My top 5 picks at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012

Another year, another show. I last attended E3 6 years ago, so it was about time to revisit the place, after all, I was living in LA, so, for sure I didn’t have to purchase a flight and book accommodation.

I did spend most of my time outside the Convention Center catching up with old colleagues that I hadn’t seen for many years, so I didn’t really spend more than an hour inside.

During the short walk around, I did catch a glimpse of some of the hottest games coming soon, but sadly, no announcement of any next generation consoles. Next year maybe.

Here’s my top 5 games that caught my attention.

The Last of Us. This game might just sway me to buy a PS3. This is from the team who developed Uncharted series, so this is bound to be great. Probably one of the few games to have a decent story.

Watch Dogs. Impressive game play trailer, with some cool looking game mechanics especially hacking into other electronic devices nearby. The mood reminds me of Deus Ex in a way, but this is more open world.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Game play looks great, especially that they added voice commands, but will it still be effective for those without the Kinect?

Beyond. I didn’t get a chance to see this at the show, but footage suggests something special after all, this is developed by Quantic Dreams, responsible for Heavy Rain.

Tomb Raider. Here’s another game making a come back. They certainly upped the standards for their cinematics and game play looks really smooth and slick. Does it remind you of the Hunger Games?



Ok, maybe this post shouldn’t really be in my US section, but I couldn’t be bothered to create a new blog and find a new URL for it, blah blah, yeah, I’m just plain lazy.

I thought this was worth mentioning since this game is effectively taking up all my spare time when I’m not at work. For me, this is the best game this year, along with Batman – Arkham City. Here’s what I liked about the game.

It’s a single player RPG just like previous Elder Scrolls title so I knew what to expect since I had played Morrowind and Oblivion. At the start, you can pick a race from a variety. Each race has their own default attributes, example, High Elf has more initial Magicka. This was the obvious choice for me since I was going to play a mage. I had played a sneaky thief armed with a bow in previous titles so I’d thought it would be a nice change.

The Skyrim world is vast, scattered with cities, caves, ruins, keeps, and much more. The cloud and water effects are great to watch and they run by, and when you’re traveling up mountains and look down, you can really see how much detailed they’ve put into the world.

Like all RPGs, there’s a main quest that takes you through the story. When you fancy a break from the story, you can attempt the side quests and there are just so many of them. I swear, each time I complete a quest, I somehow gain 3 more quests.

The thing I enjoy most, is seeing dragons in the game, yes, dragons instantly makes games 100 times better! they are a sight to watch as they circle above you, and when they engage you in battle, that’s when the fun begins.

Xbox Live profile dilemma

Who would have thought changing your Xbox Live profile region to your designated country would be an issue when you move abroad. Well, as it stands, this cannot be done. I’ve contacted Xbox Live support a couple of times to get clarification on this matter.

Although your Xbox Live Profile can be moved abroad simply by copying it on your USB stick or recovering your Gamertag from a foreign Xbox, the Profile region however, is locked and cannot be edited.

This means no matter which country I’m in, I’ll only be able to access UK content which to be honest is useless since the Apps such as Sky and LoveFilm require you to be on a UK IP.

Xbox Live support team replied saying that in order to take advantage of local content in the country I’m in, I’d have to create a new Profile. Sounds easy you say, it is, but it comes with big downfalls. Creating a new Profile would mean I’d lose my gamer score, individual game achievements, and friend list which took me years to build them up and these cannot be transferred from the UK to US profile.

So I have a dilemma – create a new profile and start from a big fat 0, but I’ll have access to US content like Netflix, or keep my existing profile and not be able to access US content, but I’ll keep my gamer score, achievements and friend list.

I really hope MS would sort this out since it’s not fair on users who move abroad.

Games getting harder?

I only have an Xbox 360 console here, nothing else, and even that’s loaned to me along with a handful of games. I purchased a few games over the past few months though, starting with L.A. Noire.

The two big games I recently purchased made a massive comeback, Deus Ex and Driver. I thought these big franchises died out and I was never going to see them again, but they came back from the dead. Both games enjoyed huge success from their first title back in the 90s, but subsequent sequels didn’t sell. They disappeared until recently. Both gained average reviews of 80% to 90%. Let’s start with Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Deus Ex is actually quite a difficult game. I like games to be challenging but not frustrating. As you progress, you gain points so you can purchase augmentations for your character, which are essentially upgrades. What you choose to upgrade depends on your style of play. The game is open to stealthy play and all guns blazing play and since I’m not really much into sneaking around, I prefer to pick upgrades that are suited to that. When I got to the first boss, that was difficult at first. It took me around 20 attempts to defeat him, which made me think “am I getting too old for games, or is this just a really difficult first boss”. It actually turns out I was just impatient and wanted to defeat him as soon as possible. It was in fact an easy boss. I’m still playing this game, and I certainly recommend it.

Driver: San Francisco was definitely more fun. I particularly liked the shift mechanic, but I won’t spoil that for you. Certain parts of this game tends to be frustrating when you get races that you have to make zero mistakes, but overall there’s a lot of fun.