The 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo has officially come and gone, and left in it’s wake are mountains of exciting games to play, systems that look a hell of a lot better, and gamers who are proud to pronounce their hobby to any and all. Last year’s show was filled with announcements about the next generation consoles, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, so this year it was expected that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo would put out plenty of new software to go with that shiny new hardware. These ten moments were the defining times of E3 2014, and the games I am most excited to play.
10. Grim Fandango is being remastered for the PS4
E3 is full of surprise announcements. For better or worse some of these announcements get spoiled in the weeks leading up to the show, so their official reveal is more of a formality than a shocker. But those games that manage to not get slipped and then show up on the big stage hold the most shock value. Grim Fandango came completely out of no where and surprised damn near everyone. A remastered version of the cherished PC classic, I can already hear the PC fans scrambling to demand a port!
9. Mortal Kombat X is coming to Xbox One and PS4
Announced right before the show started by series creator Ed Boon himself, the newest iteration of the bloody good fighting game is going next gen. An incredible trailer showing series vets Sub-Zero and Scorpion pummeling one another in a wintery forest was enough to get my blood flowing for more, but seeing a gruesome decapitation cap off the video only made me want more! After 2011’s revitalization of the series, I have high hopes for Scorpion and the gang to kick a lot of ass on Xbox One and PS4.
8. Lara Croft’s next big adventure takes a darker turn
It seems the events of 2013’s Tomb Raider have hit series protagonist Lara Croft rather hard. In the reveal trailer shown off at the show, Lara is seen going through a therapy session to apparently come to terms with the intense images and situations she had to overcome prior. But she is still coming into her own destiny as the “Tomb Raider”. It looks like this new game is tackling some of the issues the past game had, and though it’s early in development it’s looking to possibly be the action series of the generation!
7. Shigeru Miyamoto is working on three Wii U projects, including a new Star Fox
The creator of Mario, Zelda, and most every other big name Nintendo franchise was kind of quiet at this year’s E3. Since Nintendo didn’t have a traditional press conference he wasn’t able to rock the stage floor. And since he wasn’t showing off any new games, he didn’t wow us on the show floor. But that doesn’t matter, because I’m totally excited the famed designer is working on three brand new Wii U games. The first titled Project Giant Robot has you commanding a huge mech using the GamePad and pointing at the TV. The second is a sort of tower-defense game that has you using the GamePad to man security cameras around a castle to halt invading robots from breaking in, kind of like that Sega CD game Night Trap. The last though has me most excited: a brand new Star Fox game for Wii U! I’m sure Mr. Miyamoto will implement something extraordinary for the series, and I’m sure I’ll fall in love with it. You know, some remixed Star Fox 64 content might be a nice touch too. *wink**wink*
6. Fantasy Life is coming to the West
Final Fantasy meets Animal Crossing with a Dragon Quest/Professor Layton art style is the best way I can sum up Fantasy Life. The 3DS exclusive has been out in Japan for over a year and is now heading to the States. It’s about more than just forming a party; you also have to get along with other NPCs, solve an epic plot, and more! It’s a niche title that conveniently fills the exact niche I was looking for! Thanks, Nintendo and Level-5!
5. Bloodborne looks absolutely amazing
Very few games at this year’s show really made me feel the difference of the next gen consoles. Bloodborne, the newest game from the studio behind the Dark Souls series, was one of those games. The cinematic trailer was dark, gritty, violent, and enticing. It left me wanting a hell of a lot more, and I actually wanted to play it. From the initial release it seems like a Dark Souls type game with a different setting, beautiful visuals, a violent tone, and possibly more action. If I’m buying a next gen console after this year’s show, it’s likely because I want to play Bloodborne.
4. The wonderful possibilities of No Man’s Sky
I think we are past the point of saying the “Indie Craze” is a passing moment in gaming. I’m also confident is saying that Indie games aren’t really all that “Indie” anymore: some of them are bigger, better, and more exciting than the big budget Halos, Uncharted, and even Marios. Take No Man’s Sky for the PS4: a breathtaking showing during the Sony press conference tempted us with a vast universe to explore, rifled with worlds of unexplored excitement and space combat bordering on epic. There is only one other game at this year’s show that I have wanted to sit back and just explore, but No Man’s Sky takes a very close second.
3. The Super Smash Bros. roster keeps getting beefier
This should be the last E3 before the release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. I say should because on the eve of the show the 3DS version was actually delayed. But who cares about that now, because three new characters were shown off: Palutena from Kid Icarus, the Miis from the Wii/Wii U/3DS, and (hell yeah!) Pac-Man! The legendary video game icon joins other non-Nintendo combatants Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as a barrel full of Nintendo faves. I’m really liking where this game is headed, and after watching the first tournament of the game during the E3 show, I cannot wait to get my hands on it for both 3DS and Wii U!
2. No matter which platform you prefer, there is a game coming out for you
This pick may seem like a cop out but it’s really not. Think about it? Which system do you have (or do you wish you had) and what type of games do you want to play? Yeah, that game was announced this year. Another Halo? You got two (Halo 5: Guardians and The Master Chief Collection). Another Call of Duty? You go it. Sequels to franchises? Uncharted 4, Ratchet & Clank, Forza Horizon 2, Rainbow Six, Dead Island, Tomb Raider, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Kingdom Hearts 3, The Witcher 3, and more. New exciting games? Bloodborne, Project Spark, Sunset Overdrive, Devil’s Third, and more. A price cut for the Kinect-less Xbox One will certainly push more units after these games were announced. I always feel happy after E3 when there are games not only for me, but for you as well. I know, I’m nice like that, but seriously. There are a great many new games coming out that look like system sellers and Games of the Year.
And then there was Nintendo. In a single day, they made the Wii U relevant. Without a doubt, no other company showed off more games that I wanted to actually pay money for and play than Nintendo. And not just new games from already dominant franchises, but brand new IPs as well. We got a breathtaking look at the future of The Legend of Zelda, as well as more information about the upcoming crossover Hyrule Warriors. Mario wasn’t starring in a single game, but we still get the cool Mario Maker level designer for the Wii U, and no one saw Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker coming. The new Yoshi game themed after Kirby’s Epic Yarn is looking wonderful and retitled Yoshi’s Wooly World, and the pink puffball himself is coming out with a new Wii U game; a sequel to DS classic Kirby’s Canvas Curse called Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. And then there was the new look at Xenoblade Chronicles X, and that random drop at the end about Mario Party 10. Oh, and what about the brand new games like the wonderfully fun looking Splatoon, or the new projects by Shigeru Miyamoto? A new Star Fox? Yes please. Even some games that weren’t shown off at all got mentioned like the possibility of new Metroid games. And what about Amiibo, Nintendo’s answer to Skylanders? I’m not quite sure how they’ll work with games outside of Smash, but that won’t stop me from buying them all uncontrollably.
I can honestly keep ranting, but you get the point. Nintendo has been sliding since the release of the Wii U with fans complaining there just isn’t enough software to make it worth a purchase. Now there is absolutely no reason to avoid a Wii U if you are a Nintendo fan. E3 is about video games, and Nintendo has made sure to give us gamers just that: games. In my mind no other company even came close to Nintendo for taking the proverbial crown as this year’s E3 winner.
What were your favorite moments of this year’s show? Any games you are looking forward too now that they’ve been announced? Or are there any titles you were hoping to see that just didn’t make the cut? Let me know!