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E3 2019
#1
So it's E3 time again, and the game industry is excited!

... Well, they're excited to tell you to come back in a year and a half, because with the press conferences over, Nintendo excepted, that is the main takeaway: come back in late 2020, when the next generation Sony and Microsoft consoles release.  Before then?  Well, there are a few games here and there, but it's clear that a lot of developers have moved on to next-generation development.

Almost as bad, at the Microsoft and Bethesda conferences particularly, finding actual footage of actual gameplay seemed to be in short supply.  I mean, pre-rendered CGI trailers look nice, but they aren't gameplay!  Why are they spending so much time on CG, and so little on gameplay?  Even games that are supposed to release this year, like MS's big holiday title Gears of War 5, showed very little gameplay.  I'd much rather see gameplay than CGI, sorry...

I do like that MS showed some actual PC games at their show though, for PC gaming it was Microsoft's best show in years.  Flight Simulator, the Age of Empires II Remake, all the Halo games coming to PC, an announcement beforehand that FINALLY Win32 executables will be allowed on the Windows Store... it was a pretty good show for the PC from Microsoft.  That was the main positive, though, otherwise it was lots of CGI, and short trailers for indie games and such.

Bethesda... well, they tried to apologize for Fallout 76.  It's good they mentioned it I guess.  As usual they didn't show much I care much about; I'm sure Doom Eternal will be great, but the last one didn't keep me interested for all that long, so I'm not planning on getting it anytime soon.  And then... ughhh, well, and then... they announced... a Commander Keen cellphone game.  I am, of course, a big fan of the Keen series; they're fantastic platformers which I loved in the early '90s and still think are great, great games.  And it's been frustrating to see id and then Bethesda do nothing with it for so long.  The trailer for the game's amusing, with some dumb and some amusing comedy.  They've added a twin sister character in addition to the original Keen, which is a nice addition.  It's sad that this is coming back as a mobile game, though.  Too bad.  So yeah, it was nice ot see but also awful to see, because seriously, Commander Keen returns... as a cellphone game?? Argh!   Brickwall  

As for today, Ubisoft and Square-Enix had stuff to show, but ... eh.  Ubi has some great and interesting games, but for me at least they didn't show them this year.  The new Gods & Heroes game looks potentially cool, though it was just a prerendered trailer (of course...) and not gameplay, and it's amusing that the Wii lives another year thanks to Just Dance 2020, but otherwise it was a pretty forgettable show for them, I think.  Oh well.  Hopefully we see games I am more interested in like Beyond Good & Evil 2, Skull & Bones, TrackMania, Rayman, Rabbids, and such in the future.  Square's show was maybe a little more interesting, but most of their games are remakes and remasters, with only a few really new games.  And their two big games aren't ones that interest me all that much, Marvel's Avengers and the FFVII remake.

So uh, yeah, I hope Nintendo's show is good, since unlike the rest of the industry they probably aren't prepping for an all-new console next year...
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#2
Doom Infinite looked nice. You know, the game about slaughtering your way through heaven and earth and places lower than that. That looked nice. That one.
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#3
Well, Nintendo won E3 again. I know I've almost always said that, but it was less close than usual this year. With a sizable lineup of mostly good-looking games releasing this year, including many from the next few months, Nintendo had a lot to show and they did well with it. There is really only one disappointment from Nintendo, that once again nothing was seen of Metroid. We know Metroid Prime 3 was recently rebooted with Retro making the game, but what baout the rumored Metroid Prime Trilogy port that Retro supposedly made? I guess if it is real Nintendo doesn't want to release it this year. That's too bad. Otherwise, though, this was a great show with some nice surprises. Perhaps foremost among the surprises, we finally got -- out now, digitally -- a translated, English-language version of Seiken Densetsu 3! It's called "Trials of Mana" now, so I guess that's now SD3's official English name. It's expensive at $40 for a digital collection of Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana, and Trials of Mana, but... probably worth it anyway. Square also announced a full 3d remake of Trials of Mana, coming to Switch, PC, and PS4 next year. It looks a lot more ambitious than the apparently-poor 3d remake of Secret of Mana, which would be nice.

Also, of course, Nintendo closed the conference by announcing that a sequel to Breath of the Wild is in development. That's cool I guess, though it's definitely not really my kind of game. The trailer teases us once again with Zelda having a significant role, but they've done this too many times now for me to believe it. No, probably either she gets kidnapped right after that cutscene and you have to rescue her, or she'll follow you around as your AI companion. Playable Zelda? "But then what would Link do?" ... I hope I'm wrong this time, but sadly probably won't be...

Other than that, Link's Awakening's remake was also shown at length, as expected. And... well, it has great graphics with its unique 'toy' artstyle, but in terms of gameplay and design it's clear that it's a very, VERY faithful remake of the original. It looks like everything is in the exact same places it was before, so someone like me who has played the original many times probably won't get too much out of this apart from seeing the redone graphics. And as for new content, they've only mentioned one thing: the photo hut from DX has been removed (and the photo collection element too?), and a new customizable dungeon has been added there. Here you can use rooms from dungeons you've beaten, placing them into a dungeon to form your own custom dungeons. It's a pretty cool idea that might be fun to play around with for a while, though it's limited to just placing whole rooms, you aren't designing anything more detailed than that. And other than that, it looks like LA again. Of course LA is one of my favorite games, but I love the original, it doesn't need this remake for me to love the game!

They showed a lot of other games too, including Daemon x Machina (the demo wasn't amazing, but was fun), a newly announced No More Heroes III (I don't care at all), Mario & Sonic 2020, Pokemon, Mario Maker 2 (a definite must-have game!), Animal Crossing, etc... and, of course, not F-Zero, because that series never will come back. Truly unfortunate.

So, Nintendo's first day, including their Direct and first day of Treehouse streaming, were pretty good, with plenty of fun and interesting games to watch and learn about.
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#4
Astral Chain sure looks like a Platinum Games-style action game, that's for sure, and maybe a good one for the style. Unfortunately I've never cared much for that kind of game...
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