The Best of E3 2009 7

LOS ANGELES – Oh hell yes.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo is back. It’s better. It’s … over. Damn.

While it still wasn’t the spectacle of the 90s, the conference was easily three times bigger than it was last year, and there was some actual news this time.

Here’s what we took away from the conference this time around:

BEST GAME
Uncharted 2

The first Uncharted is still one of the best games on the Playstation 3, and that’s not a knock on the console’s library either. This sequel looks to improve on the gameplay of the fantastic original, while also including a brand new multiplayer mode–one we will have impressions of for you in the near future.

BEST WII GAME
Super Mario Bros. Wii
Nintendo
Q4 2009

Mario is back. This new four-player side scroller is the first game to remind us of the good old days since the good old days, except now, with that multiplayer involved, it gives you a reason to want to punch your friends in the face.

BEST XBOX 360 GAME
Mass Effect 2

Bioware is promising a darker, more developed game than the first, which is saying something considering how well-done the original was. We’ll need to see it for ourselves, but what we saw was impressive.

BEST PLAYSTATION 3 GAME
Heavy Rain
Sony/Quantic Dream

This is a sleeper, but IGN also recognized the potential for Heavy Rain by nominating it for Best of E3/Best PlayStation 3 game. Blast got to play a demo, and we were thoroughly impressed by the control, decision-making abilities, dialog, and visuals. This is an excellent-looking game.

BEST MULTIPLATFORM GAME
Rogue Warrior
Bethesda Softworks
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Fall 2009

Rogue Warrior looked great in a demo, and nothing is cooler than getting to play out the experiences of a real life badass navy seal voiced by Mickey Rourke. This game is full of pure action, explosions, and a great mix of stealth and offensive firepower.

BEST SPORTS GAME
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 Wii with MotionPlus
EA Sports
Nintendo Wii
June 8

Wii MotionPlus adds an amazing new dimension of reality to games, but nowhere was it more noticeable than in the latest Tiger Woods game. You have to position your wrists straight and do a full swing with follow-through. The MotionPlus makes you get off your couch and actually do stuff, and where better than at a virtual Bethpage?

BEST MUSIC GAME
The Beatles Rock Band
Harmonix/MTV Games
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii
Fall

With The Beatles Rock Band, Harmonix officially takes back the music game genre, eclipsing Guitar Hero and coming out from its shadow. Beatles Rock Band will feature the most recognizable songs in history from the most recognizable band in history.

BEST PC GAME OR MMO
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Lucas Arts

This ambitious massively multiplayer game promises all voice acting and no text dialog — thousands and thousands of lines of voice acting. And it’s Star Wars.

BEST PERIPHERAL
Mad Catz Rock Band Wireless Wooden Fender Stratocaster
$299
September 2009

Mad Catz had Fender build them a real guitar, and instead of strings, they wired buttons into it and unleashed it for Xbox 360. It uses no dongle — it’s compatible with Xbox 360 wireless technology. It’s a real guitar, with wood and a shiny finish. If you like to play fake guitar, this is as close to real as it gets.

GUTSIEST PROJECTS

Heavy Rain
Sony/Quantic Dream
PlayStation 3

We’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time. From the same team that put together Indigo Prophecy comes Heavy Rain, a psychological thriller adventure that’s more about story and drawing you in than it is about shooting endless bad guys.

Wet
Bethesda Softworks
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Eliza Dushku is awesome.

M.A.G. Massive Action Game, 256 player online multiplayer
Zipper Interactive/Sony
PlayStation 3
TBA

Second year in a row for M.A.G. on the gutsiest projects list, and it still stands. This game is either going to be huge or a huge disappointment.

James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game
Ubisoft
December

This is one of the first video games from a movie that stands on its own merits.

Biggest letdown: Atari. Where were you this year? One word kids: Ghostbusters. Or is that two words? Either way, with the failure of some recent releases, it’s the best chance for Atari to impress this generation. Despite a hell of a showing over the past year, the company hasn’t been able to blow up. Ghostbusters should sell millions, given it’s on every console, so let’s hope that’s a step in the right direction.

Marc Normandin and Bradley Ouellette of the Blast staff contributed to this report.