E3 2011 – Day 2 Roundup

As with yesterday, you can tune in to GameSpot’s Live Stage Show, where developers will be demoing their games. Day 2’s lineup is as follows (updated with video links): Mass Effect 3, Halo Anniversary, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Gears of War 3, Ace Combat Assault Horizon, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Need for Speed The Run, Asura’s Wrath, Starhawk, The Gunstringer, Ms. ‘Splosion Man, Sonic Generations, PixelJunk Eden, Pixeljunk Sidescroller, SSX, Zelda: Skyward Sword, Madden NFL 12, Fable: The Journey, Rage, Sly: Thieves in Time, Dance Central 2, FIFA Soccer 12, Forza Motorsport 4, Dragon’s Dogma, and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.

The show will be from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM PT or around 1 AM in Asian regions. You can catch the broadcast again subsequently, or jump in at any time and watch the previous segments. Again, there will also be Live Cams on the floor (1 and 2) and you can also submit questions and requests to the staff.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Hands-On Preview (PS3, Xbox 360)

(cont.) Those who hated the linearity in Final Fantasy XIII will appreciate the “new” approach for XIII-2. There will be various paths and combat options this time round, as well as multiple dialogue options for town NPCs, side quests and secret items. There will also be more minigames, although none were mentioned in detail so far. As shown in the trailer, you’ll get to play as Noel and Serah, with the battle system being pretty much that of XIII. Also as shown, there will be quick time events in cutscenes called Live Trigger. Whether you carry them out correctly or not will affect how the cutscenes play out. Although you won’t get a game over if you miss, the storyline may change depending on your actions (or lack thereof).

As you initiate battles a clock will appear, which lets you start the battle with a pre-emptive strike, normally, or with penalities depending on how you time your attacks. After you launch the attack there’s still the short pre-battle transition though. After defeating some enemies you’ll also be be able to collect crystals and use it to summon them as allies. You’ll also get to play as Lightning, of course, and she will start the game at a higher level than the other characters, being from the previous game. No mention if you’ll be able to carry over save games (I don’t suppose so) or if other characters from the previous game will be playable (probably not). The video before the jump/above has pretty much everything but you can also check out separate videos of a cutscene, boss fight and puzzle sequence. There’s also a video interview here. Oh, and the game will be out “early 2012” as opposed to the Winter 2011 window previously.

New Xbox 360 Dashboard Screens Released

Looks very much like the Windows Phone 7 layout, which is good because I like the clean, stylish look (which is also what you get in Zune, on the PC program at least). If only WP7 had the apps the iOS has…

Xbox 360 Dashboard

Coming this Fall.

E3 2011 Gaming Hardware & Accessories

Some interesting stuff here, like the Nyko Zoom for Kinect, which reduces the range by 40% (i.e. you’ll need a smaller space to play). There’s also a battery charger for PS3 controllers, various 3DS accessories, Razer’s Star Wars: The Old Republic set, and the Fling mini, which is Fling for iPhone/iPod Touch devices. Great for people who play FPS and other dual-stick games on the iPhone/iPod. I haven’t really played a lot of such because I could never quite get used to the touchscreen digital joystick. And for games like Death Rally, where you would have to constantly move your thumb left/right/up/down, playing for awhile makes my left thumb hurt.

Fling mini

Say goodbye to sore thumbs?

Wii U third-party montage actually Xbox 360, PS3, PC footage

I suppose this was kind of a given, given the lack of Wii U demo other than the “minigames” on the floor. Should be safe to assume they’ll at least look as good as current-gen games, if not better, when its released though.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Stage Demo (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Looks like a mix of Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead and Gears of War. Haven’t actually played other Resident Evil games (besides er, the iPhone port of Resident Evil 4), or horror-adventure games in general, so I’m pretty interested in this third-person shooter spin-off. Not quite sure how single-player (if any) will work (namely, if the AI is any good), but there will be 4-player co-op and 4-on-4 versus with one team playing as the Umbrella and the other as Spec Ops. With zombies in between, of course. You can get infected here, during which you will be in a pre-zombie phase where you are only damaged by head shots; ignored by other zombies; and when the timer ends you’ll become a full-fledged (AI-controlled) zombie who will attack the humans. Your teammates will have to kill you, after which you will respawn, or you will be able to cure yourself with anti-virals or if there’s a medic on your team. There will be 6 classes to choose from, each providing various benefits.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD Edition Hands-On (PS3, Xbox 360)

Another series I haven’t played (besides the Peace Walker PSP demo) so I’m also pretty interested in this. As mentioned previously, PSP gamers will be able to continue their progress between the PSP/PS3 versions. Co-op will also be included.

Forza Motorsport 4 Preview – Kinect Integration and Full Video Demo (Xbox 360)

There will be a car showroom feature which is accessible in-game normally (presumably), but if you have a Kinect you can control the view using your body. Shift your head and the camera will turn to show different perspectives; walk closer and the camera will zoom in etc. as though you’re looking at a real car. Check out the video below to see how it works in practice. Racing-wise, you can control the car with just your hands; the game will automatically accelerate/brake for you (although you can also brake manually by putting your foot out). You can also check out a previous preview, a video of driving with Kinect and the head-tracking feature.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 E3 2011 Stage Demo (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

This was from yesterday, but I haven’t watched it until now, somehow. As mentioned a billion times before, the game takes place after the events of Modern Warfare 2, and this time, Russia has taken the fight to New York (and other cities), which is where the demo starts off. Playing through the war-torn streets of New York definitely amps up the sense of war here. You’ll get to see the new ACOG/holographic sight switching in action, where you can pop the ACOG sight up/down when necessary. When it’s up it’ll be seeing through two sights at once. There’s also the previously mentioned 9-bang and the XM-25 grenade launcher; and the Reaper drone, an upgraded version of the Predator. Sounds like there will be more (as of yet unrevealed) non-ground combat stuff besides helicopter gunner and AC-130 action too. There’s also a video interview.

General Roundup

E3 2011: Day Two Wrap-Up

Activision Video Tour
EA Booth Tour
Koei Tecmo Booth Tour

Livecam 1 Day 1 Highlights 2012
Microsoft E3 2011 Booth Tour #2

Nintendo Video Tour
Sony Booth Tour #2

Square Enix Booth Tour

Tonight on the Spot – Konami MGS Panel

E3 2011 Conference Rundown Podcast Part 2

Rage 2 already planned, possibly “cross-generational”
Respawn sci-fi shooter hinted at by EA president

THQ’s Bilson talks Wii U, transmedia
Vita to be profitable within 3 years – Sony

Game Roundup

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Multiplayer Hands-On
Battlefield 3 Booth Interview
Blades of Time Preview Hands-On
Bodycount Interview with Game Director
Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 Impressions

The Darkness II Interview
Dark Souls Interview
Dark Souls Screens
Dead Rising 2: Off The Record
Dragon’s Dogma Updated Hands-On Preview
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim E3 2011: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Booth Interview
Hitman Absolution E3 2011 Interview
Lord of the Rings: War in the North E3 Demo Preview

Lord of the Rings: War in the North Booth Interview
No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise Preview Hands-On
Puddle First Look Preview
Rage Booth Interview

Resident Evil: Revelations First Look – Still Water
Silent Hill: Downpour Video Feature
Sonic Generations Hands-On Preview

SoulCalibur V Screens

XCOM – The Outsiders

Spotlight On: League of Legends (in Spectator Mode)

Wii/Wii U
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Preview

Wii U: Changing the Way You Play

Xbox 360
Dance Central 2 -Dance Off Gameplay Movie
Fruit Ninja Kinect Hands-on Preview
Gears of War 3 Horde Mode 2.0 Preview
Kinect Star Wars Interview
Rise of Nightmares – Pre and Post E3 2011 Demo and Interview
The Witcher 2 – Xbox 360 Preview Impressions

In other news…

I’ve changed the theme from Twenty Ten to Twenty Eleven, WordPress’ new theme, which is basically more of the same with great stuff added. Kinda like the Modern Warfare games. The first change you’ll probably notice is the larger header image. Which looks nice, but 1) I’ll have to re-size the previous headers and 2) You won’t be able to see as much on the front page without scrolling down. Though I suppose the latter isn’t much of a problem. The theme also features several post formats (Link, Status, Quote, Image), although I doubt I’ll be using them; a light/dark color scheme; custom link colors; and multiple layouts, although I won’t be needing that too; pull quotes; and a showcase page.

I like the featured posts section in the showcase page, although the rest of the posts only appear as one-liners, which I don’t like. When you click on a post the entry appears without a sidebar though. Looks cleaner since there’s only the article there, but you would have to go back to visit another page. Might be one of the reasons for me to switch back… although there’s also a random header image now. It works with the default images, but I’m not sure if you can upload multiple custom images for the random pool. I’ll try it out later. Or not. I changed it back to Twenty Ten, the reduced width in Eleven meant that I couldn’t put 4 screenshots in same line. Yeah.

With all the E3 buzz, Apple also announced the upcoming iOS 5 (well, this was a few days ago), which has come great features. Notifications, although personally I won’t really be needing it since I don’t get 10 messages, 20 missed calls, 30 Facebook notifications, 40 emails at the same time. Twitter integration, although I don’t use Twitter much besides checking out news. PC Free, now you’ll be able to sync and download updates wirelessly, which is great news. iMessage, which might just kill the need for Blackberries for some people who want it for BBM. Some of my friends have gotten Blackberries purely for the BBM feature, which was absent from iDevices (although I thought WhatsApp was good enough)… until now. Or later. Great news in general for iPhone/iPad users who message a lot. iCloud, definitely useful for people with multiple iDevices. Not that useful for me as well, since I only have an iPhone, and also, since it’s running out of space I handle syncing of music, photos etc. manually. Would definitely be useful if/when I get an iPad though. And a new iPhone (where’s iPhone 5?). Right now you can see your past app purchases at the App Store, which I haven’t tried since I haven’t updated my phone. Or at least, I suppose it requires an update. On the iTunes Store, you’ll be able to see which apps you’ve bought previously. Or specifically, apps you’ve purchased will be marked as downloaded so you won’t be able to download them again if they’re stored in your library.

Related Articles

E3 2011 – Pre E3 Roundup
E3 2011 – Microsoft Press Conference Roundup
E3 2011 – Microsoft, Sony, EA, Ubisoft Press Conferences and Event Roundups
E3 2011 – Nintendo Press Conference Roundup
E3 2011 – Day 1 Roundup
E3 2011 – Day 3 Roundup

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