E3: Ubisoft Press Conference

This evening, the second publisher-run press conference was held, this time by Ubisoft, showcasing their upcoming games for the year to come. It isn’t usual that companies other than the main three decide to hold their own press conferences, so this was an interesting and unique experience. None the less, when you plan some big games, you need a big way to show them off, and this is the way that they have decided to do that. Now, here is what was announced at the 2009 Ubisoft E3 Press Conference on Monday, June 1, 2009.

Red Steel 2
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Release Date: TBA
Platforms: WII

After the mediocre display of the first Red Steel, Ubisoft has had a lot of ground to try to make up to prove that they can still keep up to par. With Red Steel 2 coming bundled with Wii Motion Plus, and being completely compatible with the new technology, it brings it into a whole new world than before. They dropped off a bit of the cell shaded graphics for a more comic book style instead. To keep the rating at a T, there was still no blood shown, although I was pretty sure that katana was going right through that guy. Compared to the first one, this one actually looks really good, and I’m interested in seeing if they will follow through this time. Everything seemed to properly register in the live demo that they did, and as stated before, it actually looked quite decent.

Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage
Publisher/Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: Q4 2009
Platforms: WII

The supposed success of the first Shaun White game has caused Ubisoft to create yet another one. There really isn’t much to say about this one other than the fact that the style of people that were shown were on the cartoon side, and since this is coming out for the Wii, that isn’t terribly much of a surprise. Really though, it’s just some more of the same, except with new places to snowboard at, and new characters to choose from, chances are.

Academy of Champions
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Vancouver
Release Date: September 2009
Platforms: WII

Academy of Champions is a football, soccer for those of us in America, game, featuring a very popular soccer player as the main mentor of you in-game. All that they showed was a cinematic trailer, showing a cartoon team of soccer players which you were playing with, go up against a supposed “evil” team who were trying to beat you in order to win the cup. With no in-game footage shown, it’s very hard to say what the game will be like, but it’s assumed that it will be more of an arcade-style game, as the main character, shown in the first-person, made a super kick at the end of the trailer.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: Q4 2009
Platforms: 360, PC, DS

Unfortunately, this game was shown at the Microsoft Press Conference earlier today, and was EXACTLY THE SAME, from the trailer shown, to the live demo that they used. I think that they touched a little more on the story projection on the environments around you, as well as the mission objectives being projected on the environment, which I found to be the most intriguing feature of it all. None the less, to read more about it, head over to the Microsoft Press Conference review.

Ruse
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Eugen Systems
Release Date: 2009
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC

There’s a good thing and a bad thing about what we were shown about Ruse. The good thing is that the trailer was amazing to outstanding. It featured two players sitting in front of a long table. This table was interactive, and by pushing their hands around, or pushing down on one of their units on the screen, the unit moved or made an action because of it. All I could say was, “I want that table”. Unfortunately though, this gave us absolutely no information on the game itself, other than the fact that the game is a real-time strategy game, and with a little more research, I found that it is to be set during the World War II era. Other than that, there is no information yet to give, but I am extremely excited to hear more if it has anything to do with the table featured in the trailer.

Tween Games 2.0

Ubisoft is now touting their “tween” games as Tween Games 2.0. Currently, they have the Imagine series and Petz series, and all of these are for the DS. Right now, those series’ are selling in the second and fourth high positions respectively for the Nintendo DS, below the top selling series Pokemon, published by Nintendo themselves. Now, Ubisoft unveiled the Style Lab series, in which girls can create their own stuff, depending on the game, including one game in which they can design their own jewelry, upload it to the Ubisoft website, and buy their creation, having it mailed to their house so that they can actually have what they, themselves created in-game. Since I am not a tween, nor a girl, I will refuse to respond to this topic.

Rabbids Go Home
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellie
Release Date: Q4 2009
Platforms: WII, DS

This may be just another rabbids game, and it is, but after seeing the first live demo of it, I was already intrigued. The game is pretty simple, you play as two rabbids with a shopping cart, and you try to pick up junk that’s left around, because you’re trying to create some sort of bridge to the moon, which the rabbids think is their home. But when you’re not actually playing the game, you find that there is actually a rabbid inside of your controller. By moving the controller, you can tip the rabbid from side to side, fling him across the entire remote, even press the buttons, which makes the rabbid curious so that he steps on it, and then you can hit him with the button itself. It’s such a simple thing, yet I found it to be terribly hilarious, which kept me interested.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash Up
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Game Arts
Release Date: September 22, 2009
Platforms: WII

All that was really shown for this game was a quick trailer, but after hearing who they said that they were working with to create this game, it makes perfect sense why it looks like a complete and total rip off. Since it’s the Turtles’ 25th anniversary coming up, they’ve decided to create a game in order to celebrate it. In doing so, they created a fighting game, which is made with help from the creators of Super Smash Bros., and is quite apparent when you see the trailer, as the game looks too similar, just with turtles and other characters from that universe fighting. I can’t see this game becoming nearly as popular as the Super Smash Bros. series, but I’ll be curious to see if the TMNT fans come out to buy this one.

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Publisher: Xseed Games
Developer: Grasshopper
Release Date: TBA
Platforms: WII

To be honest, there was absolutely zero information released about this game, so, moving on…

Assassin’s Creed 2
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: November 17, 2009
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC

In what has already been proven to be a beautiful game, Ubisoft continues to show that they know what they’re doing with another long cinematic trailer for Assassin’s Creed 2. While there still isn’t any gameplay footage involved, this helped show more of the setting that this edition of the game will be set in. At the beginning of the trailer, it showed “1486 Venice, Italy” (or 1468, I got kind of dyslexic this late at night). Overall, the game looked beautiful, with everything looking and feeling the way that it should have for this being an Assassin’s Creed game. One noticeable difference though, was that the main character, Ezio, finished off the last enemy in the trailer with a hidden pistol. Different setting means different weapons, and I can’t think of anyone who isn’t excited to see what comes next for this game.

– Overall Impressions –

The Press Conference itself lacked in many areas. First of all, they brought out way too many guests who did nothing but stand there and talk the entire time, and didn’t actually present any games until a good almost hour into their presentation. Media outlets and game fans alike were using social outlets such as Twitter to lament about how long it was taking them to talk, and asking them to move on to the games. None the less, when they actually did, and the game wasn’t a tween game, they showed off some impressive sights. Overall, I could really have seen the presentation being better, but what they showed was enough to wow over fans for the next week and beyond. It will be very interesting to see if any of these games will also be shown off at either of the two main conferences tomorrow morning as well.

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