So now we come to my third-party wish list for E3, and it’s… noticeably shorter than the last time I did something like this. Probably because, due to mergers and other shakeups, there seem to be fewer big third-parties in the mix nowadays. Anyway, here goes:
Square-Enix: Due to mergers, this now includes Taito and Eidos… meaning really, anything goes here. Obviously we’re going to see Final Fantasy XIV (the new MMO) in a movie form, and likely playable as well (albeit probably not in English yet). Kingdom Hearts: Re:Coded is making the jump from DoCoMo– that is, mobile phones– to (I think) DS, and the biggest rumor is that a formal announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3 is in the cards. Eidos is probably looking to have Batman Arkham Asylum 2 playable, and from Taito I think we’re going to just see Space Invaders Infinity Gene DS/PSP and that’s about it. FF Four Heroes of Light is set for an October release in NA, so that’s going to be on the floor… really, though, what I’d like to see is Square going back to a couple of series they’ve dropped in the past and giving them another go-around. The Mana series can and should recover from the physics-wreck that was Dawn of Mana; and, with a decent number of Western studios on board, I think it’s about time we got a Saga game that didn’t suck. Oh, and aren’t we due for some more Chocobo Tales games?
Electronic Arts: I mentioned Rock Band 3 back with Microsoft, since RB and the XB are so closely associated in a lot of folks’ minds, but it’d be nice to see how Rock Band Green Day was received. Beyond that, a Mass Effect 3 preview, the next Burnout, and the standard Madden/NBA/(maybe the) NHL set, not much else is really “known”. I’d like to see an early build of Mirror’s Edge 2, perhaps, and if at all possible a continuance of Dead Space Extraction to serve as a companion to that upcoming game. What I would really love to see, though, would be how EA pushes integration between their Pogo online service and the casual games they release. Say what you will, but I liked Trivial Pursuit on the 360, and if it wasn’t so bloody expensive I’d have picked Scrabble over Words with Friends for my current iPhone
time-sink game; if there was an incentive to keep playing, like an achievement or communal wagering-points pool (like, say, credits that you could use in Pogo Poker or whatever), it would make the games that much “stickier”.
Capcom: Here’s an interesting case. The company clearly is in dire straits after a handful of big bets went south; Dark Void and Bionic Commando bombed badly, and their only real breadwinners of late have been sequels (Resident Evil 5, Monster Hunter Tri), remakes (Super Street Fighter 4, Mega Man Zero Collection), and licensed games (Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom). That said, it’s hard to feel too bad for them when they have a license to print money on the way, one named Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. The thing is, what are they going to do after that? For that matter, what do they have lined up until that hits? Lost Planet 2 just came out to admittedly underwhelming response, and Dead Rising 2 is in the wings, so we’ll see all of those on the floor. Beyond that, this is a wild card. All I’m asking for– since you won’t give me Mega Man Legends 3 (come ON! The Wii is the PERFECT machine for it: low costs, strong install base, and it’s quirky enough that it’d fit just fine on the console!)– is a couple of surprises that aren’t of the “surprise, we’re cancelling yet another interesting and original IP in favor of another crap-ass Mega Man Star Force .EXE whatever game that nobody gives two rats’ asses about” variety. (But seriously, MML3 on the Wii. Search your feelings, you know you want to.)
Konami: If the rumored Pop’n Music redemption game shown on Bemanistyle is true, and you build enough of them to get one within 50 miles of me, all is forgiven. This really is your last chance vis-a-vis Bemani, as I’m tired of being strung along and stung again. Make it right and I’ll drop my grudge. As for your other series of interest, Metal Gear Rising had better be more than just a teaser trailer now. Beyond that, I couldn’t honestly care less about what you bring to the table.
Activision: See above, except without the “you have a chance to get back in my good graces” bit. I’m only keeping DJ Hero around because of the whole collector’s aspect. Once DJ Hero 17: Now With Music Someone Might Actually Want To Play comes out, I might put the first one back in the 360.
Namco Bandai: Okay, guys, seriously. You were joking about the whole “we’re blaming our poor performance on piracy and other people’s shovelware” thing, right? You have to have been. I mean, you could easily make up for lost money by, oh, I don’t know, bringing out Tales games in North America (Europe is close, really, but you’re still on the wrong side of the Atlantic), or maybe not licensing off anything that might sell worth half a crap (it’s called “outsourcing the localization and then publishing it yourself”, guys, you might wanna look into it– ask Sony about it w/r/t Wild ARMs 3). Really, anything at this point would be a blessing. By the by, I still haven’t forgotten how subtly you announced that Xenosaga 3 was coming, back in 2006. That’s about the only thing keeping you off my hit list… that, and you didn’t mess up Klonoa. Impress me again, guys. Please.
Atlus: Okay, so full disclosure blah blah Super Robot Taisen site blah blah they paid me once. That was four years ago and I haven’t seen a dime since, mostly because they haven’t owed me one. I’ll wager, though, that I’ve paid them back in full since then with all the good games they’ve brought out, so I’m excited to see what they bring to the tables besides Trauma Team, a few quirky niche games, and maybe, just maybe, The Lord of Elemental. Okay, so really all I want to see is The Lord of Elemental, so make it happen.
The Niches: We’re not likely to see big booths from these guys but they can still announce stuff now, so here goes:
XSEED: After a fantastic job with Ragnarok DS, how about you follow it up with Maple Story DS? Hell, it doesn’t really matter, anything you guys pick up turns to gold anyway.
Aksys: You’re the second coming of Working Designs, and I love you for it. Good on you for following Capcom’s lead for BlazBlue Continuum Shift, by the way… now how about some more downloadable titles?
NIS America: Just that we got Disgaea Infinite was a pretty gutsy move, so that’s good to have. I am curious though if you’ll formally announce Prinny 2 for NA– if you do, you totally have to call it “Dawn of the Great Underwar”. Because… yeah.
Disney/Buena Vista Games: Please, PLEASE patch Split/Second. Oh, and more stuff from Tetsuya Mizuguchi, please.
Overall, I think this is going to be a pretty good E3. Given how quiet every company’s been of late, it’s certain to be full of surprises, and even though it might give me grief, I wouldn’t have it any other way.