Members of the press met some of Konami's developers at Sony Entertainment Studios' top secret location off of Clarington Avenue, just past Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA. (If you get to Culver Blvd. you've gone too far.) Of course, Cheat Code Central was there to cover the event.
Before the official proceedings began, we were allowed some hands-on time with some of Konami's upcoming titles. To be honest, I wasn't initially thrilled at what was available. It wasn't until I'd spent some time with the games on the floor that I began to understand what the focus of these particular titles was. Most of what was available (Burger Time, Jimmie Johnson - Anything with an Engine, MLB Bobblehead Pros) was decidedly casual in focus. Granted, we later found out that these weren't the focus of the meeting, but they certainly threw me at first glance.
Even given the focus of what was on display, two titles in particular stood out to me: Puddle and Skull Girls. Puddle's main game mechanic revolved around using a PlayStation Move controller to control the movement of fluid through various environments. Skull Girls was built as a 2D fighting game with game mechanics vaguely similar to those found in the versus mode of Capcom vs. SNK 2, and it was animated beautifully. You'll be able to read our previews of each of those later.
After we'd meandered around the hall a bit, we were shown a few videos showcasing what Konami has in store for its fans at E3 2011. And if you're a fan of Konami, you have reason to be excited. The first video began with thanks from Konami Digital Entertainment's president Shinji Hirano and a brief statement regarding the rough times their friends and family have been undergoing in Japan since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March of this year. He quickly moved on to the news items of the day, beginning with the announcement that world-famous game designer and Mr. Metal Gear himself, Hideo Kojima, would begin taking part in the game design classes given at the University of Southern California. This means that budding game designers will have the chance to listen to and be trained by one of the industry's finest innovators.
There were quite a few announcements regarding upcoming games, including PES 2012 and Silent Hill Downpour. Among the announcements that had us most excited were those that dealt with the Metal Gear HD Collection and the Zone of the Enders HD Collection, for the PS3 and Xbox 360 respectively. Each of these classic collections has been redone and touched up to make them compatible with the consoles they'll be running on, and no doubt more than a few fans will be excited to run these classics through their paces in high definition.
One of the new titles to appear in the video, Neverdead, features a main character that can't be killed under any circumstances. Ever. Lose a limb? You'd better find it. Stabbed through the chest? Walk it off. On fire? Stop, drop, and roll. The concept is one that game designer Shinta Nojiri has been mulling over for quite some time, and he's finally able to pull it off. This design feature, coupled with an off-the-wall storyline, should make for an interesting experience.
A lot of fuss has been made of Hideo Kojima's decision not to present anything at this year's expo, with speculation swirling as to whether or not he'd make a surprise appearance. That speculation can probably be put to rest now, as Kojima appeared in the lengthy video to show off some of what he's been working on. Judging from the sheer amount of things going on, he's been quite busy. We've already mentioned the Metal Gear and Zone of the Enders HD Collections. Apart from those, which are admittedly large productions, Kojima-san is also in the process of building a brand new game engine from the ground up. Dubbed the Fox Engine, he hopes to be able to implement it in all of Kojima Productions' upcoming games. The results, even at this early stage, were nothing short of spectacular, and we can't wait to see what they come up with.
Also revealed today is a new service called "Transfarring." (The reveal featured the guys from Mega64.com in a comedy sketch only they could pull off.) With this new service, Kojima says you'll be able to game on the go, transferring (or "transfarring" if you prefer) your PS3 save to your PSP. Whatever progress you make on the go can be uploaded to the PS3 to continue once you've returned. According to Kojima, the portable versions of the games to use this service (it'll start with Metal Gear Snake Eater) will not be 'faked' or emulated versions of the console games; they will essentially be the same game. This has some pretty far-reaching implications if it works as advertised, but we'll have to wait for more information.
The video ended with thanks from Hirano-san and a devilishly short teaser for a new Contra. They basically flashed the logo on the screen for a few seconds with the promise "they're coming" written underneath. We'll continue to dig for information, but until E3 that's all we have to go on. Stay tuned to CheatCC for all the latest E3 news and previews.
By Patriel Manning
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*