Top 10 Exclusives We’d Steal For the 360 @ E3
Top 10 Exclusives We’d Steal For the 360 @ E3
Titles we would just LOVE to see sitting in the disc tray of our 360’s
©2006-2008 XboxOZ360-gamer – Aaron Bertinelli
E3 this year represents why all gamers on all platforms should be thankful for what many call the “console-war” or what we prefer to call here at XboxOZ as a little “healthy-competition”. The result has meant gamers of all shapes and sizes are more spoilt for choice, than at any time in recent history.
So given that, whilst we’ve spent a lot of time talking about a lot of the fantastic confirmed and unconfirmed titles for the 360 @ E3, being gamers first we can’t help but notice when other platforms have titles just as enticing. So in the spirit of a bit fun and a lot of wishful thinking, here are our picks for the exclusives on the Wii, PS3 and PC that we’d most like to see magically announced for the 360 at this year’s E3.
So come, join up, sign in, login and generally let us know what you think in the comments below and join us this E3 ’08 as we celebrate our first Electronics Entertainment Exposition with you our loyal readers.
Don’t forget to slip over to our E3’08 Video News Page and check some excellent E3 Game Videos out while you’re here.
Let’s get ready to rumble . . .
10. Boom Blox
“`Critically acclaimed but with terrible sales it has quickly become EA’s and Steven Spielberg’s biggest commercial flop in years! And yet there’s good reason for optimism.
“`The game is an inventive take on Jenga-like puzzlers and utilises the Wii’s motion controls in amazingly effective and innovative ways focused around physics and a player’s precise control. Given the much rumoured “Newton” controller is likely to debut for the 360 next week and will need quality launch titles to support it, along with EA and it’s well known preference for multiplatform releases, this is the most likely of our unlikely Top 10.
Giving the game an HD polish and then integrating the excellent multiplayer and player created levels into Xbox Live, Microsoft could have its first real hit with the “Newton” and extend it’s encouragement of the casual market and player created content. More importantly it could possibly financially resurrect a title that deserves far more success than it has currently achieved.
We have a sneaking suspicion about this one so stay tuned!
9. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Wow! Whilst some may argue whether it’s more a film or a game, there’s no disputing the quality and immersion of the experience. We’ve already waxed lyrical about the title despite our 360 roots and we can’t think of anything better than for those who only own one console getting to play this landmark title on the platform of their choice.
We can only speculate on what Konami may or may not decide. We’re certain they’d have to put it on multiple discs, but ten seconds to change discs is as relevant as a couple of minutes to install. We’re also pretty sure that either Microsoft will have to develop a thick skin or otherwise request that certain content be removed, particularly in Act 3 which is full of Sony branding and gags.
But the bottom line is that Konami will make a business decision that is entirely removed from gamer opinions on either side of the debate. Konami will make a decision on a multiplatform future based on what it believes is in its best commercial interests. Given the popularity of the series amongst hardcore gamers across all platforms; the significantly higher sales of multiplatform software on the 360; and the enormously high budget (rumoured to be at least US$45m) for a title that’s only sold 2-3million copies so far; we’d argue there’s a compelling financial argument for taking it multiplatform.
So for all those 360 gamers yet to play this masterwork, get praying for an Internet-melting announcement next week.
8. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
“`This was quite simply the best game on the PS3 until MGS4 turned up. But we want it more because it was a refreshingly new IP that reinvented Tomb Raider and added Gears of War’s combat system to boot. It also happened to look damn pretty and was a rollicking fun yarn!
“`But unless Naughty Dog pulls a Bungie anytime soon and leaves what by all accounts is a very happy relationship with Sony, we think that the other PS3 exclusive above has a far better chance. In the meantime we’ll just have to wait for the return of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: Underworld and hope it learns from Naughty Dog’s superlative entry into the action-adventure genre.
7. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Brawl is perhaps the best game on the Wii and one of the most entertaining multiplayer titles we’ve played in years. Unfortunately there’s no way in hell this one’s happening courtesy of the fact it’s developed and entirely owned by Nintendo. But that doesn’t stop us wishing about what might be and then hypothesising on potential loopholes.
When we ran our Staff Top 5’s for E3 last week, one suggestion from James McIntyre stuck out above the rest. Microsoft should develop a Super Smash like brawler. Yes it would be a blatant rip off, but it wouldn’t stop us buying it. With rumours based largely on fandom flying around about the very busy Rare secretly developing a Killer Instinct 3, we think we’ve found a far better use of their and Microsoft’s collective resources.
Not only would it appeal to a broader audience than Killer Instinct, but it could become an immediately significant franchise in an uninvested genre and used by Microsoft as a powerful marketing platform to promote all its other software brands. Just imagine a brawler with Master Chief; Fable 2 heroes and villains; Marcus Fenix with a curb stomp finishing move; Blinx with his vacuum; Joanna Dark; Crash Bandicoot; Baldur from Too Human; the awake Alan Wake; the Arbiter; lots of Pinata’s who burst into lollies when you beat them; some Killer Instinct favourites like Spinal, Sabrewulf and Glacius; Ninja Gaiden’s Ryu; Kaim & Mack from Lost Odyssey; Kameo; Wrex from Mass Effect; Banjo and Kazooie; and of course that very foul mouthed rodent called Conker!
We know it’s unlikely, but we’re already getting carried away by the thought of it!
“`Why would we want LBP when we’ve got Banjo-Kazooie coming in Holiday ’08? Well despite the misinformed opinions of some that assume two games with “platformer” and “player created content” in their PR blurbs are one and the same thing, they are exceptionally different titles. On the one hand Banjo is an open world platformer that focuses player creation on gameplay mechanics to progress through a story adventure. In contrast, LBP focuses player creation on level design and character customisation as standalone creations for multiplayer gaming.
We have high hopes and expectations for both titles, so can you really blame us wanting both? Plus the owner/creator of LBP developer Media Molecule, Mark Healy, is formerly of Lionhead and Bullfrog, maintaining close ties to Peter Molyneux and his development team at Microsoft.
Until our bubble’s burst next week we’ll keep pretending that means something!
5. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. whilst often mistaken as an RPG with guns akin to the upcoming Fallout 3, really only treads a similar path thematically about man, technology and nuclear disaster. The original, Shadow of Chernobyl, is best described as a revolutionary sandbox FPS that combines adventure and horror genres into an expansive, non-linear story with multiple endings. In fact, despite some jarring technical flaws, many people consider it the most revolutionary FPS on PC since the release of Half Life 2. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s prequel, Clear Sky, appears to be just as hauntingly immersive minus the technical blights.
We can’t help but think this title is perfect for the 360. It would wholly satisfy the FPS crowd, would appeal to the broad sandbox demographic and would be a unique enough experience to garner the attention of console gamers it deserves. We also think that it would be in the developer’s best interest not just commercially but also to open the possibility of a re-release of the original title in a much more polished state.
We’d be very pleasantly surprised at E3 with an announcement that saw both titles coming to the 360.
4. God of War 3
“`We don’t know much about this title except that there’ll be some very lucky PS3 owners whenever it arrives! Ninja Gaiden may have the better combat engine but the God of War franchise is the far more complete action package. The original and its sequels have defined what the action genre is truly capable of with emotionally engaging stories, cinematic combat, awe inspiring set pieces, inspired art design, stunning soundtracks, and a level of technical accomplishment that fully utilises any given system.
We’re not even going to try and make a case of why this would come to the 360 because the reality is it’s as likely as the Microsoft owned Halo franchise turning up on a Sony console. It’s developed by Sony’s Santa Monica Studio which means it’s never coming to the 360 and wishful thinking has never been better defined.
3. Diablo 3
Father of the point-and-click action RPG and king of dungeon crawling loot fests, the Internet was ablaze when Blizzard finally announced the third entry into their genre defining franchise. And as testament to the series enduring replayability many still play the decade-old original and it’s sequel, alone and online, in search for that ever addictive loot.
Diablo 3 looks much the same, but this time with at least four players in co-op, a much more fleshed out story and a next-gen visual extravaganza to boot. And whilst admittedly the controls would need a Halo Wars like rework, the idea of Diablo 3 on consoles, particularly Xbox Live, is too good to let go. Even Blizzard’s vice president of game design admits “I think it’s theoretically possible… it’s probably, of our major franchises, the one that’s most console friendly, for sure.”
If only we could point-and-click a spell to make it happen right now!
2. Final Fantasy XIII
“`The 360 has become the early leader of JRPG’s on next-gen consoles with a burgeoning library of eastern exclusives such as Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, Infinite Undiscovery, Eternal Sonata, Cry On, Tales of Vesperia and Star Ocean 4 (TBC). And yet for some, that list will never be complete without Square Enix’s prestigious Final Fantasy series.
“`We acknowledge that it’s hard to swallow for some or appears unlikely to others, but as recent announcements have indicated it is increasingly within the realm of possibility.
“`It wouldn’t be a first time either, with Final Fantasy XI a Sony timed exclusive in 2004 that eventually found its place on the 360 and PC. But far more important is Square Enix’s increasingly western focus to boost revenues outside of the handheld dominated Japanese market as evidenced by the previously unthinkable range of titles coming to the 360 and Nintendo’s DS. Account for the fact that Sony has a significantly reduced influence with share holdings (only 8.6% of total), and it’s clear that if Square sees an opportunity for increased profits for its shareholders by going multiplatform it just might happen.
We expect more surprises from Square in their press conference immediately after Microsoft’s (Kingdom Hearts 3?), we’re just praying Final Fantasy XIII is one of them.
Forget all your game of the year predictions until Will Wright’s big fat opus is released later this year. Evolution as a game theme, from a single cell organism to a galactic empire, is ambitious enough. But when the man behind it is the same brains behind the industry changing mega hits Sim City and The Sims, you best sit up and take notice. The game has rules, but within that all content (creatures, vehicles, buildings, etc) will be entirely created by gamers and then sent to a central server from which everyone’s creations can be downloaded or seeded into their very own worlds.
Xbox Live would be the perfect ecosystem for such a title to thrive. As proven by Halo 3, Forza 2 and the upcoming Banjo-Kazooie, 360 gamers love to create, share and socialise using user created content. Our fingers are crossed that the multiplatform loving publisher EA feels exactly the same way!
©2006-2008 XboxOZ360-gamer – Aaron Bertinelli
(Ed Note: Be sure to check out the rest of our E3 Top 10’s and visit the XboxOZ360-game E3-’08 Video News Page when you’re finished here and let us know what you think.)