E3 2015 Day 00 Thoughts (Nintendo Championship, Bethesda)

E3 started a few hours early this year with the returning Nintendo Championship and the first ever Bethesda E3 conference.  A few things caught my eye, so let’s dig into it.

Nintendo kicked off their Nintendo Championship by announcing the new (old?) Earthbound: Beginnings.  Not only did they announce it, but they announced it would be available tonight on the e-shop.  Sadly, the original Earthbound is sitting on my Wii U, unplayed, I should get to that.  So this announcement doesn’t mean a ton to me, personally, but I’m happy for the huge amount of Earthbound fans who have been ignored for so long.  Also, “available now” announcements always make me happy, no matter what.

The Nintendo Championship ended with a race on the newly unveiled Super Mario Maker.  Man, this game.  When it was announced last year, Nintendo only showed a few seconds of footage, and left me feeling uncertain.  Yeah, the idea of a Super Mario game that you make yourself sounds great, but what are the limitations?  Tonight, it appeared that there were few to no limitations on Super Mario Maker which is exactly what it needs to be.  There appeared to be totally new mechanics also, like the ability to create your own power-ups and possibly some RNG built into blocks.  I hope we see more of this at Nintendo’s conference on Tuesday.

That’s about it as far as eye-catching things Nintendo showed off at their championship.  There was a new 3DS mech-sports game that looked like Metroid Prime Hunters, but wasn’t anything to write home about.  The event itself was great, though.  I really hope Nintendo does this again next year.  It was a really fun event to watch and get behind.  It felt like an intro level to e-sports.  Also, it makes Nintendo feel cool again.  It feels like they enjoy interacting with their fans and doing fun events like this, which is the kind of publicity Nintendo needs.

After a quick bathroom break it was time for Bethesda’s first ever E3 conference.

Bethesda started the show off with Doom, showcasing the gore and speed.  I wasn’t too impressed by this demo, it had its moments, but as of right now it looks like a pass for me.  The demo they showed didn’t look entirely different from any other FPS out there right now.  Doom will have something called “Snapmap” built into it, which allows players to make their own levels (like Super Mario Maker!).  This looked quite impressive and was the highlight of the demo for me.

Soon after Doom, Bethesda finally spilled the beans on the accidentally leaked Dishonored 2.  They showed off a video containing no gameplay.  The video followed your assassin around as they used special powers that reminded me of Infamous mixed with The Darkness.  Then it’s revealed that your character is a female, I believe from the first Dishonored (which I never played, more on that shortly).  You have the option to play as this female, or another character in the story, which I really like.  It’s been a while since a game has let you choose a character for the story mode.  It reminded me of the Resident Evil glory days.  After that, they announced a Dishonored Definitive Edition, which I’m very excited for.  Dishonored Definitive Edition will be out this fall for PS4 and Xbox One, and compile the original game, along with all the DLC.  I always wanted to play Dishonored, but it came out at such a weird time that I never got around to it.  I can’t wait to pick it up.

Then finally, after a short tease, they got to the juicy stuff.

Fallout 4 was demoed as they walked us through the entire opening section of the game, through the brand new character creator, which looked absolutely fantastic, the distribution of your attributes and finally, seeing the nuclear explosion that set up the world of Fallout.  The character models instantly jumped out at me since that was one of my complaints with Fallout 3, they looked drastically better.  While I’m sure this demo was being run on a high-grade PC, I have high expectations the next-gen versions of the game will look similar.  A few things I took away from the demo was how great the setting looked, including Fenway Park being turned into what looked like a giant safe haven.  A redesigned Pip-Boy UI complete with mini-games was featured.  Not to mention, the weapon select screen in the Pip-Boy rotates your weapons around à la 007 Goldeneye.  There was even a Pip-Boy second screen app announced, which looked funny when it was fitted on the replica Pip-Boy, available with the collectors edition.  At the end of the day, it’s a second screen experience, so take that how you will. Then a new mechanic was shown off, the ability to build and create your own bases.  This is something we probably should have seen coming, with the explosion of survival/crafting games out now, but it was still a pretty big surprise to me.  Along with that is the ability to build and customize your weapons and armor in over 500 different ways.  That’s exciting.  Early in the demo I began to grow concerned because the shooting and V.A.T.S. system looked relatively unchanged.  However, it was stated that the combat is “perfect” and the demo shown later made me feel much better as the player finally aimed down the sights!  It was also said that the game was built to cater to both first person and third person perspectives, which was music to my ears as a huge fan of the third person perspective.  Fallout 4 will have a November 10th release date.  Earlier in the day I predicted a November 28th release, I feel like I’m owed some sort of consolation.  A mobile game was also announced in Fallout Shelter, which is available on iOS right now.  Again, I’m a huge fan of “right now” announcements, so that’s great.

A pretty great day zero to say the least.  The Nintendo Championship was absolutely fantastic and the Bethesda show made up for a dull start with an amazing finish and reveal.  It’s only just beginning though, as the real fun starts tomorrow.  Be sure to stay tuned, as I’ll have a blog recapping tomorrows events after they happen.


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