The Ubisoft booth at E3 was filled with games of many shapes and sizes, but only one title had my keenest eye glimmer with much anticipation. As a fan of the Driver series since it first appeared in 1999 I was ecstatic to hear that the game was set to return on all three home consoles. First getting wind of it back in 2005 I waited patiently for more news of it to be released as the years progressed. Fortunately the wait was nearing the end, and after going hands-on with Driver: San Francisco I left the booth with more excitement.
One of the biggest surprises at this past year's PAX East was the under-the-radar title Jimmie Johnson's Anything With An Engine, a kart racer whose style was like a blend of Mario Kart and Redneck Rampage. It was also my pick for Most Wanted Title during the Electric Sista Hood PAX East podcast episode, beating out the likes of Mortal Kombat, Duke Nukem Forever and Brink at the event. So it came as a wondrous shock that when I went to E3 I stumbled across this game at the Konami booth, who will be distributing the title in America.
It is an unwritten truth that female protagonists can wipe the floor with their male counterparts. This fact began many a decade ago with Ms. Pac-Man, whose gameplay and maze designs made her husband's title look like child's play. (I'd pick Lara Croft over Nathan Drake in a battle-to-the-death, and I believe that Zelda would be able to outwit and outplay Link if she was in Sheik form.) Thirty years later the battle of the gaming sexes continues to be in favor of the women's side, as evident in Twisted Pixel's latest release Ms. 'Splosion Man.
Much gratitude is owed to Shonen Knife, the Japanese rock band now celebrating their thirtieth anniversary. The likes of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, White Flag and many others have praised their love for Naoko and company, even going so far as to either record tributes or -- if they're lucky enough -- share the stage with them. Without them the alt-rock industry (especially the grunge category) would've probably been more of a footnote in the history of music rather than the encyclopedia it is today. However had it not been for a certain group of punk icons the trio may not have been the band we see on stage now, which is why Shonen Knife are commemorating this occasion with the release of Osaka Ramones, a tribute album to Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, Tommy and Marky.
We've all seen the trailer, and snippets of the game have been shown here and there. At E3's Square-Enix mega-booth I had the chance to go hands-on with one of this year's most hotly-anticipated titles: Dead Island. One problem: you could only play five minutes of the game.