Maybe I should call this “A Fistful of Consoles”, because that’s what we’re talking about right now. If you missed the developers piece, it’s right here. There was a lot to take in this year, and overall the Big Three console makers did everything they could to get people excited for what’s coming down the pipeline and threw in a few surprises along the way. Lets get right into it, shall we?
The Good: Cuphead.
If I remember correctly, this game made a brief appearance at last year’s E3 and I mean brief. This was one of the games put out on the indy showcase, but it was a “blink and you missed” it type deals because that year the indy games got a little showtime, and put in the same package. This year it got a trailer and I’ll just say, it sold me on the game. If you don’t know what Cuphead is, it looks like a platformer/shooter, think Contra but in very old school Disney type animation. It stood out to me as the best of the conference because it was so very different.
The Bad: The Exclusives
Let me clarify this, the exclusive games in Halo 5, Gears 4, and Rise of the Tomb Raider just looked bland. Sure Halo looked pretty in terms of graphics and first-person shooters just aren’t my thing, but there wasn’t a “WOW” moment for me when they showcased those games. I’m sure there were a fair share of fans that were excited for these games but this year, I guess it just didn’t hit the right notes for me.
The Ugly: Backward Compatibility
This may strike a lot of people the wrong way. When Microsoft announced the Xbox One would be backward compatible with Xbox 360 games, a lot of people looked cheered for it…I viewed it as unnecessary. I look at the backward compatibility announcement as Microsoft’s last way of saying whatever the original vision of the Xbox One was going to be in the future, it’s done now. Microsoft has listened to fans and reversed a ton of policies that people hated, but I think if Microsoft did a better job at explaining why those policies were in place, maybe they wouldn’t need to reverse some of those policies.
More Good: Games!
Sure, I wasn’t impressed by some titles. However, at least we got a good conference full of something for everyone. Maybe Halo isn’t your cup of tea either, how about Forza Motorsport 6? Maybe that Recore trailer piqued your interest. This year it felt like Microsoft put more games out for that core gaming audience, more than other years in recent memory. That in my view gave Microsoft a much needed win.
I want to give an honorable mention to the tech such as the customizable controllers and the Halolens. I think the controllers would be nice to just have as something that fits to you. The Halolens…Wow! I want to see more applications outside of Minecraft, because it looked really good in Minecraft.
The Good: The Surprises!
I think I’ve been saying “if we don’t see the Last Guardian, we’re never going to see it” for the last three years now. Sony masterfully kicked off their E3 conference surprising everyone with The Last Guardian. Not only that, but showing off a trailer for a Final Fantasy VII remake, and on top of that revealing the Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue 3. The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter was said to have been a way to test the market to see if there was demand for it, and considering it crashed the site due to high traffic, I’d say there’s demand for it to say the least.
The Bad: Project Morpheus…Or Lack Thereof
One of the major disappointments of the show was the lack of talk of the Playstation VR, Project Morpheus. They briefly went over it but not much information was given as to a release date or release window. Nothing about the price, or anything that can get gamers really excited for it’s upcoming release…Whenever that may be.
The Ugly: The Uncharted 4 Demo
It’s a live show, a ton of things need to work like clockwork. When things go right, the people doing the live demos/speeches can breathe a sigh of relief and move on. When things go wrong, like during the Uncharted 4 demo, you will panic, scramble, and might lose your cool. When the controller wasn’t working, Nathan Drake was just standing there at the start of the gameplay demo. Fortunately the issue was settled, and the demo was restarted and things worked out perfectly in the end. One minor hiccup in an otherwise great show.
More Good: The Games
Yes, this does include the Uncharted 4 demo…Once the issues were cleared up. Still, other games like Street Fighter 4, the Hitman reveal, and No Mans Sky really gave people something to talk about amongst Playstation 4 owners. Horizon: Zero Dawn looked pretty cool because robot freaking dinosaurs, check to see if you’re human if you weren’t entertained by that.
The Good: The Starfox Opener.
The show started off for Nintendo nicely enough. Whimsical might be the word to use for it. It started off with puppet versions of Reggie Fils-Aime, Satoru Iwata, and Shigeru Miyamoto welcoming us to the show, then they turned into Starfox characters. It gave a feeling of ease that the show was going to be playful. Not to mention the first look into Starfox looks great for those fans of the franchise.
The Bad: The rest of the Show
Considering Nintendo does a few Nintendo Direct conferences every few months or so, Nintendo seemingly treated this show as another Nintendo Direct. The only major difference is that they threw in a ton more announcements, but none of these announcements felt like they had a major impact. There was a lack of a big surprise announcement or huge title to really get Wii U owners excited. The pacing of the show was also lacking as they went from announcing a game, to showing developers stories which slowed the show down.
The Ugly: Metroid Prime Federation Force
Take Metroid, add in co-op, and then throw in a soccer type game…I guess. Gamers would rather have seen Samus back in action after about 5 years now. Being that it was just a co-op sports game with Metroid in the title, it left a lot of gamers disappointed.
More Good: Paper Mario
I think Wii U owners that like JRPGs will be in for a good year when/if they pick up Fire Emblem Fates and/or Xenoblade Chronicles, but what really got me excited was the Mario and Luigi Paper Jam announcement. I really loved Mario RPG and the closest that really ever came close to that was Paper Mario. So to see a new Paper Mario game in the works should be nice to see, and I genuinely hope it performs well.
That’s what I think, now it’s your turn. Let me know what you thought, was I missing something? Did I put something in the wrong place? Go ahead and share your thoughts in the comment section below.