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E3 ‘09: E3’s Top 10 Underdogs

E3 2009's Underdogs

E3 2009 may be long gone at this point, but there are obviously still games that people are talking about. This isn’t a list of those games. E3 isn’t all about big announcements for even bigger games - it’s about the industry as a whole, both “big” and “little” games alike. Unfortunately, every year, a handful of really great games, with a lot of potential get swallowed up in the media storm that surrounds the “Halo”’s, the “Mario”’s, and the “anything-with-Snake-in-it”’s. This list is here to make sure you don’t forget the little games; you know the ones that might not make too many Top 10 lists, (I hear there’s only a certain number of spots on those) and hopefully don’t get picked over when their release date comes along. These are the Top 10 Underdogs of E3 2009 (or the best of what you didn’t see).

Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao

Developers have been trying to cram 3D into games for almost 30 years now, but it looks like technology is finally going to cooperate. Invincible Tiger is an XBLA/PSN game from Namco Bandai that actually works with your 3D enhanced HDTV - if you’re fancy enough to have picked one of those up already. If not, then you can just rock those charcoal frosted glasses that you stole from that screening of Coraline (they say it also works with the red and blue ones too - but I think you might get a headache from that as well). So, it’s cool in 3D, but it’s also a pretty sweet little 2D side scroller as well - I know… a 3D 2D game that’s dumb. But it’s not. You are. (Namco Bandai - Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

Cave Story

Yes, “Cave Story” was actually on the show floor at E3. It was part of one demo station that was set up at Nintendo’s booth, over in the corner, away from “Wii Fit Plus” and “New Super Mario Bros. Wii.” Now, that wouldn’t be too bad, as Nintendo’s booth is prime real estate, but the Wii station that had “Cave Story” on it, also had five other WiiWare titles on it, as indicated by a tiny sign next to the console. Now, is that proper treatment for what is shaping up to be one of the most interesting WiiWare titles of the year? Better question - is that the proper way to treat any game at E3? Absolutely not, and this awesome 8-bit sidescroller deserves so much better treatment than that. It’s up to you to make it up to Pixel and Tyrone at Nicalis when the game comes out. I think you know what to do. (Nicalis - Wii)

Bit.Trip Core

“Bit.Trip Beat” was an instant minimalist’s WiiWare classic, and “Core” follows virtually the same path. However, this time, instead of playing a variation on “Pong,” it’s a lot more like a simplified (yet challenging) D-pad based version of “Guitar Hero” - hit the right direction as the dots pass over it. It’s easy to comprehend, yet challenging to master. (Also, see “Cave Story” as to why WiiWare games, unlike Baby, got put in the corner.) (Aksys - Wii)

Katamari Forever

Sure, Keita Takahashi no longer works on the Katamari franchise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good game any more. “Katamari Forever” is more katamari rolling with the Prince, just this time it’s exclusively only the PS3, and back where it belongs with symmetrical dual analogs. It may be “just another sequel” but they’re still amazingly fun games, that deserve to not be overlooked, and it seems like no one cared about “Katarmari Forever” at this years E3 (except for Luke at Kotaku). But it’s back, and more beautiful and fun than ever. (Namco Bandai - PlayStation 3)

A Boy and His Blob

Oh WayForward, how I envy you. First you had a chance to bring “Contra” back, and restore it to the way it was meant to be played (in 2D), and now you get a chance to re-envision the David Crane cult classic “A Boy and His Blob.” Sure, the premise of an shape-shifting, jellybean loving, alien blob befriending a young boy is a little wacky of a plot line … but so is being a “space marine.” The art style in this game alone makes it worth a second look, but really, it’s the action-puzzle solving that really puts this game on the list. It may look like it’s aimed at your younger brother, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a good game under all that pretty paint.(Majesco - Wii)

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2 Responses to “E3 ‘09: E3’s Top 10 Underdogs”

  1. The Games Domain » E3’s Top 10 Underdogs on June 17th, 2009 1:38 pm

    [...] Article here [...]

  2. E3 ‘09: Little King’s Story Developer Interview with Yoshiro Kimura | TrueGameHeadz .:Video Game Previews, Reviews, Videos and News For Gamers Everywhere:. on June 19th, 2009 9:56 am

    [...] at E3 09, “Little King’s Story” is definitely one of the show’s biggest underdogs. Unit had a chance to spend some time with Kimura-san, as well as XSEED’s Jimmy Soga, and was [...]

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