E3 2017 Recap

Remember how I said that 2016’s E3 was an interesting one? 2017 was just as interesting, with slim pickings coming from both Microsoft and Sony. It was Nintendo’s show to steal, and steal it they did. As in 2016, here are my personal highlights from this year’s E3.

Microsoft Keynote

Like in 2016, Microsoft started off their keynote with the reveal of the next iteration of their Xbox One consoles, the Xbox One X. On paper, it’s the most powerful video game console ever and Microsoft was more than happy to keep repeating that throughout the keynote. The Xbox One X has very impressive numbers, but to me they’re just numbers. This was Microsoft’s real chance to sell their $500 upgrade to the masses by wowing us with games that showed off the capabilities of their vision for the future. To me, however, they flopped. Forza Motorsport 7 looks nice, but it’s not a killer game that would make one run out to buy a new console for – especially when it’s also going to be available on Windows 10. The rest of the keynote was filled with games from various publishers and developers, with anything exclusive to Xbox One also appearing on Windows 10. Third party showings such as Assassin’s Creed: Origins weren’t optimized for the Xbox One X, with another game (I forget the name) looking like it was running off of an Xbox 360. Horrors.

There was one stand out game in Microsoft’s keynote – that being EA BioWare’s Anthem. Imagine a world where you have an array of Iron Man suits at your disposal to play Destiny. That’s Anthem. I think it looks great and look forward to trying it out (as long as it doesn’t turn out to be a disappointment like BioWare’s last game, Mass Effect: Andromeda).

Sony Keynote

Opening Sony’s E3 2017 keynote was none other than God of War, right? No? It was a DLC campaigns for Uncharted 4 and Horizon: Zero Dawn? What? Why? Those games are great, but DLC isn’t a great way to start your keynote…

God of War is a reboot to the series. I fell off after the first game and only watched them from afar since then. God of War takes a different approach by adding a father & son mechanic (you control both characters at the same time!) to the very familiar game play style of previous entries. It’ll be one to keep an eye on if you own a PlayStation 4.

The announcement of a remake for The Shadow of the Colossus was a huge surprise, especially since it was given an HD upgrade for the PlayStation 3. I absolutely love this game and will definitely pick it up.

Sony closed out their keynote with the upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man. With the Batman: Arkham series all said and done for, we’re lacking a super-hero related video game. Sure, there’s Injustice 2, but  that doesn’t count as it’s a fighting game rather than a game that lets you adventure as the super-hero. Marvel’s Spider-Man looks to be the next super-hero game that all other super-hero games will look up to. I’m still on the fence though, as Spider-Man has had a very troubled video game past. I also worry about the frequent quick-time events that were shown in the trailer.

Nintendo E3 Spotlight & Treehouse Live

Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight was only 25 min long, but it was packed with game after game after game for the Nintendo Switch. It makes sense, since Nintendo needed to show off more games to entice people to buy the Nintendo Switch (as if Breath of the Wild wasn’t enough!). The E3 Spotlight was filled with new trailers of already announced games, such as Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Fire Emblem Warriors, as well as lots of new announcements such as new Kirby and Yoshi titles for the Switch. The big surprise was the announcement of Metroid Prime 4. Nothing was shown other than the teaser above, but just the announcement was enough to get me excited for the next installment of the Metroid series.

The Nintendo E3 Treehouse gave us a more in-depth look at not only the games that were shown in the E3 Spotlight, but announced brand new titles like Metroid: Samus Returns for the Nintendo 3DS. Remember AM2R? It was on my top 5 games for 2016. AM2R was given a cease and desist order from Nintendo shortly after release, effectively killing the fan-made game. Metroid: Samus Returns, like AM2R, is a remake of Metroid II: The Return of Samus for the Nintendo GameBoy. It’s a safe bet that I’ll be picking up Metroid: Samus Returns on day one.

The game that stole the show, literally, is Super Mario Odyssey. Nothing else shown at this year’s E3 could hold a candle to this game. Main games in the Super Mario series never disappoint and each one has their own gimmick that makes them unique and memorable. Super Mario 64 showed the world how a game should be played in a 3D space. Super Mario Sunshine gave Mario a water gun. Super Mario Galaxy let us play with gravity on planetoids. In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario has new powers thanks to his hat. My only guess is that other than the ability to possess an object/creature, the hat allows Mario to transform into any costume in his vast library of titles. Super Mario Odyssey looks amazing and it will definitely be a day one purchase.

Final Thoughts

If it weren’t for Super Mario Odyssey and Nintendo’s new title announcements, this year’s E3 would have been very lackluster.

Microsoft had one thing to do at this E3: convince us that we need to buy an Xbox One X. They didn’t succeed. The games they chose didn’t wow me and didn’t look like they took advantage of all the power that’s supposedly available in the new console. I think the Xbox One X looks great on paper, but with all the exclusive Xbox One games also coming to Windows 10, I feel there’s really no reason to spend $500.

Sony just phoned in this year. I kind of hate it when Sony’s in the lead – they get lazy. Maybe they’re saving the good stuff for PlayStation Experience 2017, but their 2017 E3 didn’t have the spectacle or excitement that 2016 had. No special guests, no big surprise announcements. Just updates and new trailers for games we already know about. Very disappointing. (On a side note, I actually fell asleep during their keynote and watched the last minutes on YouTube.)

This E3 was all about Super Mario Odyssey. It’s been a good 10 years since the last core entry in the Super Mario series. The new possess mechanic looks to be a lot of fun, not to mention add tons to variety to the game play. Sony and Microsoft can battle it out over who has the more powerful console, but in the end the only thing that matters is the games that are available to play. Each of the big three consoles have their stand out must haves, but only one has both Zelda and Mario. 2017 and 2018 are looking to be great years for Nintendo fans.

*ALL IMAGES ANE VIDEOSS WERE FOUND VIA GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH AND YOUTUBE RESPECTIVELY
Did you catch any E3 coverage? What wowed you or did not wow you? We’d like to know! Please feel free to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page here or Instagram page here or our Twitter page here.

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