change and stay the same simultaneously.  In Epic Yarn, Kirby is robbed of its inhaling powers with his new pink yarn body, but can still stretch and transform himself into both familiar and brand new (like a giant yarn Kirby mecha) to navigate a cleverly constructed fabric world.  

Lucas:

Shogun: Total War 2 Now I have a bit of a caveat here. I never played the first one. I've seen it played, and seen plenty about it. I've played a few of the other Total War games and had fun with the strategy and massive battles. This game, one of the last I saw in a closed-door appointment at the show, stayed with me stronger than many others. It's one I tell people about in casual conversation, and a definite stand out. With gorgeous new graphics, tons of new battle modes and options, more historical accuracy than ever before, and a period of history that's a personal favorite (medieval Japan), this is a game I may just upgrade my dusty PC for, just so I can see it in all its pretty glory.

    Best New IP

Seth:

Vanquish   Half Gears of War, half Bayonetta and the child of Resident Evil, this third person shooter brings visuals, animations and wild combat to a sci-fi setting.  The demo levels show a lot of promise as your player character, clad in what could be called an acrobatic, nanite-infused Japanese take on the War Machine armor, leads of squad of Marines against the robot legions of Russia in deep space.  

Lucas:

RAGE There wasn't a ton of new IP at this year's show, with publishers largely focusing on existing franchises and improving on older formulas. RAGE, from ID and Bethesda, however, is definitely something new. The game takes the basic RPG/Shooter formula from Fallout 3, adds much stronger direct shooting components, an amazing invention system, a brighter and more engaging world, and somehow pulls off all those things at once. We only got to see a developer walk through, but that actually worked well for the game. It was very cinematic in nature; something that seemed it would fit on screen quite nicely whether as an observer or as a player interacting with the world. The steampunk style to objects, weapons, and vehicles is quite welcomed in the apocalyptic western setting. And dang is it nice to see some sunlight and colors in one of these games.

    Best Music Game

Seth:

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock   Activision is looking to breathe new life into a rapidly stagnating genre with a title that discards points for a single and/or multiplayer Rock adventure.  The new GH includes a backwards compatible, intra-song challenge system that features  Call of Duty style XP unlocks to power up your chosen Guitar ‘Hero.’  A new piano can’t match a title that looks to put the game back into music games.  

Lucas:

Dance Central I went to E3 2010 fully expecting Rock Band 3 to be my new favorite music game, and it's great fun. Harmonix, the developer behind the series, had a different surprise for me though. Dance Central is a title coming to Microsoft Xbox360 Kinect that is exactly what it sounds like, a full-featured dancing game. You don't hold anything, you don't step on specific squares on a mat, you just dance. The moves scroll up on one side as you and your avatar perform them. There are full routines pulled directly from the music videos (like Bel Biv Devoe's "Poison") and original routines as well. There's a nice step-by-step "breakdown" mode that even teaches you to dance. This game was fun, different, and shows exactly why Kinect will be a cool motion control system.

    Best Sports Game

Seth:

The Fight   After a brief calibration of its required pair of sphere-topped Sony Move controllers, The Fight puts you in full control of the fists of an underground boxer who will translate your physical punch cues almost exactly, allowing you to perform moves from quick body jabs to overhand haymakers.  You can also use your arms to push around and manipulate your opponents to create openings.  It looks like a great way to exercise your body (and exorcize your rage) with the added promise of virtual boxing lessons from movie and real-life tough guy Danny Trejo.

Lucas:

Madden 11 I am a Madden fan, but typically not an every-year-upgrade one. With the simplified play-calling that somehow also adds a more complex and deep system for advanced players simultaneously, this is a radically different Madden Football game from any prior version. I'm excited to re-build my playbook and have more diverse control of my Chicago Bears than ever before, and playing quick online and same-room games will make that much more appealing. 3v3 co-op online play is pretty amazing, too, and should make for some great trash-talking frustrated-shouting moments.

    Best New Tech

Seth:

Nintendo 3DS   Overcoming the “glasses issue” is the ultimate barrier to 3D gaming taking full hold.  Nintendo’s portable platform, with its relatively small DS top screen, found a way around the issue and straight into awesome.  As Nintendo of America’s President Reggie Fils-Aime said himself at their press conference, there’s no good way to describe how it looks, but if you have ever seen how the images seem to pop off a really well done lenticular print, then you’re close to understanding the 3DS visual impact.

Lucas:

3D on PlayStation 3 Well this shouldn't be much of a surprise if you read my other awards. Playing baseball, racing cars, shooting alien hordes, and fighting hand-to-hand bare-knuckle boxing matches has never been this cool. A part of me wishes I had never gotten to try any of these games, because it will admittedly cost a lot of money to enter into this new world of gaming. It's not something that will be necessary or even good for every game. I have no desire to play a LEGO game or a Karaoke game in 3D, for example. But with a lot of these action packed games, and often combined with PlayStation Move motion controls, this is going to be an awesome new era of games, and something that extends the life of the PS3 greatly. Time to start saving up for that 3D TV and extra couple pairs of glasses, cause surprisingly, it looks like the experience will actually be worth it.

    E3 Best of Show

Seth:

Child of Eden This ‘spiritual successor’ of trance shooter Rez looks to deliver a full-body version (via the Kinect and Move) of the kind of game that you can play for hours without sleep, food or even the perception of time passing.  It is even likely to sell to gamers the need for a larger television just so they can expand their experience.  A combination of beauty and gameplay simplicity looks to make Child of Eden an instant classic.

Lucas:

Nintendo (and friends) Nintendo quite simply came to play this year. New games in nearly every one of their popular franchises, including long-lost ones like Kid Icarus. New hardware with the 3DS that was surprising in many ways despite early leaks. 3rd party exclusives, a seemingly dying breed, still present in a big way, unlike the other console manufacturers for the most part. More games for "core" gamers than other presentations at their big press conference. Nintendo doesn't have the prettiest system or the flashiest presentation, but they have amazing franchises, loyal third parties, and a comfortable lead that lets them try some new things, too.

Attend? Didn't go? What were your favorites from E3 2010?

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