Honoring the best in whatever and junk
E3 has come and gone and boy was it… fun? Entertaining? Exciting? None of the above? Look, it’s a trade show, a five day long commercial for products we’ll buy, play, and trade in for shitty GameStop credit. Or, we’ll just watch other people play them online.
That may sound pessimistic but I’m actually optimistic after this week. Microsoft is the first to embrace true 4K as well as water cooled consoles, Sony reminded us it has the best support in the industry, and Nintendo continued to make it difficult for me not to own Switch. There’s a lot to like about this year’s event and you’ll hear about what we did like in our Best of E3 write-ups.
This post, however, is something different. Games are great and “winning” E3 is wonderful, but in those discussions, it’s easy to lose some of the smaller special moments that made this E3. So with that, I’d like to announce the inaugural Dumbstructoid Awards: E3 2017 edition. Here, we’re celebrating the dumb, fun and stupid things of the past week. I’ve asked the writers of Destructoid to create their awards for this E3, and this is what we came up with!
Chris Carter ~ Look. Super Mario Odyssey already looked like it was going to knock it out of the park. But then the Nintendo Spotlight trailer showed us a T-Rex with a Mario hat. And some great, clever 2D platforming sections. And the amazing wedding themed outfits. And tasteful flashbacks. And that incredible jazzy theme “1-Up Girl.” Wait, that T-Rex was actually Mario taking over its soul with its hat?
Yeah…This is my game of the show. An earlier than expected October 27 release date also makes it that much more attainable and not a distant pipe dream like Shenmue III or Final Fantasy VII Remake. Good show, Nintendo.
Every couple of months, Dennis Rodman’s BFF Kim Jong-un attempts to show the world he doesn’t have a two-inch dick by launching a missile at a particularly aggressive patch of garbage located in the Sea of Japan. The missile goes up, makes a big noise and then crashes directly into the ocean, though North Koreans will claim it’s a huge success. For the week of E3, that missile was Beyond Good & Evil 2.
At the end of its surprisingly decent press conference, Ubisoft decided to go out with a bang by showing an animated film it referred to as a teaser trailer. As soon as I realized what it was, I got excited. That was the missile launching. Then the F-bombs started to drop and I could feel this North Korean missile starting to wane. Then I found out it was a prequel and I wouldn’t be seeing an end to the cliffhanger the first game left me on. Then I read the YouTube listing and saw such red flags as “spiritual successor” and “seemless online playground,” forcing me to question just what the fuck this game is. Then the words procedurally generated popped up. Then I learned Ubisoft hasn’t even really started working on it yet and wants to treat it as an early access title.
Ladies and gentlemen, the missile has crashed into the Sea of Japan.
ShadeOfLight ~ Just like every other denizen of the internet, at first I didn’t believe the rumors of a cross-over game between Mario and Rabbids. And just like every other denizen of the internet, when the game was finally all but confirmed, I didn’t believe that it could be any good.
That changed immediately when I watched the Ubisoft conference. When Miyamoto came on stage to talk about this collaboration, it showed me how much confidence Nintendo placed in this wholly unlikely game. And when creative director Davide Soliani visibly teared up seeing Miyamoto talk about his game on stage, it showed me how much love they’ve poured in.
Of course, none of that matters if the gameplay doesn’t hold up, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. A turn-based strategy game in the vein of XCom, though surely somewhat simplified, it caught my eye with the Disgaea 5-esque Team Jump mechanic. It looks really fun to me to quickly boost your party to anywhere on the map and flank the enemies with your strongest weapons. Toss in character-specific abilities and special weapons, and it looks like this could be a very neat light strategy game.
There’s a sequence in the gameplay demonstration where Rabbid Luigi goes through a warp pipe, smacks an enemy in the face, makes a break for Mario, uses Mario to Team Jump behind the enemy he just hit and finishes it off with a lobbed bomb. You can hear the Ubisoft crowd start to applaud upon seeing this moment, and it’s easy to see why. In that one moment, Mario + Rabbids showed that it wasn’t content with just being a shitty cash-in kids’ game, but that it could be an interesting romp for any gamer.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle wasn’t supposed to be good. Yet here it is.
Peter Glagowski ~ Bethesda sure has a thing for VR. They want you to replay games you’ve already played to death in a whole new dimension. While that is fine and all, why are these games being sold at full retail price?! A quick look at Steam shows that Fallout 4 VR is being sold for $59.99! What the fuck?
Who knows what Skyrim VR is going to cost, but it’ll probably be $60, too! At least with Doom VFR, the game is priced at $30, but it also looks pretty slow and boring. Still, that doesn’t explain why these “games” couldn’t have been DLC for the titles they are representing. There are so many games that received entirely free VR updates, so what makes Bethesda above that?
Maybe I’m underestimating how much effort is required to transform a game into VR, but I think this is pretty scummy. Not only do I have no interest in playing these games with a helmet on, but I simply can’t comprehend why these titles will require a completely separate purchase to be utilized.
Josh Tolentino ~ Every time I’ve tried a Monster Hunter game, I’ve bounced off of it like someone swinging an unsharpened weapon. This is my secret shame as a self-proclaimed otaku nerd. How am I supposed to call myself a lover of Japanese gaming if I can’t even get into one of the scene’s most beloved franchises?! Then again, I didn’t bounce off the likes of God Eater, so it wasn’t necessarily the genre that didn’t agree with me.
Monster Hunter World appears to be a potential ringer for Capcom to finally cart me into their camp. Ditching the nodal map structure and adding what look to be greater elements of actually tracking the monster and using stealthy approaches might be just what the game needs. The fact that it’s on the PS4 this time rather than my less-comfy 3DS or PSP is also a big factor.
Mike Sounders ~ One of the biggest strengths of the PlayStation 4 is its library. It has a variety of exclusives from Sony, the same third party support as the Xbox One, and many titles from Japan often end up only on Sony systems, such as Yakuza 0 or Persona 5. So it would make sense that Sony would attempt to emphasize this to the casual crowd during its conference, for the benefit of its partners and itself, right?
Nope. I tuned into the conference at 9 PM ET and sat through the whole thing and as it became clear the conference was going to end on Spider-Man, I thought ‘Where’re all the 2017 games?’. Outside of the 2 DLCs, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, Destiny 2, and Call of Duty, everything else was at some point in 2018. Not a single surprise for 2017 or release date for their own exclusives. Where was Knack? Where was Crash? Where was Gran Turismo? Turns out, they’d all been a part of the pre-show and then some. I didn’t even know about Tropico 6 or Undertale until someone told me.
There were all kinds of games that Sony could’ve used for a hype reel to end its show, or even give a minute for. Yakuza Kiwami, Everybody’s Golf, Patapon Remastered, Gundam Versus, Knack 2, Ni No Kuni II, Undertale, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, Warriors All-Stars etc. You get the idea. A wide variety of AAA and indie exclusives that only Sony systems will have, at least in 2017, before we even get into multi-platform titles. Instead, they were left out of the conference entirely, meaning they may as well have been hidden from casual viewers that would tune in for the conference and nothing more. Way to go Sony.
Jonathan Holmes ~ We’ve reached a point in the evolution of the medium where fan games are capable of playing better, and coming out faster, than the real thing. How games publishers handle this potentially awkward situation says a lot about them. For all their problems, Capcom dealt with the take-down of a recent Resident Evil 2 fan made remake like champs by bringing the devs of the game on board for suggestions as they got down to remaking the game themselves. Sega went a step further by hiring a number of Sonic fan game devs (including Nuclear Throne artist Paul Veer) on board to develop the upcoming Sonic Mania.
Incorporating the fans into these kinds of moments does a lot to make a publisher look good, sort of like if a pop star sees a fan in the audience wearing the same outfit as them, and then bringing up on stage for a selfie. Going by that analogy, Nintendo’s announcement of Metroid: Samus Returns at E3 2017 was more like seeing a fan loudly and openly bounced out of a concert because they were wearing the same outfit as the hypothetical pop star in question, only to have said pop star come out on stage 30 minutes later, acting like nothing was wrong.
But Nintendo can’t claim ignorance on this one. One of our former editors wrote about the game in 2008, and now he works at Nintendo. We then wrote about the game’s demo in 2011, its release, and subsequent takedown by Nintendo in 2016. So we can say for sure that Nintendo knew about AM2R, the critically acclaimed Metroid 2 remake, before, during, and after they announced their own Metroid 2 remake at E3 2017. A little shout out to the AM2R devs would have meant a lot to the fans who made and played that love letter to their franchise. More so, it would have made Nintendo, and their new game, look better than they did.
Instead, it ended up looking like Nintendo got dunked on by its own fans, and now they are playing catch up. Personally, I think Samus Returns looks different enough from AM2R that they will work great as complimentary experiences, kind of like how Evil Dead 2 and the more recent Evil Dead reboot can coexist just fine without one standing above the other, but I know that for a lot of Metroid lovers, Samus Returns is already looking like sloppy seconds.
Patrick Hancock ~ Forget graphics. We all knew that the Monster Hunter series would look amazing and be awe-inspiring with some top notch graphics, that was a no-brainer. But World isn’t just a fresh coat of paint, they’ve taken the time to change core ideas of the franchise that so many people love.
Perhaps my most looked-forward to change is the “open world” aspect (I know it’s not really open world, but that’s a good enough term). Good riddance to the particular zones with loading screens in between all of them! I’m tired of being knocked into a different zone by some monster, forcing me to load out, walk forward, and load back in. I welcome this change with open arms. The added mobility and monster tracking aspects are also exciting since they are moving in the right direction and things need to be shaken up.
Change for change’s sake is not a good thing. However, many of the changes made here are things that many fans (myself included) have been clamoring for. And to hear that ProJared and GaijinHunter are both very optimistic and positive makes me happy to hear. Who needs XX now that we’ve got a new mainstay? I definitely would like to see something come to the Switch one day, but World looks like it will hold me over for plenty of time until then.
Faces can be difficult. Technology has a come a long way in getting them to look amazingly lifelike; technology that clearly isn’t in the hands of whatever team is making the new Marvel vs. Capcom game. I mean… well…
Why does Captain Marvel have a munchkin face with a giant forehead?
Or this one…
All just bad, bad faces. But hey, at least it’s not something that will cause nightmares, right?