TSS Discuss: Sonic Boom… After E3

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Following E3, tons of new information regarding Sonic Boom was released in all areas of this franchise launch, with that in mind, we here at TSS decided to share our thoughts on what got shown.

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Hogfather – Boom Wii U: (Primarilly based on the E3 B-Roll video). Now… it hasn’t gone unnoticed by a lot of people that if anyone has a negative criticism of the game, regardless as to how well justified it is, they’re then subject to a barrage of “Well you shouldn’t” or “Well it’s just early” or in some laughable cases “You call yourself a fan!?” So let me deal with a few of these as I go on.

“You shouldn’t judge a game at this early stage.” Why not? This is a product, Sega want people to buy. They want people to pre-order the product, if the product put out does not look very good, give me one reason why anyone should stay silent on problems with it? You put out something which people don’t consider to be up to scratch… you can bet people will respond to it.

So with that out of the way let’s talk about the problems it has right now.

“This isn’t like other Sonic games! It’s different! You should expect a different type of game” NO!? Really!? You mean when they announced that this would focus on combat and co-op, it was actually going to focus on combat and co-op!? This excuse is really wearing thin, and it’s not an excuse, it’s desperation, take out the characters, slap in random new IP’s in place of Sonic, you still have lifeless speed sections with no enemies, traps or anything inspiring other than boosters and jump pads followed by automated sections everywhere. Gone are the homing attack chains, now we have ener-beam swing, so once again we’ll get homing attack esq segments of gameplay.  You still have button mashing fight sequences confined to arenas which open up once all enemies are defeating, combat so far has shown nothing interesting other than hammer the button an point the stick in said direction.

This was becoming a tiresome trend in the middle of the last gen, now, we should expect more and be demanding more from games which have a form of combat within them.

Here is how every boss fight shown currently works. Use the beam to grab something, throw it at the boss. Then use a finish move. I’m playing as Sonic why am I not using a spin attack to weaken the boss? Oh wait not normal Sonic game. All right switch to Knuckles punch that boss to weaken, oh wait, not a normal… Amy! She has a hammer go on smack that… oh wait… Tails! Use your… beam to throw a robot/missile/object at Eggman/Giant drill thing/other boss… you see the problem? Why should I get excited when the boss fights we’ve seen are all dealt with in the same manner?

Dialogue is great, but it needs toning down, every 5 seconds someone feels the need to say something. Go play Puppeteer on the PS3 and see how long you can cope before you are rolling your eyes at the sun fairy who constantly comments on your actions and you’ll see how quickly it becomes annoying.

With regards to the ‘new footage’ which shows textures and lighting effects in place, and I agree, this makes the game ‘look’ a lot better. You certainly can’t dismiss it as ‘looking’ like a PS2 game when it ‘looks’ fine.

However, there is a problem with this footage, it’s from the same build, or at least it’s from a very similar build, you can tell by several elements within it. This means that all what Big Red Button did was the following… ‘they change the value of the effects within the code from 0 to 1.’ Do not be under some illusions that this game will somehow undergo a transformation in the next 3 months, this is what we’re getting, and based on what’s been shown so far, it feels like it was designed as every stereotype movie license game.

Finally… there is this….

“Call yourself a fan!?” Grow up. Fans are not nor should they be mindless drones who must support every product or decision made by the owners of the IP. This mindset is degrading to your non argument and a pathetic attempt to try and hide or re-direct criticism. You should not instantly rush out and buy or support anything just because you are a fan of something, you are free to criticise something so long as there is grounds to support what you are saying, just as you would if you wish to praise something.  Otherwise, we can apply that criticism to the movie. Since the majority don’t like the sound of a live action Sonic movie made by the people who brought you The Smurfs 2!? But who knows it’s early and it’s not like any other Sonic game so… oh… Yeah exactly, doesn’t exactly work when it’s something you’re not looking forward to does it?

TlDr: I like the character designs, I like the idea behind what Boom is (to a point), and I like the world that they’re trying to create… however, it all comes down to gameplay. Boom looks like it’s a painfully average game. If stuff comes out between now and release date which really shows it off, or if Sega wants to send me a preview copy and it’s amazing, I will gladly change my stance on it. But right now, based on that disastrous E3 B-Roll footage and the fact the gameplay looks so generic and dull, just looks painfully average, and this angers me, because I really wanted to like it.

Boom 3DS: Looks great, full of action, lots of variety in the gameplay modes, looks far more engaging than the Wii U version. Would like to see a lot more from it, we’ve seen how the different characters can be used in each stage, really want to see more of the game.

Cartoon: Main attraction for me. Looks absolutely fantastic, verbal and visual humour, the animation actually looks really good for a TV Show.  Roll on Winter season so we can see more of it.

d039243d0917679ed9762e415af2f9e8Brad – I wanna start off this with saying that unlike the majority (and completely shockingly for me personally), I think Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is still looking like it’s going to a be an enjoyable, completely new take on the franchise. I went into Boom expecting a completely different gameplay experience, and that expectation is true. A mix of puzzle solving, platforming and combat are all key elements to RoL, and especially the latter has surprised me with how fast paced and enjoyable it looks. What I fear most is that RoL is trying so hard to depart from the conventions of Sonic they’re afraid to dip into his identity – springs lack their signature star design and are instead replaced with boring, glowing blue circles without even a hint of the classic noise there. Jumping has no classic sound to it, and the spin dash lacks its famous rev. These little touches would just add a little injection of Sonic identity into RoL which I think it could really use, since the character dynamic and dialogue is all on point. Even if it’s sounding a tad repetitive at times.

And I share the unpopular opinion on Shattered Crystal. I think the game looks dreadfully boring. Absolutely nothing about the title stands out for me. It feels like it’s poorly imitating the classic games while trying to inject the floaty, boosty ideals of the Rush games. The visuals are nothing special and while the focus on exploration may be nice, there’s no sense of challenge in the platforming footage I’ve seen and the speed is nothing like Sonic Rush or the classic titles. Also, Amy being a damsel in distress? After Rise of Lyric so brilliantly defines her as a confident new woman who don’t need no Sonic? It’s a little frustrating to say the least. I have no interest in picking up this version in the slightest.

The TV show stands as a highlight amongst all three however. Though we haven’t seen much footage yet, I can already see the top notch production values there. Character models are spot on and the animation is stellar and smooth, almost like actual top quality CG cutscenes from the Sonic games themselves. The characters, like in RoL, seem to be written perfectly in line with their characters, and the humour genuinely made me chuckle at times. We can’t really get a real grasp of the plots themselves being interesting or not (though we know each episode is stand alone) but it’s looking like a fun, uplifting romp. This is the one I really have my eye on and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

doctormkDoctor MK – It’s been a few months now since Sonic Boom’s initial reveal and, while the uproar over the new character designs has significantly quietened down, this new branch of the franchise still remains a controversial one – and E3 only really added to that notion.

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for Wii U is a game that I simply cannot decide how I feel about. On the one hand, I’m thrilled that we’re going to be seeing a return to a more story-driven Sonic title after the wafer-thin plots of Colours, Generations and Lost World, and the characterization on show for the main cast is far beyond what we’ve seen from Sonic Team’s efforts in recent years. Plus, the talented voice cast working on the series at the moment finally get a real chance to shine with plenty of dialogue and some genuinely well-written lines – however, it’s something that will need to be handled with care. In just the couple of levels shown in the E3 demo alone, voice clips were heavily repeated and recycled – hearing the same old grunts and “nice kill, Sonic!” every few seconds over the span of the entire game could grow tiresome, no doubt about it. But it’s the gameplay that is arguably holding Rise of Lyric back the most. Speed has been thrown out of the window (aside from in specific, often automated sections of levels) in favour of exploration and combat, making this a mish-mash of the Sonic we know and love and something not unlike Sonic Unleashed’s Werehog stages, all at the same time. It has potential and I’m by no means writing it off yet, but I need to see more before I can truly get on board with it.

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for 3DS, on the other hand, looks more initially promising on face value. The characters are still slower and the focus still remains on exploration, but the level design is much more familiar to what we’re used to from a traditional Sonic game, and that ultimately might be the deal-breaker for many fans. Again, it’s difficult to form a solid opinion on it just yet, but it’s one to watch for now at least.

And finally, the cartoon. Unless the games seriously impress upon release, I’m certain that Sonic Boom’s TV series will unanimously be the best part of this new approach to Sonic. The animation is smooth, the voice cast are in full force, and there’s some brilliantly memorable scripting (even if it is somewhat random at times!). So all in all then, Sonic Boom as a whole is shaping up to be interesting, that’s for sure – it just appears to be a question of how far you’re willing to accept “this is not a normal Sonic title” if you are to get the most out of the tie-in games.

jbJason the Jackass – As one of the few on staff who has played both games, I can honestly say that the Wii U version is not looking the best right now. Not like, Shadow  or “06 bad, but I’d put it up there with Sonic Chronicles. A game with a pretty good story and easy to get through, but very bland gameplay in the middle. There were some fun spots such as traversing as Amy with her gymnastic moves and her Hammer that can clear away a ton of robots, but playing as Knuckles and pushing a mine cart around for a puzzle was tedious. But as Stephen Frost has stated before, these are small chunks of the game that don’t quite represent the overall product. Hopefully, before November, we can get a better idea of what the full game is like.

That said, there’s something about the 3DS version I really liked. Yeah , the traditional gameplay is so-so. Feeling closer to Sonic 4 than Sonic Rush and the speed isn’t super fast. However, I did like the exploration aspects and the extra levels were pretty fun, especially the rivals race. You’re gonna think I’m nuts, but the game has a bit of a “Sonic Colors” vibe to it what with the overhead map and returning to older levels with new characters who have different abilities. It almost makes the other cast feel like Wisps in a way. I mean, Knuckles is definitely like the Drill Wisp what with his burrowing. This is the most excited I’ve been for a Sonic 3DS game yet.

 nucklesisannoyed Nuckles87 – I think the new Sonic Boom franchise is looking decidedly average, which considering how awful Sonic games and cartoons can be, is almost something of a relief for me. The new trailer for the cartoon that they were playing ad museum at E3 actually looks cool, and I was digging the character centric humor it was hitting at. I will also confess that I couldn’t help but chuckle a little every time I heard Eggman talk about building a new, superior robot that will bring him “evil ham”. Maybe my sense of humor is just lousy? Either way, rather than taking a neutral attitude towards it I’m actually starting to look forward to it now.

As for the games, well, I wrote two whole previews for them at E3. You can find my impressions of the Wii U version here and my impressions of the 3DS version here. Long story short, I found Boom Wii U to be a decent Sonic themed brawler, free of many of the graphical issues the pre-E3 demo apparently had. I will admit, after being blown away by Lost World’s creative level design last year, Boom is disappointing in comparison, but where Lost World’s final game had high highs and low lows, maybe Boom Wii U will at least provide a more even experience. The 3DS version, on the other hand, seems to be a good game hampered by a poor interface.

For the games, I continue to take a wait and see approach. Will they be awful games? I really don’t think so. They probably won’t be great games, though. I think that, at the very least, they will probably both be decent. By the way, as a quick last minute plug, go check out my interview with Sonic Boom producer Stephen Frost over at SEGAbits.

TSS Discuss: What was your favourite part of E3?

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Since we’re all quite the avid gamers here at TSS, we all watched the circus which is E3 and each of us had their favourite part, be it an announcement, surprise, reveal or bit of news on a project we’ve been anticipating. So we decided to share with you our favourite E3 moments, and likewise, feel free to post your favourite moments from this years E3 in the comments section.

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Hogfather – For me, there were two moments which stood out. The first was the reveal of Bloodborne. Bloodborne is being made by the same people behind Demons Souls and Dark Souls (nope, they didn’t make DS2). This fact alone pleases me. But aside from their history, just look at the game, it looks stunning. The monster designs look scary, the premise sounds like something from an old horror legend, the way the characters move and fight with one another. It just looks like you need to be so much more aggressive, it looks like you’ll actually have to ‘fight’ in this, and by that I mean, physical, almost raw in nature.

The second moment was the new information on No Man’s Sky. Now lets get the obvious out of the way, visually, this looks stunning. But the premise sounds incredible. An entire galaxy, never ending, full of planets you can visit and explore, each with their own ecosystem, plant and animal life.

Just imagining it, an endless universe, all of it explorable, yet impossible to explore, you’ll never finish it, it’ll be forever expanding. You discover a new animal or planet, every other player in the game will know it’s your discovery should they too find it.

You’ll be able to upgrade your ship so you can explore more worlds, or take on more dangerous pirates and other enemies on your travels. Everything about this looks like a grand adventure in outer space, you are the captain, you have the con.

HOLHero of Legend – My highlights were all Nintendo. I admittedly had fairly low expectations (funny enough I was the least excited I’ve been in years) since the last few have been really poor for Nintendo. Like last year the Direct was laggy as can be, and they spoiled their key Wii U games in the January 2013 Direct, leaving only Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze as their sole new Wii U game, yikes. Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, and X (now Xenoblade Chronicles X) were the highlights last year.

This year, holy CRAP did they hit a home run. Not only was the presentation hilarious with the Robot Chicken segments, but the sheer volume of games was easily rivaling their E3 2010 and even E3 2006 showing, that is a high bar folks.

My game of the showing would likely be Bayonetta 1, which while of course being a port, it’s one I was BEGGING for (what, did you all ignore my signature for the past 6 months? XD). I have a personal love for playing high-quality Nintendo versions of classics not on a Nintendo system prior, not so much games out at the same time that are gimped in some way. Bayonetta 1 falls into the former (as does Tales of the Abyss on 3DS, highly recommended!).

Other highlights include Yoshi’s Wooly World finally back from the dead after the only showing at the aforementioned Jan 2013 Direct. What a jump it made. So pretty. As well as Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. Never did I imagine that HAL would already be putting out a Wii U Kirby game this soon, and right after Kirby Triple Deluxe on 3DS. They’ve come a LONG way after the long hiatus between Kirby Adventure GCN’s cancellation and Kirby’s Return to Dreamland on Wii.

Disappointed in X being simply Xenoblade, and it’s not even an actual sequel but a spiritual successor. The hell is the point? Also they said way back the game they were making was a new IP. O_o

Should mention that I got to see Sony’s conference in the theater. And honestly I don’t see myself doing it again, felt kinda awkward only just having a Vita and only getting really started in the Sony camp. Sony certainly didn’t give much time to the Vita at all.

Saw a tad of Microsoft’s online but left it due to disinterest. The whole Conker thing is something else. I was actually humored at his “comeback” explaining the trademark renewal, but OH did fans get pissed and I see why, wow (and I love Rare, and dearly miss their Nintendo partnership *sniff*, I’m so getting The Unlikely Legend of Rusty Pup by Conker’s creator by the way for Wii U eShop). Was also kinda half surprised and half not of Kamiya’s Scalebound. That Crazy Buttocks guy on GAF hit the nail on the head last year with that rumor. Was disappointed that he wasn’t on another Wii U game, but eh, can’t be sad with all this Bayonetta goodness and The Wonderful 101 to play now can’t it? 😉

And that’s it for me! 😀

tumblr_mwyetcY3Ck1sxudx7o1_500 JonoD – For me, I found that E3 this year was very much a fleeting kind of affair. There really wasn’t anything this year that had me screaming at the computer screen with excitement.

Whilst I didn’t catch all of the press conference presentations, what I saw of the ones I did manage to catch seemed like the standard affair to me. EA’s conference was loaded with sports and guns… meh. Microsoft had a lot of stuff to cater for a good proportion of the mainstream gamer demographic (and Sunset Overdrive looks freaking awesome), but Sony’s conference had the most of interest for me. There was plenty there to satisfy my more ‘out there’ gaming tastes with titles such as Abzu, LittleBigPlanet 3, Entwined and… The Ratchet and Clank movie. Yep, the Ratchet and Clank Movie.

The movie looks to be an interesting retelling of the Ratchet and Clank story from a different approach, and whilst we haven’t seen much, I’m looking forward to catching this thing in theatres (assuming it makes it as far as ye olde England). The other bombshell they dropped? Original Ratchet and Clank remake… on PS4. The moment I see that, the PS4 system: Sold to me.

Another game I’m looking forward to: Mortal Kombat X. Awful teaser trailer song be damned, seeing the actual game in action was a great laugh, and has me looking forward to severing limbs left, right and center. The kombat (heh) looks to be much improved over last time, as is the game’s overall presentation (the X-Ray moves look a LOT more natural and painful!), and I’m looking forward to seeing what story route the game is going to take. Will have to wait and see there!

It’s funny… Why is it that the games I’m looking forward to most, are the ones I’ve pretty much already played years ago?

vizardjeffhog_iconVizardJeffhog – If there’s one part of E3 that I have thoroughly enjoyed, that had me on the edge of my seat even before the show began just from the sheer amount of hype it potentially generated… it has got to be, hands down, Nintendo’s main E3 presentation through their Digital Event. Heck, what else would a Nintendo fanboy fawn over at this time of year? It was glorious, goofy fun all around, not to mention that it trumped over the other conferences by showing a necessary and gratuitous amount of, well, gameplay instead of relying on prerendered material for the most part, so how could I not highlight this?

Not to say that Microsoft and Sony had nothing to show, don’t get me wrong! Personal highlights on those ends would be the insanely bright and colourful Sunset Overdrive, seeming to be well on its way since its premiere at E3 2013 and downright insane in its execution, and the Ratchet & Clank remasters, seeing as I’ve always been meaning to get into the series but have yet to obtain a Playstation console. On the EA side of things, Mirror’s Edge 2 looks pretty fantastic, and I hope to get my hands on that particular gem in the near future, once I’ve gotten ahold of a PS4 that is! What about Ubisoft though?

But Nintendo. Oh my god, everything I’ve ever could have wanted and then some got showcased, the Robot Chicken skits aside, hilarious as they were. Wanted to star in Super Smash Bros yourself? Now you can! Needed a quality Yoshi experience to make up for New Island on the 3DS? Woolly World has everything! Enjoyed the Captain Toad levels from Super Mario 3D World? Here’s an entire game based around it! Looked forward to Bayonetta 2 but never had the chance to play the first? Bam, here’s both games in one! Kirby: Canvas Curse sequel? Missed Midna of Twilight Princess fame? Open-world Zelda? Make your own Super Mario levels? WhaBAM on all counts!

What really stood out for me, however, was the unorthodox reveal that is Splatoon, Nintendo’s own take on the shooter genre. What makes it unique? Squid-girls blasting coloured ink everywhere for territorial domination, transforming into squids to either swim through ink at high speeds or use as camouflage, and going head-to-head in 4 vs 4 online brawls with these elements in mind! I’m looking forward to see how this IP will evolve over the next few years, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it come 2015!

On a final note, I’ve also had the chance to try out Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U at a local Best Buy for Smash Fest (it’s the same build as E3’s own, so it counts!), and it plays exactly as you would have dreamed. It’s frantic, it’s fast-paced, and it’s chaotic good fun, just as it should be, this time leaning more on the side of Melee than it did Brawl. The game plays fine and dandy with the Nintendo 3DS’s control scheme, and I had a great time breezing and powering up Sonic through Smash Run, the mode inspired by Kirby Air Ride‘s City Trial mode, and wailing on computer players in Gold form within the New Super Mario Bros. 2 inspired level. I also had a run-in with a familiar Sky Sanctuary-native robot within Smash Run, so keep your eyes peeled for these guys once you get ahold of this game!

This did not come without the announcement of a delay from a slated summer release to October 3rd for the 3DS version, but hey, it makes for a better quality product in the end. Besides, the reveal of Mii Fighters, Lady Palutena from Kid Icarus, and Smash co-developer Namco’s own Pac-Man as playable characters all in a single day makes the wait more than worth it… as though everything else about the game doesn’t make it obvious enough!

doctormkDoctor MK – As I’m not a big Sony or Microsoft follower, E3 for me was (as always) all about Nintendo – and I am pleased to say they did not disappoint! While they’ve had some disappointing performances in recent years, 2014 truly was the year that they got things right. There was a lot of debate about whether holding another digital presentation was a good idea, but the Digital Event really proved how to pull it off with aplomb – from the self-deprecating humour of the Robot Chicken sketches to the Reggie v Iwata fist fight, this was all stuff you simply could not have done live on stage.

The real highlight of Nintendo’s E3 approach though has to be the Treehouse Live – almost constant round the clock three day coverage of all their big new games kept interest in Nintendo’s reveals alive long after the excitement for Sony and Microsoft died down. And what games they are! Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS continues to impress (the Palutena reveal making me far happier than it should… perhaps even more so than Pac-Man!) and Yoshi’s Woolly World, the re-woven Yarn Yoshi, looks simply sublime. Classic Yoshi gameplay with that adorable art style and some creative new ideas? Count me in!

In terms of surprises, Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker was a game that seemed so obvious in concept that it might never have been made, and though we were all expecting our first look at the new Legend of Zelda… actually seeing it, just wowzers. Stunning visuals, a bold new approach, and open world gameplay will all make up Link’s upcoming adventure on the Wii U. But it was arguably the squid-tastic shooter Splatoon that remains my firm favourite – which is funny really, because I glanced over it a bit during the Digital Event. But having seen more of it via the Treehouse Live, it looks like one heck of a blast, and a much needed shot in the arm for Nintendo’s online multiplayer community. This is definitely one to watch! 2015, hurry up and get here already!

d039243d0917679ed9762e415af2f9e8Brad – First of all, I wanna say that each of the big three did a great job this year. A huge improvement on the previous few conferences gone by even with the high and lows they all shared, most notable being Microsoft who really surprised me with a really enjoyable hour. Because of that, I wanna give a highlight from each of their conferences.

From Microsoft, the entire trailer for Sunset Overdrive made me chuckle and super envious of all the Xbone users out there, because man does that look fun. It has a a bright, comic charm to it that’s undeniably infectious, and the gameplay itself outside of the gunplay looks extremely fun. Also, special shout out to “Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha” for making me laugh (again) like a total idiot, and premiering Rise of the Tomb Raider which I can’t wait to see much more from, even if it’s not an exclusive. Great stuff.

Sony had quite a few strong points. No Man’s Sky finally captured my interest, Uncharted 4 looks visually stunning, and there’s new games coming from the developers of Limbo and Journey, two excellent indie titles. But honestly my favourite moment goes to the announcement of LittleBigPlanet 3, and the pure surprise of it. Reps get on stage, and say “hi, we’re here to show off LBP3” like it’s nothing and the crowd reacted fantastically. Looking at the new cast of characters and the increased creativity options available (and, developed by Sumo Digital!), LBP3 is shaping up to be a great game for this year. Also, I really can’t not mention Arkham Knight. If it wasn’t delayed to next year, it would have pushed me to make it my favourite. Because goddamn, it looked absolutely incredible.

Finally, Nintendo. They had a really enjoyable conference this year with Robot Chicken segments that were tongue-in-cheek laughing at themselves plus fans/critics, and the epically memorable Reggie versus Iwata showdown was super fun to watch play out. However, my favourite moment is almost certainly a tie between the new Legend of Zelda game announcement, and the first true trailer for the upcoming Pokemon generation three remakes for 3DS. I’d say Zelda takes the cake here just for the presentation itself, as Aonuma simply clicked his fingers and suddenly this gorgeous, vast and sprawling huge world appeared behind him, while he explained you could travel to all the areas you could see before you. After a short chase sequence done completely on the in-game engine, I was so excited and happy that I was squealing.

Oh, and let’s not forget the wonderful and beautiful Aisha Tyler, the presenter of the Ubisoft conference for the third year. She’s an absolute star and I hope to see her in the future. It’s been a pretty great E3 2014! Even if most of the games are coming out next year, hehe.

jbJason Berry – I’m with Hero on this one. Nintendo really knocked it out of the park this year. Between the recent launch of Mario Kart 8, the huge Smash Bros tournament at Best Buys, cool original IPs like Splatoon (Which was incredibly fun to play) and a brand new, open world Zelda, things are finally starting to look up. Surprisingly, I was also impressed with X-Box One’s lineup. Especially Sunset Overdrive which is giving me Dreamcast vibes with it’s “Jet Set Radio meets Ratchet and Clank” style of game play, Ori: The Blind Forest was full of feels, playing Halo in 1080P/60FPS is a must and Scalebound from the director of Bayonetta! Sadly, Playstation failed to impress me for the first time in years. I’m sure I’ll love LittleBigPlanet 3, but no other exclusives got me excited.

nucklesisannoyedNuckles87 – E3 was full of nice, small surprises this year. In terms of how much they interested me, this was probably the best year since 2010. Bayonetta 2’s new demo kicked all kinds of ass, of course. As a fan of point and click adventure games I’m excited for the re-release of Grim Fandango, which will be getting a port to Playstation platforms later this year and finally give me a chance to play it. Though I didn’t get to play it since I left my PS4 on the other side of the country, Entwined was a really cool new game to see, and between that and Abzu it looks like Sony is going to continue to amazing by supporting and providing some of the most artistic and creative content in the industry.

On the Nintendo end of things, I am glad they gave us a brief glimpse of next gen Zelda and made it clear that the game game in the franchise was going to be sprawling and wide open. Smash Bros continues to be one of my most anticipated games this year, especially now that Miis and Pac-man are coming. Star Fox, Splatoon and Giant Robot were all welcomed surprises, but my favorite was easily the announcement that Wii U owners will not only be getting an enhanced port of the original Bayonetta, but they will be getting it for free with Bayonetta 2.

As a huge Halo fan, the announcement of the Master Chief Collection was easily my highlight of their conference. Not only are we getting four awesome Halo games in one package, not only are we getting every single multiplayer map, not only will all of these games feature enhanced resolution, but Halo 2 will also be getting the full anniversary treatment, with remade Xbox One graphics! On top of that, they are bringing over the entire multiplayer experience completely untouched, something I’ve been wanting to re-experience ever since the servers for the Xbox version went off line back in 2010.

I really dug this E3. Though this year wasn’t exactly filled with huge announcements, there were more than enough small ones to make me happy. Jason and I also got to hang out with Sven for a bit after the show ended!

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So you might be wondering, ‘hey, didn’t any of you like Sonic Boom?’ well funny you should ask that, we’ll be discussing Sonic Boom (all aspects of it) in a future update.

P.S. This moment was also rather wonderful.

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He can make people bow on demand, he’s that powerful.

So agree/disagree with anything mentioned here? Did something else catch your eye? Let us know in the comments.