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My E3 cheers and boos so far

Well, the first day of Nintendo Christmas has come and gone, and as usual there were some disappointments, but overall this has been a solid E3 for Nintendo fans so far.odyssy

First off, the cheers:

  • There have been two big 180s for me in the past two days. The first was Super Mario Odyssey, which I haven’t been that excited about as I’ve mentioned before. But the ability to possess objects and enemies immediately opens up tons of gameplay possibilities, and the examples they showed (a Bullet Bill, a dinosaur, and even inanimate objects like springy posts you can use to catapult yourself) already make the game feel like a ton of fun. The exploration also looks more fun than the previous, more mission-based Mario games.
  • The second 180 for me was Mario + Rabbids. The game was leaked awhile back, and it sounded pretty iffy. I like the anarchic Rabbids in general, but I wasn’t looking forward to even more Mario & Luigi type RPGs. It turns out the game is actually in the vein of the XCOM games, which I haven’t really played, but looks like a great change of pace. The Rabbids humor looks like it’s meshing really well with the Mushroom Kingdom, and although it’s disappointing there only seem to be 8 characters (Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Yoshi and their Rabbids counterparts) it looks like Ubisoft has successfully captured the feel of the Mario games, which is great to see.
  • The remake of Metroid II looks fantastic. It’s a tad bit disappointing it’s not a new entry, but the remake of the original Metroid (i.e. Metroid Zero) was great, so I have high expectations for this remake as well. Developer MercurySteam has worked on plenty of Castlevania games, and from the footage they’ve shown it looks like they’re doing a great job.

fewrrs

As for the boos, they’re actually not really boos, but more like mild crotchety complaints from an old geezer rather than big thumbs down. They are:

  • At the top of my list, just because I’m so hyped for the game in general, it was great to see more of Fire Emblem Warriors, but I was really disappointed that they only showed footage of swordfighters. This makes sense from a game standpoint since they’re showing the beginning of the game and it probably eases the players into all the general Warriors mechanics before diving deeper into the more-complex, FE Warriors specific mechanics, but this has the upshot of making the game look like a generic Warriors game. The developers reassured the audience that the game will feature plenty of characters, and many types other than swordfighters, but would it have killed them to show at least one mage or pegasus rider? I just hope they’re saving these reveals for the other days. We have a strong hint that Tiki, a dragon, is playable in the game as they revealed an Amiibo for her, and it would’ve been awesome to have seen some footage of her.
  • I’m kind of annoyed at announcements of games that are just “this game is being developed” with zero info. In Nintendo’s case there were two big reveals that were just that: Metroid Prime 4 and a mainline Pokemon game for Switch. I can understand why companies want to build the hype for projects that will take a long time to be released, but even a bit of concept art or, well, basically anything, would be better than just a completely bare announcement.
  • I’m fine with there being new Yoshi and Kirby games, except that I feel like Yoshi’s Woolly World was just released (it was released two years ago and its 3DS version was released just this past February), and I feel like Kirby has had plenty of games released (perhaps too many) in the past few years. To be fair, it’s been a while since a regular console Kirby game has been released, though. (Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was also released in 2015 but had unique mechanics, whereas the more-traditional platformer Kirby’s Return to Dream Land was released in 2011 on Wii.) It’s disappointing that there are so many other great Nintendo IPs that continue to be neglected, like the Wario platformer series.
  • Lastly, Nintendo announced even more Amiibo than I was expecting, with at least a couple to accompany pretty much every new game they showed off, and they all look great. The downside… having to decide which ones I really have to have. Collecting just the Fire Emblem Amiibo is already hurting my wallet and my desk and shelf space, so this is just a personal twinge of regret rather than anything bad about the announcements themselves.

So that’s my brain dump for E3 so far. Two more days to go!

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E3 2017: 5 new and exciting things from the Nintendo Spotlight

At a svelte 30 minutes, Nintendo’s E3 presentation was far shorter than its rivals – but it packed a few truly stunning reveals into its relatively slim running time. The low points were undoubtedly Reggie Fils-Aime’s interminable ramblings, where he stirred in metaphor after metaphor and ended up producing a truly inedible word soup.

“The game is fun. The game is a battle. If it’s not fun, why bother? If it’s not a battle, where’s the fun?”

Oooookay Reggie, I sort of see where you’re going…

“It’s a test that you pass, or a quest that you fail. A race against time. Fun and battle always locked together. But the game is also something else. It’s a passport to new worlds. Maybe even an odyssey.”

Nope, sorry, you lost me.

Anyway, onto the games. (Or battles?)


#5 Pokemon on Switch

Tsunekazu Ishihara from The Pokemon Company looked up from his notepad for long enough to tell us that a new Pokemon game is on its way for the Switch – and that was pretty much it. It’s exciting news, but all we know is that it’s in development and that “it may not release for more than a year”.


#4 Xenoblade Chronicles 2

We knew that this game was coming, but now we finally get to see a bit more of it in action. My first impressions were a little lukewarm compared to the reveal of the previous two games. The first Xenoblade Chronicles had the unique gimmick of taking place on two enormous giants, and X had giant robot suits and dinosaurs to dazzle the eye, whereas XC2 looks like it treads more traditional JRPG territory by comparison. BUT, with all the flying ships whizzing about, it has a strong Skies of Arcadia vibe – and that’s a very good thing indeed. The slightly ropey English voiceover may take some getting used to though. Apparently it’s still set for ‘Winter 2017’, although I will take that with a pinch of salt – both previous games slipped quite considerably.


#3 Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

We already saw this game at Ubisoft’s conference, but it’s worth highlighting here because – against all expectations – it looks like something utterly amazing. Basically, it’s Mario does XCOM, a sentence I never thought I’d ever write. As a huge fan of the XCOM games, I’m intrigued to see how this plays – and it looks pretty funny, too. Man, XCOM with a sense of humour – we live in interesting times…


#2 Super Mario Odyssey

This game looks seriously bonkers. And that is a very good thing indeed. The big change is that Mario can possess enemies by flinging his cap at them, which immediately brings to mind the underrated N64 classic Space Station Silicon Valley. It opens up all sorts of avenues for explorative gameplay, and from this first extended look, it seems Odyssey could very well beat Super Mario 3D World in terms of sheer imagination. The variety of environments is impressive – the design team has really gone for broke on this one. And Mario possesses a FLIPPIN’ T. REX AT THE END. Mental.


#1 Metroid Prime 4

In the end it was just a title, but it was enough. METROID PRIME 4. Three words that have sent the Twittersphere into absolute meltdown. Ten years after the last Metroid Prime game, and following the tepid reception to Other M and Federation Force, Nintendo has finally listened to the fans and given them what they wanted. And – bombshell upon bombshell – MP4 wasn’t even the only Metroid game Nintendo announced.


Those are my highlights, but we also saw glimpses of new Kirby and Yoshi games – neither set my world alight, although they’re sure to please fans of the series. The other big news was that Rocket League is coming to Switch – and already people who own the game on other systems are talking about getting the Switch version as well, just for the portability. It seems that Nintendo really hit on something that people love when they came up with the Switch, and judging by the strong games line-up in their presentation, the company has a rosy year ahead.

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E3 2017 aftershocks: Hands on with the Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite demo

I’ve been aware of Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite for some time now, but have never really given it much consideration. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was pretty enough, but the almost complete absence of single player content resulted in me losing interest pretty quickly. Even seeing the latest E3 footage, I thought “that looks nice” and then just kind of dismissed it, figuring “it’s just a fighting game, how exciting could it really be?”.

I almost didn’t even bother downloading the free demo after seeing this trailer, as the weird facial animations and campy atmosphere felt a little awkward, and I could see where all these people online are coming from, calling this a weird sloppy fanfiction-feeling affair, but hey, free is free so I downloaded the thing.

Oh how wrong I was. It may indeed have some weird faces, and it is absolutely ridiculous and over-the-top beyond belief, but oh the sheer joy of seeing Bionic Commando, Strider HiryuChris Redfield, original proper Dante, Mega Man, and more, teaming up with Captain America, Captain Marvel, Rocket Raccoon, Thor, Iron Man, and etc, all as if they were long-time best buddies, so they can free Thanos and get up to some shenanigans with the Infinity Stones. Sure, it’s like some kind of mad fanfiction, but in the very best of ways. This reached out and touched my inner child in a way I wasn’t expecting at all. I didn’t even care that I had no idea what the moves were and was just blindly fumbling my way through each battle, because everything was so beautifully rendered and animated, and framed with beautiful looking cutscenes.

Point being, this skyrocketed from “barely on my radar” to “MUST HAVE ASAP!”. I highly recommend trying this demo out for yourself if you have any interest in Marvel and/or Capcom characters and…oh dear…look at this Collector’s Edition.

FINAL_Marvel_vs_CapcomCE_Beautyshot_US.jpg

Here comes all my money again, Capcom!

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OH MY GOD IT’S A METROID BONANZA

I… I don’t even have the words…

First there was this little bombshell, dropped in Nintendo’s Spotlight presentation:


No release date, no gameplay footage, just a title. IT’S HAPPENING.

METROID PRIME 4 IS HAPPENING.

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, this stunning news was revealed shortly after the Spotlight ended:


Yep, there’s a new 2D Metroid game on the way as well! Specifically, Metroid: Samus Returns, a remake of Metroid II.
And if THAT wasn’t enough, we’re also going to be treated to these lovely amiibo:


And yes, that Metroid is squishy.

Oh happy day!

We prayed to the Nintendo gods for a Metroid game, and they gave us two. Truly, we are blessed.

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E3 2017: 5 more new and exciting things from the Sony Conference

There were surprisingly few new games revealed at Sony’s conference, with the majority of trailers being new footage of games that were already revealed at last year’s E3, and very little revealed about the few new VR games they displayed, but even so, there were some pretty nice things to see here. Part of me is almost a little glad too, because I don’t know how I’ll even find the time to play all the games that have already been announced as it is! Anyway, here’s another 5 personal highlights of upcoming PlayStation exclusives!


#5 The Inpatient

This trailer doesn’t reveal a whole lot about the game, but with Supermassive involved (developers of Until Dawn and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood VR), this and their other freshly announced VR game Bravo Team are sure to be more exceptionally produced cinematic experiences.


#4 Days Gone

Days Gone was already revealed last E3, but this new footage is pretty damn impressive. The level of detail in this open world full of ridiculously large hordes of the undead is amazing enough that I don’t mind seeing it again.


#3 Detroit: Become Human

Another one we already saw a little bit of last year, but this time with a lot more details of the plot and gameplay. The latest eccentric David Cage game looks to be the most ambitious one yet.


#2 God of War

Yet another one we saw briefly last year. This looks like it’ll have quite a different tone than the previous God of War games, with Kratos Jr. tagging along to act as a sidekick and apparently as a bit of a conscience to the now slightly less homicidally angry Kratos. This doesn’t mean that there will be any less intense action though, as the extra helping of gameplay footage here shows.


#1 Spider-Man

Annnnnd you guessed it. Another one from last year, also showing much more story and gameplay than before. You know, that giant white spider logo still bothers the hell out of me (imagine if the next Batman game had him with a giant white bat on his chest), but I just can’t deny that this game looks extremely well made and fun. The seamless transitions between ground combat, web-swinging, quick time events, and cinematic cutscenes is quite impressive indeed. This could be one hell of a game (as long as they give us some alternate costumes to cover up that ugly redesign)!


Well, E3 hasn’t even started yet and I think my gaming schedule for 2018 has already been entirely filled, which is simultaneously thrilling and depressing. Might as well bring on some more though! E3 finally officially begins tomorrow, so expect your most agreeable screens to continue to be flooded with more hot, sweaty Eaction!

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That Beyond Good & Evil 2 trailer…

So, apparently the director of Beyond Good & Evil 2 was…not entirely truthful when he claimed that the game would not be present at E3 2017, as a cinematic trailer was revealed today:

Wow. That…is certainly some amazing CGI, but is it just me or is this one of the cringiest videos ever? I suppose that looking back on it, there was some weird casual racism going on in the original game with characters like those rasta rhinos, but it seemed so passively goofy and innocuous back then. This on the other hand…this is painful for me to watch. I mean, I don’t have a problem with swearing, my horribly vulgar personal site can attest to that, but this just feels like a really overbearing, hyperactive child trying really hard to sound like an adult by swearing every two seconds.

You may have noticed that I usually gravitate towards games with darker themes, but the original Beyond Good & Evil was one of those rare brightly colored, cartoonish games that was bursting with more wonder and fun than even a miserable misanthrope like me could ignore. I don’t feel one bit of that that while watching this. This feels more like a committee of old men tossed a bunch of crumpled up pieces of paper containing what they thought those nutty kids were into these days and threw them in a hat, then defecated in the hat, then put the hat and its contents into a blender and poured it on my screen.

Maybe I have it all backwards. Maybe it’s just me that’s the out of touch old man, recoiling from the horror of this living incarnation of the generation gap. Maybe this cinematic trailer is a terrible representation of what may turn out to still be a very fun game. I just don’t know, but what I do know is that I found this trailer to be thoroughly unpleasant and if this is what Beyond Good & Evil 2 is going to feel like, I think I will sadly have to pass on it. What do you fine ladies and gents think?

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