Sunday 18 June 2017

Post-E3 2017 [Events]

E3 finishes for another year, and it has honestly been a bit... bland. EA really want to push Star Wars Battlefront 2, such is the fact nearly everything else felt rushed. As you probably saw with my post of EA’s conference, that footage of Battlefront 2 in action really had me impressed. It feels massively improved, in gameplay and mechanics, and if everything else looks as great as that did then… Consider it a vital purchase and a possible chance of beating Pandemic’s effort back in 2005. I’ve said before, but Pandemic really set out to get the core mechanics down before expanding with new modes between their first and second games. EA threw a lot of things in, found what worked and improved on what didn’t, and are hopefully coming out with a better game. Time will tell.

My main focus, as ever with E3 these days, was staying tuned in to the Nintendo Treehouse livestreams. It was here that it felt Nintendo put the focus, as while the Spotlight had announcements and trailers, so too did the Treehouse – even if less of them. However, the focus was in the games themselves, and showing why they are worth your time, bringing those who make them on stage for a chat. Throughout the three days, we got in-depth looks at Super Mario Odyssey, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, and Splatoon 2. All three offered new pieces of information, and new levels and modes. Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS was announced, offering a 2D adventure in conjunction with Prime 4’s 3D gameplay on Switch. Along with it was further proof – if any was needed – that Nintendo are definitely not stopping support of amiibo. A squishy Metroid and Samus in her pose from the GBA Metroid 2 cover. Before that was a look at Super Mario Odyssey themed amiibo, with Mario, Peach, and Bowser in wedding gear. Other game announcements include a port of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, with an extra tag of + Bowsers Minions owing to a new mode added that expands on the story of the main game. On top of that was… Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido. A puzzle-action fighting game, the idea is to match plates and sushi types to attack, with combos offering more power.
As well as looks at Fire Emblem Warriors, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and rather surprisingly the new Yoshi Switch game, Nintendo was making a big push for ARMS. Since it released on the Friday, that push was certainly needed. After all, what makes a better impression than showcasing the game in a tournament with pro fighters? Nintendo had three of these tournaments on the first two days. The largest of them was the Splatoon 2 Invitational which took up over two hours, and featured some real close matches. Wednesday had Pokken Tournament DX at the start and ARMS of the last. These two lasted around an hour and a half, and allowed the winners to battle the producers as a finale. The competitiveness is still high, even if the seriousness isn’t. While other eSports go for high stakes and prizes, Nintendo’s Invitationals are more focused on allowing pros to have a good time providing some entertainment for the masses. I’m not saying the stakes aren’t high in these, but with the ARMS and especially Pokken Invitationals, there was a more friendly rivalry feeling than any serious focus.

Since I hardly mentioned them within the Pre-E3 post, both Sonic games are looking a lot better than previously. Sure, the Sonic Forces trailer seems to want to mess with established canon – though I’m not one to really comment much on that – the gameplay itself is looking great. Through all three levels we have chatter from the extended cast, filling out this world a bit more as the fight continues. Modern is being told of a sighting of Shadow as commentary about the battle unfolds, Classic listens in on banter between Tails and Eggman as he fights the latter, and Hero is following orders to distract the enemy while something happens at the Chemical Plant. Mania, on the other hand, showcases yet more gameplay of its side-scrolling goodness, and we get to hear the Chemical Plant mixes for both Act 1 and 2. I’m absolutely loving both.

Yes, there was plenty more, and seeing a bit of The Crew 2 in action has been great. There was also the weirdness of Devolver Digital which… Well, let’s not get into that. With E3 now over for another year, for me the D23 expo is looking to hold some interesting info about both Star Wars Battlefront and Kingdom Hearts 3. Yes, while the latter wasn’t technically at E3, a trailer was showcased at a Kingdom Hearts specific event that happened, with confirmation that it would next be shown at D23. Battlefront 2 was also confirmed to appear, which means July is going to be a great month for that. Since I have ARMS, I’ll be covering that in a post, and in non-gaming news A Look Inside the Morphing Grid for Lightspeed Rescue and Time Force will be posted soon, leaving Wild Force and Ninja Storm for July.