Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bottom of the Pile #5: June 19, 2013

Green Lantern: New Guardians #21

New writer/artist team Justin Jordan and Brad Walker take over with this issue, and honestly the promise of something new is what truly landed this book on this list.  Green Lantern: New Guardians has slowly but surely turned into a Kyle-centric title, and with this issue it has fully taken on that role in the DC Universe, finally granting me and hopefully twenty thousand other fans what we've wanted since 2005's Green Lantern: Rebirth, a Kyle Rayner solo ongoing.

Still, I personally feel Kyle always did better on Earth (or at the very least without a bunch of little blue tagalongs) so New Guardians is a long way from where I'd prefer it to be, but the goodwill Jordan built up on Team 7 and Brad Walker's beautiful pencils that naturally lend itself to science fiction means I'll probably pick the book up for at least the rest of the year to see where it goes.  For now, welcome to the bottom of the pile, New Guardians.  I hope you have an extended stay.

Fantastic Four #9

The concept of "inevitability" is something superhero fiction generally embraces pretty warmly, but usually from the perspective of the hero.  IE, no matter what permutations a hero's history may go through on another world, they are generally destined to do good, even if its with their last dying moments. 

What rarely happens however, is the idea that a villain is inevitable.  Fantastic Four #9 however, examines the idea with a look at Doom's early life, and I have to say its one of my favorite issues that came out this week.  Fraction's Fantastic Four is pretty much what I expect it to be from the guy that wrote the amazing but short-lived Defenders comic last year, but its never really done anything stand out until this issue.  The idea of Victor not only being aware of his eventual fate, but that other versions of Doom from the future and presumably even other timelines all travel backwards to watch his transformation as if it were some kind of dark, twisted nativity scene is one that was truly fascinating to read.  And Mark Bagley's art nails every scene, especially when combined with colorist Paul Mounts' vibrant colors.

 Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #24

For a comic I only started reading on a bet (I said if Bendis made the rumored new Spider-Man after Peter's death black, I'd pick the book up), Ultimate Comics Spider-Man is consistently surprises me with the high quality of the title.  This newest arc, Spider-Man No More, has been about dealing with the aftermath of Miles' loss during the Venom arc and him coping with the fact that whether he likes it or not, the super-hero world is absolutely going to drag him back into things.   Of course, while we're telling that story, Bendis also seems to have time to introduce Ultimate Cloak and Dagger, with a story that's both heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once.  People normally complain about his work being de-compressed, but when it involves introducing a pair of new superheroes and giving us their origins all in 22 pages I honestly can't get too mad at the guy.

New Avengers #7

Never has an issue filled with talking heads and exposition felt so bad-ass to me.  Jonathan Hickman continues his build-up to Infinity with New Avengers 7 (and Avengers 14, which I'll get to shortly) and its glorious to read.  Everything from the animosity between Namor and Black Panther (and by proxy, Atlantis and Wakanda) to the scene with Reed, Strange and Doom is dripping with tension, as if at any second things could explode.  Speaking of the scene between Reed, Strange and Doom, this issue goes a long way towards doing two things: 1.) Making Marvel's Illuminati seem like the bad-asses they're supposed to be (seriously, talking like that to Doom and then just teleporting away??), and 2.) Keeping up with continuity pretty amazingly.   Its obvious to keep the bits with Wakanda and Atlantis from AvX, but keeping track of the fact that Reed Richards and Iron Man are supposed to be in space?  It's a nice touch from a bygone era, before we just decided "Oh this takes place before/in between/just after/we don't really care how it fits in just shut up and by the comic" were all considered decent answers.

Avengers #14

The Avengers finally stop with the talking (mostly) and start with the smashing.  That's what everybody wanted, right?  Well, here it is.  With this issue nearly every member of this gigantic team putting themselves to use saving lives from imminent disaster, and next issue likely to be devoted to lots of superpowered punches, we're finally back to the Avengers that has supposedly been "missing" from this title since Hickman started his run.  And it feels good.   We're definitely headed somewhere interesting, and I look forward to seeing what they have planned with the Infinity event.

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #18

My favorite Transformers series is back with another issue detailing the exploits of the crew of the Lost Light.  I honestly don't have much to say about this issue, other than: Holy crap I hope nobody else dies.   The Lost Light's expedition to discover what happened to Ultra Magnus takes one half of the crew to the strange planet of Luna 1, where some truly insane twists occur that will leave readers guessing until next month's issue 19.   Meanwhile, for the half of the crew that remained on the ship, things get hectic as they deal with more of the robots from early in the series that were chasing Skids, which brings me back to: Holy crap I REEEEALLY hope no one else dies.

The twist with Ultra Magnus was interesting, but it occurred to me while I was writing this BOTP that its not really a new one, as it happened in Dreamwave's The War Within.  Still, this one feels more true to the character and has far more story potential than the last one, so I'm curious to see how it all plays out.  (Y'know, it's actually a lot harder to talk about a perfect book than I thought.)

I think that does it for this edition.  Also of note was Superior Spider-Man 13, but I don't think its fair to put that on the list considering I'm really just waiting for it all to come crashing down on Spock, which we all know it will (eventually).     Hopefully I'll have BOTP 6 up by the weekend.

Battle Rap Wednedsays: JC vs Pooh Bear

Yep.  This went down like it was supposed to.   JC got this 3-0, even though the first half of his last round was super light, nothing Pooh Bear had could really scratch dude.  It's getting about time for him to get on that big stage, but I'm pretty sure SMACK ain't trying to put him on Summer Madness 3.   I'm glad he's getting light in KOTD--hopefully next up he'll start on Don't Flop.

Favorite line: "The same story, but the Garden of Eden is out./He act, so ya'll believe that ni--a he scream he about./But since bitch was made from a ni--a, it doesn't justify bitch-made ni--as!"

That ass-whuppin' was biblical.   Anyway, at some point some of these top tier dudes gotta give JC a shot.  He's battled nearly 20 times, got one classic under his belt, and went up against two well-respected battlers (Caustic and O-Red) and still hasn't lost a battle since fairly early on.  He should've been on that NOME 3 card but they gave that spot to Chilla instead so maybe we'll see him during SMACK's end of the year event.  Either that or he can keep rolling over KOTD battlers.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bottom of the Pile #4: June 12, 2013

Super late, which is weird because its also super short.  I read a ton of comics but really only a couple qualified for the "Bottom of the Pile" status, in stark contrast to what happened last week.

Superman Unchained 1

I have to apologize to Scott Snyder and the rest of the Superman Unchained team for this.  Initially I simply didn't believe that Scott Snyder's Superman would be anything we hadn't seen before; it was just going to be a vanity project for Jim Lee to tie-in with the Man of Steel movie that was released last week.   As it turns out, I was very, very wrong.  Superman Unchained #1 honestly should have been Superman #1; it manages to use all of the core characters of the Superman mythology, introduce something new, and tie it all together into a neat little 22 page package that was an enjoyable read from start to finish.

Seriously, there's so much I loved about this issue:

- Superman feels heroic.  The issue starts with him having already stopped seven satellites from crashing into heavily inhabited parts of the world and he's working on the eighth, a particularly troublesome one.  He uses pretty much all of his skills to get the job done, proving that this was really a job for Superman.

- Lois is awesome, without being emasculating.  You're welcome to disagree, but it just made Superman look lame in Superman #1 when it ended with him basically overhearing Lois talk about how "Clark is just a friend.." just before getting it on with her new boyfriend.  He's from the House of El, not the House of Cuckold.  In Unchained, Lois is showing off her expertise as an editor at the Daily Planet while simultaneously helping Clark *and* proving she hasn't lost her reporting chops at all.

- Following up on Clark's continued existence as a freelance investigative reporter made me grin from ear to ear the rest of the issue.  They could have easily went the "oh this is timeless" route, and ignore the recent continuity changes to the Superman mythos, most recent (and interesting) of these being that Clark quit the Daily Planet because they weren't interested in real journalism anymore.

- Jim Lee.  I like Jim Lee's art, but a lot of times the crosshatching gets to be too much and art that would be gorgeous gets slightly...murky?  That doesn't happen here.  This is Lee's best work in ages, and I loved every page. 

- The twist ending.  If this new retcon is real, then DC has gone a long way towards making their fictional universe more science fiction than attached to the real world, and I love that.

Superman Unchained just might be the Superman series people have been looking for since Grant Morrison's Action Comics became a little too experimental, and it'll be the first time in several months that I'll be actually anticipating the next issue of a comic featuring the Man of Steel. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

The League and the Legion

By now everyone's heard of Justice League 3000.  Replacing "Legion of Super-Heroes" on the stands as DC's single title perpetually set 1000 years into the future, Justice League 3000 is a comic book that sees both Legion and Justice League legend, Keith Giffen, alongside Justice League cohorts Kevin Maguire and J.M. DeMatteis together creating stories about a thousand years from now's World's Greatest Heroes.   Of course, the primary problem in all this seems to be that Justice League 3000 is replacing The Legion of Super-Heroes, leaving dozens (hah) of stalwart Legion fans without a book for the first time since 2008.  It may even be worse now, since at least at the time we had the unannounced but obviously forthcoming (albeit short-lived) Geoff Johns title.  As far as we know right now there appear to be zero Legion-focused titles in the works at DC.  This could be seen as troubling, but to be honest I'm not all that worried.

The future Superman and Batman

First thing's first: The Legion title, as it is, is incredibly boring.  It's filled with cheap deaths meant to "shock", but with both lackluster art and direction to the story (and being aware of the title's impending cancellation), its hard to care about what's happening to the characters.  In truth, the Legion has been mishandled since day one of the relaunch: splitting the team up into two different titles without any plot-based reason, refusing to actually reboot the team and simply starting over with a new #1 but continuing the last series' was as if they didn't care what happened to the team, and this is the result.  For the first time since the characters got their own title in the 70's, the Legion seemingly has no place in the DC Universe. 

Wonder Woman

It's especially sad too, since the Legion represents so much to the DC Universe and to comics in general.  They represent the idea of Superman's legacy (or all heroes, really) carrying on long after he has disappeared.  They represent a superhero title that is (usually) unfettered by the bonds of continuity.  And they represent a future in superheroes (or fiction in general) where there's hope, and optimism; where the protagonists actually have a world worth protecting.  Honestly folks, this is a more surprising rarity than you'd think.

The Flash

Still, this wouldn't be Jumping in Headfirst if this article was all doom and gloom.  I'm excited actually really excited for Justice League 3000, and one of those most crucial reasons of all can be boiled down to a simple phrase: It's something new in the "New" 52.  And I know there are a ton of fanboys that would claim that this isn't REALLY something new since its just the Justice League in the future, but the truth is this is the first time we've ever seen the Justice League's legacy directly continue this far into the future, and its pretty cool.  It also represents something else fairly important.

Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire are known for writing a specific type of comic book.  Anyone who's ever read their Justice League knows exactly what I'm talking about.  They do superhero dramedies, with a hefty focus on the "comedy" portion.  Comedy is something that has been sorely missing from DC compared to the days of the mid-to-late 90's, and every indication currently is that this book is on that same humorous level as their old Justice League comic book, something sorely needed in this current "srs bsness" DCU.   What we're looking at here are three old hands with a fairly consistent level of talent, doing what they do best--bring good art and a good story to a superhero comic.  If it turns out the way we're hoping, you really can't ask for more.  In fact, I only have one problem with what we know so far.

Green Lantern
From the two interviews done so far, Keith Giffen has made every effort to tell us this book has no real ties to the Legion of Super-Heroes.  On one level, I get this.  I respect it even.  He wants to put one superhero title on the stand where, if that's the only title you buy, its the only one you need to understand the story.  I get that, totally.  BUT.

Part of the reason most superhero fans read comics is because of the rich tapestry of characters that exists.  I'm not saying hogtie yourself to continuity, but don't be afraid to use it to your advantage.  Supposedly these are all brand-new characters, and that's kind of cool but don't be afraid to set this in a universe that has the Legion.  A mention of Colu here, Braal there.  The existence of the United Planets--that's all I'm asking. The idea of a Justice League in the future alongside the Legion is one of the great, undone ideas that has yet to be explored for the team, and there's certainly room on the stands for both comics (if they're both good).

Justice League 3000 hits the stands in October.  I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Battle Rap Wednesdays: Charlie Clips vs. Serius Jones

I finally sat down to check this battle out the other night, and its like most people say: Clips 2-1.  But its definitely not a body--Serius' third round is mean.  Like, real mean.  It had to be to make up for that garbage second, but still. 

Memorable lines:

"You can try that freestyle shit, Jones, but it don't work here./If you freestyle about the barbershop, then it hurt, and you really work there."  -- Clips

"Yeah, ya'll know me.  It's been a minute, but off the top, I dismantle shit./Yeah, nine years ago I was a barber, so you know I know how to handle Clips." - Serius

Nowhere near as excellent an example of freestyle versus writtens as AyeVerb vs. Hollow Da Don, but still a good battle.  Summer Madness got at least 3 hot battles, which makes up for Mook and Iron and that Ness battle.  Still I'm looking forward to SM3 stepping it up.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bottom of the Pile #3: June 5th, 2013

Over a week late with this, so I apologize.  After I finish 3 I'm doing the work necessary (if you call "reading comics" work, that is) to do #4 so bear with me.

Detective Comics #21

I've enjoyed Detective Comics pretty consistently since John Layman (Chew) started writing it.  We've gotten a fairly awesome version of Batman, with the ridiculous action that Detective is ironically known for in every issue. From the Emperor Penguin arc to The 900, Layman has set out to do new and interesting things with the villains Batman we've known Batman to have.

Here, Layman introduced not only a new villain for Batman, but put to use the Scott Snyder created Harper Row (who's going to be the next Robin, even if I wish it were still Tim Drake), and reintroduced a villain who's been missing even before Flashpoint happened.  It all works together to create a surprisingly good issue, and the only thing I thought was a little clunky was the random romance subplot tossed in, since I have a feeling it's not going to go anywhere important.

Avengers #13

Avengers 12 ended on a cliffhanger that involved the High Evolutionary kidnapping some of the newly created super-children that the Avengers had been shepherding.  That kind of annoyed me since I thought he had gotten away and they would be used for some nefarious end without the Avengers being able to do anything about it.

Well, Avengers 13 not only allayed my fears, but also created another amazing issue as the Earth's Mightiest Heroes tracked the High Evolutionary down and saved the kids.  The budding relationship between Thor and Hyperion is so amusing I can only hope we see more of it as Hickman's run continues, and in general Hickman continues to have an great grasp on all the different characters.  And I have to say the fact that they're remaining consistent with the fact that Tony shouldn't be on Earth right now is pretty awesome, though I do wonder how Iron Man can operate both that suit and his own given what's going on in his book.  It makes the guy less human and more superhuman, but that might be the fault of another book I'll talk about in just a sec.

I don't think I've scarcely ever liked Deodato's art more, as his gorgeous pencils remind me of just how beautiful the Savage Land is supposed to be, even when everything there is trying to kill you.  Great book all-around, and I'm hoping 14 keeps up the trend as this is the most interesting the Avengers have been in awhile.

Earth 2 #13

So, I'm not sure what's going on here.  I'm loving James Robinson's Earth 2 (at least for the 3 more issues I'll have him), but this issue came totally out of left field as it introduced an idea I thought was confined strictly to New Earth's stories.  The overall issue is as good as I expected it to be, containing what is basically an origin story of Captain Steel, and Yilidray Cinar's art almost makes me not miss Nicola Scott, being as beautiful and as detailed as I remembered it being on Teen Titans.

It's really too bad that this universe that Robinson has been building up isn't really going to lead anywhere, since he's leaving the title, but I'm definitely sticking around to see what he does with the last few issues he's on the book.

This book kind of bugs me.  I mean, we all know that Reed, Tony, Victor, Hank--they're all way smarter than any human being that actually walks the Earth.  But if you come up with an explanation for why one is so smart and so good at everything, then technically you need to come up with one for them all.

Still, the issue itself is enjoyable to read, especially considering Dale Eaglesham's literally one of my favorite artists in comics (him and Ethan van Sciver). Gillen's treading very dangerous ground here, but so long as he starts to ask (and answer!) the right questions I'll be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise 18

I'm not sure what "Dark Cybertron" is, but it sounds like an event.  Normally I'm kind of "eh" on events since they rarely make any real changes, but Transformers has been excellent so far and in random issues you can have things like Megatron coming back to life and completely wrecking Iacon and it still feels like it has the proper weight and gravity to it, so I can only imagine how big an event could be.

In any case, Robots in Disguise opens in the aftermath of 17, in which the Autobots and Decepticons both had been tossed out of Iacon, the only functioning city of Cybertron. This issue was a bit of a slowdown from the pace the last few issues were at, but it was welcome.  A focus issue, RiD #18 is about Arcee. The female Cybertronians have always been interesting to me, but the IDW-verse went a step further when they brought Arcee on as the lone female, altered by the scientist Jhiaxus when he introduced the concept of gender to her brain and essentially changing her forever.   She's been a wild card ever since then, with a spotty history on par with some of the worst Decepticons, but writer John Barber goes a long way in humanizing this strange assassin of the Autobot clan as we see what its like in her head.

With Starscream as the current ruler of Cybertron, things can only get more interesting from here on, but right now we seem to be focusing on how the outcast factions of Autobots and Decepticons, something I'm actually okay with.

Astro City #1

Nnnghh.  This is a comic that I've been a huge fan of ever since I first found it in my local library as a high school sophomore.  With its gorgeous hand-drawn Alex Ross covers, mind-bogglingly beautiful interiors by Brent Anderson, and heartfelt tales written by Kurt Busiek, Astro City has always been my favorite take on superheroes that doesn't involve DC or Marvel.  (And sometimes my favorite even when you include them.)

Despite being away from the book for the past four years or so, Kurt manages to craft a pitch-perfect tale, matching the reconstructionist tone Astro City is known for with seemingly no problems.  The characters American Chibi and Broken Man tap into some of the more popular trends that comics have seen over the last decade, but still seem like just another part of Astro City's ever-growing landscape, and the story the Broken Man tells about a character from a much earlier issue of the comic manages to give readers a sense of continuity without seeming impenetrable for newer readers to understand as so much of the book involves new concepts that a small nod to a past issue becomes harmless. 

With supposedly 12 completed issues in the drawer now, I can only hope this new return of Astro City is permanent, as I sure missed visiting.

Okay, that's all for now.  I'm sorry if this seems rushed, but I just realized I needed to write it after I began reading this week's batch of comics.  I can't say when I'll have the next batch up, but I'm hoping its soon.  Later.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Because everyone wants to pilot a giant robot...

I felt 11 again when I watched this trailer.  Back when J-RPGs reigned on consoles as king, and each one was an enjoyable experience that was fairly distinct from the next, and I spent hours sitting in front of my tiny Sanyo television playing the original Suikoden and Tales of Destiny. Monolith Soft rekindled that feeling which died for me some time after buying a PS2, and if for no other reason than that, I thank them.

One of the things that I've found most interesting about the WiiU is the fact that it is an HD console, and so many of the tricks that Sony and Microsoft have had access to over the past seven years are now available to Nintendo as well.  And developers that might have been pushed away by either the high cost of HD gaming or the difficult of programming for certain systems now have a brand-new console that's not exactly pushing the boundaries of technology but is still capable of creating gorgeous experiences like the one you see above in "X".

What this means is that for the next four years (maybe five), we'll see what smaller developers can do with access to PS3/360-level tools that are, presumably much cheaper now that something bigger and better is on the market.   All the complaints about how HD gaming is only possible with publishers that have deep pockets should be gone, so its time for devs to put up or shut up.

That's the reason why I've stopped hassling Nintendo and the Wii, because they've created a new lane for publishers and developers alike, and I'm curious to see what will come of it.   Between games like this, Mario Kart 8, Super Mario World 3D, and Super Smash Bros., I'm almost guaranteed to buy a Wii U in the next year...

Once they get over their typically stubborn nature and cuts the price of the system to something reasonable, that is.

The world is ever changing...

I still don't believe this game really exists, but here's your full gameplay trailer nonetheless.

Its in Japanese, but the characters aren't saying anything especially important, just throwaway anime dialogue like "Leave it to me," and "Thanks you saved me" and whatnot.

I'll have to actually play it myself or at least read about someone who has, but XV looks like a full switch over from XIII's "not really an RPG, and definitely not an action game" to action, with main character Noctis teleporting from building to building, and using his Wall O'Swords to both climb the sides of the aforementioned builds as well as block enemy attacks.

The gameplay shows off a variety of villains, from normal human foot soldiers to the mythical giant monsters most Final Fantasy players are used to.  I'd be lying if I said this didn't look interesting, but I'd also be lying if I said you'll be seeing this game before 2015. 

>> inb4 XV is a launch title

Battle Rap Wednesdays: Locksmith vs. Dizaster

How I know Dizaster doesn't actually freestyle.  Or if he does, its not all freestyle.  You wouldn't choke like that after spitting two rounds of near-written level material.  

I'll be honest and say Dizaster gets on my nerves a little.  He takes his shit a little too seriously during battles, like he just doesn't even respect his opponent.  Most battlers just stand there silently when their opponent's rapping, they may nod their head or laugh at a good line, maybe roll their eyes at something they think is off-base or they've heard too much.  Dizaster?   He makes jerk-off motions at the camera while his opponent is spitting.  Granted his opponent was noted bar-thief Arcane, but still.  Cut that shit out.  

And I know reading this you think "Isn't that what you're supposed to do?", and the answer is no.  This is just a display of lyricism by way of trash-talk. You're trying to outdo your opponent and you get paid a stack or 3 to do it.  You don't (or at least, you shouldn't) actually have beef with these dudes.  If you did you'd actually fight, not rap about it.  

Anyway, this classic is up because I'm waiting on some shit like NOME or KOTD's next event to drop, and that's gonna be awhile so for the next...I'd say eight weeks?  Expect some older battles, with maybe 1 or 2 newer ones slipped in. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

E3 Hopes & Predictions, Revisited

Okay, so with Day 1 over I thought we'd go ahead and take a look at the hopes I had and predictions I made and see where we stand.

Hopes: We did learn more about Batman: Arkham Origins

We got a tiny amount of gameplay wrapped into a brand-new trailer that features a new assassin announced.  Not out of the woods yet as far as it being a good game, but I've got a lot of faith in it now.  (Also, I've got a lot of love for WB for adding the AzBats costume.)

Prediction #1: We did NOT learn more about the next next Arkham game

Neither Sony or Microsoft brought it up in their conferences and I'm guessing Warner Bros. is satisfied enough with the response to Origins that they won't try and mention this game's existence until they have to, or want to.

Hopes:  We saw footage for both The Witcher 3 and Dragon Age: Inquistion

While we haven't seen any sign of Lords of the Fallen (yet, there's still 3 days to go), The Witcher 3 was apart of Microsoft's conference and Dragon Age: Inquisition was part of EA's.  You can check both those trailers out here.
In general this is a new era for Western RPGs, one which is embracing the potential of an open-world, which I completely support.

 Hope: The Return of J-RPGs to consoles

Well, so far...

The moment I saw a Kingdom Hearts character I knew it was KH3, and at that very moment I knew Sony had won E3.  Also remember that Square has yet to show us what Agni's Philosophy is, so unless its connected to Final Fantasy XV (possible), it means Square has at least one more game to show us.

See, a full J-RPG revival would come with the announcement of Persona 5 (something I've never tried but many J-RPG fans love) and the localization of the new Legend of Heroes game, Trails of the Flash, but for now we should take what we can get and shut up.  Plus we still have TGS in 3 months.

Hope: We did not get a comic book superhero game not about Batman

Unless this counts: 

I personally don't count it because he's not from the comics, but I would've let it slide if they'd found a neat way to give him a secret identity and incorporate that into gameplay.  But that's not inFamous, and we didn't get any of that.  There's three days left so I'm remaining fairly hopeful.  We'll see what happens.

Prediction #2: We DID Learn PS4's price and stance on used games

I was right, mostly.  Sony took the "friend of the gamers" approach and Jack Tretton confidently strode out there and informed everyone things for the PS4 will be largely the same (you have to pay to use multiplayer now) as they are for the PS3.  They also followed that up by explaining the PS4's price was $399, something I explicitly predicted would happen.   

Prediction #2: We did NOT learn about their launch day games

Sony was all too keen to show us the assortment of "over 140 titles" in development for the PS4, "100 of which will be released in the next year".  And that's great.  But you just had one of the biggest coups at E3 we've seen in YEARS.  I mean, for a long time we as gamers have been sitting down and talking about who "won" E3 when there were really just degrees of meh, but Sony stomped a mudhole into Microsoft by keeping a gamer-first stance on used games, showing us a huge number of titles, and topped it off with giving their system a reasonable price.

So now you have tons of fans looking to pre-order the Playstation 4, but...what are they playing with it?  We learned a few launch day games, but none of them are exactly ones that convince people to make a Day 1 purchase.  They mostly strayed away from launch "day" and stuck to "launch window", but as good a console as it might be, its just a shiny box without games, especially on the first day.  Don't just leave us playing the PS4 version of a PS3 game, Sony.

Hopes: Surprise!

The Order: 1886 starts out with a quote from the original King Arthur story, Le Morte D'Arthur.  That was an insta-win.  Then as the footage went on we got to see this game takes place in an anachronism stew of a world, with steampunk weapons and airships and guns more advance than what we have now and old-school British outfits, along with a character named Lancelot.

I think its too soon to call this a King Arthur steampunk game, but I DO think it looks like it has a lot of potential.  I wouldn't be mad if this turned out to be a launch day title.

Overall this was a very productive first day for E3, and I'm looking forward to some of the surprises remaining from the smaller publishers/developers over the remainder of the convention.