E3 2017 is already behind us. The event took place over three days, but for us it was twice as long. EA started off the festivities with its conference on Saturday, and the rest of the companies followed in the days to come, ultimately leading to Nintendo on Tuesday morning, just before the show started.
Last week, we recalled our favorite memories of E3, dating all the way back to the first E3 in 1995. As we sit and ruminate on the buzzes of the week, let’s take a moment to relive the best of this year’s E3.
Rocket League Coming to Switch (Nintendo)
I’ve been pleading for this game since day one of the Switch. It makes perfect sense on this console. Who would have thought I would be the first to flip out during the Nintendo E3 Direct. I didn’t expect to see it here and I jumped for joy when I saw it during the initial sizzle reel of their direct. It’s coming with exclusive customization items, but we are finally seeing cross network play for this game (minus PlayStation) which is huge for gaming. I couldn’t be happier with this reveal.
I was not expecting to like this one the most. I haven’t been into many of their games. I always looked away from the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. Just not for me, you know? But the way its conference was executed reeled me in. It was full of heart and compassion. It cares about its fans as well as its employees. Of course most companies care too, but that reel of kids and their parents talking about video games touched me. I’m a sucker for family shizz.
Then, instead of bringing out a different person for each game, it was all presented as a theme park with a narrating tour guide. This performance of mostly mature rated games with a child-like wonder of visuals to tie it all together was creative. Everything about this felt humble to me and that’s what I love to see. You can’t have heart without art.
Dragon Ball FighterZ (Microsoft)
One after the other, Microsoft showcased a lot
of games at its press conference. Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and The Last Night stuck out to me the most.
Specifically, Dragon Ball FighterZ has stuck with me. Its developed by the same developers of Guilty Gear Xrd, and its style makes the 3D fighting game look like an episode of the anime. I wish that all fighting games looked like this.
Spider-Man Gameplay Revealed (Sony)
It wasn’t the year of dreams part three that I had hoped for but Sony delivered a good conference. The best game coming out of it is Spider-Man and it could be my game of show. I’m happy to see the Arkham combat style in a super fast and fluid style that makes Spider-Man who he is. I only wish I was playing it this fall instead of next year. I thought it was a proper way to close out show if they weren’t ready to show more Death Stranding or The Last of Us Part II.
Big Fancy Press Conference (Devolver Digital)
Devolver Digital gets a shout out here too. At a time where dreams either come true or get crushed, it’s nice to let your hopes rest and just be entertained by the dark humor of their “press conference”. A first of it’s kind at an event like this, it was definitely a unique way of showing off what kind of publisher they are. To not only have a big name in the indie game scene, it’s nice to have a sort of genuine human connection with a company like this by being self aware and poking fun at this event as well as themselves. Thanks Devolver. Most might have not fully understood your presentation, but I get ya.
Metroid Prime 4 Announced (Nintendo)
We’re in space… That can only mean one of two things… That’s- That’s an “S!” No way. No fucking way. 4!!! Matt! This is happening!
I’m slightly aggravated at the reveal using just a logo. Even if the game is two years away, a simple camera pan to show off Samus would have been enough to kick this announcement to another level. Still, this was one of the best moments of this E3 that was only made better when it paired with a second announcement.
One logo. That is all it takes. Nintendo may have possibly won E3 with just a logo for Metroid Prime 4. The reveal of the logo in space was one of the few times I got chills this E3. This automatically becomes one of my most anticipated games for the Switch and that is without seeing a single screen of the game. This goes to show you the weight of how big this announcement really is.
Metroid: Samus Returns (Nintendo)
Just moments after Nintendo ended its Spotlight, Nintendo Treehouse took to the stage. Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, recapped a bit of what we had just seen in the Spotlight and followed up with what fans can look forward to in the coming months. He then, doubling down on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, segued into the reveal of a brand new Metroid game for 3DS, due out September 15 this year.
For years, all I’ve wanted was for Nintendo to care about Metroid again. When we would make our annual predictions, I’d always suggest that Nintendo would introduce a new game in the Prime series and a 2D-style Metroid game on 3DS. E3 2017 brought that dream to life for me, and I’m so ecstatic.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Ubisoft)
I don’t think I have ever not cared about a game only to have it become one of my most anticipated games after one showing at E3. I never expected a Mario property to basically become an XCOM game, but it looks like the formula works. The humor is there and the gameplay seems great. Not only did the game show well, but we had Miyamoto himself on stage giving his support for this new Mario franchise. The whole segment worked so well I threw my credit card at Joe’s TV hoping they could take my money.
I was not expecting a certain level of core gameplay with a game such as Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.
I’m really interested in this game that no one asked for. Kudos, Ubisoft.
We talked on the podcast after Sony wrapped up about when E3 is at its best. I argued that E3 and the announcements made are best when the elements of surprise and tangibility are balanced. We want something new that challenges our expectations. We also want these new ideas to stand within reach. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle does both of these.
I never expected I’d want a game with “Rabbids” in the title so badly, yet minutes into the Ubisoft presentation it became my most desired game of E3. I was surprised with its new ideas and with what the game wanted to do. It was something unexpected that is only two months away. It looks really fun and it looks really weird, which both excite me.
Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo)
The new Super Mario Odyssey trailer that overwhelmed us with all of it’s new features and capabilities. All to a swing style song sung by none other than (Mayor) Pauline. I was getting tv show theme song vibes.
This was a class act of a trailer and probably the best one I’ve seen at this E3. That, is how you present a game.
Going into E3, Super Mario Odyssey was enigmatic and odd and I found myself trepidatious toward it. I wasn’t sold on the hat mechanic nor on the world. I had wanted another Super Mario 64 for so long, and this was a step in a different direction. The end of the presentation, followed by some of the Treehouse demos that I witnessed, flipped the switch on this game for me.
I love that Mario’s traditional costumes have been evolved into this new mechanic that allows the player to inhabit anything in the world. It’s just a weird looking thing that seems totally silly and fun. It’s such a departure from the safety net that the last few Mario games have lived within and I cannot wait to play it.