All the E3 press conferences have come and gone. Developers from all across the gaming world have shown off their latest and greatest games coming later this year and into the future. Here are two lists: my five most disappointing moments and five favorite moments from E3 2018. Just to get one thing out of the way, Kingdom Hearts III is not on either of these lists. I’d rather have Third Impact’s resident Kingdom Hearts III expert Austin share his thoughts on the new worlds and release date in the near future. Let’s first get the disappointing moments out of the way.
Most Disappointing Moments of E3 2018
5.WTF is Death Stranding
The small gameplay trailer we saw didn’t explain much in terms of gameplay. Is Death Stranding a stealth game or a Sierra game in disguise, based on all the walking seen in the demo. While I’m confident that the story will be interesting, I’m worried the actual game itself will be a boring slog. I hope Kojima isn’t becoming David Cage who makes games just to have famous actors in them. Hopefully we can get a playable demo in the near future.
4. No Super Mario Maker for Switch
Anyone who has played Super Mario Maker on the Wii U will tell you how incredibly fun it was the make your own custom Mario levels. It’s a shame that such a great game is stuck on a dead console. The 3DS version isn’t great either due to its lack of access to the thousands of Mario stages made by the SMM community. A Switch port would allow for playing all of these wild and interesting Mario stages on the go, with hopefully more expansive access to even more community made levels. If Captain Toad and Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze can get ported to the Switch I think Super Mario Maker deserves the same.
3. The Continued Death of Virtual Console
Virtual Console on the Wii was a marvelous storefront that allowed for access to hundreds of classics games from the NES, SNES, Genesis, Master System, N64, Neo Geo, even Commodore 64. Sadly due to its poor interface and lack of press, Virtual Console died a slow death on the Wii and Wii U. Then due to the massive popularity and sales of Nintendo Mini consoles it’s unlikely VC will come back. Classic Mario and Zelda games will always be on newer Nintendo platforms eventually, but I have little faith that hidden gems like Sin and Punishment, Lifeforce, or Castlevania: Rondo of Blood will ever come to the Switch.
2. No Steep 2 or Steep updates
Most Ubisoft games are boring collect-a-thons/open world games that eventually become a grind, but Steep was different. Released in December 2016, Steep really scratched the SSX/1080 Snowboarding itch I’d been craving for awhile. Its arcade-like controls and big open world allowed me to get some big air and plow through snow to my heart’s content. I was hoping that a second game or more DLC for the first game would be announced at Ubisoft’s press conferences, but we got nothing. I know a Switch port of Steep is coming in the near future but I hope that isn’t the end of this franchise.
1. The Majority of the Bethesda’s Press Conference
There were a lot of things wrong with Bethesda’s press conference this year. The awkward Andrew W.K performance, Fallout Shelter coming to consoles, what looks like a piss-poor Elder Scrolls Mobile game, and no real announcements for the Elder Scrolls CCG and MMO made me generally groan. What bothered me the most was the lame announcement of Elder Scrolls VI. That’s all it was! Just an announcement! With how much money Skyrim made (and keeps making), even the most casual gamer could tell you an Elder Scrolls VI was going to happen. I’d rather Todd Howard have revealed Elder Scrolls VI when there was actually something to reveal, like its location or game mechanics, etc. There were some positives, like the new Doom and Wolfenstein games, but overall Bethesda reached EA levels of disappointment.
Favorite Moments of E3 2018
5. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: there’s a new Smash Brothers game coming to Switch and it looks to be the greatest Smash game ever released! Every character from every Smash is going to be in Ultimate. It has Gamecube controller support, new special moves, and balance tweaks. Plus ,with the addition of Daisy and Ridley from Metroid, Nintendo is checking off all the boxes Nintendo fans want in a Smash game.
4. Man Eater
Man Eater is a single player action RPG where you play as a man-eating shark. That’s right, you play as the shark! Based off the trailer, it looks like an updated version of Jaws Unleashed with better graphics and hopefully better controls. I think it’s going to be tons of stupid fun just swimming around as a deadly shark, snatching up your unsuspecting prey. I bet a lots of “let’s players” and myself will be playing Maneater. If you missed this one, here is a link to the trailer.
3. Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami Coming to PC
Sega has been a strong supporter of PC gaming since the successful release of Valkyria Chronicles on Steam. This year, Sega announced they are bringing both Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami to PC. This is the first time the Yakuza franchise will be on a gaming platform that isn’t Playstation. In the most simplistic terms, the Yakuza games are similar to Grand Theft Auto mixed with a beat-um up. You play Kazuma Kiryu, a Yakuza gang member who can get in some serious and seriously funny situations. There is so much to do in the Yakuza games from karaoke, playing classic Sega arcade games, bowling, dating, and kart racing just to name a few. I hope with this port to PC the Yakuza fan base will grow even more.
2. Ghost of Tsushima
Taking a break from the Infamous franchise, Sucker Punch is taking us to Tsushima Island during the Mongol’s first invasion of Japan. The interesting setting, the samurai aesthetic, and the beautiful graphics of Ghost of Tsushima definitely grabbed my attention. It doesn’t have a release date yet but from what was shown, it looks like fun!
1. Insomniac’s Spider-Man
I’m going to be honest, the first Spider-Man demo last year made me nervous. Insomniac’s take on Spider-Man looked like it was going to be “Quick Time Events the Game.” Luckily, the new gameplay footage looks great with combat akin to the Batman: Arkham games combined with Spidey’s rapid, fluid movements. Hopefully the gameplay isn’t so fast that the player and the camera can’t keep up. From what we’ve seen, it seems like a very authentic Spider-Man game with the use of Spidey’s rogues gallery and the familiar locations of the Spider Man universe. I am excited that we are finally getting a Spider-Man game that could topple the Spider-Man 2 game from 2004, though I will miss Bruce Campbell’s voice telling me I am doing it wrong in the tutorial.
Honestly, there were so many great moments at E3 this year that I couldn’t list them all. From Metal Wolf Chaos coming to the United States, to Dragon Quest IX coming to Steam, to From Software’s new game, there’s a lot to look forward to. What was your favorite or least favorite moment from E3 this year?