Top 5 Friday: My E3 Favorites

I love E3.  Despite my growing cynicism regarding…well, everything, I still can’t help but get caught up in the hype and fun that is E3.  Game after game is paraded in front of us, hoping to grab our attention, and our jobs are simply to get excited about whatever their feeding us.  Done and done.  I’m sold E3, and here are my 5 favorites from this year’s show.

  1. Star Fox Zero

Truth be told, my biggest wish for E3 this year didn’t happen.  I wanted a new Metroid game…a real one (as opposed to that 3DS abomination that was announced).  That said, Star Fox Zero was a pretty good runner up.  I’ve been dying for something new to play on my Wii U whist I wait for Zelda and I’ve never played a Star Fox game.  This will give me the chance to both use my Wii U and get into a series that I’ve always thought looked cool.  The graphics didn’t blow me away but that’s fine, I’m not a terribly concerned with graphics anymore.  What matters to me is gameplay, and Star Fox Zero looks really fun, so count me in!

  1. Cuphead

Cuphead is, without a doubt, the most interesting looking game I’ve seen in quite some time.  It has style in spades which is something that feels sorely lacking these days.  In fact, the only other game I can think of that with a style as richly developed as Cuphead would be Bioshock Infinite.  Those two games are very different but they still both chose a unique style and set about delivering an experience as richly detailed as possible.  Of course, we don’t know if Cuphead is actually any good yet, but man does it look purdy.

  1. Final Fantasy VII

What does it say about the state of gaming when my number 3 pick is a remake?  Is it just that I’m fanboy-ing out really hard over this one, or was E3 just lackluster this year?  You know what, I don’t even care because they’re REMAKING FINAL FANTASY VII!  It’s actually happening!  I can finally replay the RPG that started it all for me as a totally new experience.  No matter what other weird stuff Square Enix does, I applaud them for this one.

  1. SOMA

More SOMA trailers just mean more mysterious information about a game that I’m waiting with baited breath to play.  I’ve mentioned this before but I never played Amnesia: The Dark Descent (for the same reasons most people didn’t play it), and I’m not a huge fan of the horror game genre in general.  For some reason though, none of that matters.  Something in that first live-action trailer grabbed me and despite my admission that game trailers are useless I can’t seem to let go of this one.  The more I see about this game, the more fascinated I am by whatever mysterious psychedelic story is going on there.  Plus it has a release date now (September 22), so I don’t have to wait a terribly long time to play it.

  1. Microsoft Hololens

In my opinion, there are items 5-2 and then standing a thousand feet above them is number 1.  I was utterly blown away by Microsoft Hololens.  My mind immediately started racing as to what other types of experiences might be possible with this technology.  Here’s a quick list of just some of the things that would be amazing with Hololens.

  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Madden Football
  • Civilization
  • Basically every board game ever
  • Turn based RPGs
  • Hearthstone or Magic: The Gathering
  • Battlefield commander mode
  • RTS games
  • Platformers

Honestly, I could go on and on as to what I think could be possible with Hololens.  To me, it feels like there are video games, and then there is whatever you’d call the experiences this thing can deliver.  Don’t get me wrong, the Oculus Rift is still right up there in terms of cool tech, but the problem with the Oculus is that, by all accounts, it’s something you have experience before you “get it”.  Since I’ve yet to have the pleasure of the Oculus rollercoaster demo, I have to say that being able to actually see what Hololens was capable of just blew my mind.

What’s even more interesting is that Hololens seems like a tech with a lot more to offer than just what can be projected on a 2ft x 2ft square table.  Why couldn’t those same projections be life size?  Why couldn’t you literally walk around in your Minecraft world.  Before you tell me that Oculus is already doing that, it’s not.  Playing Minecraft with and Oculus Rift would still require you to use a controller to move.  What I’m suggesting here is that your living room would literally be your playground, and that instead of using a controller you could walk from one point in your Minecraft world to another.  Sure, there are a lot of hurdles to jump there but the possibility seems plausible.

I’m trying desperately not to get my hopes too high though, because technology like this often looks great on the show floor and then either never sees the light of day, or isn’t half of what it was promised.  That said, Hololens has applications that go far beyond game (my wife mentioned medical imaging when she saw it) that give the technology more than just the gaming leg to stand on.  If this tech can catch on in both gaming circles and real-world applications it might just have a real shot at being something special.  It’s also worth noting that one of the first parts of that demo included the Minecraft player using Hololens as a portable TV screen, essentially.  On that merit alone, Hololens may have a shot at being a household product.  A 60 inch TV that was nothing more than a pair of glasses?  That sounds pretty cool.

Honorable Mention:

Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival (LOL just kidding I hate you Animal Crossing).

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