E3: Konami pre-conference brief

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It wasn’t so much of a press event as it was a pre-recorded briefing on what Konami is excited about in 2011. A few games were shown, such as NeverDead, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, Silent Hill Downpour, MGS Snake Eater for the 3DS, and a teaser for the next Contra at the very end.

Anyone hoping to see Hideo Kojima reveal what his next game is going to be are going to be disappointed, however, as the cagey designer revealed only tidbits of what he was working on including a new “lifestyle” regarding save games.

The briefing started off with a look at the 3DS version of Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater, the PS2 classic that explored the origins of Solid Snake. For the handheld, players will be able to use the motion sensor to help keep Snake’s balance and even utilize photos taken as camouflage.

Next up was the 3rd person action game, NeverDead, with a MegaDeth scored video to show off some of its action. The Japanese and European developed title will have players star as Bryce, a heroic demon hunter that challenges the demon king 500 years ago but loses with his wife getting murdered in the process. Cursed with immortality by his enemy, Bryce can be blown apart but never die as you try to get him back together should that happen. One shot revealed a rolling head on the floor, probably manipulated by the player, trying to get back to the rest of its body.

Some information was revealed on a new Silent Hill film in production and a small tease for Silent Hill Downpour, the next game in the series, but little else other than that it was coming.

Later, Mark MacDonald of 8-4 visited Hideo Kojima at his studio. “Transfarring” was shown off, a save transfer mechanism that would allow players on the PS3 use the same save for the same game (such as the upcoming Peace Walker) with the portable version, and vice versa so that you don’t miss a beat. Kojima hopes to extend this capability to the PS2/PS3 level, and eventually to the PS3 and NGP.

Kojima didn’t show off a new game so much as he did the new engine that will be running it. Called the “Fox Engine”, it will be used in Kojima’s projects going forward as a multiplatform engine. Development for it started shortly after MGS4 and a jungle scene was displayed as a test environment, though it has nothing to do with the next game whatever it might be.

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Lastly, it was revealed that MGS Peace Walker, Sons of Liberty, and Snake Eater are going to be together in an HD collection in November this year for the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Later in 2012, that will be followed by both Zone of the Enders titles. Far from being tweaked graphically, they’ll also sport new interfaces and a few more tweaks to keep them from feeling like a simple port dumped onto a disc.

As the briefing ended, a gout of flame filled the screen soon forming into a burning “C” with words hinting at the return of a classic series – Contra. As for what Konami has planned, your guess is as good as mine.

Recruit Hideo Kojima

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The upcoming MGS game on the PSP, Peace Walker, will allow players to capture and recruit mercs they encounter in the game. And according to Andriasang, one of them will be series creator, Hideo Kojima, who is apparently called a “god” by other NPCs in the game.

According to his stats, he’s a god that’s really good at intelligence gathering and healing, but not so much at cooking or fighting. The article also notes that his profile states “”My body is made up 70% of movies. You can decide what to do with the remaining 30%.”

That actually makes sense given Kojima’s love for film early in his career and the influence it has had on his work, not to mention the heavy emphasis on technical geekery that his titles love to inject into their dialogues.

It also makes me wonder what other games would be like if their designers did the same thing. For example, would John Carmack moonlight as a secret designer of uberweapons in Rage? Or would the discovery of Shigeru Miyamoto in Mario Galaxy 2 unlock a galaxy containing all of his games as a bonus? We can always hope.

E3: Xbox press briefing decompression

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In case you haven’t seen Al’s previous posts, a few of us at Tech-Out are actually attending the sea of gaming madness called E3. Today was press-con day: Xbox, Electronic Arts (which I almost forgot I registered for), and Ubisoft. Instead of inundating you with reams of text about stuff you’ve probably already heard about (see links on the right side for actual news), me and Reggie will share our thoughts about some of the things that really clawed at our eyeballs and collective gaming psyches. No tears of joy were shed in the viewing of these conferences … except perhaps the from the Final Fantasy crowd. Oh yeah, and Steven Spielberg, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney showed up. That sets the tone for the discussion, which comes after the jump.

I start it off after the jump. And no, we haven’t forgotten the fact that Hideo Kojima was there.
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