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The week is ending, and we gamers are in our post-E3 phase, which of course requires that we all rate the three console-makers on their various line-ups. The practice has often been decried as pointless; that there is no way to provide empirical evidence that one company had a better press conference, and that our opinions are quite simply that: opinion. However, if you are here reading this, you must be looking for what (I hope) you believe to be an educated opinion, so here we go.

I’ll talk about the conferences in reverse order cause I’m feeling cheeky, which starts us with Sony. Sony had the best conference of the show; it was paced well, had lots of information, showed lots of games (including exclusives), and seemed to act somewhat naturally the whole time. First off, the pacing was great; every announcement was quick, concise, and well put. I never felt like anyone onstage droned on about any particular subject, which made the information presented seem that much more exciting. Sony’s info was spot on too, they showed us games we wanted to see. Almost all of the games they talked about had game footage too, which is much nicer than a few pictures or a short video. I was going crazy seeing Uncharted 2, Assassin’s Creed 2, and God of War 3 all in action. ModNation Racers looks great for the kart racing gamer (which I am).  The exclusives really sold me: so many games were only appearing on their systems. I don’t like it when I’m told how great a year a console is going to have when all that’s shown is multi-platform releases. I also loved their motion controller demo; I want to see some full games for it, but it looks like it will support a wide variety of games. There are still questions to be answered, but the gameplay that was on display shows much promise.  Sony showed why you should buy their systems and not the competition’s, and in the end that’s what they want to do.

It wasn’t all good in Sony-land though: they did have some snafus. The main one in my mind was the PSP Go. Sony seemed so obsessed with saying that the old PSP would still be a viable platform, and that it was going to be getting most of the same bonuses that the PSP Go will. I don’t get what the big advantage is going to be to getting this new $250 system (that price is also going to hurt sales in my mind).  I’m interested in a full digital distribution system, but the PSP Go doesn’t seem to have that much more than just a new way to buy  games.

All in all, I thought the Sony conference was far superior to the other two console-makers, but both Nintendo and Microsoft did things that were right and wrong in their conferences.  However I do need to eat,  so check back later for thoughts about Nintendo’s trials and triumphs.

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Ding ding ding!  The curtains have now gone done on all three major console developer conferences.  Did you get your fill of motion controllers?  This article is rife with links to videos of games, so if you’re catching up, hopefully this’ll make it a little easier, too!

First up: Nintendo

Nintendo was ready to go, showing off new games from the get-go and keeping the sales talk low.  The first out was New Super Mario Bros. Wii with Little Big Planet-style 4-player coop, not revolutionary but it certainly looked like a lot of fun.  There was talk of number of already acknowledged but nonetheless cool games, including WarioWare DIY (as in Do It Yourself), Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (effectively Mario & Luigi RPG 3), and Kingdom Hearts 358/3 Days.  It’s also apparent that they’ve put more time in Wii Sports Resort, and it really shows.  While the game did look fun last year, this year’s showing really dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, with a polished intro sequence and what seemed like a more approachable and fun game overall.  There was also an appreciable little remark from the presenter during the archery demo about the skill and challenge behind the activity.  You’ve got to appreciate the guy trying to tell traditionally core gamers “Hey, you can enjoy this too!”

Of course, the bigger announcements from the conference were Super Mario Galaxy 2, which might not be a wholly new game but certainly looks like more of what we already love, and the big shocker: a Team Ninja/Nintendo co-developed handling of a big Nintendo IP in the form of Metroid: Other M.  You ask me?  The trailer looks fantastic, aside from the slightly frightening doll-people in the cutscenes (What’s with Japanese developers and these creepy mannequin people!?).  The action seems frenetic, and there’s something truly fan-servicey about seeing Samus doing bitchin’ ninja moves one after another.

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The Other Castle is a blog by video games, for video games. Wait, let me try that again. The Other Castle is a blog by a few nerd friends, about video games. As long as we're entertaining ourselves, there's a good chance somewhere out there, you might be getting a little kick out of reading this, too!

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