Hey everyone! Thanks for sticking with us as we prepare new anime content and adjust to our summer life schedules! We promise we’ll be getting back to everything really soon! That being said, E3 has come and gone and man was it…interesting. As huge fans of gaming in general, we felt like we had to break it down for you! Here’s our ranked list of E3 participants (from worst to best), what surprised us from each, and what disappointed us.
Best Surprise: Star Wars Jedi – Fallen Order gameplay
What Disappointed: More Sports
EA was weird this year because they chose to go with a day long stream of their new games rather than a traditional presentation with blowouts after. This was good for them in that it allowed for really in-depth looks at games, but it was bad in that it didn’t keep a lot of people engaged. Star Wars Jedi – Fallen Order was the clear standout here, with combat looking fluid and graphics popping even with just alpha gameplay, but the high of seeing that game was just brought down by the return of more sports announcements. Yes, sports games are fun and yes, a lot of people will buy them but at this point it remains too predictable. Sprinkle in the inevitable microtransactions and what you get are games that will make money but will also get some well-deserved criticism.
Best Surprise: Ghostwire Tokyo
What Disappointed: Mobile Games
There was once a time where Bethesda press conferences were things of beauty. Starting last year, though, I began to have my doubts. Unlike people that said Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield won it for them last year, I thought that showing two logos with no release dates or even release windows was lazy. Well, I think people can all agree that this year Bethesda was nowhere close to winning. Ghostwire Tokyo was the obvious highlight as there was palpable energy surrounding the new IP from some not often shown developers when it came time to its reveal. Speaking of energy, that crowd was…weird. Anyways, I could have put the rest of the show as a lowlight. Between things we already knew about to going back on their vision to try to fix Fallout 76 and the sheer amount of mobile games present (who gave the OK to that Commander Keen game?) there was just nothing to get hyped for here.
Best Surprise: Watch Dogs Legion
What Disappointed: Sam Fisher in a mobile game instead of a new Splinter Cell
Honestly, Ubisoft’s conference this year was not terrible. Rainbow Six expansions, and a new entry, will make people happy, games like The Division 2 and For Honor got some love with online expansion and event talk, and franchises like Assassin’s Creed got some surprise modes. The standout here, and the focus of the show, was Watch Dogs Legion. Watching that presentation with a friend, we couldn’t help but note that every game in that franchise gets better and better, and with the NPC interaction, character choice, and gameplay elements this game seems to continue that trend. Again, though, a disappointment from this conference had to do with a mobile game. People have been begging for a new Splinter Cell game so seeing that franchise’s protagonist shoved into a mobile game really hurt.
Best Surprise: Keanu Reeves
What Disappointed: We didn’t get a lot on xCloud
Microsoft edges out Ubisoft here for two reasons: First, Keanu Reeves, and second, the sheer number of games they showed. Yes, Keanu Reeves made this conference and yes, it totally worked. Coming on stage as a surprise guest because o a surprise feature in Cyberpunk 2077, Keanu’s energy and the way it hyped the crowd up really set the tone for the conference. All of that fanboy energy in the crowd carried over, too, with fans really getting into announcements like Bleeding Edge, The Outer Worlds, Battletoads, Phantasy Star Online 2, and Gears 5. And I can't forget Halo! Personally, aside from some niche games that really interested me (like the aforementioned Phantasy Star Online 2, like Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, and like Tales of Arise), not a lot jumped out as amazing but nothing really stunk up the conference either. What disappointed was that, in the wake of a weird and kind of confused Google Stadia press conference, Microsoft did not give any info on Project xCloud. This was their chance to show why their streaming was more in touch with gamers than a brand new platform but it just didn’t happen.
Best Surprise: Final Fantasy VII Remake
Biggest Disappointment: That Avengers Game
Honestly, you could swap these top two conferences ranking-wise and I wouldn’t disagree: They were just that good. Square’s killer feature was, of course, the Final Fantasy VII Remake. While I will go on record to say that I wish it was more traditional in battle system and that I wish t wasn’t episodic, I have to admit that it looks gorgeous. Character designs are near perfect, the gameplay (despite me wishing it was more traditionally Final Fantasy) does look fun, and the graphics are typical Square perfection. The conference wasn’t all FFVII, though. Surprise remasters, like Last Remnant coming to the Switch and the long-awaited FFVIII making the jump, coupled with some surprise imports, like the two Saga games, and a new IP in Outriders rounded out the show. Of course, there is always a disappointment. In this case, that is the Avengers game. I delayed writing this so I could watch gameplay of a few games with the Avengers game being chief among them and, after doing that, I can safely say that I’m not impressed. After years of the MCU, a new take on the characters in a similar setting as the movies felt…off. Gameplay, too, felt off. The brawling looked distinct from character to character but not that fun and the quick time events seemed too plentiful for my liking. Crystal Dynamics, the company making it alongside Square Enix, said that they wanted to make the game for everyone. Well, that unfortunately comes with its costs.
Best Surprise: Breath of the Wild Sequel
Biggest Disappointment: Animal Crossing Delay/Pokemon
Rounding out our list of major E3 conferences is Nintendo and what else is there to say other than the fact that they won. It wasn’t that hard, honestly, but with Sony sitting out they actually did it. New smash characters (Drago Quest Heroes and Banjo-Kazooie), Looks into exciting games (Daemon X Machina and Astral Chain), gameplay for heavy hitters (Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, Link’s Awakening, and Luigi’s Mansion 3), and surprise announcements (No More Heroes 3, a Panzer Dragoon Remaster, and a bunch of Mana Game imports) all served to bolster a strong last half of 2019/first half of 2020. There’s a reason I haven’t really touched any of my other consoles lately and there’s a reason I probably won’t for a while. All of this goodness, though, had to come at the expense of something else. In fact, I have two disappointments listed. The obvious is the Animal Crossing Delay. I mean, Nintendo’s stock PLUMMETED after that announcement. However, their citing of developer health and quality of life was received pretty well and the game looked great so I’ve seen a lot of understanding online. That brings us to the second disappointment, and one that not a lot of people are understanding at all: The Pokemon transfer issue. After the conference, it was revealed that only pokemon already present in the Galar region pokedex could be transferred to the new games. Now, we don’t know how large the Galar pokedex is so this might not be that big of a deal in the long run, but people online are furious that they won’t be able to bring their pokemon of years and years past with them to a new game. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that this seems permanent: Like how the TCG cycles through which cards can and cannot be used with each new expansion or format release, the Pokemon Company is appearing to dictate which ‘mons can and cannot be used in competitive for each game. Personally, this isn’t an issue for me but with a new app promising seamless transfer and storage and a new game that won’t allow it I can see the frustration.
So there you have it! We’ve ranked out favorite conferences of the year, pointed out some highlights, and probably hinted at our own game interests. Now its your turn! Comment down below or on our Instagram post with what you loved or hated from the conference! Thanks for reading and we promise, we have some big things in store coming up soon!