E3 is that special time that comes but once a year, a time where adults can be kids again and revel in explosion-laden trailers introduced by confused-looking corporate executives in suits. While I’m usually excited for this time of year, I honestly wasn’t feeling it too much this time. Maybe I was burned out or lost the sense of wonder after watching press conferences for about five straight years. I haven’t really written about it too much on here, but the state of video games has been turning me lukewarm about them at best, and that’s before you even add business practices and fan communities into the picture.
Regardless of my personal feelings about E3, I gathered up an expert panel from Deadshirt and Twitter to discuss this year’s press conference showings. How did the 2014 Electronics Entertainment Expo stack up against years past? You’re about to find out with the help of fellow Deadshirter Yen Nguyen (@yenissober), and game industry insiders extraordinaire Matthew Bremner (@Matthew_Bremner) and Robyn (@Twyst).
This year, Nintendo decided to forgo a traditional live press conference. Many thought it was due to the dire straits that they have found themselves in after the lackluster launch of the Wii U, but that didn’t seem to be the case once they released their Nintendo Direct video.
Nintendo shocked many old school fans when they revealed new versions of classic, yet relatively obscure games, a few amazing prototype demos, and lots of other surprises for early adopters of the Wii U.
While they may not have shown off the most commercially viable games, Nintendo certainly seems to be listening to their most dedicated fans, which may be just what they need to regain their former glory.
Kyle: Nintendo really surprised me, lots of cool stuff from them.
Yen: Their presentation was so pleasant and well-paced. I was never bored, and I actually laughed a lot even when they weren’t mentioning the games!
Yoshi’s Woolly World
Kyle: I loved Yoshi’s Woolly World! It looked so cute. It’s based on a very divisive game (Yoshi’s Island) that happens to bring back a lot of good memories for me.
Matt: I saw gameplay from that today and it looked really, really cute.
Untitled upcoming Zelda project
Yen: Oh man that Zelda looked sweet.
Matt: This is pretty much the Zelda game that people have wanted forever.
Kyle: That demo was really great, I can’t wait to see more. The art style was incredible!
Robyn: This game looks inexplicable. Everyone I know that has seen it has said “WHY?” Playable Impa and Midna is cool though.
Yen: I’d be willing to try it? I dunno. Zelda: Dynasty Warriors seems … interesting.
Kyle: I have no idea how Koei got a Zelda license, but I imagine either someone at Nintendo was very drunk or owed somebody a life debt.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Robyn: Chronicles X looks awesome! Not a console seller for me, but still awesome.
Kyle: I never got into the Xeno games too hard, but it looks good, and the Wii U could use more high-concept RPGs.
Matt: Yeah, that game looked better than it had any right to for me. It had a FFXII feel, and I liked FFXII, so good on them.
Yen: I don’t know anything about it ahead of time, but I was interested. Basically I was at least a little interested by everything Nintendo showed.
Yen: Bayonetta 2 was a platinum trailer done right.
Kyle: Plus those costume reveals for Bayonetta, those were pretty funny. Getting a port of the original with it is a pretty great deal, too.
Super Smash Bros.
A few games were not discussed too much in our roundtable, so let me fill in, starting with the new Super Smash Bros. During E3, it was revealed that Palutena from Kid Icarus and Pac-Man will be playable fighters in the game, and that your own Mii players can be imported and customized.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Following the trend of Yoshi’s Woolly World, Nintendo is making a sequel to a beloved Kirby game, Canvas Curse, and giving it a unique visual makeover. Using the Wii U’s touch pad, players draw rainbow paths to launch Kirby through a claymation world on a brand new adventure.