It’s that time again – well, the week after. I love working to the E3 press conferences, getting slowly distracted to the point of (oh man, is this embarrassing) shouting loudly enough that the other people in my home are surprised.
So. From the top. EA: more watched for the cringe than anything. I expected a handful of iterations of sports games, Star Wars, and the other random projects that EA typically dumps on a rather unhyped crowd year after year. EA has recently changed up their presentation to be a smaller, more social event, and this year they brought in YouTube personalities to mix up the usual parade of awkward, stammering talking heads, much to this watcher’s pleasure. There were even a couple of standouts. A Way Out was something new – an original from the creators of Brothers. Overall I thought it looked good, although I’m a real stickler for facial animation; the models had good mouth animations, but very little otherwise as far as facial emotions. I also enjoyed the brief intro to Bioware’s next IP, Anthem, but other than the announcement it was left to the XBOX conference.
Next was Ubisoft, also typically a cringe-filled event, also surprising. They formally announced Mario+Rabbids, which the internet had feared was going to be awful, and instead it looked shockingly charming and fun. Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto even graced the stage to give the new game his blessing. After that I thought I could go back to not caring about the rest of Ubi’s usually meh annual games… until they dropped the bomb and revealed the trailer of BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2, the follow up to one of my favorite games of the entire PS2/Gamecube era. The trailer had TONS of character, and it was incredibly exciting to revisit. Not that it was completely satisfying. Since this is a prequel, the original hero Jade and her friend Pey’j are likely not to be in the game. The only time we saw these two was in the reveal of the new game, showing Jade and Pey’j stuck in the desert waiting for help on a broken down car. It’s sad to think that we won’t be going on more adventures with Jade anytime soon.
The theme of Microsoft’s 4K E3 show was “Hey! Remember that whole Project Scorpio thing?! Well, we finished!” So they unveiled the Microsoft “XBox One X”. I was YELLING about how bad this naming convention was. The name literally spells out “X.B.O.X”, and phonetically, it’s confusingly similar to their budget console, the Xbox One S. And then they revealed a car, because technology, I guess. The biggest problem with Microsoft is always that although they reveal a lot of cool games (which is great), the majority are multiplatform games – not really a system selling point. This year, it was Dragon Ball FighterZ. Josh will probably tell you when he comes back from break about how excited is about it, and seriously, it looks great. They announced Player Unknown Battlegrounds as well, which I already play on the PC and recommend, whenever it’s finally out for consoles. The thing I was really excited for was Athem, Bioware’s newest IP, having gotten a taste from EA. The game looks like a much better version of Destiny meets Attack on Titan in Power Armor. I just hope it includes more story driven stuff, because right now I’m disappointed with Bioware’s RPGs.
Sony: Best LIVE presentation. Heck, it didn’t even NEED to be live. Undertale was revealed to be coming out for the PS4 and Vita right before the stream started. While I was watching the audio for the first three or so trailers cut out, so that was a big ol’ goof. The truly impressive thing about Sony’s stuff is they had someone on stage for maybe a total of 6 or so minutes. The rest was game trailers coming out, the majority of them exclusive. Two standouts: They’ve REMADE Shadow of the Colossus. What’s really interesting is that this game got HD remastered not too long ago for the PS3, but this looks like a from the ground up remake. There’s also a new Spider-man which looks pretty flipping cool.
I’m not going to lie, I’m a card carrying Nintendo Fan. Not their strongest lineup this year, but I’m excited for the upcoming games anyway. New Kirby, new Yoshi, Xenoblades 2, some Pokemon stuff. Then the video goes silent, and tones start playing. I KNOW THIS MUSIC. Cosmic dust lines up into an S. I KNOW WHAT THIS IS. I KNOW WHAT THIS IS OH MY GOD.
Metroid Prime 4 EXISTS. I’m in seventh heaven. This made my year. This was the best part of E3. DID I MENTION I LOVE METROID?
Moving on, Breath of the Wild DLC comes out this week. (I’m excited guys. No I haven’t beaten it yet. NO SPOILERS) Mario CONTINUES to be charming and fun looking with Super Mario Odyssey revealing its new gameplay gimmick: Mario can possess people/enemies/and otherwise by throwing his hat on them. When the video is over, the developers start playing Mario Odyssey, I’m drawing something and don’t mind the company of people talking in the background. I’m spacing out until they announce “oh we have something special just for this segment. And then I hear MORE familiar music. AND A METROID POPS ONSCREEN AND I YELL OUT LOUD BECAUSE TWO METROID GAMES?!
But as they revealed more and more about the game I was conflicted.
I’ve come around, and most of the journalists who’ve played it at the show all say it feels great to play. Which isn’t as surprising as Castlevania: Mirror of Whatever (UGH fine, Lords of Shadow). It wasn’t SUPER bad, but it for sure isn’t an IgaVania. But still… TWO METROID GAMES…
So that’s my E3 review. Overall, 2017 looks like an exciting year for games. I can ONLY imagine what Josh is going to write about Dragon Ball FighterZ…