E3 day two: The winners, the losers

Tim Clark cups more of the shows biggest games, moments, people and, uh, then asks them to cough

Note that now E3 is in full swing this list is partly at the mercy of our schedules. So if you think we've missed something it's probably because we haven't seen it yet. Or it's so shrug-inducing that it doesn't warrant a place as a winner or loser. And with that, let's begin...



Pikmin 3
The long-awaited return of Miyamoto's cult garden-'em-up joins Watch Dogs and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance as our game of the show so far. Clever, fun, lovely to look at - the truth is the game set such a high bar that the rest of Nintendo's conference struggled to get anywhere near the same level of excitement. But forget that for a second and focus on how charming it is to play. Wii U does weight well, whether it's heaving about giant HD fruit or fracturing the translucent carapace of a boss bug with the newly revealed rock Pikmin (ne Purple). And don't throw away that Wii remote just yet - the white rod shepherds our leafy brigade to squealing ghost death with ease.

Hyperkinetic third-person action games with swords
Rising might infuriate the Metal Gear purists - and language sticklers with its Revengeance subtitle - but there's no denying how *good* it feels. Furiously wiggling the right stick to surgically cube foes, leaving a butcher's pantry of spare parts flapping around in slow motion, is as ludicrous and crassly thrilling as it sounds. Bottom line: it's Bayonetta, with all its dynamism, heroic framing and OTT yet skilful combos, allied to the colourful MGS universe. Damn, you can even cut cars and slice men hiding between concrete posts. A cut above standard third person action games, indeed. As indeed is DmC, which it only takes a few minutes with to confirm it's a worthy part of the Devil May Cry canon. Not only is the combo system drum tight, but it's also deliciously customisable thanks to the 'angel' and 'devil' moves activated using the triggers that enable young Dante to snag mid-air enemies and close the distance to a target rapidly. And for all the bitching about the new look, Ninja Theory's art design is what makes the game: from the way the world reconfigures itself, Inception-style, to the silky animation, it's consistently gorgeous stuff.

Long-suffering Star Wars fans
Who, if 1313 does prove lucky for some, could be in for a treat. And let's be fair, they deserve a treat after the amount of Jedi-badged dross LucasArts have served up down the years. Yes 1313's appeal is currently based largely on its sensational visuals (when did it become uncool to like games that look amazing, anyway?), but there's inherent promise in a serious take on the Lucasverse. One caveat though: we've been here before, in 2007, when the Euphoria engine was being demoed tossing Stormtroopers around like toddlers in a cyclone. And that ended up being... The Force Unleashed.

Xbox SmartGlass
For non-Halo fanboys, easily the most exciting thing at Microsoft's press conference - and all the more so because, like the original Xbox did when it was unveiled, it doesn't feel like a Microsoft product at all. "Genuinely exciting", was the verdict of our man who's spent time with it. And he doesn't excite easy.

PES 2013
Since PES slipped behind FIFA in terms of critical acclaim as well as sales, the series' creators have increasingly sounded like Liverpool fans - as each new seasons rolls around, they hopefully blurt: "this could be our year", despite logic and EA's almost bottomless pockets suggesting otherwise. But, whisper it, this year's PES really *does* feel like a significant leap. In our, admittedly brief, time with it the sense was of a game that was simultaneously more intricate and yet also more approachable. Which is no mean trick to pull off, and a positive sign for the new creative team leading development now that long-serving project lead Shingo 'Seabass' Takatsuka has been, ahem, 'moved upstairs'. The high point had to be burying a 25-yard winner in the 88th with Mesut zil against Barca. Generally speaking, whooping at E3 is entirely unacceptable for anyone born outside of North America. This goal was an exception.

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