Monday, June 26, 2017

Nintendo Spotlight: E3 2017 - Not-so-live Impressions

So after an all Zelda E3 last year, Nintendo seem to be back to doing a more Nintendo Direct type thing this year. It looks like it's going to be around a thirty minute presentation this time, which I think we can reasonably expect to focus pretty heavily on Mario Odyssey. That probably doesn't leave much scope for too many new announcements, but hey, where's the fun in that?


1. Super Smash Bros. 4 DX: Now, unlike a lot of people, I don't really expect every Wii U game of any worth to get ported over to the Switch. We've already had Splatoon 2 get announced when everyone was just expecting a port of the first game, and if you look at the number of re-releases and remasters that Nintendo have put out in the past, it's actually pretty low. Everyone's gotten used to this kind of thing being an inevitability from the gigantic pile of remasters we've seen this gen., but I just don't think it's Nintendo's style

Smash though, reportedly takes quite a toll on Sakurai every installment, so I think they'll give him a few more years at least to come up with the next one, if they don't end up passing the torch to someone else entirely, which might take even more time to figure out. Plus, with the boatload of DLC they've released for Smash 4, an all-in-one package would make really attractive proposition. I think this is lock here.

2. Some kind of Resident Evil announcement: If there's one thing Capcom love to do, it's port Street Fighter and Resident Evil to new platforms. We've already had the former, and with the Switch doing pretty well now, its only a matter of time until the latter pops up in some form. Maybe a Revelations collection, but my money would be on 4, because of course.

3. Animal Crossing: I know I've predicted this every year since time immemorial :D, but this year, for sure, its 100% super duper actually happening. For real.

4. No Mario Maker: I don't think a follow-up/port of Mario Maker is far off. I'm going to say that it'll be out before E3 next year, and I expect it'll be a sequel rather than a straight port, but with Odyssey and that Rabbids game coming out this year, I don't think they'll want to flood the market with too much Mario.

5, A new Platinum IP: There's been scuttlebutt before this that Platinum had something in the works for the Switch. Some people were expecting Bayonetta 3. I kind of suspect that 2 didn't sell well enough to immediately get a sequel greenlit, so I'm expecting something new if they have anything to show here.

6. A new Nintendo multi-sports IP: Kind of pulling this one out of my butt, but bare with me here. So, I think Wii Sports is basically done for the moment; Wii Sports Club didn't exactly set the world on fire. And, after quite tepid receptions, I think the last few Mario sports games may have soured the well on those for a few years too. So, there's a gap on the Switch for some fun, casual-ish sports games now. With Nintendo's new-found love of online games and Dreamcast-like character designs, I think they're going to launch a new, colourful, arcadey IP, featuring multiple sports here; maybe extreme sports; maybe even combining some of their old sports franchises into one game. Wave Race x 1080 x Pilotwings: it's going to happen, people! :D

7. Arms amiibos: Of course they're going to unveil some amiibos at this thing. My heart says Tetra, but my head says Arms; so many Arms amiibos.

New Donk City, here we come!

  • 00:13 - Boom! Yes! And here's the sports game. :D Nah, it's probably Arms.
  • 00:19 - Yep!
  • 00:31 - And Rocket League. That's not a bad get, and hey, certainly a game that fills that casual sports gap I was babbling on about before.
  • 00:38 - Ah, there's nothing I enjoy more than a quick Switch session before throwing down with the Drift King.
  • 00:47 - There he is!
  • 00:58 - Hey, from that, to school. This is Tokyo Drift! Looks like we've got some Pokkén action here. Hopefully the games in this trailer aren't getting extended segments later though. Holy crap, that'd be disappointing. :D
  • 01:03 - FIFA. Oh, yeah. That's happening.
  • 02:16 - "The Game is fun". I don't know, Reggie; Michael Douglas didn't seem to be having that much fun.
  • 02:48 - Oh! An odyssey, you say, Reggie (in amongst all that other interchangeable bibble :D).
  • 03:00 - Why are you still talking, Reggie. Why am I not seeing Mario!?
  • 03:13 - I was kind of expecting that living room to give way to to New Donk City, but the Windows XP desktop is cool too I guess. :D
  • 03:22 - Okay, so that whole segment went nowhere. :D Is this Mario? Those clouds do look a bit too realistic though.
  • 03:27 - No, it's Xenoblade 2. Still feel so bad that I haven't even touched the original game yet.
  • 04:05 - And the environments look so good! 
  • 04:44 - I can't even see myself getting around to that first game this year though, let alone the sequel. I have a bunch of half-finished stuff I want to complete at the moment, and after that, I'm determined to finally tackle MGS3. And RPGs take so long!
  • 05:54 - Whoah, I'm pretty sure that was Peter Capaldi talking about the Ageis (or whatever. JRPG stuff. :D).
  • 06:15 - Winter 2017. Pretty soon.
  • 06:33 - A first look now at a new Switch Kirby game by the look of it. Damn it! That would have been a smart prediction, with the 25th anniversary this year.
  • 06:52 - 4 player co-op, but otherwise, this looks like very traditional Kirby. It's pretty early for a Kirby game on the Switch though, anniversary or not. I suspect this was a Wii U game that got moved over. Just like Animal Crossing. Oh, you know it's going to happen; I'm so right it hurts! :D
  • 07:23 - Whispy Woods? Wow, really breaking the mold there, Nintendo. :D
  • 07:30 - Kirby.......?
  • 07:34 - Nope, no subtitle. 2018 though. Yeah, sure, I'll play a HD Kirby game.
  • 07:39 - I have to admit, I'm really not paying attention here. I can't take my eyes off those mini wind turbines with solar panels outside Nintendo HQ. Man, those are awesome.
  • 08:42 - I'm not sure I buy that the Switch is being used all over the place for local multiplayer, but okay.
  • 08:43 - Man, their special friend here better not be Todd Howard, or some guy from EA. :D
  • 08:51 - No, it's, I think, the head of the Pokémon Company. Is Pokémon Stars going to get announced. Not that it'll actually be called that, because that's obviously the most made up by a fanboy, fake name in the world.
  • 09:03 - Never did get around to picking up Pokkén, and that Wii U version never came down in price. Might end up getting this one.
  • 09:34 - Oh snap! There it is. The way he's phrasing this though, I suspect that this will be a whole new game and not a third version of an existing one. Pokemon Stars confirmed fake. (Spoiler: it was always fake.)
  • 10:03 - I was going to ask where Koizumi was this time, but it's probably working on Mario Odyssey.
  • 10:16 - You hear that, guys: they're working on many forms of entertainment. The Vitality Sensor dream is alive!
  • 10:29 - This looks like space. Introducing Mass Effect 3: Switch Edition. It's never been a better time to jump into the series. Oh, and somehow we've also broken all the animation here too. Whoops!
  • 10:37 - Oh shit! It looks like the screw attack/Metroid Prime logo is forming here. The hairs are standing up on the back of my neck. It can't be. Can it?
  • 10:45 - Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuk yes!!!!!!!!!! I am 1000% down for another Metroid Prime.
  • 10:58 - Speaking of Mass Effect though, there's even less here than there was at the EA conference where they announced Andromeda. It's literally a logo. :D I'll take it though!! I wonder if Retro are still developing? Hopefully they haven't given it to Team Ninja. :D

Friday, June 23, 2017

Xbox E3 2017 Briefing: Not-so-live Impressions

Yep, back to doing Microsoft's E3 show again this year and really, how could I not as now the proud owner of an Xbox One myself. Got a pretty good deal on a used, OG Xbox One around Christmas, thinking that I'd probably need something I could play Mass Effect: Andromeda on. Turns out that no, I was good. :D Still, I've finally been able to play a bunch of Rare Replay, which is awesome, and I've got the Killer Instinct Definitive Edition, and Shadow of Mordor waiting in the wings, so I'm not doing too badly. The huge updates have proven to be a bit of a problem with my slow-ass broadband though, and speaking of slow: boy, that Xbox One UI. That's not even getting into the performance gulf in third party games compared to the PS4 or Microsoft's so-so first party output of late.

But never fear; Scorpio is here! Will Microsoft's grand refresh finally do away with the problems of the Xbox One? Will they finally announce some new IPs that anyone cares about? Will Cuphead ever get released?

Only one way to find out:

Looks like it's time to play some good old-fashioned Microsoft E3 conference bingo.

Once again, drinking is optional, but given the apparent longer running time this year, it might be worth looking into. :D

  • 0:00:00 - Oof! An hour and forty three minutes? They really weren't kidding about the longer runtime, huh? :D
  • 0:00:13 - Okay, looks like we're starting off with a Kinect poncho reveal-esque "fuck all the Xbox stuff before now; it was all just building up to motion cont... uh, I mean 4K"
  • 0:00:18 - 720p? Lame!
  • 0:00:28 - 1080p? Pathetic!
  • 0:00:36 - 4K Ultra HD?!! OH FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUuuuuuuuuuuuuu
  • 0:01:17 - Wow, such high-density pixels (or whatever nonsense they were claiming last year :D).
  • 0:01:22 - No, it's a CG-rendered processor. Looks like were about to get a logo and a name here. (Come on, Xbox 420!)
  • 0:01:58 - Ooh, looks like some Mordor: Shadow of War coming up. And more Gears. Eww!
  • 0:02:06 - And Halo, and Forza. Microsoft just tearing up all the rules this year.
  • 0:02:40 - That looks like Crackdown though. Finally!!
  • 0:02:59 - There's the Scorpio. Looks a bit like the S, given a slight Mass Effect makeover. Not bad.
  • 0:03:18 - It's Phil. Not digging the the T-shirt. Player (1)? Huh?
  • 0:03:23 - Oh no. Do they have Xbox fans hooting and hollering at this this year? Eww!!
  • 0:04:03 - Oh, talking about the original Xbox. Drink!
  • 0:04:35 - Xbox One X. That's a lot of Xs in there. And it'll still be saddled with all the Xbox One's baggage. Got to say: kind of terrible name. Drink!
  • 0:04:54 - November 7th. Do we get a price here though, I wonder?
  • 0:05:57 - Woo woo! 6 teraflops. Drink!
  • 0:06:10 - Yeah! I love memory bandwidth!
  • 0:07:04 - No way. They're not going to announce OG Xbox compatibility here, are they?
  • 0:07:14 - A console with "Xbox One" in the name supports all Xbox One games and accessories? Madness!
  • 0:07:33 - Okay, improved visuals and load times on Xbox One games. Good stuff.
  • 0:08:52 - "Yeah, woo! I lope vape!"
  • 0:09:39 - The smallest Xbox ever. That, my friend, is a low bar. :D
  • 0:10:04 - A Windows 10 mention. I thought they might be dialing that back this year with the One X, but I guess they're still trying to push that Windows 10 store.
  • 0:10:14 - First game. Assassin's Creed maybe?
  • 0:10:25 - Those were camels, and this looks very Sahara-like...
  • 0:10:35 - Nope, it's Forza. Boo! :D
  • 0:10:50 - This does look pretty great, but it's literally impossible for me to care about these games. Need for Speed: Payback though looked pretty dope yesterday.
  • 0:11:58 - I smell a car about to come on stage...
  • 0:12:58 - Yes!! Man, so stupid. I love it!
  • 0:13:42 - The digital and the real world are merging?! Oh god nooooooo!!