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LONG BLOG

E3: The Best Ones (imo obv.)

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Not much of an introduction needed here, as the title says it all.

Still, to be a bit more precise, I will pick the game that I am the most excited for from each conference. Except EA and the PC show, both of which I skipped and neither of which got me excited for anything. Sorry.

Oh, and then I'll give my reasoning too. Obviously! Why even write a blog otherwise?

 

BETHESDA was burning out of control with Doom (4)

I have to congratulate Bethesda with their first press conference ever. To be honest, I think they did a better job than anyone else at presenting their games, and it certainly helps that their line-up was strong, closing and ending on the biggest releases. Fallout 4 looked impressive, and will definitely please RPG fans (I might even give it a shot myself), but Doom is way further up my alley. A magnificent return of fun, fast paced circle-strafing and fireball-dodging that manages to be everything I ever wanted and more. It's got tall, impressive looking arenas, and I think having health being dropped by enemies is a surprisingly great way to always make combat a priority. It looks good too. Everything is gritty in a somewhat stylized way, weapon effects look great, and there's something about the way the hellish, fire-orange environments clash with the clean, white UI that strangely appeals to me. This is a proper modernized Doom. It's not a rehash of the old ones, sticking to tradition for the sake of it, but it also avoids being another Doom 3 situation where it misses the entire point. It takes the core of Doom and does something new and exciting with it. Instead it manages to hit a great balance between old and new.

Oh, and Doom Snapmap. Holy shit yes. Everyone wanted this to be moddable, but they straight up gave us the tools and made it a feature. That is the best icing that has ever even touched a cake. So pumped!

Followed by: Fallout 4, for above reasons, and maaaybe Dishonored 2, if it promises to behave and not shit on the carpet.

 

MICROSOFT made all the 30's kids nostalgic with Cuphead

Now, while I admittedly don't have much to base this on, it seems to me that some people are still avoiding and looking down on low budget indie titles. All I can say to that is please don't. Those games tend to be the most creative and innovative ones, the ones that don't need to consider financial risk. Cuphead is probably one of the strongest arguments as to why indies represent a better future (not to sound like a sleazy politician) for the medium.

Has any game ever actually looked this much like a cartoon? Several have gotten close, but all of them were recognizable as games from most screenshots. Yet every single Cuphead shot looks like it's actually from an old cartoon, and the first time I ever saw it during the last E3, even though it was part of a montage, it stood out to me far more than anything else. Everything about the style nails it. The game looks absolutely authentic, not a single thing was overlooked; it seriously feels like it comes from an alternate version of the 30's or 40's where traditional cartoons were playable, and that alone has me extremely excited.

Brilliant art aside, the game seems to be a combat focused boss rush type of deal, an approach I think is wiser than making it a regular platformer. Parallax scrolling would probably have ruined the illusion, so having the camera be static was a good choice, and it should allow for some interesting bosses.

None of the shooters presented could possibly satisfy me after the new Doom, so Cuphead didn't have an awful lot of competition, but even if that was the case, it still probably would have come out on top.

Followed by: Rare Replay, which could be a good chance to catch up with some oldies.

 

UBISOFT insisted on destroying my productivity even further with TrackMania: Turbo

God damn it TrackMania, would you stop being so much fun while also having infinite content? How am I supposed to get shit done?

Ubisoft didn't bring their A-game this round, but they still had some good stuff to show us, and TrackMania Turbo coming to is definitely my choice for the best showing. Apparently, this version has already been out on handhelds, and this is like a bigger version of that? I don't know, the world of TM incarnations is confusing. 

For those of you who don't know about TrackMania, what's interesting about these games is that they aren't traditional racing games. There is competitive multiplayer that resembles racing, but it's all about mastering the track, and players do not collide with each other. Single player is pretty much the same deal, only difference being that you beat your own records and win medals. It might not sound like much fun, but as you saw during the presentation, it's all about the tracks, and the game is centered around building and sharing these tracks online. Thanks to a wide variety of track pieces, tracks often include boosters, loops, sideways driving, skipping over water (I made one of those) and using anything as a road. You will fail often, but restarts are instant, so it's always compelling to try again until you get it right. What's interesting is that Turbo might actually include collision and regular racing, an interesting evolution for a game where you can easily fly off the tracks and have to restart at a checkpoint. Makes me wonder how exactly it's gonna work. It also has that random track generator, the rollercoaster theme and split-screen. I'm ready!

Okay, so maybe this isn't something I need to get at the moment, with TM2 Stadium currently in my Steam library and taking up plenty of free time already. It's definitely something that I plan on getting though, along with other versions, like Canyon and Valley.

I don't have a problem, shut up!

Followed by: For Honor, which looks like an interesting combat game, and Rainbow Six: Siege, but mostly for the waffle walls.

 

SONY made a fool out of me with The Last Guardian

"Herp derp, they should just cancel this cause it's never coming out!" - Some asshole.

Okay, fine, that asshole was me! IT WAS ME, ALRIGHT!? I SAID IT!! I SAID IT AND I WAS WRONG, OKAY!!? OKAY!! I SAID IT!! ALRIGHT!!! FINE!!!

Maybe sometimes it's better to be wrong. That's my E3 lesson this year. Having The Last Guardian come back is a blessing, even if it was followed by the news of Beyond Good & Evil 2 pretty much being fucked (unless the annoyingly vague update means it's not, whatever). Man, it's like one game sacrificed itself for the other. In any case, at least getting one legendary game is far, far better than the great big void of nothing that I expected.

This game does admittedly look a bit dated, but only in the sense that it doesn't take full advantage of the shiny new hardware that it's on. Thankfully, it still manages to look good due to being just stylized enough, and I feel like the look of it will age well, like its predecessors. As for the gameplay, shieeet, it looks like Ico with better controls and a cooler puzzle buddy with actual AI. That's all I need, really, even though the puzzle buddy this time around is a huge, majestic creature that's probably gonna learn how to fly around the end of the game, and it's gonna be awesome and magical!

It is entirely possible that a lot of people have forgotten why they were so excited for this, as the game became a legend during its inactive years, but I honestly think that Team Ico working on it is reason enough to be pumped, being a direct follow up to Shadow of the Colossus.

Followed by: Firewatch, a funny and mysterious looking game with good acting and writing, and Horizon Zero Dawn, a game about shooting robot dinosaurs in the nads with a crossbow.

 

NINTENDO sunk my spaceship with Star Fox Zero

Worst Nintendo showing in years? Some people seem to think so, and I can see why, but this is seriously the most excited the company has managed to make me since 2007.

See, I kind of lost interest in Nintendo back around the Wii's late lifespan, as all their games started to resemble each other more and more, a trend that I'm not a fan of due to the lack of variety in style. The Wii U took that even further, and it didn't help that many of its exclusive titles did nothing for me. Mario 3D World was predictable, Bayonetta 2 was confusing and Splatoon straight up wasn't for me. But Star Fox Zero? Yeah, I can dig that!

We all have a game (or series) that we always wanted to play, but never have for some reason. Star Fox is one of my biggies, and one of the few left after catching up the last couple of years. It's definitely one of the strongest franchises Nintendo owns, a beautifully simple arcade space shooter that seems to squeeze everything out of its gameplay. In other words, exactly the type of game I enjoy the most. Furthermore, the older games look like they hold up brilliantly because of this simplicity, and this new one looks like it has far more to offer than simply being and HD incarnation. Enemies look cool and interesting, and the ship's chicken run mechanic adds a fitting dose of humor to the game, while also looking like a good time in actual gameplay.

The closest thing I've played to Star Fox has been the space combat sections in Ratchet & Clank, and I'm totally down for a deeper, full-game version of that. Bring it on!

Followed by: This is getting tough, but that Yoshi game looks like it could be fun.

 

SQUARE-ENIX gave me another chance with Hitman: Hitman

In the blog about popular games I didn't like, I made a mistake. That mistake was putting Hitman: Blood Money on there. It made me struggle, but I still want to get into it, so it hasn't failed on me like the others I mentioned. It was extremely out of place for that reason, and that became clear to me when I realized just how happy I was to see a new Hitman game, despite it following that dumb naming trend. Hopefully, putting the game on here will help fixing that mistake.

What I like about Hitman is that it's a game about killing people, but not an action game. That makes everything seem really dark, seeing as your victims have no idea that they're even in danger, and often spend their time relaxing when you approach them. It lends itself to a nice combination of mundane and crazy scenarios, as well as plenty of depth, which I greatly appreciate. My main problems with earlier entries are the controls and AI, but I get the feeling that a smoother and more modern take on it will help me adjust to the style of gameplay, allowing me to go back and have an easier time with the older ones. It's just a matter of being a bit too late to the party, but I'll make sure to be just in time for the next one.

I also feel like it's my patriotic duty to support one of the very few Danish video game companies out there. At least I dug Limbo.

Followed by: Absolutely nothing. Most of SE's stuff bores me.


You know what's awesome? This is the first time I've ever been compelled to write a blog like this. You know why? Because this was a fantastic E3!

Sure, not everyone fully delivered, but those that did more than made up for those that didn't, if you ask me. Last year didn't even come close to this. I couldn't possibly have written about almost every conference, let alone adding runner-ups that I'm genuinely excited about too. Is it the best E3 ever? Can't say, but there is absolutely no doubt that it's up there with the best. I almost feel spoiled by the amount of good stuff coming out, and my wallet will no doubt take a heavy hit.

I am a happy man who has chosen a great pastime! Everything about this E3 has me convinced that video games have a bright future ahead, and I pity anyone who can bring themselves to be cynical about it. Just look at the variety on this list, and probably your own too. Shooting, platforming, racing, puzzling, flying, whatever you're into, there's something for you.

It's been, like, the Pornhub of E3s...

 

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About Dangoone of us since 10:28 AM on 11.09.2011


Art by the fantastic Roberto Plankton


Phalanxification by the bombastic ZombZ



The cream of my video game crop (no longer in alphabetical order):