Old Tricks: Not-So-Good Stuff from E3 2015
E3 Expo: The Darker Side

After posting about the things I liked from E3 2015, I now put on my war face and talk about the stuff I didn’t like. When I was listing them down, I noticed that many of my negative opinions were many other people’s positive ones. With that, I knew I had to post this here to balance my little coverage of E3 2015 out and to attempt putting things into perspective. There are a lot of things to be excited about—even if that optimism may be seen by some as ill-advised—and there are a lot of things to raise eyebrows at.

My gaming experience through childhood and adolescence was mostly different compared to my peers, which mostly explains this divide. However, I was also seeing symptoms of the disease I talked about in this post about video game hype. I then looked at comments on social media and forums, only to see more people getting their hopes up a bit too much. Doing that isn’t really that wrong, but perhaps that’s why I’m willing to be a bit negative here.

Let’s not forget that E3 is a marketing event; the biggest one of its kind, in fact. These shenanigans do happen, and we’re going to keep talking about this kind of stuff for years to come. That’s what the event is for in the first place.

To get the mood right for what comes next in this post, please watch this video by Super Bunnyhop.

I feel him; they’re up to their old tricks again. While he may have gotten off a bit too negative than necessary in this video—which perhaps worked more to obscure his intended message due to many people’s expected emotional reaction to it—he did get a point across.

“Remember what happened 2014 and prior? Didn’t you learn your lesson by now? How about some critical thinking here, people?”

But then again, as with any interest fueled by enthusiasm, you can never kill the audience’s thirst for hype. You have to take the good with the bad; that’s what events like E3 2015 is for in the first place.

NOTE: These are merely my opinions; my preferences and viewpoints are obviously different from everyone else’s. This was written to reflect on recent events and future possibilities, as did with the previous post on E3 2015. If this kind of negativity and cynicism upsets you, please be advised that you have been warned. Thank you for your discretion.

What I’m Definitely Not Excited For

It’s not that it’s wrong to be excited about these, but I personally don’t feel much for them for various reasons. Skip this part if you’re easily distressed by people who don’t like what you like.

Final Fantasy VII Remake for PS4

I’m not saying this just because it’s cool to not be like everyone else, but I’ve never really been a super Final Fantasy fan. I played FF6 and watched someone play FF7, but that’s about it. Perhaps I just missed out, but the series never intrigued me that much to begin with (On the other hand, I played Suikoden II and got all 108 Stars of Destiny).

Also, there’s something about HD remixed and remastered remakes and reboots, especially that of classics, that kind of rubs me the wrong way. Mind you, I appreciate stuff like Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and the like. At the very least, it’ll actually be FF7 and not something vacuous like FF13.

I’m not saying that Square Enix is desperate for doing this, but many people do think so. I’m not knocking on the people who are excited for this, but I think that Square Enix has been playing with its fans long enough. They’re doing this remake because they had to. They just had to.

I don’t know; I feel really weird about it. I’m not overly perturbed, but I’m not feeling anything else either. Also, the word “REMAKE” at the end of the trailer was there to bait the fans outright, and that somehow doesn’t sit right with me.


Star Wars: Knights of the Fallen Republic

Great trailer, but it turns out to be for an expansion for The Old Republic MMO. I’ve been hating on MMOs since 2006 due to my experiences with Ragnarok Online. Star Wars it may be, but I was looking for another Knights of the Old Republic RPG. The story in this one is quite intriguing, but that’s about it.


Shenmue 3

How long has it been since the Dreamcast died? We’re still mourning, but I personally have not been mourning for Shenmue. It has been 14 years since the release of the second game and many things have happened since then. During that time, wars were fought, kids were born, and quick time events (or “quick timer events” in Shenmue) were defecated on.

But then again, the fact that the Kickstarter campaign is getting quite a bit of press means that there are those who really do want it. That kind of money for an open world game brings up some doubts, although they do have Sony giving them some support now.


The Pip-boy from Fallout 4 Collector’s Edition

It’s a glorified iPhone case with a cool app, although it’s a really cool one and I kinda wanted it when I first saw it. But I really don’t want to have a reason to want an iPhone; I have a special hatred for the iOS and Apple’s prodigious use of planned obsolescence.

How long will it actually last? What if it ends up being able to only fit older iPhones? Too many questions for someone like me; I’m not willing to throw my cash down for it. Many others are willing, but the point is questioning its collector’s value and functionality years down the line.


What I’m Skeptical About

Skepticism is healthy, and I’m quite on the fence about these due to various reasons. We’ve seen tons of hype from things that don’t come to being as they were intended in the past, so we have to raise an eyebrow a bit when we see what could potentially be bullshit. They’re worth being excited about, but we do have to remind ourselves to pump the brakes.

Microsoft Hololens

Once again, I’m not saying this just to be hip, even though it was one of the big highlights of this year’s E3. They demoed it on stage and it looks really good, but it had all the indications of being carefully orchestrated and rehearsed. Unless we see that the technology truly is seamless and can work

Also, that on-stage demo was actually a lie; it doesn’t look like that. You only see that high-fidelity 3D stuff in a little square in the middle of the visor. That’s a crappy field of view, not the widescreen-like perspective that was shown there. Once again, they had to resort to tricks to get those wows from the crowd.

We’ve already seen the travesty that was motion controls, and hype for VR has been going on since the 90’s. We all have to be skeptical about any form of technology that makes us stand up and move around to play games. Maybe it’ll be completely standard in the future, but that still remains to be seen.


No Man’s Sky

This demo does look nice, but I have a few questions. We’ve been seeing all of these space exploration sims coming out lately, and this game adds another dimension by letting you explore the ground level of each planet. It promises billions (that’s the number they used) of procedurally-generated planets and systems to explore, which is quite a tall order. Are most of them just set pieces or actually all interactive and explorable? The latter would be super impressive.

But at least it’s coming out for the PC. That’s one less reason for me to rush for a PS4.


Doom

I’m sure they’ll make it work, but is it the right time for a new Doom? Also, why just Doom? Not again with the so-called reboot; you could just continue where you left off and call it Doom 4. I actually liked Doom 3, it was a solid game with good atmosphere but got a bad wrap during its time.

For now, I’m not getting my hopes up since we still know so little about it. Also, this isn’t really a gameplay trailer.


Star Wars: Battlefront

Now that it has a gameplay trailer out, there are less doubts to be had. However, this game will have to rely on breadth of experience in order to be a good Star Wars game; shooting isn’t enough. We need to be able to fly X-Wings and ride landspeeders in this game, otherwise it doesn’t work. It should basically be Battlefield: Star Wars.

Those were hinted at, but we don’t see better proof of them just yet. Until we see that level of variety, I’m staying cold with this title.


Tom Clancy’s The Division

For Honor looked a lot more interesting than this. The Tom Clancy franchise hasn’t fared that well in recent years (RIP the man himself). I’m hoping that Rainbow Six Siege can do better because The Division looks like another team-based shooter and not much else. We already have had enough of those.


Xbox Game Preview

Great, another Early Access program. I’ve talked a bit about Steam Early Access before on this website, but it seems that everyone else thinks it’s a good idea.

I may have to write an amendment to that blog post about Early Access since there were titles like Darkest Dungeon and ARK: Survival Evolved on Steam that kind of justify the existence of Early Access, even though my skepticism and cynicism still remains for the most part.

It’s already a bit of a mess on PC, but Microsoft now wants to implement it into Xbox Live. I don’t know how that will work, but Bethesda is implementing mods in the console versions of Fallout 4, so perhaps this is part of the drive to put the so-called “PC Gaming Master Race” down a peg or two.

Stuff Missing Here

Anything Nintendo-related – I’m not a Nintendo kid; I was a Sega kid. (I have a Nintendo 3DS, though.)
Anything Else VR-related – I’ll like them when they don’t make my head hurt.
Bloodstained – I’m only starting to get more into platformers again, much less Metroidvania-style games.
Other AAA Titles – I might like them when I play them.
Microsoft Kinect – It’s gone. Microsoft is hush-hush about it now. Sad, like an adopted child who got diswoned.

Conclusion

While there’s the shiny exterior of the new stuff, these are still pretty much the same old tricks. All of this seems like the incessant grumblings of someone who no longer has joy in his heart, but all of this enjoyment does mean money having to come out of one’s pocket.

Up next is a post looking into the age-old conundrum of hype vs. cynicism in games coverage to round it all up. We have to look at the folly of being too excited or too cynical and why a balanced perspective is necessary in being a gaming enthusiast.