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Trailer Blazer: E3 2017

...What am I doing? @marino's been humblebragging about uploading even more E3 trailers than last year, and now I'm going to sit here and watch them all until either my eyes fall out or I've decided I hate all video games forever. In all seriousness, Marino puts a hell of a lot of time and effort into uploading all these videos while also managing the E3 banner contest and a whole heap of wiki maintenance, and someone should probably watch them and then maybe make fun of them in a list format. The least anyone could do, really.

In addition to a general summary of what the trailer contains and how far along the games appear to be, I'm also introducing two new sidebars:

How Thinkfluenced Am I?: E3 2017 was all about thinkfluencers, and I'd like to believe I'm as thinkfluential as the next guy. Here's where I interject with my own opinion on how the game looks and whether or not you should consider playing it.

How 90s is It?: Sonic Mania, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and that Bubsy reboot monstrosity all represent a keen desire by the industry to get us back to the 1990s, when sassy mascots once roamed the Earth. Not all games are created equally 90s though, so here's where I sort the bogus and bunk chaff from the totally tubular wheat. (I sound like a breakfast cereal.)

(work in progress! this is going to take a while!)

(v0.2 - 22/06: up to sixty!)

(v0.3 - 25/06: up to a hundred!)

(v0.4 - 29/06: up to 110!)

(v0.5 - 02/07: up to 120!)

(v0.6 - 03/07: up to 130!)

(v1.0 - 06/07: 148! That's all the ones I can find! Sorry.)

List items

  • What initially appeared to be a fairly dry, ultra-realistic golf sim soon gave way to the true meaning of the sport: being bourgeois as heck. Earn your way into high society, buying emblems with diamonds on them, as you escape the peasants and become the owner of your own exclusive golf club that turns away the type of people that you aren't into. Fun for all ages.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Not very. The only golf games I like tend to involve Mario and Kirby, and I'm not talking about semi-obscure 70s golf pros Mario Gibiatti and Sanders Kirby.

    How 90s is It?: Golf is evergreen. But not always ever on the green, am I right folks? (Just need a few goofs about Mondays and that newspaper funnies gig is mine!)

  • Ace Combat's back! And this time, their radar equipment doesn't work? I'm extrapolating from that subtitle. Anyway, I love that the Ace Combat series are basically flight simulators with JRPG stories, though I've never been confident enough in my supersonic dogfighting skills to give one a shot. It's a franchise I intend to broach eventually. Anyway, the trailer's mostly CGI and we'll have to wait until next year to start bombing some fictional vaguely-European monarchies.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I feel like if I was going to hop into one of these games, I'd pick a cheaper last-gen entry and try to catch up from there. Then again, it has been over ten years since #6...

    How 90s is It?: Ace Combats 1-3 were released in the 90s, and that was also the last time we regularly heard about jet fighters in the news that wasn't complaining about how expensive they are to replace. So let's say "very"?

  • Already we're running into new trailers for games that appeared in last year's E3 Trailer Blazer. It looks like DONTNOD's gothic horror action-RPG is coming along nicely, if this showy trailer and a ten minute gameplay demonstration are any indication, though it's clearly a bit more violent than their previous games. Definitely less Remember Me and more Dismember Me. (I already used up all my best vampire jokes last year. I know, I suck. Bite me.) Sounds like it'll be a November release. Huh, guess they just missed Halloween. Bummer.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm optimistic. Vampire RPGs have left a bad (and kinda coppery) taste in my mouth before, in particular Troika's ambitious but flawed Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines, but I'd be pleased to see a game knock it out of the park. With a bat. Umpires. I'm going to stop.

    How 90s is It?: Haven't heard yet if Anne Rice or Joss Whedon is involved, so maybe these are more your 1890s vamps than 1990s ones.

  • This trailer is too weak! All right, I just had to get that out of my system. I love the game's look, sort of going for the same exaggerated Pixar/Dreamworks CGI style Overwatch has, but I'm immediately turned off by anything with a lot of survival game crafting or tower defense, and this game has both out the wazoo. It's entering an extended early access period very soon, with the full game coming later. I also heard this is getting a T rating from ESRB, which I guess will make its eventual release date a "for teens day".

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Nope. Not for me. I wish it well though, looks like it's aiming for a big community to support it. Glad for its developers too; for a while I didn't expect it would happen at all. Very fortunite.

    How 90s is It?: Almost certain it was first announced in the 1990s.

  • It's out next month, so we get one more trailer for the road for FFXII's big graphical remaster. CGI trailer looks good, but surprisingly bereft of gameplay footage considering the game must be fully complete by now. I also appreciate that the trailer spends a lot of time on Ashe and Balthier and almost nothing on Vaan (and absolutely nothing on Basch, which feels odd), because they're trying to sell this game and Vaan isn't helping. Run along and yell at some soldiers about Ondore's lies, you little dipshit.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I said this last time (and will again on my PS2-focused "The Top Shelf" feature) but Final Fantasy XII is a wonderful, innovative and overlooked entry in that series that I'm happy will find a new audience, but it's such an immense and completionist-punishing game that I don't have it in me to start playing it again. I seriously have enough new open-world RPGs to be getting on with.

    How 90s is It?: It's more 70s than 90s, given that it's Star Wars: A New Hope almost beat for beat.

  • Shadow of Wardor has two trailers, one to introduce the game and another to introduce an enigmatic side-character that - like Lithariel the barbarian princess in the previous game - seems to exist to offer players a distaff protagonist option. The Microsoft conference also provided a gameplay demo filled with very large, chatty orcs and a hint of what the fort warfare mode might look like. We regular schmoes won't get our hands on the game until October, but considering that Unfinished video back in March I think it's safe to say that game journalists like Giant Bomb have an Elvish press lead on us.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I was a little late to the Mordor party, but I was impressed with what the game had and wondering how a sequel might build on it. Doubling down on manipulating the "politics" of orc-kind with your elf magic and wrecking havoc on their command structure was always the way to go, I think. Also: this game has way more weird Middle-earth literary cameos and less Gollum, so I think its story might be better than the first too.

    How 90s is It?: Not a whole lot. LOTR and the 90s don't really go together well, as the 1994 SNES game J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Vol. 1 sadly proved.

  • I guess they're still making Dissidia games, huh. This PS4 conversion of a 2015 Arcade game looks to shake things up with a new three-on-three system, which will hopefully make the fights a little more dynamic and varied. The trailer used up most of its time highlighting that all the main characters of the first fourteen games would be in it - which is obvious to anyone who's played a Dissidia game before - rather than spend too long demonstrating any new systems it might have. Oh hey, look everyone. It's Bartz again.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Ehhh. I've tried to get into Dissidia in the past - I'm a huge Final Fantasy mark - but it does nothing for me. They tried to build a Smash game around an obtuse system involving two different kinds of health gauges and it just got monotonous after a while. I won't say never, but there are other Final Fantasy games (and spin-offs) I'd like to play first.

    How 90s is It?: Final Fantasies 3-8 (and Tactics) were released between 1990-1999, so at least half the game's cast is as 90s as can be. Hell, I'll toss Tidus in there too as being 90s in spirit.

  • Lost Sphear, a.k.a. "I Am Not Setsuna", is the next project of Tokyo RPG Studio, the throwback RPG machine that Square (sorry, Squear) Enix set up to pump out classic RPGs for the fans that still want them. I've yet to play Setsuna, so I had a minor panic attack when they revealed a new game with a similar looking engine and melancholic story. Sounds like it's not going to be out for some time at least.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Very. Setsuna got a mixed reception but if someone wants to produce old-school JRPGs I'm right hear, and no mear money issues will keep me from a genre I revear. I am so sincear right now.

    How 90s is It?: Very deliberately so.

  • Bloodstained is still a ways away (remember, it's "Igarashi" not "Igarushing") but we got some gameplay at least. Unfortunately, it looks like developers have dropped the iconic pixel look of the original Symphony and the many portable IGAvanias that followed and have gone with this generic 3D look. Still, the play's the thing, so let's hope when it releases it can retain the pace and excitement of Konami's series prior to its current sexy violence pachinko era.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: On the fence right now. I love my spacewhippers, but the horrors of a certain other iconic Japanese indie resurrection that proved to be decidedly unMighty is giving me pause. I'll see how much the KS backers are into it when it comes out.

    How 90s is It?: Symphony of the Night came out in 1997, so being 90s is definitely the goal here.

  • It's a medieval RPG from a Central European country that looks to focus more on human stories and warfare than traditional fantasy elements. Sounds like it might be a decent competitor for The Witcher, then. Trailer's mostly CGI, so I imagine this'll be a 2018 game at least. I was going to joke that the title makes this game sound like it's about a medieval mailman, but I think the main guy might actually be a weapons courier who gets killed and then is not killed? There are questions to be answered, for sure.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Moderately. I have more CRPGs on my plate right now than I really have time for, but I could squeeze in another well-made one if it should kingdom come along.

    How 90s is It?: The 1190s, maybe.

  • Well, Bubsy and Accolade are back. And I thought the Vampyr and Days Gone trailers would be the ones where I talk about unkillable monsters risen from the grave. The feistiest of felines is returning to try his luck in the Indie space, supported by the developers who recently rebooted the equally notorious Giana Sisters to produce a game that was better than it had any right to be.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I am a fan of platformers and older franchises getting rebooted, but... I mean, it's Bubsy. With the Accolade brand. I feel like we're getting trolled here. Is anyone genuinely nostalgic for this furball? You realize you could get all the sassy cat puns you could possibly want from reading Garfield anthologies, right?

    How 90s is It?: So 90s. Too 90s.

  • Once again, since there's little point showing off yet another identical iteration in EA's juggernaut football series, the E3 trailer instead focuses on the brand new story of its single-player mode. It looks like it's about small town pride, simmering resentments, and what it truly means to be a professional pigskin tosse- sorry, excuse me, is that Mahershala Ali playing the protagonist's father? The Oscar winner? The hell even is Madden these days? I hope the tagline is "Madden stuffs a drama into a sports movie into a video game".

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I am far from the Madden-ing crowd.

    How 90s is It?: Madden NFL hasn't changed a whole lot since the 90s, does that count?

  • Awwwwright, our first DLC trailer. In the Name of the Tsar explores the Eastern front of the first World War, where the two sides fought to a bitter standstill until Russia decided to change governments about three times and lost almost everything. History's fun. So is Battlefield 1, I'd imagine, and this DLC campaign looks to add a lot more wintery mayhem to the game in September.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Zero interest in Battlefield 1. I won't be Russian to the store to buy it! (Because the DLC's online only, probably!)

    How 90s is It?: About 80 years off.

  • The new NFS looks to be going for a Fast & Furious (Speedy & Savage?) angle with its car heists and shadowy rival drivers to take down. Besides that, it appears to be a good-looking arcade racing game with more collisions and talking than is usual for the genre. It's out pretty soon too.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Mia, I'm-a cop to a confession: I've never played nor really wanted to play a NFS game. I did play a Burnout once though. Also, one time I saw an ostrich.

    How 90s is It?: As 90s as stealing DVD players from a truck.

  • The creator of Brothers moves from two sons to two cons in this prison break co-operative game. The big innovation is how the two players can work separately towards different goals, with a dynamic splitscreen that emphasizes whichever player is in most need of more screen real estate. We got a healthy dose of gameplay footage during the EA conference, so hopefully it'll be an early 2018 release rather than a late one.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Brothers was not one of my top ten favorite games from 2013, but this game seems neat. I've never seen a co-operative multiplayer game like this and that's exciting.

    How 90s is It?: The era of the game is kind of vague - prison fashions don't change much - though I'd guess it was more 70s than 90s.

  • EA's premier soccer series follows the same E3 trailer plan as their football game, presenting a trailer that focuses on the game's story mode that cutely adds a lot of genuine talking heads from the world of soccer talking ingenuously about the prowess of a fictional character. The other trailer is your standard "for the love of the game" kind of soccer trailer, the type that plays on TV all the time here. If nothing else, EA's been doing their homework.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Nope, sorry. Not a socchead. Is that what we call the fans?

    How 90s is It?: Last FIFA game I played was FIFA 95, but that's a stretch. I'm supposed to use this space to make fun of pogs and spirograph.

  • Anthem got a teaser trailer and a gameplay trailer in quick succession during the conferences, and BioWare's latest game has folk talking. Most of what they're saying are along the lines of, "why are they making a sci-fi Monster Hunter game? Isn't this the Baldur's Gate and KOTOR guys?" but others are saying, "Hey, this looks pretty cool. I want my own customizable mech suit to hunt dinosaurs in." Either way, the game is shaping up to join the looter-shooter ranks alongside Destiny, Borderlands, Fallout 3, an' them.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Personally, Xenoblade Chronicles X taught me that open-world RPGs and mechs can co-exist peacefully, so I'm inclined to follow this one.

    How 90s is It?: Not at all.

  • A mercifully short teaser trailer from EA's latest virtual approximation of the world's ninth favorite sport. A minute was probably all they could get out of their engine before everyone began T-posing and phased through the floor.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Neither Tha Hoop Gawd himself nor his entire Jamtheon could convince me to buy it.

    How 90s is It?: Using this space to say how much more fun 90s sports games were doesn't seem helpful. Have any of these ultra-realistic NBA games ever slipped in the Monstars to see if anyone would notice?

  • Confirmed cool duder Janina Gavankar headlines the story mode of this game, but it looks like most of the action will still be found in the multiplayer, which now incorporates the prequel and sequel trilogies (at least, what we have so far of the latter) and allows fans to see who would win in a fight against Darth Maul and Kylo Ren. Maybe whichever one whines about betrayal the most. The trailer on the site thankfully does not include the twenty minutes of tedious eSports that concluded the EA conference.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Didn't play the first, but these games look incredible and I'm a sucker for a good single-player campaign in a Star Wars game. Could the age of Dark Forces be back?

    How 90s is It?: The only 1990s Star Wars movie was Phantom Menace, and we don't talk about Phantom Menace.

  • (Rap Rabbit)

    This Parappa successor is (as of writing) struggling to get its Kickstarter funded, and the thrown together E3 trailer that challenges viewers to imagine what the game might be like if it had a budget and was good is not really helping matters. In theory, a music rhythm game that combined hitting buttons to the beat with the snappy comebacks of Secret of Monkey Island's insult swordfighting would be really cool. I'm not sure if that's on the cards though.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: This might be too wack for me. Not even wiggity wack, just regular.

    How 90s is It?: Like those 90s contraceptive PSA commercials I saw in highschool always said, "don't forget to wrap wrappit!".

  • I was expecting to be bored by a bunch of highly-detailed cars driving around a track, and while that is literally all this trailer is, there's something haunting about it too. Like it has the same bassy, ominous chanting background music that the Spartacus TV show did, and I was worried that one of the cars was about to do a slow motion jumping sword kill on another one.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: This is a Drew game, and Drew games and Mento games are mutually exclusive.

    How 90s is It?: These cars are state of the art.

  • Now this is what I'm talking about re: Final Fantasy spin-offs. I've known about this game for years, and while it's getting this 3DS port I'm not entirely optimistic that we'll see a localized version. My other concern is that - because it's F2P - it'll have the same bullshit time barriers that Pokemon Picross did.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Definitely curious. It combines two of my favorite video game things, though it's probably not as perfect as I'd hope.

    How 90s is It?: I was introduced to Picross in the 90s, so it was one of the better things to happen in that decade.

  • Radiant Historia might well be the best RPG on the Nintendo DS (I'd have to play more of them to be certain, though) and I'm stoked that it's coming to 3DS with a whole bunch of upgrades and additional content. The trailer doesn't really do justice to how clever the game is, besides showing off how to corral enemies into the same square so you can lay into them all simultaneously. The timeline hopping, the split decisions, the way the world changes for the better (or worse): why have a trailer for your time-travel RPG and not have any time-travel in it? Nah, let's just use that space for more anime cutscenes.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Like FFXII, it's such a long game to 100% that once was probably enough for me, but I'd happily recommend it to others. Especially Euros, since we missed out on the original (I imported it).

    How 90s is It?: It can be the 1990s if you want. That's the beauty of time travel.

  • Along with Radiant Historia, Atlus's other big DS game SMT: Strange Journey is getting a 3DS reboot. Why Atlus isn't producing any of these games for the Switch is anyone's guess, but then it's not like it's in desperate need for third-party support or anything. Atlus kind of moves at its own pace, if its past of releasing circa 2008 games for the PS2 is any indication. Anyway, core SMT is just Persona without the dating sim aspects, if you felt that element was holding the game back. You monster.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I... look, I like Shin Megami Tensei in the abstract, all right? I just really, really don't like monster raising systems. It feels like it makes every RPG three times longer.

    How 90s is It?: This is a Strange Journey, not a Bogus Journey.

  • Atlus aren't done yet. They also have another of these inexplicably popular "we can't be arsed making maps, so you do it" dungeon crawlers shipping worldwide. When first-person dungeon explorers started auto-mapping in the early 90s, I was over the moon. It was the coolest thing ever to have that tiresome job handled for me. I blame millennials for this somehow. Are millennials killing the auto-map?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I think I'll stay on this side of the myth, thanks. I don't think I'll be mything out.

    How 90s is It?: Not at all. The 90s had auto-maps, damn it. AUTO-MAAAAPS.

  • Oh boy. I better pace myself here, because I'm pretty sure this game will be showing up for the next three "E3 Trailer Blazers" at least. The trailer has a snippet of gameplay (looks kinda Dynasty Warriors-ish - I'm sure there were fewer and more varied enemies in the previous games) and some storyline stuff about Roxas and the Nobodies that I'm sure makes sense to someone.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I dunno. It looks good and I want to see what Disney licenses they invoke, but I'm not sure I could keep up with where the lore is at these days. I'm four spin-offs behind at least.

    How 90s is It?: Oh, I don't think it's set in the 90s, Sora just dresses that way.

  • Consoles get trailers too. Especially when they have a monumental task to accomplish in justifying their own existence, such as the Xbox One X which is currently valued at half a grand. The trailer shows off a bunch of the Xbox One X's innards before switching to some confused looking gamer staring at a giant display which they probably can afford if they can afford this console.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I need a new desktop PC. I could probably do a lot with a budget of £500.

    How 90s is It?: Not very at the moment, but that could change if they suddenly announce a new Blinx: The Time Sweeper.

  • It's our third utterly dry and serious racing game already and I'm running out of ways to say "the pretty cars went zoom zoom". At least driving fanatics have plenty to choose from this year and next?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Sorry, but I'll be forzaking this one too.

    How 90s is It?: Did they even have cars in the 1990s, Grampa? #awesomeburn #millennials #dabcity

  • Really? That was the most imaginative subtitle they could've come up with? How about "The Curse of Set" or "Pyramid Scheme" or "Stab Like An Egyptian" or "New Phone, Anubis?". I wandered away from this series because it was clear they'd run out of ideas and didn't respect the audience any longer, and Ubisoft's response after a bonus year of development is to stick the most generic subtitle imaginable onto it, change the game into primeval Ghost Recon, and sell it alongside a $800 collector's edition? (Also, wasn't Altair's bunch the first assassins? The Hashasheen Muslim warriors of the Crusades is where we get the word "assassin" from.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I am curious to see how many tall structures ancient Egypt has to climb up. There's no way you can see much from those pyramids. Nah, I'm kidding, I'm so cold on AC.

    How 90s is It?: There were no assassins in the 90s, the ninjas killed them all.

  • Thunder & Lightning. Crowbar & Sickle. Vinny "Teamkiller" Caravella. Brexit Boy. Playerunknown's Battlegrounds have spawned many a legend already, but its console debut for the Xbox One promises to bring its murderous heroics to the controller-hugging masses. I couldn't be more happy to see PLUNKBAT do well; it's already the best spectator game in the world.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Man, I wish. No decent PC and no Xbox One means no chance. I just have to make do living (and dying) vicariously through Giant Bomb and Waypoint's streams.

    How 90s is It?: Murder Island looks like it's been evacuated since the 1990s. Only 90s kids remember decorating their walls with oily shoeprints.

  • A sense of fun, that's what this gameplay trailer is meant to convey. There's a lot of concern that Crackdown 3 won't be able to course-correct after the tactical error that was #2 (which was, of course, a #2 in all senses of the term). We get Mr. Crews in full Old Spice mode before the trailer gives way to an action montage set to a song that's pretty much Splatoon's theme tune with "I'm a kid/I'm a squid" replaced by "are you a beast/are you released". It's dumb, like Crackdown should be. I'm hoping they make the cel-shaded look of the original work in 1080p, but I'm not sure what they showed off in this trailer is there yet - if the game's really out in November though, I'm not sure there's much dev time left.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I don't own an Xbox One currently, but this might be another reason to finally get one. After a decent PC and the Switch, that is.

    How 90s is It?: I could absolutely imagine coming across an obscure 90s Saturday Morning cartoon show called Agents of Crackdown City while browsing YouTube. It has that look.

  • Now this is a fascinating idea. It looks like a combination of Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, Left 4 Dead, and Minecraft - a group of space-faring dwarves landing on dangerous asteroids to mine them for all they're worth before bugging out. It reminds me most of a game called Cargo Commander, a thoroughly great roguelite with a similar premise of scavenging from the cold cosmos while monsters try to swarm you. I just hope this game has a single-player mode, because I can't imagine finding a group to play this with is going to be all that common.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm curious enough to try it out. It seems to do that thing where a game takes pieces of lots of other games in order to create a unique package.

    How 90s is It?: I read that "Squats", the official WH40 equivalent of the dwarf race, were discontinued in the 1990s. So without knowing if this is a Warhammer licensed game (I don't think it is) this is kind of like a 90s reboot?

  • The state of State of Decay is that it looks largely complete. The gameplay trailer did a fine job of showing off every facet of the game, from the brutal combat to the scavenging to the base and team management. I particularly liked how the montage sets up a little story of a capable female survivor being rescued by a veteran zombie-hunter and his team, this survivor coming into her own as a defender of an outpost, the survivor getting bit but saved by the veteran with one of the few remaining cures, and then eventually taking up the torch (and narration duties) when her savior is torn apart by a particularly tubby zombie.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Still don't care about zombie games, but I appreciate that this game is more about survival than simply murdering undead by the thousands.

    How 90s is It?: I saw a lot of plaid and beanies, but that might just be the region.

  • Its original creator might be more Mein Kampf than Minecraft these days, but Mojang's paean to blocky creativity is still a big hit with many audiences who I'm sure are looking forward to an even more feature-rich console version to play on the couch with their families. The 4K graphics and improved lighting and water effects really make the game look like something made this decade, blocky polygons be damned.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It's making me want to get Dragon Quest Builders finally. No shade meant to Minecraft, but I like my crafting games to have an end-point. I can get kinda obsessive so it's always best to have an exit ramp available.

    How 90s is It?: I mean, it looks like a very early polygonal PS1 game, but that's by design.

  • I wasn't sure I could finish this trailer. What looks like a slightly more survival-focused Overwatch multiplayer game isn't made any more appealing with some obnoxious shoutcasting layered over it. Then again, it might have a shot if it's meant to be a free-for-all battle royale game: one of Overwatch's big turn-offs for me is having to operate as a five-person group and potentially letting down that group with lousy play. If I'm on my own team of one and get picked off, I don't feel so crappy about it.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Not really much at all. I'm just not that competitive.

    How 90s is It?: The main guy in the trailer kind of looked like Toy Story's Sheriff Woody in a prison uniform. How the mighty lawman has fallen.

  • Toe to tip, this is an Xbox One port of the Korean MMO Black Desert. Take it to the bank, boys, this one's just like the PC original. Disgraced Sony executive Shuhei Yoshida gives up, "Yes, they are the port men now."

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: For an MMO? Not even remotely. Even if it is just like Bart.

    How 90s is It?: Can't get more 90s than the Bartman.

  • Imagine, if you will, a future in which minorities and women ask for respect and the same rights as everyone else, and then got them! Pandemonium! The living would envy the dead! Nah, for real, without knowing explicity what the game is about I'm going to try to stay neutral on this one. It does have a great style to it at least.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Definite wait and see here.

    How 90s is It?: It's giving me vibes of Delphine's 1992 cyberpunk game Flashback. Also the political furor around it reminds me of this one time back in 1990 when I was briefly terrified of cooties.

  • Talking of Indie games with a look, the psychedelic rock style of The Artful Escape is intriguing, but I'm not quite sure what type of game it will be. It's a platformer, that much is certain, but is it going for a spacewhipper thing where you can acquire new traversal abilities for your guitar or something more linear? The trailer says it'll be done when "it's damn ready", which is some refreshing honesty from a mid-development game.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I like platformers and weird shit, so I'll probably stick this on my Steam wishlist at some point.

    How 90s is It?: Wrong era of hipsters. This is clearly more 70s. At least, that's when Ziggy Stardust first had his fateful encounter with the spiders.

  • For the third year in a row, we get more footage of Rare's co-operative corsair simulator. We're getting a better idea of what the game's about now with this ten minutes of gameplay; groups of up to four pirates take to the seas, fighting other pirate ships and hunting down the locations of treasure. It has a sort of Crystal Chronicles vibe, where characters can either take a combative role or be the designated carrier of valuables that everyone else protects. From what the McElboys have been saying, though, it seems more like a game rife for tomfoolery on the high seas.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Very multiplayer focused, so I'm going to take a pass. I look forward to the Quick Look though.

    How 90s is It?: Anyone remember The Pirates of Dark Water? Yeah, me neither.

  • Now that this series is no longer VR, I might actually consider playing it. This trailer takes you through a lot of the gameplay and the characters you might meet, and it sort of reminds me of an off-brand Super Mario 3D Land. I'm into it, but it sounds like it'll be an Xbox One/Windows 10 exclusive for the time being.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm into any and all 3D platformers anyone wants to release. Hook it to my veins.

    How 90s is It?: It's a mascot platformer, but I didn't feel the main character is sassy enough. Where's his disrespect for the establishment?

  • What is, one assumes, the very last Cuphead trailer to be released doesn't show much we haven't seen before, except for a release date: September 29th. Here's hoping they make it. Its developers would probably like to work on another game before they all retire.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It's such a great looking game, but it's another Microsoft exclusive and thus I have nothing to play it on.

    How 90s is It?: I think its first E3 trailer aired in the 1990s.

  • Surprisingly, we only got one Indie games montage this year. Sony didn't think to make one of their own. Let's quickly run through these: Osiris: New Dawn, what looks like one of those spooky astronaut exploration games; Paladins: Champions of the Realm, another team-based multiplayer shooter; Raiders of the Broken Planet, another team-based mulitplayer shooter; Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, another team-based multiplayer shooter (but also so much more); Unruly Heroes, an action game with a neat 2D Rayman Origins art style; Fortnite, see its own entry above (though it's another team-based multiplayer shooter if you want the short version); Battlerite, another team-based multiplayer shooter; Surviving Mars, a cool-looking Mars survival/colonization sim; Robocraft, another team-based multiplayer *vehicle* shooter; The Artful Escape, also see above; Astroneer, shout-outs to the fallen people's champ Samantha Kalman; Observer, a creepy cyberpunk first-person thing; We Happy Few, that survival game with the great trailer that no-one seemed to care for post-release; Fable Fortune, because every CRPG franchise needs a card game spin-off these days; Dunk Lords, a basketball game aiming to bring the fun back to the sport; Minion Masters, apparently not a Despicable Me game; Brawlout, another Indie Smash Bros clone; Ooblets, an adorable 3D Harvest Moon style life/farming sim; The Last Night, also also see above; Black Desert, also also also see above; Hello Neighbor, a stealthy game about hiding from enemies that looks too cute to be scary; Path of Exile, the huge F2P loot RPG; Ashen, which I'll talk more about in just a moment; Ark, the gigantic online resource-theft sim; Riverbond, an isometric action-adventure game that I'm potentially very into; Dark and Light, the imminent reboot of a so-so European MMO; The Darwin Project, SHOUTCASTING SURE MAKES FOR GOOD TRAILERS; Strange Brigade, another team-based multiplayer shooter; Shift, a zippy action game that looks like a 2D Furi; and Conan Exiles, the game all about donger sliders. Oof, what a line up.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I am interested in approximately half of that list. Most already have or will have Steam and PS4 versions, thankfully.

    How 90s is It?: It varies. Most 90s award probably goes to Observer. Johnny Mnemonic as heck.

  • Dark Souls sure was popular, wasn't it? In fairness, this seems less like the direct clone that Lords of the Fallen was and has a few interesting divergences going for it, not least of which is the two-person team shown in the trailer suggesting multiplayer co-op in a more traditional sense than how Souls does it. Details seem a bit scarce right now; its Wikipedia page says it "contains gameplay elements of classic role playing games such as Kings Quest", so I'm inclined to believe whoever wrote that page has no idea what they're talking about. RPGs like King's Quest?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm potentially into more Souls, especially if it has a distinct, macabre look like this where all the characters are faceless mannequins marching to their doom.

    How 90s is It?: Not particularly. I want to say people were more hopeful in the 1990s.

  • Definitely a mood-setting trailer with a series of snippets of how the game will look, which suggests this sequel to one of the most beautiful spacewhippers of all time is still some distance away. It's an exciting announcement though and I can't wait to see how they'll improve on the original.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm very psyched for this. Ori was one of the best games of its type to come along in a great while. It's definitely going on my wisplist.

    How 90s is It?: Princess Mononoke (1997, Studio Ghibli) is the closest piece of media I can think of to match Ori's ethereal, sylvan hand-drawn beauty.

  • Five minutes of tense underground and overground exploration followed by a sudden dash to catch a freight train. I'm not sure how much of that trailer was actual gameplay or just a very carefully curated cutscene that looked like gameplay. Maybe that just speaks to how cinematic it looks.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I've been meaning to get into the Metro series for a while, and this trailer is getting me closer to taking the plunge. That Redux compilation's looking pretty cheap these days...

    How 90s is It?: The game's set in 2033, if the first game's subtitle is accurate, which makes it 40 years too late. The Soviet Union was still around in the 1990s though, albeit briefly.

  • It's the story no-one was asking for: how did a younger Chloe Price and her former partner Rachel Amber meet, years before the story of Life is Strange? The answer may surprise and bore you. Without time powers and the original voice actors, there's a distinct flavor of "why bother" running through this trailer.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I really liked the first game so despite the sass I'll willing to give this one the benefit of the doubt for the time being, but there are concerns for sure.

    How 90s is It?: Hella 90s, bro. At least the dialogue will be.

  • The God Eater team is putting together another morbid anime post-apocalyptic action game with Code Vein, which seems to involve a lot of vampire shenanifangs. The trailer suggests this might be more Bloodborne-like than Monster Hunter, with the player passing through various tunnels and ledges fighting larger monsters.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm always up for another Souls-like, but I want to make absolutely sure this isn't just another Jason game in gothy trappings.

    How 90s is It?: I thought the anime vampire movie Blood: The Last Vampire might've been a 90s thing, but nope! 2000. I got less than nothing.

  • As much as I don't care for DBZ, I have to give props to this excellent gameplay trailer and how well the Guilty Gear Xrd "fake-2D 3D" looks on Goku and chums. Fighter fans are grumbling about Marvel vs Capcom Infinity, so maybe this will offer an alternative for those fickle fans of air juggles and super cancels.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Keep anything DBZ the hell away from me.

    How 90s is It?: For many 90s kids, DBZ dominated the airwaves.

  • "Floating simulator" Tacoma's brief trailer doesn't need to do much work since we already have a pretty good idea of what this game looks like and how it plays from its many previous trailers. Like Cuphead's E3 2017 trailer, it mostly just exists to drop a concrete release date on our laps: August 2nd.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I liked Gone Home plenty and I trust Fullbright to do well with this space station setting. I just hope there's fewer spooky ghosts this time.

    How 90s is It?: Not as 90s as Gone Home, I'd imagine.

  • 2016's biggest pleasant surprise is back with this new VR off-shoot, in which you shoot-off limbs and heads of various demonic beasties. It seems to exist separately from the main game, with a ghostly non-survivor of the demonic invasion inhabiting machines and empty suits of power armor for their own concurrent rampage.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I don't need to play this game in VR. Or really any first-person shooter. I think we're all set for shooters in that format.

    How 90s is It?: Can't get more 90s than Doom, and the reboot was careful to preserve that original flavor.

  • Unlike Doom VFR, this appears to be the entire Fallout 4 experience in VR. The trailer goes through every cool moment of the game for the benefit of spoiling everyone who had yet to play it, because screw them for waiting until a sale thinks Bethesda, while the jaunty "Mr. Sandman" plays throughout - I'm not quite sure what the song choice has to do with the trailer, unless they're suggesting the game will put you to sleep?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I've already played Fallout 4. Once you've gone deep on a Todd Howard joint and managed to escape its talons, it almost feels like rehab.

    How 90s is It?: Wrong Sandman. Chordettes, not Gaiman.

  • The Bethesda conference almost justified itself by providing us all with the first non-DOS directory look at Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which is as close as October. The trailer's wonderful, starting with a Lassie parody featuring a giant canine war mech before blitzing through some of New Order's "Alternate 1960s" before moving into a montage of loosely connected scenes of BJ murdering Germans and getting acquainted with the American resistance. A second trailer has a few of the developers talking earnestly about the game.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Very. The first was a pleasant surprise once the dry early chapters were over and it looks like MachineGames are being upfront about how much weirder this sequel will be.

    How 90s is It?: The game's set in the 1960s, but Wolfenstein itself was - like many dab and spinner enthusiasts - born in the 90s. Well, at least the id Software incarnation was.

  • Skyrim, a video game that came out in 2011, saw two trailers at this year's E3: the first focuses on the upcoming Switch release which allows the player to deck out their character to resemble Link, if Link got worked over by the Deku Ugly Stick, and the second highlights Bethesda's ongoing commitment to implementing VR for all their first-person games.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I thought Skyrim was a very good 2011 game back in 2011 when I played it for the first time after its 2011 release. All right, I'm being a little hypocritical ragging on how old a game is, but I feel like everyone got their fill of this game years ago. I am curious to see how many people have been waiting six years for a portable version of a game traditionally played in 10 hour sessions.

    How 90s is It?: The Elder Scrolls originated in the 1990s too. It was a formative decade. Where's my Arena VR and Daggerfall VR?

  • The trailer's nothing we haven't seen before - creepy pop cover, yogurt crows, chairs sliding across the screen (shout out to Bequest, surely?) - but what is perhaps most shocking of all is how a game that reviewed and sold so poorly is getting its own sequel. Maybe it works the same way as horror movies, where everything gets a sequel regardless. You know what's scarier than a thing? Seeing that same thing again.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Didn't play the first, so not too much.

    How 90s is It?: "Ordinary World" is a very 90s song, and an odd Duran Duran pick. Could've gone with "Hungry Like the Wolf" and then put some zombie wolves in the trailer.

  • The next big standalone mini-campaign in the Dishonored universe also promises to be its most interesting from a meta perspective: the Outsider is the all-powerful trickster spirit who keeps giving the series' protagonists their distinctive abilities, and each game reveals just a tiny morsel more about how he came to be. Then again, with no Outsider, there's no Dishonored. Could Arkane be building up to a big finale for the series, or will someone else take the Outsider's mantle? (Also, did they get the same little girl from the Evil Within 2 trailer to sing the creepy cover for this one too?)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm usually anti-DLC because of how those things are valued, but if this is a standalone campaign I might be interested. Dishonored 2 almost wiped me out though, so I'll be putting it off until 2018 at least.

    How 90s is It?: "Death of the Outsider" is a very grunge name. Are we sure there isn't a Smashing Pumpkins album called that?

  • Quake's back y'all, and like the original Quake is attempting to take something that was perfectly fine (Doom, Overwatch) and make it more industrial metal because the 90s was a horrible mistake. This particular trailer, since we already got a regular one last year, is focused on eSports and for a while you think "wait, are these eSports people or is this just like 'hey, here's this competitive game anyone like this acne guy can be a champion at'" but then it ends with a whole eSports thing and I just check out mentally forever. I'm in a coma now.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Nothing about Quake's ever appealed, oddly enough. Loved Doom but Quake just rubbed me the wrong way.

    How 90s is It?: The original was very 90s, as already outlined above. I can't imagine they'll want to change that too much if they intend to stick to their nailguns.

  • This year's check-in with the Elder Scrolls CCG introduces the Skyrim heroes pack expansion, leading me to wonder how this game came out originally without any Skyrim content in it. Or maybe they felt more was necessary, because this is Skyrim's year and everything. Instead of 2011. When Skyrim came out.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Wait, let me tap my "give a shit" resource card. Aw beans, I don't have enough mana.

    How 90s is It?: "Magic: The Gathering (MTG; also known as Magic) is a trading card game created by Richard Garfield. First published in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast, Magic was the first trading card game produced and it continues to thrive, with approximately twenty million players as of 2015.[1][2][3]"

  • Meanwhile, Elder Scrolls Online wants nothing to do with this weaksauce millennial Skyrim nostalgia and goes even further back, to Morrowind, for its new expansion. To introduce us to this new content, here's a bunch of YouTube and Twitch folk reacting to the trailer you're trying to watch.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Even in the presence of fellow thinkfluencers, I'm going to have to take a hard pass. At least this MMO's doing right by the fans, it seems.

    How 90s is It?: Those thinkfluencers were born in the 90s. That counts. At making me feel old.

  • I thought I knew what this game was from the Indie montage trailer in the Microsoft conference, but now I'm not so sure. It looks like it has Animal Crossing house decorating, Harvest Moon gardening and socializing, Pokemon monster-raising and turn-based combat, and also cutting a rug like you just don't care. The game resembles Noby Noby Boy, except instead of having nothing to do you have everything to do.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Quite a bit. It's shaping up to be something for everyone, and I love games that give you plenty to do to keep your attention. Stardew Valley was a good example of a cute life-sim game doing that well.

    How 90s is It?: We didn't have anything this cute in the 90s. It was mostly skeleton warriors, gargoyles and some socially awkward bald kid (Doug, not Caillou).

  • I tell ya, it's surreal to see a Mount & Blade that looks like a real video game rather than one of those CGI approximations of medieval warfare created for a show on the History Channel. Bannerlord's trailer just alternates between two different battles, one featuring a standard medieval knight and another with what appears to be a Mongolian mounted archer, though I'm sure the game has fictional names for both. (Congratulations again to all of Giant Bomb's E3 bannerlords! Hope that free month of Premium is treating you well.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I really liked Warband, the enhanced remake/sequel to the original. I wouldn't be opposed to a bigger and better version.

    How 90s is It?: Not a whole lot, unless we're talking about the 1190s again.

  • Total War: Warhammer II. Tal. War. Hammer. I'm stuck send help. Total Warhammer 2 looks to continue where the original left off, presenting a number of immense battle scenarios featuring all sorts of improbable make-believe troop units. I've always liked fantasy war sims, because it really messes up your "cavalry > infantry > archers > cavalry" type of rock-paper-scissors dynamic when you toss mages and skeletons in there.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: That said, I'm bad with all forms of RTS and micromanagement, and it seems you'd need a lot of that to keep tabs on a battle with thousands of units at your command.

    How 90s is It?: No joke (because that's not what we're about here at Trailer Blazer) but the first and only Warhammer war sim I've played was 1995's Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat. I sucked at it.

  • Not content with resurrecting Shadowrun, Harebrained Schemes have gone and dug up another table-top game that briefly dallied with video game adaptations: BattleTech. BattleTech is distinct from MechWarrior, despite being set in the same universe, as the MechWarriors are more first-person action sims while BattleTech's going for something closer to the original board game with its turn-based strategy. In a world currently absent new Front Mission games, this seems like a fine alternative.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Mech games have never really appealed to me, and I suspect it's because I'm not really a fan of cars either: both tend to share a lot of fawning over mechanical precision and horsepower. A proper turn-based game with customizable mechs might be more my speed though.

    How 90s is It?: It's another attempt to resurrect a video game franchise that was big in the 90s. But then that's every video game Kickstarter.

  • Klei didn't reveal too much with this trailer for their upcoming sci-fi RPG, other than it seems a bit open-ended with regards to how you approach scenarios. I wonder if it'll be something like FTL or The Banner Saga, where events occur randomly and you have to manage a dwindling stockpile of resources, or if it's a bit more standard RPG stuff than that. Either way, between Klei's quality animation and its distinctive setting, it seems like one to watch.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: You know, I haven't really gotten too deep into Klei's oeuvre. Mark of the Ninja is the only game of theirs I've played. I wouldn't mind trying another one.

    How 90s is It?: Something about the look reminded me of Titan A.E., which is actually from 2000 and I just goofed again. Can 2000 count as the 90s? If you watch that movie it is so 90s it hurts, I swear.

  • Another cute isometric-but-not-really Indie attempt to emulate classic Legend of Zelda would really hit the spot, provided they can bring this out before that upcoming Oceanhorn sequel gives it some competition. I like the little fox protagonist too, but I think Finji missed a trick not making the hero an anthropomorphized mink. Think about it.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Lord help me, I'll consume every Zelda-like and Metroid-like the Indie community wants to throw at me, especially if they look this good.

    How 90s is It?: Explicitly so.

  • To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the original Age of Empires is getting a huge HD "Definitive Edition" remake with all sorts of extra gubbins. The trailer mainly focused on the new changes, wisely assuming everyone was already plenty familiar with Age of Empires by now.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Master of Magic saw its 20th birthday three years ago and we didn't hear a peep. 25th isn't far away though... (I don't care about any civilization sim besides Master of Magic, if I wasn't clear.)

    How 90s is It?: Gosh, let me think.

  • A visibly uncomfortable Mario leads this trailer that demonstrates that neither Mario nor the Rabbids could agree on which type of platformer model they should go with, so instead went with XCOM as some kind of video game genre Switzerland. The trailer makes it clear that the Rabbids are the goofy ones, and Mario and his companions have the unenviable straight man roles. Man, can you imagine if it was the Super Mario RPG/Mario & Luigi incarnations of those characters stuck with the Rabbids? (I also like the trailer's fake AC/DC track or, as I call them, AC/Deceit.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Very. I think this could be the surprise hit of the Summer. That it's a Summer release at all is kinda nuts also.

    How 90s is It?: The 90s was when Super Mario started crossing over with other properties, and it's always worked out well for them. Well, except maybe for the Phillips CD-i.

  • Easily the biggest surprise of E3 2017, Ubisoft's reveal of a much more expansive universe of Beyond Good & Evil had people guessing right up until the title drop at the end of the trailer. Cuss Monkey has a posse. (There's also two more BG&E 2 trailers on the site, both of which dig deeper into what the trailer reveals about the game's lore.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I have a healthy dose of skepticism about this one once it was shown to be a prequel with little connection to the original game besides all the animal-people, but I still want more Beyond Good & Evil no matter what form it takes.

    How 90s is It?: It hasn't been *that* long since BG&E 1, but it sometimes feels that way.

  • There's two trailers on the site for Far Cry 5: The Final Far-tier - one's a short mood-setter with the creepy hymns of the game's cultist sect of apocalypse preppers and the other is where the creative director takes us through some of the game's all-too familiar Far Cry mechanics by commentating over the gameplay trailer that appeared during the Ubisoft conference. Regardless of the setting (which to me, a Brit, is still plenty foreign), it definitely looks like more Far Cry. I just hope they have a Book of Revelations/peyote equivalent to the Shangri-La sections of Far Cry 4.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I mean, it's another open-world Ubisoft game so there's not a whole lot of excitement, but I'm partial enough to the genre as a whole that I'd give any decent one a chance.

    How 90s is It?: I could be very cruel about Montana here, but I suspect Sparky_Buzzsaw might be reading.

  • The sequel everyone was asking for, The Crew 2 is the sequel to Ubi's big open-world racing game and features a lot of continent-spanning motorsports for gearheads to enjoy. This isn't the one everyone hated right? That's Drive Club? I can't keep them all straight.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I dunno if you read the part where I couldn't tell the difference between The Crew and Drive Club, but I don't really follow the realistic racing genre all that closely.

    How 90s is It?: "Report to The Crew 2 and we always stick together, we're The Crew 2 best of friends forever!" has been singing in my head since I began watching the trailer.

  • Not content with side-games like Rogue, Ubisoft decided to unshackle the boat combat that briefly took over the Assassin's Creed franchise in III and IV and turn it into its own thing separate from the slightly damaged reputation of the AC series. If you didn't get burned out on ship combat in Black Flag, Ubisoft has you covered. There's two trailers on the site: the "Crazy" mood-setting trailer with surprise kraken, and a five minute commentary of a typical multiplayer match, both of which were part of the conference.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I just about tolerated Black Flag for all its faults, and a multiplayer-focused version of that doesn't really sound enticing. Also I just played a lot of Rebel Galaxy, so I might be done with circling around to fire broadsides for a while.

    How 90s is It?: Have you seen Seal's music video for "Crazy" recently? I don't know if you can get any more 90s. It set the tone for the whole decade.

  • The second South Park RPG is still on the way, according to this brief story trailer and a more elaborate ten minute NSFW gameplay trailer that looks at the game's new grid-friendly combat engine. I bet Ubisoft and its devs were feeling a little sheepish presenting it since it was supposed to be out already. They're positing an October release, but I'll believe it when I see it. How much longer are they planning to sit on their Fractured But Whole?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I still watch South Park. It's not quite as good as it once was, and the serial structure they've been sticking with of late means I can't easily skip the shittier episodes, but I like both the current show and the previous game enough to give this new one a shot, even if it lacks Obsidian's involvement. My hope is that there's an overly complex Sphere Grid style mini-game but it's purely for figuring out the planned movie chronology of the boys' superhero alter-egos.

    How 90s is It?: South Park will turn twenty this August. It hurt me to discover that and now I must share my pain.

  • "Elijah Wood presents a new VR horror game" sounds like a good deal, I guess, but Dan didn't seem too into what he played of the E3 demo. Peeking through digitally-recorded memories while a possible ghost in the machine threatens to... wait, isn't this the premise of Master Reboot?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It's a VR game, so I'm mentally filing it away under "if I win the lottery, maybe".

    How 90s is It?: Elijah mentions the memory-recording research took place in the 1990s, but that seems like a stretch, so I'll suggest his 1993 movie The Good Son as a better hook for a horror game. Trying to kill a psychopathic 12-year-old Macaulay Culkin in VR? With all his deathtrap-building knowhow? I'm getting goosebumps.

  • Steep's back! The mountain suicide simulator returns with this Winter Olympics expansion DLC, with many of the events to occur early next year in PyeongChang represented in lieu of the more exciting and potentially fatal activities of the core game. I say that, but Skeleton and Ski Jump are still friggin' terrifying. No idea how much this DLC will cost, but the joke writes itself.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I didn't care for Steep when it was extreme sports, why would I care when it's boring old Olympics? I know Great Britain have been kicking ass at the Olympics lately, but my national pride doesn't extend to buying sports games.

    How 90s is It?: The Winter Olympics only started getting official video games from 1994 onwards, and neither those games or the event itself have deviated much since then.

  • "What if Skylanders but spaceships?" asked a coked out Ubisoft executive, and so Starlink: Battle for Atlas was born. The trailer seems kinda neat, like a high-concept sci-fi Saturday Morning cartoon show, but I can't help but hear a faint slobbering sound as I watch human hands emerge from the shadows to affix plastic missile pods to their Shiplander as marketing bigwigs salivate over the potential profit margins. As soon as someone figures out how to build a game around Gunpla, we're all doomed.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Not much. The toys-to-life genre isn't one completionists should go anywhere near, for their own sake.

    How 90s is It?: Well, I distinctly heard the name Jayce in there, but Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors was an 80s cartoon. Does it help if I say I watched it religiously in the early 90s? French anime was the shit.

  • Almost like a mea culpa for taking so long, the next South Park RPG will have this mobile little brother which looks like a silly, standalone adventure that tosses out Cartman's insistance for genre consistency for a free-for-all mess of jokes and concepts. From what the trailer revealed of the gameplay, it looks like one of those real-time RPGs where you tap cards across the bottom of the screen the moment they finish cooling down in order to launch attacks.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Don't have a mobile device to play it on, but these games sometimes make for good cheap Steam ports.

    How 90s is It?: I'll reiterate what I said before about South Park being super old and so are all of us. Time marches inexorably on.

  • The multiplayer horde mode zombie FPS is hosting a Summer-wide "dark carnival event" it apparently ripped from a Juggalo's highschool notebook, making it the sort of online game you might theoretically need "ICP/IP" to play. This trailer's announcer sure does like his rhetorical questions, huh? I guess I'm doing it too.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: This feels more like an "Internet Dan" kind of game.

    How 90s is It?: Carnival of Carnage, the first ICP album, was released in 1992 and began the era known as the First Joker Card Deck, which... I completely forgot they had this stupid elaborate Joker mythos. They don't understand magnets, and yet they have a dissertation-sized document on how all their albums are connected via some deeper lore?

  • The various Forzas and Gran Turismos and The Crews (or is it Drive Clubs?) purport to have the finest car tech, but honestly the true litmus for how realistically you've modelled a car is to have them drive into each other really fast and see if you can identify all the engine parts that fly out in slow motion. The long-in-development Wreckfest appears to be taking the contest for better car physics to its inevitable end game.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Driving into cars is more fun than racing them, but I wonder about the game's longevity.

    How 90s is It?: I mean, this is what I used to do with Hot Wheels as a kid. Didn't all of us? I wouldn't want to meet that one guy who played "observing all the DMV's traffic laws" with his Micro Machines.

  • The third Diablo, which is almost as old as Skyrim, is also reminding everyone it exists by adding a new class that, fittingly, is known for temporarily resurrecting those long past their prime. The slightly terrifying Necromancer is joining the fight against demon-kind very soon. I gotta wonder though, with that first chapter in Tristram filled with zombies and skeleton kings, is the Necromancer just signing up out of professional jealousy?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I had my fill of Diablo 3 a long time ago, but Blizzard are upgrading that thing constantly. Diablo 2 as well, if I recall.

    How 90s is It?: Diablo is very 90s. Along with Baldur's Gate it defined CRPGs for that decade, or at least its latter half.

  • They haven't shipped all units yet, so Halo Wars 2 is coming back with an expansion named Awakening the Nightmare, which is also the name I use for sexual arousal. *Cough.* So anyway, this expansion looks to add content for both the single-player and multi-player versions of the game and from the trailer seems to be based around gorilla space marines. Wait, I've been away from Halo for a while, gorilla space marines?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It's an expansion for a game I don't own in a genre I suck at in a universe I don't care for. First day purchase for sure.

    How 90s is It?: Texas's "Halo" was a good 90s song. Sorry, I don't have anything else for this one; the franchise began in 2001 and I mentally checked out after space gorillas.

  • The multiplayer survival/crafting game ARK's been around almost as long as its namesake Biblical watercraft, but this August finally marks its final, for-real release. Well, "final" in the sense that the game's developers feel it's ready to have the "Early Access" label taken off the game's Steam store page. I imagine we'll see plenty of "1.x" updates in the future.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Nah, not for me. I don't like the idea of building some grand palatial homestead online and logging off to discover the next day that SephirothPissPlay69 has broken it down into its constituent parts and used them to build a metal colossus with actual working "plumbing". Hypothetically speaking.

    How 90s is It?: In my day, the 90s, there were no survival games because life itself was survival, man. If you got a good meal at a fancy restaurant, you couldn't snap a picture of it with your phone and send it to your Instagram to show everyone, and then tweet that Instagram link to fill in your friends that are on Twitter but not Instagram. Life was hardscrabble, and I ain't talking about drawing a Z, Q and X and no vowels.

  • I burned my "The sequel everyone was asking for" sarcastic quip too early with The Crew 2, didn't I? That'll teach me not to read ahead. Mark Cerny's most beloved non-spherical creation is getting a sequel that will presumably work to fix the reservations critics had about the first one, while maintaining a George Lucas level of affection for an ugly CGI creation "for kids" that only he seems to like. No word yet on a double-bill compilation release named "Knack 2 Back To Knack".

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I like 3D mascot platformers, but something about the press Knack received held me back. Ditto with Epic Mickey, another platformer with mixed reviews created by an industry legend who should know better.

    How 90s is It?: It's a mascot platformer, so the 90sness is inherent.

  • But then if we're really talking legendary PlayStation mascot platformers, then you can't really beat that fuzzy fortune-hunter Ratchet and his friend Clank. But since this trailer isn't about them, we'll have to settle for the next best orange Sony mascot with attitude: Daxter, of Jak & Daxter fame. OK, OK, I should stop pretending that I don't know who is really the best Sony-debuting platforming anthromorph hero around here. Congratulations to Croc for your upcoming 20th anniversary, little buddy! The Gobbos and I thank you for your service.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Crash who?

    How 90s is It?: So very 90s, more than everything else on this list put together. Well, besides Bubsy, but that's a rivalry for the ages.

  • This trailer confused me because it starts with Shuhei Yoshida speaking in Japanese with an obvious English dub, and then moves to franchise producer Yasuhide Kobayashi who speaks in Japanese with subtitles. Did they record this for TGS and then Shuhei insisted on dubbing his own voice into English for E3? When faced with a golf game trailer, even a goofy laid-back one like Everybody's Golf, your mind reaches for anything interesting to focus on.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I think I've made it clear how I feel about The King's Game that is Ball Chess.

    How 90s is It?: Everybody's Golf started in 1997. A lot of 20th Anniversaries this year.

  • The Until Dawn guys realized they got more fun out of people making terrible decisions than killing them with annoying QTEs, so they've doubled down on the former for this new co-operative adventure game where everyone votes on what the protagonist should do next. It feels like the sort of experiment movie theaters would play around with, and borrowing Jackbox's idea of having people's phones and tablets be the controller sounds like it'll make the game very accessible to just about anyone.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: The genius of this game is that you only need two things to play it: local friends and a smartphone. There's only one in a million people who don't have either. Including me! Lucky!

    How 90s is It?: When I was a lad, Choose Your Own Adventure books were huge. I had a Sonic one. Spindash to paragraph 53 to find out you fell into a pit.

  • This trailer sure was something. Again, I'm paying less attention to the actual driving and more to the tone and music of the trailer's presentation. It feels like an epilogue to a movie where the aliens have been defeated once and for all and life is slowly returning back to normal, and with it renewed hope for the future. But it's just shiny cars driving around really fast.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: 10 PRINT "Driving games. Those are a thing."

    20 GOTO 10.


    How 90s is It?: It seriously sounds like Independence Movie where Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith are walking away from the alien fighter craft, each smoking cigars. Bill Pullman's all "great job guys" with that handshake ready to go. Will Smith's kid suddenly sees in his mind's eye a glimpse of the future that is Independence Day: Resurgence, and shudders instinctively for reasons he doesn't quite understand.

  • Housemarque, hot off the release of Nex Machina, presents their next medical test for epilepsy Matterfall. The stylish 2D shooter has apparently been a secret project of theirs for a while, and looks to be an original idea rather than an old Atari game dialled up to 11. The trailer ends by informing people not to go chasing Matterfalls just yet, since it won't be out until August.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I respect that Housemarque are adapting arcade-style gameplay for the 21st century while still preserving what made their influences fun. On the other hand, I've long since lost my verve for high-score chasers. At least, insofar as going out of my way to buy one. I might still occasionally grab one of those Arcade Treasure bundles if there's a lot on there I like.

    How 90s is It?: Matterfall looks a bit like Turrican with its little robot guy, huge spreads of bullets and fast pace, which was an Atari ST favorite of mine for a while even if I could rarely get past the giant robot hand boss.

  • Insomniac's working on the newest big license game for everyone's favorite webslinger, named just "Marvel's Spider-Man" for which users of our wiki search engine thank them in advance. The lengthy gameplay trailer, which I may have skimmed through since I saw it once already during the Sony conference, looks to include the usual mix of rapid combo-heavy combat that integrates Spidey's wall- and ceiling-clinging and web shots, with various heroic QTEs when the chips are down and people need saving.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I've never been the biggest fan of Spider-Man, and every game since Spider-Man 2 just looks identical. Not graphically, because this game looks great, but in content. Same New York, same web vineswinging attached to invisible hooks in the sky, same quips, same animal-based villains like the Vulture, the Rhino and the Mongoose. Not saying it won't be good, but they run into the Assassin's Creed problem of running out of ways to innovate.

    How 90s is It?: Spider-Man himself has been around since dinosaur times, when a young Stan Lee successfully sold his spider-human character idea to "Marvelociraptors & Sons Comickal Publications" as Marvel was once known. Yet, it's the 90s cartoon I most fondly remember, which I used to binge watch alongside X-Men and Batman.

  • The new Horizon: Zero Dawn expansion looks to test Aloy's distinct combination of brass balls and iron will by dropping her on a cold mountain and forcing her to survive in the harshest conditions with the harshest robo-dinos. Seems like it might be a post-game campaign, and I thank the trailer for spoiling Horizon's end game a little by showing off Aloy's vaguely hologrammatic shielding.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm absolutely intent on playing Horizon: Zero Dawn eventually. If I sleep on it long enough, the version I get might have this DLC included.

    How 90s is It?: You'd be surprised to learn that the 90s had a cartoon for everything, even robot dinosaurs. 1996's Beast Wars was really just following on the scaly heels of the likes of Dino-Riders, Dino-Saucers, Zoids, Robotix and the Transformers's own Dinobots. And we're only touching the tip of the iceberg here...

  • Back when I played Shadow of the Colossus for the first time, I was amazed by the visuals. I realized later on that it wasn't so much the fidelity of the various eponymous gigantic foes or the expressive face of Wander, but the use of color and shadow and how personality was injected into each colossus by the attention given to how they moved and acted that really made the game feel both dreamlike and ethereal but also dangerous and immediate. Looks like I was wrong though: the important part is absolutely how sharp the graphics look on those big monsters, which is why we're getting yet another HDified remake. Phew! That's a relief. For a moment I was worried I might be turning into an art person.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I loved Shadow of the Colossus. It's part of the winner's circle I have as part of the PS2-based The Top Shelf feature I'm writing elsewhere on the site. If I want to play it again, it's right here.

    How 90s is It?: So hey, let me hit you with this: as an eight year old, every adult looked colossal. See? I went for a cute thing instead of talking about cartoons again.

  • Drake may have concluded his criminal looting and murder sprees, but there's many more active treasure hunters in the world of Uncharted. Take literal gold diggers Chloe and Nadine, for example, who embark on a quest across India to recover Ganesh's dental work while trying to conceal the amount of distrust and contempt they have for one another. As the game goes on they'll eventually form a bond and realize they don't Nathan Drake or his elderly accomplice Sully, or really any man, as they huddle closer together for warmth while bivouacking in the punishing cold of the Himalayas. Their hands accidentally touch, and- whoops, I'm still writing. I was supposed to stop somewhere around "contempt".

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: ...It's a new Uncharted game! Yay! Let's say mildly invested.

    How 90s is It?: Tomb Raider, the franchise that Uncharted owes a lot to, started in 1996. Chloe's a bit like a less scrupulous Lara. Also Australian.

  • This multiplayer shooter's trailer, for all its fancy 1930s adventure serial aspirations, shows off what really just looks like African Left 4 Dead. Four players, lots of zombies, probably some distinct character builds, lots of creepy abandoned villages and tombs, possible racism. Not that any of that is necessarily a bad thing of course (except for the last one), and it's certainly been a while since our last Left 4 Dead or Dead Island multiplayer zombie survival game.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: So-so. I'm not a fan of zombies, but I enjoyed Dead Island enough. I could see the appeal of Left 4 Dead too, though I wasn't eager to play online with randos.

    How 90s is It?: Oh no, this is very 30s.

  • The Until Dawn guys are also working on this VR game, apparently set in the same world but several decades before. I wonder if it's the same sanitarium as the one the jock guy lost a finger in? There's scant detail about the game except that you're a mental patient trying to hide from orderlies. We also don't have a release date yet, so hopefully people waiting for some more good VR horror games in the wake of RE7 don't get too inpatient.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It's VR. Couldn't care less. Again, more because I lack the means to patronize it, not that I don't wish it and the games devs are making for it every success.

    How 90s is It?: I think it's the 1950s. We're really spanning the whole 20th century here.

  • Another check in to see how crotchety old Kratos is doing. I'm psyched about a super high-def murder spree across the Norse pantheon. It's oddly rare to see a western studio take on that particular polytheistic religion (the Japanese, meanwhile, love anything with valkyries in them). This trailer's perhaps most noteworthy for the Jormungandr world serpent, who doesn't mind that Kratos threw a magical axe at it. I imagine he has bigger things to worry about.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Definitely interested. Still not sure what kind of game we're getting here.

    How 90s is It?: The first God of War came out in 2005, but Kratos always felt like a very 90s kind of comic book hero in the sense of being absurdly gritty and macho. Then again, that's true of everything Jaffe's involved with.

  • Ni no Kuni returns, and it's brought more tiny Welsh monsters for us to march to their deaths. The trailer splits its time with vague gestures towards a story that sort of follows Final Fantasy XII's plot of retracing the footsteps of a legendary King, and a few snippets of gameplay. I'm particularly intrigued in what appears to be two types of combat: one's a more action-RPG type of affair reminiscent of Tales, while the other looks to be a turn-based army game of sorts? I'm looking forward to seeing what's new, at least, and hoping they reduce the amount of monster-raising and grinding that dragged down the original.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Oh, quite a lot. I'm a sucker for JRPGs, and Ni no Kuni 1 was so close to being great that I'm hoping Level-5 - who have put out bangers in the past, though it's been a while - can nail it the second time around.

    How 90s is It?: It doesn't really resemble the more overt fantasy movies in the Ghibli filmography, which would be the 80s ones like Castle in the Sky and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, or 2001's Spirited Away. But the little minion guys in the video do remind me of Princess Mononoke (1997) and its adorable kodama. Wait! Come back! I hate all anime, I promise!

  • We have two trailers for dat Mahvel, one featuring some of the game's plot revolving around the Marvel Cinematic Universe's upcoming Infinity Gauntlet conflict, and a second that runs down some of the roster. Uncanny Chunlley aside, I'm liking some of the weird focus on Mega Man X (the robot antagonist is half Sigma, from that series) and Strider (Grandmaster Meio pops up, and Strider Hiryu's one of the first people you see) and I hope Capcom decides to give the game's spotlight to some of their more obscure properties.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Fighters aren't my bag, though I like how some recent ones have handled story stuff. It made MK9 and Persona 4 Arena worth playing through, for instance.

    How 90s is It?: Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes was first released in 1998. (If you want to be technical, I suppose either 1996's X-Men vs. Street Fighter or 1997's Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter are the true originators of this series.)

  • Super Best Friends, a channel I have some affinity with, were at their most stoked during this game's reveal at the Sony conference, along our very own Jason. Apparently a surprise to everyone big into these grind and farm simulators, Monster Hunter World looks like a proper 4K introduction to the world of chasing duck dragons for an hour before killing it and spending another hour prepping for the next duck dragon.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I don't mind a little RPG grinding and farming if I'm working my way towards a conclusion to a story or some obvious big end point. Since that's all there is to do in perpetuity in games like Monster Hunter and MMOs, I'm less enthused about them. I'll probably just play Xenoblade 2 instead.

    How 90s is It?: In the 90s, we weren't so much hunting monsters than feeding them and cleaning up their poop. I'm not saying Tamagotchis didn't die by the millions, but we weren't doing it on purpose.

  • Call of Duty finally ran out of ideas, so we're winding back the clock to World War 2 again. I suppose killing Nazis is on everyone's minds right now. The trailer focuses on the hectic multiplayer, but not the story mode where players control heroic U.S. soldier (since there were no good Europeans) SSG Mason M. Mason, while also tempting controversy once again by giving players the chance to see the war from the other side as SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Oskar Meich, the inventor of Oscar Mike. "Remember, no German."

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I was slightly interested in that spaceship one because I haven't seen an FPS go that route for a while. WW2's super old hat though.

    How 90s is It?: You literally can't get further from the 90s than the 40s. It's science.

  • The sixth one of these has a typically tongue-in-cheek trailer as an obnoxious, overweight, horribly corrupt leader of a beleagured country momentarily gazes at his Twitter before marching out to a crowd of carefully selected constituents to bask in their adulation with outlandish claims of making the country great while scapegoating "populists". This damn series is getting way too on the nose to be comfortable, I swear.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I haven't played Tropico 1-5 yet, despite them always featuring in Steam sales. In fact, I believe I own copies of two of them.

    How 90s is It?: Nah, this is more Cuba in the 1960s. Only with Twitter.

  • Announcer guy seems to have some issues understanding the physics involved with Zero-G (I don't think anything "hits harder" up there) but the trailer was thorough in introducing Lone Echo's multiplayer mode, which seems equal parts Tron (because VR, naturally) and Final Fantasy X's Blitzball. The solo campaign of Lone Echo itself meanwhile seems to be some manner of astronaut drama, if the mere twenty seconds we got at the end of this trailer is any indication. Hmm. I wonder if the developers are more confident about one mode than the other?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It's VR, so let's say Virtually zero. Or Realistically zero. Choose your own punchline, I'm too busy reeling from CyberQuidditch.

    How 90s is It?: Most VR aesthetics seem to be stuck in the 80s. Honestly, that's for the best. The imagined virtual reality of the 80s is way cooler than the actual virtual reality we had in the 90s.

  • Become Human, which to you and me is a foregone conclusion but to David Cage is a daily struggle, looks to have shifted completely from last's year trailer of robot cops talking down criminals, introducing yet another protagonist into the mix who will no doubt bump up against Connor (the aforementioned negotiator) and Kara (the compulsory short-haired starlet played by a thoroughly creeped out actress who will never work with David Cage again). Definitely some similarities between the two trailers however: specifically, the idea that the story will change depending on player choice, which is apparently the only idea Quantic Dream has. I remember when you used to be about the space Bowies, man.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I can only enjoy these games when I'm watching LPs of them through my hands.

    How 90s is It?: 1993's RoboCop 3 was the last time a "robots in Detroit" story looked this iffy.