Ah yes. Video games. My friends might not understand this. Real Nerdy

Rants and Raves: E3 2018

Every year as it gets closer to my birthday I get excited, and it’s not because of my birthday itself, it’s because of E3. As a gamer, E3 is that wonderful time of year when I get to see how I will ruin my wallet. It’s a time when I get hype and I yell and I cry and I become a fan of a new series. It’s overall a great time.

Last year, I didn’t talk about E3, I focused on Kingdom Hearts III instead, but this year I wanted to talk about the hype I have for certain games and address some cool things. And though this is a post about E3, I won’t go about yelling about who won the conference. Though I will say, for the people who keep yelling that Microsoft won, that while I get that presentation is an aspect to each conference, showing games, multi-platform games for that matter, that won’t at all persuade gamers to buy your console, but instead go, Oh man I can’t wait to play this on [insert any other console/ PC], does not winning E3 make. That’s all on that front. But let’s start with one of the smaller announcements.

Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition

So if you didn’t know, I really like the Tales series. Back in the day (freshman year of college) I wanted to play PS3 version of Tales of Vesperia, so I ordered a copy from Japan since it never had a Western release. As one might expect, the entire game was in Japanese and as a fledgling Japanese major at the time (I’d graduate a Japanese minor and instead major in Creative Writing), it was a wonderful chance for me to learn more and apply my studies. It was a wonderful time and I had to use a guide to help me figure certain things out because the town names were in katakana/ hiragana and sometimes figuring out how that translated to what I knew the towns as in English was hard. There additional side quests and additional characters, so there were additional Fell Arms. The costumes were great too. But then one day I just fell off. I was so close to beating the game too. Then I stopped studying Japanese and everything was just confusing.

When this game was announced a tear fell from my eye. This was a chance to play this game again and now I don’t have to struggle as much because it’ll be in English and I’ll get to hear Troy Baker’s voice once more as Yuri Lowell. And I’ll get to relive iconic scenes that formed memes amongst my nerd friends during undergrad (I’ve noticed that I have way less JRPG oriented nerd friends now).

The even better part of this announcement is that I have two console options for this game because it’s coming out on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam (I have a PS4 and a Switch). And while I’ve been waiting to add more games to my Switch’s collection, I feel as though I’ll probably play it on my PS4 because of my history with Tales games and because of trophies. I can’t wait till this winter to play with the ragtag cast of this game again and yell at Estelle because she keeps running up to hit enemies instead of healing.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!/ Eevee!

I’ve already noted that I’m not too excited for these games, but after watching gameplay snippets and screenshots, let me say that I’m super not interested in these games. I’ll still buy at least a copy, probably Eevee!, but just…it…ugh. I don’t want to be one of those, Back in my day, types, but this game kind of makes me want to rant that way. I’m mainly talking about how for the first gym (Brock) they restrict you from battling the gym until you catch a water or grass type. It’s so your player can have an advantage over Brock’s rock/ground type mons. This move was also implemented for this first gym in Black and White, and I disagreed with it then too. What I’m saying is that this game seems, feels, like it’s trying to hold your hand and make things easier for the player.

Let’s Go is related to Pokémon Go, and that demographic is mainly people my age who played the original games. Making these Switch related titles easier takes away difficulty from adults. It pacifies what should at least be a semi-challenge. My favorite part of Fire Red and Leaf Green was figuring a way to beat Brock without using a grass or water type (I caught a Pikachu with the ability static and allowed it to get hit until Brock’s Onix was paralyzed). This game seems to be taking away an element of trial and error, sometimes you have to lose in order to figure out how to win, that’s the whole reason the game doesn’t just end after a loss, but rather you go to a Pokémon Center, heal your mons, and get to re-battle. Or it teaches you to think on your feet and make the best of your matchup.

Now the true answer to who the demographic is is really easy. It’s kids. But simply looking at the ease they’re giving for players and saying, Well it’s a kid’s game, is insulting. Kids aren’t dumb. It’s about time we state that. And I don’t want to get into the whole fetishization of children that people enact by making things too simple/ safe, that’s a whole other post, but games shouldn’t make things easier, too easy, because the demographic is kids. That takes away their ability to grow. It takes away their ability to think for themselves. For the first gym, catching a water or grass type should be a suggestion, not a requirement. Maybe the kid will learn some new tech. Take advantage of a neutral matchup, who knows.

Also the whole, you can play with a partner, but your opponents when co-oping will battle with just one mon while you guys battle with two is dumb. It’s further giving ease to a game, but I won’t critique that too harshly, because maybe it’ll be fun for siblings or friends who just want to experience the deep rich narrative I know this game won’t have. I…this game. Ugh.

The Last of Us Part II

I will admit right now that I’ve never played the first The Last of Us, and I probably won’t. And I know that I won’t play The Last of Us Part II, but I do look forward to watching Youtubers’ let’s plays when the game releases. The game looks stunning. Ellie looks great, can’t wait to see how her character has developed since we last saw her. I wonder how the story will go forward this time.

And to the people who are mad because Ellie kisses girls, yo it’s 2018. If you’re mad and think that an agenda is being shoved in your face, you need to understand that for members of the LGBTQ community there’s been an underrepresentation since forever in video games. Straight dudes with brown hair have been the standard for a while, and it’s good to diversify the characters in video games because the world isn’t just straight dudes with brown hair. And if you feel threatened because one (two if we’re counting Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey) game largely featured in E3 have characters that are/ can be queer, that’s your problem. Remember, you aren’t losing seats, you’re sharing a stage. Get over yourselves.

But yeah. Game looks neat.

Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018)

Returning to games I will play, I can’t wait for Marvel’s Spider-Man. I love Spider-Man, no matter the incarnation, I wish for a remake of Spectacular Spider-Man every day (an old-ish TV show). And as I saw the gameplay video during Sony’s presentation, I was full on excited. I love that Yuri Lowenthal voices Peter Parker, I can’t wait for his angst ridden Sasuke-esque delivery or his Luke fon Fabre regret or his Ben Tennyson goofiness (I’m a fan of Yuri Lowenthal). I love that the combat seems Batman Arkham series-esque. Since it has open world elements, I can’t wait to websling around and muck it in NYC. At this time I don’t really wanna know the story, I wanna be super surprised, but with how the gameplay trailer ended, I’ll forever wonder (well until September 7th) who comes to the rescue in the cliffhanger. And I just wanna test out that combat and learn some gimmicks/ tech. Imagine the web combos. Imagine the aerial combat. Imagine how many ways you can manipulate the environment. It just sounds amazing.

Jump Force

An announcement made during the Microsoft conference was Jump Force, a game that is essentially everyone’s favorite Shounen boys fighting, but with super realistic graphics. Now before I say what I’m about to say, let me start by mentioning that I love Shounen Jump. I love One Piece and Dragon Ball and have a pretty okay relationship with Naruto (though we all know, for me, it’s Boruto or nothing, baby!). And I loved playing J-Stars Victory VS. But. But. But. As I look at the gameplay. And as I look at the graphics, I’m not too thrilled.

Let’s start with graphics, and with graphics, let’s talk about the aesthetics of graphics. Now I haven’t talked about this in a while, not since my first few blogs covering Final Fantasy XV, but graphics are a tricky subject. A lot of push for game companies is too look realistic, hyper realistic, as close to real life as can be. And while I understand that push, trying to go beyond the limits of computer graphics, sometimes that direction ends in horror. And while I’m okay with the graphics of this game, it’s how the hair is shown that gets to me. It’s not aesthetically pleasing. Then there’s the particle effects, it’s just too many particles for each clash and energy (ki/ chakra) action. From the gameplay videos, the combat looks clunky. It looks like there’s too many cuts to show the dynamic aspects of certain hits/ punches that takes away from the flow of the game. And sometimes I was confused as to whether certain transitions were just cutscene or if the fight had resumed. What I’m saying is that it’s kind of messy. Will I still buy it? Yes. And if they do a character trailer showing Tsunayoshi Sawada from Reborn! I will pre-order this game, main Tsuna, and act like it’s the greatest game on the planet, but for right now I’m very cautious about this game. Like if it played Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, I’d be hype, but for right now I’ll watch from the distance and hope that some issues get cleaned up before I get excited.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

For every Nintendo console I’ve owned, there’s been one staple that has stood the test of time. No matter what other game came out on any Nintendo console, it would not matter, I would find time to play that staple, and that was Super Smash Bros. I’ve owned 64MeleeBrawl, and for Wii U. I’ve watched favorite characters leave in one entry and return in another (Roy). I’ve switched mains between each entry (Roy for Melee, Sonic for Brawl, Shulk/ Roy/ Cloud/ Corrin for Wii U). So when I heard that this game would bring back everyone, I was excited. I can’t wait to play the game so that I can feel how each character has changed, because watching exhibition matches and character videos isn’t enough for me at the moment. I want to feel if there are any improvements to Roy, especially since I know that Marth has gotten some improvements. And even though I had plenty of excitement, there were plenty of things I wanted more of.

First off, I wanted more new characters. The main additions were Inkling and Ridley. And I understand that it was a large feat to include every previous character from each Super Smash Bros. title to this upcoming entry, I still want more characters. There are more Nintendo characters. New games have come out. There are additions abound. If I were to suggest some characters, one would be Yuri from Tales of Vesperia because the definitive edition was just announced for Switch and that’s a great way to promote a game. But my main wish for this upcoming game is the addition of Sora from Kingdom Hearts. Just imagine it. I just wanna see my blue eyed baby boy fusion of Square Enix and Disney go about in battle, smacking Mario with a keyblade, freezing Sonic, and yelling, It’s over!, at the end of a combo.

The other thing I want is super petty. I just want dual audio, because I don’t want to hear Marth speak in English. I get it. I just don’t want it.

Devil May Cry 5

I’ve played Devil May Cry 3 and 4 and the weird reboot that ultimately didn’t matter. I’m both confused by, but also enjoy the continuation of Nero being the central protagonist and can’t wait to play as him some more. The new theme song is pretty awesome. At the moment I have no real qualms about this game. I’ve seen that people have issues with the new female character and my only issue is that I’ll have to get used to her voice, other than that she’s fine. People calling her cringe need to stop.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

I feel as though this game has been in the works for a while, and after the victory lap that was Resident Evil 7, I can’t wait to find a friend who will play this game instead of me (fun fact: I love watching horror games, never playing them. I don’t have the nerve.). The game looks horrifying, and it keeps the spirit of the older Resident Evil games before they became oddly action oriented and less scary (something RE7 recaptured quite well). But also you get to play as young Leon and he’s my favorite RE character that somehow never gets attention in crossover games.

Code Vein

The action RPG that has been called, Anime Dark Souls, seems like it’ll be coming out in September. It’s made by the same people who made God Eater, so that’s exciting especially since God Eater 2 is a game I keep returning to. I wonder what kind of ridiculous story this game will have in store, and can’t wait to get attached to the various side characters that will enhance the narrative of this game. All in all, the question is whether I’ll actually complete the game, because while I like challenges, I have a limit for frustration and will rage quit (but eventually return to the game months later).

Death Stranding

This might be the only game where the trailer just confused me more. I want to like this game, but what is going on? There are baby powered delivery devices and random shadow hands trying to snatch you. And what’s the story? What’s the point? It seems interesting and weird and lovely.

I’ll most likely not buy the game, but I will try to bide my time until Youtubers start uploading their let’s plays of the game.

Super Mario Party

Welcome back. I await the moment I can start using this title as an excuse for excessive drinking. It’ll be a wonderful time of frustration, betrayal, and tests of friendships/ relationships. Shots for every star, y’all.

Kingdom Hearts III

Lol. If you think I’m going to talk about the glory that was Kingdom Hearts III‘s E3 coverage on this post, you’re wrong. That’s getting a whole separate post where I will fanboy and cry and rave harder than I have for all of these other games combined.

So that’s it for my ranting and raving, though I feel as if there was way more ranting than there was raving. I leave you with the worst of the Kingdom Hearts III trailers (all of them were good though).

 

 

 

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