So Many Games! So Little Time! E3 2017 Impressions
E3 2017 was pretty crazy this year. There were many amazing titles to try, but now that its open to the public, the lines to try games out were on a new level. The wait was up to 4 hours to play one game! Luckily, I was able to try some games out.
Super Mario Odyssey takes us back to the Super Mario 64 formula, which is much welcomed. Unlike the last games to use this formula (Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel), this game feels much larger with a huge open world where you can freely earn Moons, this games equivalent to Stars/Shine Sprites. The stage I tried had me roaming a desert town and its outskirts. I was able to jump, long jump, back flip…everything you know and love from the 3D Mario games. One cool new feature is the ability to take over control over nearly any object or enemy. I was tasked with reaching the top of a spiral tower. In order to reach it faster and skip multiple platforming areas, I took over a Bullet Bill and zipped past a bunch of obstacles. This feature seems fun and adds multiple way to achieve your objective. Another neat feature was moving to a 2D world. Going through a pixelated pipe put me up against a wall where I was able to play the game as if it was the NES classic, Super Mario Bros. This was fun and visually stunning. After reaching the top of the tower, I received my Moon piece. Instead of ejecting you from the stage/area like in past 3D Mario games, the game continues like nothing happened so it truly has an open world vibe. You can even find flag points throughout the world that you can fast travel to. Every Mario fan should be excited for this game. It’s due out October 27, 2017 for the Switch.
Pokkén Tournament DX is an enhanced port of last year’s Wii U game. This is a 1 on 1 fighter that features different Pokemon designed by the folk of Tekken fame. There are a few major differences in this version, one being five new playable characters: Scizor, Darkrai, Croagank, Empoleon, and Decidueye. When I got to play the game I saw that you can plug in a Pokken Arcade controller that Hori released last year. This is most welcomed, allowing players to get that arcade feel. Also the biggest difference I noticed compared to the Wii U version was the ability to play 2 player modes on one screen. The Wii U release required one person to play on the TV screen while the other was forced to use the gamepad. The game achieves this by using a similar camera style to the Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm series. This fighter is set to release on September 22, 2017 for the Switch.
This was a very welcomed surprise. Leaked weeks before E3 2017, but not official announced until the show, this game was a very unexpected announcement. Rabbids have been missing from the gaming scene since the release of the Xbox 360 Kinect game, which didn’t really fare well saleswise. So why make a new crossover with Nintendo’s mustachioed mascot? I have no idea, but it works! The game is a turn based strategy game. If you are familiar with the XCOM series, you know what to expect. The game lets you walk around a map collecting coins and items like new weapons. Eventually you will encounter an enemy and go into battle mode where you take turns moving around the map and attacking enemies. So, for example, I would control a Rabbid that is dressed as Peach. I would choose a path for my character to move and, when stationary, I can input an attack action. In this case I moved my Rabbid Peach past an enemy and then around the corner to find cover. This made my Rabbid Peach slide kick the enemy in her way, doing some damaged, and then ducked into cover. After that I was able to perform an attack to finish off the enemy. Playable characters includes Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, and Rabbids dressed as each of those characters. They all have their own unique abilities that add some strategy on the field. Also, to maneuver around, you can even move one character over to another who can then launch them to another part of the stage. The animation for the attacks, as well as getting hit by attacks, were beautiful and hilarious. The humor in the game seems to be right up there back when we first encountered the Rabbids in 2006. Be excited for this title that comes out on August 29, 2017 for the Switch.
Sonic Mania is what I been wanting a Sonic game to be since 1994. This games goes back to Sonic’s roots by playing much like Sonic & Knuckles. You are able to play as any of the three major Sonic characters: Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. I tried the game as Tails and was zipping through a desert stage. Honestly, there isn’t much I can say other than this feels like Sonic the Hedgehog 4… even if that game already exists. Graphics, though 16-bit, have new animations and style that couldn’t be achieved on a Sega Genesis. The music is top notch and sounds refreshing with a 90’s styled 16-bit beat. Sonic Mania is set to release August 15, 2017 for Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
King’s Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon is a mobile remake of a very hard game on the NES. The game is pretty much a shoot-em-up with a twist. You choose one of 4 characters: Ray Jack the Knight, Barusa the Dragon, Kaliva the Wizard, and Toby the Thief. Once on the field, the level will move on its own like any SHMUP with minor differences. You can freely walk in all directions. Environments like mountains and trees will have to be destroyed if they are in your way. This requires you to make sure you always have a safe path while you are attacking enemies on the field. One major difference from the original game is the addition of special abilities. You can perform one of three special moves that drains a meter under your health bar. These are powerful moves that can turn the tide against a group of enemies or a boss. From what I played, the game is much easier than the NES game, which is a very good thing. This classic remake is set to release sometime 2017 for Android and iOS.