E3 2019: Most Anticipated

The 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo has wound down to a close and just like years prior, I thought I should give some commentary based on what we saw. This is the first year in a while that I didn’t actually watch the live streams, so I don’t have any commentary on the show itself, the presenters, any of that. Instead, I have a list of games that interest me the most, and some commentary along with a video for those curious to learn more. This has become an annual affair, and as such I thought I should probably collate all of the past years’ posts in one place so we can see how things line up.

E3 2014

E3 2015 (Podcast Episode)

E3 2015 (Written Post)

E3 2016 (Podcast Episode)

E3 2016 (Written Post)

E3 2017

E3 2018

Looking back through these lists, there are a couple of things I can glean. First, this is the only year from this selection that doesn’t have Sony present at the conference. They have started doing their own thing for the last few years at a later juncture in the year, but this is the first time I can remember them not being at the show. It also appears that I have played/own all of the games on these lists outside of the ones that haven’t released yet. Some of those games are coming down the pipeline sooner than later, finally. I suspect Sony is saving their big PS5 announcements for their own conference, as rumor already has it that we’ll see the console’s release in 2020. Now I just have to decide if I should grab a PS4 Pro this holiday season when the deals come around, or just say fuck it and wait for the new machine. Whatever the case, despite Sony’s absence there were still quite a few games and bigger updates that were worth taking a look at, so let’s dive into the list!

CD Projekt Red has a pretty decent reputation due to the success of their The Witcher series. I hadn’t played it, but grabbed the GOTY edition of the third entry in the series — I couldn’t get over the wonky combat mechanics and uninstalled it. Initially hearing about Cyberpunk 2077, I assumed it would be a similar type of game in a different setting, and so I didn’t have any excitement for the title. However, after seeing some gameplay footage and seeing that it’s an FPS in a cool setting, I became more interested. Seeing Keanu Reeves’ involvement doesn’t really sway me one way or the other, but I like most of his movies so that’s a plus I guess? Whatever the case it looks like it’s going to be a fun game so it makes the list.

I mentioned this title in prior E3 posts, as we were teased with information about it in years past. It’s finally coming out next month, and it looks to hold true to the standard the recent Wolfenstein games have set. I loved both The New Order and The New Colossus and to a lesser extent The Old Blood. Adding co-op is cool but I’ll likely play through it solo. Still, I’m ready and will be picking this one up day one if I can help it.

My girlfriend actually bought me a copy of Fallout 76 for my birthday last year. I played it for just a couple of short sessions before putting it down. One of my chief complaints would be the lack of a cohesive story and NPCs. It felt like a typical sandbox game with very little direction and I was disappointed after being hyped for the game since it was announced at last year’s E3. Apparently there have been a succession of good and bad patches/changes in the time since, and like No Man’s Sky before it, this is a game that is likely better after a year or more of development compared to the release product. Apparently they are changing up the story and adding NPCs, along with adding a Battle Royale mode (yawn). I’m hopeful that it can eventually be called a “good” game, but whatever the case we always have The Elder Scrolls VI (which was missing from this year’s show) to look forward to.

This is probably the game I’m looking forward to the most. The DOOM reboot was fantastic and made me fall in love with the series all over again. This being the sequel to that reboot, I think we’re in for a treat. I can already tell that it’s more of the same but the graphics and animations look kicked up a notch and I already know I’ll be paying $60 for this on day one.

Star Wars games tend to be pretty awful. Apparently Knights of the Old Republic was good but I never played it. Battlefront was fun for a minute, but it’s not story driven and thereby you don’t really care. I didn’t care for the MMO despite being a Bioware fan. This game looks pretty good, all things considered. I’m cautiously optimistic. We’ll see when it releases what the kids are saying about it.

I’ve talked about this one before, and holy hell does it meet and/or exceed my expectations! Finally being able to see combat and more of what this game will look like, I’m sold. Final Fantasy VII was my first game in the series, and as such has a special place in my heart. The only confusing part is that apparently it’s being released episodically, so I’m hoping that they split up the game into thirds, and just use the original break points between discs (the Playstation version had 3 discs). Anything more than that might ruin the experience, but it looks pretty sweet at this point.

The only game I probably won’t ever play unless they port it to PC, but still a game I remember with a mixture of fondness and hate. The original Battletoads on NES was a painfully difficult game that was a childhood rite of passage. This game doesn’t look like it will be remotely as difficult, but still hits me in the nostalgia feels. As of now I believe it’s only slated to release on Xbox, hence why I’ll probably not end up playing it.

Another title I talked about before, I enjoyed playing the original and think this one looks familiar but intriguing nonetheless.

Panzer Dragoon was one of my favorite games on my Sega Saturn, which was the system I backed during those console wars in the 90’s. Sony was the new kid on the block but they ended up causing the demise of the Saturn, and as a result a bunch of unique and cool games never saw the widespread fame they deserved. This one being remade is interesting because it was such an unusual title. I might get a Switch someday, but I’d hope this gets ported elsewhere.

Borderlands 3 is another hotly anticipated game for me. It’s been a long time since Borderlands 2, and The Pre-Sequel didn’t hold my attention in the same way the original two did. There isn’t much to say here, as it’s not really anything new but it’s a great looter shooter and something I co-op through with friends, so I’m in!

Strangely enough, a new DLC for Borderlands 2 was announced as well, and this time we’ll be getting a story bridge between 2 and 3. Coincidentally (or maybe not?) the PS4 version of the game, The Handsome Collection was just given away for free via Playstation Plus, so we should all be able to try out this new DLC before the new game drops.

A new game by From Software? Typically that’s an automatic win. Demons’ Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne were all excellent games, and though I’ve heard mixed reviews with Sekiro, I can’t imagine it’s bad, just misunderstood. The only difference here is apparently George R R Martin has something to do with the story telling, so perhaps it will be something completely different. I imagine Souls gameplay will still be present, and I look forward to hearing more.

So there you have it. These are the games that I’m looking forward to most from this year’s conference. What are you looking forward to most?

State of the Game: Retroism

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It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a State of the Game post, and it has to do with the fact that that series of posts I did about my Gamer To-Do List managed to encompass what I would have said. Doesn’t really matter what title you put on the post, if the content is the same it shouldn’t be repeated. At least, not without something new to add.

Anyway, the subtitle here is Retroism, and though I thought I was being clever and coining a term, a quick Google search will show you that I was dead wrong. There’s a service much like the bundle sites we all know and love called Retroism.com, so yeah, I was beaten to the punch. Either way, I have been on a retro gaming kick, be it true retro games or those styled as such or even just in game play mechanics. I think it was a combination of talking about some of my favorite PSOne games, playing a bunch of Nuclear Throne for the last couple of months, along with having purchased some games that are retro-inspired and then playing some remakes in recent months. Playing games that are updated from their past versions, compilations of old classics, or new indie titles that are clearly throwbacks to the 8 and 16 bit generations are great fun, and in some ways I am feeling like there are some superior experiences in older titles. Some that deserve a brand new sequel or envisioning too. We talked about much of this during the new Couch Podtatoes episode, though I’ll be touching on different games here.

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I’ve mentioned Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection a few times in the past, mainly because the Genesis was one of my favorite systems of all time and the collection contains many of my old favorites. Lately I had been craving an old school RPG experience, and though I’ve played those old 16-bit titles many times throughout the years, I still wanted to play Shining Force again. I mentioned it is one of my Evergreen games, and I meant that. I started playing it a couple of weeks ago again, and it’s been a blast. I can also say that it’s been long enough since the last time I played it (probably via Wii Ware) that there’s parts I’ve forgotten and so it’s been a fun playthrough. I’m almost done with it, and I intend to play its sequel as well.

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I played Columns the other night too, and I was breaking the game. I had to let myself lose shortly after taking this picture because it wasn’t getting anymore challenging. I remember the game being more difficult when I was a kid. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine is definitely more challenging in comparison.

As I mentioned, I played through the Gears of War remake with my friend, but I also got to check on the Rare Replay that had been announced back at E3. It’s a collection of 30 games from the now defunct publisher Rare. Honestly, it’s not a compilation that I would have bought, as sampling a handful of the games lead me to this conclusion. Battletoads is still remarkably hard and poorly designed. RC Pro-Am was a game I loved but is plagued by being developed for an 8-bit system (NES) with limited graphical and audio capabilities. It’s sequel fairs little better. Most of the titles were released on Nintendo or Microsoft platforms, both of which I didn’t really own during their development run, so I had no real fondness for anything included. I may sound biased here, but I simply enjoyed more games on the Genesis collection, and the same goes for other compilations of old Midway or Atari games. Rare just wasn’t a company that did it for me.

I’ve also been playing a bunch of Nuclear Throne, and though I haven’t been posting daily anymore (I managed 46 days in a row counting the tail end of July through Sept 12th) I am still doing the Daily Runs and have been enjoying it. I am still posting the videos to YouTube, so if you’ve enjoyed those, head over to my channel and subscribe so you don’t miss a video if I happen to skip posting. I’m falling back into my old pattern of posting several times a week but not every day. Some days there just isn’t anything to say, I didn’t game much, there’s no news, and I don’t want to force out content just for the sake of content. However, I’m going to try and keep as close to daily posting as possible, so you can still expect regular content to read. I just reserve the right to not post if I don’t feel like it. It’s not a question of whether or not I can post daily, rather a question of feeling like it or having something worthwhile to share. So yeah, Nuclear Throne videos daily on YouTube. Here’s today’s run:

I’ve had several new pickups lately, and they’ve been solely free games or super cheap on Steam. Stuff from the Weeklong Deals that post on Mondays is typically a bunch of crap, but there are hidden gems sometimes, and I’ve found a few. The other day Steam gave everyone a free copy of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and I’ve heard good things about the title, but I have yet to play it. Origin on the other hand, gave away Command and Conquer Red Alert 2 + an expansion. I haven’t played it yet either (nor did I play it back in 2000 or so when it released) but I’m looking forward to trying out a classic RTS to keep up with this whole retro thing I’ve had going. One of the games that I picked up this past week for a whopping $0.15 is called Terra Incognita, and though it’s in early access it looks like a PSOne JRPG and those have always been pretty enjoyable. Hoping for good things from this one.

So that’s about it for this edition. Time to go play something.