June 16, 2015

The E3 Blog: 2015

Well hello again. For anyone new here: every year I share my thoughts on North America's biggest electronics and gaming expo with my readers via The E3 Blog. My thoughts are jotted down in real time with no real thought or additional research, so what you're getting is a first impression on a truly blank slate. Let me clarify: lots of people buy into the hype for E3 weeks in advance, and investigate every rumor and revelation there is. I do not. I ignore absolutely everything until the day of the conference, and don't believe anything I hear until I hear it from the boss. So this is a sort of raw reactions blog, written in a scurried fury as I try to keep up with the video. Apologies for any typos, but you guys usually let me off the hook with those anyway.
This year, E3 featured press showings from Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Square Enix in addition to Microsoft (Xbox), Sony (Playstation) and Nintendo, who also hosted the triumphant return of the Nintendo World Championship at the beginning of the expo. Lots to do, so let's get started!


Bethesda
So Bethesda got their own standalone showcase at E3 this year, that's pretty cool and slightly historic. Pete Hines was super adorable with his introduction and comparisons to Hollywood's major award shows. Fuck those guys. Let's blow shit up.
Even before the showcase, Bethesda let slip what might be the flagship of their company this year: Fallout 4. Peeps have been waiting a long time for Fallout 4, and this set up was pretty exciting. I'm late to the Fallout party myself (for shaaaaaaaaame) but I'm still very interested in checking this out. It's definitely a step in a different direction from Fallout 3, but of course, you still get a dog. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks about Fallout 4.
Then, it's like someone over there went, "y'know what we haven't seen in a long time? Doom. Yeah, that'll piss some people off." Not me though, I'm happy to entertain a new entry to the Doom series, and this looks totally boss. I was giggling for the better part of this presentation and yelling "that's what I would do!" over and over again. I love how familiar and simple it feels, but it's so open-looking and obviously updated. I'm game for Doom. Also, let us reiterate my undying love for the shotgun. And the chainsaw. Expected - complete with online multiplayer - in Spring 2016.
Next on the docket is Battlecry. This doesn't really ring my bell. It reminds me of No More Heroes in a lot of ways, and that was a game I thoroughly ignored. Hack n' slash fans who've been longing to play in teams might appreciate this, but it doesn't seem like one for me. Expected later this year.
You may recall that I didn't particularly warm to Dishonored, either. So you could understand my lack of enthusiasm for Dishonored 2, I think. I understand that it's an innovative and popular game, but I found myself forcing myself to play it, and not enjoying much. I may have to sit D2 out, but that was a lovely teaser they showed. Chicks, huh? Also announced was Dishonored Definitive Edition, but I'm sure I don't have to tell you how quickly that will end up on my shelf (it won't)Expected Spring 2016 and August 25, 2015, respectively.
And now we revisit The Elder Scrolls universe. I've not really paid any attention to The Elder Scrolls Online. How's it going over there? Now that I think about it, I actually haven't heard anything at all since its beta launched over a year ago. But it seems the studio is continuing to support it anyway. I suppose sometimes, no news is good news. Available now!
And no conference would be complete without some mention of mobile games, and Bethesda's offering was another branch of the Elder Scrolls tree: Legends, A Strategy Card Game. Again, you can more or less count on me never acknowledging this ever again, but that doesn't mean it's not any good, it just means I virtually never play mobile games. Creative showing, anyway. Expected later this year, for free!
Last but not least, Bethesda reiterated Fallout 4 with a lengthy demonstration of the team's hard work, including the dual screen offering and… an app. Fallout Shelter. It's free and stuff so… go on then. Anyway, back to the game. One of the chief complaints I've heard about Fallout 4 so far is the surprising lack of leap in graphics. While I agree, Fallout 4 doesn't seemed to have come very far in the graphics department, the game seems to focus elsewhere graphics-wise, such as the character customization and the, y'know... color. And light. Graphics alone don't make a great game, and Fallout 4 seems to have a lot to offer. And how cool would I look with that Pip Boy on my arm?!
…and here comes the build technique. Fallout 4 is expected November 10, 2015. Awesome.

Bethesda's inaugural showcase definitely felt dragged out, they didn't have a great quantity to share but they did have quality. I'll be happy to see Bethesda as well as other popular companies getting their own E3 shows in the future. I wholly support this program.

Microsoft
Day two! First to bat for the major conferences was Microsoft and Xbox. This conference is notorious for spouting both good and bad news, so I can't help but wonder what they have in store this year.
Naturally, they begin with Halo 5: Guardians. Fair enough. Halo is a big deal to a lot of people, I'm just not one of them. Looks lovely, a couple of familiar voices. Enjoy, Halo fans! Expected October 27, 2015.
Recore has a unique personality. Certainly beautiful to look at but it's gonna take more than a charming teaser to convince me. I wonder when we'll see some actual gameplay for this? Expected Spring, 2016.
Is anyone else super annoyed by this announcer lady? Shut up, lady.
Funny story: pretty sure I complained about this lady last year, too.
Xbox One backward compatibility is here. How's that for a bomb drop? The good news is that Xbox has continued to respond to customer feedback and repair their hardware. The bad news is that it needed so much work to begin with. But they're working on it! That's cool. Personally, I don't care, 'cause I've already invested in my 360 and collection, so as long as it doesn't blow up, I won't require backwards compat anyway. (For the record, I've yet to purchase a Xbox One). Nevertheless, backwards compatibility is always welcome among gamers, and it's great that new gen gamers can take a step back and play some of the older classics now, too. Maybe I can finally get some people to play Blue Dragon now. I like the forward thinking here, too. Xbox One not only plays 360 games, but makes use of the modern features in conjunction with them. Well done, Xbox!
They've also introduced another hardware piece, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. This bad boy seems to do everything. Enhanced this a customizable that… if you're one of those people who constantly complains about controllers…
…oh wait! I'M one of those people!
…They seemed to have made this for you. Neat. And available this fall.
Next up, another look at Fallout 4, but we've already talked that to death, so lets move on.
"I know you're all excited to play our next big title, Madden NFL 16..."
*crickets*
Blah blah blah EA Access Vault blah blah blah… Go home, EA. I don't care. I think this guy knows no one wants to hear from him, he looks pretty unamused.
Now we get a trailer for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. Looks cute. Haven't played them before. Expected Spring 2016.
And now, a history lesson from your local Ford dealership. Oh wait, it's a Forza Motorsport 6 teaser. With an actual car. Was always more of a Nismo girl, meself. And not much of a racing gamer at all, really. Enjoy your car porn, lads. Expected September 15, 2015.
Next up is the world premier of what's rumored to be the last in the series: Dark Souls III. While I must withhold judgement based not only on the aforementioned stipulations of world premiers but the fact that I have yet to play any of the Souls games... I will say that that looks absolutely badass. I know a few people who just lost their shit. Expected early 2016.
Speaking of world premiers, I don't know how they can call this one, seeing as we've known about and seen The Division in action for many years now. They decided to tack on Rainbow Six: Siege, just to make sure you cheer at some point for the dude with the heavy French accent that no one seems happy to see. He's giving you free stuff though, if you buy Siege, you get Vegas and Vegas 2 for diddly squat.  Expected March 08, 2016 and October 13, 2015, respectively.
You're losing me, Xbox…
Oh what is this now?! Gigantic? This looks uninspired. Cute, cartoon-y style but looks redundant as hell otherwise. The beta goes live August 2015. Pass.
And now, a word from our indie devs. Some of these look kinda cool, but you really need more than a 3 second clip to decide. So here's a guy to tell you about the ID@Xbox program! I haven't yet played Gone Home (pretty sure I have it, though) but Tacoma looks pretty unique. I follow quite a few indie enthusiasts on twitter, so I'm excited to see what they have to say about it. Ashen is… different. I feel like this trailer doesn't match the developer's introduction. Beyond Eyes looks more like a virtual demonstration than a game. Not sure how they squeezed content out of that concept. Cuphead looks really cool to me, because I grew up watching a lot of very old cartoons, so the style brings 'round some nostalgia for me. Not many indie games leave me with a big smile on my face, so I may have to check this one out personally. The humor is just spot on ("coming 1936 (plus eighty years)"). I still think Xbox supporting indie devs is a great thing, sometimes indie games will really blow you away if you let them. Xbox now has Xbox Game Preview, which sort of reminds me of the "kickstarter" movement, in that you can play the games and then decide if you want to support them or not (whereas kickstarter only offers you promises, but the game is still affected by your participation). Now were hearing about DayZ, which is failing to capture my attention.
Oh, Crystal Dynamics is up! That can only mean one thing, Rise of the Tomb Raider. Now we all remember how much I enjoyed the last CD Tomb Raider game... (I didn't) so I'm going into this one skeptical. While I can't deny that this looks great, it does seem to follow the last game's step precisely, which would suggest that I'm not going to enjoy it. I know that I'm the odd man out though, so many of you are sure to love this. Expected November 10, 2015.
"You never forget your first game…"
…uh. I did. This is an ad for Rare Replay, a collection of 30 Rare (as in the developer) titles for $30. Pretty sure I have most of these on their original consoles. Expected August 4, 2015.
But they wouldn't bring this up for nothing, would they? No, this is the precursor to the world premier of Sea of Thieves, Rare's latest offering. It looks cute, if a bit complicated. Expected holiday 2016.
We're then launched immediately into the most confusing, nonlinear trailer for Fable Legends that I have ever seen. I spent the entire time thinking, "it looks like Fable but worse". That can't be a good sign. How can a game that had me so excited last year look so dull now? Expected holiday 2015.
And now some dribble about VR gaming that I don't want to accept right now. *waits awkwardly for applause*
And here comes Minecraft! I don't play Minecraft but I have to admit the Microsoft HoloLens does some neat shit. Can't wait to see what that costs…
Oh look, remasters! Gears of War Remastered! I still don't care! Expected August 25, 2015.
Now we get another (super long) premier. I have to say, that opening still filled me with hope, and then I saw the chopper and it all went to hell. Gear of War 4 basically looks like every other GoW mixed with modern Resident Evil. Perhaps with a touch of Dragon's Dogma. Not my jam, y'all. Expected holiday 2016.

They promised the greatest games lineup for E3, did they deliver? Ehhh, there was nothing here that really knocked my socks off. Well, if I wore socks. I'm still relatively unmotivated to grab a Xbox One, but I do have to commend Microsoft for the wave of original content they showed this year. They closed the show by basically telling us that they haven't actually showed us anything, and that we'll have to tune into other events to get more info on other games and hardware updates. That's kind of annoying.

Electronic Arts
Ohh man. It's 2 a.m. as I'm typing this and I don't know if I have it in me to sit through EA's conference. EA consistently delivers the most boring and upsetting show every year at E3. Ack. Here we go.
And because I said that, they kick things off with Mass Effect Andromeda. That should be interesting, but now I feel like things can only go downhill from here. I really need to stop being such a pessimist, huh? Expected holiday 2016.
I'm not gonna lie, as I watched the trailer for Need For Speed, all I could think was, "in soviet Russia, car drives you!" Jokes aside, this is promised to be the "definitive" NFS, and that means very little to me because I don't play it. I recognize NFS's prominence in the racing game world, though, so I hope you fans enjoy this. Expected November 03, 2015.
In spite of being a life long RPGer, and an even life-ier long-ier Star Wars fan, I've never really jumped into any of the Star Wars games (RPG or otherwise.) So Star Wars: The Old Republic doesn't mean much to me either, but I can still appreciate when Star Wars is treated with respect. Knights of the Fallen Empire (expansion) looks great, and seems to answer to fan's calls for better content. Expected October 27, 2015. Free for subscribers!
So they've set up this next bit by promising 2 new I.P.s, but more than that, their ace-in-the-hole. Unravel is promised to be something we've never seen or dreamed of before. Hit me with your best shot, EA…
…It's Pikmin. No wait! It's that Nintendo yarn one… so much for "never seen before". This guy is beyond nervous. Well in spite of this wonky presentation, I'm a sucker for a good puzzle platformer, so I might be game for Unravel. It's quite pleasant to look at, and the concept is charming. Release date unknown.
Next up… oh boy, I hope this dude got paid. This is our second look at Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, check and mate.
Next we get a nice little pep talk from NHL'16. The first of many sports titles, I'm sure, and the first of many that I won't play. I have nothing against sports games, I just prefer to play or watch the actual thing. I have no business telling NHL players what to do (unless I'm sitting behind their bench), so this is a certain pass for me. As I predicted, NHL was the first of many, and now we're seeing PGA Tour '15. Insert feigned golf enthusiasm here. NBA Live '16 where you can use your mug shot. Insert feigned basketball enthusiasm here. Fifa '15. Inser- ah you get the picture!
Can we move on from the whole minions things now? Cute as these guys are, I'm kind of sick of seeing them everywhere. That isn't EA's fault, but still. Minion's Paradise looks choppy and amateur, and like a dulled down version of a Sim City game. No thanks. Expected later this year.
And now for some reason we're interviewing Pele. Oh wait, we're still on about Fifa… moving on!
Finally, more information on Mirror's Edge 2, or Mirror's Edge Catalyst. ME is a really outstanding game that I adore, but absolutely suck at. I'd like to say I'll play ME2, but it's probably more accurate to say I'll watch someone else play ME2. Regardless, an open, stunning world combined with ME's unique gameplay is sure to be a fun ride for anyone who can handle it. Expected February 23, 2016.
More sports stuff.
Oh look! Popular guy is back to introduce Star Wars: Battlefront. Now, go ahead and reiterate my policy on Star Wars games here, but this game looks amazeballs. Yes, I will even demote myself to 12-year-old's lingo to convey how cool some of this shit is. A few qualms: one - I don't like first-person shooters (which this include components of); two - I'm not fond of online gameplay; three - as I recall, EA bit off a LOT more than they could chew with this title. All of my recollections of this game since it was initially conceptualized are regarding how it's been dwindled down into a much, much smaller version of what it was supposed to be. When I received feedback from its reveal event a while back, most people didn't have much to say. They seemed underwhelmed. Which leaves me conflicted; I understand that it is exceptionally difficult to put together a game in the mass of what Battlefront was supposed to be, but ultimately, it seems players are left empty. What went wrong here? Also is it just me or is Skywalker a little more… flamboyant… than I remember?  Expected November 17, 2015.

Battlefront was EA's big finale, which means that there isn't much here for me. Mass Effect, but lord knows we won't be seeing that for a while yet. I will commend EA for keeping the majority of their presentation short and sweet and to-the-point, it went by quicker than I thought. I also haven't noticed any horrible feedback from this year's offering, which is a good sign, but alas, EA never really delivers a super exciting conference for me, personally. Onto the next!

Ubisoft
And the next is Ubisoft. I can see crazy amazon lady is back. And we're kicking it off with a surprise, new I.P., For Honor. Which looks very boring so far. In spite of this guy's animated attempts to sell it. Reminds me on Nintey-Nine Nights. Did not like. Release date unknown.
The Crew… I did not play. So the expansion doesn't mean much of anything to me. I didn't hear from too many people regarding the Crew, so I guess it's just kinda faded off into the distance.
Okay now… why is there a cat riding a unicorn? Apparently there is something called Awesome Level Max for Trials Fusion and it's coming to you July 14, 2015.
Another 'nother 'nother look at The Division, which we've already discussed. Now they're just discussing another component called the Dark Zone. I really don't have much more to say about the Division until I have the opportunity to play it so, moving along... Expected March 08, 2016.
I don't really know what to make of Anno 2205. It's been a long time since I've played as city sim game (it's been a long time since there's been one worth playing) but the idea of building on the moon makes it all the more intriguing. Undecided. Expected November 03, 2015.
There's another Just Dance game! Wasn't the phone integration thing announced last year? That sounds familiar. Anyway, still haven't really played Just Dance, so… they're punishing me with this terrible song. Expected October 2015.
Aaaand another look at Rainbow Six: Siege. Amazon lady is doing a better job selling it than anyone else has, but this is still another game that falls on the "not for me" list. If it's up your alley, though, you can start playing the beta on September 24, 2015.
Trackmania Turbo is coming to consoles! That said, I had no idea what Trackmania was until now. I'm okay with that, as I don't find myself jumping to play this anyway. It looks like a cute mix of a racing game and Roller Coaster Tycoon, to me. But it does seems to offer a lot of content for racing game fans, so that's cool. I like that it doesn't take itself too seriously. Expected December 01, 2015. 
And now for something you've never seen or heard of before, Assassin's Creed! Just kidding. Obviously. We get one of these every couple of months, so Assassin's Creed Syndicate is just another reason for me to repeatedly type "ass." Good lookin' trailer, though. Expected October 23, 2015.
My heart is telling me Ghost Recon: Wildlands isn't for me, but my brain is concluding that it could actually be a lot of fun. I think I need to learn how to stop being such a negative nellie about Tom Clancy games and their genre brothers, and maybe just give it a try. And how 'bout them skin textures?! Release date unknown.
Also, somewhere, lost in all of this, was an announcement for a new South Park game, The Fractured But Whole. Just the name is cracking me up. I haven't actually gotten around to The Stick of Truth yet (soon, soon...) but I just adore the premise and set up of the South Park games, and FBW will be nothing if not hilarious. Release date unknown.

Ubi's show was short, and underwhelming to say the least. I feel like Ubisoft have become predictable to gamers over the years so it's not easy for them to really surprise us. Their conference reflected their quality in every way. Back to the big guns!

Sony
I'm not gonna lie, this is really the first show on the docket that I'm truly looking forward to. Hopefully Sony doesn't disappoint. More games and less long-winded news and boring hardware stuff, please! Queue the light show!
Could this dude's personality contradict that opening number any more? Anyway, let's just take a moment here to express what everyone is thinking:
Finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally
for fuck's sake I nearly cried watching this! We've been waiting desperately forever for some sign that The Last Guardian hasn't been totally lost and now we've finally got it. Ugh! Shivers. I want it I want it I want it. And apparently I'm getting it next year. Hurry up and piss off, 2015! Nobody likes you!
How fucking cool does Horizon: Zero Dawn look?! This chick talks too much but beyond that this thing has my attention y'all. Further proof that new I.P.s can make a big splash when they're done right. Sony are off to a good start here. Release date unknown.
That was a very cinematic Hitman trailer, but those games have never really captured my attention. Expected December 08, 2015.
Ah, Street Fighter. This is one of those beloved series that I haven't touched since SNES days. I'm not entirely sure why… I guess I just don't feel I have the time to force myself to warm to modern Street Fighter, so I just let it be. I'm sure Street Fighter V will find its fan base anyway. Looks great, though! Expected March 2016.
When No Man's Sky was announced last year, it was one of the few games at E3 that really, really got my attention. It still looks ridiculously impressive, and the space motif really pulls at my heart strings, but I'd be lying if I said the size and apparent lack of direction in the game kind of bothers me. I don't know if it's just what we haven't seen yet, or if the game truly is "pointless" but it scares me. I like to know what I'm doing has purpose in a game. I need more, Hello Games! Expected later this year.
Dreams is… creepy. I have no idea what the hell is going on here but you have my eyes, Media Molecule. Release date unknown.
Firewatch appears to have a fantastic sense of humor. Too bad that's all we get for now. It's apparently expected later this year, though.
Funny story: I went back and watched last year's Destiny E3 promo, and actually found myself asking what game it was, because I was really intrigued by it. Of course, it didn't take me long to separate myself from the kind of gamers who play Destiny, as consequently, The Taken King does not resonate with me. Enjoy, Destiny players. Expected September 15, 2015.
And here's Playstation's nod to Assassin's Creed Syndicate, which I've already indicated my lack of interest for.
Apparently, I am the only person on the planet who is not totally stoked for a Final Fantasy VII remake. My philosophy is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," and as far as I'm concerned, the PS1 original version of FF7 has done and continues to do what is needed of it in this world. I went through a very bad time a few years ago when FF7 suddenly exploded in popularity again for a second time after it's debut, and got so fucking fed up with the game that I had to stop playing it altogether for a long time. I fear this nonstop demand for FF7 media is just going to bring about another wave of this, and frankly, I'm already pissed off. I really wish this remake WASN'T happening. If you can't appreciate the game the way it was initially conceived, then move on. It's not for you. I'm not impressed that there has actually been enough demand for a remake that it's actually happening. Just leave this fucking series alone, already! That said, I will probably have to check this out just to prove myself right and see what's up, but know that I'm not excited. /angry old man FF fan. Release date unknown.
Naturally, they try to follow that with a quad of games from Devolver: Ronin, Eitr, Mother Russia Bleeds and Crossing Souls. Honestly, I'm still in a blind rage over FF7 so I really can't comment on what I've just seen here.
How fitting is it that after years and years and years of Shenmue fans begging for Shenmue 3, that THEY are the ones who are now bringing it to life. I'm glad that at least some of the original staff are responsible for the title, as it could easily have fallen into the wrong hands and hurt the series deeply. I hear the Shenmue 3 kickstarter is absolutely obliterating goals left and right, so I'm sure this will be a very quality game in our future. I've currently got the page open in my browser, and may actually join the (current) 30,000+ of you who've been waiting for this, in spite of the fact that I haven't played either of the previous titles start-to-finish before. That's how much I appreciate genuine gamer enthusiasm, and games made by the right people. Release date unknown. Don't rush them.
Did anyone else get Bioshock vibes from the beginning of that Arkham Knight trailer? Batman games haven't been my cup of tea thus far, but I have mentioned on multiple occasions now how much I enjoy the idea of Scarecrow getting his 15 minutes. It's pretty unlikely I'll ever play Arkham Knight, but I'll watch my friends power through some day, and I hope Batman fans enjoy it. That was a phenomenal trailer, anyway. Expected June 23, 2015.
Ah, and here come's the boring hardware bit. I guess this was inevitable, huh? Honestly, I'm keeping myself as far away from VR and Project Morpheus as I can for now. I'm not really ready to embrace VR gaming for many reasons (maybe I'll write about it someday) so I really don't even have two cents to give on the matter for now.
Playstation Vue is evolving into a pretty cool thing, but widespread reliability and service are surely a long ways away, I feel. We'll have to revisit this next year, me thinks.
Aaaand I still don't have a fuck to give about Call of Duty. I hope you're happy with PS4, Black Ops fans. Expected November 06, 2015.
Ohh yeaaah. Sometimes I forget that Disney bought Lucasfilm and now own Star Wars. But I shouldn't be surprised to see it annexed into Disney Infinity. Looks cute, but I don't partake. Hope it's good. Expected fall of 2015.
Naturally that would serve as a precursor to Playstation's welcoming of Battlefront, which we've already discussed here, so we'll move on now.
Of course they'd close with my boy Drake! Many of you probably already know that Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is my holy grail title for PS4. I was prepared to buy one the moment this game was released before it was sadly delayed, and while we've seen some pretty cool stuff from Playstation today, I remain celibate until my baby comes out (that's an awkward sentence). I'm especially emotional for it to be my first experience on PS4, much like it was for many on years ago on PS3, it was my first game on Vita, too! I just adore the Uncharted games, and feel right at home with them on any system. If U4 costs $300, I'll pay it. I want it that bad. My boys look great on their new system, in spite of Nate's horrible posture. The whole game looks amazing so far, and I die a little each day that I do not have it. I'm so stoked about seeing more of U4 today and will probably disappear from the Earth when it comes out in March, 2016.

While there were only a few games shown today that I'm really itching to play, Sony's presentation was indeed more focused on games this year, so I got what I wished for!

Nintendo
Nintendo technically kicked off their E3 celebrations by bring back the Nintendo World Championship for the first time since 1990. I was pleasantly surprised by the competition, which pitted Nintendo fans against each other in both classic titles like Zelda, Super Metroid and Balloon Fight as well as testing their modern knowledge with Splatoon, Mario Kart 8 and Smash for Wii U. The event was a lot more fun than I anticipated, and I'm hopeful Nintendo will continue the tradition in years to come. There would definitely be challenges in repeating the event every year, but if they can manage this level of entertainment consistently, it would be so awesome.
And now I'm watching muppets. I have no idea what's going on here but I can't stop laughing. I guess I have to give Nintendo props for this. It's been years since they've appeared live at E3, but at least their digital events are getting to be very entertaining.
So this is the Star Fox we've been waiting for, huh? Looks pretty cool. It feels pretty close to Star Fox 64 but with some obvious updates and new additions. I'm looking forward to checking it out this holiday season!
Again, the Skylanders universe is lost on me, so Skylanders Superchargers doesn't inspire much of anything in this cranky old lady. I'm sure the youngins will love seeing classic Nintendo characters in Skylanders games, though. Expected later this year.
Well, I love Zelda, and I love puzzles. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes seems like one of those games that would help make long flights or boring nights disappear. I can't decide if the Zelda franchise was included for a sales gimmick or because it genuinely works, but regardless, I'll probably give this a go. The fashion element is… weird, but I do love the idea of a Zelda game which demands focus on not one, but three Links. Co-op multiplayer. Cool! Expected Fall 2015.
I haven't played Hyrule Warriors, nor do I really intend to, so Hyrule Warriors Legends is over my head. Expected early 2016.
I don't think Metroid Prime: Federation Force was the Metroid any fan was hoping to see this year. As you no doubt have figured out by now, I'm super skeptical of any older generation series being brought back, so I'm probably one of the very few who isn't dying to see a new Metroid of any kind. Consequently, this trailer left me entirely underwhelmed and uninterested. It just doesn't look like anything I'd enjoy playing, regardless of what they called it. I hope this doesn't give new Metroid fans the idea that this is the best the Metroid universe has to offer. I can see that they've included the fishy soccer-type game, Blast Ball, that we saw during the NWC earlier this week, too. Right on. Expected 2016. Apparently Nintendo doesn't believe in actual release dates. Just vague timeframes.
Ahh, and now we're diving into the world of Nintendo RPGs. This is more up my alley. This teaser for Fire Emblem Fates isn't offering much, though. Just some wonky voice acting. Nevertheless, FE is a tried and true series, so we'll see if it makes it's vague 2016 release date.
I think some games should probably stay in Japan. Genei Ibun Roku x FE is one of them. I really can't imagine too many people in my neck of the woods understanding or enjoying this, Fire Emblem or no. Expected… get this… 2016.
Right! Here's the good shit! Bananas! I mean, Xenoblade Chronicles X. So help me god, I will not be the fool I was last time and miss this when it comes out (Xenoblade 1 costs a small fortune these days and it's the only one I'm missing from the series! I think...)! This looks totally boss, and Nintendo needs more wicked RPGs in its lineup. Bananas are cool, too, though. Expected December 04, 2015. An actual release date!
Animal Crossing is another series that's sort of slipped through my fingers over the years. I can't even remember the last one I played, but I know they're always beloved. I'm sure fans will have a ball with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and all its features, and Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival. Especially the young folk. Expected September 25, 2015 and holiday 2015, respectively.
Yoshi's Woolly World is still failing to captivate me for some reason. I don't know if it's just the texture and the gimmick of the yarn, or maybe it's just my lack of a connection with Yoshi, but I just envision myself getting bored and angry with this game, which is obviously not inspiring me to buy it at all. Expected October 16, 2015.
I'm still giggling at this Iwata muppet.
So, what is Yo-kai Watch? You like, capture monsters and use them to fight other monsters? I feel this may be a little below my demographic. Expected holiday 2015.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam looks absolutely hilarious. I love the idea of mixing 3D Mario with Paper Mario. On paper (no pun intended) it sounds ridiculous, but the funny thing is when you see it in action, it actually is. And the works for it! Awesome. Expected Spring, 2016.
As fun as it is to watch Bowser play tennis, I don't expect Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash would get much, if any, love at all in my home. Expected holiday 2015.
I expect I'm going to enjoy playing other people's courses in Super Mario Maker much more than I'll enjoy making them myself. Pretty sure this needs to be in the home of every Super Mario Bros. fan regardless of your intent. It's just too cool, and seeing it in action during the NWC was amazing. Expected September 11, 2015 with the courses seen in NWC2015.

Miyamoto always looks so youthful and happy in Nintendo Digital Events. What does it take to piss this guy off? Overall Nintendo's presentation was pretty good, still catering to Nintendo's young audience while providing something to shut the rest of us old folks up.

Square Enix
It's interesting to see Square with their own show this year. I have something of a love/hate relationship with Square these days so I'm not entirely sure what's going to happen today. Let's find out.
I can't be the only one who appreciates the cinema-like trivia before the show. Not exactly ground breaking stuff, but when you're sitting around for god-knows-how-long, it's nice to have something to entertain you. Good stuff, Square.
I never did get into Just Cause. Don't know why, I guess I just never picked it up and played it.  Probably should. Doesn't seem too far out of my league. So for now, I don't have anything to say about Just Cause 3 since I know literally nothing about the series. It's kind of annoying that the whole trailer is narrated. I feel like a game trailer should probably speak for itself. Expected December 01, 2015.
Okay, okay. Hold up. Let me play the first Nier game before you go making another… Looks like I have some time though, this is obviously in very early production. Release date unknown and likely very far away.
More Tomb Raider! We've already discussed it though, so onto the next!
Square's offering in the mobile department is Lara Croft Go. It's simplistic and sweet, but again with the mobile inhibitions. Also starting to feel like we're drowning in Tomb Raider these days. Coming soon.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is finally getting it's first expansion: Heavensward. Here comes the part where I dropped off the FF bandwagon years ago and don't play MMOs, but I'm sure lots of people are going to appreciate the new content. It's due tomorrow!
We're also seeing quick teasers for Life Is Strange and Dragon Quest Heroes, both games I've failed to learn anything about, really.
Did we lose our translator? My Japanese is a bit rusty… I guess we're seeing the Final Fantasy VII remake trailer again. Apparently the PC version is being delayed slightly. I don't think anyone cares though. Release date unknown.
Kingdom Hearts fans are getting a mobile game! "Kingdom Hearts fans" does not include me, F.Y.I.. Never warmed to it. It's a long story. But the rest of you can sleep easy knowing Kingdom Hearts Unchained Key is in development for iOS and android. Release date unknown.
And that serves as your intro to Kingdom Hearts III. Again, my interest remains flaccid, but I know lot's of people are gonna love it. Release date unknown.
So apparently Square is so hard up for ideas for Final Fantasy, that they've just decided to combine them all together and shrink it. It's called World of Final Fantasy, and it doesn't interest me much. Expected 2016.
We're getting some more information on Hitman now, but I think I've already said all I have to say for now. Expected December 08, 2015.
More snippets of other Square titles now: Hitman: Sniper; Triad Wars; and Final Fantasy XV. I think cars and guns are the theme here.
Aha! Well this was a nice little surprise. I've still got some catching up to do in the Star Ocean games before I delve into Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. Also what's up with all the long, bogus names, Square? Knock it off. Expected 2016.
Insert another series I've never really played: Deus Ex. Mankind Divided has a pretty hefty story synopsis, but I'm afraid I don't really know anything about the series nor can I name anyone who plays it. I think I may have one of these titles downloaded on one of my PS3s from PS+, but I haven't looked at it yet. Gameplay looks straight forward enough, maybe I'll give this a look someday. Expected early 2016.
Something about a Final Fantasy app coming this summer. Meh.
…new RPG… you have my attention…
A studio dedicated to Japanese RPGs sounds like a good investment to me, and a completely new I.P. -I think I've already established that "new I.P." is my favorite thing to hear at E3. Obviously there isn't much news on Project Setsuna as of yet, but they're using all the right buzzwords to get me involved. I'll keep my ear to the street for this one. Global release anticipated for 2016.
We're… we're doing a curtain call? Seriously? Alrighty then.

Of all the conferences, Square's seemed to be the lowest quality, disjointed and with the most glitches or technical issues. Still, they've shown some neat things this year, but I think my biggest gripe is the lack of solid release dates. Square was even worse than Nintendo for that.

You may have noticed that a section devoted to the PC Gaming Expo is absent here. I think the reason should be obvious: I'm not a PC gamer. I have nothing to say or contribute to that discussion. But I do think it's great that E3 is drawing the attention of PC gamers and offering them their own slice of the pie. The growth displayed this year at E3 is probably the most exciting thing of all. I really hope they embrace this format for future expos, because, with the exception of my lack of time for it all, I really enjoyed seeing more than the usual suspects. I think my favorite showing this year was actually Bethesda. I don't talk about Bethesda much, but they came out strong this year with two big blows in Fallout 4 and Doom, and well designed conference. I was excited to see them in the lineup and they did a great job!

One last thing: I want to apologize if my cynical personality comes through a little too much in this blog. It was honestly kind of painful to type up, but I didn't want to break my cycle of E3 blogs due to the boring crap that's going on in my life. Sadly, I had to watch pretty much all of these conferences at 3 or 4 a.m. after a very bad day. For a while, I started to believe that this year's E3 wasn't very exciting, and couldn't understand everyone else's satisfaction, but then I realized I only felt that way because I was having a terrible week and my bad mood was dragging me down. Reading this blog back (remember that it was written in real time), I can see that's painfully apparent in places, and I just hope you can recognize my excitement where it exists, and take the lack thereof with a grain of salt. As I said, I go into E3 as blind as I am able, so it's really up to the expo to point me in the direction it's going and overall, I feel this year was very diverse, very game focused (thankfully) and very long, which I welcome (note to self: book vacation next year).

That said, let's end on a happy note! I've clearly indicated my disdain for many titles in this blog, but let's recap the ones that I'm super stoked for!
I will get around to Fallout 4. After I get around to Fallout 3. And maybe New Vegas. No promises.
I will make promises for Doom though. I want Doom. Bring me the Doom. So excited.
Recore might turn out to be something, and Cuphead will get my money without question. I just love the look and style of that game. Mass Effect is on my immediate to do list (still need to play 2 and 3), and when I'm done, I'll expect more information on Andromeda. Unravel and Anno 2205 could wind up in my collection some day, but we'll need to see more. I'd really like to know more about No Man's Sky, now more than ever. Horizon look pretty cool, and I should probably get my hands on the old Shenmue games soon. This and exploring more action games are among my goals going forward.
Star Fox Zero and Xenoblade Chronicles X are gonna wind up on my shelf, even if it turns out they suck, 'cause I ain't fallin' for that shit again. Super Mario Maker should be chaotic, and I have high hopes for Star Ocean I&F and NieR, and I look forward to more information Project Setsuna.
But the true killers of this year's expo: The Last Guardian. Heyzoos Christo. We've been waiting forever for this. It looks and feels just like it's predecessors and I cannot wait to get my filthy paws all over this adorable game. I'm about to cry just thinking about it. Finally. Finallyfinallyfinally.
And of course, the game to end all games: Uncharted 4. I cannot even describe the smile that was plastered all over my face during this entire demonstration. I think I might put this footage on my phone and just watch it whenever I'm having a bad day, it makes me laugh and smile so much. God, I love Uncharted.
I think the biggest compliment I can pay E3 this year is that for the first time, I'm actually super excited to get a PS4. Probably still going to hold out for U4, but I'm confident that by the time I'm done with it, I'll have plenty of other things to play and plenty more coming down the pipeline. For the last few years, we've found ourselves after E3 going "I can't wait until next year!" but I feel like 2016 might be the actual end of the wait. The future's looking good for Playstation fans. I'm excited!

So that's it for me! What got your gears turning this year at E3? Was it everything you hoped? Also, how stoked are you for Uncharted?! And if you're not stoked for Uncharted, go away. I don't like you. Just kidding.

1 comment:

  1. Well, there were a few conferences I missed, but I'm all caught up now!

    It looks like our opinions are pretty much in line. I think it's great that all the FFVII fans out there got their remake, but I really think it's uneccessary. I liked when Square didn't do direct sequels or remakes, honestly. It was a nice line in the sand. Since they broke that rule with FFX-2 and FFVII: Dirge of Cerberus they've gone hogwild. I like Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, but I could live without the sequels.

    Actually, I'm full of $#@* because I just want a remake/sequel for Final Fantasy VI and I'm never going to get one, lol.

    Great stuff as always, Lo!

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