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Julius

E3 2021: Digital Edition (& other 2021 events)

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6 hours ago, Ronnie said:

So what's everyone's five favourite games from this year's E3? For me I'll go with:

- Starfield - very intriguing, love the look and tone
- Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope - looks hugely expanded from an already amazing first entry
- Metroid Dread - never been a massive Metroid fan but this looks loads of fun
Death's Door - hadn't spotted this game before, looks like the next big indie gem
Breath of the Wild 2 - obv

Honourable mentions to Somerville and Replaced, definitely picking those up.

- Super Monkey Ball
- Super Monkey Ball
- Super Monkey Ball
- Super Monkey Ball
- Super Monkey Ball

Spoiler

Halo Infinite
Metroid Dread
Mario Golf
Forza Horizon 5

 

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"Surprised, very-happy internet gamer"

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Push-Square wrote a piece about the irrelevancy of E3.

https://www.pushsquare.com/news/2021/06/reaction_e3_is_a_relic_desperately_clinging_to_relevancy

Shawn Layden approves.

I think most of us of here would agree this is the case. Publishers can now pick and choose when to drop their info and no longer need to fight for headlines in the same week. This years show was one of the worst I’ve seen and I think a lot of companies should be thinking long and hard if they should have a presence during next years show. Rockstar abandoned it years ago and they do fine, Sony seen the writing on the wall and got out of there last year and both EA and Activision don’t seem interested in joining the party anymore. If more publishers start pulling away then E3 may as well call it a day.

Personally, this year proved that E3 means pretty much nothing to me anymore. It’s not the same and I doubt it ever will be. 

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Five Favourite Games shown (I'll be excluding already-released games, so no DLC):

  • Metroid Dread - It's beautiful. I want it. I'll have it. I must.
  • Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp - It's been 24+ hours and I still can't process that this exists!
  • Metal Slug Tactics - Advance Wars still doesn't invalidate this. I do hope it comes to Switch sooner rather than later
  • Despelote - Something about this game made me feel fuzzier than the entirety of the Wholesome Direct. I'll be keeping an eye.
  • 12 Minutes - To be perfectly honest, I wasn't paying attention to this game's development until I realised the developer spoke with a Portuguese accent. Now I feel like it's my responsibility to check it out.

Favourite Trailer - Kazuya's reveal. Smash Bros. trailers never disappoint, they're the whole package in conveying information and then entertaining with a mix of cool stuff an comedy. Plus, I got to see Tekken being replicated in Smash.
[Honourable Mention: Kojima's Death Stranding trailer]

Worst Trailer - Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters. The sheer failure of the concept kinda distracted from this, but that was a shitty, shitty trailer. No footage whatsoever of the new versions, no comparison, no way to see what the remastered versions look like, and what little we do get is hodge-podged together all at the same time into a collage that looks like it was made by a person who literally can't tell the games apart. Worst trailer for a compilation I've ever seen.

Best Presentation - Nintendo. I mean, no duh. It wasn't just the content, the presentation was snappy, wasted very little time with games we already knew existed, actually did a better job at selling me Mario&Rabbids 2 than Ubisoft did, and it looks like it was competently paced and thrown together. Even Devolver had some disjointed pacing.

Most Disappointing Presentation - Capcom. Yeah, didn't pick Square-Enix, since I already expect them to fuck up occasionally, and their E3 presentations have a tendency for disaster anyway, so you could say I had more laughs out of them, rather than disappointments. Meanwhile, I expected Capcom to announce something, anything new, even if it was something that had been leaked beforehand... but no, not even that. 

Greatest Presentation Moment - Metroid Dread's slow reveal was masterful. It wasn't best trailer, but the hint before the reveal, the slow drip of info, starting with Samus' new suit, the "5", the freaky robotic enemy, proper gameplay, and finally: DREAD. It's weird to say, but the reveal itself was superior to the trailer it was in.

Most Awkward Presentation Moment - "These guys just started a new company. Anything you can tell us about your games?" "No, but we'll talk about our name".

Most Disappointing Moment - Not Lloyd Irving :(

Biggest No-shows - Fire Emblem. FE fans took Marth falling off the cliff personally. 

 

5 hours ago, Glen-i said:

final_fantasy_pixel_remaster_series_comp

First time I'm looking at this comparison. Jesus, this is embarrassing. People mentioned how bad it looks compared to GBA or PS1, but FFV manages to look worse than the SNES original! Square either puts this project back in the oven with people who know what they're doing, or face the real risk of damaging their flagship series irreparably.

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1 hour ago, Jonnas said:

 First time I'm looking at this comparison. Jesus, this is embarrassing. People mentioned how bad it looks compared to GBA or PS1, but FFV manages to look worse than the SNES original! Square either puts this project back in the oven with people who know what they're doing, or face the real risk of damaging their flagship series irreparably.

It gets worse. Square have already done some FF6 style unification with that mobile game, Record Keeper!

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Like, if Pixel Remaster looked like that. I'd be fine with it. It's a good look.

It's baffling!

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20 hours ago, Glen-i said:

WarioWare Gold is up there in the "Ninty's best voice work" category with Kid Icarus: Uprising, so I'm looking forward to hearing more full sentences from Wario!

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I actually missed the vast majority of E3 as I've been busy with other things. Nintendo's conference is the only one I watched all in all and I was pleasantly surprised that they actually did some unexpected things. Even though there's little in there I personally want, I'm glad to see them reviving some old franchises.

Mario + Rabbids was a highlight because I really liked the first, although I don't know how I feel about the new free movement thing. I did like the grid-based movements of the first one as it added strategy.

Super Monkey Ball is pure nostalgia but whatever, give it me

Watched the trailer for We Are OFK this morning as I find Teddy Dief to be an interesting voice in the industry so I'm curious where that goes.

Other than that I need to catch up on some of the indie titles to see what's out there. If anyone knows of a good indie roundup of E3 I'd be much obliged, but if not I'll seek it out myself soon.

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The show is now live. It’s giving a closer look at the games they showed during their E3 show, as well as showing a few new things. For example, Hellblade II got a bit of a tease and they also announced the return of Design Lab. 

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As much as I got swept up in the hype and loved certain announcements & trailers, thinking about it, Kyle is probably right.

 

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Haven't watched the above videos as I don't really know what happened at E3 on the whole, so I don't have much context for reviews of the expo. Nintendo Direct aside, I skimmed through the Ubisoft and the VR videos, watched the Wholesome Direct in full and got out of the Capcom video toot-sweet. It's cool to see a Sam & Max VR game (seemed like an escape room rather than a point and click adventure), and pretty much all the games shown in the Wholesome Direct looked worth sticking on my Switch wishlist if/when they come to eShop provided I remember about them. But as tired and cliche as it may be, games are by and large just the same year in and year out so it's really hard to be wowed by the next big Far Cry or whatever when it's just a glorified iteration on what's been seen before. Woo.

I'd have to look into it to understand why E3 has gone sour, but I think it'll hang around in some form--if it has to reinvent itself that's fine, it's 2021 after all. E3's the focal point of the gaming year and that Summer Games Fest by your man from the Bonus Round wouldn't be using it as a springboard for his latest little business venture otherwise.

Also, it's not E3s fault if these companies have nothing to show. :p They shouldn't have booked their slots or cut their videos down in size. 

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The Game Collection are doing 5% off £50 and 10% off £100 including preorders. Good chance to save on games announced during E3.

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30th Anniversary livestream coming for the Mana series at 10:00 BST on Sunday 27th June. Courtesy of Siliconera:

Quote

Square Enix will hold a live stream to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mana series on Sunday, June 27, 2021. The stream is scheduled to run for three hours from 18:00 to 21:00 JST (5 AM to 8 AM ET). 

Masaru Oyamada, the current producer of the Mana series, will appear on the stream. Japanese comedian Susumu Imadachi from the Electric Comic duo will host the event. In addition, the original creator of the series, Koichi Ishii, will make a voice-only appearance.

This stream will cover both the past and future of the Mana series. It will start by going through the series history, from Final Fantasy Adventure to the latest remaster of Legend of Mana — which would have been already released by the stream. The participants will then deliver new information related to the future of the Mana series after its 30th anniversary.

Koichi Ishii originally created Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden — localized in North America as Final Fantasy Adventure — for Game Boy in 1991 as a precursor to the Mana series. Square Enix continued working on the series even after Ishii left the company in 2007. It released a 3D remake of Trials of Mana in 2020, based on the third series title previously exclusive to Japan.

The latest title in the series to date is a 2D remaster of the PlayStation title Legend of Mana that will come to the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC worldwide on June 24, 2021.

 

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Five favourite games of this E3 (yes I'm counting Summer Game Fest in this, don't @ me!) for me would have to be, in no particular order: 
Elden Ring - fantastic trailer and the thing I'm most hyped for from this E3, looks incredible and it comes out in January! 
Starfield - thought what was shown of it in the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase was pretty underwhelming, but the behind-the-scenes video with the concept art and Inon Zur's music more pronounced than in that trailer, as well as Todd Howard's interview with The Telegraph, got me really excited. Will wait until next E3/summer, when I assume we will get a deeper dive, but assuming no delays, I think I'll be picking up a Series X a few weeks ahead of this next year. 
The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - sucks that it's probably coming the second half of next year rather than the first, but I thought the trailer was fantastic for getting your mind racing, the new mechanics and items they showed off were super cool, and I really enjoyed the music. Still one of my most anticipated! 
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising - I backed Eiyuden Chronicle on Kickstarter last year, ahead of playing the first two Suikoden games this year, just because I had a hunch I would get on well with those games and because it felt like it was worth supporting something like this. Having now played the first two Suikoden games, both of which I loved dearly, I cannot wait to see what Murayama and Rabbit & Bear have in store for us with the game! And it still looks fantastic. So, why the hype for Rising? Because it's the first we've seen of it, and I can't wait to hopefully get a bit of a peek behind the curtain into this world next year! 
Replaced - love pixel art, love the backgrounds, it was a pretty high octane trailer and I can't wait to see more. 
Somerville looks great too, I personally don't have any real investment in Metroid Dread but was hyped just because I know so many here were hoping for it and will absolutely be picking it up, and Advance Wars 1+2 is something I'm definitely interested in. A bunch of indies I like the look of, perhaps too many to mention! Oh, other than Trip to Yomi, that's probably level with Replaced for me! 
Some other topics for discussion I'd like to throw in the mix:
Favourite Trailer - Elden Ring. Release date earlier than I think anyone was really expecting, yes it used the same music as before but I don't care, the crescendo of the choir at the end as The Tarnished leaps towards 16-armed dude gives me goosebumps every single time. It also really gets the mind racing with possibilities, actively is pushing me towards playing my next From Software game, and I'm very excited for it, or course! I've watched this trailer back a lot, as you might be able to tell! 
Worst Trailer - Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Absolutely horrendous trailer which did absolutely nothing to inform you of what the game itself will be like, instead focusing on being edgy to the point of cringe. CHAOS. Urgh. And it sucks even more because the shadow dropped demo was corrupted and the update didn't take place until a day later, but when it did, the gameplay was actually good! 
Best Presentation - Nintendo. It's unfunny just how easily they walked away with E3 off the back of three of their relatively smaller IP (Metroid, Advance Wars and Warioware) and a trailer for the Breath of the Wild sequel. There were a couple of things I took issue with from a presentation perspective, but overall it was incredibly well paced for its length and there were some really smartly curated moments too, but I'll get to that in the Direct thread as I'm still catching up on some of Treehouse! 
Most Disappointing Presentation - Square Enix. Look, Gearbox was objectively the worst E3 conference I've ever seen, but I had no expectations going into that, and nothing riding on it. Capcom was underwhelming, sure, but it was pretty inoffensive. Square Enix crushed dreams during their presentation. Final Fantasy I - VI Collection I've been begging for for years? Steam and Mobile only. Final Fantasy Soulslike rumour? A trailer that does nothing at all to interest you in the game, promotes everything Final Fantasy has done wrong after doing so much right the last few years, it's rough. Babylon's Fall? Looked rough. Final Fantasy XVI? Complete no-show, guess we're waiting for a State of Play for that. 
Greatest Presentation Moment - Geoff Keighley's over-the-top introduction for the Elden Ring trailer and then declaring he was free afterwards. Did so incredibly well to keep it under wraps, and though Summer Game Fest was far from being the best show this last week, I'm grateful that he holds it. 
Most Awkward Presentation Moment - Randy Pitchford interviewing the cast of the Borderlands film, it's been a while since I've felt this awkward watching something on a stream. Runner-up would be Deviation Studios being announced at the tail end of Summer Game Fest -- not because of the guys themselves, thought they were a little nervous, but because it just felt so out of keeping with having a somewhat neutral space and didn't need to be there. 
A Presentation Moment That Hit a Pet Peeve - "We have an amazing show: 30 titles, 27 on Game Pass" - Sarah Bond during Xbox & Bethesda Showcase. They need to stop doing this, shut up and let your games sell themselves, damn it! Runner-up would be every "Exclusive" mentioned, legitimately think they added a good 10 - 15 minutes to their show with that and "Day 1 on Game Pass". Urgh! 
Most Disappointing Moment - Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters. I refuse to talk about this further. 
Biggest No-shows - Final Fantasy XVI not being at Square Enix hurt. Was really hoping for something on Playdead's or Fumito Ueda-helmed genDESIGN's next games too. 
Overall E3 score - 5.5/10. As has already been said before, most of these publishers and studios didn't need their own events based on what they brought with them, and I think the lack of things to fill in the gaps (impressions from the show floor, interviews, demos) just made it a thing I tuned in for when it came to particular presentations, rather than normally having something on in the background, as was the case during previous E3's. Nintendo boosted it by an entire point for me, this wasn't a good E3 on the whole, but they at least managed to drag it out of the grave. 
I don't know about you but the Final Fantasy Origin trainer was funny. To the point of it being my favourite trailer that I rewatched several times.

For me E3 is at its best when it's awkward cringe. Had that trailer been middle of the road I doubt anyone would have remembered it!
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Quick roundup of the Mana anniversary stream:

Legend of Mana anime is on the way, subtitled The Teardrop Crystal. It is being adapted by Warner Bros. Japan. 

• a free-to-play mobile game called Record of Mana is on the way, launching worldwide in 2022. 

• there is a new Mana / Seiken Densetsu game on the way...but it's too early in development for them to show anything. No screens, no title, no systems announced, not even an edgy title on fire, or any talk about it being darker and for adults. Are we sure this is still a Square Enix property? :p

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EA Play Live started 5 minutes ago:

Shows how low my hype is that I completely forgot. Knowing there won't be any Star Wars there probably doesn't help! 

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