Tag Archives: E3 2017

The five best games of E3 2017

E3 is finally over, after a seemingly endless stream of barely watchable conferences, Earth-shattering game announcements, utterly desirable plastic figurines, tepidly received hardware, surprisingly sweary trailers, zombies, androids, gods and superheroes, visions of the post-apocalypse (and zombies), more visions of the post-apocalypse (and Nazis), and visions of Mario *being* a dinosaur (no Nazis or zombies).

But did we get any of the things we wished for? The Manor folk are on hand to run through their top five games from this year’s E3 – Professor GreilMercs already listed his highlights, but here are the picks from the Baron and Lucius.


Baron Richenbaum Fotchenstein

#5 Marvel vs.Capcom Infinite

This game just hits me right in the Marvels and cranks the classic video game character nostalgia up to 11 with what looks to be a super fun and ridiculous single player campaign. This is the most excited I’ve been about a fighting game in ages.

#4 Doom VR

In theory this could be the best of all, because I loved the new Doom so much and was already thinking about playing it again and wishing it was VR capable, and here we are. I’m hoping that the teleport movement in the trailer isn’t the only option though, and slightly worried that the transition from non-VR to VR controls might be a little tricky for a game with so much fast movement and jumping involved.

#3 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Looks to be more of the same of the last one, but that was a ton of fun so I’m quite alright with that.

#2 The Evil Within 2

A sequel to the greatest horror game of this generation besides Resident Evil 7? Of course I’m interested in that!

#1 Metro Exodus

If this can really live up to its promise of an open world set in the beautifully decrepit Metro universe, and the high production values of the previous games tend to make me believe that it can, then this could end up being the game of the year for me. Sci-fi, horror, first person shooting, and a huge world full of content? What more can a man ask for?!


Lucius P. Merriweather

#5 Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido

This new IP was announced quite late on in E3, but it quickly became one of the games I’m most looking forward to. It’s an action puzzle game from the makers of NES Remix, and it looks wonderfully absurd – you have to collect sushi from the conveyor belt in front of you and fling the dishes at your opponent. But the best thing has to be the music – check out the trailer to see what I mean.

#4 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein: The New Order was a wonderful surprise after a string of lacklustre Wolfenstein titles – the story was compelling and the gameplay was a refreshing return to old-school health packs. The sequel – now set in a  Nazi-run America – looks just as good. Can’t wait.

#3 Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Well this one was a bit of a surprise. Thanks to leaks, we knew there was a Mario/Rabbids crossover game on the way, and most people groaned at the news, expecting some sort of dull mini-game compilation like the previous Rabbids games. But instead we got XCOM and Mario with a gun – I don’t think anyone saw that coming. What’s more, it actually looks really, really good.

#2 Super Mario Odyssey

We all knew that Odyssey would be good – there’s nary a dud game in the Mario back catalogue – but from the footage revealed at E3, it looks like it’s shaping up to be something extra special. The ‘possession’ mechanic is a wonderful idea, and the sheer variety of ideas on display is breathtaking. I mean, you can possess a dinosaur. A DINOSAUR. Roll on October.

#1 Monster Hunter World

This game came as something of a surprise, as it’s heading to PS4 and Xbox One rather than Nintendo’s machines. What’s more, it looks utterly stunning – after sampling Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in HD on the Wii U, I’m looking forward to another HD monster hunt with even shinier graphics. It seems Capcom have given the mechanics a long-overdue shake-up as well, so this looks like almost a new start for the series. Still, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will make its way to the Switch as well…

Special mention – It didn’t quite squeak into my top five, but I want to give special mention to Griftlands, a cartoon-style RPG from the makers of Don’t Starve where the emphasis is on charming and swindling your way through the game. Looks very promising…


And that’s it! Thanks for reading our coverage of E3 2017 – if you missed anything, you can find all of the posts archived here. See you back here next year! We’ll leave you with this wonderfully infectious tune ‘I’ll Be Your 1-Up Girl’ from Super Mario Odyssey…

(Apparently it’s sung by no less than Pauline, who’s now the mayor of New Donk City…)


UPDATE FROM LUCIUS – D’oh! I just realised I completely forgot to mention the new Metroid games, which were specifically on my wish list! Seeing as we have no footage of Metroid Prime 4 whatsover, it’s hard to put it in my top five, but I reckon Metroid: Samus Returns should go in at number 2, nudging out Sushi Striker at number 5 (sorry Sushi Striker). I played Metroid II recently, but it was a struggle to get used to the old-school gameplay (there’s not even a map for chrissakes), so I can’t wait to play the remake. Samus Returns seems to add some nifty innovations, too: check out the fancy counter move in the gameplay trailer below. Day one purchase, I reckon – and it’s been far too long since we had a new 2D Metroid.

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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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Xbox One X: why choice isn’t always a good thing

Project Scorpio has a new name: Xbox One X, aka Kiss Hug Kiss (XOX). The new machine is the tiniest Xbox ever, and although many have been praising the updated design as “sleek“, it just looks like a boring black box to me. Sure, it will nestle in nicely among the other various black boxes under my TV, but I still pine for the days when consoles had handles and chunky buttons. C’est la vie.

Speaking of boxes under my TV, I still have a ten-year-old, 12GB, white Xbox 360 tucked away there. I never bothered to upgrade it to a ‘Slim’ model, as it worked fine and I wasn’t bothered about having more storage or a slightly sleeker box. But in the current console generation, with the introduction of the Xbox One X (and the PS4 Pro before it), the decision to upgrade just got trickier.

More choice isn’t necessarily a good thing. In 2015, for example, Tesco decided to cut the number of products it sells because it realised that having more choice actually led to consumers buying less. In one famous study on choice psychology by Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper, consumers were given a voucher for a dollar off a jar of jam. On one day, they were presented with 24 varieties of jam. But on another day, they were given the choice of just six varieties. When presented with six varieties, 30% of consumers bought some jam. But when given the choice of 24 varieties, only 3% bought jam.

This is called the ‘choice paradox’. More choice can actually lead to people buying less, as they become paralysed by indecision and end up giving up rather than ‘buying the wrong thing’.

On paper, the Xbox One X seems like a win-win for Microsoft for two main reasons: 1) it will encourage people who already own an Xbox One to buy the newer version, so Microsoft will essentially get two sales where previously they would have had only one; and 2) it will give Microsoft the technological lead over their rivals.

But the downside is that by introducing a two-tiered console range, Microsoft has fragmented its market. It has potentially introduced crippling choice indecision. Choosing between two consoles with different specs might not be as confusing as choosing between 24 varieties of jam – but it IS confusing. Imaging a mother going into a game shop to buy an Xbox One for her daughter.


Mother: “Hello, I’d like to get an Xbox One for my daughter, please.”

Shop assistant: “Great! Which one would you like, the Xbox One S or the Xbox One X?”

Mother: “Erm, what’s the difference?”

Shop assistant: “Well, the Xbox One S is the older version, and the Xbox One X is the latest one, and it’s much more powerful, but it’s a bit more expensive.”

Mother: “OK, well I suppose she’ll want the latest one, how much is it?”

Shop assistant: “It’s £450.”

Mother: “Wow, that’s a bit more than I was expecting! Is it a lot better?”

Shop assistant: “Yes, it’s the most powerful console out there at the moment, although really you need a 4K TV to get the most out of it. Do you have a 4K TV?”

Mother: “I don’t think so… although we were talking about getting a new one. So this Xbox One S, this isn’t as good?”

Shop assistant: “No, it’s not as powerful as the Xbox One X, although it runs all of the same games.”

Mother: “So the Xbox One S plays the same games as the Xbox One X?”

Shop assistant: “Yes, that’s right, although they look a bit prettier on the Xbox One X.”

Mother: “Well, I suppose we’ll probably get a 4K TV at some point, so maybe I should get the Xbox One X. But it’s so expensive… How much is the Xbox One S?”

Shop assistant: “It’s £250.”

Mother: “Wow, that’s a lot cheaper! Now I’m not sure – maybe if I got that one I could get a few more games with it as well so she’d have lots to play on her birthday. Oh, what’s that one over there?

Shop assistant: “That? Oh that’s the original Xbox One, that’s a secondhand one.”

Mother: “So is that not as good?”

Shop assistant: “Well, it’s basically the same as the Xbox One S, but it’s a bit bigger.”

Mother: “And how much is that?”

Shop assistant: “It’s £150.”

Mother: “OK, that’s really cheap! And you say it’s just like the other one? Well, maybe I could get Sarah that and a few clothes along with some games… But maybe she’d really want the latest one? Although if we haven’t got a 4K TV, it’s probably not worth it… But then again we might be getting one… I tell you what, I’ll leave it for now.”


Undoubtedly, this scene will be played out many, many times in games shops across the country from November onwards.

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