E3 2015 (Photo: Ben Widdowson)Well friends, E3 has come and gone again, but this year was like no other in recent memory. Gaffs, poor marketing choices, and flubs have been the legacy of the convention for many since giant enemy crabs in 2006. 2015 will probably go down in history not just for the awesome announcements from Bethesda (more on that below), but also the most savage and brutal beating in the history of console wars. How and why, you ask? Read on!

E3 2015 (Photo: Ben Widdowson)
E3 2015 (Photo: Ben Widdowson)
E3 2015 (Photo: Ben Widdowson)
E3 2015 (Photo: Ben Widdowson)
E3 2015 (Photo: Ben Widdowson)
E3 2015 (Photo: Ben Widdowson)
E3 2015 (Photo: Ben Widdowson)

Well friends, E3 has come and gone again, but this year was like no other in recent memory. Gaffs, poor marketing choices, and flubs have been the legacy of the convention for many since giant enemy crabs in 2006. 2015 will probably go down in history not just for the awesome announcements from Bethesda (more on that below), but also the most savage and brutal beating in the history of console wars. How and why, you ask? Read on!

Bethesda
Fallout 4. Doom 4. Fallout Shelter. Oh yeah and some MMO stuff and boring things. Doom 4 and Fallout 4 are all that really matter. Despite some non-controversy from unimportant people more concerned with socio-politics than fun games, Doom 4 looks stunning and absolutely balls-to-the-wall awesome. Then for all the wasteland fans Fallout 4. The game may lack some graphical prowess but it still delivers on a fresh new art direction and vibrant pallet. The gameplay shows noticeable improvements like the new ability to build your own colony. Then there is Fallout Shelter, the surprise App-game for iOS that managed to become one of the most downloaded games ever within the week. Oh! And Dishonored 2 has a female protagonist?! COOL! Bethesda did everything right, Elder Scrolls Online still feels like a mistake to me, but I haven’t been able to enjoy MMOs in many years, either way gamers have a lot to look forward to from the Maryland-based company!

Nintendo
Welp… Nintendo made some mistakes. Pretty big ones actually. I get the feeling they hate their fans honestly. The WiiU trainwreck keeps getting worse and the lack of the promised ZeldaU game at the show was a swift punch in the nards. Sure, we got Starfox, but it is a noticeably unattractive game, the demo I played was ok, but it really doesn’t feel or play as “tightly” as 64, only time will tell though. The other massive slip up was the Metroid game. Fans have been begging for a new installment in the franchise for several years and constant hints at a return from Nintendo made matters far worse. Then Nintendo unveils a childish looking shooting sports multiplayer title where you don’t play as Samus. Federation Force may end up being a blast, but it is clearly not what fans had in mind. Over and over again Nintendo have either outright ignored fan criticism and feedback, OR they have delivered a mangled abortion of the request in some kind of weird monkeys-paw situation. Hopefully Nintendo makes good on this massive screw-up with one of the scheduled Directs or conventions. Lord knows they need it.

(Edit: RIP Mr. Iwata, you will be missed.)

Sony
I could write a huge paragraph about a lot of stuff that happened at the best presser in recent memory, or I can list the coolest things Sony bragged about.

1. Final Fantasy 7 remake, not re-release, not port. REMAKE.
2. Horizon. Robot Dinosaurs, its amazing.
3. Uncharted 4. Yes, yes, we already knew about this. What we didn’t know was that the game is shaping up to be the best looking video game ever made.
4. The Last Guardian, its back and its beautiful.
5. SHENMUE 3.

Is that not enough?

Microsoft
Microsoft’s showing wasn’t necessarily bad, it was just nothing exciting or new. Ok fine, we get a new Gears of War, but it is being developed by Microsoft not Epic. Halo 5 got some new footage and it looks like Halo 4 but prettier, maybe it will be good, we will find out in November.  Hololens looks awesome, but it also has the gimmick power of the Kinect. Only certain types of experiences are doable with it, and frankly, if it isn’t going to make hardcore games better then I don’t care. 2015 was really just the status quo from Microsoft. A bunch of stuff we already knew about and some tech that while cool and has great application for non-gaming does nothing for real gaming. The other disappointment was the absolute lack of the promised Japanese games. No Scalebound, PhantomDust was canceled, and anything that could’ve made the conference interesting to non-dudebros was absent. Good for hardline Xbox fans, kinda meh for anyone else.

Capcom
Capcom shifted all of it’s focus to the PS4 exclusive Street Fighter V, with a small announcement about a Megaman collection for the new consoles. As far as Street Fighter goes, the game looks incredible. The characters haven’t felt so alive since Third Strike! WE also got word of the beta test featuring 6 characters, which starts on July 23rd! To get access hit Amazon, PSN, or Gamestop and preorder the game.

Ubisoft
Ubisoft managed to make it a year without embarrassing the entire gaming community with an awkward press conference! Assassin’s Creed is back in a big way, it looks great visually, but Unity was such a mess I feel inclined to wait and see what happens as we get closer to release. Both the Division and Rainbow Six look exciting and fantastic, personally I cant wait to get my hands on Rainbow Six for the first time since PS1. However, the big news for Ubi this year is that Matt and Trey are back with a sequel to South Park: The Stick of truth. “The fractured but whole” brings Cartman and the gang back to consoles, this time with a super-hero theme and of course it looks as hilarious as anything.

EA
Ok, so Mirrors Edge Catalyst looks pretty cool, but the apparent casualization of the control scheme worries me. New Mass effect, too early to comment on. Unravel, that is pretty neat too. Star Wars is old news. Oh hey a new Need for Speed?  Sports games are fun I guess. Women’s teams in FIFA is pretty neat… Er kinda bored the hell outta me but did alright by most average gamers.

Bandai Namco
Bandai has a lot of titles hitting this summer from all of their Anime properties. Godzilla, Shonen Jump All-stars, a new Saint Seiya, and Project X Zone 2 are all coming to the West, but lets be real for a second. Dark Souls 3 got announced. I went to a back-room screening of the game with commentary from Miyazaki-san. What we know so far is that the player has a host of new abilities and the game has been further balanced to make it both harder for long time fans, and more accessible for new players. You also have a sword style that adds different attacks and abilities to each different weapon type. What I saw was in very early alpha, but it looked beautiful and fresh. 2016 is shaping up to be an amazing year for Japanese-made games.

Konami
In the midst of some of the weirdest happenings in game dev history, with Kojima being all but publically flogged Konami released a 6 minute trailer of Metal gear Solid V cut by the man himself. I don’t want to go into details because the game looks absolutely insane. Add to that incredible trailer 40 minutes of fresh gameplay showing a ton of new abilities and tools MGSV is in great odds to be tone of the greatest games of all time.

Square Enix
Inarguably my surprise of the convention was that Square Enix had a fantastic showing. Of course the Final Fantasy 7 remake was a presser announcement only, but their booth screamed of “hey fans, we really do care about what you want”. Just Cause 3 looked and played fantastically, Hitman is back with an episodic release style that may pan out well for both gamers and the devs, Dragon Quest Heroes is coming west, Kingdom Hearts 3 got a new trailer, and holy crap Deus Ex. I got to watch a 20 minute demo of the new Deus Ex game and I will be damned if it wasn’t looking insane even in alpha. Adam Jenson’s new abilities and weapons are awesome, the graphics are incredible, and the story looks fresh and intriguing. Oh, then there was that whole surprise announcement, you know the one. Platinum Games is making Nier 2. Bravo SE, bravo.

XSEED
XSEED was absolutely my favorite booth of the show. Why? Because they clearly don’t care about the politics,  the outrages, the non-gaming social media BS that has plagued the industry since Last year. XSEED’s biggest guns are huge breasts. Onechanbara Z Kagura 2, Senran Kagura 2, Senran Kagura Estival Versus, and even Corpse Party are the kind of games that get a bad name for their presentation while the mainstream gaming media pretty much ignores how good the games actually are. I have gone on and on for a few years about how fantastic the Senran Kagura games are. SK2 and Estival Versus are the best entries yet, and promise a bright future for Marvelous. Onechanbra is a series roundly ignored because “sexist bikini wearing cowgirls killing zombies ew” but behind the inappropriate cover-art is one of the deepest and most fun combo based brawlers on consoles.  Corpse Party may feature cute chibi schoolgirls, but behind the art-direction is one of the best survival horror games ever with some truly disturbing events and visuals and chilling atmosphere. XSEED focuses on releasing games that gamers want, and the best part is they actually listen. Thank You XSEED.

Overall, Every company at E32015 had a pretty fantastic show, save Nintendo. Every gamer, regardless of their “type” had a lot to be excited for, What more could we ask for?

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