Top 5 E3 Announcements
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as E3, is a yearly event that showcases what is up and coming in the video gaming industry. Gamers across the world get hyped and this year packed a huge punch.
To be honest, I never pay close attention to E3 because most showcases tend to look very samey (i.e. watch the Bethesda showcase). I'm not all that interested in the "dark and gritty" genre of games and so I usually hang back and let twitter fill me in on the hype. I didn't expect much.
Sure I expected to get excited by some things, but I was caught off guard by the several moments that blew me away, surprised me, and even made me tear up a bit! Here is my top 5 list, 1 ranking as least exciting (even though least exciting is still really freaking exciting) to 5 ranking as the most exciting (the G.O.A.T. of E3).
Number 1: Ni No Kuni Coming to Switch, Remaster Coming to PC & PS4
Originally released on the Playstation 3, Ni No Kuni is a game that stands out due to it being animated by the renowned Studio Ghibli. Since I never owned a PS3, I never played the game. After the sequel came out, I had high hopes that the original would port to the PS4 but no such announcement ever came. I was starting to give up. In fact, only days ago I went so far as to look into emulating the game on my PC as I've been dying to play it.
This news has come at a perfect time! The game is releasing on the Switch, PC, and PS4. But there is a catch. The game has been remastered for all systems but the Switch which will be receiving the original port of the game. Now I will have to decide if I want the game on the Switch or PS4. I enjoy playing games more on the Switch but also want the remastered version. Decisions decisions.
Number 2: Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
I still have yet to finish the original Yooka-Laylee game (read about my experience with the game thus far in the first issue of Level Story) but now it seems I have reason to be excited to play it some more. The announcement of the sequel to the highly successful modern platformer came as quite a surprise to me. While a sequel has certainly been on my radar, I didn't quite expect one so soon.
What really excites me about this sequel is how it appears to capture the spirit of the first game while also moving in a completely new platforming direction in the side scroller. Several commenters wrote that the game looked similar to DKC Tropical Freeze and that is a pretty nice complement. Waking up to this news was just a treat.
Number 3: Banjo-Kazooie in SMASH
Okay, confession time. I don't like the SMASH games. I've never gotten into them and haven't had the desire to change that. Seeing all the hype for the recent Switch release got me excited in a very removed sense. Watching other people get excited about the game (and about Joker from Persona 5 being in the game) made me excited even though I knew there was very little that would persuade me to shell out my money for this title.
Throughout this time, rumors were strewn about twitter saying that Banjo and Kazooie might be announced as the next characters in SMASH. Banjo-Kazooie is a game I grew up playing all the time and I have a strong connection to it. While I had no connection to SMASH, I had a strange desire to see the bear and bird get their dues since they haven't really had much luck since being bought by Microsoft.
Their announcement brought tears to my eyes. Perhaps nostalgia had taken over, or maybe it was the fans joyful reactions that made me emotional, but I finally have a reason to pick up this game. Whether that will actually happen or not is still to be decided. But after watching that trailer, how can you not be hyped for this?!
Number 4: Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII is one of those celebrated games that I hear about all the time yet somehow I am so separated from it that I only know that it is considered a good game and literally nothing else. I didn't have Playstation growing up and never had an interest in Final Fantasy games so just never played it.
But since my love for the Kingdom Hearts series has pushed me to enter the realm of Final Fantasy and since I am just generally interested in stories told in games and FFVII is said to have an amazing story, I have decided to put a bit more stock in FFVII. I have just started to play the ported game on my Switch and have watched closely for updates about the remake.
And turns out, this new interest has paid off because wow does this game look really good. Square Enix really stole the show when they premiered the full length trailer at E3. Everything looks so polished and beautiful. While I imagine there will be changes from the original, I still think this game looks amazing and I look forward to real time action gameplay vs. the original turn based combat.
Number 5: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel
Okay...let me set this up for you. I did not grow up playing Zelda. My cousin gave me a hand-me-down copy of Ocarina of Time and I just didn't play it all too often (yes, I regret my adolescent decisions). Breath of the Wild is technically my first Zelda game and it is hard to put into words how much I love it. I've put in over 150 hours of play time and when I finally beat the final boss this past Sunday, I was happy but also sad that the game had come to an end.
My biggest wish was to explore Hyrule some more post beating Ganon (when you beat the game, a star appears on your file and you are placed at the point right before beating Ganon). Then, a few days later, this sequel was announced. This is the GOAT for me. I am on the Breath of the Wild hype train. There is no release date for the game yet which kind of gets me down but I am too excited for this game to care! This was easily the best announcement at E3.
And I can't finish this article without an honorable mention….
Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC
Kingdom Hearts is my all time favorite franchise. Despite its existence in the absurd and the blatant examples of bad storytelling, I always find myself coming back to these games and having a blast with them. It is a series I will stick with through and through.
DLC for Kingdom Hearts 3 has been on the horizon ever since the game was released back in January of this year. Fans of the franchise know the "vanilla" KH games are only the starting point. Almost every title has come out with a re-release known as "final mix" where new content is added including cut scenes, gameplay scenarios, additional mechanics, and more. Back in the early 2000's, final mix was a pretty unique concept. Today, final mix is just DLC. Yes, I know, KH was ahead of its time.
The new trailer showcasing what is to come in the new paid DLC has got me very excited. It looks like we will get to play as new characters, have new keyblades, and there will be a ton of convoluted plot dump that only KH can bring.
While this would have been a highlight for me, I thought Square Enix gave zero hype to this. The trailer was originally shown at the KH Orchestra concert in LA and director Tetsuya Nomura told the audience not to film it or there would be dire consequences. Someone filmed it and now the conspiracy is that this person made Nomura angry. While I don't think this person should have filmed the trailer, I also think it is kind of sick that Nomura can put out a threat like that and KH fans tweet out, "you upset Nomura. Thanks a lot."
Speculation went about saying that Square might have been planning a longer trailer at E3. Whether this was correct and Nomura pulled it due to his "dire consequences", or the E3 and Orchestra trailer were the same all along, we will never know. Either way, the trailer was exciting to see the first time but didn't do much to get me really excited like the 5 announcements I talked about in this piece.
What Did You Think?
So what did you think about E3? What were some of the highlights and your favorite announcements? Let me know in the comments!