E3 2019 – Nintendo wins E3

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

The idea that any gaming company “wins” E3 is rather silly and certainly doesn’t matter. However, we can generally tell which game developer had the most interesting and important presentation. Or to be more direct, who had the most games coming out THIS year (2019). I’m not opposed to previewing games in development, but some developers show the same game for years. I’m looking at you Square Enix (FF7). In the last few years Nintendo had decided to abandon the usually corny or awkward on stage presentation. Instead they opted for the “Nintendo Direct” model.

Luigi’s Mansion’s 3

In addition to Nintendo Directs, they included the Nintendo Treehouse where they actually show the gameplay of games that will be released soon. Initially, many though this was a sign that Nintendo was in trouble in some way. Instead it turned out to be in their favor. While I’m a Nintendo fanboy, I think Nintendo has had the best showing for the last few E3. This year of course was easier than previous E3. Sony was a no show and Microsoft announced a new console with a bunch of specs. Unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo isn’t focused on making a new console so they can focus on games.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Gameplay

While many of the third party games for the Nintendo Switch are just ports, if you buy a Nintendo console you don’t do so for third party games. Nintendo has been able to carefully schedule the release of their games so there’s something every year. So what did they have to offer:


ANIMAL CROSSING

Animal Crossing has been a huge success for Nintendo. Announced last year, Animal Crossing: New Horizon will take place on a tropical island. The video shows players crafting and building a surrounding environment. The bad news for fans. It’s not coming out this year, but March 20th, 2020.


ZELDA: LINK’S AWAKENING

While we wait for the next 3D Zelda, the adorably styled remake Link’s awakening will be released this September. Players are now able to create dungeons from pre-made sets. In addition to this game is the Cadence of Hyrule, a rhythm adventure game from Crypt of the Necrodancer, which will be released June 13.


THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD SEQUEL

The MOST important announcement was the sequel of the Breath of the Wild is being worked on. There isn’t too much details on the upcoming game but many are speculating that you might be able to play as Zelda herself. It also seems that we might get a new zombie villain. Regardless, if this game is any where close to the first one then it will be great. Considering Nintendo’s track record it will be.

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Project Scarlett is the name of Xbox next console,out in 2020

Microsoft’s next console is named Project Scarlett. Phil Spencer, vice president of gaming at Microsoft stated that “The console should be optimized for one thing and one thing only . . . gaming.” Developed by the same team that created the Xbox One X. The video presented showed employees talking about “variable refresh rates, real-time ray tracing, 8K resolution, frame rates up to 120 frames per second and SSD that’s 40 times better over the current generation. It will be embedded with a AMD’s Zen 2 and Navi tech. based chip. To be honest despite having so familiarity with technology I have very little idea of what most of this tech does.

To be honest I have long stopped caring about the specs of video game consoles. I always get all the main three consoles (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony) and they no longer seem to be released in the same year. What I do find interesting is “cloud gaming.” There are rumors that Microsoft’s xCloud service ” will stream games to PCs, consoles, and mobile devices,” and possibly appear on the Nintendo Switch. Finally, if you care about the Halo series it will be a launch title for the Scarlett. According to the developers at 343 Industries, Halo Infinite “is aiming to have more heroism and mystery,” . . . “ living world [is] at your fingertips.” I’ve long stopped playing Halo game so I don’t care, but I think it’s still a popular series and would make a good launch title.


Source: Polygon

E3 2019 – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Gameplay

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m was really looking forward to Respawn’s Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. This years EA conference began with a gameplay demo of the game. For over 10 mins we witness Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padawan use the force to slow down storm-troopers in battle, use the force to manipulate the environment and use parkour to traverse said environment. As is now typical of Star Wars, Cal is partnered with a droid that acts as a healer and opens doors.

The fighting style implemented by Respawn is what they call “thoughtful” combat. This gameplay is similar to that of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. A posture bar is present, Cal also strafe, dodge, and parry attacks. He is able to run across walls like in the Titan Fall games and use double jump or Force flip. Weak enemies die with one hit. Stronger ones require more strategy. The Force Powers on display was Force Push and Lightsaber Throw. Using the force Cal can deflect blaster bolts. Obviously, these are only some of the abilities you have at the beginning of the game.

Some story is revealed. It appears that the game takes place around the time of Rogue One, as Saw Gerrera is present. Having survived Order 66, Cal Kestis is a fugitive from the Galactic Empire. He lived as a salvager until he was exposed as a Jedi. He has minimum training as a Jedi and needs help in order to avoid death like so many Jedi. Fallen Order is fortunately an entirely single player game. I like what I’ve seen so far of the game and excited for the games release.


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is scheduled to be released for Xbox One, PS4 and PC o November 15.

Source: Gamespot

Nintendo Direct for Pokemon Sword and Shield reveals new details

Zacian

Earlier today Nintendo revealed some details of the highly anticipated Pokemon Sword and Shield for the Nintendo Switch. First it looks like random encounters are gone. Instead Pokemon will roam around like Pokemon Let’s Go. It is possible to also trigger battles by running into a exclamation pop up while in tall grass. I’m find either way but I think seeing the Pokemon in the wild is better.

Zamazenta

In recent Pokemon games new games mechanics have been added like Mega Evolution and Z-Moves. Enter Dynamax. To be honest this is the most creative feature. Basically, your Pokemon gets more powerful as they become giant. They can only stay this way for three turns and it can only be once per battle. Dynamaxing doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Hopefully, you won’t be forced to use it too much.

MILO

Milo is one of the Gym Leaders of the Galar region. He has a kind heart and is well liked by the Trainers of his Gym. His credo is to always enjoy battles, and he specializes in endurance matches using Grass-type Pokémon.

Free roaming has arrive to Pokemon in the form of the “Wild Area.” The natural space between towns in Galar, you will discover new Pokemon walking around. They will vary based on area and weather similar to Pokemon Go. You can join other players on Max Battle Raids. When you locate a red beam, up to four players can battle against a Dynamaxed Pokemon. Only one of the four players can Dynamax their Pokemon. The Dynamaxed Pokemon can be caught and some Pokemon can only be caught this way.


We were introduced to some new adorable Pokemon and some of the characters that will be in the new game. The starters were introduced already, fans were given a look at seven new Pokemon including the two legendaries, Zacian and Zamazenta.

GOSSIFLEUR

Category: Flowering Pokemon

Type: Grass

Height: 1’4″

Weight: 4.9 lbs

Ability: Cotton Down/Regenerator


ELDEGOSS

Category: Cotton Bloom Pokemon

Type: Grass

Height: 1’8″

Weight: 5.5 lbs

Ability: Cotton Down/Regenerator


Pokemon Sword and Shield will be released on November 15th. Sources: IGN, Polygon

Final Fantasy VII Remakes gets short teaser trailer

The Final Fantasy VII remake was originally shown in 2015 much to fans excitement. At E3 it received a standing ovation and Square Enix’s stock prices even rose. Personally, I didn’t really get into the Final Fantasy series until FF10 and was mildly annoyed at all fanfare the game got. Regardless, I am excited to see what all the hype is about. One problem seems to be how slow the development process is for this game.

Instead of simply recreating the game with better graphics, the Square Enix team decided to do a full remake. They decided to rebuild the game from the bottom up, using a new game system. The fighting system will change to a more action based style. They aim to upgrade the battle system, similar to games like Kingdom Heart and Dissidia FF. However, they have every intention to keep the gameplay mechanics that fans loved.

Final Fantasy VII: Remake – PlayStation 4

The developers also wanted avoid coming across as “too nostalgic,” also they wanted to make changes that reflected “cultural shifts,” like the scene when Cloud cross-dresses on an infiltration mission. The game will be fully voiced and utilize the Epic Games Unreal Engine 4. The game has been planned as a multi-game release. Square Enix claims that “trying to fit the game onto a single release would entail cutting large parts of the game.”

If they split the games players will be given more access to parts of the game that they couldn’t before. Each game is expected to be similar in size to FF13. The cost of each part isn’t known yet. However, if they are the size of full games there’s no reason to believe that they won’t be full priced.


30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 30 – Your Favorite Game of all time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

If you have been reading along with this challenge it should come as no surprise that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is my favorite game of all time. While I think that Breathe of the Wild is the Zelda game I would recommend most, that’s largely due to the open world elements that really wasn’t important or possible in the 90’s. Ocarina of Time was my “Favorite Classic Game.” Instead, I’ll list my top ten games of all time.

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  2. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  3. Resident Evil 4
  4. Mass Effect 2
  5. Bioshock
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breathe of the Wild
  7. Star Wars: KOTOR
  8. GTA: 4
  9. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  10. Batman: Arkham City

That marks the end of my 30 Day Video Game Challenge. Thank you for your support.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 29 – A game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving

Eternal Darkness

Most Nintendo console are largely platforms their top tier games. They definitely not for second or third party games, especially not AAA one’s. Eternal Darkness is a game from the Silicon Knights, released in 2002. It wasn’t a commercial hit and Silicon Knights evetually went out of business. The game was a third-person action adventure game. You generally fought monster and solved puzzles. What set Eternal Darkness apart from other survivor horror games was the “insanity meter.”

When the is spotted by an enemy their green bar decreases. As the bar becomes lower the gaming environment changes. These effects are random and reflect the players distorted grip on reality. The camera angle can change, weird noises, bleeding walls, enter rooms only to find out that you never left the previous one. Your character may even appear to have die suddenly. I was concerned that this aspect of the game would get old and I would like it. However, the gameplay along with the interesting story kept me invested in completing the game.

The games story skip’s throughout time, from 26 BC to 2000 AD. You can play as 12 different characters. Multiple paths can be taken, with difficulty changing with each path. Unfortunately, Eternal Darkness sold poorly, despite the fact that it received high reviews. It was ranked 96th on IGN “best video game of all time on all systems.” The sequel to Eternal Darkness, entitled Shadow of the Eternals was planned but never could get the funding necessary. I’m still hoping it does.


Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 28 – Favorite Game Developer

Logo

Nintendo

This is the easiest day of the challenge so far. Nintendo is by far my favorite game developer. Nintendo is THE most storied game developer. I will make an argument that it is the most influential gaming develop ever. Nintendo was founded all the way back in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi. Originally a hanafuda playing card company, Nintendo became a video game company in the 1970’s. What makes Nintendo so great is that they always focus on quality and fun as the most important aspects of gaming.

The legendary Mario

Many gamers have complained that Nintendo continues to produces games with simple stories and cartoon graphics, instead of more realistic and serious content. Nintendo wanted to build a reputation for having family friendly games. This wasn’t always well received by gamers. Violent games like Mortal Kombat were censored, removing blood and altering finishing moves. However, many of the games Nintendo produced were well made. This dedication to quality has to be the hallmark of Nintendo.

The 64 contoller

Nintendo also has been an innovator in the gaming industry. The many buttons featured on the face of a typical controller can be traced back to Nintendo in some way. The NES controller largely set the industry standard. The Nintendo 64 for example was the first home console to introduce four controller ports, so families could play together split-screen. They also brought the analog to home controllers and introduced 3D gameplay to gaming with Mario 64. Nintendo also dominated the handheld gaming market, with the Gameboy, Gameboy Color and now the Switch.

Smash Bros. Ultimate

Many have credited Nintendo with saving the video game industry itself in the 80’s with the NES. The most important aspect of Nintendo is of course the games. Mario. Legend of Zelda. Pokemon. Metroid. Donkey Kong. These are some of most influential and profitable video game ip’s ever. Collectively, Nintendo has sold over 700 million consoles and over a billion games. Most of the games I play are Nintendo games and their consistent quality is unmatched. Nintendo is a pioneer in the industry, whether it’s mobile gaming (Gameboy), multiplayer (64), VR gaming (Virtual Boy), motion gaming (Wii) or home to mobile (Switch). They take risks and keep gamers guessing.


Nintendo Switch – Neon Red and Neon Blue Joy-Con

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 27 – Most Epic Scene Ever


Psycho Mantis Reads Your Memory Card

Many gamers who hand the privilege of playing Metal Gear Solid and maybe some that haven’t, the boss battle with Psycho Mantis one of the most epic. However, before the fight with him, he “displays” his psychic powers. If you have a controller with the rumble ability, he will activate this feature. He can also make players believe that there’s a problem with their television, by turning the screen to black. I was borrowing Metal Gear from my friend and he deliberately didn’t tell me about this part. I actually though something was wrong with this game and turned it off. LOL.

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection

Furthermore, he “reads” the memory card of the gamer. Particularly, games like “Azure Dreams, Suikoden, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Vandal Hearts.” The breaking of the “fourth wall” was what made this such a shocking moment. Finally, when first attempting to defeat Psycho Mantis the player has to plug the game controller into another port, otherwise, you’ll fail to land a hit on him. The scene where Psycho Mantis shows off his powers is one of the most creative scenes in gaming and most epic.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 24 – Favorite classic game

Zelda cover

I couldn’t figure out what exactly makes a game classic. According to Wikipedia, classic means ” an outstanding example of a particular style; something of lasting worth or with a timeless quality; of the first or highest quality, class, or rank – something that exemplifies its class.” That kinda clears it up but not really. So I decided that I will limit the time frame to at LEAST a game that was released 20 years ago.

I think this has to go to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I’ve noticed that I’ve picked the Zelda series A LOT during this challenge I just can’t help it. Zelda is just such as magnificent series. Ocarina of Time is among the best in the series. The game was the fifth in the series and the first to have 3D graphics. The switch from 2D to 3D had a profound effect on gameplay. The graphics were obviously an upgrade, as the cutscenes and the size and detail of the world.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is often considered to be one of the greatest games of all time. In 2012, Rockstar Game’s Vice President, Dan Houser stated that if “Anyone who makes 3-D games who says they’ve not borrowed something from Mario or Zelda [on the Nintendo 64] is lying.” It’s nearly impossible for me to think out a game that had more impact and was enjoyable 20 years ago than Ocarina of Time.