17 June 2015

Entertaining, Erratic, and Embarrassing

This is the second year of watching E3 with my pals, mainly to pass the time and to take a break from writing my research paper. Considering it's nothing but a show for investors to examine and determine whether a major company in the gaming industry needs support or not, this E3 was surprisingly fun to watch... depending on the presenter.

Because I'm an amateur and a weirdo, I'll make my opinions on the three-day fiesta as brief as possible.

- For some reason my friends watched the Bethesda show, so I joined in after crying over the season 5 finale of Game of Thrones. I only played Skyrim, which bugged out and crashed in the first two seconds of launching the game, so I was skeptical of what they would unveil. While most of their games did not impress me, I was pleasantly happy that actual gameplay was shown off, such as that for Doom.

- The most memorable part of the show on Sunday night was definitely the Fallout 4 announcement. I can't say for sure if I like the concept very much, but the game looked mildly interesting for the customization, being able to build an armed house/fort out of metal scraps and broken furniture. Maybe the dog and the ability for you to build a house for it helped to boost my interest. He also seemed helpful in gathering items and attacking enemies, making him a better Koromaru successor than Call of Duty's dog in Ghosts.

- I missed half of Microsoft's show because I had house chores to complete. When I returned, I saw nothing but black, grey, brown, guns, and all the AAA glory I despise. And somehow this is the eighth generation? To their credit they - along with everyone else except EA - showed off more gameplay than CGI spectacle and cinematics. As if to assure us that they were aware of this backlash from last year, numerous videos made disclaimers informing us what kind of footage we were watching.

- Considering that Assassin's Creed is the only thing Ubisoft seems to talk about - except Watch Dogs (aka Assassin's Creed Techno-dumb Edition) and the fact that they botched Tetris of all things - I didn't bother watching their show. I liked absolutely nothing that they made or wanted to make. I expect Assassin's Creed Syndicate will be terrible because Ubisoft hates learning from their mistakes. And bravo for having a female character, I guess? We'll see if she is interesting aside from how her hips sway obviously and her boobs flop exaggeratedly.

- In the first thirty seconds of their routine, EA showed off Mass Effect: Andromeda, set to country music. Okay... not the best choice in music, but it's Mass Effect. Can't complain. They started off decently strong, so I was hooked right off the bat.

- ...Only for stuffy men in business suits to talk in British accents about nothing but sports during the entire show. Am I watching the Xbone reveal again?

- After nearly a decade of worries and development hell, The Last Guardian is finally alive! All the more reason for me to not get Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. I ought to smack past me for passing them over for so long.

- Then Shenmue 3. In less than twenty-four hours after the announcement, despite the site crashing numerous times, the $2 million dollar Kickstarter project was reached and exceeded. Can I stop for a minute and praise the glory and beauty of the potential of the internet and mankind?

- Damn it, Sony, you brought out the big guns for the third time. The fangasms are killing the Twitch stream!

- My friends mentioned that Siliconera got ahold of a rumor of a Final Fantasy VII remake, and I immediately didn't believe it. Square Enix has said all sorts of bullshit, passive-aggressive, anti-consumerist reasons why they would never remake the PS1 classic. Maybe they finally cried uncle after the disastrously terrible Final Fantasy 13 trilogy or the unreasonably high expectations they had for Tomb Raider. Whatever the reason, Final Fantasy fans can rejoice and I will no longer hear them whining about FF7 being out-of-date. People were so happy online and in the audience that this moment is easily up there with the Twilight Princess announcement many E3s ago.

- I might get it in the far future, if only to give Squeenix one last chance to make me have any respect for them. But somehow I seriously doubt it.

Why the fuck is there a Black Ops 3?! WHY?!
- Considering that three games caught the world by storm, Sony had the best show in the eyes of many. It's only a shame that they blew out their load so quickly, because the rest of the show had Call of Duty with jetpacks, bows and arrows, and wall climbing; Batman; and other games no one gives a shit about anymore. "Bring out more Final Fantasy VII!" cried the audience and my friends. But I will say that Horizon Zero Dawn and No Man's Sky look interesting conceptually.

- Nintendo could never blow Sony away after what happened, and my opinion of them has been so terrible in the past few years. I had my hands ready to close the Nintendo stream if they bored me enough. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed.

- Ironically, this is the one Nintendo stream I liked and the world detested. I really feel more out of place in the universe than ever before! A new Metroid game turned out to be a simple shooter game for the 3DS, which caused a shitstorm. A new Zelda game turned out to be a downgraded Four Swords with only three characters and multiplayer, which caused a shitstorm. Hyrule Warriors - with all DLC and some new content - will be on the 3DS, which no one but me cared about. Two Animal Crossing games were announced, both were shat on, especially the one that suspiciously looked like the love child of Monopoly and Mario Party. A Mario and Luigi game that crosses over with Paper Mario made some people scratch their heads. Basically, the only game people were happy with was Starfox零 (aka Starfox Zero)... until it was supposedly a close successor to Starfox 64 which pissed off numerous people.

- While the games were not that great overall by some standards, I will give Nintendo credit for one thing: THEY HAD VARIETY. I have asked for this for YEARS and it's only NOW when I finally get to see it. Franchises that never get talked about where shown, Fire Emblem If gets a damn video credit on the actual stream rather than a fucking tweet. (Yes, I am STILL salty about that.) Even Atlus gets a mention through SMTxFE. I actually can tell the difference between games, I can see a variety of games that different kinds of people could enjoy, and Mario didn't monopolize and highjack the entire show! Thank god, Nintendo, for somehow listening to my bitching and trying to improve yourselves!

- The less I say about SMTxFE, the better. But I will say that I won't call it bad until I see the gameplay through a LP or walkthrough. At this point, I'm only worried about how pandering, superficial, and lowest-common-denominator the ads seem. The knock-off Hatsune Miku pop song didn't help matters either.

Oh, right... and zipper panties...

Thanks, Japan.

Overall, I think the PS4 has proved to me that the console is a good investment I want in the future. The Xbone is getting better since it's humiliating pre-launch, but I still don't trust Microsoft. The WiiU needs significant price drops in their games and console before I consider it. The PS Vita is probably beyond dead, but I will keep my baby alive. The 3DS is getting some cool stuff, but I don't like that Fire Emblem If has a bunch of expansive - and likely expensive DLC - to play the entire game.

Meanwhile, I will keep an eye open for Squeenix tripping over itself and Nintendo's balancing act while I play Fallout Shelter and Project Diva F 2nd. All in all, this was a good week, making me an odd weirdo for being the only person on the internet not screaming betrayal at the world. Oh well, I need some days with less cynicism.

Why is F 2nd harder than F? TT^TT

1 comment:

Voltech said...

I'll be the first to admit that I'm still ready for SMTxFE -- or GIRFE, as I've seen elsewhere -- but I'm starting to see why people take issue with it. It only takes a cursory look at anime today to find plenty of idol-filled fare, and the fact that it's bled into this game? Not the greatest sign. On the other hand, I've read up a little on the story, and apparently it's got characters with their own separate drives in creative/entertainment industries. That's actually pretty interesting...and I'm not just saying that because one of those guys more or less wants to be a Kamen Rider. Nope, not at all.

But you've got it right. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: EA and Ubisoft (and Squeenix, and even Bethesda to some extent) don't need their own conferences. They double-dipped by showing off some of their games in other conferences, so why pad out time with repeat performances -- and performances of the celebrity sort? Seems like a waste of time and money, if you ask me. Unless...maybe THAT'S where all of Ubisoft's money went? Like, they couldn't afford adding in female characters last time because their pockets were empty from E3s past? Mr. Caffeine must have a high asking price, for sure.

I admit that I wasn't paying much attention to the Bethesda conference -- my brother and I were testing out the Ryu and Roy DLC for Smash Bros. -- but I've got a better feeling about Fallout 4 than most other games. It's one of the few games/franchises these days that feels like it actually does something with a post-apocalyptic world, and uses it to great effect. If they can improve on their last foray (and keep it from being full of bugs), then it'll make a strong case for itself.

Also? Maybe someday, I'll actually start watching Game of Thrones. Maybe then I can have a sense of cultural relevancy. Then again, this is coming from a guy who knew so little about popular culture his brother used to call him a "time hobo", so who knows? Only the fates can decide my...er, fate.

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