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E3 stuff. It’s going on. Jason has been representing ButtonMasher pretty hard, and even put together a great concise podcast with his cohort summing up their first hand accounts of the conferences and the miscellaneous sights and sounds of gaming. SPOILER: They pronounce it “Button Masher dot co dot en zee”

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E3 madness is here and there’s far too much to talk about to allow us to present a cohesive and concise podcast covering it all. So enjoy this one instead!

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(This post was written by Jonathan Jimenez, correspondent for Buttonmasher.)

One of the biggest problems with the Kinect, of course, is the fact that when a good game finally comes along, most living rooms simply aren’t large enough for an optimal Kinect experience. Knowing that I wasn’t the only Kinect owner suffering, I had hoped that Microsoft would address the issue during their press conference. They left me hanging, but luckily, Nyko rode in on their white horse with their new Kinect attachment: the Zoom.

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Tera

A Korean MMO, you say? Hah! How trite. Perhaps you’ll go play Maple Story, and then a nice bit of Lineage II.

I’ve always been a fan of the concept of MMOs, but rarely the execution. Turn-based battle systems with few dynamics, mostly, and worlds simply too large to support with enough content and interesting terrain.

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Also announced at the E3 presser was Lego City Stories. An open-world Lego game from Traveller’s Tales, that doesn’t hide from the fact its cloning Grand Theft Auto. But you might be hard pressed to find a disgruntled Lego City citizen – they all look so happy! Lego City Stories is a 3DS and Wii U exclusive.

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As promised, Nintendo unveiled its latest console this morning — the Wii U. Nintendo also proved that crazy-tablet-controller-thing to be true, and showed that the console is indeed powerful enough to run third party games like Battlefield 3.

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With E3 going on, it might be easy to miss an announcement like this, but it’s worth posting, given the competitive fury that Trials HD unleashed within the ButtonMasher community. Creative Director, Antti Ilvessuo has gone on record claiming that’s it’s a culmination of feedback to create the “ultimate” Trials game. There’s also a 54 second teaser trailer which contains literally about four seconds of gameplay footage, but it does look like it may involve some simultaneous multiplayer.

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Trials Evolution is expected to see a 2011 release on Xbox Live Arcade

Gunstringer

(This post was written by Jonathan Jimenez, correspondent for Buttonmasher.)

I just returned from Microsoft’s Best of Xbox Showcase at LA Live, where I was able to try Twisted Pixel’s up-and-coming retail game Gunstringer. The premise of the game: the player (an undead gunslinging marionette, ‘natch) puts on a spaghetti western play for a live audience. Our gunslinger was betrayed by his former posse, and seeks revenge in his undead state.

The controls for Gunstringer were innovative, and although I had a somewhat rough time with it initially, Gunstringer is a must-play for anyone looking to make use of their Kinect without having to rearrange their living room. The scene in the demo had me dodging incoming objects by moving left, right, and jumping over them using my left hand…the primary motion control for the game. My right hand acted as a my pistol, shooting former posse members, obstacles, and dynamite to clear paths. This doesn’t necessarily sound like a wonderful scheme, but in practice it was fairly entertaining.

Gunstringer was originally designed to be an Xbox Live Arcade game, but was apparently later expanded to a full retail game, consisting of four acts with four scenes per act. This seems a little risky; the game was incredibly fun to play, but being a full retail title could mean a higher cost than originally expected. Hopefully it launches at a fair price, because after spending a good fifteen minutes playing through the demo level, I was sold.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

We just got back from a lovely party over in downtown Los Angeles, which managed to nearly redeem the rather depressing Microsoft conference earlier that day. One of the Summer of Arcade 2011 titles, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, stood out.

An unbelievably beautiful Metroidvania title, perhaps most reminiscent to the indie title Aquaria (which I love). Michel Gagne (of Iron Giant fame) was there, the most non-jaded developer I’ve ever met; he was incredibly passionate about his title and the gaming industry in general, which he has only recently entered. Continue reading