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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

Xbox One X
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4

 Written by Ryan Smotherman  on May 21, 2004

E3 2004: The Lesser of the Sequels: In this case ?lesser? isn't a bad thing.

Alas, it seems yet another E3 has come and gone. Like the E3s of years past, many themes were also present at this year's show ? surprise announcements, new hardware revealed, hot ass booth babes everywhere, and tons of sequels to everyone's favorite franchises. The last item reigned true for this E3 in particular. It seemed like every single corner you turned around in at the show you were put smack dab in the face of a sequel of a hot franchise that's just begging to be played. These quadruple-A titles as I like to call them includes Sony's Gran Turismo 4, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Square/Enix's Final Fantasy XII, Konami's Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Namco's Tekken 5; the list goes on and on and on. But what of the lesser sequels? Sure they're not quadruple-A, just your standard Triple-A, but they're titles that deserve just as much respect and attention, as these games are what will fill in the gaps with quality gaming entertainment as we wait for the bigger boys to arrive. So, sit back, relax, and take a look at these E3 featured games that you can look forward to playing (hopefully) by the end of the year.

Devil May Cry 3
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom

Capcom knows they owe us gamers a little something special. After the incredible offering that was Devil May Cry, a much-anticipated sequel released a year later, leaving fans with a bitter, salty tear taste in their mouths. While Devil May Cry 2 disappointed, number 3 will thankfully be taking us back to the roots of the series. In this prequel, Dante is up against his evil twin brother, Virgil, and a demon-hunting chick named Lady. The game will once again feature gothic backdrops with furious action intense gameplay. New is the ability to customize Dante to fight how you like ? this includes enhancing his gunplay, melee, evasion, and defense. So far things are definitely looking on the up and up in the series return to glory.

Mortal Kombat Deception
Developer: Midway
Publisher: Midway

Just when everyone thought they heard their last "Finish Him!" Midway came out with the excellent Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance last fall, and this year we'll see the sixth installment across all platforms. Let's face it, the fighting genre isn't quite what it used to be, but that certainly isn't stopped Midway from keeping such a classic going full steam ahead. Gameplay wise the developers seem to be trying to find a nice equalization of the classic 2D gameplay with the new gameplay found within Deadly Alliance. Most importantly is the return of the infamous uppercut. Many old characters will also be seeing the light of day once again ? such as Baraka and Mileena, with over 24 to choose from in all. The game's environments will also now play a more important role ? including deadly traps and levels with multiple environments to fight in. Oh, and of course we cannot forget the infamous fatalities, which are back and more gruesome than ever. All in all, we have an "excellent" fighter in the making.

Prince of Persia 2
Developer: Ubi Montreal
Publisher: Ubi Soft

Prince of Persia 2 will naturally be a sequel to one of the best games released in 2003, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and by the looks of things this sequel will probably be one of the best action/adventure titles released in 2004. The title takes place many years after The Sands of Time and finds the prince an older, better-trained soldier than when we last saw him. A few major things have been changed here. First off, the already incredible combat system has been given an overhaul. Now wielding two swords, the prince is able to perform even more intricate techniques and with the sands of time intact, a huge number of different combat moves will be available. In a surprise twist, the game will be much darker and grittier than the first. For whatever reason the prince is now a bloodthirsty warrior with no remorse. All this is showed off in the amazingly detailed dark and disturbing environments. I for one welcome all the changes at hand, and you expect a full preview of this promising title very soon.

Silent Hill 4: The Room
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami

Whoa now? when it comes to the Silent Hill series I tend to take things a bit seriously. This simply because no game series in history has ever scared the crap out of me like this one has. Ok, call me a girl if you wish, but I only play these games with the lights on and someone else in the house with me. As you can tell, The Room is Konami's fourth installment of the Silent Hill series and one of their top games shown off at this year's E3. Though only the 4th installment, the freak-factor here has been knocked up to 11. You'll take on the role of Henry Townsend, an everyday Joe who finds himself trapped within his own apartment, with the only way out being portals that take you to creepy, alternate places. Yes, this is going to scare the crap out of you. The game seems to stick to the standard Silent Hill set-up, except for the fact that you use the first-person perspective when in your apartment. But everything else will be 100% Silent Hill ? deliberately awkward controls, twisted creations to battle, and a few puzzle solving elements that you'll need to figure out in order to progress. For all intends and purposes this could easily be the scariest installment of the quickly growing franchise yet.

Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits Von Gut und Bose
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Monolith Soft

Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits Von? ahh screw it. Okay, so the name is horrible (but means ?Beyond Good and Evil' in our native tongue), but this shouldn't discourage any RPG fans waiting on the release of Final Fantasy XII. In the sequel to Xenosaga, a game that was interestingly enough known more for it's stupid long cutscenes more than anything, Xenosaga II will place you back in the shoes of original's main characters. While little is known about the title at this point, do expect the return of an excellent RPG adventure with the continuing story from the first. One of the biggest known changes is that the game will now sport a much more mature visual package, which is no doubt a good thing for older fans. Unfortunately, the cutscene happy people at Monolith Soft will probably also return with the 30-minute scenes that will surely drive a few of us nuts. But for those with patience, this will most definitely be an RPG worth checking out later in the year.

Closing Thoughts
All these games featured in my little E3 expose are here for a reason ? they are some of the most capable sequels around and everyone should be keeping an eye out for them. Covering the action, fighter, RPG, and survival-horror genres, these exceptional sequels have the bases covered. E3 2004 just gave us a taste of what these games have to offer and luckily there's plenty of time to make them the best they can be, and Gaming Target will be there to cover every single moment. Look for full previews and preview updates soon.

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