Sandwiched between Tomb Raider and Resident Evil 6 at Microsoft's E3 Conference were a number of trailers for upcoming XBLA releases. Along with Ascend: New Gods, a hack-and-slash style RPG that offers cross-platform multiplayer between your Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 mobile, there were two trailers that, well... didn't do a very good job of telling you what they actually are.
Common sense usually dictates that if you're unveiling a new game, it's probably a good idea to use the few seconds you've got in the trailer to get across an idea of what the game is about. For an example of how to do it right, check out the original Halo's debut trailer
. If you want to do something a bit different, a bit arty, a bit wacky, it's probably best to do it to tease the new game in an already popular series
, when people might actually know what the original game was. Obviously both Twisted Pixel and Gore Verbinski (who the trailer politely informs us has directed both Pirates of the Caribbean and Rango) have missed out on this valuable life lesson of how to do a trailer well, which makes this story about their two respective games rather difficult to write.
Let's just move on to the trailers. First up was LocoCycle, where the voiceover tells you of "Iris", some kind of hyper intelligent motorcycle, that has somehow managed to graduate from a school of assassination, learn hand-to-hand combat (despite seemingly not having any arms), and has a cloaking device. So what kind of madcap adventures are we going to be getting up to with this fancy bike? Well, that's where the trailer ends. It shows you the bike and that's it. Don't believe us? Look:
We're hoping it ends up being some kind of bike-based Knightrider tribute, with you and Iris solving crimes, stopping miscreants, and generally putting the world to right, although if you were to base your predictions on the trailer alone, you'd probably think it was some sort of car polishing simulator, where you put your assassin's skills to good use by buffing up a variety of motor vehicles to within an inch of their life. As Twisted Pixel are the company that came up with 'Splosion Man, and Everybody Plays favourite The Maw, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now - but they really need to fire their trailers guy.
Next up is Matter, the trailer of which begins with some kind of orange-eyed robotic ball which seems to, er, take all it's design cues from the robots of Portal 2
(that's a nice way of saying it looks EXACTLY THE SAME as Portal 2
- as if Matter had followed Portal 2 home one night, locked the unsuspecting game in the cellar, and then gone out to show itself at E3 dressed in all its fineries). The scene then cuts to the ball staring forlornly (if a robotic ball can look forlorn) at another ball (this one with a blue eye - which we're sure we've seen somewhere before (like in Portal 2
). Some platforms move, the ball glides forwards and the trailer ends with a slap to the face. See if you can spot what it is:
We're not sure about you, but we actually learned more about Gore than we did about the game from that trailer. All we really knew before was that he had a cool name.
Presumably, the Kinect functionality means this will end up being some kind of motion controlled Super Monkey Ball-style maze game, where your hand gestures will manipulate the maze and guide the ball to the goal - which sounds good on paper, but with games like Super Monkey Ball
often requiring a
steady hand and pinpoint accuracy on the later stages, neither of which
Kinect is really known for, it may not turn out exactly as we'd hope. On the other hand, going by the trailer alone, Matter looks more likely to turn into the world's first mournful gazing simulator, which'll see you sit looking sorrowfully at a sad looking ball that stares back at you, and follows you around your room.
With any luck we'll get more information about both LocoCycle and Matter soon (heck, we might even get some confirmation as to what they actually are!) - rest assured, you'll know as soon as we do.