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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Category: Flowering Pokemon
Weight: 4.9 lbs
Ability: Cotton Down/Regenerator
Category: Cotton Bloom Pokemon
Weight: 5.5 lbs
Ability: Cotton Down/Regenerator
Pokemon Sword and Shield will be released on November 15th. Sources: IGN, Polygon
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.
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.
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.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Resident Evil 4
Mass Effect 2
The Legend of Zelda: Breathe of the Wild
Star Wars: KOTOR
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Batman: Arkham City
That marks the end of my 30 Day Video Game Challenge. Thank you for your support.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wind Waker was the tenth game in the Zelda series. Published on the GameCube in 2002, the game is set on a series of islands. Link attempts to save his sister from Ganon. He sails the seas on his talking boat King of Red Lions. The game incorporated a way to manipulate the wind, that was controlled by a conductor’s baton. The original concept for the game was a more “realistic” style. Nintendo showed a brief clip of Link fighting Ganondorf during Space World, a video game trade show. This video was well received.
The Nintendo team wasn’t happy with the style of this game. Designer Yoshiki Haruhana created a cartoonish young link. Instead of the traditional 3D graphics, the next Zelda game was going to be cell shaded. In 2001, Nintendo presented the new look to an audience during Space World. Many fans, myself included, were very disappointed that the next Zelda game wouldn’t be realistic. Some critics even called it “Celda”. However, as is the case with almost all Nintendo games it was a breath of fresh air.
The games visuals were stunning. It truly felt like you playing a cartoon. With many critics comparing the game to the animation of Disney and Hayao Miyazaki movies. The art style of the game made it unique. Of course the game was more than the visually pleasing. It had amazing gameplay, responsive control system, a great story and puzzles. A game that was once considered to be divisive, became a classic. The game was then later re-released in high definition. According to Keza MacDonald, The Wind Waker HD was “near-universally hailed as a masterpiece.”
The previous Ninja Gaiden game frustrated me. It was a difficult game for me. However, the challenge of defeating the game felt earned. Playing stages over and over again was annoying sometimes (the checkpoints helped), but mastering the game mechanics was worth it. Apparently, this difficulty was too much for other players. The next game in the series, Ninja Gaiden 3, was suppose to fix this.
It fixed it too well.
They over-corrected. Making the game far too easy. You can get through it largely with the basic controls. All the deep combat is removed. The game is more fun to watch than play. Other games have taken up the difficulty mantle, like the Dark Soul series. I was anticipating another complex Ninja Gaiden game and got the opposite.
The Metal Gear Solid series is one of the most storied series in video games. The series is a stealth action game created by Hideo Kojima. In the series you take the role of a Special Forces Operative that has been sent into battle to face off against a superweapon called “Metal Gear.” The series pioneered the stealth genre. One aspect of the series that has always set Metal Gear Solid apart is the lengthy cinematic cutscenes. The storyline covers politics, warfare, science and other themes.
The Metal Gear series often utilizes “magical realism” combining a modern world with a supernatural one. For example, the character of Vamp is considered to be a vampire. His thrust for blood was developed when he was a child, when ” lost his family in a church bombing. In order to survive, Vamp fed on the blood of his family until his imminent rescue.” The series can have some ridiculous elements to it but I think it’s part of the charm.
Of the many entries in this series I think the best story was Metal Gear Solid. Published in 1998, it received a a metascore of 94/100 and sold over 6 million copies. Whether this is actually the best Metal Gear story I don’t know. However, it was my first game in the series. I remember that it changed my understanding of what a gaming story could be. The complex story was amazing and felt like I was playing a role in a movie. Engaging, dramatic and highly entertaining, the Metal Gear series has the best story.
This one is pretty obvious to me. When I was a child I would dream of being in the World of Pokemon. I would image what the Pokemon world would be like if it were real. Of course video games and T.V. shows are good substitutes for reality. The World of Pokemon has large variety of environments. The government doesn’t really get much attention, so the politics of the world is quite clear.
The current major Pokemon regions, Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, and Alola are modeled after real world regions. Most are based on Japan, however, the United States and France have been inspirations as well. Of course there are dangers in this world. Many of the legendary Pokemon are or could be life threatening. Culturally, this world of course centers around Pokemon at that’s why I love it.
The population of the Pokemon world (at least in the games) feel small, but that is likely do to the need for them in game, as opposed to in the real world. From a science and technology stand point the Pokemon world is superior than the real one. For example, it’s possible to clone ancient Pokemon. I would probably try to be a Pokemon champion and then become a gym leader.
Commander Shepard is the main protagonist in the Mass Effect original trilogy. Born in the year 2154, Commander Shepard became the first human to join the Spectres. In the game Spectres are given special powers from the Citadel Council. When you first start the game you get to choose the gender, appearance, skills and history. The character is named after Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. the second person and the first American in space. Shepard is considered to be a highly skilled solider.
The ability for gamers to import the previous version of Mass Effect made the connection to Commander Shepard stronger. It felt like you were Commander Shepard and you took the decisions made in game seriously. Whether you waking friends, getting into a romantic relationship and even deciding who dies, you really embodied the character completely. For this reason I think Commander Shepard is one of the best video-game protagonist.
Take revenge. Restore your honor. Kill Ingeniously.
Developed by FromSoftware (Soul series) and published by Activison, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an action-adventure game that will be released on the PS4 and XBox One next week. You play as a shinobi named Sekiro as he attempts to rescue his lord that was kidnapped by a samurai. The gameplay of Sekiro is what’s interesting. Strategy is key. You need to use different tactics against a variety of enemies. These enemies can use what is called a “perilous attack” they can’t be blocked. You have to decided, counter or retreat and prepare for a follow up attack.
After his defeat the “wolf (main character)” receives a prosthetic arm. This arm can be used to break shields, throw shuriken, deflect attacks, etc … You can use stealth as well. If you can go undetected it will allow you eliminate enemies quickly. Death is likely, but you can resurrect yourself. However, you will be vulnerable when you do. Winning battles will be how your character progresses. The game was based on the Tenchu series. The good news is that this game focuses on single-player instead of tacking on multi-player. However, FromSoftware created the difficult (in my opinion) Soul and Bloodborne series and it seems like the Sekiro will be taxing as well.
My criteria for a game that has “good cut scenes,” is whether I can watch it if it was a movie. The Final Fantasy series is one of the most storied video game series ever. However, the story themselves can be basic. The tend to follow a predictable format. A major character will die, Princess, Cid, etc. Anyway, I found FF12 to have the most impressive story of all the Final Fantasy games.
The characters were interesting, as was the story. The graphics (at the time) were great. I loved the voice acting and the overall story arc. Someone put the cut-scenes together on YouTube and from time to time I watch the “movie.” The story “begins with the defeat of the Kingdom of Dalmasca at the hands of the powerful Archadian Empire, and subsequent occupation.” Watch it, if you have time:
This on was easy. I don’t play Call of Duty anymore, but when Modern Warfare was released I was hooked. The famous or infamous scene “No Russian,” should be an obvious choice. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you play Joseph Allen, a CIA agent that’s undercover. He participates in a mass shooting at a Moscow airport in order to gain the trust of a Russian terrorist group. At the end of the level, Allen is killed. It is intended to lead the Russian government to believe that the United States was involved.
According to game designer Mohammad Alavi, he wanted the “level to explain why Russia would invade the United States, and create an emotional connection between the player and Makarov.” When I first played the level I was confused. Generally, you are the good guy and it’s often impossible to kill civilians in the game. I’ll admit that I was conflicted about the killing civilians, but it was a rare experience. It should be noted that player can skip the level altogether.
The level sparked major controversy. Many journalists “described the level’s plot as illogical and derided the ability to skip the level.” Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was censored in international versions and removed from the Russian version. However, after a while journalists came to see the level as important. Laura Parker of GameSpot stated that “No Russian,” was a “watershed moment for the video game industry.”She also states “that if more developers were willing to take risks and include controversial material, then video games would finally receive cultural recognition.” Whatever your views on the level, it is clear that it was a surprising video game moment.
Shenmue 3 is due to be released on August 27th this year. Slated for the PC and PS4, the series first appeared on the Dreamcast in 2000. The sequel was released the following year and was always intended to be a trilogy. Shenmue was created, produced, and directed by Yu Suzuki. The series featured open world elements before open world became so popular. It also was responsible for the introduction of the “quick time events.” The story follows Ryo Hazuki, a teenage martial artist who’s father is murdered.
The original Shenmue once was the “most expensive video game ever developed,” and despite the cult following and critical acclaim it was a commercial failure. After having a successful crowdfunding campaign, becoming the “fastest-funded and the highest-funded video game project in Kickstarter history, earning $6.3 million.” Shenmue 3 began production. During the MAGIC 2019, Yu Suzuki presented the trailer.
The trailer shows several characters in the next game, particularity Ryo. While, I excited for this game, it doesn’t look great graphically. Ryo and the other characters are not that realistic and their moment seems rather wooden. However, the series is known for it’s detail, with Suzuki claiming that there’s over 400 NPC’s in the game. Suzuki claims that the shops in the game will be more in-depth. I’ll admit that sometimes the details in this series was tedious, but if they sacrifice some graphic for the detail I’m fine with that.
Over my 20 + years of playing video games I have played many games more then five times. I’m assuming we are talking about main stories in single player. However, fighting games and racing games are designed to be played over and over again. Once again I’m going to use a game from the past decade. A lot games are primed to be played again. Hack and Slash games like Bayonetta and Devil May Cry have ratings for each stage played. This encourages players to replay the stages and games multiple times. I usually like to replay stages as I go but that ends up taking forever. That said I have only played these games about 3 or 4 times each (I haven’t played the new DMC yet).
I basically play ALL Pokemon games more than once. Of course the Mass Effect series is literally design to be replayed. The story arcs, choices and character creation make this series necessary to be replayed. Personally, I always have a male Shepard, a female Shepard and then go for at least a third run. However, the game that I have probably played the most is Resident Evil 4. I played it at least 5-7 on the GameCube, then when it was re-release TWICE, once on the PS2 and the Wii. I played it on each console and multiple times on the Wii (it had motion controls added). I’m surprise how much I loved this game as I was lukewarm on the Resident Evil series. Resident Evil 4 is well worth a replay or 10.