Maybe Nintendo Did Okay?

I was a little quick to judge Nintendo’s E3 portfolio, but their approach to E3 with the Nintendo Treehouse wasn’t the best approach either. As the day(s) went on, Nintendo showed several other games beyond just Zelda and Pokemon that really have me excited. There’s one in particular that I’ll kick things off with…

Ever Oasis

Ever Oasis is an action-adventure RPG for Nintendo 3DS family systems contains puzzle-filled dungeons, real-time battles, exploration and treasure hunting. Players use the oasis as their base, which they can expand as they play, and gain affinity with characters called Seedlings, who are themed after plant seeds, as well as a variety of other unique characters who live in the desert. Players can freely form strategic parties with any of their allied characters, using allies’ weapons to battle enemies and solve dungeon puzzles. Ever Oasis is scheduled to launch in 2017.

It’s like Zelda meets Animal Crossing meets Monster Hunter meets Pokemon Mystery dungeon; Some are even thinking Runefactory is in there somewhere. The video above really showcases a lot of that. This is exactly the type of game that I enjoy playing on a 3DS. I’m super excited, and would love to hear about the possibility of co-op.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past

This Nintendo 3DS remake of the classic turn-based game involves a young boy who sets off with his friends on a journey to restore the world to its former glory and save the present by mending lands that were sealed in the past. In addition to updated graphics and an entirely new localization, the game does away with random enemy encounters to bring the player deeper into the game world. Players can also collect and share Traveller’s Tablets via the StreetPass feature, granting access to special dungeons offering unique rewards.

I’ll freely admit here that i haven’t played a single Dragon Quest game. That’s like a gaming sin, I know. So I don’t know if this is a remake of a game that ever released in the US on another console, or just a remake of the Japanese version. I think it looks fun, though. Again, the perfect kind of game on the 3DS. Am I going to be able to jump right in and enjoy the series having never played previous installments in the series?

Monster Hunter Generations

I haven’t decided yet whether or not I will pick up Generations. I played Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and enjoyed it online with Graev, but I think the series is incredibly templated. They all play so much the same that the next one simply feels like the previous one. They’re great — really great — but is that enough to jump in and play another? Once again, a perfect game for the 3DS. Handheld really is where Nintendo shines.

Additional honorable mentions:

  • Mario Party Star Rush – Still no online multiplayer, but a new mode that removes turns and enables free movement. Biggest shock: It’s a 3DS title.
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash – Looks good. I like to watch these be played but haven’t actually played one myself. Graev loves them.

Ever Oasis all by itself is enough for me to boost Nintendo’s E3 score. That looks ridiculously fun.  Bringing updates to a few staples, and showcasing more of their titles already announced doesn’t hurt either.

Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild – Beautiful art style. I loved when Link had that full suit of armor on. All of the various interactive parts of the world like chopping trees, raising ice out of the water, etc. “Hyrule will be a resource,” hopefully means that we’ll be able to utilize more of the world for things like crafting [Pure speculation]. Supposedly the world is huge. I’m hyped.

Pokemon Sun & Moon – Looks like the usual Pokemon (which is great), and by usual I mean the new pseudo-3D world. Alola looks like a great region, Formes appear to be a nice way to upgrade Pokemon, and Battle Royals should ad a new fun element to the battles. Looks fun. Their presentation was pretty boring, though. I don’t think Pokemon warrants a sit-down dev discussion. The Pokemon chat lasted 45+ minutes and was absolutely dull. We could have had one nice video with these details in under 3 minutes.

Breath of the Wild

More of Breath of the Wild

[Presented in a live blogging style]

Really bizarre start to the game where Link has “technology” (looks like an iPad or a Wii U Gamepad). Extremely odd juxtaposition between the typical Fantasy setting to now introduce Scifi elements. It’s like Link has been reincarnated to save the world again or something.

Link can jump! There’s also Itemization — link can now collect gear!

Wow, that world is gorgeous. It looks so open and inviting to explore — so much character. I truly hope we have an Elder Scrolls style world at our disposal.

They’re showcasing Link chopping trees and collecting wood! Graev is like “This doesn’t feel like Zelda,” but I think this is exactly everything Zelda should become. Zelda needs to evolve into a deeper RPG experience because Nintendo NEEDS that deeper RPG experience for their IP.

Gear BREAKS! Holy smokes. Graev interjects, “Why is Link right handed?”

To refill health Link now has to EAT rather than find hearts in the grass. Link eats items that have the heart icons on them. That’s great. The creator (whose name escapes me) is saying it plays a lot like a survival game where you have to collect gear. Interesting.

I’m going to stop there as they’ve dragged this on a bit and will continue to showcase Zelda throughout the day. If Nintendo announces anything big, I’ll update this post with snippets of other games.

Zelda Breath of the Wild is probably my #2 most anticipated game out of E3. This looks like a great departure from the current Zelda formula. For Graev it seems weird and foreign, but for me it’s what I want and what I need to embrace the IP more fully.

Overall, Nintendo’s E3 presence was kinda sad. Compared to what the other big names brought to the show, Nintendo looks like they’re off in their own land where the conventional rules of having a strategy, direction, or plan (or even a clue), do not exist. They’re doing their own thing, but that’s starting to become their mantra.

As E3 wraps up this year, here’s now I’ll rank the big presentations:

Microsoft: A
Sony: B+
Nintendo: B-
Bethesda: C+

Sea of Thieves: At the TOP of My Hype List

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves absolutely tops the highest peaks of my hype list. We saw our first video of true gameplay at E3 yesterday during Xbox’s Press Conference. Let’s take a look at their “Let’s Play” style video showcasing teams of 5 players.

This is my dream come true to crew a pirate ship, sail the ocean, explore islands, and battle on the high seas. I write about it at least once a year that I wish someone would make this game, and now I might just get my chance.

What We Know About Sea of Thieves

What we know is that you’ll be able to crew a ship, interact with everything from the anchor to the sails to the cannons and steer the vessel. There will be battle damage! There will be roles to play. Everyone will need to work together to survive. You’ll be able to get out and explore islands, find treasure, and battle other players.

What We Don’t Know (And What Scares Me Most)

Those who got to try the gameplay demo at E3 say it reminds them of Destiny. I’m still trying to figure out what they mean by Destiny. Teaming up in lobbies and going out on missions in a psuedo-open world? Is there an economy? Is there progression of some kind for your character? Your ship?

Sea of Thieves could be nothing more than an arena battleground where you team up with 5 people and go head to head against maybe 3 other teams (total of 20 players) in an “ocean-like” arena. I’m pretty confident this isn’t the case.

Although my ideal of a big open world with RPG elements is likely reaching past the mark, I think it will come close. I do believe the people saying it’s like Destiny are right on point. I bet towns where you drink will be like hubs where you can upgrade gear and your ship. You’ll go to the mission starter or whatever and you’ll sail out of your port on your ship with your  crew. Out in the world you’ll see other players like you do in Destiny—maybe they’re doing their own thing.  At some point I’m going to guess the world becomes contested and you can fight others. I would be shocked if the world was always 100% open PVP.

I’m hyped. I want to crew a ship, explore an ocean, and be a pirate!

Sony E3 2016 Playstation Experience

Sony kicked things off with a full-blown Orchestra that would then segue into game after game after game at a pace that rivals if not beats Microsoft’s non-stop game reveals. Let’s go!

G… G… God of War??? – WOW that’s a change.  That’s a COMPLETE GENRE change for God of War. That was like God of Skyrim!

Days Gone – New IP from Sony. Sounds deep, heavy, and completely unexplained. They did not elaborate on it at all beyond the cinematic narrative.  [Update] They returned to this at the end of the conference to show gameplay. Looks great, but it’s another zombie title. 🙁 I’m so tired of zombies. Dare I say it looked generic.

The Last Guardian – Ugh, Sony is pulling hard on those heart strings. The live orchestra does a nice job at making that impact. I’m a huge softy, so these emotional games end up being skips for me because I can’t take it. 😛

Horizon – Another title on the top of my most anticipated list. I feel like I’ve been saying this for the past two days about several games now. Really though, this looks incredible.

Detroit Become Human – A choose your own adventure android detective game. Incredibly thought provoking and intriguing, but ultimately not my type of game. None of the games made by David Cage end up being my type of game.

Sony is going straight movie games. Everything was a cinematic experience with deep story and rich character narrative. The general sense out there is that the guy(s) behind Last of Us ruined Uncharted and now God of War, but I think the verdict remains to be seen.

Resident Evil Bio Hazard – Nope. Nope. Definitely not.

Playstation.VR– $399 (hella cheaper than Oculus). 50 games. October 13, 2016 release. Here’s the VR titles:

  • Farpoint – Survival story in space with guns and generic monsters. Meh.
  • Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing VR Mission
  • Some Batman game by Rocksteady
  • FFXV VR Experience (doesnt look first person friendly at all)
  • and more… holy smokes. Taking this VR thing seriously I guess.

Graev believes all of these VR games are nothing more than tech demos that won’t be full-blown games but rather short “experiences” in the VR tech. I think he’s totally on to something.

Call of Duty in Space – It looks so cool conceptually but it’s CoD. Going in and out of ships in real time, floating around, etc. I like to hate on CoD, but it goes beyond that. It just didn’t look interesting.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered – Okay, arguably one of the best CoDs remastered looks way more fun than Cod in Space.

Crash, Crash 2 (Bandicoot) Remastered – Now that’s awesome.

Skylanders Imaginators – Make your own Skylanders! I’m a sucker for Skylanders.

LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens – I’m a sucker for LEGO games. I’ll be picking this up. (But there’s a lot of emphasis on multiplatform titles here.)

Death Stranding – What did I just watch??

Spider-man PS4 – Insomniac is making this?! It looks SICK! I don’t say that lightly. Most Spider-man games suck, but this one actually looks good. If anyone can do it, Insomniac can show us how it’s done.

Sony has done a really, REALLY good job this E3, but a lot of emphasis was on multi-platform titles (multiplats) meaning they can’t earn full points on those titles. They did bring game after game, and they too are proving that they have the core gaming experience at the forefront of their two-year plan. I’m sold on that.  It’s clear to me that although good, it wasn’t great like Microsoft—not this year.

Keeping score up until this point (who knows what tomorrow may bring for Nintendo):

Microsoft: A
Sony: B+
Bethesda: C+

What are your rankings for E3 so far?

Star Trek Bridge Crew

You’ve probably seen my skepticism over this VR craze these past few months. I’m not a believer. I’m not sold on it. I think the price points and the gimmick levels are high—real high. BUT… how awesome is it that you can be on the bridge of a Star Trek ship?!

Seeing LeVar and the crew able to all play together like that made me want for nothing more than to throw on one of those gimmicky headsets and start looking around the room like a doofus too.  The nostalgia and the setting would drive me to buy one if nothing else.


Where I’m concerned about Star Trek Bridge Crew is in the details. Is it more than a button pressing simulator? Is it more than FTL with $600 goggles? I want more than simply simulating a few mini-games here. I want that experience of navigating a sandbox galaxy. I want to run into the Borg while delivering aid to a race of people on a planet I’ve never seen while trying not to violate the Prime Directive.

I can’t get my hopes up. I have to come back to reality. For this to really work you have to have four people in a room all with $600 goggles (AI playing ruins the experience). Totally unrealistic of me to expect more, but perhaps a fun social experience (for the 1% elite) nonetheless.