E3: the interesting stuff

There were a lot of war games on show at E3 – it isn’t humanly possible to even start listing them. Plenty of cartoon and movie licenses, tedious-looking first person shooters and complex-looking racing games too. But it’s not all bad, as this round up of mild innovation proves.

De BlobTHQ have a Nintendo-exclusive in the works that – gasp! – isn’t based on a yellow sponge or a crime-solving hound. De Blob was originally conceived by a team of nine students studying Game Design & Development at Utrecht University’s School of the Arts in the Netherlands, and is now heading for Wii and DS.

The idea is fairly straightforward: De Blob’s world has been stripped of colour, and now he must bounce around splatting buildings as he goes to rid the world of grey. Combos can be built up by bouncing from building to building, and I’m particularly fond of the way splats and stains appear on the environments. Have a look at the trailer to let a bit of colour into your life.

Wii Fit – which is presumably what Wii Health Pack has turned into – could potentially be the next Wii Sports, with its soccer mini-games and all. It comes with a balance mat that can also be used during the yoga sessions that are also present. Reggie and Miyamoto certainly enjoyed having a wobble. If we pester the government enough perhaps they’ll give it away free on the NHS to rid the UK of fat slobs.

EchochromeSome sites say that Sony Computer Entertainment Japan’s Echochrome is PSP only; others say it’s destined to be a downloadable PlayStation 3 game. Either way, it’s looking good. It’s a puzzle game based on familiar head-wrecking optical illusions. All will be explained if you watch the video. Note the pleasing lack of life counter and timers.

Another two for the PlayStation Network are Pain – which we’ve covered before – and the much-anticipated Little Big Planet, which is shaping up to be something really lovely. Pain looks as basic as games get: the idea is to simply throw your character out of a catapult and do as much damage as possible, but you can do stunts while airborne and send replays to pals. Everyday Shooter has a neat name, and started off as a PC game.

Speaking of shooters, the downloadable Undertow from Chair Entertainment for Xbox 360 has been billed as “Geometry Wars under the deep sea”. Beautiful Katamari is now an Xbox 360 exclusive too, after Namco-Bandai dropped the PlayStation 3 version. Although in HD it doesn’t look that much different from the PlayStation 2 original. This time round though there’s online play, downloadable content and over 50 playable characters. The US Official Xbox Magazine put the game on their cover recently, which was certainly something of a surprise.

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