This E3 is great! But it’s not all roses. Here’s my list of the diamonds and the turds:

Winners:

Mario Maker - I want to see more of this game, to be sure. But! If it’s packaged like Little Big Planet - such that it has a full campaign, a level creator, and the ability to play user-made levels, it may be a system seller for me. If it’s anything less than that? It had better be a $20 eShop game.

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DOOM - I fucking *love* the art design in this game. The sterile industrial environments and the rocky pits of hell, they look great. The red tinge perfectly compliments the chainsawing-in-half of demon scum. And mods and a map maker on top of that? This will probably be a launch day buy for me.

Fallout 4 - I’m a little disappointed that this one looks more like 3 than New Vegas. I liked 3, don’t get me wrong, but Fallout is better when it’s not being deadly-serious about its subject matter. The town creation thing looks neat - I can totally see this being a lot like ActRaiser, of all things. I’m excited, but cautious. I need more info before I preorder outright. It needs more goofy bullshit, and the slaughter of my Brotherhood bros in that trailer made me weep.

Horizons: Odyssey to the West - This game is a blatant rip-off of Enslaved. Post-apocalypse where nature has reclaimed the land. Mechanical abominations everywhere. Human societies cobbled together from the rubble. It’s literally the same concept. And the main chick in this looks identical to Trip from Enslaved. But hey, if you’re going to rip anyone off, it may as well be Ninja Theory. I LIKED Killzone 2 and 3, but the bland art design made it difficult to love. This looks to be a more interesting world.

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South Park RPG 2 - It’s just a trailer, and I haven’t played the first one, but I loved what they were going for and I love Obsidian. So.

Final Fantasy VII Remake - Gimme dat. I have some hopes for this game; I’m already impressed that the art direction doesn’t change what made the original beautiful, because that was my big fear with a remake... But I want to see more. I’m hoping that it’s not a straight remake; I want to be surprised. I want Dirge of Cerberus, that movie, and Crisis Core to be retconned, and I’d love to see this remake tell all those stories in one package (just without the goofy mid-00’s angst). The people making this shouldn’t be afraid to take a bit of calculated risk, either... Maybe change the order of events in the story, maybe have the revival of Aeris be a thing that happens, stuff like that. I already have FF7; this ought to be a do-over.

Nintendo World Championships - This was a lot of fun! Lots of people bitching that it wasn’t “real”, but I actually preferred the YouTube celebtrities. I’d love to see it again next year. When you can make people cheer for a $10 eShop game nobody will actually buy, you’ve done a great thing.

Losers:

EA and Ubisoft - Holy hell, talk about out of touch... These developers seem like they exist in a bubble trapped five years in the past. It was a slow parade of, “Oh. Another one.” While even Call of fucking Duty is willing to reinvent itself, EA and Ubisoft are terrified of breaking the mould (or respecting the customer’s time and money). And all the Free 2 Wait horse shit? Fuck these two companies.

The Last Guardian - I honestly have no idea why this game exites people... It looks boring as sin. It’s basically a $15 “child and pet” indie game from Steam, but with HD visuals and a complete lack of interesting art direction. The fact that a game can be in development hell for 7 years and still come out completely and utterly bland? That amazes me. Isn’t Microsoft making a game exactly like this, too?

Shenmue 3 - I’m not bashing Shenmue; just not my kind of game. But why is Sony announcing a Kickstarter? That sets a scary precedent for E3. Is EA going to asking the audience to fund its next FIFA game? It’s not a good sign for the direction of crowd funding in gaming. On top of that - Shenmue exists across three different consoles now, the Dreamcast, Xbox and PS4... How are newcomers going to be expected to approach this series?

Star Wars - I’m sick of Star Wars as a franchise, because it exists solely to sell toys at this point... But that Infinity presser was just brutal. It hurt me to watch it. Please, just let Star Wars die. We don’t care about Boba Fett amiibos.

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That Kid At The Splatoon Competition - Why did he have a microphone? I mean, good on the kid, I’m sure he was happy to be there... But his stage presence was cringe-worthy. I do not know what these people were thinking. I’m glad he vanished after Splatoon though.

Assassin’s Creed - Please give this series a break. I should be excited, but I just feel utter indifference. Give it two years’ break, come up with a setting that isn’t just whitebread boringsetting, and then show me something worth showing.

Microsoft - Are these guys completely uninterested in selling consoles? Yikes.

I will have more to say after tonight, I’m sure. But E3 has been fun thus far.