E3: Day Three
Chasing an oldie…
Day Three began like all the other days, tired and hoping that all my plans wouldn’t fall apart at the seams. But then I had a light bulb moment, I only have one appointment today, which meant I could actually play some games on the floor!
Project Witchstone, as it is currently called, is not a Nintendo Switch game (but I can do whatever I want) was my final appointment. This project reminds me soooo much of one of my favorite RPGs, Divinity: Original Sin 2, and the crew at Spearhead Games doesn’t deny that inspiration either. There is nothing wrong with taking something that inspires you and molding it into something a little different – it’s necessary for evolution.
I think this may have been the best part of the day. I was able to sit down, relax, and eat! There were a lot of food trucks there and they all looked really appetizing, but one really stuck out to me, The Garbage Truck. Their food was absolutely delicious!
Most of my time on the floor was spent in the Nintendo area. Nintendo had one of the largest presences due to the fact that Sony had announced they would not be a part of this year’s E3 event, and Xbox was off-site (next door) in their own building. I was able to battle through a gym in the upcoming Pokemon game and go through a small section of Luigi’s Mansion – both of these titles failed to impress me. In regards to Pokemon, the demo placed you at the start of the water type gym with all of the newly announced Pokemon. As you ventured towards the gym leader you were challenged with a fairly straightforward puzzle system.
Once you meet the gym leader – whose name escapes me – you could finally use the new “dynamax” ability. This skill allows a Pokemon in your party to become very large in size, and also boosts your skills for three turns. I can’t really formulate an opinion on Pokemon due to the fact that the demo didn’t really show off the “real” major changes in this iteration of Pokemon, it just seemed like any other Pokemon game. Luigi’s Mansion was better in terms of showing off almost all of the new mechanics in the game. I got to use all of the new attacks and got to see some of the different ways Gooigi will be used. Luigi’s Mansion 3 still (visually) looks the same to me. I was unable to play Link’s Awakening due to the lines being ridiculous, no matter what time of day it was, but it didn’t really matter because i’m getting it anyway.
At this point I’m fairly tired so I head outside to call for a ride. I am not exaggerating as I type this, but I was just about to confirm for a driver pick me up when I received an email. One thing I haven’t mentioned was that I’ve been trying to get a hands-on demo for the Grandia HD collection. I had been emailing their contact off-and-on for the entirety of E3, and the week prior. The contact told me that their schedule was very full, but he would let me know if there was a cancellation. Well, they had a cancellation. I raced back towards the convention center, got searched (again), and then I went on to the meeting room. I’ll have more on the Grandia HD collection in an upcoming video soon. What I can say right now is that a lot of care went into this remastered edition.
No adventurer's journey will go abandoned…
No Geohound's job will go uncompleted…
— GungHo Online (@GungHo_America) June 5, 2019
So that basically ends the E3 coverage. I did have a great time and got to meet a lot of fun and interesting people. I still do prefer the “intimacy” of Pax events over E3, but now I can finally say I’ve been to E3!
E3: Day Two
Beer, Sweat, and other things…I’ll get into this later.
This day began with me heading straight into the hall to get in line for some of the E3 exclusive Funko Pops, particularly the Fallout 76 Excavator. I did obtain a few others though, because why not?
Now, I’ve got a little time to get to the Netflix and Games panel – you may be happy to know that I grabbed food on the way there (I know, veteran move). I arrived about an hour early but was able to watch a few panels beforehand, and I’m glad I did. Geoff Keighley was on stage with Leo Olebe, Facebook Global Game Partnership Director, and they were discussing the Global Gaming Citizens. Global Gaming Citizens looks for inspiring stories within the gaming industry. One of this year’s nominees hit close to home with me, so I was hooked in.
— SwitchRPG @ #E32019 (@SwitchRPG) June 12, 2019
The Netflix and Gaming panel was hitting me on two fronts. First I love gaming (well, obviously) but I also love movies and TV – in fact I co host a podcast, called The Cine Snobcast, where we discuss the movie and television worlds. Now I’ll be honest, I didn’t fully get what I wanted out of the panel. I was hoping for info on potentially unknown IP’s either coming from or going to Netflix. For example, a new video game TV series or a new Netflix video game.
None of that happened, although we were treated with awesome insight on the goings on over at BonusXP, developer of the upcoming Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and their relationships with Netflix and The Jim Henson Creature Shop. This game looks like it’ll be phenomenal – it has the right studio behind it as the team at BonusXP seem to really care about the source material.
Now, I head off to one of my most anticipated stops for this E3: a meeting with NIS America. This meeting was really interesting. I wasn’t sure what games were going to be demoed so the anticipation was killing me. I got to the location and the team at NIS America was fantastic. I was able to demo Disgaea 4 Complete Plus, Alliance Alive HD Remastered, and Destiny Connect. Gameplay Video Incoming…
During the time I was in LA, an old friend was in contact with me as he had moved to LA almost 10 years ago. I didn’t really announce that I was coming to E3 to anyone, but when I started posting pictures he instantly touched base with me. So, that meant a meet up and that meet up was tonight. Some people may know that I’m from New England, specifically Massachusetts, and that meant one thing tonight. The Boston Bruins were playing in the Stanley Cup finals and tonight’s game was for the championship. My friend and I are avid sports fans and we definitely needed to watch this game somewhere.
We headed off to the bar for some food and drink, hoping to have a great time. While it was fantastic catching up with him, the outcome of the game won’t be discussed here, or probably for another month or so….. OK. Now you may be wondering why I started this entry with, “Beer, Sweat, and Other Things.” One thing I didn’t say is that my friend had an extra ticket to a show that night – the band Alexisonfire was playing at The Wiltern.
Now, this seemed like destiny – my Boston Bruins lost game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals (yes MY Boston Bruins) and I needed to vent some frustration. We didn’t make it on time to see to opening act but man, we were ready for Alexisonfire. So, the bands begins their set, and long into the first song beer is thrown everywhere – at least it smelled like beer. Now if you’re unfamiliar with this band, they are not a folk country artist. There was a lot of moshing and it seemed to breakout where I was standing. Enter the sweat phase. It was very hot in this venue and there were a lot of people crammed together.
There was no escaping leaning on the person next to you and experiencing the disgusting sensation of a sweaty stranger’s body. Like I said, the mosh pit seemed to erupt everywhere I went, so my head was constantly on a swivel watching for flying bodies and fists. People were constantly falling, the floor was like an ice skating rink and not only that, it’s just the nature of this event. I’m trying to keep this out of mind, even while typing this, but I can’t even imagine how much of other people’s DNA is all over me – it just makes me sick.
Get home, don’t touch anything, immediately jump into the shower.
E3: Day One
Got to the Media room, sat down and prepared myself for Nintendo Direct presentation. But after watching it, I don’t think there was anything that could have prepared me for that presentation. Nintendo was fairly airtight in regards to leaks, other than rumblings of The Witcher 3 gracing the Switch, but who would have believed that! I’m not going to go on and on about the mountain of games I need to get this year thanks to Nintendo, so it’s off to see some Cyberpunk 2077.
It’s obvious that Cyberpunk 2077 is not coming to the Nintendo Switch, but needless to say I am very interested in this title. We were shown a 50 minute hands-off demo of new gameplay. This demo went into detail regarding its in-depth rpg mechanics and different play-styles available to the player, whether it be stealthy or all-out shoot-em-up.
The Cyberpunk demo went a little bit later than I thought, so I had to race over to the Natsume booth (which was on the other end of the convention center) for coverage of Harvest Moon: Mad Dash and Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure, which can now be seen below. The interview went really well, but I had to move onto the next interview, or so I thought.
Xseed was next on my list. I was hoping to cover quite a few games here, as well as interview someone, but there was no one to interview! I was able to demo the games I wanted to cover, but I wasn’t able to talk with anyone. I played Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, Heroland, and Rune Factory 4. They all played really well and you can find off screen gameplay footage here:
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
HeroLand off-screen footage. pic.twitter.com/SVunMkKqef
— SwitchRPG @ #E32019 (@SwitchRPG) June 12, 2019
Rune Factory 4 Special: ???
Well apparently I wasn’t supposed to get off screen footage of Rune Factory 4 Special, but some viewers were able to catch a glimpse of gameplay when I live streamed for a little bit. No big deal, i guess it was just a misunderstanding because that was the only title I wasn’t allowed to capture. Moving on…
I had one interview left but I had 3 hours to kill, so I roamed the floor…and thats when I saw Darksiders Genesis. I was really excited to play this game, but for some reason the demo didn’t really convince me. At the start we were given an option to either crawl through a dungeon or fight a boss, and I chose to go through a dungeon. There were a 2-3 different enemies to fight against and the worst part is that I didn’t get to see any LOOTS. As the RPG aficionado I am, I only really wanted two things from the demo:
- Menus (NOT ONE)
Sounds stupid right? But I wanted to see how the RPG mechanics were being implemented and that was not available to me. Unbelievable! Here’s some gameplay:
So, a little more roaming ensues and I’m doing the whole mingling with the PR people – I should probably get lunch. BUT NO, Bandai Namco is allowing me to play Ni No Kuni. Now here’s the thing – for some reason, it had escaped my mind that the Nintendo Switch was not getting the “Remastered” version of this title. So, I had to play the remastered version on a PS4 and damn…it looked good. I started playing a little into the game, going straight into a boss – did not go well. I haven’t picked up a Playstation controller in a good 15 years. So I had to look down at my hands every time. Needless to say that demo was quick. When the “instructor” asked me if I’d like to try again I instantly said “no” – I couldn’t handle that type of failure. Hopefully, if I play the Switch version I’ll do a little better.
I should probably get a bite to eat. Oh wait…did I forget breakfast?
Food will wait, because now I need to find my next appointment with Zen Studios. Is this the place? Nope. Is it down here? Nope. Let me ask someone. Excuse me, do you know where I can find the Concourse meeting rooms? Uh, nope.
I made it! Thirty minutes and 5K later I get to talk about CastleStorm 2, which was announced this E3. CastleStorm 2 is a merry blend of Angry Birds, Monty Python humor, Tower Defense, and strategy – a very interesting title. But the one game I was hoping to get a little more info on was Operencia: The Stolen Sun (trailer below). While they wouldn’t confirm a Switch release during the meeting, they didn’t deny it either. So, look for a 2020 release!
Wow, what a day! My head is still spinning and I have 2 more days. I have a couple things I’d like to accomplish tomorrow: first, get the Fallout e3 exclusive Funko Pop. Second, demo the John Wick strategy RPG, John Wick Hex:
I have meetings planned with NIS America tomorrow and I’ll be watching the Netflix press conference.
Its 7PM and boy, am I hungry!
Nintendo At E3 2019 Impressions
The Trip To
I have arrived in L.A.!
After waking up at 4AM, I was shocked to find an Uber ride to the airport over an hour away. The ride there was really uneventful – we didn’t even hit any traffic! I had never been on a flight as an adult, so it was like experiencing the airport for the first time. I’ll be honest, I did some research as to what I needed to do once I arrived – I didn’t want to be caught off guard. I felt like a small child again. After boarding the plane, 6 hours (or two movies) later, we landed in L.A. So, now I need to pick up my badge – simple enough, right?
I arranged for another Uber ride again, only to find out they only pick up in certain areas. Makes sense, except i wasn’t near any of them for some reason. So…I go to the specified pick up location and call for a ride. Now, for some reason, the entire city seems to be under construction, and police are everywhere which is causing even more road blockages. Meanwhile, my driver thinks that he’s Luigi in a “Biddybuggy after getting a mushroom” while giving me the “peering death stare.” Ugh, instant motion sickness.
I’m typing this out as the sickness wears away, and I walk to get my e3 badge – NO issues there. I’ve even met some other folks I’ve talked to in the past, which made me feel a little more comfortable than being here alone. Now, for the remainder of the day: Get a map and explore the convention center. Once that’s done, go home, get a pizza, and relax.