The Other Ones

This is the second of my two E3 articles for the year. Then on to some more reviews!

The press conferences of the Electronic Entertainment Expo are usually the most hyped part of the show, and for good reason, but they’re only half the story. The show floor invariably reveals a few uncelebrated diamonds in the rough every year and E3 2012 was no different. A great many games that were absent from the five press conferences showed up on the floor and tried their best to impress.

Here are five of my favourite non-conference games from this year’s show, in no particular order:

Project P-100
Completely absent from any of the Nintendo press conferences, this incredibly quirky trans-genre… thing looks surprisingly fun to play on the Wii U. Best described as a cross between Pikmin and a drawing-based superhero game, it came as no surprise to me that the sheer hectic pace of the cartoony action was engineered by none other than Platinum Games, developers of the excellent MadWorld, Bayonetta and Vanquish. Bring it.

I first read about this innovative game in an issue of Gameinformer magazine and what I saw from E3 only seems to solidify the promises the developers made in that article. Backed by an intriguing alternate-history view of how the Industrial Revolution may have dictated worldy matters had things gone a different way, Dishonored seems to thrive on the multiple supernatural paths it offers in every single mission. Summon a plague of rats, freeze time, control minds, teleport, or do something else entirely. Choice!
A double pun there.

Persona 4 Arena
This came right out of nowhere for me. I’ve played a lot of Persona 4 even if I haven’t managed to finish it yet, so I know most of the characters in this absolutely mental Japanese crossover effort between Atlus and Arc System works, the developers of the well-regarded and equally crazy Blazblue series. To see this mega-colourful game in action is to question your sanity. I love it.

Game & Wario
This was also absent from Nintendo’s conferences, which is even more baffling than the P-100 case because a) It’s one of Nintendo’s core franchises and b) It has been confirmed as a Wii U launch game! Only six minigames were shown on the show floor and they seemed to be a lot longer-running than the standard manic microgames the WarioWare series is famous for, but if there’s one developer I’ve learned it’s safe to put blind faith in, it’s Intelligent Systems. A day-one purchase for me.

LittleBigPlanet Vita
My, my, my, this game just looks more and more impressive the longer it gets delayed. I wanted to like LittleBigPlanet 2 so much but my PS3’s uncooperative internet-hogging habits got in the way. That shouldn’t be a problem on this portable iteration of the bestselling create-a-holic franchise. The ability to play any LBP1 & 2 levels plus new ones with a host of new touch/gyro features? Camera-to-game asset creation? Save points (potentially for making basic RPGs)? Yes, please!

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