Konami just concluded their E3 2010 press conference, which, much like most of the other press conferences this year, featured a mix of titles that appeal to different demographics. It was "Glee vs. Guts", as Karaoke Revolution was reborn and Saw II, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, and a new game from Rebellion brought the blood (blue blood, in the case of Metal Gear). Let's review...
1. Though the MGS: Rising trailer was the same one shown two days ago at Microsoft's press conference, we got some new details about the game. Happily, Rising takes place between MGS2 and MGS4, which means that we'll get the full story of how Raiden turned from timid rookie into a hardened, jaded cyber ninja. Producer Shigenobu Matsuyama also elaborated on the phrase "Zan-Datsu" which popped up in the trailer. It's actually a made-up word used to describe Raiden absorbing the blue spine energy from defeated cyborgs and mechs. That absorption can give you life energy, parts, ammunition, items, and information.
Director Mineshi Kimura also explained how the stealth concept is adapting to Raiden's superior agility. The three adjectives he used were "sped-up," "height," and "hunting." The first is obvious, the second refers to vertical movement, and hunting implies that Raiden will be making quick killing blows. Kimura's goal was to achieve the level of action we saw when Raiden was introduced in MGS4, which is quite a lofty ambition.
2. My notes for the new Silent Hill trailer say "sufficiently creepy." I've never played the SH games, but I know enough about them to be able to say that the ambience feels right in that spooky and disturbing way. What was weird was that there were scenes where our yet-to-be-named hero/escaped prisoner was walking around with the traditional flashlight and gun, and they looked quite excellent. But there were scenes with more action-based gameplay in different areas that clearly didn't match up (which is totally fine, given the 2011 release window). We couldn't glean much from the trailer, but environments changed for nonsensical reasons, monsters looked horrifying, and I had no idea what was going on. Sounds like Silent Hill to me.
3. Neverdead is a new game from Rebellion (the UK studio behind Star Wars: Battlefront and Aliens vs. Predator), in conjunction with Konami Digital Entertainment. It's a third-person, over-the-shoulder shooter where the central hook is the hero can be killed, maimed, and fully dismembered, but keeps on shooting as he recollects scattered body parts. The dialogue sounded ridiculous and it's clearly tongue-in-cheek, but if the dismemberment actually means something mechanically, it could be promising.
4. Normally, we cringe at the thought of celebrities and business folks muscleing their way into the games industry. But when Russell Simmons opened the show evangelizing the power of creative expression (by promoting Def Jam Rapstar), it was evident that this is a very smart man who cares about what he puts the Def Jam name on. Whether or not Rapstar turns out well, it's good to see this kind of cross-media involvement.
5. Glad to see that Igarashi is still making 2D Castlevanias. Both CV games are on the floor, and though I've only had time to play Harmony of Despair, I can see a world where both branches of the franchise peacefully coexist.
We're over the hump on E3 week, and I don't have the energy to be overly negative, so let's keep this brief. Adrenalin Misfits for Kinect is the Poochie game we've been long waiting for. They joked about it but Dance Masters really should have been called Dance Dance Evolution, and I can't decide what was more antithetical to my tastes: the Glee performance, or the Otomedius Excellent trailer that was 100% fanservice and 0 percent gameplay. But you know what? Ninety-Nine Nights II director Tak Fujii has an infectious enthusiasm, even if you're not into his games. If more Konami persenters were like him and got off the script, the Konami conference would have been far less dry.