E3 2019 Rundown – Part 3
At this point we are out of the big shows that are associated with the lead up to E3. Now we are left with whatever happens to leak out of the show floor or through the various extended meet and greet streams that so many of the "networks" happen to be running. At this point I have talked about Stadia, EA Play, Microsoft, Bethesda, PC Gaming, UbiSoft and Square Enix. That simply leaves the lone standout from Tuesday... Nintendo and their latest Nintendo Direct.
Nintendo Direct E3 Show
There are a lot of folks that feel like Nintendo "won" E3 and I will admit it was a packed show. However along the lines of EA Play it was packed with a bunch of stuff that I didn't necessarily care about. Two of the big reveals were related to Smash Bros, which is not really a game that excites me. Other than that we got some dates for games that had been in the pipeline, but it failed miserably because the one game I wanted more information on and or a release date... was completely absent. I am all about Metroid which is still more or less missing in action.
One of the highlights of the show is that we saw more footage of the Link's Awakening remake and with it got a firm release date of September 20th 2019. There isn't a lot to say here other than I am looking forward to playing it. I never played the original on the Gameboy as I had moved on to other things at the time. I would love to see more games get the remake treatment that look as gorgeous as this one does.
This was definitely a shocker title, because it appears to be a remake of the Sega Saturn Panzer Dragoon title. I mean these were fun back in the day because it was a 3D shooter while on back of a Dragon. It does make me wonder if we are also going to get a remake of Nights into Dreams on the Switch given that it ran on I think the same engine? I can't tell if this is a remake or a remaster to be be honest. Regardless it is really cool to see this showing up.
I've never played a proper Animal Crossing title, but I did enjoy Pocket Camp quite a bit until I wandered away from it like I do most mobile games. I have been looking forward to this being my first title in the series to play so I am hoping it is excellent. Graphics wise everything looks awesome so far. I am not as pumped as some people might be for the title given again... I've never really played a mainline game in the series.
I am mostly including this one because... first off I was shocked to see a Contra game at the show. Secondly it looks like absolute shit and I am wondering if this is something that had been in the works for the 3DS and then was later re-purposed to be a Switch game. The textures are blurry and muddy, and the color palette is complete nonsense. This just does not inspire much confidence. Coming back to this... after looking at the PS4 trailer it looks like this is just a shitty port to the switch because the Sony version looks way better.
Just like I was excited to see Romancing SaGa 3 get a proper localization I am very happy to see this game get a localization and a remake. This has been on the list of games I wanted to play for ages since the Super Nintendo era when I found out it existed but only in Japanese. Not a lot to say, it looks good and it also looks like the cast of characters have been represented from what I can remember as faithfully. The positive about a lot of these 16 bit era Japanese games is there was an awful lot of artwork that existed to be used as a reference.
Now we really shouldn't be shocked at this announcement, but at the very end of the Nintendo direct they showed off that they were working on a Breath of the Wild Sequel. Now the internet or maybe just my twitter feed... seems to be losing their shit over short haired Zelda. Then again it is mostly just Ryuhkin generating most of those retweets. There had been rumors that they were planning on building a new story in the same engine and get it to market quickly, but now we have confirmation of that. Something definitely to look forward to but past that not an awful lot to go on yet.
General Thoughts on E3 2019
So at this point I sorta want to sit back and talk about E3 2019 as a whole, which I realize the show itself won't be over until the weekend. However for the gamers at home the "show" is effectively all of the presentations leading up to the actual events. There were really two takeaways that I had, the first being that the absence of Sony was noticeable and felt really weird to have a vacuum from team blue. The second big take away is that in general it was a down year with what it feels like everyone preparing for the next console generation which by all looks seems to be targeting Holiday 2020.
I would have to go back and check my notes from the various E3 presentations of the past, but it definitely feels like this might be the first year when nothing really surprised me. What I mean by that is always in the past it seemed like there was a game that had come from out of left field and gave a demo or a slick marketing video that made me extremely giddy inside. That just didn't happen this go around, and it could be the sign of a bunch of things. Maybe the industry has moved away from whatever games really made me tick, or maybe like I said before this is just an in-between year.
Regardless the end result is a very let down feeling after exiting E3 season. That is not to say there won't be a lot of awesome things coming out during 2019, but we already knew about them ahead of time. I guess indicates that companies are retracting around the importance of E3 as a construct. Activision/Blizzard was a complete no show during the proceedings and so many of the games that I didn't necessarily talk about... had been announced and were already deeply ingrained in the zeitgeist before the show happened. For an industry that used to revolve around E3 and CES... it seems like neither holds any importance at all these days which is bizarre as a gamer.
Early on I gave the analogy of the Christmas Catalog or the Toys R Us Big Book... and I guess it continues to be apt. Those are both things that faded over time as they lost significance and importance to the consumers. Similarly it seems that the E3 show is fading as they are no longer the primary vehicle of delivering information to the customers for the coming year. Nintendo Direct and shows like it seems to be the way we are heading. On one level I like getting little bits of information throughout the year within months of the release of a product. It feels good to know that the thing you just saw is going to be in your hands within a few weeks time.
However there is a part of me that misses the pomp and circumstance of having this big show meaning so much. That said of all of the shows I have to give credit to Microsoft probably being my favorite. They showed a lot of great games and gave a vision of being able to play those games on whatever platform you wanted to with XCloud. They also announced what the future was going to be with the Scarlett product, and because of all of that the E3 format still seems to be working well for them.
As far as a second place I would probably place Square Enix and Nintendo in a tie because they also delivered really great presentations. The worst is EA Play which is not shocking because I often time place EA at the bottom. However I was shocked to see just how bad the UbiSoft presentation was this year, given that is usually firmly in the middle of the pack. Bethesda did a fine job of displaying the titles that they had to show off, but it most definitely felt like an in-between year for them. I guess the ultimate question is... when is Sony going to do their own console reveal? Additionally after the sluggishness of E3 2019 and the financial troubles reported surrounding the convention... will there be an E3 2020?
So after seeing all of the shows at this point, which was your favorite? What were your general thoughts about E3 as a whole? Leave me a comment below.