E3 and the (Near) Future of Games

So this post is basically a recap of what interested me from E3, along with random comments on upcoming stuff.

Being chat support for Microsoft, I could actually get away with watching the Xbox conference during work! Having said that, the only noteworthy thing to me was backwards compatibility (and a bit more info on Fallout 4). 

It amazes me that people weren’t more skeptical of the HoloLens during the demo. Imagine a touchscreen. In three dimensions. Controlled entirely by moving your hands in this 3D space. Now imagine all of the technology to make this work being jammed into a wearable headset that views the environment and “projects” the image onto it from a single direction. Did you also notice how bulky the attachments on the “HoloLens-ready camera” were compared to the HoloLens itself? Chances are that the demonstrator wasn’t seeing something half as good as what was on-screen for the audience. Long story short, if the thing works half as well as it’s supposed to, I’ll be impressed. The cost alone will render the technology useless for most people, and that’s before even considering its practical use or effectiveness.

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Oh yeah, there was also that laughably bad Xbox One/Oculus integration. What a piece of crap that was. I wonder why they’d bother with that when they have the HoloLens as a first-party VR solution. Hmm…

Nintendo was there. I still don’t really care much. There are only two-ish games I’d get if I had a Wii U (Xenoblade X and Bayonetta 2), and they didn’t have anything too interesting for the 3DS at E3. Oh darn.

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Shin Megami Tensei × Fire Emblem, now referred to as “Revelation of the Illusion ♯FE,” seems more confusing every time I see something on it. It looks more like Persona 4 (Dancing All Night optional) × an acid trip. I don’t know what they were aiming to do with this game, but I can’t imagine it feeling even remotely coherent. This seemed like an interesting idea when it was first announced, but I lose interest more and more as they put out information. The level design and battle system are clearly based in SMT, and there are characters from FE such as Chrom, but the general aesthetic is completely different, the concept is ridiculous (and not in a good way), the UI is congested, and I don’t take enough drugs for this to make any sense.

Nier, the Drakengard spin-off, is getting a sequel. While I’m not very far into Nier, the main thing that I think sets it apart from Drakengard 3 is that it’s actually fun. The battle system works well, and the magic adds a cool bit of variety. As long as the sequel doesn’t have any BS like Drakengard 3’s “final boss,” I’ll probably be happy. Yoko Taro was certainly happy at the conference.

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Sony dropped a trio of unexpected games. First, The Last Guardian. I’ve never played either of Team ICO’s other games (Shadow of the Colossus, Ico) but the fact that this game still exists after seemingly becoming vaporware is surprising. To be honest, the gameplay looked rather uninteresting, but I’d hope that was just a basic demonstration of how things will work.

I don’t think anyone could have expected that Square Enix are actually doing a remake of Final Fantasy VII. I’ve hardly played the original (it has not aged well), but I’m very interested to see how things will be changed besides the visuals. The most contemporary Final Fantasy games are very different from X and prior, so I’m left wondering if they’ll use a reworked ATB system based on the original game’s, or something more action-oriented along the lines of the more recent ones.

And to round out the unexpectable, there was the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign. That made 2 million dollars in less than 24 hours. The first two are games that I have heard a lot of praise for in the past, so I think this existing will serve as my motivation to go back and play them. Of course, I don’t have a Dreamcast, so it’s time to look into emulators.

Persona 5 has been confirmed for a 2015 release in Japan and the Americas (sorry Europe, South America, etc, but at least the PS4 isn’t region locked). Which means the game’s probably just about finished and I would imagine localization is in progress. There wasn’t any new information or video footage besides this though, so we’re still a bit in the dark about many things. I’m looking forward to more info over the coming months.

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Honestly though, the half hour Fallout 4 infodump made the year for me. Fallout 3 and New Vegas are two of the games I’ve had the most fun with in my life, and Fallout 4 seems to be capitalizing on the potential of the post-apocalyptic world. I’m not sold on the voiced protagonist, but we’ll see how that goes.

Weapon and armor modification? Yes! Settlement creation? Yes! Power armor looking overwhelmingly badass? Yes! Dog companion? Yes! V.A.T.S.? Yes! Bladed aluminum baseball bats? YES!!! MOUNTED COMBAT ON DEATHCLAWS??? Hopefully.

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Fallout Shelter also seems like a decent time-waster, so I’m looking forward to that being on Android eventually.

There’s probably stuff I’m forgetting, but this includes the most noteworthy things.

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