E3 2016 Predictions

Despite being thousands of miles from home, in a developing country, and having most of the beans spilled already, I’m still incredibly excited for E3 this year. I did some quick reading of previous E3 events in hopes to find which was my first. I can’t exactly remember. I think it may have been 2007. Regardless, E3 has been a big part of my life for the last several years. It’s a fun holiday where I take just about everything with a grain of salt and see the “future” of the industry that I have grown up loving. Also, my first post on this blog was my “E3 2015 predictions,” so it’s kind of cool to have a years worth on content already. I loved doing the “Let’s laugh at my E3 2015 predictions,” and can’t wait to do it again this year.

Last year I was able to break apart and analyze all the conferences independently. I am not ruling that out, I may have a short post or two detailing some of my thoughts, but I don’t expect them to be as in-depth as last year due to all of what’s going on here.

As I already mentioned, it feels like this E3 has much more leaks than any E3 that I can remember. Which I’m somewhat thankful for, because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with the event as closely as I normally would this year.

Speaking of being in Guatemala, I just got out of a lukewarm shower, so bear with me if I have any typos/overlooks/mistakes.

I don’t have many predictions, seeing as how much of it is leaked, but I do have hopes. Let’s dive in, going in order of conference showing.


 

EA

I think this is the first EA conference I’ve had some hype for in a long time. I am really interested to learn more about Battlefield 1 and see what direction that is going in. I love the idea of it, at this point, I’m theirs to lose.

Titanfall 2 will probably be their bread and butter of this conference. I’m optimistic for it. I never played the first one, but always wanted to. It seemed like a good game with smart ideas, just no legs. I have faith that the developers have learned from their mistakes and really look forward to seeing what they have planned.

I’d love for some actual news on Mass Effect. I’d really love for a surprise announcement of the Mass Effect trilogy heading to current gen.

Maybe something to do with Star Wars? I feel like that’s obligatory at this point. They have to have something Star Wars related right?

Overall I’m excited for EA. I think there is room for a few surprises, nothing that is going to shock me, but it’ll be fun either way.


 

Bethesda

Oh man, I’m really looking forward to this conference and I don’t even consider myself a fan of Bethesda.

This conference probably holds the most speculation and has circulated the rumor mill more than any other conference, other than Nintendo.

Skyrim Remastered? I did not enjoy the original game and forced myself to play it. It was just a technical disaster for me on my 360. Maybe the performance of a current gen console is what the game needed. I’d love to return to it again and see if my initial feelings still hold true. My bold prediction for this, not only will it be remastered for current gen, but it will have the mod support that Fallout 4 does.

The Evil Within 2 is rumored. It is going to take A LOT for me to care about that game after being burned so badly by the first one. Very few games have rubbed me the wrong way so quickly as The Evil Within.

It’d be cool if they showed/reannounced Prey 2. I wouldn’t be surprised if that ended up being one of the games of the show.

They’ll show a lot of Dishonored 2. I still need to play the first one, so I don’t have much to say.

This is a conference that I think will be a must-see. It’s going to leave people talking and will be a great way to lead people into the first official day of E3 on Monday.


 

Microsoft

Please, please, please, please be a good conference! I’m at the point where I would like an Xbox One now. Just sell me on it! The back catalog is good enough, now I just want some assurance on the direction it is going. I’m really excited to see what they have to say about the new version of the Xbox One. I already want one, just help me justify that decision, Microsoft.

Dead Rising 4! It was rumored and today some screenshots were leaked featuring Frank West. I love the Dead Rising games but Dead Rising 3 was not enough to sell me on an Xbox One. It looked like it was trying to go a direction I didn’t want to. However, I’m hopeful for the newest installment.

Halo Wars 2 will be there, but I’m not sure about any other Halo related games.

Gears of War 5 will be there. After seeing the first footage from the game, I wasn’t very excited. I really enjoy the Gears of War games, but what I’ve seen of Gears of War 5 hasn’t left me wanting more. Hopefully they can change that.

I hope to see more of ReCore. That little teaser last year was very intriguing, but featured no gameplay and no real details.

I think that Microsoft is in prime position to “win” E3 this year. With Sony focusing on VR and Nintendo focusing on NX, they can steal the current gamer. I hope they capitalize. I hope they sell me an Xbox One.

Oh and show me more Cuphead!


 

Ubisoft

Blech. Ubisoft has really gotten on my bad side as of late. I really liked The Division, but it wasn’t what it was made out to be. Same with Watch Dogs. It’s hard to trust them at this point.

I don’t know, man. Watch Dogs 2 is confirmed and I really don’t care. That new Tom Clancy game they announced last year will be there. I got nothing, guys. And I’m ok with that.


 

Sony

I consider myself a Playstation gamer, so I’m hopeful for this conference. I know that VR is going to be an emphasis, I feel like that’s why they elected to not show the new PS4 console at E3 this year. I don’t know how to feel about VR. If it’s cheap and it works, sure, I’ll try it. I’ll expect to get a price and release date out of the conference.

I’m not getting my hopes up, but I’d love to see Kojima on stage for Sony talking about his newest game. I doubt we get any footage, I’d be surprised if there’s even a teaser trailer. I’d just expect him to talk about what he’s doing.

The Last Guardian will be there with a release date (FINALLY).

Please give us PS1 play on PS4.

Possibly a new announcement from Naughty Dog? I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted until PSX for that, though.

We’ll probably see more God of War stuff, based on those leaks that featured him in the Norse setting.

If there is to be Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts stuff shown, I’d expect it to show up here.

Shenmue gameplay?

I’m really not sure what to expect. Last year was such a monumental year for Sony at E3, how do they follow that up? Surely not with a conference dedicated to VR.


 

Nintendo

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, Nintendo.

What is there to even say?

I suspect it’ll focus almost entirely on the NX and Zelda.

I’m interested to see what the NX has to offer, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I still feel burned by Nintendo for getting a Wii U. I hope it blows me away, but I have my doubts. I’m thinking it will be both a home console and portable console. A hybrid of the two. I suspect they’ll give it an official name and release window. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if they drop the bomb and give an exact date and price. That’s a ballsy move that Nintendo would make.

The parts not talking about NX will talk about Zelda. Yes, Zelda will lead the Nintendo E3 discussion for the umpteenth year in a row. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am so Zelda-fatigued. It’s as bad as annual releases to me. Sure, there isn’t a Zelda game every year, but they advertise and market it as so. I’ve never been a huge fan of the franchise.

Not much to say here, hopefully they do something awesome, but it’d take something extremely awesome to win me over.


Other

Maybe we’ll see Rockstar announce something Red Dead related.

More Deus Ex stuff will be shown, speaking of which, for a game that’s already announced, that’s been pretty quiet as of late.

I’d love to see Rocksteady announce something now that they’re done with Batman.

Something Resident Evil related may show up. Hopefully it’s something different because what they’ve been doing as of late…well it’s just not working.


 

More or less, that’s it. I wish I could dive in more and really hash out my predictions, but I just haven’t had the time to sit and brainstorm about it. I’m even writing this blog the morning of. It’s been a crazy summer away from home and everything I find comforting, but it will bring me some peace being able to unwind with a favorite tradition of mine this week. Happy E3 everybody!

E3 2015 Games of the Show

Since the conferences wrapped up I had been thinking about a potential game of the show, and eventually, things began to take shape.  I had a hard time choosing just one game, there were too many that looked fantastic.  I did manage to narrow it down to three, from there I ranked them and came to a conclusion I was pretty happy with.  I sat on it for an extra day just to make sure, and I still felt pretty good about this lineup.  Instead of just picking one though, I want to list all three, as they all deserve credit and recognition.


Honorable Mention

Halo 5: Guardians

H5-Guardians-Warzone-ARC-Mixed-Medium-jpg-980x551

I played Halo 4 and couldn’t tell you anything about it.  It was definitely my least favorite entry in the series.  I knew a new Halo game was coming, but the excitement wasn’t there for me, that spark had died.  Then I watched the Microsoft conference.  At the very least, the story of Halo 5 has the best pitch out of any of the series.  You play as a Spartan group hunting down Master Chief, with play alternating between both parties.  I really want to see how that hunter/hunted game play works, especially given that we’ll be able to play as both characters, there’s potential for some really great moments.  A return to the squad based story, similar to Halo Reach, is really exciting also, as that was one of my favorite Halo games.  The story isn’t the main reason why Halo 5 grasped me though.  The new multiplayer mode, Warzone, looks like a revolutionary mode that I’m dying to play after seeing videos of it.  It’s a mix between PvE and PvP.  It can be boiled down to a regular conquest game mode, but the twist is that there are now waves of AI controlled creatures roaming the map trying to kill both teams.  The AI actually looked difficult too, they didn’t appear to be pushovers like seen in Titanfall, as I saw them kill the player a few times.  In addition, there’s a new inventory, and weapon select mechanic that basically allows you to buy weapons, equipment and vehicles, based on how well your team is doing.  The updated controlling mechanics that Halo has been missing out on, like aim down sights, combined with all this has me incredibly excited for Halo 5 Guardians and has nearly sold me on an Xbox One all by itself.

Giant Bomb has a really good hands on demo with this new multiplayer mode, check it out here.


 

Honorable Mention

Horizon Zero Dawn

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This game came out of nowhere and was the best surprise of the show for me.  I was never a huge Killzone fan, so it’s really exciting to see that studio doing something that seems radically different.  Everything about this game interest me.  The story is being presented as “post-post-apocalyptic,” so dire and far in the future that man and civilization has been reverted to a new Neolithic Era.  Remnants of our current civilizations lurk, but it’s uncertain to what extent.  The world is wandered by what appear to be mechanized beasts, varying in sizes and hostility.  The plot is intriguing, what happened, what are these creatures, what powers them, and so on.  The demo shown at the Playstation conference showed off a bit of gameplay.  The gameplay looked really good, as it showed off stealth and a great third person perspective, all while hunting creatures.  There was also a prompt to loot the destroyed creatures, but that was not elaborated on, so I expected there may be a looting or crafting system built into it as well.  Reports state that it’s an action RPG at heart, so there should be an in-depth leveling system included.  I’m a really big fan of the visual style.  The colors and art looked great, and really made me interested in the world even more.  This was the one game I came out of E3 dying to know more about.

Here is the debut trailer.  


 

E3 2015 Game of the Show

Super Mario Maker

screenshot1

I decided the game of the show should, ultimately, be the game that “wow’d” me the most.  That distinguishment belongs to Super Mario Maker.  Every time I saw a demo of it, I would find something new to marvel at.  The near-instant Mario skin swapping won me over first.  I can make a level and see how it would look as either a Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, or New Super Mario Bros level and test to see which style it plays best on.  I thought this game looked interesting when it was announced at E3 last year, but I was afraid there would be typical Nintendo caveats that held it back from being the game it could be.  Nintendo answered all of my fears this year.  I was afraid the physics wouldn’t change with the game skin, which if you’ve played the Mario games, you know is a huge deal and difference.  The physics and controls completely change depending on the skin you’re using.  For instance, if you’re on the New Super Mario Bros, you will have the wall jump, or the spin jump if playing on Super Mario World.  Then, I was afraid you wouldn’t be able to make worlds or that you would be limited to making very short, boring, dull single stages.  There was a limit to how long a level could be, but it was a perfectly fine amount.  Also included is the ability to make explorable pipes for players to enter in your stage.  On top of all of this, you can indeed make your own worlds with multiple levels.  I thought that game would be a failure if I couldn’t make the original Mario game inside of it, and it appears I absolutely can.  Next, I was afraid the online capabilities would be lacking, because that’s the Nintendo way, right?  Not only is the online what I wanted it to be, it’s more.  You can upload your levels and worlds for others to play, and play other user creations without having to download them to your hard drive.  You can also browse user created content by what’s hot, what’s new, hardest, and many other options.  I love that it gives you the percentage of success on any given level.  Also, players can leave hints around levels for other players, similar to the Souls games (I never thought I would compare Mario to Souls).  Nintendo’s awful press conference couldn’t even deter my interest in this game, so that’s saying something.  If I could have any game from E3 tomorrow, I’d have to go with Super Mario Maker.  Thankfully I won’t have to wait too much longer, as it releases September 11th.

Just see for yourself how smooth and great this game looks. 


That’s a wrap on my E3 2015 coverage!  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for whatever is next.

 

Let’s Laugh at My E3 2015 Predictions

Originally, this was going to go up tomorrow, with my game of the show going up today, but I decided I needed a little more time with the game of the show, so I’m swapping things around.  Anyways, I was so, so off with all of my predictions this year.  But hey, that’s the fun of it all, and I was delightfully wrong in many cases.


Microsoft

Gears of War HD Collection will definitely show up, given all the leaks, but they’ll announce a new, formal Gears game for Xbox One as well.  Nothing more than a title card though.

Kinda Right!

Okay so first off, I had a misunderstanding of what the Gears of War re-release was meant to be.  I thought it was a remake of the entire series, but it was just the first game.  It doesn’t make much sense to me, but whatever.  I’ll give myself half credit for that one.  They did announce the new Gears game, but showed off a decent sized demo.

Halo, Halo, Halo.

Right!

Well duh, but I wasn’t expecting to be as into it as I was.

Rumors are circulating around a new title being announced by Platinum, it’d fit good in the Microsoft presser.

Wrong!

The Platinum game was a Transformers game, and didn’t even show up at a conference.

With Windows 10 coming, Microsoft will find a way to work it in with the Xbox crowd, in a cool, but useless way.

Wrong!

I honestly can’t remember.  If they mentioned it, it wasn’t a big enough deal for me to remember, evidently.

I’ve somewhat distanced myself from Microsoft in the last few years, if you couldn’t tell by my “predictions.”  Their conferences have been flat and they really have nothing to show for it.  They have the most to gain in their presser, so I’m looking forward to it.

So?

They gained a lot from me.  I was very impressed and it was a great conference.  Much better than their previous years.


Sony

THE LAST GUARDIAN.

But no seriously, this is the year, right?  Last year there was a ton going on involving the game, with someone stating it was dead, then Shu stating it wasn’t, right before E3.  I could see that encouraging Sony to throw something out there to show it’s alive and well, especially since nobody expects it again and it’d shock the world.  Nevermind, I changed my mind, it will never happen.

Right and Wrong!

I really did expect it to happen for a little while prior to the show, but then I realized how ridiculous that was, so I decided it wasn’t going to happen.  It happened!

Titanfall 2 will be announced on the Sony stage.  It won’t be exclusive, but Sony will be making a statement by revealing it to the world on their stage.

Wrong!

Respawn wasn’t even presenting anything at E3 this year, I’m positive it’s still coming though.

Sony dropping the Vita to a ridiculous price and committing to marketing it as a PS4 accessory.

Wrong!

The Vita was mentioned once by name in the entire conference and it wasn’t for a price drop.

PS Now catalogue expanding to Playstation 2 titles.

Wrong!

PS Now was not mentioned at all.  Thankfully for Sony, any type of PS Now announcement that wasn’t “It’s free!” would have looked really bad following up Microsoft’s backwards compatibility bombshell.

PS4 system update that includes access to PS Classics.  Chalk this one up as wishful thinking, more than a prediction.  It was a bummer discovering the PS4 didn’t have access to the classics.  With the announcement during the Playstation Experience that a new version of FFVII is coming to the PS4 with trophies, it makes it seem like the originals won’t be making the leap unless they receive this sort of special treatment.

Wrong!

No mention to an update at all, but hey I mentioned FFVII right here.  I feel like that gives me some points for foreshadowing.

I expect Sony to keep applying the pressure they have been in previous years at E3.  I’m afraid their movie studio will play a larger role this year with the upcoming Ratchet and Clank movie.

So?

I don’t know if I’d call it applying pressure, they didn’t announce much of anything for this year.  Great announcements overall though, and a great conference.  No mention of movies or poor Ratchet and Clank.


Nintendo

They’ll give us an actual name for the new Zelda and a lengthy demo.  Just to assure us things aren’t burning down since they had to delay it.

Wrong!

There was a single mention of it and that was it.

Ditto for Star Fox, but the big reveal will be that it releases this holiday.  Please have a good online component.

Right! But I’ve got some bad news…

Star Fox headlined the conference, but about that online component…

Pokemon Wii U.  Okay, maybe just a new one for 3DS.

Wrong!

Not a mention of Pokemon in this conference.

An all new, original Mario game.  Mario was completely absent from Nintendo’s event last year, so he’ll return in big fashion this year.

Right!

I guess I forgot about Super Mario Maker.  They celebrated the 30th anniversary of Mario, so I’d say he returned “in big fashion.”

More Xenoblade, please!

Right!

There was a bit of Xenoblade and it made me want it even more.

It’s really difficult to predict what Nintendo will show, given that they have made such a big deal out of their random Nintendo Direct shows.  Nintendo doesn’t really need E3 to announce things at this point.

So?

I don’t think anyone could have predicted this show.  It had a strange amount of third party stuff shown.  Hopefully a few Nintendo Direct Shows can make up for their showing this year.


Other

As soon as I saw the Fallout 4 trailer I felt that it had to come out this year.  Now there are tons of rumors and retailers leaking that it is indeed due out this year, so I expect that to be a huge announcement.

Right!

I actually predicted a November 28th release.  November 10th was the announced date, so I wasn’t too far off.

Star Wars Battlefront and/or Rainbow Six Siege will get alpha/beta demos soon, maybe exclusive to one of the consoles.

Wrong!

Microsoft announced Xbox One users will get early access to a beta for The Division, close but no cigar.  I believe they said the demos will start in August or September, which isn’t really what I meant by “soon.”

The Division gameplay featuring actors.

Right!

Ubisoft is so attached to their “let’s listen to these players communicate in-game the way nobody ever communicates in game chat” ideas.

Release dates for Mirror’s Edge and Kingdom Hearts.

Right and Wrong!

February 23rd for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and nothing on Kingdom Hearts III.

Valve will show off their home stuff.

Wrong! 

The whole PC show was a nice try but a joke.  Maybe it’ll be worth something next year.


 

Well there’s always next time.  Half-Life 3, Star Wars 1313 and Mother 3 announcement next year at the Sony conference, calling it now.  They just didn’t have time for them this go-round.

Stay tuned for my E3 2015 Game of the Show post tomorrow!

E3 2015 Day 3 Thoughts (Plus Final Thoughts)

E3 is over!  Here are my impressions from the final day.


I finally got to see a demo of the new Fatal Frame game, subtitled Maiden of the Black Water.  I haven’t played a Fatal Frame game since the Playstation 2 days and I’m not a huge fan of Japanese horror.  I was always intrigued by the Fatal Frame games though.  I thought the mechanic of using a camera to take pictures of ghosts to destroy them was both great and bone-chilling in a horror game.  This new game being on the Wii U makes me extra interested in that mechanic, the Wii U was made for a game like this (or Pokemon Snap).  The demo at the Nintendo Treehouse was funny to watch, as the game is M rated.  It featured group suicide and a bit of gore, which was  great juxtaposition to Yoshi’s Wooly World.  I’ll definitely get it once it’s out just to support something different like this on a Nintendo console.

Disney Infinity has been on my radar recently, for two reasons.  First, because I have no idea what it is, and no matter what I read or what videos I watch, I’m still not quite sure what that game exactly is.  That piques my curiosity more than I wish it would.  The second reason is because of the damn figures and my inner-child/collector that wants them all.  I haven’t gotten any yet, but I do want to get some Marvel characters to go next to my Toon Link and Fox amiibo.  Now that Star Wars is entering the fray and the Boba Fett and Darth Vader figures look amazing, I highly doubt I’ll be able to resist much longer.  My only problem is spending the amount of money it takes on something like that, that I’m clueless about.  Not to mention with the insane gaming release calendar coming up for the rest of this year and next.  If there’s a lull in my gaming schedule I can definitely see myself picking it up and giving it a go.

I saw just a little bit of Fire Emblem Fates for the 3DS.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I loved Fire Emblem Awakening and this just looks like a continuation of that, with improvements.  The first thing I noticed was that it moved and played a lot smoother and faster, with less loading it seemed.  That could be because it was being played on the New Nintendo 3DS, I’m not sure.  Regardless, it looked great.  They also fixed the buddy system mechanic, in Awakening it would be random if your buddy would defend or attack for you.  Now, you can set if you want them to defend or attack, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I can assure you that it’s a game changer.

The final game of the show that caught my eye was Rock Band 4.  I loved Rock Band, then like everyone else, grew out of it.  Now, I’m starting to feel the itch again and wouldn’t mind diving back into the plastic drums.  Which is perfect, because Rock Band 4 was shown off this year and it looks great.  They’re doing just enough things different so that it isn’t a shocking difference, but it looks like it will be enough to get me back into it and keep me playing for a while.  Not to mention my previous instruments and all of my DLC I bought (more than I care to admit) will still be playable on it, which is wonderful news.  It releases this year, I’m not sure when I’ll have time for it, but I’m certain I’ll eventually play some Rock Band 4.


So that’s a wrap on E3 2015.  I have no hesitation in saying this has been the best E3 I’ve seen, which is funny considering last week I said I expected “no jaw-dropping moments.”  This E3 supplied some moments I really don’t think I’ll ever forget.  I thought this year was going to be one of the best years for gaming ever with all the great releases, but now I feel that same way for next year, and even into 2017.  This was also my first E3 that I’ve covered through blogging, what a great year to start with.  I really enjoyed being able to talk about and explain my thoughts on what I saw, as opposed to live-tweeting everything.  Tomorrow I will have a post about what I thought were the top three games of the show.  I thought it’d be impossible to narrow it down to one, but I managed to do it.  Then I felt bad if I left the others out, so I’m going to give them all some spotlight.  Following that, on Saturday I will have a fun, mystery post involving E3, so stay tuned and thanks for keeping up with me during E3 2015!

Sayonara E3 2015!

E3 2015 Day 2 Thoughts (ft. Kanye West)

I should start by stating that I’ve been paying attention to the Gamespot live stage demos and the Nintendo Treehouse for my information and impressions.


Uncharted 4 seems to be adding the jeep to the repertoire of Drake, along with the rope which was shown off in November.  The demo shown at the Sony conference had the jeep, I just thought that was a one level thing, but apparently it’ll help you solve puzzles in the game.  I’m a fan on adding depth to the puzzles of the game.  Hopefully it controls well and feels natural, which is what my worry is about Arkham Knight, which comes out next week.  Oh, by the way Kanye West played Uncharted 4 today.

Remember that one time when I was like “Star Fox Zero should have online play, that could totally save that game?”  It doesn’t.  What more I read and saw of it today, it seems ham-fisted.  There seems to be a ton of reused dialogue from Star Fox 64.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the lines from that game, but that is not what I want.  One of the reasons I liked Star Fox Assault was because it was a new and fresh entry into the series.  I want new experiences with this franchise, not the same one over and over.

I finally got to see Genei Ibun Roku #FE.  That can’t be the western title, can it?  I’d imagine not, but they seem to be running with it during this E3.  Regardless, that game looks fantastic and instantly jumped to one of my most anticipated games of next year.  The idea of a Shin Megami Tensei game crossed with a Fire Emblem game was really intriguing, I’m a fan of both of those franchises.  I expected it to be a SMT game with FE characters or something along those lines, but this is a totally unique, new game.  It seems like a new IP, but I’m not sure if they’re saying it is.  The gameplay looks just like a SMT game and if it’s fully built for the Wii U, I am so down for that.

I don’t know what to call For Honor.  Hand-to-hand melee, sword fighting simulator?  After seeing more of it in action today, I really want to play it.  A four on four battle in that game seems perfect, as things won’t be too hectic, and allows for more grandeur battles.  I want to have a 5 minute sword battle against another person, who doesn’t?  My only concern is the online community for that game.  I feel like a game like that has to have a solid, consistent online user base to make it fun, battles against AI controlled characters won’t have the same effect.

Nintendo showed off quite a lengthy gameplay demo of Xenoblade Chronicles X, in Japanese, unfortunately.  That game looks like the most ambitious Wii U title to date.  The most appealing factor of this game to me is the mech and space gameplay, which looks stunning.  My only concern was the human gameplay, which is what this demo focused on.  After seeing this demo, my concern is gone.  Everything looks great, gathering materials for upgrades and special weapons seem to play a huge role in the game, which I’m okay with, as it adds depth.  The only thing that had me scratching my head was the combat.  There were several icons on the screen, similar to what you’d see while playing an MMO, and I never heard them explain what they do, or how the combat works.  There seems to be a ton of customization options for your character including armor, stats, and abilities.  Oh and the creature designs look fantastic, I just really enjoy the design of this game altogether.


That’s it for day three (technically two).  Not much, but these games really gave me some strong impressions after today.  Stay tuned for tomorrow, the final day of E3 2015. 

E3 2015 Day 1 Thoughts (Nintendo, Square Enix)

The most disappointing day for video games ever (har har har).


Nintendo

Nintendo managed to show off three of my most anticipated games, and I still felt really disappointed in their show.

They started with Star Fox Zero, which wasn’t a surprise by any means.  It was announced last year and only shown off behind closed doors.  It has no continuity from the previous games, which I guess doesn’t matter, but I don’t understand why you’d need to re-imagine a game like Star Fox Zero.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the addition of the ship transformation to a chicken-walker-like mech, which was originally an idea from the unreleased Star Fox 64 2.  I don’t get why they didn’t just put that on the e-shop like they did with the unreleased Earthbound game.  There were a few alternate vehicles to explore in, but overall Star Fox looked underwhelming.  As I have stated previously, I don’t care about graphics, but given how great Nintendo’s first party games have looked recently, such as in Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, and Super Mario 3D World, I can’t help but to feel let down by the visuals.  Star Fox is known for big space battles and explosions, the opportunity is there to wow with graphics, but this demo looked like something I’d see on the regular Wii.  I wonder if there’s an online element to the game, that could change everything.  I haven’t given up on Star Fox Zero, but I am let down.  It’ll be on the stage show later today, so I’m excited to learn more.

Then Nintendo brought up their new console, codenamed NX.  All they said was to expect to hear about it next year.  That really, really bothered me.  Just don’t mention it, Nintendo.  Now I feel like my Wii U is worthless, especially considering there wasn’t much announced for it this year.  I’m sure they’ll support it for a while no matter what, but regardless, that really brings me down as a consumer of theirs.

The obligatory Zelda segment came up next.  I’m a new Zelda fan, if you read my blog about Fallout, you’ll know why.  But I really wish Nintendo would shelf it for just a year, at least.  It seems like every E3 for the last multiple years have had big Zelda moments.  Zelda is great, but it’s really over-saturated at this moment.  They gave Mario a break at last year’s E3, so I expected Zelda to get a break this year, since the Wii U title got delayed and the Hyrule Warriors 3DS got leaked already.  I’m just tired of seeing big Zelda presentations year after year at Nintendo.  But that’s the Nintendo formula right?  Trying to make the same old things fresh.

While we’re on the downside of this Nintendo event, I might as well point out the Metroid Prime disappointment.  I’m not much for the Metroid series, but a ton of people are, so I respect that.  Rumors were rampant that a new Prime game was in development and I really hoped it was true.  Nah, it was just a spinoff game for 3DS, that’s what you wanted, right? Right?

Okay, I’ll stop burying this event now, I really didn’t hate it.

Fire Emblem showed off two games, both I’m pretty excited for.  Fire Emblem Awakening hooked me and I couldn’t put it down until I beat it.  I wanted to play it again, but never got around to it.  I’m all for a new one, and especially one that’s tied into the SMT universe.

Xenoblade Chronicles X.  I really have nothing to say.  This game looks amazing.  

Yo Kai Watch looks really interesting, I’m not sold on it yet though.  It looks like Pokemon, but not.  I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

Mario and Luigi Paper Jam was really interesting, as it crossed the Mario universe for the first time and tied together Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi.  It reminded me that I should finish the Mario and Luigi game currently on my 3DS.  Those games are great fun, but it never really got me addicted.

Finally was Super Mario Maker.  Amiibo support was added which I think looks great.  The amiibo will enter your game as a character depending on what version you’re running.  A pixelated Toon Link is possible, in theory.  I’m really interested to see some of those in action.  Announced with it was a giant 8-bit Mario amiibo which I want so, so bad, but I know I won’t get.  While talking about the game, Miyamoto explained how he designed the maps and levels in the original Mario games all on graph paper, and even showed off the original copies of it they still had.  Something about this was really warming to me, it showed off how far technology and game design has come.  This led up to the reveal that Super Mario Maker will come with a special artbook.  This is a day one buy for me.

Nintendo’s event was the worst of the big three.  A couple of amazing games can’t make up for all the disappointment.  It wasn’t awful, but disappointing.  Have I said the word disappointing yet?


Square Enix

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this conference, I wasn’t incredibly interested, but was welcoming what it had to offer.

Just Cause 3 started us off and it really looked like the develops have learned from Just Cause 2 and the mod community, to find out what it exactly is that the players want to see and do in that game.  A game like Just Cause could really benefit with some direction like that in it.  This game looked like a ton of ridiculous fun and I have high hopes.

The Kingdom Hearts 3 demo left me somewhat indifferent.  There were guns, I think that’s new.  I didn’t see any Disney themed levels, I totally could have missed it though, I’m not on top of the modern Disney scene.  There was no timetable, not even a year given, that is scary to me.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided is running on an all new engine.  I might be wrong, but I’m pretty positive they said that you’re fighting the Illuminati in this game.  Just like real-life.

After what felt like a show that had a ton of focus on mobile platforms, a brand new IP was announced with a few snaps of concept art.  It’s built by a brand new team and will be out in 2016.  I’m all for Square Enix doing something new, considering their key franchise has well over 15 entries.

That was it for Square Enix.  It was really weird. Really weird (see above image). The translator was awful, or maybe the public speakers were, I couldn’t tell.


So all the conferences are over, now it’s time to dig into individual games.  Stay tuned for more.

E3 2015 Day 0 Thoughts (Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Sony)

The single greatest day for video games ever.


Microsoft

Microsoft led the day off with Halo 5 Guardians.  My interest in Halo has dwindled over the last few years, but this gameplay looked really sharp and fun to me.  They brought back the squad based combat from Halo Reach, which I really enjoyed.  I thought those extra characters added to the emotion of the story more than any of the other Halo entries.  The campaign is split between a Spartan squad led by Commander Locke, who I know next to nothing about, and another squad led by Master Chief.  This demo showcased the Locke squad and it looked very impressive.  After showing off a small mission, a new multiplayer mode was introduced, it appeared to be your team vs. everybody, other humans and AI alike, in a huge, hellacious war ground.  I thought that was an interesting take on the tried and true Halo multiplayer.

After Halo, a new IP was announced in Recore, which is a fantastic title.  No gameplay was shown, but it did get my attention.

Then came my biggest take away from the Microsoft conference, the Xbox One will soon be able to play certain Xbox 360 games, both physical and digital, for no extra cost.  Not the entire library of 360 games, but quite a few with more certainly coming as they stated it is up to the developers to decide if they want it to be backwards compatible or not.  It seems like Microsoft is going to bundle last-gen games with upcoming games to help build that backlog.  For example, it was announced you would receive a free copy of Fallout 3 when you purchase Fallout 4, and Rainbow Six Vegas 1 & 2 when you purchase Siege.

Todd Howard took to the stage and showed off what seemed like the exact same Fallout 4 demo from last night until halfway through, then finally we got some new content.  It was announced that Fallout 4 will have mod support for Xbox One (and later confirmed for PS4 as well).  PC, Xbox One, and PS4 will all have access to the same mods too, which is great.

I think mod support is a huge step forward for console gaming that may have gotten overlooked.  Not only is the mod support a step forward, but Microsoft also announced their own version of Steam Greenlight.  Gaming consoles and PC’s are quickly fusing into one and I am all for that.

CUPHEAD CUPHEAD CUPHEAD

Rare Replay was announced, which features 30 of the greatest Rare games of all time, like Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Blast Corps, and Conker’s Bad Fur Day.  It’s great to finally have those back (even though most were available on the shop) but this felt like Microsoft’s way of saying “okay please stop bugging us about these IPs take this and shut up.”

Hololens was up next and was quite impressive as far as VR goes.  Until I hear a price point from any of the different pieces of hardware, be it Rift, Hololens, or Morpheus, I won’t get excited.  It looked like a neat toy though. 

Lastly was the reveal of Gears 4 in a gameplay demo that was incredibly dark.  It’s more Gears.  Take that how you will.

Overall Xbox had a pretty good conference.  The addition of backwards compatibility makes me somewhat interested in owning an Xbox One now as opposed to the total indifference I had towards it prior to the show.


EA

Next on the agenda was the EA conference, which could have been canceled and still would have been better than last years.

EA led off the show by announcing Mass Effect Andromeda.  Another wonderful title.  What little of it they showed just make me think of Destiny though, it felt very generic and stale.  But the good thing about Mass Effect is how huge and varied it is, so I’m sure this one section was just a tiny, tiny slither of the full product.

One of my biggest surprises of the show was a newly announced game from EA called Unravel.  This game looked visually striking and super heart-warming.  It somewhat reminded me of Limbo, judging by the platforming and movement.  I’m totally in support of EA doing something completely different, good on them.

HOOPGOD CAME OUT.

The sports section lasted entirely too long and pulled the conference down as a whole.  They had Pele on stage, which was cool but served absolutely no purpose as far as I’m aware.  Between this and the constant reminder that Frostbite is theirs and is the best thing since John Cena, this conference began to suffer.

Mirrors Edge Catalyst was shown off and looks fun.  I wasn’t a fan of the original Mirrors Edge but I’m glad this new one exist.  I hope it makes a penny or two.

Star Wars Battlefront was the big finale we were all hoping for.  Let me say I had the lowest of expectations and expected a reskinned Battlefield.  To an extent, it was, but I was expecting it to be 60/40 in favor of Battlefield, but this gameplay really came off as 60/40 in Star Wars favor.  The match they showed off looked fun as hell, but makes me wonder how big the map was and what the player count was.  This particular match looked somewhat small, but had a ton of players and aircraft fighting everywhere.  That is exactly what I want this game to be.  Recent Battlefield games really lost me when their maps got so big I would have to spend 3 minutes walking if I wasn’t fortunate enough to get a vehicle.  The third person view looked absolutely fantastic as well, I really want to get my hands on that.

EA had what I would call the worst conference of the day.  It had some cool bits but was so bogged down by things that shouldn’t take up so much time.  I get that sports games are huge, but we know what to expect from them at this point.


Ubisoft

Ubisoft led off with what was my biggest surprise of the show to that point, a new South Park game, titled South Park: The Fractured But Whole, which is my new favorite title of E3.  The Stick of Truth was one of my games of the year and if you didn’t get the chance to play it, you need to immediately.  It’s South Park, so you should know what to expect, and I can’t wait to play it.

A brand new title was unveiled in For Honor.  A combat simulator where you play as a viking, samurai, or knight and partake in melee combat against other players.  The demo shown was really awesome, and the gameplay appeared that it could possibly be very intricate and tense.

The Division, of course, peaked its head up again.  I was tired of seeing footage of this game and just wanted to play it, but the demo they showed off here was great.  It showed off how you can’t trust anybody in the world of The Division, your best friend can stab you in the back and steal your loot.  I love the aspect of having to trust other players.  Also, the HUD looked really great and again, the third person perspective looked really good and natural.

A mystery trailer appeared after that, wait, no, it was just a trailer for Rainbow Six: Siege, which looked nothing like what I was expecting.  It was a story trailer and looked pretty interesting.  The HUD really bothered me in this demo, I’m not sure if it was because I had just seen the clean, crisp HUD featured in Battlefront and The Division prior, but it looked really clunky with a ton of symbols on the screen representing… stuff?

Trackman Turbo was shown off and really grabbed my attention.  I’ve been itching for a good series (but not so serious) racer lately, and that looks like it would fit the mold.  It didn’t look like a ton of game though, so the price point could be a make or break for a game like this.

Ubisoft closed their show with a brand new game, Ghost Recon Wasteland.  It looked fine, but also looked like a standard Ubisoft game.  It wasn’t mind-blowing, but I’d play it.

Ubisoft made me pretty excited with their announcements, but it’s hard for me to get too excited by Ubisoft after being burned so bad this last year.


Playstation

IT. HAPPENED.

ALL OF IT. HAPPENED.

The Last Guardian kicked off the show and looked true to its roots.  It looked really endearing and interesting, but they didn’t show off too much aside from some puzzle solving.  The big thing was the 2016 release date posted at the end.  Let’s hope that last.

Then Guerrilla Games showed off their new game “Horizon Zero Dawn.”  This, like most of this conference, really took me by surprise.  I knew the Guerrilla guys were working on something new but I didn’t expect it to look anything like this.  A third person hunting game against giant mech-dinosaurs and from what little we saw, destructible environments.  Count me in.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this new IP.

After a very quick No Man’s Sky demo, we got to see more of the new Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.  EA is making up for their remarks about female game models, as this trailer featured one of the main characters, Evie, who absolutely slayed jerks left and right.  Vicious.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake.  I never thought I’d see it, I really didn’t.  I had a slither of hope for The Last Guardian, but this came way out of left field.  Bravo.

After the FF7 reveal, there was a quick indie game spot, then SHENMUE III.  Sony announced every long-lost game sans Half-Life 3 in this conference.  Talk about a quick way to get on the good side of people.  Although they didn’t announce Shenmue III per se, they announced the Kickstarter.  The goal is $2,000,000 and as of writing this, it sits at $1,522,656 after about 4 hours.  I think it might get funded, guys.

Sony ended the show with Uncharted 4, showing off brand new gameplay.  For the second straight time in Uncharted 4, Sony’s live demo went horribly wrong.  First, Drake fell through the world, and this time the controller stopped working or reading inputs, leaving Drake just standing there for what felt like an eternity.  Eventually, he moved and got into a wild on/off-road escape in a jeep from a tank.  This demo showed off the driving, which was somewhat open, but still linear.  Multiple paths will take you to the same destination is what Naughty Dog later said in an off-stage interview.  It doesn’t seem to be reinventing the wheel for Uncharted games, but it looks like it will be a fun and proper send off for Nathan Drake.  Oh and why would you yell “Heads up!” to a guy you’re about to punch? C’mon Nate.

Sony put on, what I think, is the greatest E3 conference of all time (OK that I’ve seen).  It really did feel unreal at a few parts, and I’m not a huge fan of any of the big 3 announcements.  The only possible downside I saw was that there were few announcements for this year.  I would have preferred Persona 5, but that’s not something they’d dedicate much time to at an E3.  It’ll definitely be at TGS though.


I’m not sure how it can get any better from here, but I’m almost positive it will tomorrow morning during Nintendo’s show.  Followed by Square Enix show which I’m really excited for.  Deus Ex in particular, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’d like to know some more about the new Kingdom Hearts.  For research sake. Stay tuned!