Nintendo’s E3 2016

Now that E3 is officially over and I have collected my thoughts from what Nintendo has shown I can safely say that once again they have reignited a passion within me with what the have done with The Legend of  Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I always thought it was a bit risky focusing so much on just one game but it seems to have worked out. Breath of the Wild for all intents and purposes looks to be the game that I have wanted to play for along time. I am so excited to play it. Go check it out if you have not already!

My only gripe is that I’m not too crazy with the voice telling Link to wake up. Now I am open to Zelda characters having voices I’m just not crazy about this one voice. But aside from that this game looks incredible. The scope of it is just overwhelming and I know i have used the word “creativity” in previous posts but this game has it. Remember how enraged I was with Microsoft for talking teraflops and graphics? Nintendo has shows with this game that even without flopping you can make a game look so beautiful without having the latest tech. It’s something that I value in my game. I will always value the creativity in an art style over realistic graphics (though that is not to say I hate realism. Some games make it work beautifully).

I am also convinced that this game is somehow gonna be The Legend of Zelda’s Phantom Pain. I say this because I can’t stop seeing parallels between the two games. Link can sneak around to get the drop on enemies. Also look at Link’s hair! Doesn’t it look familiar??

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Yeah I know my shit!

MMHMM! Still think I’m crazy? Alright well guess what? Link can use his shield to essentially snowboard on mountains right? Welp you know who else could slide down mountains?

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I cannot unsee the “links” (pun intended, sorry!)

Not to mention of course that they both awaken after a long time has passed get dropped into a massive open world and are expected to make the legend come back to life. Plus you can make both Link and Punished Venom Snake shirtless and can’t they both climb pretty much anything? Well Snake couldn’t climb on everything sadly, but Link can! He makes Spider-Man look like an idiot.

As you can probably tell I’m beyond excited for this game. It’s coming out on both Wii U and NX in 2017. Apparently both versions will be identical. I could say more about Zelda but honestly you’d be doing yourself a favor scrolling up a bit and watching the trailer some more. This game is going to be amazing. I CANNOT WAIT!

Nintendo also showcased a plethora of other games including Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, which look good as well. I’ll be buying myself Sun when it comes out and will more than likely take Popplio.

However there were two 3DS games that I’m also looking forward to. The first is a New IP called Ever Oasis

All I know for sure is that I get to make an oasis in a desert with the most adorable little characters ever. I should also mention that I’m really glad that the main character is a little child of color. You can choose the sex too! It sorta reminds me of Secret of Mana a bit which makes sense given that Koichi Ishii (Director of Secret of Mana) is heading Ever Oasis  as well.

The second 3DS game I am highly anticipating is Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past. Aside from having the coolest title I am also a huge Dragon Quest fan.

I’m really happy that this game comes out on September 16th. That way I don’t have long to wait! I just realized that although I love Dragon Quest, I have yet to beat any of them. I know I know it’s bad but I have this habit where I make it really far in a game and then life happens and I end up not going back to finish it. In my case this has happened with like 4 Dragon Quest games. So I guess I better get off my ass and finish a few right?

Anyway that about sums up my E3 impressions. Overall this was not a particularly exciting E3 for me but what Nintendo has done with Zelda saved it. I love Nintendo and as a hardcore fan of theirs it’s great to see that despite the internet and 3rd Party developer’s hating them, they can still make an incredible game that makes every other game look crappy. OOH shots fired. But yeah ZELDA IS COMING WOOOOOH!!!!!!! Ok I’m done now.

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Sony’s E3 2016

I think the word “Yup” perfectly captures my reactions to Sony’s E3 conference. It’s rather difficult for me to really elaborate with more than just a stoic, resounding “Yup”. What I mean is that nothing really stood out to make me lose my shit or run around all excited like I was 6 years old again and thankfully, nothing pissed me off either (like Microsoft). There were a few games that I am looking forward to and interestingly enough a couple surprises too. So I think I’ll list off what I am looking forward to from the conference and then offer some thoughts about the presentation.

  1. God of War

    I have played all the God of War games to date. What I can say is that Kratos is a damn moron who is so completely unlikable. Yet his games are really cool. I love the fast fluid combat and the feeling of being an overpowered dumb piece of shit who seems to think his vengeance is justified (Ya did it to yourself Kratos. You really did. No one forced you to kick down a door to some house and swing with reckless abandon) So with this game I am eager to see where they take this character and to see if he is still a dumb piece of shit (I’m willing to bet he probably is).
  2. Horizon Zero Dawn

    Last year I saw this game get announced and I believe it had a small trailer. Well this year we got more of a look at it. It seems really interesting but a bit redundant. It’s essentially a 3rd person shooter/adventure with scavenging added. We have played this game before. However, I am still interested in the main character Aloy. There are not enough female leads in games and this is a very refreshing take on a tried and true gameplay style. So I’m very invested in finding out who Aloy is and what her story turns out to be.
  3. Resident Evil 7

    After the shit-show that was apparently Resident Evil 6 (I have yet to play it but I have not heard good things), RE7 was the last thing I expected to see. Naturally as a fan of the series I am excited…but to be honest I’m not too impressed with what I saw. It’s in 1st person with seemingly nothing to do with any of the old cast. Personally I’m waiting for the return of cool guy BILLY COEN. But sadly that probably will never happen. Anyway the game so far seems like Capcom looked at PT when it was alive, saw Konami grind it into dust and then went…”Well we can do that can’t we?”
  4. Final Fantasy XV

    I love Final Fantasy. I grew up with the series. Currently I am replaying Final Fantasy VIII because of how much I enjoyed it when I was young. XV on the other hand looks really dumb and obnoxious. Also why is every playable character male? It should be called sausage fest XV. But whatever. I’ll reserve judgement for when it comes out and I play it. I just hope I enjoy it more than XIII. I still have nightmares about that game. I fucking hate Snow. Holy shit does he just ruin the game. OH FFXV also is supporting PlayStation VR. More on that in a bit.
  5. The Crash Bandicoot remakes
    Yeah this was announced. I was kind of excited and then I got a little worried since Crash is technically still owned by Activision so who the hell knows how that is gonna turn out. But I was excited for about 3 seconds there Sony. Hoh shit was I.
  6. The Last Guardian

    My only reaction was “oh shit it’s still real!”. Here’s hoping the game lives up to the hype surrounding it.
  7. Death Stranding

    IT’S HIDEO KOJIMA’S NEW GAME HOLY SHIT! I’m happy for him I really am. He’s one of my favorite game designers and Metal Gear inspired this here site of mine so yeah I’m so excited for Kojima-senpai! I just wish he could have told us more about the game beyond the name and that we could have seen more than Norman Reedus’ ass. It looks better then Danny DeVito ass, so that’s a plus I guess. That’s about it.

Sony let their vast showcase of games impress everyone. They didn’t even mention the Neo. Probably because they had a feeling that it would slap early adopters in the face, like Microsoft did. Funny how lately all Sony has to do to succeed is go the EXACT opposite way of Microsoft. However if there was one thing I did not enjoy about the presentation it was the segment on VR. I am a VR skeptic. I don’t care how many games you put on the damn thing because if it’s $400 for a friggen helmet in addition to the cost of the console I’m looking at a total investment of anywhere from $700-$800 dollars. Plus when the PlayStation Neo comes out it’ll probably be more expensive as a console so the overall investment for PlayStation VR comes in pretty close to $1000. No way in hell am I spending that. Whatever. Look VR seems to be the thing that the tech industry is forcing down our throats. It’s gonna be everywhere so for now I get to be an enraged Media Scholar as I look for a cane to wave in the air while I act bitter like an old man complaining about new tech sucking us dry. I will end this by saying for all my complaining Sony has convinced me to want a PlayStation 4 so hopefully sometime soon I can pick one up. I need to play Persona 5 when that drops. I would have mentioned it but it was not in the conference so yeah.

Microsoft’s E3 (Let’s Talk about Xbox)

I just watched Microsoft’s E3. There are no words to describe the level of confusion, anger, and bafflement at this company. At first I was happy, not excited, but I felt fine. Microsoft showed off the Xbox One S and I was impressed. It is about damn time this thing gets a slimmer model because I hate the giant-ass console I have in my living room that Microsoft thought was okay. So cool, the Xbone is getting a slim redesign with a bigger hard drive and “new” controller. Fascinating shit there, Microsoft. What else do you have? Obviously a bunch of games, 90% of them shooters. It’s your standard Microsoft fare. Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2, Battlefield 1, all the games that you are already used to seeing on Microsoft’s game catalog. There were very few games that I was personally interested in like Recore, Tekken 7 (I fucking love me some Tekken), Dead Rising 4, Cuphead, and of course, Scalebound. That’s about it because the rest of what was shown was astonishingly boring to me. However, there was one thing that I noticed, though, that kept resounding throughout their presentation.

I noticed that for all of the showcased games, they kept saying that digital purchases would carry over to Windows 10. So if you get Gears of War 4 on Xbone, you can get the Windows 10 version for free. Your saved progress carries over and you can seamlessly play between devices. This was something Microsoft made damn sure was understood. So I analyzed the situation like this: Microsoft recognized the value of gaming. I mean, that’s the only reason they ever created the first Xbox. They saw it would make them a lot of money. Now to ensure this, they also crafted Xbox Live and stamped a $60 a year membership cost. So Microsoft would not only make money off their console and first-party games, they are also making a pretty penny off of Xbox Live as a service. Now, this made sense because this meant that if you paid your $60, you can play with your friends over Xbox and have a blast. BUT now that these same games are coming to Windows, what is the incentive to keep buying into Xbox live when you don’t have to pay to play online on PCs? Does Microsoft see their IP as more valuable and competitive then Steam? I ask this because Steam has completely leveled the field when it comes to PC Gaming. You can play online with your friends for free and get all kinds of games for dirt cheap when they go on sale, which they do…frequently. Not to mention that Steam is such an intuitive and easy-to-use service. Now in a world where Steam exists and is loved by many, why the hell does Microsoft think it can compete with Steam? My answer is that they can’t. I’m actually surprised that they aren’t trying to sell their games through Steam with the stipulation that they’d be available only to Windows 10 users. Then again, I’d be equally surprised that a company that sees itself as more of a service than a platform would suddenly use a competitor to sell their games.

This brings me to the final part of their conference which was the big announcement that Xbox One Scorpio is a thing. Don’t know what that is? It’s basically what Microsoft SHOULD have made the Xbox One. They showed off a bunch of developers talking about it and they all said the same things. Its “true” 4K graphics (again almost typed $K instead of 4K) and its “6 Teraflops” (Are teraflops the new bits? Like 16 bit? I dunno, whatever, anything with -flop as a suffix sounds really dumb). My rough translation is this: “Hi, at Microsoft Studios we use graphics as a crutch to justify our lack of creativity in designing our games. We know many of you flocked to the PlayStation 4 because of how powerful it is and we get it. So we made a new console that is even stronger than the PlayStation 4, so please buy it…please?” Now, they did announce that all games will be compatible between the original Xbone, the slim, and this Scorpio. But as you can tell, I am enraged by this announcement. For me, it comes down to one question: WHY?! Why make this console at all? How am I supposed to believe that there are not gonna be any games that take advantage of these 6 glorious teraflops that just can’t work on the older models because…they aren’t 6 teraflops? Are they even 1 teraflop? Do they flop at all??? Plus if the games expected to be compatible between all Xbox One models, how can any one game truly take advantage of the power inside the Scorpio? I believe that they can’t, and eventually, games will become exclusive to the Scorpio. Anyway, my point here is this: Better graphics do NOT make for a better game. You know what does? Gameplay. Unique and/or fun gameplay. You know why classic games are considered to be timeless? It’s because they are just fun to play. Rarely is it because they just look good.

You know what better graphics do improve? A game’s budget. If a game is expected to output 4K graphics with 6 Teraflops of fun, I’m willing to bet this requires more time and effort on the side of the developers, while the publishers will be putting on pressure for a best selling game. Now to alleviate the costs, they will make a game that appeals to as many people as possible. What this results in is a game that has no identity and plays exactly like previous games, and there’s an 80% chance that it’ll be a shooter of some sort with a lead male protagonist who may or may not be white. Better graphics do not make better games. You know what does? Creativity. So thanks, Microsoft, I truly feel like buying your Xbone was such a worthwhile investment. Especially since I only paid $320 dollars for the friggen thing and it came bundled with both the best Assassin’s Creed game (Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag) and the WORST (Assassin’s Creed: Unity).

Let’s Talk About the PlayStation Neo

Unless you have been living under a rock these past couple of months you have seen rather annoying speculation about these “new” consoles coming in from Sony and Microsoft and that’s coming after Nintendo NX rumor #8912476384813947321. So seeing as how I just woke up, opened my twitter and saw this, I decided to write down my thoughts on this. Now thankfully there is not anything too alarming in this announcement beyond the admission the friggen thing exists and that current PS4 users will not miss out on any software, at least not yet anyway. I just find it hard to believe that if you are promising better graphics that you wont have at least 1 game that takes advantage of it. Unless they are gonna re-release Uncharted 4 or something idiotic like that. I would laugh so hard if that ever happened.

Anyway this got me thinking about this generation of game console. To be honest it’s not that great. I say this mainly because the most popular console, The PS4, is nothing more than a refinement of what the PS3 should have been. That isn’t to call it a bad console by no means but it just lacks a certain identity to me. Especially when so many of these games releasing on it are so redundant to play. Obviously there are a few new games out there but nothing like previous generations. So imagine my reaction when only a few short years into this cycle we’re getting a new console. For what reason? Probably to make even more $$$ off the PlayStation brand. As you can probably tell I’m not a very big fan of this idea. Especially since it’s a symptom of redundancy, a trend that has been long standing in this generation of games.

I want to point out that the bulk majority of the games on the PS4 are “remasters”. You can’t even look up future game releases without seeing at least 1 old game cropping back up for relevance. I remember back when the PS4 was first released and Naughty Dog releases The Last of Us on it.The-Last-of-Us-Remastered

I was really confused especially since it was not really too long ago that the original game came out. Sony’s rationale was that a lot of gamers buying a PS4 may not have played it since they may not have had the PS3. Sounds fine right? It makes sense. But my counter argument would have been to have just added backwards compatibility from the start and just have gamers buy it if they wanted to. At least then it wouldn’t be seen as a blatant attempt to milk an already successful game.

Now Sony really isn’t the problem here. They aren’t, trust me. Its technology. We live in a world where every year a new phone gets released and with slight insignificant upgrades. People line up in droves for this and willingly spend hundreds of dollars for something they already have. Now it doesn’t help that because Smartphones are so popular that they are being considered gaming devices as well. Remember all that talk about the death of consoles? Have you noticed the rise of mobile games? So what I’m saying here is if we already allow this phenomena in our phones why shouldn’t big companies apply the same logic to their game consoles? That’s what Sony has seen and that’s why the PS4 Neo exists. (Side note: I accidentally typed PS$ while writing that and noticed that 4 and $ share the same key. Wow)

I want to address Nintendo now because they do this a lot too but usually with their portable handhelds. Nintendo has always handled upgrades in a better way. Let’s take a look at the 3DS vs the New 3DS. On paper nothing seems different other than an extra controller nub and amiibo support. But you can customize the New one (as long as it’s not the XL) with face plates that give it a more unique look. So would this be worth the $200 investment? I’m not sure. You decide that for yourself. Should you decide it isn’t but you want amiibo support for your copy of Super Smash Bros. then guess what? Nintendo released an NFC reader just for the 3DS family to use.23937309

See what Nintendo did was take a major component of the upgraded console and make it modular should people not want to invest in a whole new machine. Modular upgrades should be more common nowadays because it at least gives a more affordable option to people who have already invested in a piece of tech. Remember the Nintendo 64? Nintendo did the same thing there. A modular upgrade to make the console more powerful to play bigger games.

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I got mine bundled with Donkey Kong 64.

I’m presenting two schools of thought when it comes to upgrading. A blatant attempt to milk more money or something that can make your technology work better but is entirely optional. I wish Sony would have thought about a modular solution for 4K. But honestly it wouldn’t make a very big difference. Graphics are already hitting a wall when it comes to improving them. I really can’t see graphics getting any better. Maybe clearer? Like the new televisions on the market today. Besides, creativity should be more of a concern anyway. Make something truly unique and new.