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E3 Overview: Day One

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Sage’s Overview:  The day started with the Nintendo semi-presser. Nintendo wanted the press to spend more time gaming and less time sitting at a press conference, and it was certainly an effective method. Brief presentations led into actual game play; after I caught a chomp-chain plushie that someone else fumbled. Sean and I played Donkey Kong together! This newest installment of the series caught my eye with great graphics and dynamic co-op play. I had to save Sean with my mine cart jumping skills, but he then schooled me with some Mario Kart 8 action. I was very impressed by the smooth hover action of the karts and how well the Wii-U handled driving motion. We also saw the newest Super Smash Bros, which has 3 new playable characters and looks amazingly fun.

Wii U Donkey Kong Country

We then went over to CD project Red to see the Witcher 3. The demo was phenomenal. Witcher 3 promises to be 35 times more expansive than the previous installment, and the dialogue and combat look significantly more sophisticated than the already superb Witcher 2. Players will also be able to control the level of difficulty in game by choosing how to encounter and antagonize monster enemies. The other great part was that Projekt Red team remembered me from last year and we made plans to go hang out later in the week, where I hope to talk more things Nordic and Witcher 3 with them. We also got a quick sneak peak of Cyber Punk 2077, which called loudly to my inner cyber punk and looks awesome.

505 and Focus Interactive rounded out our afternoon with some gorgeous indie gems which will be released over the coming summer and fall. TakeDown: Red Sabre is being brought about by Christopher Allen, a former Marine who was lead designer for Halo: Reach and a former Rainbow 6 modder. Given his background, it’s no surprise that TakeDown looks very realistic, and is refreshing in its return to a solid core-team shooter style, as opposed to the homogenized look of most recent shooters. My other favorite indie pic is Contrast, a 3D platformer which ads a fourth dimension by giving the protagonist, a nine year old’s imaginary friend with special powers, the ability to utilize shadows as interactive environment. This fall is looking to be an expense time for me after what we’ve seen the last two days: I now want to buy a Wii U, a PS4, and a ton of games.

 TakeDown Red Sabre

SeanNOLA Overview: Sage and I dashed out of the early Nintendo event as soon as they let us, and I made a bee-line for the Sony booth before the doors officially opened. For my efforts, I was awarded with the coveted first place in line to play Knack on the PS4. I played through 2 of the 4 available levels, and I liked what I saw – sort of a slow-paced Sonic Adventure. The PS4 was, as you’ve probably heard, pretty great. The new controller fit well in my hand – I was worried about giving up my 15 year sidearm, but the PS4 controller is a great update without feeling alien. That was more-or-less the only PS4 insight I had, aside from getting to look at the physical hardware. It looks nice in person; it was much smaller than I was expecting.

PS4 gushing aside, I was probably most excited to play Ys: Memories of Celceta on Vita it’s a rewriting of Ys:IV, completely reimagined to take advantage of the Vita hardware. I can’t wait get my hands on it for more than 10 minutes.

Knack

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

24 comments

  1. You you guys are actually working this year?

    Who is behind the madness?

  2. I thought the Nintendo Direct broadcast was pretty good. I just wish I didn’t have to wait so long for some of the games.

  3. The only thing better would be developer interviews live on the scene.

  4. Can I just admit how jealous I am of you?

    Still, let me live vicariously during the next podcast. Oh, and NOLA’s back? WHODAT?

  5. How many times did Deagle have to change his undies during the TakeDown: Red Sabre demo? Or did he get shot as he breached the first door?

  6. The PS4 is small. Did it feel hot enough to fry an egg on, Sean?

  7. How long did you have to wait for the Ys: Memories of Celceta, or did they beg you to play?

    • Believe it or not, I didn’t have to wait at all! We made it to the Sony booth before the floor was technically open, so the lines weren’t long for anything yet. I was actually first in line to play Knack!

      • More impressions needed! Is is the PS4s killer app? If not what is?

      • Cool. So is it more of a puzzler or action game?

        Do any games use the camera or touchpad?

        Hows the DS4 feel?

        • Ys was much more action-oriented than puzzley – at least the bit that I got to play. It felt very much like Oath of Felghana. It used the touchscreen by allowing you to select enemies on the screen to see their stats/weaknesses.

          I did play one game that used the Vita camera, and I talk about it in the final-day piece: Invizimals! I won’t lie: I’m pretty excited for more Invizimals.

          Knack might not have been the best game to demo on the PS4. As for how it feels, it feels like a PS3. Knack isn’t really visually stunning, it uses all that power to track all of the little particles that float around. The controller was comfortable, and felt like a natural upgrade to the Dual Shock, but I didn’t get to try anything that took advantage of the TouchPad or the Move bar.

      • More impressions needed! Is is the PS4s killer app? If not what is?

  8. “after I caught a chomp-chain plushie that someone else fumbled”

    The right thing to do is hand that plushie over.

    No, I wouldn’t either. I’m not judging you.

    • Normally I would have, but they were several “rows” back in a packed crowd….I had no way of knowing who it was. So chompy shall now live with me 🙂

  9. Thanks guys. Good overview. Nice to hear from Sean.

  10. I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about TakeDown: Red Sabre. Looks like a day one purchase to me.

    • Zboy–Take Down looks AMAZIIING. What impresses me most about the developer is his previous experience which he’s lending to the game, and his sincere desire to get more old school and get away from the “run and gun” (his expression). I will talk more about it on the next podcast.
      Breakbeat–we’re planning on discussing it on the next podcast, rather than written. more dynamic that way.
      Peter–again, next podcast, but it played great! I’m also an old DK fan, and the game has all of the a-Peel and charm of the old games with a more polished look and feel. I think any DK fan will be pleased.

  11. You planning on doing any more E3 overviews?

  12. Id like to hear more about Tropical Freeze. I loved tge old Donkey Kong games.