E3 has come and gone again for another year. While E3 has now become an ongoing debate on whether or not we need to have the expo any longer, there are gamer’s like myself who take this week on-board as “Christmas”. We’re treated to brand new trailers, gameplay, reveals, and wares. Getting the latest news in the gaming world is no longer out of reach for anyone, as the internet has now overtaken any thought of having gaming companies needing to get together, revealing new hardware, pricing, and showing off it’s brand new tech, like it’s some trade show in 1997. While it’s now far from a once spectacle, E3 still tries it’s best to present grandeur, but is definitely dwindling, and starting to show it’s age. While company’s are now deciding to opt-out, and present their wares on their time (i.e. Nintendo Direct, Sony State of Play), many attendee’s would still have the fortune of having Microsoft, and many other third-party development companies’ come along and present the hottest title’s this year.
E3 2019 has definitely left a mixed reception, to say the least. With a questionable, but acceptable presentation as a whole. While there wasn’t so much to be desired from it’s outcome, we were definitely left with a handful of reveals that left us wanting more. Over the past week, Buddy and I got together with some of our friends throughout the community and wrapped up each presentation night, with our Dash Culture E3 2019 Specials. We were fortunate to discuss the show in-whole with our guest’s each night, and talk about our love for this medium. With E3 week now over, and having a little more time to digest each announcement, I asked each guest host, if they could shed more light on their favourite announcements from E3 this year.
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with The Legend of Zelda franchise. Growing up a kid who played title’s like Super Mario Bros., Dragon Quest, & Contra, the original Legend of Zelda title on the Nintendo Entertainment System, always threw me through some sort of loop, that I could not escape everytime I tried booting the original title. Zelda had left a memorable mark on me, but not one that had me wanting more. I experienced Zelda: Link’s Adventure, and thought it was a little more my kind of style, being a kid who loved his sidescrollers, but once again, had no desire to return to the franchise after only a handful of plays through this title. It wasn’t until “Twilight Princess” that I had returned to the franchise, which still had those memories ingrained, that I wasn’t going to be a complete fan of the title. None-the-less, I somewhat enjoyed it as a once and done, but was not too enthralled with my experience, that I was wanting more. I was fortunate to review “Skyward Sword” back when it was first released, but was not too thrilled with the title’s outcome.
I knew something had to change, and finally we had our answer with the launch of “Breath of the Wild”. A masterpiece of this generation in gaming. Say what you will about the game’s questionable mechanics, but a timeless design, and breathtaking terrain made this adventure something to behold. An open world/sandbox Zelda title, that let’s you play how you want, and explore Hyrule the way developers have always wanted you to. A beautifully crafted world, with a plethora of enemies, with dungeons which are now known as “Shrines”, and a contemporary soundtrack that is sparse throughout your time roaming Hyrule, makes this masterful game, an essential. When the trailer for the “BOTW Sequel” showed up on screen during Nintendo’s E3 2019 Presentation this week, it was goosebumps. Hairs were standing on my arms, chills running down my spine, and the trailer had my undivided attention. It was the first and last time this whole week, that any E3 trailer, or presentation had successfully captivated me, and speaks volumes to my excitement levels for a sequel to my favourite Zelda game, of all time.
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This year’s E3 has been heavily criticised for a lack of gameplay reveals. So I’m not sure if Watch Dogs Legion showing gameplay helped propel it to my favourite E3 moment, or that it was actually that impressive. It was a relief to see the 11 minute gameplay trailer and despite the title leaking days earlier, it didn’t let down. The tone looked like an awesome blend of gritty realism from the first games Chicago setting and the fun and humour of Watch Dogs 2’s San Francisco without being overly campy. The changing of characters and taking control of NPC’s is an innovative mechanic that could offer unique storytelling options and a fresh take on gameplay to the series if executed right.
The other thing I really enjoyed is the London setting. Too often open world video games throw you into an American setting, so it’s refreshing and allows for a different scope. The post Brexit political nature is also intriguing. Hopefully they double down on this and the story has a lot to say and comment on. Overall I get the sense they have taken the best parts of the previous games, built on them, and added new elements that could take crown Watch Dogs 3 as not only the best in the series but a leading contender for one of next years games of the year.
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Catch Buddy with Dash every fortnight on DASH Culture, right here on DASHGAMER.com.
So Dash has asked to keep this contained to about 200 words, I don’t exactly know how that’s possible to contain that much enthusiasm to such a small word limit, so excuse me while I ramble nonsensically about a game that I for the longest time thought was going to be incredibly disrespectful to the most popular entry (though not the best, that right is saved for IX) in the franchise, and it turned out to be anything but.
This remake ticks every possible box that could’ve been ticked, and then a few extras, it’s faithful to the initial vision yet spins it in a new direction, it blends tried and true mechanics in with the modern-day trends, and it makes everyone look really, really good. In the space of 5 minutes, the Final Fantasy VII Remake went from a game I would buy to appease some curiosity, to a game that I simply must have. Kudos Square-Enix, and there you go Dash, I kept it to under 200 words… somehow.
Follow Paul James on Twitter: @PaulJamesGames
You can catch Paul over on Player2.net.au, along with many other talented writers, as well as Paul’s own Gaming Developer Podcast Series Dev Diary.
One highlight of this years’ E3 for me was the worldwide debut of GhostWire Tokyo during the Bethesda conference. GhostWire Tokyo is being developed by Tango Gameworks, the studio behind the super freaky The Evil Within series. Studio Director Shinji Mikami introduced the game’s Creative Director Ikumi Nakamura who presented the trailer. Not too much is known about the title yet, but the trailer does a great job at setting the tone of the game. As the name suggests it appears to be set in Tokyo, Japan and will be an action-adventure game.
It was mentioned during E3 that it isn’t a straight up horror title like The Evil Within but it will still contain horror elements. And the trailer certainly shows that, with the appearance of some supernatural, cloaked creatures that appear to be hunting the other characters. Tango have stated that “The player must discover the reason behind the mass disappearances in Tokyo, as well as encounter ‘supernatural enemies’, ‘conspiracies’ and ‘the occult.’ Just seeing the trailer had me pretty excited to see more, find out what the game really is and how it will play. Plus being set in Japan is almost an instant win for me.
Follow Joel Gralton on Twitter: @JoelGralton & @Anigame_Au
You can catch Joel over on Ani-game.com, Where he reviews some of the latest and greatest in Video Gaming and Anime Culture.
Words could not describe my reaction to the last announcement at the end of that choc-filled Nintendo Direct. Loud noises were made at the introduction of Banjo-Kazooie in Smash alone, but what followed was absolutely gobsmacking. Breath of the Wild was my favourite launch title of any console in my 21 years of gaming. Not only did it prove that we could have huge open world RPG’s with seamless maps right in your pocket, but it saw a true return to the original Zelda formula. Go anywhere, do anything, make your own adventure. The one thing that I was disappointed in was The Champion’s Ballad DLC not acting as a wrap-up to this huge adventure.
It needed just that little bit more to give us the cap-off satisfaction, but now I see why and I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of glee. Link and Zelda are back, Ganondorf is rising from the grave and some real creepy and mysterious shit is gonna go down. If Breath of the Wild 2 does as much as Majora’s Mask did for Ocarina of Time, then we are in for a hell of a sequel. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Hyrule to go lay the smack down on some bokoblins in a beat-timely fashion…