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Special E3 2013 Review: NASA Exhibit

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So, we here at On Request Magazine had the privilege of getting to interview and witness an exhibit from NASA’s JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Based out of Pasadena, CA, this group of scientists and researchers were essential crew members in helping with the landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars last year. In fact, one of the scientists, a Mr. Bobak Ferdowsi, has become a national celebrity after being dubbed by United States President Barack Obama as the “mohawk guy” after being seen during the live mission to land the rover on the surface of Mars with a mohawk.

While there at E3, we were lucky enough to get to hold some of the actual tires used on past and present rovers for Mars, and got a first hand demonstration of JPL’s use of the Xbox Kinect system to make a game that not only educates people on what goes into the process of landing a rover on the surface of Mars, but allows gamers to get first hand experience in the scientific field of space exploration.

The visual displays were remarkable, especially when one considers how amazing it is to see the man made tires that set foot on another planet, and one even could get a picture with a cut-out display of the Mars rover and a 3-D display of any one of NASA’s rovers could be digitally imposed onto your shoulder for a picture.

The entire experience was surreal. Each scientist, researcher, and designer’s passion for their field and the wealth of information that had was so fun to witness, and the amazing ways that JPL and NASA have been able to incorporate the gaming industries technology into their own scientific endevouers was phenomenal to see. To see video interviews and video from the conference, check out On Request Magazine or their YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/rockonrequest

Best of E3 2013

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This year marked On Request Magazine’s first ever live coverage of the E3 conference in Los Angeles. Previously we’ve reviewed the show from online video, but this week marked our first ever venture into the actual conference. After seeing some amazing exhibits and presentations, along with a great many games and technology that is sure to revamp the gaming industry, we are pleased to announce the winners of our On Request E3 2013 Awards.

Best Overall Presentation: Sony:

While I personally have always been and always will be a big supporter of Microsoft and the Xbox system, I have to admit that as far as showmanship and presentation, Sony really stole the show this year. Besides showcasing some amazing games, Sony unveiled the highly anticipated PS4, the new hardware system that is going to progress the new gaming era for sure. Full of new system updates that will include new entertainment features, the biggest blow to Microsoft came with the announcements that Sony would not disregard pre-owned games like Microsoft, and would remain a big supporter of the pre-owned game industry. They also announced that players would not have to have an internet connection to play their games or a membership, and that people could play single player games and enjoy entertainment such as Netflix and Flixster without a PSN membership. I still love the Xbox, but the PS4, coming in at $100 cheaper than the upcoming Xbox One, sounds like the clear winner of the console war of this year.

Best PlayStation Game: Beyond: Two Souls: The action thriller starring Ellen Page and William Dafoe showcased new footage that looked into a new stage of life for Ellen Page’s Jodie. Recruited while under the care of William Dafoe’s Nathan Dawkins, a government scientist, to undergo military training, we see the young girls transformation into a trained soldier, and we get our first glimpse into the intense action sequence of the demo. Able to take control of enemy soldiers and trained in military combat, Jodie fights through enemy strongholds and showcases some of the most realistic graphics I’ve seen since L.A. Noire was released, making this the best demo shown for the Sony section of E3 2013.

Best Xbox Game: Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag: The critically acclaimed series showcased the newest setting of the series and its protagonist, Edward Kenway, a pirate who becomes an assassin. Taking place in 1715 and in the Caribbean, you are fully immersed into the role of a pirate, tasked with stealing loot, killing your targets, and even harpooning marine life. Showing off both a gameplay demo and a CGI trailer, gamers will totally feel the total weight of the pirate life. Filled with explosive naval battles that have greatly improved on the Assassins Creed III system, and intense third-person action that allows Edward to fire four pistols at once and fluidly attack various enemies, Assassins Creed 4 totally took the stage and kicked ass with this assortment of gameplay and video footage, making it the best game of Xbox’s E3 presentation.

Biggest Shock: Kingdom Hearts III: Not since 2006 have gamers had the chance to delve into the story of Sora, the keyblade master. After making his way back to his island with his friends at the end of Kingdom Hearts II, a warning was sent by King Mickey that a keyblade war was coming. Since then, we’ve been given many off-shoot games in the series that revolve around various other characters in the series, but finally, after seven years, Sora is ready to return. It was announced by Square Enix at the Sony conference that Kingdom Hearts III is in pre-production, and that it would be released on the PS4  and the Xbox One. This is a huge step forward in the hit series that combines Disney characters and Final Fantasy characters all into one powerful tale full of emotions, powerful character development, and an action-packed story that is sure to dominate the gaming world when it is finally released.

Best Game: Batman: Arkham Origins: The upcoming prequel to the hit franchise, Batman: Arkham Origins takes place two years into Batman’s career. The biggest crime boss in Gotham, Black Mask, puts a $50 million dollar bounty on Batman’s head, and eight of the worlds deadliest assassins hunt him down on Christmas Eve. Showcasing the first time Batman goes up against his rogue’s gallery, we got to see some amazing gameplay, including a new detective mode that allows you to process a crime scene to the point that you can watch the crime occur in reverse. The same mechanics are applied to this new game’s combat system, but the story, along with the new characters and the interesting look into this fabled heroes early years made this the hit of E3 2013.

Day 1 of E3 2013

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Great first day thus far. Some amazing trailers such as Batman Arkham Origins and Watch Dogs, but the best shock was the reveal of Kingdom Hearts 3 by Sony. Look for more game news tomorrow

Destiny Gameplay exclusive

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To close out the Sony conference, they unveiled the first ever footage of the new game from Activision and Bungie, titled Destiny. A first person shooter, the game follows a unique journey that sees a worn down Earth years into the future, and your adventure to survive in it. Looks like a surreal game…