Best and Worst of E3 2012 as chosen by Capsule Computers Editors

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E3 2012 has certainly been one to remember and as such we here at Capsule Computers thought it productive to compile our opinions on the Best and Worst things that this years event had to offer. Some things wowed us, others made us cringe, some made us want to go on a murderous rampage and others made us want to engage in sexual acts with our hands (okay maybe that was just Linkage), but it was without a doubt a show we won’t forget any time soon. So without further adieu here is our Best and Worst of E3 2012:

Ben ‘Linkage’ Webb:

Best Game:
Watch Dogs (Ubisoft) – This game took me completely by surprise. I mean, at the time, not a single significant new IP had been shown at the entirety of E3 and it was beginning to look like a another year of shameless sequels and cash-grabs (EA). But instead, the masters of leaks managed to keep a tight-lid on this particular title which seems to be focused on cyber-crime and some kind of mystery. I was completely blown away by the title and am looking forward to seeing more of this game.

Worst Game:
Usher (Microsoft) – Why was usher even there? All he did was talk about promoting his single and I am still uncertain as to whether or not he was there to promote a particular game, or his own game. Microsoft, I think this is one franchise you can let go of.

Best Moment:
Getting sleep finally – After almost two full days of non-stop coverage and video editing I was finally able to get some sleep. This was important as sleep is a required state for the mind and body for some reason. If I could operate without sleep, I would, But I cannot and so I look forward to those times where I can rest.

Worst Moment:
Microsofts Entire Conference (Microsoft) – This has had to have been the worst conference from a developer in years. They completely misunderstood their audience and as a result, they were forced through an hour and a half of what felt like a paid commercial for Nike and Usher. Next year Microsoft, suck less dicks.

Who ‘Won’ E3?:
Me. Or Nintendo. Whomever you prefer.

Philip Federico:

Best Game:
RESIDENT EVIL 6 (Capcom)

Worst Game:
Luigi’s Ghost Mansion (Nintendo Land)

Best Moment:
Meeting Jessica Nigri – Lollipop Chainsaw Cosplay model!

Worst Moment:
Having to watch 5+ presentation on how Luigi Ghost Mansion worked.

Who ‘Won’ E3?
Ubisoft. Best booth and best games. Best.

Jed Bradshaw:

Best Game:
Halo 4 – Spartan Ops is part of the revolution of gaming that has been in the process for the past few years.  This feature will keep players engaged, and offer meaningful content for awhile after release.  In addition, it will unify the Halo Universe and set an example for future games looking to expand their presence after launch.  I can only hope that publishers and developers integrate this kind of online pass model in their games instead of the cheap, rip-offs ones that are so prevalent in EA games.

Worst Game:
NBA Baller Beats – Really? Who is going to bounce a basketball in their living room on the carpet.  To be fair, I didn’t play the game, and I don’t know if you can play without a B-Ball, but from what I can tell, this game is so flippin’ weird and awkward.

Best Moment:
Tomb Raider Demo – This was undoubtedly one of the most amazing demos and trailers to come out of E3. Laura is a completely awesome character and I can’t wait to experience this amazing, mature departure from her traditional gameplay style.

Worst Moment:
Wonderbooks during Sony Conference – This was so awkward: watching a grown woman continuously failing to get the Move to work right while everyone in the audience cringed. The entire Wonderbooks presentation was so awkward and forced.

Who ‘Won’ E3?:
Microsoft – Halo 4. Call of Duty. Tomb Raider. South Park, with freakin’ live appearances by Trey Parker and Matt Stone! Dance Central 3 with a live performance (the dancing was a lot better if you were in the audience).  Smart Glass is something really cool for techies.

Michael ‘Spike’ Marr:

Best Game:
Unfortunately alot of potential titles I had HOPED to see were not present, but I have to give my thumbs up to Fall of Cybertron and Halo 4. Both are the next instalments in franchises I have alot of faith in, and all of the information shown on both have peaked my interest.

Worst Game:
3 games in fact: Fifa 13, Madden 13 and Cod BlOps 2. Same as usual re-releases from EA and Activision that add absolutely NOTHING to either the franchises and the wider gaming industry. And yet they’re still best sellers…

Best Moment:
Trey Parker and Matt Stone stepping up onto the stage to present the South Park game, all whilst taking the piss out of Microsoft’s entire conference beforehand. That little bit of humor in an otherwise dull presentation brought a little bit of life back to the conference and restored some of my faith in the industry.

Worst Moment:
Worst 45 moments more like in the whole time it took for Microsoft to go through all of the integration features and dashboard updates before another quality title was even mentioned. NO EA SPORTS GAMES DO NOT COUNT.

Who ‘Won’ E3?:
The super-casual gaming audience… -_-. But in all seriousness, Nintendo, because they showed actual GAMES in their 2 conferences.

Matt Vella:

Best Game:
Wii Fit U – As much as I loved Pikmin 3, Zombie U and Watch Dogs, the game that probably impressed me the most was Wii Fit U. Wii Fit U sets a perfect example of what a sequel should be – not just improve on every aspect, but to take everything you know about it another 10 steps further. The use of the new Gamepad now means not only more different types of exercises but also now you can exercise with out the big screen, which will open up the market to many more people. Nintendo took yet ANOTHER step further with Wii Fit U by also including a pedometer, which means you can play Wii Fit U and record data for it even when not playing the game. It’s the same ideology Microsoft has with the iPhone stuff – take the game outside the game. But Nintendo is doing it much more effectively here for Wii U Fit. This may not be a hardcore game, but this will definitely sell A LOT of copies and do exactly what Nintendo’s Wii U is meant to do: bring people together.

Worst Game:
Shootmania – Why the hell was this game shown at a conference? Graphics look like a PlayStation one and the gameplay is nothing new, original or even interesting. The only reason they had people playing the game to show live game footage was because it’d be impossible to make that title appear even remotely interesting in a trailer. This game looks like shovel ware, why the hell is this being pushed so hard is beyond me.

Best Moment:
Matt Stone & Trey Parker promoting South Park. Unlike so many confrence speakers you really felt liek you could relate to these guys. Best of all, Parker wasn’t afraid to let Microsoft know that nobody gives a damn about their dumb sync-ing crap. “How many times have you been watching an episode of South Park and thought I would like to watch this on my television while hooked up to my mobile device which is being controlled by my tablet device which is hooked up to my oven all while sitting in the refrigerator?”  Come on, that’s the best question ever asked at an E3. Ever.

Worst Moment:
EA’s disappointing showcase.  All they announced was DLC which just means we have to pay more money for games we already own and Smartphone applications which while interesting, aren’t going to take my breath away. What frustrated me most however is how Medal of Honour now looks like a Battlefield 3 clone. EA, please calm down on the First Person Shooters, your over doing them mate. The most impressive thing EA probably did this year was the Kinect features for the latest installments of FIFA and NFL, but that wasn’t even mentioned at their own conference. Instead, they left their most impressive announcement to the Microsoft conference, making theirs seems pretty lackluster compared to what we know EA is capable of.

Who ‘Won’ E3?:
Ubisoft easily had the most engaging conference this year. They let the games sell themselves and cut the crap with the talking. Ubisoft had a number of entertaining jokes and cut out all the boring stuff we didn’t want to hear such as social media crap, tablet/mobile crap and sales crap. They used celebrities but didn’t milk them and displayed a number of unexpected and impressive titles. Splinter Cell rules, Assassin’s Creed rules, Rayman rules, Zombie U rules, Watch Dogs is freaking amazing. I’ve probably missed out on other amazing titles but that just goes to show how awesome Ubisoft’s conference was because my brain simply can’t handle it all.

Michael ‘Irvo’ Irving:

Best Game:
ZombiU – Although pre-E3 I had a lot to be excited about in Nintendo’s lineupthe game I’m all of a sudden keenest for is ZombiU. The trailers make it looks like a classic zombie survival-horror game, with fantastic visuals and gore galore. It’s so far out of Nintendo’s comfort zone that those accusing the company of focusing on the casual market can eat their hats.

It makes very interesting use of the GamePad’s capabilities: the touch screen can become a motion scanner, a door hacking device, your inventory, a sniper scope, and anything else you’ll need to survive. The multiplayer mode has one player with a top-down view of the level on the GamePad, who can spawn waves of zombies to send at the opponents, who are fighting them off in split-screen first-person mode on the TV. This is the much hyped “Asymmetrical gameplay” at work.

Also, the tagline “How long will you survive?” is more apt than first expected: if your character dies, they’re gone. You lose all your stuff, and start over as another character somewhere else in the city. If you want it back, you have to hunt down and kill the zombified version of your previous character. That’s just awesome.

Being the first “hardcore” game available at launch should entice many to pick up a Wii U on day one. I know I will.

Worst Game:
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Does anyone still give a rat’s arse? At all? I’m serious, it’s completely beyond me why these games still sell.

Best Moment:
Trey Parker & Matt Stone’s surprise appearance. I love South Park, and the new RPG had me crazily excited. But for some reason I forgot about it when E3 started, so it was a huge and pleasant surprise for me when Matt and Trey walked out to promote the game, The Stick of Truth. Their banter was refreshingly casualafter all that seriousness of the presentation so far. I can’t wait to get my hands on the game: if only it hadn’t been delayed till March 2013.

Worst Moment:
Why the hell was Usher at Microsoft’s conference? Having him “perform” a full song (the term “perform” is used lightly: pretty sure he was lip-syncing anyway), it felt more like an ad for his new single than an ad for Just Get Up and Dance Star Party Central 43 or whatever the game was. Gamers don’t care about Usher. In future, Microsoft need to research their celebrity guests before handing them the ol’ dollar-sign sack.

Who “Won” E3?:
I loved what Nintendo had to show. Go ahead, call me a fanboy, but remember: everyone’s guilty of rehashing franchises. Whether Nintendo are unveiling a “new” Mario, Microsoft are struggling to explain why Call of Duty 8: Modern WarGuy 4 is different to the previous 27 CoD games, or Sony are bragging about including twice as many ways for Kratos to eviscerate his enemies, all of them release entries into popular series on a regular basis.

So it comes down to what you’re into: I found I was forgiving of Nintendo because their games appealed to me – pure fun. None of their announcements were particularly surprising (as welcome as confirmation of Pikmin 3’s existence was, it’s been suspected for years), but that makes them no less delightful.

And then there’s the Wii U itself. Not only is the console a fascinating device, but Nintendo’s game design principles for it are perhaps its most understated feature. Their concept of “Asymmetric Gameplay” (where players with the GamePad are playing a different game, within the same game, to those using the TV) is incredibly exciting, even in as basic a game as the Luigi’s Mansion tech demo. Happily, this seems to be a core design element, so we should expect to see it appear in some form in many future releases.

The mark of a great game trailer or tech demo is when it shows off a few of the capabilities, and these get your mind reeling with the possibilties of how they can be used. Every game showcased for the Wii U did that for me. Even during the Luigi’s Mansion demo, we found ourselves already strategizing how best to play the game.

So although not everyone did, I found Nintendo’s rehashed ideas to be the most exciting. And the new ones, like ZombiU, P-100 and the Wii U itself, sealed the deal for me.


Jahanzeb Khan:

Best Game:
Both Castlevania Lords of Shadow games that were shown at E3, although I am still more inclined to simply call them ‘Lords of Shadow’ because I still can’t seem to stomach the idea that a whole new studio has taken charge of the Castlevania franchise and rewriting the book on it. I have a very love and hate relationship with the original Castlevania Lords of Shadow, it just wasn’t the Castlevania I grew up loving. No Michiru Yamane, no Ayame Kojima, and say what you want about Koji Igarashi but he carried the franchise really well despite some awful spin-off titles.

That said, I was actually pleased with Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate for the Nintendo 3DS. It’s closer to the true Castlevania formula and is making better use of the original lore and characters. Lords of Shadow 2 looks interesting, I want to see more of it. I still have very mixed feelings about the direction that this franchise is going, but I hope down the track I warm up to it.

Worst Game:
Whatever Kinect dancing games they showed there, especially the one that had Usher doing some product placement. On that note I don’t what’s worse, seeing Usher endorse awful games, or having Snoop Dogg in Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

Best Moment:
The booth babes of course, and special shout out to the Darksiders 2 ladies, they were just lovely. Congratulations to Philip and Travis for getting some hands on time with Jessica Nigri!

Worst Moment:
The fact that I wasn’t there to get some hands on impressions with Jessica Nigri.

Who ‘Won’ E3?:
Philip Federico, congratulations on your hands on time with the lovely hardworking women at E3 2012. I’m sure they appreciated their jobs alot more when they were being gawked by your smug bald face. Also, you were holding a much bigger chainsaw than Jessica Nigri, I hear she loves a man who can handle his big chainsaw with ease.


Dustin Spencer:

Best Game:
It’s really hard to choose between The Last of Us and Tomb Raider, as both look like instant contenders for a Game of the Year trophy already. With that said, I won’t choose either. My game that stuck out the most was a remake by the name of Trine 2: Director’s Cut. Yes, Trine 2, an older game was my game of show. I loved Trine already, but Nintendo taking the risk and releasing it at a retail price for the Wii U is just too noteworthy to ignore. If Nintendo want to show off the visuals for the console, there is no better way than to show off the gorgeous worlds and characters of Trine in HD, and with extra content no less.

Worst Game:
It’s hard to say the “worse game” of E3 as I haven’t put any of those games through their paces, but if I had to pick one, it would be something that isn’t a game at all. Microsoft’s Smartglass. Yeah, I have a tablet and could use it to play Halo 4 and other titles, but moving back and forth seems like a hassle and as a whole, and the entire idea seems to be one that was whipped up to compete with the Wii U. What MS forgot was that the Wii U allows players to use the Gamepad WHILE playing with the SAME controller. Smartglass requires a $400 tablet to be bought unless you already have one, and then you can sync up to your multiplayer experiences if everything runs right. If you’re going to compete, well…compete. Don’t just try to do something small because you want to beat out a competitor.

Best Moment:
After the Last of Us, and throughout Sony’s entire event, Jack Tretton looked like a proud parent up there, showing off all of the games that Sony had to offer. He was humble, he was kind, and it just seemed like he cared much more than any other suit at the event this year. E3 isn’t a boardroom meeting, it’s a worldwide event where you bring your best, and Tretton did bring his best this year, which is what made him appear so giddy.

Worst Moment:
EA. ALL of it. When you open up a show and the very first thing you try to do is justify your terrible DLC practices by saying complete games at launch are a thing of the past, you look like a money-hungry ass. Each “marketplace” that EA showed off were underwhelming enough as it is, but seeing that smugness and raw corporate trying to chuck games was a sad sight to see and yet another reason why EA truly deserved that Golden Turd.

Who ‘Won’ E3?:
Sony. They brought games, showed them well, and were endearing and focused for their show. Ending with The Last of Us was a brilliant move, and reminding us that video game consoles are made for video games is why Sony deserve to declare themselves champions of this year’s E3.


Luke Halliday:

Best Game:
There were many games that impressed me, but none more so than Project P-100 for the Wii U. For some reason Nintendo chose not to show this title in their presser instead revealing it afterwards. That very decisions boggles my mind because this game looks absolutely awesome. It is developed by Platinum Games (Bayonetta, Mad World, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance) and will be published by SEGA, the game is set to be exclusive for the Wii U. What impresses me so much about this title is how freaking unique it is. The game is like a cross between Viewtiful Joe and Pikmin, if you could imagine it. The action was incredibly fast paced and the concept mystifies and excites me. This was indeed the only game I saw at E3 that left me salivating like hungry puppy looking for his next taste. I want to see more of this game, make it happen SEGA.

Worst Game:
Now here is a category that’s hard to answer, considering there was so many bad games on show this year. If I had to choose just one that made me cringe significantly more than others, it would probably be Dance Central 3 due to the fact that it seems no different from the last 2 Dance Central games and that it appears to be simply an advertising platform for the pathetic likes of Usher to sell their singles. But for a more broader answer, anything that Microsoft said was ‘Better with Kinect’. Honestly it’s like they took random activities of every day life and said ‘Life is Better with Kinect’. No Microsoft, nothing is ‘Better with Kinect’, nothing.

Best Moment:
Bit of a toughy, but I’d have to go with the Pikmin 3 confirmation. It was a long time coming and seeing Nintendo open their show with it was a great moment, especially after long time fans such as myself have been waiting years for this moment. The game looked great and the presentation of it was just spectacular. The only other moment of E3 that I’d consider a great moment was when Matt Stone and Trey Parker from South Park came out and flogged Microsoft verbally for their horribly shit ideas and conference. But yes, for me personally as a huge fan of Pikmin, seeing the reveal and footage of Pikmin 3 was a really great moment.

Worst Moment:
Every single bad moment of E3 I can think of originated from Microsoft’s Conference, excluding a few outliers in Sony and Nintendo’s conferences. But as a whole Microsoft’s Conference was just the worst show I have seen in years. The entire thing was more product placement than it was a conference. For example there was a point when someone was showing off some Movie and TV app coming to the Xbox 360, instead of simply showing us it, he began to play advertisements for Prometheus and Game of Thrones – ‘Catch Prometheus in theatres across North America now!’ and ‘Be sure to check out Game of Thrones entire second season on HBO GO now!’. I mean come on… how blatant do they want to be? Oh then again there was the Nike Kinect Training game which went a little like, ‘Here is a new game for Kinect sponsored by Nike and now here is 4 minutes of advertising about Nike’s new line of shoes’. To make matters worse we had the whole Usher debacle, with Usher performing his new single ‘Buy My Single’ for some reason, oh wait was it meant to be about Dance Central 3? No idea, because all he was talking about was his new single. Just a horrible horrible showing by Microsoft, their entire conference was the worst moment for me.

Who ‘Won’ E3?:
Look we all like to discuss about who had the best conference or the best games on show, but at the end of the day, each and every year the real winners are us gamers. We are the ones who have a whole new world of games waiting ahead of us and this year was no different. It’s times like this when I am proud to be a gamer. But let’s just forget Microsoft’s conference happened yeah? Deal.

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Well that’s it for our Best and Worst of E3 2012, what do you think was the Best and Worst of this years show? Let us know in the comments section below what you think of this years event and who you think ‘won’ E3 2012.

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