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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Aggie Arcade

This is the last Aggie Arcade of the quarter, which means summer vacation is right around the corner. Obviously I’m excited about the much-needed break, but that’s not the only great thing about next week. This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) begins on June 11, which marks arguably the most exciting time of the year for video game enthusiasts like myself.

E3 always features big game announcements, but all eyes will be on Microsoft and Sony this year as they show off their brand new consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation, 4 respectively. Although each company already held separate events to reveal each system, E3 will be the first time we get to really see games in action on the next-generation hardware.

Microsoft is the one company with a lot of unanswered questions in regard to the Xbox One’s library of games. Executives promised numerous exclusive titles for the upcoming console at the reveal event last month, but we didn’t actually see many of those games. Forza Motorsport 5 made an appearance and that will almost certainly be playable at E3. But what other big-name releases does Microsoft have up its sleeve?

Apparently Rare, the developer behind franchises such as Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark, will revive an old series and bring it to the Xbox One. I mentioned Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark because those are my best two guesses. We can’t forget that Perfect Dark Zero was a launch title for the 360 back in 2005, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see the studio repeat the process for Microsoft’s next console.

Aside from that, we don’t know a whole lot about Microsoft’s plans for E3. The mystery adds an air of intrigue to the company’s press conference, but part of me also worries about the lack of information. I went into the Xbox One reveal event not knowing what to expect and my overall feeling was one of disappointment. I hope that gets replaced by a far more positive reaction following E3.

Sony’s appearance at the expo will likely be more predictable, but that may be a good thing. I know that games like Knack, The Witness, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Deep Down will be shown at the event, and I’d love to see more of each of those titles. At this point all I’m looking for is a solid launch lineup to justify an immediate purchase of the system — the company has nearly sold me already just based on the reveal event back in February. It would be nice to see a surprise or two for the PS4 though.

And then there’s the strange case of Nintendo, which has no new hardware to display. The Wii U continues to face slumping sales, and E3 may be the last big opportunity for the company to salvage some level of success. Although it relies far too heavily on the nostalgia of famous mascots to garner interest, I admit that the announcement of a new Super Mario or Zelda game would capture my attention. At this point the Wii U really needs that system seller.

Even though I express a certain level of pessimism when it comes to this year’s E3, I imagine I’ll still wake up like an excited kid on Christmas Day when the event begins on June 11 — well, I have my last final that day, so I have to wake up early anyway. But the point is, E3 2013 will be fascinating to watch, regardless of the outcome.

ANTHONY LABELLA can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


In this week’s Aggie Arcade I play The Swapper, an indie puzzle game that came out just last week on Steam. Cloning represents the key mechanic in this striking sci-fi game — players can create up to four clones that react to the original character’s actions. In addition, the player can then swap between clones. Needless to say, things get complicated pretty quickly.

This also means I get stuck a few times in the video — I blame it on the pressure of performing while recording. In fact, I solved the puzzles with relative ease shortly after making this video (I promise!). I guess it’s possible that I’m just bad at puzzle games … I’ll leave that for you to decide.



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