It is official, Hokuto Ga Gotoku (Like A North Star), has received a confirmed western release date of 2nd October, 2018. Titled Fist Of The North Star: Lost Paradise, and strangely enough they have decided to add english VA to the game. The voices themselves sound extremely weird, but thankfully; they offer the choice to those who prefer the English voices, while allowing you to switch to Japanese if you wish to. With this game being confirmed to be released, there is more hope that the next game in the release pipeline is Ryu Ga Gotoku: Ishin, hopefully this is the case, regardless of how "Japanese" the game may be, due to many reasons. E3 is still to get going full speed, so hopefully this is not the last announcement from the Yakuza team, the hype is real!
~Koyuuki°˖ ✧◝(○ ヮ ○)◜✧˖ °
Trailer link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH14wbODYO4
Bethesda decided to have another conference this year, this time lacking Morgan Webb, and Adam Sessler. While it could be said that decision helped to focus the conference a bit, and it was not as slow as previous years, there were still too many issues with what was presented. The main issue is that while it was one presentation after another, the pacing of each was slow, while being painfully cringe at the same time. While the a few of the announcements were good, if not great, they wasted too much time with tonal shifts and self-gratification, while being quite coy with the information they gave, even when they said they would deep dive into the information.
The beginning of the show was a sign of things to come, the appearance of Andrew WK to begin the show off with information on Rage 2, while entertaining, was quite the non-sequitur. Which grouped with the lack of Rage 2 gameplay along with the song that supposedly was "perfect for the game" seemed kind of odd. And when the smoke was cleared, and the demo was shown, not much was really said that gave that more clear of a picture. A thankfully short presentation of Elder Scrolls Legends was next, that mentioned visual overhauls, and being available on consoles later this year, and a promise that progress transfers to console from mobile and PC, with the promise of unseen content, not much was learned, and felt forced.
ESO was next, and after a stilted speech on community of the game, information, and not much else was given on the next most recent content drops for the game, Wolfhunter, a werewolf themed "Dungeon DLC", and MurkWater, a story "chapter" based in the Blackmarsh area of Tamriel. One of the great announcements of this conference, Doom Eternal, was really more of a tease, and a bit of a taunt, with "more information at QuakeCon," but with twice the amount of demons, and more powerfull Doom Guy, it is pretty Much Doom 2: Hell On Earth, without that being the actual name.
Following that was another short "presentation" of Quake Champions, which showed off a few new characters, and apparently the "fastest and most fun multiplayer experience," with news of a free trial of the game available to all who wish to try it, and if you download it now, you get to keep it after the trial ends. There were a few Prey announcements, such as the free update, which includes "story mode," "new game+," and "hardcore mode," as well as the "Mooncrash" DLC, which is a roguelike simulation where you have to escape the moon, and if you die it resets, both are available right now. They also mentioned Typhon Hunter, where you and three friends have to discover who the typhons are, and not be killed by them. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus will be released for Switch on 29 June, with a new standalone game taking place in 1980's France with Bj's twin daughters being the protagonists. Which invariably means that you can play it co-op, and releases in "2019." A short VR segment mentioned Prey VR (releases with Typhon Hunter), and Wolfenstein Cyberpilot, where you can take over the robots and pilot them against the zombies, nothing was shown with no extra information given.
The part of the show that everyone was waiting for, Fallout 76; finally arrived, and it was....something. While there was a fair amount of information given, there was still a fair bit they were overly coy, or glib about. It is of course a prequel to the entire series, and is "4 times the size of Fallout 4," with new rendering, lighting, and landscaping tech, the story, is moved through six different regions of West Virginia. The game is entirely online, though it is possible to play it solo. It is what they consider to be "softcore" survival, where if you die, you don't lose progress, and when you play with friends, your progress stays with you throughout. The decisions you make will inform the outcomes of the game, and its story. Once again we will be building settlements, but this time you can move them to other locations, though not indicated really how that affects others, or how it really works. Endgame comes in the form of Dynamic Nuclear launch sites, where you will have to find launch codes which will fire nukes, that you can aim at specific locations. Doing this will require work, and probably with a team of friends, for when you do that, the affected area will spawn strong monsters, and rare materials. There is of course a collector's edition, which includes a map of the area; that glows in the dark, small figures (think green army men, just Fallout themed), and a wearable, power armor helmet with a working headlamp and voice modulator. If you pre-order the game you will get access to the beta (B.E.T.A: Break It Early Test Application, though no date for that), with a release date of 14 November.
Fallout Shelter will be making its way to PS4 and Switch, tonight, and Elder Scrolls:Blades was announced as well. A mobile "console graphics quality" game, that they want to release on everything, even VR, will release on phones first. Will include a roguelike dungeon crawling mode, a PvP mode, and a town building mode, you can pre-order it on your app store. Before they finished, they confirmed that Starfield is indeed real with a teaser trailer, their first original IP in 25 years, and finished it off with a "tease" of Elder Scrolls VI.
Overall, this presentation while better in many ways to last year, lacked something that Bethesda can not seem to get a handle on, getting to the point. While it is slightly improved to 2017, hopefully they can allow themselves to get to the heart of the matter quicker, or if nothing else, add a pre-show, so they can get all the "fluff" out of the way, and keep their conference more tightly focused.
~Koyuuki°˖ ✧◝(○ ヮ ○)◜✧˖ °
After having this entire console generation, be a game of catch up, it seems as though they are finally taking things seriously when it comes to their game lineup. Firstly, pertaining to the first party exclusives, there seems to be the usual suspects, however, even so a fair number of them look to be moving forward in interesting ways. The first shown was Halo: Infinite, which seems to be open world, and is created in the slipspace engine, not much else is known, other than it exists. Ori And The Will O The Wisps was given a gameplay trailer, it looks like an improvement on the first game. A new trailer of Crackdown 3 was shown, which looks good if that is your cup of tea, with a confirmed release of Feb 2019. Sea Of Thieves content was announced to be released in July and September, the Forsaken Shores, and Cursed Sails. Forza Horizon 4 was announced which will be taking place in Britain, it will have dynamic seasons, weather, and time of day.
The open world is shared, with all players, and share all of the dynamic elements. Co-op play can be entered seamlessly, they also indicated there will be a 60 fps "mode", with a release date of 2nd October. There was also an announcement of Cuphead DLC, which brings 3 new playable characters. There was an announcement of three new games within the Gears Of War series. A mobile game with a Funko Pop theme, not much info currently. Gears Tactics, which is similar to X-com was announced which takes place 12 years before the first game, with a trailer shown for the next game in the main series, Gears 5, with a 2019 release window. Last but not least was the announcement of a new Battletoads game, which includes 3 player couch co-op, with no other information at the moment. Additionally, the majority of these games that have a confirmed release, will be a part of the Games Pass, also Fallout 4, The Division, and ESO are now a part of the service.
After following the really weird usual business talk, that is sadly a requirement of things like E3, the gamut of third party games, exclusive or otherwise was released. From Software, showed off a trailer for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, a game that looks like a cross between, Tenchu, and the Souls series, while having its own distinct flavor. After a short trailer showing Fallout 76, they showed a side story in the universe called Awsome Adventures Of Captain Spirit. No real details were given in the trailer as to when this takes place, but it will be free on 26 June. Nier Automata: Be As Gods Edition was shown, which will have all the DLC, and be enhanced, with a release of 26 June. Metro Exodus showed a trailer, with a release date of 22nd February, 2019. After this was the reveal of the Frozen World in Kingdom Hearts 3, with a release date of 29 January, 2019.
After a disgustingly short trailer for Nordly's War Story, for Battlefield 5, a new We Happy Few story trailer was shown with a release date of August 10th. A few announcements were made for PUBG, mainly a few new maps, and the addition of War Mode, and something to do with a winter map, which will release in winter 2018. Division 2 was shown with a bit of gameplay, and will be taking place in Washington D.C. in the summer. Tales Of Vesperia Definitive Edition was announced which will have the content that was in the original PS3 version, that never made it to the west.
Jump Force was shown, which seems to be a bit more of what J-Stars was with a bit more craziness, but who knows truly, though that seems to be likely. With a trailer of Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, and Black Desert, a big surprise was a new skateboard game called session, which seems to be somewhat of a successor to the Skate series. Amazingly enough, Devil May Cry 5 is finally confirmed to be a real thing, and it seems to follow closely to the tone of the games before DMC: Devil May Cry, with Nero, Dante, and a mysterious character shown. Lastly we have Dying Light 2 and Just Cause 4, while there was no info on Dying Light 2 release window, Just Cause 4 has a date of 4th December 2018.
Interestingly enough Microsoft bought five separate studios, The Initiative, Undead Labs, Playgound games, Compulsion Games, and surprisingly Ninja Theory. That last one is a bit of a shock, but it seems with these acquisitions, MS seems like they are pulling out the stops in actually trying to compete for the first time since the beginning of this console generation. With a cheeky mention of the next console, the conference ended with them being "hacked" by CD Project Red, which ended with a showing of the new CyberPunk 2077 trailer, which looks amazing honestly.
This MS conference, is a bit of a weird one, while on one hand the games shown were amazing, and some of the information given was interesting, they seem to still have a hard time to make sure that their conferences do not drag on needlessly. There were too many times where the tempo halted to the point of annoyance. With that said, it is a step in the right direction, and I hope that these games that were shown, especially the exclusives work to make them more competitive. However the biggest issue they can't seem to get away from, is that the majority of these games, (especially the exclusives) didn't even include a release window, they still seem to be to excitable with announcements and end up not having much to show for actual games in the same year. Here is hoping that is not the case next time.
~Koyuuki°˖ ✧◝(○ ヮ ○)◜✧˖ °
Today officially starts E3 off with EA Play, the E3 press conference that "isn't a E3 press conference, we are separate we promise." Over the last three to four years, EA has been getting worse, with this most recent offering from them, have they really changed their tune, like they said they wanted to? That is always up for debate, however it can be said if nothing else, EA has gotten better at moving quicker through their more boring, and cringe worthy aspects when it comes to their E3 offerings. It can be said that this is most definitely better done than their last two without a doubt, and a great deal of that is more due to who they chose to host it, Andrea Renee. While not perfect, she is heads above their choices in previous years, and it is a most welcome change. While the lineup is the usual suspects of inclusions, new Battlefield game, their typical sports games, E-sports inclusions, game service back patting, charity self-congratulatory preening, the speed at which the information was disseminated was quicker, and thankfully less pretentious than previous (though still has plenty of pretension), as a whole is was mostly tolerable this time.
The games shown were of pretty standard fare for EA, with a few welcome surprises strewn throughout. Starting the show off is Battlefield 5, which likely due to its reveal late last month there was a somewhat of a dearth of new information. Mostly used as a means of clarification of points of confusion to the core audience, there was at least some new news. They confirmed that there is not going to be any form of loot boxes, that while there will be microtransactions, they will be direct purchase for cosmetics only, and the content of the game post-launch will be free for the life of the game. The devs also mentioned that the destruction engine has been improved upon, and made more distinct, so you could drive your tank through buildings, and drive to the other side. Gun emplacements will be mobile, where you can hook them to your vehicle and drag them to another point on the map. Also the movement has been improved, where you will be able to jump through a window that is still intact, among other movement being a likely addition. The last thing is that there will indeed be a "Battle Royale" mode, that is currently known simply as "Royale" no other information was given on that.
After that short presentation, they moved onto their sports games. First up was Fifa, and they announced that not only is there going to be a World Cup update to the current game, Fifa 18, rather than a separate release as is the usual decision, but there is also a free trial for the full game, starting today, available PS4, Xone, and PC. Fifa 19 was briefly mentioned with the typical mentions of the story mode, the gameplay improvements, and "pitch control," but also the inclusion of the Champions League for the first time in franchise history, the game releases on 28 Sept. 2018. Short trailers of NBA Live, and Madden 19 were shown, sometime later, with release dates of 7th Sept. and 31st August respectively. There was mention of a yet unnamed streaming service that will be coming in the future, and the creation of Origin Access Premier, coming in the summer, with a price of 15.99 a month, or 99.99 a year, with the main difference being you will actually own the games that you have access to within this service.
A short talk with Vince Zampella gave a small "tidbit" of information of their in development Star Wars game titled Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, scheduled to be released in "holiday" 2019, and you will be able to "use a lightsaber," the story will take place in the "time of darkness" that happened between episode 3 and 4. In other Star Wars related news, Battlefront II gave a few announcements to game, and content updates to "look forward to," with a new squad system, a new dogfighter mode which will use hero ships. Also they confirmed that the long awaited Clone Wars content will be coming later this year, the first planet included in this will be Geonosis, with a couple levels, and the announced heroes for this will be General Grievous, Obi Wan Kenobi, Count Dooku, and Anakin Skywalker. Time will tell how long this game will receive support, but hopefully the fans will get a fair shake, and that the content is good, full bodied content that feels worth the wait.
After this they announced two indie projects, one a sequel, and another new project, just announced. The first was Unravel Two, which adds a co-op functionality to the game, where there are now two yarnie that are attached to each other, with all the gameplay that comes with such a mechanic. It looks like they increased the speed at which the game plays considerably, and also the attached character mechanic seems to have increased the complexity a fair bit as well. Also, while you do not have to play it co-op, when solo, you will still be controlling both characters simultaneously, however, you can have one yarnie jump onto the back of the other so you are technically controlling only one. The other game titled Sea Of Solitude, is an interesting looking platformer that deals in emotions, and how they affect us, and those around us, more specifically: loneliness. In the world of the game, too much loneliness (and maybe other emotions, currently unconfirmed) turns humans into monsters, and the impetus of this game is trying to find balance of your emotions in order to turn a girl, recently turned into a monster back to a human, and find emotional equilibrium.
After a lackluster reveal of Command & Conquer: Rivals, a mobile PvP RTS game, and announcement of registration for "pre-alpha" access on Android systems, they moved onto the meat of this conference, Anthem. They announced a fair amount pertaining to the story, world, and gameplay of this game, and while a fair bit of it sounds interesting, with the recent track record of both EA, and Bioware, it seems better to take a wait and see approach. Firstly, they confirmed that while the open world area is where the co-op part of the game will take place, the cities and towns throughout the world is where your single-player content will be taking place, consisting of character interactions, and the game's singleplayer story. As is usual for these "games as a service," content will continue past the ending that you receive at the completion of the base game, where they want to create a world of "mystery." Your character is known as a "freelancer," and as such they have the capabilities to use the exo-suits known as Javelins, these armors come in four different "specs," the seeming "jack-of-all-trades" Ranger, the "tank-like" Colossus, the "speedy" Interceptor, and the seemingly "glass-cannon," Storm. These will of course be customizable, (though there was no given indication of whether there was more to it than simple color changes), which while there will be purchasable cosmetic options, there will be a lack of loot boxes, all will be direct purchases, and will not affect gameplay in any way. While the game is more or less meant to be played with others, you can play it solo, with a difficulty curve giving those players a "slight" disadvantage to those utilizing co-op, lastly, they announced the game will have a release date of 22nd February 2019, with no information pertaining to the existence of a Beta.
After all is said and done, was EA and what they showed a worthwhile endeavor? As with most things, that is completely subjective, while it was a vast improvement over the last few years, and not as boring, there is still a bit lacking from the presentation as a whole. Personally, none of these games hold any interest whatsoever, and will never buy another product from this company ever again, but the improvement in attitude, and presentation is appreciated regardless. EA is a company that is an "acquired taste" especially these days, they know how to speak to their audience however, and have hopefully learned from their mistakes of the recent past though in the larger scheme of things, and with someone like Andrew Wilson at the helm, that much is doubtful, at best.
~Koyuuki °˖ ✧◝(○ ヮ ○)◜✧˖ °
It is of course that time of year again, the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) is upon us even sooner with EA starting things off even earlier than usual. Saturday, 9th, June at 11 am PST, seems like EA wants to get in and finish before most people even know what actually happened. Which is fine, the less said about that company the better in all honesty. Microsoft will keep the tradition of Sunday afternoon, and Bethesda that evening, though thankfully earlier than last year's 9 pm PST, at 6:30pm. Microsoft has a bit of an uphill battle coming to them this year, while not personally a big fan of what Xbox has to offer as a brand (first party, or third party exclusives both). There are fans of them out there, who deserve better than they have gotten over the last two and a half years. Hopefully they can bring the fire this year, but we shall see their dedication on Sunday at 1 pm.
Bethesda is another interesting case of what is going to happen, and one can only guess at what they will bring to the table this year. Aside from Fallout 76, and Rage 2, not much else is known, other than the fact that there is the possibility of some sort of Prey related announcement, whether that is DLC for the 're-boot' or something else entirely, is up for debate. Along with announcements of from other projects either already released fully such as ESO, or something still in development such as Quake: Champions, they will hopefully make is something more enjoyable and interesting than what they saddled us with last year.
Monday starts with Square Enix at 10 am and this is the beginning of the more interesting conferences with what is possible to be shown, with obvious inclusions such as Kingdom Hearts 3, and most likely Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, hopefully there will be information on other things such as what exactly those Marvel games are SE is working on, and if extremely lucky this year, actual information pertaining to the FF7 remake. Following that at 1 pm is the Ubisoft conference, obvious inclusion seem to be Assassins Creed Odyssey, The Division 2, and probably some information on new Rainbow Six Siege content over the remaining year, and into the next. Other than that what is included in their show is anyone's guess.
Recently, Sega has announced that they will be bringing Ryu Ga Gotoku (Yakuza) 3, 4, and 5 to the PS4, with slight enhancements, starting with 3 on 9 August 2018, in Japan. While these will not be remasters at the level of Yakuza: Kiwami, and Kiwami 2 (Yakuza 1 and 2 respectively) it does seem to be cleaned up visually in respect to Yakuza 3, and its Vaseline sheen seems to have been removed for the most part from its PS3 counterpart. Obviously there is no confirmed release outside of Japan, for either of these three games, but hopefully, with the current upswing of popularity, with the most recent release of Yakuza 6 in the west doing well, and the confirmation of Kiwami 2 set to be released in the west in August of this year, there is a higher probability of these re-releases coming to the west.
E3 is literal weeks away, so hopefully more information about western releases can be given out during that time, because with the majority of the series being on the same console in the west will create a larger demand for the series as a whole outside of Japan. Personally, though, the other games in the series that have yet to release outside of Japan should have release precedence on the PS4, more notably of course being Ryu Ga Gotoku: Ishin, the game where you play as Sakamoto Ryoma, undercover as the commander of the 3rd company in the Shinsengumi Hajime Saitō. While it is of course not completely historically accurate, the game itself is immensely enjoyable. Even if you do not have a total grasp on Japanese history as a whole, there is still enough there to have fun with.
The other game that should be released before these 'remasters' is Ryu Ga Gotoku: Hotoku (Yakuza: Fist Of The North Star) with Kenshiro being the character that Kiryu supplants in this instance. While not a professional when it comes to this series, it is still something that is highly enjoyable, with some of the better melee combat, while still feeling familiar to those who enjoy the Yakuza series as a whole. It does a good job of making it feel like a game that fits within both worlds, while not feeling like the parts from the Yakuza series stand out too much. There is also enough there from Fist Of The North Star to make it feel and play distinct from other entries in the Yakuza seires.
With Ryu Ga Gotoku 3, 4, and 5 seeing 'remasters' to PS4 maybe, (however doubtful) we could see them 'remaster' Ryu Ga Gotoku: Kenzan! onto the console (another PS3 samurai game, that was never released in the west), that is however a bit more unlikely of an occurrence, and even if it does, it is doubtful we would see it here in the west, though it could happen.
Is the Yakuza series something you enjoy, or something that the re-releases of these on a singular console is enough to get you to look into it, leave comments below.
It is official, Sega announced this weekend that Yakuza Kiwami 2 will be released in the west, this year. Slated for a 28th, August, 2018 release, for a game that just released this last December. As the remake for the second game in the series, following in the footsteps of Yakuza Kiwami from 2017. However, the main differences being rather than using the engine from Yakuza 0, it will use the Dragon Engine, that was debuted with the release of Yakuza 6 (well at least for Japan, we still have to wait till April for that). Also, the main difference is that if the release date stays where it is at, it will be under a year from the original Japanese release. This is a big deal for the simple fact, that no longer do we have to wait two years (or longer in the case of the older games), before we get the new games in the series in the west.
Hopefully this is a sign of things to come with Sega and its IPs that have garnered high popularity with gamers in the west that haven't released outside of Asia in the past. With the return of the Shining Force series to the west, for the first time in a decade, and the increasingly shorter turn around for games in the Yakuza series over the years, as well as the announcement of Valkyria Chronicles, hopefully Sega has seen fit to bring more of their long dormant IPs (at least in the west) in the near future. Now, what does this mean for other games in the Yakuza series that have yet to be confirmed for a western release date, more specifically Yakuza: Ishin? Who really knows, but hopefully we can get a nice surprise from Sega and Sony at E3 this year, and we can finally be a part of the Shinsengumi with English subtitles sometime in the near future.
Hopefully with this other devs from Japan will begin to realize that there is an audience for some of their more Japan-only IPs, specifically Bandai Namco. It would be great to be able to buy the multitude of Gundam games, the Super Robot Taisen series, and the multitude of games that have still not left Asia. Though would not think that having any expectations would be a good idea, but one can hope if nothing else.
This year, Nintendo needed to bring the heat, and did they do it? Again, as is the trend this E3, yes, and no. After an interesting enough montage,showing a number of games, they moved right along with the spotlight itself. While the monologue by Reggie left a strange taste, that was immediately remedied by a trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles II, while the trailer itself was, okay at the very least it ended with a release window of holiday 2017, so that was good. Moving quickly from that a new Kirby game for the switch, simply titled Kirby was shown, and given a 2018 release window.
Then they shot themselves in the arm slightly, with an "impromptu" "announcement" for the next core Pokemon game coming to the switch, no logo, no launch window was given, just that it is "at least a year out." After that the interest was once again given a boost with the reveal of Metroid Prime 4 being currently in development for the Switch, with this one, not only was it an acknowledgment of the series, but they showed a logo. While more info would have been amazing, the simple fact that they gave fans the acknowledgment they wanted was more than enough, for now. After that, Nintendo then went back slightly again, with the announcement of a yoshi game, simply titled Yoshi for the Switch with no indicated release window for it. Another personally exciting game was shown with another slightly lackluster trailer for Fire Emblem Heroes, which received a launch window of fall, 2017. They also spent too much time talking about Rocket league, while that game is amazing to those who enjoy it, all it really needed was the release date, especially since this spotlight was so short.
After another weird monologue by Reggie, and a thankfully short, if not otherwise pointless Skyrim on Switch trailer, they moved right along to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild DLC information. The first DLC The Master Trials, showed off its features, while receiving a 30, June, 2017 release date. The second DLC The Champions Ballad was given a trailer that showed the previous champions, along with Zelda, and no reall information was given, not even a release window, out of the already known "winter 2017," after that they revealed four amiibo of the original champions, with no indication of their in-game function. They ended the spotlight with an amazing gameplay trailer for Super Mario: Odyssey, which included some peeks into how the game plays, and some of the different hats and powers you have, along with a 27, Oct, 2017 release date.
Was the conference disappointing, no, was it as amazing as it could have been, no, but it is definitely a step in the right direction for Nintendo, and hope they continue to improve. They could have focused more on games that have not had much information given to them, and spent much less time on ARMS, and Splatoon 2 E-sports talk, and shortened the monologues given by Reggie. That said, while not chomping at the bit due to hype after this, it is a vast improvement over the last two years, so good effort Nintendo, keep it up.
This was the big one, that we were all waiting for, and the question is, did it deliver or did it fall on its face? Well, the answer is not so cut and dry, yes; there were a number of amazing showings this year, and yes, the conference was one game after the other, with the smallest amount of chatter. That was not really the issue this year for Sony though; the largest issue was, instead of keeping the orchestra from last year, they tried to up themselves, with stage interactions. The idea sounds amazing, and likely was; at the venue, the problem being that did not translate very well with streaming. Not to say that it was terrible, because you would be wrong, it more distracted from what the focus should have been, the games.
Anyway, the conference itself started strong, with some traditional Indian music, with a nice water sheet show happening behind the musicians. After that, they cut to a good story trailer for Uncharted: The Last Legacy, which apparently got a boost in overall scale, and that is evident by what they showed. Moving right along from that, they showed new endgame story DLC for Horizon: Zero Dawn titled The Frozen Wilds, with a window of 2017 for release. Swiftly changing gears; they started a gameplay demo for the new Sony Bend game Days Gone, which showed a more detailed idea of the in-game world and how the protagonist interacts within it, with a spotlight on how the horde reacts to what happens in the world.
After this was a one, two punch of hype inducing trailers. First they revealed the first Monster Hunter game to appear on consoles since Monster Hunter Tri; Monster Hunter World. That title seems quite literal, since not only is the size and scope of the world they showed, large and interesting, but the way you traverse through it, and combat the multitude of monsters inhabiting it. The addition of environmental attacks, and traversal, and attacks through use of a grapple hook are welcome, was given a release window of early 2018. The next game to be shown, while not particularly new, was still more than welcome; Shadow Of The Colossus is apparently being what looks to be completely remade, by the studio BluePoint. The trailer was beautiful and showcased the graphical overhaul it is receiving, while apparently the official word is of it being a remaster, the work put into it seems to point more to a rebuilding of the game, but more information is needed on that front.
Then this is where the conference begins to slow. The story trailer for Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is revealed, and while the story stuff in the trailer, the issue is the appearances of some of the characters, there seems to be a lack of cohesiveness to the looks of characters, like they came directly from their own individual franchises. While the aesthetic was weird, the comic art style at least allowed for the characters to look like they were a part of the same world. That said, the game has a story, and it looks interesting, also they announced that you can download a demo of the story mode, right now on PSN. Next was a multiplayer trailer for Call Of Duty: WWII, it looked like it plays like Call Of Duty, just no robot arms, or jump jet grafted to your character. The largest issue with the trailer was it was a multiplayer trailer, but unless you knew what you were looking for, you would likely miss the clues, plus the music choice was meh, at best.
Moving right along from Call Of Duty, they transitioned to their PSVR segment which showed a total of six games, of varying quality and personal interest. Firstly they showed, Skyrim VR, which due to the platform it was on, looked markedly downgraded in the graphics, and had the standard floating arms, and the weirdly moving weapons. The next game showed was The Inpatient, developed by Supermassive games, it looks like a decently creepy psychological VR experience, after that there was a trailer for Star Child, which on the surface looked okay, but more info needs to be shared, that game is published by GameTrust. Then we got a weird one Final Fantasy 15: Monster Of The Deep, which seems to be the VR experience they showcased last year, just with fishing, and other content added onto what was a "Prompto combat and ride-along" simulator. Next we have Bravo Team, also developed by Supermassive games, which appears to be a super serious cover based military shooter, while it could be fun, more info is needed. Lastly they had Moss; a cute game, developed by PolyArc games which has you helping a mouse warrior traverse a dungeon by assisting with traps, and puzzles. As it stands now, none of these games indicated a release window.
After that less than stellar, the next trailer seemed to be a play to get interest back up, that being a story trailer for; God Of War. This story trailer set the tone for the more reserved and personal story that they are trying to tell, and it was amazing, also revealed that it was shaping up for an early 2018 release window. The misstep with the somewhat flat Destiny 2 trailer with the Sony exclusives at the end dampened those feelings a bit. They were brought up slightly, with a darker Detroit: Become Human trailer that focused on another character. Finally the last game shown was a decently long gameplay demo of the new Spiderman game being developed by Insomniac. Personally, the QTEs were not an issue, because they made contextual sense for why they were there, while showing enough new things to get you interested, also announced that it is on track for a 2018 release. After that, they closed out with an unneeded montage trailer.
At the end of the day, Sony achieved what they set out to do; giving us a conference that had a similar style to what they offered last year. While they did not exactly achieve what the same level as the previous two E3, it was still a well done show, and showed that they understand, for the most part, what works best for their demographic. Perhaps if they would have put more focus on the unknown quantities that the customers really want to know about, especially as the end to the show, offering something new, it would have been better received. Even though personally, it was second best, behind Ubisoft. Good work Sony, and hope you continue to improve.
This year, Ubisoft brought the fire. Not to say that their show last year was terrible, it was perfectly fine, but this year, they really pulled out all the stops. they started off with Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and to say that the game was a pleasant surprise is putting it lightly, the bright colors and well done dialogue free storytelling mixed with the SRPG gameplay, makes it look like it will be quite the fun experience when it realeses 29, Aug, 2017. From there they moved on to an Assassin's Creed: Origins trailer, that should have been the reveal, it is looking good, it is good to see the direction the series is headed.
The Crew 2 was revealed, and they have increased the number of motorsports, to include boats, planes, and bikes. It looks vastly improved over the first game, it seems to have gotten an increase in budget due to selling well enough. Though there is not really much detail given, the story "The King Of Racing" aspect seems weird, though judgement will be held till more information is given. The release date is set for early 2018, and you can sign up for the beta at thecrewgame.com/beta. There was a short, yet entertaining trailer for South Park: The Fractured But Whole showing a bit more of the story, and character interactions, while entertaining, not particularly interesting personally, but it does look well made, with a release date of 17, Oct, 2017. The next thing shown was a strange VR experience called Transference, more of a reveal trailer, and not much was really give, but looks interesting, with a release window of spring 2018.
They went straight into a reveal of a new IP called Skull And Bones, a game that seems they took the boat segments from Assassin's Creed 4 and made a multiplayer focused game out of being a pirate in the early 1700's. The game looks really slick and stylish, and while the game itself looks fun, personally not one for specifically multiplayer focused games, while that may not be the case at release, due to the game not releasing until at least fall 2018. You can once again gain access to a beta type experience for the game at www.skullandbonesgame.com. Just Dance 2018 was revealed in standard fashion with dancers, and music, not much else can really be said. A quick trailer was given for a South Park themed card based RPG on mobile, titled South Park: Phone Destroyer, once again, South Park is not personally interesting, it looks well made.
After that, they introduced a new IP, titled StarLink: Battle For Atlas, which is another game that has a release window of fall 2018. Aside from the art style, and science fiction feel to it with fighter ships and space combat, is the added of physical toy fighter ships that can be augmented with extra parts that change the appearance in game. The strangest, or coolest, depending on your opinion, is the ships themselves will attach to the top of your controller, though there is a digital option for those who do not wish yo collect toys to play the game. Other than it coming to all consoles, and first to the Switch, little information was given. A short announcement of an Olympic themed DLC for Steep, releasing in December titled Road To The Olympics. After that they showed a decently detailed trailer for Far Cry 5, the best part of the whole conference was the surprise reveal of Beyond Good And Evil 2. Developed of course with Michel Ancel, and his team, it is a prequel to the original game, that takes place before the birth of Jade. They showed an amazing trailer that gave a taste of their plans for the game is exciting. While there is no indication of any sort of release window, like Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Shenmue 3, that is perfectly acceptable because the more attention the game get, the better it becomes.
In conclusion, as it stands Ubisoft has raised the bar significantly over the others this year, There was a small amount of slow going midway through, but the energy and presentations were energetic and passionate. While their normal hostess of Aisha Tyler was absent, for whatever reason this year, they did a good job of keeping it interesting without forcing it, and the only true competition to them presentation wise at this point, is Sony. 6 pm is the time the Sony conference starts, and the hype level for it is in the stratosphere see you there!