Hello everyone! As most of you out there know, the biggest conference for gaming, E3, is currently taking place in LA. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all put what they feel are the most impressive aspects of their respective consoles in front of the world to try to get people excited for what is to come. Let me start off by saying that I was not that impressed with any of the conferences. They had all decent moments, but compared to last year when Sony blew Microsoft and Nintendo basically out of the water, this year was just not as amazing. For those of you who were unable to see the conference or were curious about what was shown, I have compiled a few of the biggest aspects of each conference for your enjoyment below!
Both Sony and Microsoft put heavy focus on the few remakes or remasters that they had coming up. Microsoft’s showing as far as remasters was concerned was mostly Halo: The Master Chief Collection and if the crowd was any indication, this was the most exciting thing that Microsoft showed all night. Halo has always been a huge franchise for Microsoft and remastering the Halo franchise was a good step for them to cash out more on Halo’s success with both new and old players. Sony, on the other hand, had two remakes to show during their conference. The first was what many considered their game of the year last year, the Last of Us, and the second was an old classic, Grim Fandango. Since Nintendo mostly focuses on exclusives for their console, the next section is where they shine!
Sony showed its most lucrative exclusive at the very end of the press conference. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End had a short trailer that gave the impression that this game is not going to be the fun romp fans have always known from the series. Drake looks to be beaten down and tired and it will be interesting to see how that plays into his story and why he gets pulled back into the fray of treasure hunting. The other exclusive that Sony focused on was Little Big Planet 3. It was nice to see some new characters introduced and a fairly long look at the actual gameplay. Little Big Planet is always a fun game and this entry looks to be no exception. Microsoft showed Crackdown 3, which was a nice showing but not overwhelming, Scalebound, and Sunset Overdrive. Out of these titles, Sunset Overdrive was the one that really caught my attention as the trailer for it was pretty humorous and gave gamers a good look at the crazy world that the game entails. Nintendo, however, as always had a huge amount of exclusives that got many people’s attention and may give the console some hope of a comeback of sorts from the bottom of the pile. While there were a quite a bit of them that made good showings including Yoshi’s Wooly World, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Bayonetta 2, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Mario Maker, Star Fox, Mario Party 10 and Super Smash Brothers (with the Ambiio figures which look a lot like the Infinity ones, just with Nintendo characters instead), among others, it was really the two Zelda titles that got the most attention. The first is Hyrule Warriors, a hack and slash title that will allow players to act as a huge number of the Zelda characters. The second, and most exciting looking of Nintendo’s lineup was a new Zelda game that will leave for an open world for players to explore instead of following a set path like other games in the series. Not to mention you get to battle on horse-back and who does not love to fight while still riding your horse?!
There was quite a bit of focus placed on Indie titles this year at both Microsoft and Sony’s conferences, which was nice to see. Sony had games like the Talos Principle, Hotline Miami 2, and Broforce, while Microsoft showed off Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, White Night, Mighty No. 9, Ori and the Blood Forest, and Inside. Microsoft seemed to have a few more titles to show than Sony did and the titles that they showed were from companies that were somewhat more established and renowned like the company who created LIMBO, but both of the companies placing a focus on new less known developers is something that is a welcome change from all of the high-profile titles that players are used to seeing. Nintendo did not have a ton of Indie games to speak of, but they did have Splatoon.
Poor Kinect, we barely knew thee. Seriously though, there was no way Microsoft could have dismissed the Kinect more in this conference. The only games that even alluded to using the Kinect were Dance Central Spotlight and Disney’s Fantasia: Music Evolved. For gamers who bought the Xbox One and paid at least a little extra, as it was bundled with the Kinect, I am sure this was a hard pill to swallow. Yikes! Meanwhile, Sony focused on the PlayStation TV. It will let gamers stream PlayStation titles to any TV which in my opinion is pretty darn awesome. Since Nintendo is the only one who really focuses much on titles specifically for its’ handheld device, I am putting it under the hardware heading. The main showings for the 3DS are Xenoblade Chronicles and of course Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire which, of course, looks fantastic. Pokemon games will always be a selling point for Nintendo’s handheld that puts it far and above the Playstation Vita.
As I stated before, none of the press conferences left me with a sense of wonder and awe like I wish they would have. All of them had good points and bad points and I definitely think there could have been more done to push the envelope and get people excited for the upcoming gaming year. Microsoft put more of a focus on games, which I liked, but it felt like they were playing it safe in the fact that they did not really push the envelope in terms of any of the stuff shown during the conference. Sony may have had a bit more range in terms of the diversity of games offered, but the conference felt drawn out and boring at times as well. Nintendo knows how to do the games that they have been doing for years and years really well. It was nice to see them getting a bit of a footing back in terms of their offerings. More so than anything else that I took from the conferences was that the games that are coming out on both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One are going to insanely awesome. Games like Destiny, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain, and The Division all look fantastic. As always with Nintendo, part of me wants to buy a Wii U or a 3DS just so I can delve back into the worlds of Zelda, Mario, and Pokemon. The one thing I can say is that the games coming out in the next year or two on the big three consoles look like they are going to be amazing! No matter which console you choose to play on, you will definitely not regret your decision. Play on, gamers!
-Megan Highwind has left the party.