Welcome to another blog post covering the releases and news of the video game world for June 11 to 17, 2017. It is or rather was E3 week (Electronics Entertainment Expo) where the big video game companies show off their latest games, announce a few things, and generally run around in a mad cap sort of way. I will say that I’m not covering all of the news as I would be swamped trying to write it all down and well not all of it appeals to me. This post is just about the news that managed to wrangle my attention. So, as they say, let’s get to it.
Releases this week:
A fighting game for the Nintendo Switch that was created by Nintendo EPD and published by Nintendo. It’s gimmick is that each of the fighters has long stretchy springy arms that they use to throw punches. It has several modes to battle it out with from the traditional one on one to playing/fighting basketball. It has online multiplayer as well as offline multiplayer matches as well as a unique motion controlled fight scheme. Though, if motion controls aren’t you’re thing you can use a traditional controller. It came out on June 16, 2017.
Starting off with Nintendo and their short video showcase which according to fans of the company went over well. They announced a new core RPG Pokemon game, Metroid Prime 4, Yoshi, and Kirby all for their newest console the Switch but none of these titles is close being ready for this year. Of the games coming out this year we got peeks at Rocket League, ARMS, Splatoon 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Mario + Rabbbids Kingdom Battle, and Super Mario Odyssey. The two new Mario games probably have caused the most kerfuffle with how unusual they are. Mario + Rabbids is due out on August 29, 2017 with Super Mario Odyssey following it up on October 27, 2017.
Nintendo managed to have a pretty good conference all things considered. The new Metroid and Pokemon it would have been nice to see a bit more than Game Freak saying it’s coming and a simple announcement card for Prime 4. That said, both Mario games look bizarre and tantalizing for different reasons. Super Mario is crazy because of the hat you use to attack and take over a lot of objects and creatures. It’s story line is that you’re trying to stop evil wedding planners which Bowser has arranged for to marry Princess Peach of course. It’s a touch all over the place. With Mario + Rabbids has a lot of craziness because it is a tactical shooter RPG in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics and X-Com. Both of these games are going to hold my attention for a while to see how they do with the public and critics.
Bethesda Entertainment had its E3 conference which was mostly about virtual reality and the two games which they’re working on DOOM VFR and Skyrim VR. Skyrim has also been confirmed for Nintendo Switch and will be the first Elder Scrolls games on a Nintendo platform. They also announced the Creation Club which will allow mod makers to work with the developers of Skyrim to make mods for the game. There were games announced at their conference all of which are coming out this year. They are The Evil Within 2, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, and Wolfenstein II: The new Colossus. There was also a quick look at Quake Champions which will feature BJ Blazkowicz as one of the many heroes.
This conference was mostly a downer for a lot of people. For me it wasn’t bad or good, it sort of felt stuck in the middle of concentrating on the games of this year. That’s not a bad thing, but E3 is usuyally a hype show so teasing the future can be a great thing. I really liked the look of the new Wolfenstien it gives off the feel similar to a show I very much like A Man in the High Castle, while feeling like its own thing. The rest has the potential to be intriguing but it will have to work to catch my attention with so many games vying for it.
Ubisoft also held its annual conference, sans this time Aisha Tyler, with some expected stuff and some not so expected. Games announced were Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Skull & Bones, Starlink: Battle for Atlas, and the weird odd virtual reality title Transference. We also got the known quantities Just Dance 2018, Far Cry 5, Assassins Creed: Origins, The Crew 2 and the grand finale Beyond Good and Evil 2.
This is another mixed bag of games. On one hand we got to see Beyond Good and Evil 2, but it was all CGI and the tone is completely differently from the original. Ubisoft also seems to be going big on co-op as it seems like they’re pushing that really hard in the latest Far Cry. I don’t mind that it will be an adventure for a bunch of friends I just hope that it doesn’t cripple the story line. Then there is Skull and Bones which looks kind of neat but also a bit dull. It’s also a game going after the co-op experience which might hamper the solo pirate fun I was looking for. I’m slightly curious about Starlink to see how they’re going to handle the little figurines and the cost associated with them. The rest is the eh for me, if the reviews are good perhaps they’ll get my attention again.
Rolling onto Microsoft’s E3 conference, we got their new iteration of the Xbox One console, the Xbox One X a more powerful and capable version that can work with 4K resolution TV’s. There were many games announced, including quite a few independent games which include; Forza Motorsport 7, The Last Night, Crackdown 3, Dragonball Fighter Z, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, State of Decay 2, PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, and Metro Exodus. There was also some more insight into Sea of Theives and it’s co-op multiplayer action. We got a release date for the much loved Cuphead.
While Microsoft announced a lot there wasn’t a lot that got me excited personally. A release date for the weird and cool looking Cuphead is always welcome. Also equally amazing looking is the new Dragonball Z fighting game, the visuals look so crisp on the game. I never played either of the first two Crackdown games, but fans seem excited for it, plus the energetic Terry Crews should add some more craziness to it. One of the few trailers to blow me for this E3 was The Last Night a game about survival where humans live in leisure because robots build, create, and do all the work. In that game where you’re fighting to find a purpose for humanity. A good conference that has me curious about the future about Xbox. Also, the naming of their new console which some people have said shortens to the name X-B-O-X, sounds weird.
The conferences also encompassed Sony who were the last to hold their event. A subdude feeling event that went over many of the known games that we heard about from last year’s, 2016, E3 show. Games that we did get to see during the conference included: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, DLC for Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, Shadow of the Colossus Remake, Monster Hunter World, God of War, and finally Spiderman. There were a few VR games shown, mostly concentrating on Final Fantasy XV Monster of the Deep.
This was an okay conference, nothing really big stood out to me or blew me away. It felt like a very safe show with nothing to shake up the audience and get people excited. Granted this is all just my take on this, some Sony fans might be ecstatic with what they saw. For me God of War stood out only because the combat looked to be in this weird middle ground of unsatisfying. By that I mean it looks too fast to have a heavy satisfying feeling and too slow that it doesn’t look snappy enough to be satisfying either. The game is still far away though so it will likely change.
There was some controversy about Metro Exodus as some people thought that the game was going to be an open world exploration style. However the developers have quashed that saying that it will not be a completely open world. The game will combine the Metro series with a S.T.A.L.K.E.R style of world. You can check out the news story on PC Gamer.
As it goes with E3 there is a chance for misinformation to get out there amongst all the hype and excitement. It’s good that this quickly got quashed so that when the game does come out people don’t feel like the developer broke their promises on what they’re going to deliver.
Take-Two publisher of a lost of popular games, ala Grand Theft Auto franchise, have created a bit of a situation. A cease and desist letter has been sent to mod maker OpenIV who had created a tool allowing for mods on the Grand Theft Auto IV and V. The letter essentially shuts down single player mods. You can read about it over on Ars Technica.
This looks pretty bad for Take-Two and doesn’t make sense especially considering people buy Grand Theft Auto V so that they can mod it and do stupid crazy things in game. Dumb decision that will likely back fire and make gamers boycott any Take-Two published games.
Just a few weeks ago, it was announced that Square was looking to either shutter developer IO Interactive or sell the Hitman franchise after sales were poor for the latest game. In a twist of fate however, IO Interactive are going independent from their former owner and publisher and they will be taking the Hitman franchise along with them. Digitaltrends has the full news story.
It’s good that the franchise gets to live on with its creators. The big issue however will remain in that the game series needs to shake up the way it plays otherwise sales might continue to stagnate.
Finally, Devolver Digital also held an “E3” press conference that wasn’t really a conference and more of a giant joke that winks and nudges you to go along with it.
I only watched it for a bit before it felt like it was a bit much. I will give Devolver credit for doing something so crazy that it kind of works. It was hard to watch at points though and cringey at the best of times.
Welp a crazy week has called it quits on inundating our senses thankfully. And so I thank you for stopping by and checking out my silly little blog it is greatly appreciated along with any likes, comments, or follows. Speaking of comments if you wish to get in touch with me to talk about changes or improvements, or dislikes about the blog there are three ways to do so. There is of course the comment section, or contact me on Twitter at @Snipehockey, or lastly emailing me at Lostvideogamesblog@gmail.com.
So long and goodnight until the next blog post.