So it’s been a week now since E3 has ended and now that all the dust has settled, what was this year’s big surprise? Who was the ultimate winner between the big three? What should I be spending my (not so) hard earned dollars on this year? Well to answer some of those questions I think I’m going to make a top five list of things that really impressed me this year at E3. Maybe a game trailer, new service or otherwise. But like all good ying there is always going to be a yang and so I will be also including a top five flop list. These things as you can imagine did the opposite of sparking my interest. Things that I couldn’t believe happen. Also I think it would be pretty bias of me so I’m not going to include Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain or Kingdom Hearts 3 because coming from me it would be almost moot with me being a fanboy and all. Let’s get started!
My Top Five E3 Top of the Barrel Moments
1. Sony’s Used Game/Authentication Policy
As you can imagine, this gives Sony a huge leg up on their competition. The fact that Sony is coming right out of the gate saying that basically you can do whatever you want with your game is silly in this day and age but against what Microsoft is doing I think it was not only a smart move, but also a necessary evil. Also offline play on my console. Yes this sounds stupid to address but another slight against Microsoft.
2. EA Offerings for the next generation
This bullet point can be summarized with three games. Battlefield 4 64 player online, Star Wars Battlefront, Mirrors Edge. EA really brought the game this year at their media briefing and wowed everybody. Sure they bored both Nick and I with the “true sports” stuff but they more than made up for it in the end by teasing not one big game, but two games plus showing off one of the most impressive console multiplayer experience to date. EA, shaddup and take my money.
3. IP Revivals
I know Mirror’s Edge fits in this category but that last bullet point was specifically EA. When I say IP Revivals I think of games that are much older than that. I’m talking about Killer Instinct and Mad Max. Two games that were long forgotten about which are coming out this generation. What we do know about the Mad Max game is that it’s going to be a reboot of sorts for the younger generation who’s never heard about this 1979 classic which inspired games like Fallout and Metro Light. While I’m stupidly excited for a new Killer Instinct I am sad because it will still be an Xbox One exclusive. From what everyone’s been saying during the play testing is that it’s pretty much the same game we all remember back on the SNES and N64. Rare isn’t the one developing it this time around but is being handled by Double Helix Studios, the guys behind Silent Hill: Homecoming and the Green Lantern video game. Either way, a new Killer Instinct game is on the way!
4. Plants VS Zombies…shooter?
Popcap games announced their next game for the suite of mobile devices a few weeks back called Plants Vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time but people thought that was all. That was a lie. At the EA Briefing they unveiled their new game, Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare. Essentially this game blends what people know and love about the classic tower defence game and adds in class based shooter elements found in TF2 and Battlefield all while using the brand new Frostbite engine. This game not only surprised me but also made me all giddy inside. It looks fantastic and I can’t wait to play it.
5. Nintendo games!
I know it’s beating a dead horse at this point by saying this but Nintendo did good by not having a media briefing and focused 100% on games, games, and more games. Things that really caught me off guard most importantly were not one but two new Super Smash Bros. games for both the Wii U and 3DS. While it has been confirmed that they no longer feature cross platform play and probably won’t be out simultaneously, we’re getting a new set of Super Smash Bros. game and Mega Man is finally making is long awaited debut to the series.
Runner up news:
Microsoft getting rid of MS Points for real world money
Microsoft gives free games for Gold Members
PlayStation 4 design revealed
Seamless Twitch Integration with Xbox One
New Pokemon X/Y information from Nintendo
My Top Five E3 Bottom of the Barrel moments:
1. Xbox One price announced
Okay, I think we need to at least address the elephant in the (hypothetical) room. The Xbox One will be launching with a Day One Edition at $499. Seriously Microsoft what are you thinking? Not only will your console be marred with a myriad of confusing and backwards anti-piracy rules and online authentication, it’s going to cost far too much money for what essentially any other set top box with a DVR function can do. Not only that, I come from the great white north where we don’t get a lot of fancy TV functionality anyway. It’s one thing to value your console at that price but you’d think Microsoft would remember the PS3 fiasco when that launched for $499 back in 2006 you have to wonder if their marketing team was stuck back in time or something. $499 is going to be a hard pill to swallow for most customers and while the initial stock will sell out like most console launches, you’ll find Xbox One’s very common afterwards.
2. Sony’s TV/Music/Movie Service
Does anyone use their console for music now a days? While I applaud the fact that Sony is trying to compete with Microsoft in this field, there’s really no sense in trying to fight them. Announcing more services like Qriocity is kind of pointless honestly and it was a waste of their time. The PS3 is already the most used device for Netflix streaming. They should have partnered with them to make some big announcements like maybe Streaming 3D movies over Netflix exclusively for PS3/PS4. There Sony have that one, it’s on me.
3. EA Pimping out “True Sports”
While one quarter of the EA briefing was spent on racing games (which I never have any care for in the first place) and the other quarter spent on games I actually want (see above), the rest of the EA briefing was spent on sports games. While I understand that sports is big for EA, they’re just throwing in a lot of terms and features that the regular gamer won’t even care for. It felt like they were tailoring all those “True Motion” features for about five diehard fans. Seriously though, I might get the new NBA Live game just for “True Dribbling” seeing as how Dribbling is their “number one priority”. Silly.
4. Splinter Cell: Blacklist trailer
Let’s ignore the fact that other than The Division gameplay demo, the Ubisoft briefing was pretty much flaccid the whole way through. Sorry, tall black girls that overact don’t interest me in anyway. However the one thing that really bothered me during the Ubisoft briefing was the completely confusing. On one hand they had the big screen for a trailer and then on the bottom there were four other smaller screens that were linked to the bigger screen. If they had just made the trailer stretch onto the smaller screens it would have been fine but the trailer kept on jumping back and forth between the big screen and the split screens. Even attendees of the briefing were entirely confused on what they were supposed to pay attention to. I’m sure Blacklist will be a fine game when it launches in August but it did not show well at all. I still want my Metal Gear X Splinter Cell game though.
5. Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy Versus XIII has had probably the most difficult development in the history of Final Fantasy games. The game literally took so long that Square Enix up and decided to rebrand it as Final Fantasy XV and being released not this generation but for the PS4 and Xbox One despite earlier promises of the game being released exclusively for the PlayStation. Though Tetsuya Nomura did pad this information with teasiest (that’s a word now) of teasers for Kingdom Hearts 3, it still bothers me that they had this game which has gone through development hell.
Runner up news:
Overacting by all parties
Technical Difficulties – Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed 4, Crimson Dragon
So there we have it, these are just some of the things caught my interest at this year’s E3. I hope you found this year’s show entertaining as we did here at Barrel Roll News. Whatever side of the so called ‘console war’ there’s only one winner, us the gamer because this holiday season’s going to be a fun one.