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E3 2013

EA announced a new entry in the venerable Command and Conquer series during their EA Play event on Saturday. The catch is that Command and Conquer: Rivals is a mobile game. It eschews its grand scale and full video cut scenes for a simple, touch-based interface and two-player real-time combat. 

Command and Conquer is a series built around massive stories and huge battles. It has a rabid fanbase as well. This, unfortunately, has a chilling effect on the announcements. Journalists and fans alike were somewhat negative about it.

I think that is more of an issue with misplaced expectations though. Fans were hoping for a large-scale, real-time strategy game like they remember. But, what they were shown was a very stripped down two player game where the entire map fits on your phone.  

The demo was well presented, and it showed off a game that distilled a lot of what makes real-time strategy games fun down to a small screen with touch controls. At the same time, seeing a popular title going fallow for so long only for it to be brought back as a mobile title feels very weird.  There is at least some hope that EA will use this as a test to determine if a full-fledged sequel is in the cards for the future. 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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EA opened their press briefing at E3 2013 with a huge surprise. PopCap Games came on stage and announced a spin-off title for their immensely popular Plants vs. Zombies series: The third-person class based shooter Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare.

I’ll be honest with all of you. I missed the gag in there until my oldest son started giggling. “Dad, its like Modern Warfare…. but in a Garden.” (Well played PopCap. Well played.)

They only showed a brief trailer of a co-op “horde mode” that would be part of the game. Four players controlled each of the different plant classes that were available and fought against waves of zombies while trying to plant a garden. The casual grid-based strategy gameplay was stripped away in favor of fast-paced action. The four plant classes shown were as follows:

Peashooter: This plant appears to be an all-around character. He has a reasonable long range attack and could plant other peashooter drones to lay down cover fire.

Sunflower: This was a healer/medic class. They didn’t get into to many details about what this class can do, but I can say that parents of younger kids wanting to play this game should get used to the idea of playing this support class. (I’m wicked excited!)

Piranha Plant: This was a close range brawler. What adds some challenge to this class is that, just like in the original title, whenever the piranha plant eats a zombie it can’t attack again for a while. This requires a lot of advancing and retreating in order to stay safe.

Cactus: The cactus is a sniper. One thing that I liked the most is that each of the snipers shots leave a red trail of dust. This might seem insignificant, but when playing a team based level like that the ability to know where your lone sniper is feels pretty useful.

We don’t have a confirmed release date yet, but PopCaps website has confirmed that the game will release for Xbox360, Xbox One, and PC sometime in early 2014.

If you happen to be one of the many people who just can’t wait that long for more PvZ action, then you are definitely in luck as the official sequel Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time will be released on July 18th.

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Nintendo did not hold a press briefing at E3 2013. Instead they posted a 38 minute Nintendo Direct video on their E3 website showing off the new titles that are on the way.

They showed a number of new and exciting titles, but things didn’t really pick up steam until the end of the presentation where they closed with game play details for Super Smash Brothers.

Smash Brothers is a fighting game that pits iconic Nintendo characters against each other in 4-player battles has been on of the most successful franchises Nintendo has to offer. It really couldn’t be coming at a better time as the Nintendo WiiU has been struggling on account of a lack of killer games. The reality is that Smash Brothers might be just what the doctor ordered.

They confirmed the return of several longstanding characters like Mario, Pikachu, Samus Aran, Link and Donkey Kong. They also have announce three new characters so far at E3.

The first new character was “The Villager” from Animal Crossing. He appears to be an interesting character with a lot of defensive moves. For example he can dig holes to prevent opponents from charging in on him. He can also catch projectiles in mid air and pocket them.

The second character announced is quite possibly the biggest news of the entire event (Yes. I mean all of E3… ALL OF IT). Capcom’s Mega Man will be making a guest appearance in Smash Brothers this time around complete with mega-buster, a whole pile of robot master weapons, and his trusty dog Rush. This is a huge deal because Mega Man is among the most popular characters in video games and has, sadly, been left out of the spotlight in recent years.

The third character was announce after the Nintendo Direct presentation went off the air. The “Wii Fit Trainer” is going to be stomping all over some Nintendo characters with her yoga moves.

We, sadly, don’t have a release date for this game right now, but Nintendo indicated that it would be releasing for the 3DS and Nintendo WiiU in 2014. I expect that we will have a lot more character announcements between now and then.

Stay tuned!

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Nintendo opted out of holding a premiere press event at this year’s E3 event. Instead, they posted a new Nintendo Direct video on their E3 website.

One of their more significant announcements was for Mario Kart 8 which will be released for the WiiU in 2014.

Mario Kart games are always exciting because each iteration of the game includes a new game play feature. This time around the game features magnetic wheels that are built into each cart to allow tracks to send players up walls and upside down. This should lead to some amazing tracks with some crazy shortcuts.

Take a look at the trailer and sound off in the comments and let us know what you think!

 

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