Monday, June 20, 2016

Nintendo Treehouse Live 2016: Not-so-live Impressions (for a Bit)

The press conferences are over; it's time for Zelda. So, like I said in the Microsoft post, sadly, there are no need for predictions this year; Nintendo have apparently just been showing the new Wii U/NX Zelda all day today, with a bit of time devoted to the upcoming 3DS Pokémon games. That's all been in the form of an E3 live stream fronted by NOA localisation staff - a stream they started last year that I don't think I actually watched a minute of, because jeez, who has time for that? :D

This year though, for reasons only known to them, it's all Nintendo have at E3 for us lowly folks at home, and they're showing freakin' Zelda, so there's no way I'm not taking a look at that. This won't be all day impressions though, I'm only planning on going for about an hour or so. If the stream gets a bit too hot and heavy with spoilers, which I'm kind of afraid it will, I'm going to be bailing out even earlier.

Remember, the safe word is DEKU NUT.

Watch live video from Nintendo on

  • 00:27:40 - Okay, sounds like the music is finally coming down here. Much as I was enjoying that sublime elevator music, Nintendo. (Come on, slap The Ballad of the Wind Goddess or something on there; it's Zelda time!) 
  • 00:27:51 - Or not.

  • 00:28:03 - Hey, there's Reggie. I guess with a little condolence message first. Damn it, what's wrong with people?

  • 00:29:02 - And we're under way.

  • 00:29:17 - The Nintendo experience is different at every E3. Yeah, you're not kidding there, Reggie. :D

  • 00:30:15 - Okay, trailer time. Wait, is that voice acting? In a Zelda game?

  • 00:30:23 - Still looking sharp.

  • 00:30:41 - Deer! To be honest, I already half-glimpsed the subtitle for this while fumbling through YouTube, so I guess hunting, or at least animals feature heavily in this Zelda. 
  • 00:31:13 - "Wake up, Link." That definitely sounds like voice acting. In a Zelda game!

  • 00:31:18 - Woo! Sail cloth confirmed. I just finished putting 50 or so hours into Twilight Princess HD; there were quite a few times I was ready to bust out the sail cloth in that, only to remember that it's not in the game. (By the way, Twilight Princess: still an awesome game. I'll never understand the haters.) Oh, just noticed the piratey skull on the cloth here. Wind Waker timeline confirmed? :D

  • 00:31:19 - Okay, so that looks like Hyrule Castle off in the distance, and that has to be Death Mountain off north-east-ish from that (at least from this perspective). Looks like a field in the middle and you've got  a forest in the south - You know, for as loose as Nintendo have been with the Zelda timeline up until recently (and I'm not sure they've changed their ways yet there), they've always been weirdly consistent with Hyrule's general layout.

  • 00:31:35 - Oh yeah. This looks like the open world I was missing from Skyward Sword.

  • 00:31:29 - Like that leaked artwork, climbing seems to be a big thing this time. The please-don't-make-this-an-Ubisoft-open-world-game crowd won't be happy with that. :D

  • 00:31:47 - Crafting confirmed!

  • 00:31:52 - No, probably not. But you can cut down trees, and hunt!

  • 00:31:54 - And burn the vegetation. This is an Ubisoft open world game. :D

  • 00:32:09 - Now this looks like some touch screen based business.
  • 00:32:37 - Liking that rock monster. I think I saw Link wearing armour in there too. I wonder if you actually get Link's regular green tunic at any point. The fans won't happy about that.
  • 00:32:40 - Damn, this trailer music is great. It's got a real earthy, traditional Asian feel to it.

  • 00:32:41 - Love a snowy area in games! Holy crap, this one looks huge.

    • 00:33:02 - Ooh, that looks nice. Very LttP official art:

         Image from Zelda Legends

    • 00:33:02 - But otherwise, yeah whatever, Nintendo, of course the Master Sword is in this game! :D Is Gannondorf going to a big reveal at the end of this too?

    • 00:33:19 - Breath of the Wild. It's a bit of odd name for a Zelda game. Sounds more like a Witcher expansion, but it's growing on me. 
    • 00:33:32 - Do you really need to put a Nintendo logo at the end of a Zelda trailer? Oh man, do you think that's actually the NX logo, and that they're just going to call it"Nintendo", like all those idiots want? :D 
    • 00:33:44 - "We like to call it 'open world' - a combination of 'open', and 'world'" 
    • 00:34:24 - Man, they really are talking about this like no one watching has played an open world game before. :D

    • 00:35:18 - Wait, what? I wasn't prepared for immediate Pokémon here. (I was kind of hoping I'd be avoiding it entirely. :D) In Pokémon update news, that copy of Pokémon Ruby I got: still unplayed, leaving Pokémon Yellow as still the only Pokémon game I've ever played. (I do know how to bust out a mean é though. éééééééééééééééé)

    • 00:35:37 - I might not be interested in these games, but I have to admit: Rowlet looks pretty dope. 
    • 00:37:24 - Man, I really wonder why they didn't just do another Digital Event this year. I think they had enough games if they went bit deeper than usual on Zelda, these Pokémon games, Tokyo Mirage Sessions and Paper Mario. Throw in a few amiibo announcements, and boom. I'm starting to suspect that they wanted to make everyone watch extended gameplay from Zelda, so that everyone would be able to grasp what an open world game is, considering that they've never made one before. That seems nuts, but also very Nintendo I think. I still think it's bonkers though not be unveiling at least some aspect of the NX here, if it really is coming out in March. All they needed was some vague teaser-y stuff. Everyone would have gone wild. Can you tell I'm very excited to hear about Pokémon? :D

    • 00:38:58 - This sure looks like Pokémon. And is it just me, or is the audio quality on this trailer terrible?

    • 00:39:11 - I'm not sure I'd trust a professor who goes around in an open shirt with kids; Professor Kukui looks like a prime dirtbag. 
    • 00:39:41 - "Why Sun and Moon? Well, we've already used up every other group of semi-related things.'"

    • 00:40:59 - Boo. These Pokémon are dumb. Put Rowlett on the box. 
    • 00:41:10 - Is it just me, or does the moon look a lot like the rebel insignia from Star Wars? 
    • 00:43:00 - Holy nude Norman Reedus, I'm bored. :D

    • 00:46:37 - Looks like the heroine is wearing a cross between a Billy Hatcher and a Scribblenauts hat. (And I thought I wouldn't have any insightful Pokémon commentary to offer.) 
    • 00:46:56 - Yikes! There's still gameplay to come? This is some real bait and switch shit. :D "Tune in to see the new Zelda!' "Surprise, Motherfuckers! Two hours of Pokemon!"

    Friday, June 17, 2016

    Microsoft E3 Press Conference 2016: Not-so-live Impressions

    Damn it, Nintendo! Look what you've reduced me to! :D So, with no Digital Event this year, "oh sod it", I thought, "why not go back and cover Microsoft's conference again". Well, so many reasons, BUT, hopefully those won't come to pass. Hopefully Phil Spencer will blow my mind with the cornucopia of gaming delights the Xbone has to offer. Then again, maybe I'll be marking off the entirety of my Microsoft E3 Bingo card:

    Admittedly some of these are more likely than others. I recommend taking a drink for every one you mark off. Many physicians wouldn't.

    Okay then. Bingo pens/a half-drunk bottle of Baileys at the ready? Let's get this shit show going!!!

    • 00:00:00 - So I'm going for the Gamespot video on this one. It's the only one I see that'll probablly still be up in a few years if I embed it here. Let's skip to the start of the actual show though. (Sorry, Danny).

    • 00:39:18 - Straight away, the Xbox One Slim. I like the white, not big into the very visible ventilation area though - along with the white, it makes this look a lot like a kitchen extractor fan. I am kind of in the market for Xbox One though. If this one hits the right price and the Scorpio is still a while off, I might jump on it.
    • 00:39:31 - Sleeker? I don't know, Microsoft. The original XBone seemed huge, but it had a good look. This is very HTPC case. A slightly more upmarket one maybe, but still.

    • 00:39:40 - IR Baster! The dream of TV is still alive!
    • 00:39:58 - So I guess we're definitely getting Gears 4 and Scalebound then. Drink!
    • 00:40:03 - Huh. 4K Video and Blu-ray. That reads to me like no UHD. If the want to keep this thing cheap, it'd make sense.
    • 00:40:04 - House of Cards is your selling point for 4K video? Well, I'm sure Keven Spacey does look glorious in it.

    • 00:40:10 - The new controller. Boy, give that textured grip a couple of years and you know it's going to be funky as hell with dead skin goop. :D
    • 00:40:18 - Can't see any other major changes design-wise though.
    • 00:40:22 - Oh, just realised that that starting with this means that we're not starting off with a shooter for once. Microsoft really flipping the script this year.

    • 00:40:51 - Good morning, Phil. So, the Xbox One S starting at $299. That'll be €300 here then, at least.
    • 00:41:03 - I guess it's not going to be the greatest line-up in Xbox history this year, you guys. Hold that drink! Also, Phil rocking an original Xbox logo t-shirt. At least for the moment. OG Xbox backwards compatibility coming to the Xbox One? :D Man, that'd be crazy.

    • 00:42:44 - Gears 4. Looks like it'll be a sort of cross-buy deal between the Xbox One and Windows 10. That's cool. It'd be cooler if was with Steam, or you know, if I cared about Gears in any way, but I digress.
    • 00:44:26 - Damn! How did I forget to put "Cutting back to the stage to show that we're playin' it live" on the bingo card!?

    • 00:45:30 - Yeah, the storm effect and the lighting here looks great, as do the graphics in general, but this is totally still just more freakin' Gears.
    • 00:48:18 - With the amount they're showing it off, I guess this blade-launching gun is supposed to this crazy awesome new thing. I'm pretty sure the ripper in Unreal Tournament beat this to the punch by a few years though.

    • 00:49:56 - Way too late for a giant enemy crab joke? Or has it been long enough now that it's swung back around to being funny. Hmm.
    • 00:50:37 - Gears 4. Yep.

    • 00:50:49 - Wait, you guys, it's not over yet. Captain Do-rag is back *slash* not dead! (Yeah, I've only played through the first one. :D)

    • 00:51:18 - Oh, you thought they were done with trailers for Xbox One controllers? Think again.

    • 00:51:50 - Killer Instinct now.
    • 00:51:53 - That's right. It's "your passion" that makes KI the most played fighting game on Xbox One. Not the lack of Street Fighter V.
    • 00:52:12 - Woo, Rash!
    • 00:52:20 - Oh, more guest characters coming to KI. Here's hoping for some more Rare love.

    • 00:52:57 - Nope. It's Killer Croc from Gears of War. Guessing General Raam is from Gears 2 or 3 [Edit: Nope. He's from Gears 1. With character design that memorable, I don't know how I forgot him] I actually just picked those up for €2 a pop. Really didn't enjoy the first one, but *sigh* I couldn't resist for that price. Hey, maybe I'll get really into the series at some point. The evidence presented so far would suggest otherwise, but who knows?
    • 00:53:13 - Trying to think what other Rare characters I'd even want to see though. Not too many coming to mind TBH. I bet Conker would actually work fairly well. That'd be fun.

    • 00:53:47 - Introducing.. Afrika 2: Second Time's the Charm.

    • 00:53:57 - No, probably Forza. Pre-emptive drink!

    • 00:54:48 - Hitting that big-ass ramp. I guess they're bringing off-road stuff to this year's Forza.(Again??? Big fan here.)

    • 00:55:07 - Yep, Forza Horizon 3. Not Forza's fault, but holy crap, is it depressing to live in a world where this is the closest thing we've got to an arcade racer now.

    • 00:57:27 - Looks really sharp. Now if only it played like Burnout.
    • 00:58:09 - Hmm. This is Play Anywhere too. Maybe that PC support isn't as half-assed as I was expecting this time. Well, at least until Microsoft loose interest again. And they will.
    • 00:59:15 - Ah, I guess this is ReCore. I'd recognise that not-quite-Metroid Prime font anywhere.

    • 00:59:40 - Uh huh. Starring Joule.
    • 01:00:29 - Jeez, Microsoft. How about lowering the volume on your generic trailer music just a smidge. I can barley think here!

    • 01:00:36 - Yeah, looks like a mix of shooting, some platforming, some puzzle-solving stuff maybe. Definitely into this.

    • 01:02:04 - Final Fantasy XV. I'm so behind on Final Fantasy that I'm not even thinking about this one at the moment. Still have to get through VIII, IX, XII and I'm guessing about a half dozen XII games, I stopped paying attention at some point there.
    • 01:03:34 - I'm sure all this really natural banter won't get tiresome at all during battles.

    • 01:05:00 - I don't know how this will actually be to play, but at least from this demo, the battle system here looks like a really sloppy compromise between turn-based and real-time combat.
    • 01:05:43 - Certainly a big-ass boss though. So there's that.
    • 01:06:05 - Ubisoft? Watch Dogs 2?

    • 01:06:29 - Nah, this must be The Division: Something. Too many beanie hats to be anything else. :D
    • 01:06:51 - The Division: Underground. "The fight never ends". Yeah, bet you feel better abut sinking hundreds of hours into the first one now.

    • 01:07:01 - Battlefield 1. Drink? Oh, most assuredly. I am kind of interested in the single player of this though. Even if just to see how over the top they make World War I. #WEED
    • 01:08:00 - Great! I love immersion!
    • 01:08:09 - EA Access! Check.
    • 01:08:30 - Really? Showing the Battlefield 1 trailer from last night again? Okay.

    • 01:10:54 - Oh, I think this was the guy that unveiled backwards compatibility last year. I suspect he's mainly on this year to big up cross platform stuff between Xbox One and Windows 10 though. And Xbox Live apparently. But come on, how nuts would original Xbox BC be. Some of those BC games barley even worked on a 360!
    • 01:11:20 - Oh shit. Background music. I know no one else uses this feature on the 360 any more, but I do all the time, so this is great.
    • 01:13:29 - Eh, Xbox Live stuff. I'd like to compete, but I was racing my friend and I forgot to tie my shoelaces. You know how it is. (#WEEEEEEED)
    • 01:13:44 - Oh yeah, EA Sports is all about competition. Just ask 2K.

    • 01:14:37 - Minecraft. Snooze time!
    • 01:15:28 - Noticed that that cross-platform play didn't include the Wii U version. :D
    • 01:16:04 - Oh good. I was afraid that we weren't going to any great multiplayer banter this year.
    • 01:16:07 - Ugggggghhhhh.
    • 01:16:35 - A wild John Carmack appears! Plus, VR. (Drink!) Mr. Oculus Rift at a Microsoft press conference though? I guess HoloLens is dead in the water then.
    • 01:17:33 - I can't argue with John Carmack vision for VR though. Exploring big, living worlds is what I'm hoping for too. Not that I have the cash to spend on VR at the current going rate, but the super-limited VR "experiences" out at the moment aren't getting me excited for the prospect of owning any headset.
    • 01:17:36 - All platforms. Except the Wii U.
    • 01:19:02 - Red stone and TNT. I know, right?
    • 01:20:08 - The Xbox controller trailers will not. Stop. Coming.
    • 01:20:44 - Oh, this is for custom ones. That's kind of neat. Microsoft's musical choices continue to be the worst though. :D
    • 01:21:31 - A new game from the makers of Limbo? Yeah. Limbo was pretty cool.
    • 01:21:58 - Inside. One of the best games Chris Charla has ever played. I guess we'll just have to take his word for it, because there wasn't a single detail about it divulged there! :D Free Limbo on Xbox One though.
    • 01:23:05 - Cuphead! You know what to do.
    • 01:23:53 - And Below. Some interesting-looking indie games. I look forward to getting them on GOG/Humble/Steam, unless Microsoft force me to do otherwise. :D
    • 01:24:14 - Yeah, Yooka:Laylee! Already have that one paid for though. (On GOG, of course. DRM Free, dawg!)
    • 01:27:06 - This must be We Happy Few. That looked good and weird last year. Hmm, Joy pills - not a bad idea for some of these E3 conferences, I think.
    • 01:28:20 - Who else was expecting Horstachio? Just me?