Today has been a pret­ty hec­tic day on mul­ti­ple fronts, and even as I tried to sink my teeth fur­ther into the rather deep com­bat mechan­ics of Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, I couldn’t help but direct my atten­tion to Twitch, as the stream­ing for the pre­mier gam­ing extrav­a­gan­za known as E3 got under way. Now, keep in mind that I haven’t had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to watch the entire­ty of the day’s cov­er­age. So, this will basi­cal­ly be my impres­sions on what I’ve seen.

Day Zero – Microsoft and Sony


Microsoft: The first of the major press con­fer­ences I saw today was the one held by Microsoft and what I real­ized was that this was the herald­ing of a major-league course cor­rec­tion in the gam­ing indus­try. How so? Simple. Even amid­st the titles that Microsoft had tout­ed for their cur­rent active con­sole, AAA sure­fire block­busters like Halo 5: Guardians, Forza 6 and the increas­ing­ly hype-tastic Fallout 4, there was one big change to the hard­ware archi­tec­ture that even had this somewhat-jaded gamer applaud­ing: Backward com­pat­i­bil­i­ty.

That’s right.

Coming soon is the very real even­tu­al­i­ty of Xbox One con­soles being able to play titles from the Xbox 360 cat­a­log of games. Plenty of applause to be had, how­ev­er as far as I’m con­cerned, my respon­se could be summed up sim­ply: “It’s about damn time.” Add to this the announce­ment of the “30 Games for $30” Rare Replay col­lec­tion, bring­ing back clas­sic Rare games from the days of the Nintendo 64 such as Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie and CONKER’S BAD FUR DAY, and that makes for a mod­er­ate­ly good start. Especially com­pared to the jolly-stomping MS suf­fered this time last year.

Sony: After wit­ness­ing Microsoft get­ting a prover­bial cook­ie for doing what the gamers have asked for since the launch of their newest gam­ing con­sole, I asked myself the fol­low­ing: “Will Sony fol­low suit and do the same for the PS4? Will they expand the capa­bil­i­ties of their con­sole and, as a result, their rather impres­sive library?” Sadly, all signs cur­rent­ly point to “No.” However, Sony did come out the gate and announce that the sys­tem will final­ly receive a media play­er app, there­by grant­i­ng the new hard­ware some of the same func­tion­al­i­ty as their pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion coun­ter­part. Of course, the PS3 is capa­ble of act­ing as a media play­er and allows for “cus­tom sound­tracks” RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX.

Another prover­bial cook­ie for get­ting right what should’ve been there from Day 1. On the plus side, for those that own a PS4 and haven’t done so yet, the Media Player app is avail­able right this very moment.

If you want to know where Sony real­ly shi­nes? It’s the announced games. There was absolute­ly ZERO time spent talk­ing about sta­tis­tics and stocks. It was all about the games, and I couldn’t be hap­pier! Rise of the Tomb Raider was suit­ably intense as a follow-up to Lara Croft’s most recent adventure/origin sto­ry. The newest footage from Uncharted 4 looked fast-paced and fun. Hitman seems to be return­ing to form and let’s not for­get the char­ac­ter reveals for Birdie and Cammy in Street Fighter 5. While the con­tin­u­ing fran­chis­es look good, it was the new IP from Guerilla Games, Horizon: Zero Dawn, that real­ly cap­tured my atten­tion and my imag­i­na­tion.

At least, that was until anoth­er new Final Fantasy game was announced.

With the chibi-styled char­ac­ters and the decid­ed­ly sac­cha­rine pre­sen­ta­tion of World of Final Fantasy, I was ready to spend the rest of E3 pissed off and jad­ed again­st Sony and Square-Enix. When the fol­low­ing trail­er graced audi­ences world­wide with sweep­ing views of East Edge and the fresh-yet-familiar Midgar, I wait­ed with bait­ed breath. They were toy­ing with my emo­tions. I couldn’t han­dle the sus­pense and I shrieked like a gid­dy school­girl going to prom at the very moment that I saw the cam­era pan upward along the edge of the fabled Buster Sword. When those 7 famil­iar notes played, I about lost my mind. Admittedly, I was already rid­ing pret­ty high from the long-overdue reveal of The Last Guardian and after FF7-R was announced, the hig con­tin­ued when Yu Suzuki took to the stage to announce the his­toric Kickstarter for Shenmue 3.

With all that said, I got­ta admit that it’s a great time to be a gamer. I will end by say­ing this to Sony and Ubisoft, though…

Stop it. Give Assassin’s Creed a break! Unity has a litany of marks again­st it and, by-and-large, gamers need as much as break from AC as they do from Street Fighter. Give it a rest.

Day One – Nintendo and Square Enix

I’ve got plen­ty to talk about so, I’ll try to keep this as con­cise as pos­si­ble. Today’s big E3 pressers were, as one would guess those held by Nintendo and Square Enix. Keeping with their cur­rent track record of cut­ting out the mid­dle man and going right to the con­sumers, Nintendo’s press con­fer­ence was a dig­i­tal pre­sen­ta­tion and chock full of the fun and indi­vid­u­al­i­ty that the House of Mario has come to be known for. Meanwhile, Square Enix’s live press event was…shaky, although tol­er­a­ble. Let’s get down to it, shall we?

Nintendo Digital: As I men­tioned above, the Nintendo Digital E3 press con­fer­ence was an enter­tain­ing trip down mem­o­ry lane, cel­e­brat­ing 30 years of the jovial plumber and his bro help­ing defend the Mushroom Kingdom well as a case study in bring­ing fun and con­nec­tiv­i­ty to the are­na of video gam­ing. While announc­ing the US releas­es of long await­ed 3rd par­ty exclu­sives like Xenoblade Chronicles X, Fire Emblem: Fates and Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, Nintendo real­ly played to their strengths and even added some sig­na­ture Big N humor to the mix. I’m sure that by now, you’ve seen the numer­ous gifs of the Reggie/Iwata/Sakurai pup­pet bits. Watching them even now is send­ing me into mirth­ful gig­gle fits.

The one big bone of con­tention the Nintendo fan­base seems to have is the announce­ment of Metroid Prime: Federation Force. The fans have clam­ored for a new entry into the leg­endary fran­chise head­ed by the soul­mate of Ellen Ripley (you know her as Samus Aran) and instead of the wild­ly imag­i­na­tive and atmos­pher­ic exploration/action/puzzle-solving that the series is known for…what fans got was, essen­tial­ly Gears of Metroid and Metroid “Blast Ball” (not unlike the Anarchy Reigns mul­ti­play­er mini-game, Death Ball). There’s already a peti­tion for a can­cel­la­tion of Federation Force mak­ing its rounds across the inter­net. So, yeah. Oops.

Aside from that, Nintendo’s show­ing was strong, this year, large­ly car­ried on the wings of the Platinum Games co-developed Star Fox Zero. With the first-party rear­guard being bol­stered by imag­i­na­tive titles like Super Mario Maker, Yoshi’s Wooly World and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, this com­ing year looks pret­ty solid. So, Happy 30th Anniversary, Super Mario. Thanks for 3 decades of fun, inno­va­tion and indeli­ble mem­o­ries.

Square Enix: Considering yesterday’s rev­e­la­tion of the long-awaited and fer­vent­ly request­ed Final Fantasy 7 Remake, all Square Enix had to do in order to restore an even greater amount of good­will among gamers would be to provide more infor­ma­tion. Instead, it was announced that FF7-R…was being offi­cial­ly announced at E3 and more details would be made avail­able at the end of the year. Way to give the fans a sharp case of blue-balls. However, even through some rather bum­bling pre­sen­ta­tion issues, the line-up of games pre­sent­ed at this presser was rel­a­tive­ly solid.

Starting with the explo­sive, high octane car­nage of Rico Rodriguez in Just Cause 3, the first of SE’s Western-based fran­chis­es to rock the show floor did just that. Fans of JC2 can rejoice in the expand­ed aeri­al and bal­lis­tic capa­bil­i­ties that our hero brings to bear in this lat­est install­ment. Tighter para­chute con­trols, a wing­suit, more weapons and vehicles…December is going to be a good mon­th if the only title you buy is JC3. What fol­lowed after that, though, was wor­thy of memes and admi­ra­tion for quite some time to come.

Taro Yoko steps on to the stage, wear­ing the “Moon Man” head from the sleep­er hit NieR. Then, he pro­ceeds to announce the devel­op­ment of what’s ten­ta­tive­ly called “NieR: New Project.” Adding fur­ther to the hype is that action gam­ing pow­er­house Platinum Games is also aid­ing in the devel­op­ment of this title, as they did with StarFox Zero and the upcom­ing Transformers: Devastation. With so many projects, one would think that Platinum is stretch­ing them­selves thin. One could also think that they’ve got­ten them­selves slat­ed to work on mul­ti­ple, high-profile titles back-to-back. So, keep your fin­gers crossed and keep a care­ful eye out for more infor­ma­tion regard­ing this one, folks!

More footage from Rise of the Tomb Raider fol­lowed suit, show­ing off the graph­i­cal advance­ments that’ve been made even beyond the pre­vi­ous entry. Hitman also made a pret­ty big impres­sion with its “World of Assassination” the­me. Active, evolv­ing online mul­ti­play­er with numer­ous con­tracts sounds like an ambi­tious step for the fran­chise.

The new footage shown off for Kingdom Hearts 3 looks jam packed with action and is def­i­nite­ly evi­dence that the fans will, in large dos­es, final­ly be get­ting what they want from this lat­est entry into the Disney/SE mega-crossover series. As good as that looks, though, the JRPG I’m per­son­al­ly pumped for the most from SE is arguably Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. Or, sim­ply put, Star Ocean 5. The focus on seam­less tran­si­tion between events, explo­ration, and com­bat was beau­ti­ful­ly con­veyed in the ear­ly build game­play footage shown.

Last, but by no means least, was the extend­ed trail­er and dis­cus­sion of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. If ever there was a fran­chise that brought heady sub­jects into gam­ing, then Deus Ex is that fran­chise. Human Revolution was ground­break­ing in its han­dling of the con­cepts of trans-humanism and fur­ther­ing that dis­cus­sion seems to be the dri­ving goal of Mankind Divided. Well, that and refin­ing the tech­ni­cal prowess brought to bear by it’s pre­de­ces­sor.

My biggest gripe, how­ev­er, with the Square Enix press con­fer­ence is sim­ple. TOO MUCH TALKING! There was very lit­tle room for the games being show­cased to real­ly bring much excite­ment because the devs and suits were over­ly long-in-the-tooth. Show, don’t tell! Keep the lip flap­ping con­cise and let the hard work speak for itself.

Speaking of which, that, right there, is going to be it for me. I’ve gone on long enough and now I plan to go back to doing some seri­ous gam­ing, myself.

Stay tuned for more E3 Round-Up cov­er­age and analy­sis from Ace Nelson and the rest of the gang here at SuperNerdLand!

https://supernerdland.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/e3headerRoundup.jpghttps://supernerdland.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/e3headerRoundup-150x150.jpgAce NelsonConsolePCE3 2015Today has been a pret­ty hec­tic day on mul­ti­ple fronts, and even as I tried to sink my teeth fur­ther into the rather deep com­bat mechan­ics of Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, I couldn’t help but direct my atten­tion to Twitch, as the stream­ing for the pre­mier gam­ing extrav­a­gan­za known…
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Ace Nelson
Gamer, mar­tial artist, SuperNerdLand con­trib­u­tor, Gatorade-fueled-Parkour-loving action junkie, pro­fes­sion­al smart-ass and occa­sion­al idiot. How ya doin’?
Ace Nelson

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