Konami Pre E3 Show - Review

It is that time of the year!
E3 is just a couple of days away. But this time, we are not only expecting great new game announcements but also completely new next-gen gaming consoles.
However, traditionally Konami once again kicks off E3 even before it officially begins.
Instead of doing very weird and technically flawed live conferences (just watch their horrible 2010 conference), Konami played it safe and pre-recorded a documentary style announcement show that is streamed live just a few days before E3.
Expecting Hideo Kojima and Lords of Shadow 2 information is a no-brainer. But is there more that Konami has up its sleeve? How was our first taste of E3 2013?

Considering that the Konami Pre E3 Show this year again was kept fairly short at 30 minutes total, the best way to work our way through each part of the show is to do it chronologically.
And just in case you missed the show, you can rewatch it here.
So let's start with what Konami had to show us...

Make Dance Not War

Fuck school. DANCE!

After a typically warm Asian welcome by the host of the show, we we're first given a brief showcase of what dancing games have become...THE ULTIMATE TOOL OF WORLD PEACE!...well, not exactly.
According to Konami, their success with their Dance Dance Revolution franchise even spread to various schools overtaking sports and fitness classes.
Furthermore, various children- and school supporting organisations also take advantage of Konami's dancing games and incorporate them into their programs.
Well, that's heartwarming is it? Yeah...but what the fuck is the point?!
Dont't get me wrong. I am all for video games supporting education organisations and most importantly organsations helping kids, but not blending this uplifting news with any great new announcement was pretty weak. A simple news article would've probably had the same effect.

Vegas going Mobile

I ain't got no cash fo' dat!

Next, some of Konami's Californian developers revealed their plans for supporting and developing casino experience games for mobile devices but also actual casino gambling machines. Also, indie developers will be supported by the studio to further spread these casino mobile games everybody wanted........NOT!
Seriously....WHY THE F is this on Konami's show? They only got 30 minutes and this is what they use them for? Indie support is always great but why limit them to mobile games? Look at how Sony supports them! Look at them Konami...and then DO SOMETHING JUST LIKE IT!

Soccer Games...or "Making a Game out of a Game"

I dare you to tell me which PES game this is.

Alright, maybe some of you might already know this, but i personally despise sports games. I just don't see the point in playing a game that is based on a game/sport that you could easily just actually DO. For me this is just like watching a parody of a comedy. Just freakin' go outside an PLAY that sport yourself. Not only is it more fun, it's also healthy.
But i know that i also have to be tolerant towards all sorts of gaming genres that i myself am not a big fan of. Still, the sports games community is pretty big and Konami "graced" us with their newest effort PES 2014....SUPRISE!! You didn't see that coming did ya'? YEAH! ME NEITHER!

Ok, seriously though, aside from being yet another soccer game in an industry with plenty of sports and soccer games already, Konami did a terrible job in selling their game.
Yes, soccer games in general get more realistic and the players more detailed with every year. Yes, there are even more new movements? But aside from that, there's yet again absolutely NO innovation what so ever.
Of course many gamers could just as well say the same thing about ego-shooters and other franchises. But in all honesty, no gaming genre out there has evolved so extremely slow like sports games. I give sports games a fair chance to amaze me. But if i or even the fans of your sports game franchise cant even tell the difference between PES 2012 and PES 2014 by just looking at the gameplay...whats the point in making it more realistic year after year and nothing else to improve it? But oh well...maybe sports games just reached their limit in gameplay.

The Phantom Pain

Hideo Kojima has always been Konami's secret weapon. Every single one of all the missteps and shitty games Konami has released are all forgotten once Kojima blows everybody away with his highly polished Metal Gear Solid games.
Although the main secret about MGS: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain has been unveiled, there are still a lot of questions about the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
At Konami's Pre E3 Show we were all hoping for some detailed insights into the game.

Kojima is very charming and a nice guy but he just looooves to keep his games a secret and slap fan expectations into the face (positively as well as negatively). While that drives the hype and mystery about his games upwards, there is a limit to that.
During this year's Pre E3 Show, Kojima liftet a big mystery about who would actually be the voice actor for Snake. While many still hardly believed that David Hayter would return despite all the concerns, the new Snake is voice by....*drumroll*...Kiefer Sutherland......yay?
Although i got nothing against Sutherland and his acting abilities or movies, the choice of letting Hollywood help out Hideo Kojima, whose biggest strength always was to stand his own ground with his own style, is kind of strange.
It was clearly stated that Kojima was looking for a new voice actor for Snake and directly looked for help from Hollywood producers. Very obviously, Kojima tries to appeal to the Western market even more than he already does. Why? I don't fucking know!
All of his previous MGS games appealed to Western audiences AS WELL AS Asian gamers, which is a fairly rare thing in the gaming industry (Western games are generally disliked by Asian audiences and hit with low sales there).
Anyway, after some comments from Hideo and Kiefer Sutherland about how awesome and exciting it is to work together on such a game and some very neat showcases of the impressive Fox Engine, that was pretty much it...no really. No gameplay, no new trailer, no release date, no nothing.
Kiefer Sutherland was Kojima's big E3 announcement. Whether Kiefer's performance will be any good is to early to determine right about now, but do i need to mention that this was incredibly underwhelming?
Kojima rarely disappointed and has a great sense for video game development, but at some point his supposed hype-creating mystery marketing is just getting annoying. Even more so if the only big thing he has to announce is a new voice actor nobody wanted.

There Will Be Blood 

The sequel to 2010's Castlevania reboot is among my most anticipated games of 2013.
Seeing how most developers shoot out infos, trailers and release dates for their current-gen games as soon as possible before the next-gen consoles take away all of the attention, it's strange how Mercury Steam decided not to give us any info whatsoever about Lords of Shadow 2 since last year's VGAs.
Probably the game was just not ready to be shown or had some troubles. Anyway, i was worried about the game. But surely the Pre E3 Konami show would calm me down right?

Yes it did as far as knowing that the game's development seemingly works as planned.
The Lords of Shadow 2 segment of Konami's show was easily the most fleshed out and most detailed. With commentaries from both the producer and the developers from Mercury Steam about insightful aspects of the enhanced environments, graphics, combat systems, it was great to know that the past months' lack of info didn't mean anything serious.
With multiple weapons and powers to use, bigger and more open environments, levels centered in different ages, cool looking bosses and finally a freely controllable camera, the game looks gorgeous.
Despite no mention of whether we will be able to play as Alucard and a trailer that, although overall great, lacked a bit of variety in the environments, i can sleep peacefully now knowing that the game is coming out this winter. Lords of Shadow 2 might be pretty late considering that it still will be a PS3/360/PC game but better late than never.

The ending surprise showing that idiot from Mega 64 doing some embarassing Dracula stuff however was so unnecessarily tacked on and unfunny that i will just pretend as if it never happened.


There's still a chance.

That sums up my views and opinions about the Konami press conference. While overall pretty disappointing, considering how there were no new game announcements to really care about or any surprising new infos, my personal main attraction of the show (LoS2) was impressively showcased. Demos of several Konami games will supposedly be playable at Konami's E3 booth and i am looking forward to seeing some of the footage of those games in the upcoming days.
Konami once again did a weird job kicking of E3 with their show. Still, it has to be taken into account that Konami's Pre E3 Show was only a short 30 minute sort of documentary and not a full blown conference (thank god). And with E3 still coming up and Konami showcasing their game demos, there's still the chance for them to surprise us at least with the games that we already know of.

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