I played the game early on in its life. Conversations were had around my elementary school lunch table, and I specifically recall playing during one of my trips to Dad’s office at CBS/KCAL (sometime between 2006 and 2009).
Like Realm of the Mad God, the game meant a lot to me growing up. I even thought about revisiting it a year ago:
Because I never did, I wanted to try and write something for July 4 this year. I looked up the website hoping to get some work in for a more fleshed out reflection.
I signed up for this particular new Naruto-Arena to give it a fair shot. It’s in an early build where all characters are available to test, and some key elements like character unlock missions are being implemented.
But it aesthetically nails the old look:
Right down to the statistical layout on the right side of the scroll.
It didn’t take me very long to come into a quick game. Though the transition into battle was rough, battling itself hit my nostalgia hard.
This remake replicates the way lingering technique effects stack beside each character, and the way your overall ranking changes their portrait’s accessories.
I also have to give this remake props for proving to me that over 10-year-old muscle memory is just as potent as ever:
I just did a quick game, but this new Naruto-Arena has a fairly fleshed out leaderboard to make up for features that are being implemented.
If I start to tackle ranked battles, who knows where I could get?
Though… I’m not sure how much time I’ll spend on this version of Naruto-Arena. It needs a little more time to gestate, and has received updates as recently as June 10.
I’d like to at least have the satisfaction of unlocking characters before diving in.
Yet I really can’t complain. It may have hit me hard to find out a childhood favorite closed without my knowing, but that loss clearly affected a host of other people too. Enough that some of them went on to try and revitalize it.
That’s the truly powerful thing about fandom: A strong sense of community forged in the small, unofficial details.
I’m glad I got to be a part of that for a time.
RIP Naruto-Arena. Sorry I couldn’t be there for your swan song.
I’ll be talking about the larger, more exciting subjects (to me) in detail before lumping the rest together for a quick mop-up at the end. So if you want to follow along, feel free! I’ll try to include individual trailer links where possible.
That said, let’s a go!
Super Mario Maker 2
Oh man, if there was any reason to own a Wii U, it was Super Mario Maker.
When I got mine, it was in a Mario Maker bundle that included this neat Mario Amiibo:
I spent hours making levels on the game pad, and the sheer amount of creativity oozing out of all corners of the Nintendo universe during its time in the spotlight was something to behold!
Given the first game’s pedigree and the sheer amount of improvements for an already creative powerhouse, I’ll be more than happy to drop some money on this come June.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
There was a decent amount of RPG news for fans to soak up in this Direct.
Dragon Quest had Builders 2 — even though I forgot the first game was a thing — and 11S Definitive Edition. I haven’t personally played a DQ game, but 11 looks like a fun, polished game with a cute 16-bit mode.
If nothing else, I’ll be expecting the protagonist as a Smash Bros. DLC.
The original Final Fantasy 7 and 9 Switch ports got some recognition, as did Chocobo Mystery Dungeon. Plus Square Enix has Oninaki coming, which looks pretty.
The segment kicked off with a lore-filled cinematic about the titular three houses in this new continent, the customizable player protagonist’s place in the story and more.
The leaders of the three houses — Edelgard of the Adrestian Empire, Dimitri of the Kingdom of Faerghus and Claude of the Leicester Alliance — all got some attention too. You only get to choose one, which will presumably branch into three campaigns.
Only this time we just have to buy one game!
The most interesting thing about Three Houses is that it looks like a high school anime, filled with vaguely Harry Potter-esque sensibilities and Fire Emblem mechanics.
Rather than a tactician, you are a teacher with students making up your ‘army.’
All of the battles (presumably before a real war breaks out) are considered training assignments, despite featuring such tasks as “quashing rebellions.”
In general the premise and scope of the game seems very interesting compared to most Fire Emblem titles. I’m excited to see where they go with it!
… I’m also excited to see Intelligent Systems announce a Heroes banner with the three leader characters sometime before the July 26 release date.
I know the original 1993 GameBoy version has been available on multiple platforms for years, but I’ve never gotten around to it.
Now I can justify putting it off by saying I waited for this brand new experience in an absolutely adorable Pikmin-esque art style!
The ‘2019’ release date is vague, but Marin humming the game’s theme over the end card sent a shiver down my spine. So I’m ready to wait for you, Wind Fish.
Those were my high points in today’s Direct, but there were plenty of other games spotlighted!
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate got a lame teaser for it’s upcoming 3.0.0 update where we found out nothing, other than Amiibo coming for the Belmonts and Pokémon Trainer.
Updates were announced for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Starlink, the latter featuring more Star Fox characters. I don’t own either, but still neat.
Demos were announced for Yoshi’s Crafted World, Daemon X Machina and Tetris 99.
… The last of which being a battle royale-styled Tetris game? I’m definitely going to have to try that and see if it’s as weird as it sounds.
Hellblade, Dead by Daylight and Rune Factory 4 are all getting ports for the Switch (plus Rune Factory 5 was announced). I’m not sure I’ll have the time to get to those over everything else, but I’ve heard great things about them all.
Mortal Kombat 11 and a remasted Assassin’s Creed 3 (from what I understand the best of the series) are coming to Switch.
Yet there were games I didn’t particularly care for, like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Box Box + Box Girl (basically my TI-83 calculator game), Disney Tsum Tsum Festival and GRID Autosport car racing among them.
But that said, it’s hard to say there’s not something here for everyone, even if they aren’t for me!
… Unless you’re a fan of Bayonetta. Because Bayonetta 3 only got a brief ‘in progress’ mention after PlatinumGames‘ Astral Chains was announced.
Still, the future of the Nintendo Switch continues to be promising!
Which games stood out most to you in today’s Direct? Let me know, I’d love to start up some conversations!
In other words I’ve already consumed a large chunk of the required materials.
The stuff I haven’t yet consumed seems plenty interesting in its own right, even outside of the bias that comes from knowing they stand in a pantheon of enjoyable media.
Hell there’s even a day where we’re just going to spend our three-hour class just playing Dungeons and Dragons. How sweet is that?
Another objectively cool element of the class is that essays are replaced by a long-form research project where we get to choose a game to analyze. Then the three papers we write will be pulled into one mega-paper as our final.
As someone who writes pseudo-game reviews on this blog and actual reviews for papers like the Daily Titan (big Nintendo hitters like Mario and Kirby at that), I should arguably be the most excited for this portion.
Yet I’ve hit a conundrum.
How the hell do I pick just ONE video game to analyze when I could arguably do it for any of my favorites?
Should I analyze one of my favorite nostalgic games of all time, like Pokémon Crystal?
Or for that matter one of the objectively better Pokémon games, given it is my favorite video game series. Perhaps Heartgold and Soulsilver or Black and White 2?
Maybe I should pick a game with more of a cultural impact considering I’ll need to write about its wider historical context. I could potentially use Ocarina of Time (or its 3DS remake), as much as games of that caliber have been analyzed to death in the past.
The Nintendo fanboy in me could downplay itself as well, leading me to analyze a game I enjoy but haven’t spent quite as much time with. Kingdom Hearts 2 or Simpson’s Hit and Run on the Playstation or even something like Don’t Starve or FTL as indie representation out of Steam.
That said, I could pick a game I straight up haven’t played before just to get a fresh take. Final Fantasy 7 has been gathering dust in my Steam library for a long time, and I do want an excuse to finally play it.
Even with all those options in the abstract, my mind did immediately wander in a particular direction when I found out about the assignment.
Recently, especially with the advent of the third Choose your Legends event in Fire Emblem Heroes, I’ve had the desire to go back and play Sacred Stones. My first and favorite Fire Emblem game.
Part of me couldn’t help but think about an interesting analysis coming out of Sacred Stones due to it being the first title released after Fire Emblem’s western debut.
That’s my most developed idea at the moment, but frankly I’m more than open to coming up with more in the weeks to come.
There are simply too many good games out there in need of analysis.
So I suppose that brings me to a call to arms of sorts. If any of you have ideas for a game I should try to analyze for my research paper (assuming it’s within my means), let me know somewhere on the Internet.
It’ll definitely be taking an unreasonable amount of my brain power for a good long time.
I do actually have some fond memories of playing Burnout games on the PlayStation 2 with my dad that I could probably talk about some day.
That’s just not my plan for right now.
No, instead I just wanted to briefly touch on a more depressing, real-world form of burnout: School burnout.
The end of this semester is kind of killing me with stress right now, guys.
We only have two weeks of regular classes left at this point, and after that there are three days worth of final exams I’ll have to take. So we’re hitting the last stretch of fall 2018.
That means all of my teachers are stepping up their games with a number of incoming deadlines and attempts to squeeze in as much information as possible in a short amount of time.
Obviously this post is just here for me to vent on everything I have going on that’s contributing to stress, so let’s lay it all out.
In the next week or so I have two major papers due, as well as a couple of smaller two-page papers to write.
One of those major papers is almost done, but the other one I haven’t really started on… Yikes.
At least one more quiz tomorrow in my Sensation and Perception class, though probably another one coming next week if I’m being honest.
By the way, last week the professor of that class introduced at least six more lecture PowerPoints online to fit into only four more lecture sessions AND let us know his cumulative final will not be curved — nice guy.
Whatever other homework I need to get done that will be assigned in the next two weeks.
Three exam finals, one of which being a cumulative test as I mentioned, as well as a fourth exam that’s a case study analysis for my Mass Media Ethics class.
But let’s not forget about all the other responsibilities I have lining up!
I’ve scheduled out at least three interviews for Gladeo in the near future to focus work on.
A potential sit-down with a family friend about a new potential job opportunity that I could take on. Not yet scheduled.
My friend Tiana wants me to help her edit another one of her papers, which I’m more than happy to do but don’t know if I have the cycles free — and the thought of turning her down due to time management almost stresses me out as much as adding helping her onto my workload…
Wanting to fit in continual trips to the gym into my schedule so I don’t fall off that commitment, especially after moving boxes the other day made me feel less confident about the progress I’ve made thus far.
Trying to keep up writing a blog post a day.
Yeah this blog does stress me out, in a similar way to going to the gym. It has become an obligation for me that I feel terrible about skipping, especially after things like my dad complimenting my commitment to writing during lunch with a family friend yesterday.
Just generally thinking about girls and wanting a relationship but feeling like I don’t know if I have the time to commit to one (more of a deeply personal grievance).
Plus a couple new video games I own thanks to Hanukkah that I have not gotten the chance to start yet.
Probably the lowest rung on my priority list, but it’s there.
Like I said, I actually feel really bad when I have to miss writing something. Yesterday I was simply too buried in a small mountain of homework to get around to writing anything, unfortunately.
So I wanted to write something up today for the ten of you or so who read this stuff regularly. Even if it just amounted to me barfing up all the obligations that are stressing me out for the next couple weeks.
If I’m going anywhere with this post besides making it a ventilation system for my stress, I suppose the through line is my asking for forgiveness ahead of time if I don’t get to writing as often over the next couple weeks.
… Though knowing the way my brain works, I’ll wind up writing a lot here anyway in place of taking extra time to study. Because it’s a decent stress reliever and my priorities are weird.
Also because I love you all. Especially when you stick with me for things like this.
One of these days, Alice. Bang Zoom. Straight to the Fire Emblem post.
But not today.
Because I’ll be honest, I’ve never come across a summoning banner that I’ve felt more apathetic for. The surrounding update is pretty cool, but I care so little for the new heroes that it’s actually difficult to find the motivation to write about them. Even if I keep referencing it.
Maybe I’ll have something tomorrow? Or Sunday, since tomorrow I have a band competition to go to and I might talk about that instead.
In the meantime, I have a very different blog post to fill the space based on my adventures shopping with Mom today.
At one point we hit up Target to pick up a few things. Some shaving cream for me (because yes I decided not to ‘no shave’ this November despite my struggles with it previously), index cards for Alyson, and some medication from the pharmacy.
It was a bit more difficult than usual because of some four cop car operation taking place in front of the store we go to, but I wasn’t able to glean what was happening there from a quick passing glance or two. So sorry, this isn’t a caught policing post like that one that I did a while back.
Man I sure am pulling a lot of older posts for this one today, aren’t I? That sure suspiciously seems like a space-filling tactic.
Good thing I’m writing it and can assure you that it definitely is not.
Onto the point.
While looking around the grocery store portion of the Target, we spent a lot of time examining the cereal aisle in particular. We Rochlin’s love ourselves some cereal, so it’s never a bad thing to have in the house.
What stood out to me more than ever today was just how blatant the store stocking staff was in terms of putting the “generic name brand” cereal next to the copyrighted cereal we all know and love.
I mean look at these:
You’d think they would maybe want to have these things on different aisles, or at least put them on opposite sides of the cereal department. Because I know WE all understand that there are cheaper versions of popular cereals available, it just seems like something that shouldn’t be thrown around this casually.
But wait, there’s more.
If you thought those rip-offs were bad, check this one out:
Yeah man, good job. We definitely got a name that’s distant enough to avoid any kind of copyright concerns.
The crazy thing is, this off-brand Frosted Flakes isn’t even the most egregious version of this problem. That award goes to none other than:
Is Raisin Bran not a copyrighted name? Because if it isn’t, good on the generic cereal brander for deciding to just jump on the train and sell the same cereal with the same name.
I’m sure they make good money off of that.
“But Jason, what does any of this have to do with blockchain,” I hear the astute audience members who read headlines asking through their computer screens.
“Well, I’m glad you asked,” replies the narrator of this fine tale before he steps aside to reveal a true masterpiece.
We got buzzcoin ladies and germs.
You look at that name, and the symbol they created on the back, and tell me that someone in the Cheerios branding team isn’t trying to cash in on the blockchain craze by getting kids addicted to internet monetary scams at the same time as they’re getting addicted to those sweet honey-dipped oats.
Obviously I missed out on doing a blog post yesterday. Almost missed out on doing one today too, but I figured I would at least do something quick to fill the void and try to keep myself honest.
My missing time pretty much comes out of a lot of time spent with my friends the last couple days. Had a long hang-out with the main gang yesterday that went until 1 a.m. and kept me busy the whole day, then today I spent a bunch of time with Sam just chatting about life and playing some video games.
Most of it was pretty chill, relaxing. Just be kinda stuff I needed as we get to about a month remaining before school starts up again.
Probably the most adrenaline pumping thing, funny enough, was playing a little old PS2-era game called—
Devil May Cry 3.
Yeah I’m serious.
Juan’s been pretty hyped up about the DMC series lately because they announced the fifth game at E3 this year. So he got us to try playing some of the older titles.
Appearance-wise they aged about as well as early 2000s PS2 games might be expected to.
But from a gameplay and charm perspective? I pretty immediately felt all-in with the adventures of Dante. Talk about a crazy mess of a game with some pre-recession charm.
It was just fun. A definite win to fit into my early PlayStation experiences. Something to help me get better with that classic PlayStation controller set-up too.
But that’s about all I can think to say about my recent friends escapades that isn’t just ‘Hey I had a fun time.’
I don’t know, in case it wasn’t obvious I don’t exactly have a lot to say about much of anything right now. I’m in a bit of a lull as far as overarching motivations go.
It’s taken me forever just to write this little bit of text because I’m a bit more interested in watching this new season of Orange is the New Black with mom and Aly.
Haven’t watched too much of the rest of the show, but it’s still pretty enthralling all the same.
Might just leave it at that, honestly. There’s some more stuff happening later this week that I could probably use to fill in the empty void from Sunday. There’s another Legendary Hero coming in Fire Emblem Heroes, I’m starting to do some work for the Fullerton Society of Professional Journalists’ branch and I think some of my Gladeo stories should finally be moving through the pipeline into the real world sometime soon.
So just consider this a ‘more to come’ post. Since I really don’t have too much more to go off of.
I know it’s a cliché to argue exactly what I’m saying in the title here, but don’t worry. I’m not actually planning on going on a long tirade against QTEs in video games.
This is just another case of ‘I spent all day hanging out with my friends and didn’t take the chance to write anything so I need some space filler.’
Welcome to space filler.
The reason I bring up quick time events in the first place is because most of our time today was spent playing a little known title called Detroit: Become Human. That’s right, the narrative-driven title brought to the world by Quantic Dream and the ever-controversial developer David Cage.
It’s a game that’s interesting… But pretty heavily flawed. In some key places.
We’ve been playing the game over the last few hangouts we’ve had while Jonathan was off in Canada on an extended road trip vacation, and it’s given me the chance to absorb some of what I feel are the big problems with my experience of the game — outside of issues with the studio and some of the ways women are treated that have been played to death in media.
No, my main problems with the experience of playing Detroit: Become Human involve certain gameplay elements. Beyond just the way it awakened a previously unknown pet peeve of being back-seat gamed when messing up a quick time event because I’m not used to Playstation controls and stuff is too sensitive and gettING YELLED AT ABOUT SCREWING THE GAME OVER UP DESPITE THE FACT THAT LATER IT’S REVEALED EVERYTHING WORKED OUT OKAY BECAUSE I’M A GOOD ROBOT JESUS JUAN AND TIANA CHILL OUT.
Sorry about that. Just lost the last few seconds of my life, but I think I’m okay now.
But yes, besides issues with quick time events, it also annoyed me how much the game relies on using invisible walls and choices that inevitably seem to make no difference in the narrative necessarily.
For example, in one scene a character can lose their memory if the player doesn’t respond to a series of events fast enough. In the branching paths of the story’s narrative there is apparently a pathway that can be ventured down where the character legitimately loses their memories forever and becomes a mindless android servant.
But that isn’t a result of actually losing their memory the first time.
No, if the character loses their memory, that isn’t the end of the scene. Screwing up didn’t just kill the run, it instead let the character walk out and find ways to regain their memories.
I suppose the argument could be made that having these kinds of levels of choices to be made is an example of having a successfully branching narrative.
But there’s a narrative dissonance when the character you’ve been playing loses all sense of themselves… But that doesn’t inherently affect the player’s abilities to control their actions. All it really does is add a few extra steps for the player to advance into the next scene rather than going straight there because nothing about the experience of playing changes.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just not a fan of the style of games presented by Quantic Dream, but elements like that bugged me. It felt somewhat manipulative, attempting to throw the player in a certain story direction under the guise of giving them multiple different choices.
I won’t go on too much about the issue, since it isn’t necessarily something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. It just seems like an interesting topic to broach and potentially get the internet’s opinion on by throwing it out into the aether here.
Besides we had a lot of fun playing it together even when I was getting yelled at for nothING. It probably isn’t the kind of game I would play on my own, but with friends it’s an interesting concept to experience.
Unlike a different game we spent some time playing, Enter the Gungeon. That’s the kind of rogue-like I’m legitimately considered getting for the Switch.
Today my journey to the Del Amo mall as a chauffeur for my sister got a fair bit more interesting when I was able to drag my buddy Juan along for an impromptu hangout.
All-and-all it was a great time, far more than it would have been if I just went and sat around by myself. We had lunch, explored a bunch of kitch-y stores, made fun of some really silly products and talked about all the important things in life.
Like video games.
But that’s another story. I thought it might be fun to take another look at some of the photos I took of some ridiculous things around the mall. Because that seems just quirky enough to probably be interesting, and it’s a real easy kind of post to do while watching Ready Player One with my family.
So let’s begin with this:
Boxing Jack-Jack and the raccoon from Incredibles 2.
I’ll be honest, the scene where Jack-Jack fights the raccoon is probably the best part of this movie. But… Wow. How could you make a toy that looks so unsettling?
I understand the idea that they’re sock puppets. It makes sense. The interactivity of the toy is also cute, since both characters make noises when they punch their arms.
I just wish the thing didn’t make it look like both a small baby and a raccoon weren’t twink boxers. Because god damn is it just… Not great.
Luckily there were a bunch of other cute Incredibles toys for parents to buy. Don’t buy your kids this unsettling bit of nightmare fuel, parents.
Here’s a clothing shop that’s just called “Q.” I don’t know why it’s just called Q. I didn’t go inside so I’m not sure what the gimmick is.
It’s just Q.
Honestly, I don’t have anything else to say about the place. I just thought it was so bizarre that it was worth pointing out.
Unlike this next picture, which has so many bizarre things to it that I can’t stop talking about it:
Seriously I’m not even sure where to begin here. The clashing art styles all being thrown together immediately stand out of course, but it’s the fine details that really just dig into your cerebellum.
Like why is Naruto wearing Goku’s outfit while standing next to Goku in a much more soft, pastel tone.
Why is Crono from Crono Trigger hanging out with Black*Star and Sonic the Hedgehog and Kirby? Except Kirby is red instead of pink.
Why is Bijou from Hamtaro sitting on top of Cloud’s shoulder? She ain’t in any Final Fantasy games.
Oh and let’s not forget the extra bizarre inclusions. Why is Nyan Cat in the top corner? Why is Navi from Ocarina of Time hanging out without any other Zelda character anywhere on the piece?
Ultimately though, I think there’s just one question to ask.
Who allowed this photoshop hodgepodge to be a thing?
I could honestly talk about that thing all day. But I won’t because I might actually descend into madness if I do.
So instead I’ll talk about this.
Anybody remember Xiolin Showdown? Because I do!
I used to seriously love this show growing up. So when I saw this PSP game sitting in a shop, I couldn’t not take a look.
I never owned a PSP or anything, but this game seems like it was probably pretty cool. I wonder-
Oh no… What did they do to your face little guy?
I… I can’t even look at that. It’s physically painful.
Okay let’s move on to something hopefully less nightmare-inducing, shall we?
I spoke too soon, there are just as many nightmares over in toy land.
I don’t know whose decision it was to make ‘Mighty Muggs’ a thing, but they made a very poor choice when it comes to overall design. Especially if they were hoping to compete with things like Funko Pops.
But hey, let’s look at something less terrifying, shall we?
Like check out all of these god damn copies of Wii Fit.
I don’t know who out there decided to trade in all their copies of Wii Fit to Book Off in the Del Amo mall, but I just wanted to give an extra special shout out to all of them.
Because look at how amazing this collection is. It’s literally the most stocked game in that store, and it’s beautiful.
Worth the trip all by itself, honestly.
Though that wasn’t the only amazing game that made this trip worthwhile.
My Stop Smoking Coach. For the Nintendo D.S. An Ubisoft title.
Only one dollar.
To be completely honest the fact that I didn’t go out of my way to buy this thing out of sheer curiosity’s sake may just be my greatest regret.
Actually I got ice cream because I didn’t buy this game, so I guess I don’t regret it too much. But if I see this thing again next time I go to the store, I’m definitely going to go out of my way for it.
Here’s another game that I thought was interesting from a series that’s probably a little more well-known.
Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland.
I don’t have too much to say about this overall. I threw it over to my friend Sam who’s a huge Harvest Moon fan and she’s never played this particularly title in the series.
I just wanted to throw it out there because it probably has the most nationalist title I’ve ever seen. ‘Save the Homeland.’ Can’t help but imagine the Von Trapp family showing up to beat off some Nazis.
That was about all I had in terms of video game stuff. But I did have a little more to cycle back to from our stop in Disney earlier:
Check out this Porg. Everyone loves Porgs, right?
Well, this is a Porg mug that has a scalped Porg. So you can drink it’s brains.
For the children, right?
I don’t know maybe that isn’t as funny on here as it was in person, where Juan pulled his now infamous ‘drink of my Porg’ line.
So I’ll let that one fly and move into this last fun thing I pulled out of our last trip to GameStop on the way home.
I’m not a huge basketball person, but my Twitter has been rampant with talk about LeBron James joining the L.A. Lakers. I have my own opinions about that whole thing and how… Ridiculous the number of dollars thrown around for one man are.
But that’s neither here nor there.
In the end I think it’s all worth it just for what this GameStop employee did to this NBA 2019 advertising stand.
It’s about as good a place as any to end off, if you ask me.
Hopefully you enjoyed this romp into weird shit I found today. If so let me know! Also don’t hesitate to send me any weird things you might find, because I thrive off that.
E3 was a tricky thing for me this year. See… A lot of it just isn’t for me.
That’s not me saying I’m not interested in a lot of the developers and what they’re working on, I mean literally there are barriers to me playing most games.
Like yeah I would love to play Kingdom Hearts 3, and I thought having three trailers across three different conferences that all featured different content was dope. But it’s on Xbox One and Playstation 4. Not the Switch.
Unfortunately I’m just limited in what I can access, and money is a severely limiting factor when it comes to getting consoles.
So to sum up 90 percent of E3 this year I’ll say this: It was better than a lot of other years prior, and I had a great time watching my friends freak out about what’s coming out soonish. And it has been cool seeing YouTube ads get replaced by E3 trailers
But frankly the only thing I can really have any authority or hype to discuss is the big N. So today, I’m dedicating my blog post to the Nintendo E3 2018 Direct conference.
If you want something more in-depth about the other conferences, there’s plenty of opinions out there. Might I recommend ProJared? He didn’t go to the conference in person this year it looks like, but I still respect his opinion quite a bit.
That said, let’s jump right in with what we got out of Nintendo this year.
So the Direct starts with this hype game about mechs battling called DAEMON X MACHINA. Super action-y music, real Justice League-esque color scheme.
It looks cool, and I get why they would start with something that has such a high-octane feel… But it’s not a very ‘Nintendo’-looking game. I just kind of spent half of it staring at the screen wondering why we started with this and not one of the classic IPs.
But then it very jarringly cuts to silence and awkwardly moves into the next thing.
That next thing happens to be Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC. Which is something I would probably care about more if I’d played either of the Xenoblade Chronicles games.
Okay that’s not fair, it’s nice to see the game getting more love since I know it’s a series plenty of people love. I just literally don’t know enough about it to offer an opinion.
But hey, then our boy Reggie Fils-Aimé comes in to kick things up to 100 for me by showing off that Pokémon goodness.
Except he doesn’t really, since it’s mostly just a recap of the trailer we saw the other day. No new footage or anything. So I guess if you want my over-extensive rumination on that, check it out through this link.
One thing he does let us know that’s new is the fact that the Pokeball Plus accessory allows you to get Mew in Let’s Go. That… Actually does make them feel much more worthwhile than I had originally thought.
Damn you clever marketing tactics. Damn you…
After that brief aside comes a return to form that feels much-needed on the Switch:
Super Mario Party.
That’s right, everyone’s favorite friendship killer is back. But this time it looks like Nintendo made a lot of good choices just based on the footage we can see.
For one, no more cars. Everyone wanders around on the game board on their own again. God bless.
They also show off the fact that the Switch consoles themselves will be well-integrated into the mini games, allowing players to do things like rearrange battlefields for tank fights.
Everything looks colorful and has branching pathways again, and there seems to be a wide variety of mini games to play. On top of that, they clearly pushed the fact that this is a Mario Party you can take literally anywhere thanks to it being on the Switch, which is a good selling point.
Plus Rosalina is there as a playable character. So honestly I can find no reason to complain. Come October, my friends and I are going to be all over it I’m sure.
Once Mario is finished, we move into the next thing. Yet another highly anticipated interest of mine:
Fire Emblem Switch finally has a name. Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
It seems the one thing Intelligent Systems learned from Fates is the fact that they can sell more games if they split them up, so instead of two main versions now there are three!
Alright no that’s a joke, don’t believe that fake news. I think it’s just three Lord characters from feuding lands or something along those lines.
The game honestly looks gorgeous from what we can see in the trailer. The environments look realistic more in-line with Fire Emblem Warriors than the somewhat cartoonish fantasy worlds of Awakening and Fates. Which is a plus or a minus depending on who you are, but I dig the art style personally.
It also seems to retain the same stylized cutscene art as Echoes, and the in-game character models are full body, more in-line with those cutscenes.
There are a number of new mechanics showcased in the trailer as well. For one, all individual units appear to have their own troop of units surrounding them when you zoom in close enough. Honestly, this makes a lot of sense to embody the feeling of controlling an army, something older titles had to kind of awkwardly skirt around due to the conflicts with its core gameplay mechanics.
The extra troops don’t appear to be able to take hits for each individual main unit, but they can be put into formations to direct attacks whichever way the player wants.
Also introduced as a step-up from previous titles is what looks like semi-open world portions where the game’s lords can explore expansive towns and castles. It’s as if the free-roaming home base feature from Fates used the third person camera style from dungeon exploring that came in Echoes, but it has a massive graphical overhaul.
Beyond that there are a few extra vague things shown that won’t necessarily make sense until we learn more/see the game. There are character choices that may affect what weapons the Lord units specialize in, the evil king uses an electrical whip like that villain from Iron Man 2 (so whips confirmed as weapons?), there are big mechanical people who seem to be units or at least bosses…
And then lore stuff that isn’t exactly clear.
They give a Spring 2019 release date, but that’s about all we can gleam before the next few trailers hit rapid-fire. For anyone who watched the presentation, there’s a pretty big light at the end of the tunnel so I’ll move through them quick.
Fortnite on Switch: I couldn’t really care less. But it’s free I suppose?
Reggie comes back to introduce Indie games. Starting with the sequel to Overcooked — a game that I’ve been forced to play with my friends and regret every minute of. Why Reggie. Why.
Killer Queen Black looks like a strange 16-bit inspired clone of Joust, just updated for 2018 mayhem. Apparently it’s a port of a game Reggie says was really popular… But I’ve never heard of it. So we’ll see.
Hollow Knight, meanwhile, is a game I’ve heard plenty about. I’ve heard it’s gorgeous and fun, one of my friend Kyle’s favorites from 2017. I’ll actually consider downloading it given the fact it’s out today.
The super stylized Square Enix RPG Octopath Traveler received an official June 14th release date. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the game but it looks cool and my friends are hyped for it, so I’m sure I’ll play it eventually.
After those announcements, there’s a montage of games that are either coming out or have come out. The one that stood out most, frankly, is Dragonball FighterZ. Something I’ve been looking for on Switch for forever.
Plus Dark Souls and Monster Hunter Gen Ultimate. And The World Ends with You, coming this Fall apparently.
Just… Give it to me already Nintendo, I need all of your games.
But wait, that montage must be the end of the Direct, right? How can there still be a half hour left?
We begin this long examination of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with the biggest announcement it has to offer. Every single fighter from every previous Smash game is back.
Ice Climbers? In the game.
Solid Snake? In the game.
Pichu? Young Link? Wolf? Pokemon Trainer? In the game.
But more than that, a few characters have received overhauls. Most notably Link, who now sports his Breath of the Wild look, as well as Zelda, from Link Between Worlds, and Ganon, from Ocarina of Time. The clashing art styles there are a bit jarring for me personally, but it’s cool to get a wider breadth of representation for the series!
Oh and let’s not forget the new characters: the Inklings from Splatoon, Princess Daisy and… Oh.
Ridley is actually in the game.
Our memes have become our reality, folks. End of the line.
Many of the characters also appear to have adjusted move sets. Notably final smash attacks. For example, Pac-Man now seems to rain down like meteors in his, rather than just moving semi-quick across the screen. King Dedede’s smash is based on the Masked Dedede cage fight now. Bowser’s is based on the Yoshi’s Island boss fight.
There’s a whole long section in the video going over the different ways characters have changed, and I’d recommend going to watch that. It does a way better job summing things up than I could.
I’ll just say… RIP Landmaster. Your legacy will always be remembered.
Sakurai himself says they made the impossible possible because it’s what players want, and by god is he right. What a beautiful, amazing man.
Eight-player Smash matches are also returning, as are a billion fan-favorite maps. On top of that, there are little quality of life changes like seeing gauges for Cloud and Robin’s abilities, which makes it easier to track everything on one screen.
Oh and let’s not forget. Assist trophies have been added, like the Squid Sisters. Many can be knocked out too New Pokémon assists have been added, like Solgaleo from Sun and Moon.
… Also Bomberman is there. Because why not?
Everything emphasized by Sakurai seems to suggest the game’s development was focused on making everything more beautiful, more intimately connected to the individual fighters showcased and more quick and fun as a brawler for players.
It’s honestly a greatest hits album for Smash Bros., and I really can’t argue with how amazing it looks.
I just hope we get a lot more new characters in the lead-up to the game. I want the roster for Smash Ultimate to look like one of those silly rom hack Smash games. After all, the Inkling fighters and Ridley both look like really fun additions.
But mostly I want more characters because then we get more amazing reveal trailers.
In Ridley’s trailer, he straight up murders Mario and Mega Man.
Like holy shit it’s so intense and real like for no reason. And I love it.
Plus they say he finally ‘hits the big time.’ I see what you did there Sakurai.
With Smash coming out in December, it’s heard up to be a perfect holiday present for all the kiddos. I’m certainly looking forward to it!
I can understand why people might have been disappointed by Nintendo’s E3 Direct this year.
As a fan of Fire Emblem, Pokémon and Smash Bros., I had a great time watching the Direct. It does help that the Switch is the only console I own, so it was kind of a look at the only games I can get in the near future… But still.
I felt much more hype walking out of the Direct than I did walking in.
Despite that, the lack of discussion regarding things like Metroid Prime 4, which was teased last year, and other such misses are easy jabs to make at the conference. Everything was very focused on a select number of games, with not too much else branching out.
Of course there was (and I believe still is as I write this) the Treehouse Live going on that talked about more Pokémon details and stuff like that… But I didn’t have the patience or time to sit through it, so I’m going to leave those topics for another day.
Probably not, I don’t know. We’ll see.
In the meantime, let me know what you thought of Nintendo’s E3 conference this year!
Or, further than that, let me know what you thought of E3 in general this year. I may only have a Nintendo console, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t games in the other spheres that I didn’t find interesting. I’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to coming soon to consoles everywhere!
As it turns out, I must be using the momentum from my Daily Titan post earlier this week to my advantage. Sometimes I astound myself with the way I can just go dark for days on end when I know I’ll enjoy myself after I manage to get out multiple posts in a row.
It’s just a satisfying feeling, man.
But that’s neither here nor there. This is a place to talk about video games. Not any of that real life garbage.
There’s probably some news going back a few weeks that I missed, but honestly I’m going to focus this entertainment beat report on a couple of really big things that have happened just recently in the video game realms that I follow.
So, without further adieu.
Overwatch League player terminated over sexual misconduct allegations
That’s right, we’re starting off with the heavy stuff today folks.
Jonathan Sanchez, a player known as “DreamKazper” from the Boston Uprising team taking part in Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch League tournament, had his contract terminated on Sunday when allegations went around that the 21-year-old was sexually involved with a 14-year-old fan.
Both the League and his former team have released statements about the scandal that can be seen over in the Game Informer link I put above.
I’ll be honest, I don’t exactly have a lot to say about this subject specifically. I have been following the League a little bit for this class, but I wouldn’t call myself an expert. Certainly not enough to know whether or not losing this player will leave a huge dent in the team’s abilities for the rest of the tournament.
But the fact that this story came out and received the reaction it did is important. In an era where the “Me too” movement seems to be taking down celebrities and other popular figures left and right (with good cause), it’s nice to see that a niche industry like eSports is not immune.
As an obvious fan of all things video games, I’d like to see a mainstream popular League like this survive beyond these controversies.
I suppose only time will tell.
“Donkey Kong” high score disqualified
Everyone loves Donkey Kong, right?
Well yes, Rare’sDonkey Kong Country series is certainly what people know the hulking ape for nowadays, and those games are undoubtedly wonderful both as experiences in themselves and as developments in gaming history.
But I’m talking about old school arcade Donkey Kong. The game where proto-Mario jumped around on scaffolding to save future New Donk City mayor Pauline from the clutches of the red tie-wearing monkey’s grandfather.
Is Donkey Kong a money? I swear I took a primate class not too long ago but I’m still nowhere near enough of an expert…
Heather Alexandra has a pretty in-depth story on the subject that’s fascinating in its level of detail, so I’m going to just recommend you read it off the link I posted above.
If you’re at all interested in the retro gaming scene, you’ll have a good time.
New “God of War” title received stellar reviews
There’s a little-known franchise making waves in the game review circuit right now.
Oh, who am I kidding, anyone who’s reading this likely knows what “God of War” is, as it’s far from ‘little-known.’ The highly acclaimed series will be breaking into the next generation of consoles soon with a new release on the PS4, and people have been hyped for the game since it was announced some time ago.
Like many other people, I will affectionately refer to the game as “Dad of War” because the main character, Kratos, is an older man with a son in this title.
After initial reviews like that, the question remains: Will Dad of War truly be as impressive as everyone is letting on?
I won’t personally be able to say given the fact that I don’t own a PS4. But my friends might play it.
If they do, I suppose I’ll get my answer there.
There are also probably a few smaller things I could throw into this, but for the most part it would be items of personal interest like the release of Klei Entertainment’s “Don’t Starve” on the Nintendo Switch.