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!

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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!

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.

E3 2015 Predictions

Finally, it’s that time of year again.  Time for me to pull predictions out of thin air and hope they magically come to fruition so that I feel a little bit better about myself.  As I look over my notes from last year’s predictions, the only one I was off on was Microsoft mentioning Gears of War and Sony announcing an Infamous Vita game.  Granted, I did play it quite safe last year.  I tried to be a bit more ambitious this year, considering this is my first prediction that will be posted online.  I’m only focusing on Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, but I’ll add an “other” category for everything else.


Microsoft

Honestly, I’m a little clueless on what to expect from Microsoft.  The one solid bet I had and something I was looking forward to was learning more about Quantum Break.  Then, of course, it was announced that it will be skipping E3 this year and be shown at Gamescom.  I’m really curious what is in store for that game since it was marketed to be so involved with a television series by the now defunct Xbox TV team.

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.

Halo, Halo, Halo.

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

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

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.


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.

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.

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

PS Now catalogue expanding to Playstation 2 titles.

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.

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.


Nintendo

Oh boy, Nintendo.  I will say I really enjoyed their digital event last year.  I like new Nintendo, embracing the ability to be different.

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.

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

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

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.

More Xenoblade, please!

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.


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.

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

The Division gameplay featuring actors.

Release dates for Mirror’s Edge and Kingdom Hearts.

Valve will show off their home stuff.


As always, E3 is going to be a blast to watch.  The biggest reveals are already out in the open it seems, so I really don’t expect any mouth dropping moments.  I’ll be sure to update during E3 containing some of my thoughts about the news and updates, so stay tuned.