Tara's G-Spot - Games that hit the spot, according to Tara Babcock - EVENT SPECIAL: ANTICIPATING E3 2011 BY TARA BABCOCK - www.impulsegamer.com


The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is the biggest, most prestigious gaming convention in the United States and perhaps one of the most influential conferences of the industry in the world. Since 1995, E3 has brought us the latest in gaming from the Ultra 64, more commonly known as the Nintendo 64, to last year's unveiling of the Xbox 360 S model, the Kinect and the Playstation Move. Everyone who is anyone will be in attendance and anyone who is no one in the industry will have to watch on TV or stream it live from their computers- the Electronic Entertainment Expo is not open to the general public. Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and many more well-known names frequent the event yearly, displaying their million-dollar marketing set-ups and revealing next generation news. This year, there are a few juicy topics I am really looking forward to learning more about from the expo; from games to new consoles, upgrades to booth babes, here's my list of anticipation for this year's event!


First on my super awesome list of uber-coolness and excitement, as I affectionately call it, is the rumor that Nintendo will (finally) be releasing a home gaming console that will compete, if not exceed, the power of the Xbox and Playstation. We are all aware that the Wii's graphics and game selection is desperately trying to keep up with- and failing to do so- the other current-generation consoles on the market. Despite the innovative functionality of the motion controller-based play and the wide audience that it appeals to, critics were extremely disappointed in the graphics engine. Another issue surrounding the Wii and the Nintendo handhelds is their monopolization of game developers. Few other names produce great games for Nintendo systems, so the genres are very limited.

Along with the new console, I am interested in hearing how the issues with the 3DS portable device will be dealt with. Although I found the glassesless 3D experience to be impressive I, as well as many others apparently, suffer from dizziness and headaches after playing for too long. This can place a big damper on the mini-console's usefulness and progressiveness.

All of that being said, the company still maintains a level of awesomeness (and Mario-ness and Donkey Kong-ness) that keeps them at the top of my list of favorite consoles, handhelds and games. I absolutely cannot wait to hear what they have in store for us in 2012. I am looking forward to a plethora of HD, multi-platform goodness coming from Nintendo in the near future that will rock my world as well as fans and the gaming market. Long live Nintendo-zilla!


Obviously every year of E3 is jam-packed with new gaming titles and updates from the leading developers including Activision, Electronic Arts, Sony, Square Enix, Namco Bandai and numerous others. If it's coming out in the next year or two, or is a pioneering idea, it will be saved for announcement at E3. The following is a comprehensive list of the names I'm personally recommending to look out for this June 5th in Los Angeles, along with commentary as to why it rocks:

Assassin's Creed Revelations - Assassin's Creed is one of my favorite titles (save Desmond and his ancestors all resembling Adam Sandler) and I am excited to know more of Ezio and Altairís stories!

BioShock: Infinite- Though I am not usually a fan of first person shooters, this one is among my favorites. Love the creepiness, yet cute factor, pretty intense, deep and unique.

DC Universe Online- I've never played this, but I love DC and their heroes and I'm interested to see if they'll add something that will entice me enough to finally play it!

Duke Nukem Forever- Epic! A new installment to the classic! I loved the trailer.

Gears of War 3- Hmm, what do the different editions (Limited and Epic) entail?

Hitman: Absolution- I adore Hitman! My kind of game! The movie wasn't bad either. You're seldom let down by a Square Enix game!

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword- Zelda's a classic, duh!

Madden NFL 12- I know far too many guys who play this as their sole gaming outlet so I am looking to see how they are going to keep everyone interested, still, with the millionth reiteration.

Mass Effect 3- I hear gay relationships will be allowed this time around. Thatís enough to keep me watching!

Need for Speed: The Run- Need for Speed has always been a great racing franchise. I played my first one on the PS1!

Ninja Gaiden III- Ryu persists in game 3! Yay! Hopefully itís a bit easier this time around, though!

Prototype 2- The first one was cool, the main character is really awesome!

Rayman Origins- Another classic; his origin should be interesting! I've been playing Rayman games a good portion of my life, so it's a sentimental game for me.

Rift- I've noticed a lot of people leaving World of Warcraft for this game, I'm interested to hear about updates, but I've never been a fan of their envious-sounding reference to WoW, "We're not in Azeroth anymore."

The Sims 3: Generations- I have a soft spot for Sims games. I've spent way too many hours trying to teach those people how to act and live. Probably more than I should have.

Soulcalibur V- YES, OMG YES! Enough said.

Super Mario 3DS- I love any and all Super Mario games. I'll endure the nauseating 3DS for this one!

Tera- I immediately approve of this because of the phonetic similarity to my name, and hearing that it's an MMORPG thatís supposed to be more realistic because you "don't have to target enemies" grabs my interest. Plus the female characters are really hot!

Twisted Metal- Always was a huge fan of this demented, vehicularly homicidal silliness!


I think all Playstation 3 owners have become aware of the three month long outage of the Playstation Network, due to some high-profile and elaborate attacks on customer information databases involving credit card information. Although we have been given some updates on the matter, and limited usage of the network has been restored for parts of the world, I would like to hear clarifications and further details. It is rumored that Sony will be addressing several issues, including the in-depth details of the Customer Appreciation Program for all regions and the new safety measures, such as identity theft protection. The objective, and hopeful outcome, is to encourage the fans to begin to trust their information to the network again. Although gameplay on the Playstation Network, Netflix, and Qriocity are back up and running for the most part, access to the Playstation Store and other features requiring payment or code retrieval are still "undergoing maintenance". As for myself, I am extremely annoyed that I cannot buy clothing for my PSN character, redeem my Jade and Scorpion retro costumes for Mortal Kombat, and download new demos, etcetera. I can't even fathom how much of an uproar itís caused for developers of games like SOCOM 4, who released primarily online games during the outage! Let's all root for a swift, full return of the network with minimal pain and suffering to Sony's sales and devoted fans such as myself.

Playstation is also soon releasing a new and better version of their portable gaming device, the PSP. Since news of the release of the next-generation Playstation Portable, or NGP as it was codenamed, surfaced, the reactions and expectations seem to be mixed. The NGP definitely has its share of negative critics, as well as many enthusiastic fans. Among the already announced new features, I am most excited about the dual analog sticks, touchpad and touchscreen. However, I am not sure how well it will bode with fans that we are moving further away from game hard copies, as it is reported that many games wonít make it beyond online download for the NGP. E3 should definitely prove interesting for Sony and Playstation this year. I hope to gain more knowledge about the exact release date of the NGP and any new perceived features that may not have yet been released! 


2007 Playmate of the Year, Sara Jean Underwood on G4TV's Attack of the Show, where I once was featured as #1 on Women of the Web!

Although not directly related to the gaming world, I had to add a little booth babe-ness to my E3 anticipation report. A huge portion of the event is the models and hotties hired to represent each company as "booth babes". This year the gaming channel, G4, held an online video contest to determine who would be working the booth with past Playboy Playmate, Sara Jean Underwood. Every working model knows that it is not professional to enter online contests, but still, I was tempted. Was I not already out of town during the expo I may have let it get the best of me! I guess it would have been an unfair competition had I entered; after all I am the perfect candidate for an E3 super-babe! In any case, I am excited to see which sexy gamer won the contest and I look forward to seeing all of the other tantalizing booth cuties clad in nerd-gear this year! I am sure they will not disappoint! Stay tuned and enjoy the show!

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Follow Tara at her official website, www.tarababcock.com




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