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Trailer Blazer: E3 2018 (Part One)

Like a moth to a buzzing electric deathtrap, I've once again been drawn towards the humongous stack of E3 trailers that the site (specifically @marino) has been putting up throughout June with the same atavistic compulsion to watch, and mock, them all.

You know the drill (and check here (2016) and/or here (2017) if you don't). I have hot takes to unload, in a mostly non-sexual way, and that's why this feature exists for another year. Along with trailer impressions and my levels of hype, my bonus theme this year is "could this include the hottest new Battle Royale mode?". Some games will take more easily to this spicy new format than others, I suspect, but I think everything has it in them to drop one hundred [BLANK]s on a [BLANK] if they really tried. It's where the eSports is at, after all.

(I made a Part Two! Finally!)

List items

  • Trailer Trashing: The vaguely Carl Sagan-like voiceover of this concept trailer tells us we're deep in Miz territory, so bite down on your wallet as Tetris Effect tries to convince you to buy another Tetris game. Keep in mind this is the only one that'll let you see through time.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: If you were going to do a VR Tetris game, this would be the ideal way to go about it. I'm still ambivalent, though, given that I don't give a fig about VR and could play Tetris on anything with a microchip inside it.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 tetrominos drop from the sky and it's your job to eliminate them all by placing them neatly inside a grid in a series of lines to make them disappear. A bold new direction for the venerable puzzle game.

  • Trailer Trashing: I feel like I've been beaten to the "Sean Bean better be getting killed in this game at some point if he's the trailer voiceover" observation, so I'll just go the even easier route to say it would require very little to liven up a F1 race. Boring as shit.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Hmm. I really liked Hitman season 1 in the abstract, but I eventually ended up only playing that one map. Kinda got everything I needed out of it. That isn't a knock on 2, per se, but more an observation that those other season 1 episodes are probably really cheap now if I ever wanted a ticket back to a world of pure assassination.

    The Royale Treatment: Getting sniped from a thousand yards away by someone suspiciously good at killing is already an established battle royale staple as I understand it.

  • Trailer Trashing: I didn't play the Persona 4 dancing game, but I'm intrigued by rhythm games based wholly around VGM despite how difficult they can be. The idea of Mitsuru breaking it down instead of Ice Breaking it down (where "it" is an enemy that is already weak to ice damn you Mitsuru) is appealing on multiple levels. That name gives me Toploader flashbacks though, which I don't appreciate one jot.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: As long as Mass Destruction is in there, I'll consider it.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Ryojis land on an island, all trying to get people to kill him but to no avail. This is an OK joke if you've played Persona 3 recently.

  • Trailer Trashing: This one's a lot like the other one. Persona characters dancing to the music that was in their own game, which feels vaguely meta in a way I'm not sure I'm comfortable with. Also, while I don't truck with any of this anime waifu business, the shots of Makoto in that punk ensemble should carry a content warning for those with weak hearts.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: As long as Rivers in the Desert is in there, I'll consider it.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Phantom Thieves drop onto an island, except the island is actually the symbolic mind palace of the person who wrote the finale of Lost and deserves to be in all sorts of jails.

  • Trailer Trashing: Every time they have one of these time skips in zombie fiction, I have to wonder what keeps powering those corpses. Then I realize you can go into some random tomb in an RPG and fight thousand-year-old mummies, so maybe my issues with zombie fiction are more subjective than I thought. That's my observation for today, because I'm sure I don't have any idea what's going in this, the trailer for the fourth part of a heavily serialized adventure game series that I "nope"d out of back in 2012. Sure is as cheerful as I remember it though.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Not for me. Zombies and Telltale both.

    The Royale Treatment: As is the case with a lot of shooters PUBG already has a zombie mode, and Fortnite even started as one. Nobody plays either any more.

  • Trailer Trashing: A definite sense of "Esprit de corpse" with these two zombie game trailers back to back. Days Gone is, as of the moment, the only game that has appeared in all three Trailer Blazer lists. Almost like it's in a permanent state of half-life, shambling from one E3 to the next, desperate for someone to put it out of its misery and release it from its eternal torture.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: My interest in zombie fiction? My interest in watching people suffering post-apocalyptic hardships? My interest in this game? They's gone.

    The Royale Treatment: I've always wondered how much better PUBG would be if you jumped out of the plane already riding a motorcycle.

  • Trailer Trashing: I'm not the most adept when it comes to fighting games - I skipped that part of my science studies, I guess - but it seems to me that this trailer is suggesting that DOA's going to start "borrowing" Tekken's slo-mo dramatic finishes. The jiggle-tech seems to have calmed down a lot too, so I hope that doesn't mean DOA's taking itself seriously from now on. All DOA and Tekken has is their long-standing rivalry to out-stupid the other.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: As thinkfluenced as Fame Douglas himself. Not in the sense of getting deeply involved with DOA fighting tournaments, but in the sense of bowing out of this franchise super early.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Kasumi clones ninja-glide onto an island. That's already the plot of a DOA CG movie, I'm sure.

  • Trailer Trashing: DONTNOD showed off like fifteen games at E3 this year, I guess Life is Strange really did well for them. Twin Mirror feels a little in that vein, but going more of an Alan Wake psychological horror vibe, with a protagonist that I don't think changed his expression once throughout the whole video. Maybe that's coming in a later update?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I've yet to try Vampyr, but DONTNOD's been one to watch even as far back as Remember Me. Guys, what if Twin Peaks and Black Mirror were combined together? What would you even call that, Black Peaks?

    The Royale Treatment: 100 amnesiacs parachute onto an island. Why are they here? Why are they being forced to kill each other? Who was flying the plane? Why did someone name a town "Basswood"? Was "Anuserection" taken?

  • Trailer Trashing: I'll admit, a battle royale game set in STALKER's unstable vision of Chernobyl and Pripyat is a pretty clever idea. The one thing the current battle royale games need is more weird shit that can kill you beyond a magical blue wall and the 99 other people on the map. Why not stack the deck against you even further, is what I say.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I intend to get around to the other STALKER games some day, even if Shadow of Chernobyl was a little intense at times. Probably draw the line at this though; like Fallout, the eerie nature of STALKER's post-apocalpytic world makes it better suited for solo adventures.

    The Royale Treatment: Big ol' "N/A" here my droogs. This one's already a battle royale so I don't have to do anything. Now you see why I went for this bonus theme.

  • Trailer Trashing: More licensed LEGO games direct from the hose, but I suppose the idea of creating your own thematic Batman villain is a neat idea. I mean, it's something I've tinkered with in the past for a different list. I guess now that LEGO Batman is a whole movie franchise, it would pay to stick around Gotham a little while longer.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm many LEGO games behind, but I wouldn't dismiss one if it turned out to be especially good. Trouble is, most are happy to wallow in their uninspired averageness.

    The Royale Treatment: Lego Island is a masterpiece and I won't impugn its character by suggesting that they should drop even more cocaine-addled Lego people onto it.

  • Trailer Trashing: We get a glimpse of a hardscrabble world where teenagers have to fight enormous robots and other mechanical foes in a desperate bid for survival. I believe we had that already in a little game I like to call Xenoblade Chronicles. *Sniffs derisively.*

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Eh, looks like a multiplayer horde mode thing. It's generatin' zero interest from me. I like the look though. And the music, but that might just be in the trailer.

    The Royale Treatment: If you think about it, aren't all battle royale games also horde multiplayer? It's just that the horde are also other players. #MakesYouThink

  • Trailer Trashing: Looks like a sci-fi Inside with way more colors. I'm definitely into the look, though I'm curious about how much running is involved. I've been hurt by intriguing platformers that turned out to be endless runners before now.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Sure, I like what it's going for here. I might wait until it at least passes Planet Beta first though.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 astronauts land on an alien planet. 99 of them are immediately eaten by enormous space worms. Nice job walking without rhythm, dummies.

  • Trailer Trashing: I'm weirdly happy the Wonder Boy series is back. While this game isn't by the same developers as the recent remake, it clearly means that the franchise has seen some renewed interest. The trailer was equally joyful, with its anime-inspired theme song.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I still haven't played that remake yet. Knowing there's another Wonder Boy game on the way makes me want to get around to it sooner.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Wonder Boys drop on an Adventure Island. You'd have to have studied the convoluted history of the Wonder Boy franchise to get that one, which I'm sure you've all done.

  • Trailer Trashing: Did those maniacs shoutcast a Three Kingdoms battle for its official trailer? Is Cao Cao going to get a Monster Energy drink sponsorship after all is said and done? I guess it wasn't so much shouting as polite British commentating over dry military strategy, but maybe this is the reined-in Total War equivalent. After all, these are serious wargamers, not punks looking for their next DOTA hat DLC.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Total War is an intimidating series even when I know the historical conflicts it's depicting. If Dynasty Warriors is romancing the Three Kingdoms, then this game is going to third base with it. I'm not sure I'm ready for that type of commitment.

    The Royale Treatment: You couldn't have a Three Kingdoms game with just 100 soldiers, South China Sea island or no. Lu Bu eats five times that many for breakfast.

  • Trailer Trashing: Indivisible's coming along nicely looks like. The proof of concept demo has been out for a while, so instead the trailer focuses on all the new dungeons/territories that have been added in the meantime. I wonder what would happen if you put Indivisible's E3 booth next to The Division's. Would they both explode, or...?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I love me some Valkyrie Profile combat - it's what got me through Project X Zone, despite its repetitiveness - and the visual style of this game is fantastic. I'm sure I'll grab it eventually.

    The Royale Treatment: It would have to be 97 rather than 100, because 97 is a prime number. Hence, indivisible. (I knew that "1 x 10 to the power of 3 Math Jokes" book would come in useful someday.)

  • Trailer Trashing: So a Ghost Giant is a giant that died and became a ghost, whereas a Giant Ghost is a very big ghost of an indeterminate creature. Those and many other lessons can be learned in this cutesy VR game about the power of friendship and even greater power that comes from being a colossal phantsmal force that can shake buildings around.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: This doesn't look like a game that would work outside of VR, and I'm not a rich person who can play inside of VR. We are at an impasse.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Giant Ghosts (shit, sorry, Ghost Giants) seems like too much for one island to hold, so let's say there's 100 sad cat boys and you gotta befriend all of them. Friendships are more special when they're between 101 people, right?

  • Trailer Trashing: The new Battlefield trailer focuses on the multiplayer, with a brief story teaser at the end. Not sure how anyone's supposed to follow all that action while playing, but maybe that's the point of being a WW2 simulator. War is Hell, after all. Also, the way the V is positioned under the Battlefield text in the title card makes it seem like the battlefield's in my pants, if you ladies catch my drift.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Like Charles Bronson, I find myself saying "no DICE" often. Not that he's said it much lately.

    The Royale Treatment: What if you have 100 player-controlled soldiers in the same general area, but half of them fight for the Allies and the other for the Axis and you have respawning and planes to fly around? It could just work. Oh, wait, we'd need to put lootboxes in there too otherwise it's not a real video game.

  • Trailer Trashing: It appears as if Coldwood intends to string us along another yarn of theirs, but I'll say the co-operative puzzle-platforming for various difficult stitchuations definitely doesn't cause me to clutch my purls and knit my brows in consternation. Is Gene Shalit writing these things now?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Gonna repeat a joke I made in chat and say that this game makes me too yawny. Actually, it'll probably be fine, but I have a real issue with platformers that don't platform well because they're too busy being precious (LittleBigPlanet, I see you).

    The Royale Treatment: 100 balls of yarn drop onto an island. Do they all become Yarnies, or will see one gigantic multicolored Yarny emerge? It's PUBG meets, but really just

  • Trailer Trashing: A nice mood piece that shows off the game, leaving enough mysteries to chew on. Like how does the boat/sea powers work? Will it play similarly to Wind Waker, where you split your time between land and sea? Why does the heroine look like a Victorian chimney sweep that got stuck for weeks? Definitely the highlight of the EA conference at any rate.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm allowed to like sad games if they're done well.

    The Royale Treatment: It wouldn't be much of a sea of solitude if it had 100 idiots swimming around in it. Go find your own seas, jerks.

  • Trailer Trashing: I'll admit this trailer is kinda neat, but it's highly misrepresentative of the final product, which is some rinky-dink mobile game that boils the C&C experience down to a handful of grid spaces. Then again, it's not like I put Command & Conquer on a lofty pedestal. I'll take a Eye of the Beholder or Lands of Lore reboot instead any day.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Never was a fan of the originals, seems highly unlikely I'd be a fan of a compromised mobile iteration that'll keep asking me for money.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Tanyas land on an island. That island is getting blown the eff up.

  • Trailer Trashing: Curiously, this year's Madden trailer doesn't seem to hint towards any kind of major story mode, besides "be good at the football". Maybe this is a back to basics year for the long-running handegg franchise.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: A truck with food on it, that I can understand; airplanes, what?

    The Royale Treatment: If someone has the "ball", and the other 99 people are either trying to protect him or stop him from getting to the other side of the island, would that make for a good battle royale mode?

  • Trailer Trashing: Much like the Madden trailer, this one gets to the heart of its sport's appeal, much like it has done for almost every previous FIFA trailer. I'll give them credit for shooting a stylish trailer with in-game footage. I'll also give them credit for only making it a merciful 70 seconds long.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: In the interest of fairness, I will also state that soccer is just as unwatchable as American football. (Sorry, the World Cup's going on right now so I might be even more irritible than usual about sports.)

    The Royale Treatment: You know that Pilotwings 64 level where you kick a gigantic ball around an island? Could work.

  • Trailer Trashing: Anthem saw a couple of trailers - one is a brief proof of concept with a remixed Muse track, and the other is four minutes of gameplay with that most fallacious of game trailer phenomena: the dreaded "pretend online multiplayer banter". What's worse is that there's clearly meant to be a combination of other humans and your own AI buddy speaking - only way to tell which is which when both sound so scripted is that only one of them has dialogue boxes.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Destiny is an-anthem-a to me, so I hope this game turns out to be significantly different. It's BioWare, so maybe it'll play more like Mass Effect than it currently appears to.

    The Royale Treatment: It's the post-apocalypse (or something?) so I dunno how they managed to scrounge up 100 super robot exosuits for everyone to blow up. Eh, video game logic. If everyone has jetpacks, it's going to lead to some short rounds.

  • Trailer Trashing: This is the first of many trailers this year that announces new ports for games that have already come out. Marino still felt the need to upload them all, so here I am. Beat Saber's that VR game where you run down a tunnel hitting things with glowsticks in a blind panic, which sounds like a normal club experience if you choose to imbibe everything people offer you in the bathroom. The game doesn't look any worse for wear on PSVR, though from the scuttlebutt it sounds like it could use better controllers.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I swear, every time I hear this title I think of the SNES game Run Saber. Beat Saber could do with being just a smidge more Strider-like.

    The Royale Treatment: I'm pretty sure there were Jedi Outcast servers that were just wall-to-wall lasersword battles as far as the (Jed)eye could see.

  • Trailer Trashing: The ultimate Cookie Trap of trailers, as the camera spans across this beautiful alien world with its creatures and ancient ruins in super high def, and then it turns out to be another Halo game. My heart sank into my shoes and then into the Earth beneath. It's halfway to China now.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Nothing's going to stop the Halo money train, huh? Well, it's not like I have to board it. I don't have an Xbox One to play it on anyway.

    The Royale Treatment: This could literally be what the game is for all we know. It feels like it's going to be some kind of spin-off, given there's no number.

  • Trailer Trashing: The trailer presents a mix of story and gameplay features, suggesting we're pretty close to release for this direct sequel to GB's Best Music winner for twenty-neverteen. Man, is this a good looking game though.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Ori was a pleasant surprise for me; definitely one of the better spacewhippers to emerge in recent years. I am pre-emptively buckled in for some more melancholy platforming in the near future.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Oris land in a forest, each of them sad that they're the only member left of their species.

  • Trailer Trashing: K&M enthusiast Terry Crews putting in work for another "hey, Crackdown 3 is still coming out you guys, I swear" proof-of-a-pulse trailer. Old Spice is too powerful to let this game come out.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I really liked Crackdown, didn't care for Crackdown 2, hypothetically excited for Crackdown 3 in the same way I'm hypothetically excited for flying cars and teleporters and faster than light travel.

    The Royale Treatment: Sorry to break character for a moment, but why isn't there a Crackdown game with Middle-earth: Shadow of Whatsit's Nemesis system? It seemed so tailor-made for it with the way enemy gangs already get stronger or weaker depending on your actions.

  • Trailer Trashing: Like No Man's Sky, Sea of Thieves is going to live or die on its continued support and expansions from its developers, who initially released a product that felt like a skeleton (ironically, because there were plenty of skeletons if nothing else) with the promise of its meaty exterior showing up later. The trailer suggests even more skeletons, which perhaps wasn't the message they needed right now.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Can't play it, don't care to. If I wanted a good, immersive pirate game with a lot of content I could always buy Pillars of Eternity II.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 islands land on an ocean, each of which is covered by skeletons and chickens. You can't kill each other, but you can kill any hapless pirates that stop by. I kinda like the idea of a sentient island; it feels very Moana.

  • Trailer Trashing: FromSoftware's big anticipated new game is none other than this Tenchu lookalike, Sekiro. Looks to combine certain Dark Souls elements with more action-focused gameplay, eschewing the usual RPG mechanics and adding all sorts of neat traversal skills.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm so ready for it. From's been on a tear lately. Weird to think that it wasn't so long ago they were putting out Eternal Ring and EverGrace.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Sekiros land on an island but none of them can die, so the game just goes on forever.

  • Trailer Trashing: I haven't heard Massive Attack's Angel in a trailer for what feels like a decade. Glad to see the classics never die. In fact, that might as well as be Metro's byline, as its hardened folk eke out a living in the desiccated, irradiated, and mutant-infested remains of the USSR.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I bought that Metro double-pack for PS4 and I do plan on playing it, but I have so much else on my plate also. Maybe when Metro Exodus is finally out and part of the zeitgeist, I'll be motivated to take part. Then again, February of 2019 is going to be busy as hell and it may just vanish without a trace. Hope not.

    The Royale Treatment: There might only be 100 people left total with the state this setting is in. If you thought finding bullets was hard enough in PUBG...

  • Trailer Trashing: This trailer shows off Forza Horizon 4's (where's 5?) interpretation of the UK countryside, which was a bit too uncanny for someone like me who has to live here. Everywhere sort of looks like home, but there aren't any identifying landmarks or town names (well, besides Edinburgh) because these games always shrink the geography down into a manageable world map. It's eerie is what it is.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Seasons change everything besides my desire to ever play a Forza game.

    The Royale Treatment: Battle Royale cars don't need to be expensive or state-of-the-art, they just need to not flip over or burst on flames whenever they hit a pebble.

  • Trailer Trashing: This was one of those trailers I was happy to watch again, packed to the gills as it is with capital-A Aesthetic. You are free to infer from that statement that I hate every other trailer as well as the fact I'm compelled to write this list at all if you want, death of the author being what it is.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'll be there with augmented bells on. The kind of bells that tell me if my house is being robbed or if I'm late for a Giant Bomb stream.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 cyberpunk avatars land on an virtual ether-island (not the one with the big heads); can they punch out of the VR interface before blackICE programs locate and eliminate them through their cranial-implant wifi?

  • Trailer Trashing: Well this was unexpected. Capcom decided they were done with a franchise, someone else took over, and suddenly they want it back? It's like me with my toys as an eight-year-old. One thing I did like about this trailer is that it had a demon boss with a big mouth where its stomach is. How very Ghouls N' Ghosts.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I got too bored of 4 to finish it, and I suspect that this game will build on that game's plot to an extent. Maybe I'll give this one a miss.

    The Royale Treatment: Guns in the DMC universe do little more than chip damage, best suited for showy cutscenes rather than actually killing anything. A DMC Battle Royale game could last for hours unless someone pulls a sword out.

  • Trailer Trashing: This CG trailer talks about a lot of ominous dreams and messages, but now that "of War" is officially gone from the title at least it'll be a relatively peaceful game, right? Personally, I'd have leaned into the horror element more and renamed it Gears for Fears, but that's just me.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Got halfway through the first Gears before realizing I wanted no part of this (Cole) train. Waist-high wall tech sure has come a long way since then though.

    The Royale Treatment: Since everyone in this series looks like a bowling ball with stubble on it, I sort of wonder if 100 of them in the same place wouldn't resemble an enormous pachinko machine. Except that's silly, because that's gambling and we'll never see anything like that in a battle royale game.

  • Trailer Trashing: Man, people were really freaking out about Goku fighting Luffy when this showed up during the conference. Like we didn't have a Jump Stars crossover game as recently as 2015. Maybe it's different now that Jeff and Dan care about Goku and "Freetza". At any rate, it's more superpowered anime crossover fighting. I gotta say, even if it comes off as a little hypocritical after the above, I do hope some BnHA characters or One Punch Man shows up whether those shows are related to Jump or not.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Ehh. Maybe if they packed these games with lots of unlockable lore for all their characters like in Smash, but I'd still have to fight past my apathy for Naruto, Bleach and DBZ. Tough call.

    The Royale Treatment: The 100 Goku variants from Dragon Ball FighterZ instant transmission to some giant plains on Earth somewhere. Who wins? My money's on Super Saiyan God King Ape Mondo Power 6.5 Goku.

  • Trailer Trashing: AQUA GOT NORTE- ahem. Kingdom Hearts III is as we all feared; not just a continuation of Kingdom Hearts II (which is bad enough, frankly) but also all the various spin-offs and prequels that came after, which doesn't so much render the story impossible to follow but does make it difficult for folks like Vinny and me who'd rather be up to date on a franchise's ongoing plot before starting a new game. I'd feel compelled to grab those PS4 compilations and get all caught up. Till then, I'll just watch these three very similar trailers again and see if I can Rosetta Stone the plot.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: You know, I won't say never to that compilations replay idea. Those spin-offs can't be too bad, right? Part of me wonders where I'll ever find the time, though. It'd be like training for a marathon, except the opposite in terms of health benefits.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Disney characters land in a theme park in Orlando. Instead of killing each other, though, they mostly write autographs and pose for photos. Or... maybe they kill each other at night, but during the day they have to pretend everything's normal? Better get Goofy's mangled corpse off Splash Mountain before the tourists arrive!

  • Trailer Trashing: A short but sweet trailer for some Cuphead DLC, done in their inimitable Fleischer-esque style. Having still not played the former, I wish I could tell you what any of this means besides "there's new content". My cuphead runneth over.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Well, I'd still like to play Cuphead at some point, though I'm not quite sure how yet. Maybe by the time I get around to it, this DLC will have been integrated into some kind of "Cuplete Edition".

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Cupheads and Mugmans (Mugmen?) land on an island where everything, even the trees and rocks, dances to and fro to a jazz swing beat. It's going to make cover very unreliable.

  • Trailer Trashing: I love people pretending it's not political that Washington DC is in ruins and the people in control are crazy assholes. Pretty sure we didn't need a virus on our money to get there, Ubisoft. The site has a few trailers for Division 2 - five, in fact - and most are what'd you expect: apt historical quotes, fake multiplayer chatter, lots of people getting murdered, and the introduction of raids and other post-game content (kind of getting a little ahead of yourselves?) .

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Well, now, I would've had to have wanted to play the first Division, which I did not. I like fantasy games, and the idea that America is broken on the inside hasn't been a fantasy for a long time.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Division symbols land on an island full of numbers. But oh no! There are some multiplication symbols charging in from over that hill. Can you save the numerical world of Math Blasters while there's still time(s tables)?

  • Trailer Trashing: We have a couple of trailers for Dying Light 2: It's Still Dying But It's Not Gone Out Quite Yet, Maybe It'll Keep Going For Another Couple of Games Depending On How Well This One Does, But Who Can Say Really, which as an official title could honestly use some trimming. The surprise involvement of Chris Avellone means there's a lot of intricate narrative features available during the daytime, when the mindless zombies - who offer you very few dialogue trees to navigate - are conveniently placed out of sight. Talk about skeletons in the closet.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Brad's approbations for the first and Avellone's involvement with this are definitely piquing my interest, but I'm finding it harder with each new console generation to care about zombie games. I might pick up the first one when it goes on sale again to see what I'm in for.

    The Royale Treatment: Well, Bluehole's definitely trying to add more parkour to PUBG if the furor over the vaulting patch was any indication of the future. I think a vertical urban setting with a lot of climbing and leaping might not be out of the question. It'll still have a zombie mode too, of course, and people will still continue to not play it.

  • Trailer Trashing: After it became apparent that the title was prophetically referring to the people still playing it (I'm joking of course; they're far from happy), the studio realized that trying to sell the intriguing game you showed off in the reveal trailer in the first place instead of another tedious survival crafting sim was probably the better plan. This trailer makes it clear that they're getting the story stuff back on track, as Shrek and a female droog argue about a happiness drug that's tearing Brits apart (figuratively and literally).

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: The open-world crafting stuff didn't initially appeal, but We Happy Few has an advantage that No Man's Sky was denied - they got to start as a clearly labelled Early Access game, with plenty of time to course-correct as the true launch date loomed ahead. If they've skewed towards a deeply cynical BioShock type of first-person action game, I might change my tune. I certainly still like its style.

    The Royale Treatment: We Happy Many has 100 drug-addled citizens dropped onto an island (called Great Britain) to locate and consume the few pills of Joy still remaining.

  • Trailer Trashing: An incongruously emotional story trailer that had at least had the decency to end on big wubs, bigger explosions and the biggest tornado, and another that takes a deeper dive on the game's mechanics. This Just Cause kinda looks like all the other ones so far, but that's hardly a negative.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I liked Just Cause 3 enough to finish it, but I might argue that it's too soon for another one unless they've really been considering on ways to improve the formula. Given Avalanche is working on like four or five games right now, I'm slightly skeptical they haven't. We'll see.

    The Royale Treatment: I mean, did you ever see that Just Cause 2 multiplayer hack? It would be like that. Pure pandemonium.

  • Trailer Trashing: Xbox PUBG is still catching up to PC PUBG, with this announcement that the third map - the Vietnam-like Sanhok - and the deathmatch War Mode are coming to the consoles shortly. There's even something new for those smug PC Plunkbatters too: the hint of a snow map on the horizon. That's going to mean a whole lot of footprint tech.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'd love to try PUBG some day. I presently have no way to do so.

    The Royale Treatment: I can't really write anything here without going full Droste effect. I guess I just Incepted myself. Better grab some paper towels.

  • Trailer Trashing: This is little more than a teaser for the new Battletoads game, which I'm sure plenty of people were asking for totally unironically and don't feel bad now that someone's invested a lot of money to bring the franchise back to match this utterly sincere demand. Did you know that their hands and feet turn into things when they attack?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Hard to say without seeing more of it. Could be meme-ridden trash, could be a humorously self-effacing reboot that is able to maintain the surprisingly decent graphics and music of the originals (a la Double Dragon Neon). It's far too likely that we'll get something like the new Bubsy or Shaq Fu instead though.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Battletoads are dropped on an island from that bird professor guy's high-tech Battlejet. The promise of an enormous melee at the island's center is enticing, but everyone dies from crashing their hoverbikes on the way there.

  • Trailer Trashing: Lara's back in a brand new adventure, and... wait, did they change Jonah's character model again? They have to settle on an ethnicity for that guy already. Anyway, some stuff happens and it's all Lara's fault. Apparently that was a load-bearing mystical knife. Looks like Shadow's going to continue having Ms. Croft murdering people by the hundreds in the name of archaeology if the longer gameplay trailer is accurate.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm all caught up with the Tomb Raider reboots as of earlier this year. Looking forward to this new one. I'm hoping they don't lean quite as hard on the whole survival aspect.

    The Royale Treatment: I'm picturing something like that Prinny PSP game where you have 100 lives but once they're all gone that's the end, except it's 100 Lara Crofts trying to plunder this one really well-trapped tomb.

  • Trailer Trashing: A bored and bereaved kid living in Oregon creates elaborate fantasy worlds where he is the titular superhero Captain Spirit. But could these fantasies be pouring into the universe in some sort of magical realism fashion? Given that this game sits between Life is Strange and its upcoming sequel, anything's possible.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I mean, if the whole thing is being given away for free and not just the first episode, I don't see why I wouldn't play it. Even if it all it does is promote Life is Strange 2 in a Ground Zeroes sort of manner, I'd like to find out all I can about it before it shows up.

    The Royale Treatment: Ohhh, no. Last time we had a multiplayer online shooter based on some kid's notebook sketches, it all went horribly sideways.

  • Trailer Trashing: I'm not sure this will enough to satiate Burgerdicks, but someone's determined to bring back skateboarding simulators and that someone is newcomer Crea-ture Studios. It's a nostalgic trailer too, full of all the monochrome filters, hip-hop, and fish-eye lens footage you remember so well.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It appears to follow Skate's example by moving the slider closer to "simulation" rather than, well, "fun". Count me out. I don't care enough about this pseudosport to want to play a realistic version of it.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 skaters are dropped onto a giant skatepark, with a percentage of the lowest score earners eliminated every minute or so. We workshopped this in GB chat recently, and it could honestly work.

  • Trailer Trashing: Man, where do I even start? First off, creating Funko Pop versions of the Gears characters, who I already have trouble telling apart without rendering them all in that identical big-head no-mouth look, is an immediate problem. Someone else said it best: LEGO won't touch an R-rated franchise like Gears, so they had to go for the next best thing.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Let's see, I'm someone who doesn't like Gears and certainly doesn't like Funko Pops. Day one purchase for sure.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Funko Pops land on an island. It's not a game, but a cargo plane delivery mishap that happens more often than you'd think.

  • Trailer Trashing: With its great visuals and isometric perspective, Tunic is still as appealing as it was when it was shown off last E3. No release date on the trailer, so we might be seeing this little guy next E3 too.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm still down for any Indie Zelda-likes, but it's sounding like this will be Xbox exclusive for a while. I'm hoping that's the kind of Xbox exclusive that also means "oh, and you can get it on PC too no prob".

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Fox-Links land on an island. Who can wake up the Windfish first?

  • Trailer Trashing: A 2D Moba that looks like a combination of Awesomenauts and one of the 2D adventure modes from a Smash Bros game. Everything about it seems so... considered. Even those heroes look very Overwatch/DOTA.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It's a MOBA. I leave those to fan-hat-ics like Kessler and Ben Pack.

    The Royale Treatment: A superhero-themed battle royale game could be really something, but I guess you'd have to address the disparity in the effectiveness of the superpowers. Maybe if they were luck of the draw?

  • Trailer Trashing: Oh boy, there's one of these ID@Xbox montages every year and there's always a lot to parse. Here goes: Outer Wilds, the exploration game with a Majora's Mask time limit that you can rewind; Afterparty, the next game from the Oxenfree devs which has a couple of dead partiers (one played by Janina Gavankar!) trying to escape Hell; Kingdom: Two Crowns, the sequel to the Kingdom games which I think are 2D governing simulators with the occasional combat?; The Golf Club 2019, which has earned its spurs as a sports franchise if it's getting years after its name now; Warhammer: Vermintide II, the WH multiplayer action game where you always feel like the weakest link and have a terrible time (maybe some projecting here); Fringe Wars, another multiplayer shooter albeit one set in space that no-one seems to like too much; Below, a game that'll need to be released and on my console's dashboard before I believe it's real; Conqueror's Blade, which looks to be another medieval combat sim in the vein of For Honor or Chivalry; Waking, an action-adventure game about ghosts or hoodies or something (there's no information online right now); Children of Morta, which looks to be a modern successor to the family-focused NES game Legacy of the Wizard; Raji, an action-adventure game set in India that's looking real good; Super Meat Boy Forever, the endless runner sequel from Team Meat; Planet Alpha, see elsewhere on the list; Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course, see elsewhere on the list; Tunic, see elsewhere on the list; Session, see elsewhere on the list; Generation Zero, see elsewhere on the list; Sable, see elsewhere on the list; Bomber Crew, which looks like FTL's real-time crew management but for WW2 bombers; Harold Halibut, an arresting-looking point-and-click adventure game that reminds me of The Swapper; Black Desert Online, see elsewhere on the list; Islands of Nyne, another established battle royale game coming to Xbox; The Wind Road, a martial arts action game made in China; Wargroove, a pixel turn-based strategy game from the Starbound people that looks like a neat modern Advance Wars; Totem Teller, a top-down adventure game with a curious pixel art style that resembles Superbrothers; Dead Cells, the Jason-friendly procgen spacewhipper that's been in early access for a while now; and Ashen, the bleak Souls-like with the faceless warriors we saw last E3.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Uhhh, there's a lot here to consider. Let's go with the top five I'm most interested in, in no particular order: Outer Wilds, Afterparty, Below, Sable, Tunic.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Xbox Indie games drop on an island otherwise known as February 2019, which in the past has been more of an "island" in the metaphorical sense. Who is the one survivor that gets any attention?

  • Trailer Trashing: Heck yeah, one of my favorite Tales games is getting remastered. For those not in the know, the PS3 Definitive Edition of Tales of Vesperia is something the English-speaking Tales community has been requesting for a decade now - it's become something of a meme in the meantime.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I love Tales of Vesperia, but... I don't think I could ever play it again. Search around for my "S-Rank" blog on the game to find out why. (Though, for the record, if you've been curious about Tales for ages and could never find a gateway in, either Vesperia or Symphonia will do you right.)

    The Royale Treatment: I'd joke about there being 100 Tales games that could duke it out on some island somewhere, but they just announced another one so they're getting close to that number.

  • Trailer Trashing: Party Party Party! That's right, third-party support for consoles is strong thanks to Bethesda's many upcoming hits, and that includes Rage 2 - the video game equivalent of picking a donut out of the trash, flicking off a few dust bunnies, and claiming "it's still good". We saw a covential teaser before E3 started (which was not at all prompted by something Canadian Walmart may have done) so here's seven minutes of gameplay footage to show us Avalanche means to continue as the original Rage did: violently, with lots of spinning glaives.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I bought Rage five years ago and never played it. Maybe I'll buy this and never play it too; it's not like Bethesda will care if they still have my money.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 homicidal maniacs land on an island full of ruined buildings that haven't seen civilization for years. Wait, that's already all the battle royale games.

  • Trailer Trashing: Every day, The Elder Scrolls stray further from the Nine's light. Don't card games require a rich lore to draw from? I don't think I could name a single Elder Scrolls NPC besides Sean Bean and that fourth-wall-breaking cat man. Trailer doesn't give you much to go on either, unless you have a thing for women with beards. You do you, internet.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I still can't believe the Elder Scrolls is slowly morphing into Kingdom Hearts. So many spin-offs I don't want anything to do with.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 fantasy trading cards float gracefully to the floor. Timothy is branded a Bad Sport and will not be invited back to game night in the back room of Wizard's Cove Comic Books & Miniatures.

  • Trailer Trashing: Doomy Turtle is a cute yet emotional story about a little amphibian who gets over his depression with the help of his friends and Mr. Axolotl the school therapist. Actually, I guess this teaser trailer is hinting at the Hell on Earth sequel to the 2016 Doom reboot, just without the "2". I always thought it was weird to put a 2 at the end of a reboot's sequel anyway.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: If it really is Doom 2 and not some weird VR or card game spin-off, I'll be there for sure. Doom was one of my favorite 2016 games.

    The Royale Treatment: I wonder if you could make a battle royale game with the original Doom's assets. The hit scan would make it a little unfair, I guess.

  • Trailer Trashing: Elder Scrolls Online is heading to Summerset for some real ale, rural landscapes, and to see the quaint village where Hot Fuzz was shot. No wait, that's Somerset. Summerset is where the High Elves come from, which might explain all the trippy visuals in this trailer.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I wish ESO all the best, but I plan to avoid it the same way I've avoided Final Fantasy XIV and Shin Megami Tensei Imagine and all the other online noncanonical sequels to my favorite single-player RPGs. It's turned out to be surprisingly easy.

    The Royale Treatment: It's already an MMO so I guess you wouldn't need to change much. On the other hand, I think people would object if their level 60 Dark Elf assassin was gone forever because she got ambushed by a guy holding a frying pan.

  • Trailer Trashing: An interview with Susan and Ricardo, the disarmingly awkward duo at the Bethesda conference, introduces Prey's free NG+ update and its new DLC expansion Mooncrash before being killed horribly by a mimic. A goofy trailer follows for the mode itself; a new environment which changes every time you die and restart, suggesting they're going for a roguelike approach with some of their leftover assets.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I liked Prey quite a bit, but most of that was exploring and the environmental storytelling regarding the corpses and state of Talos I. A procgen roguelike mode would strip all that away, leaving only the OK combat. Still, good on them for supporting the game post-release.

    The Royale Treatment: The way I could see this working is if one (small) team are humans and the rest are all mimics. Especially if the goal for the human team is to find a specific "World's Best Brother" mug that TranStar CEO Alex Yu left behind.

  • Trailer Trashing: This trailer is nothing. A pan over a forest with the words "The Elder Scrolls VI". What am I supposed to make fun of here, exactly?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Well, of course I'm interested. That is, if I'm still alive when it finally comes out.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 players drop on an island, except there's no island yet. Just tread water for a year, you guys, and we'll get back to you next E3 with maybe a subtitle or something.

  • Trailer Trashing: In space, no-one can hear you kick Odie. Wait, I think Jeff already did that one. Anyway, this is another trailer for a game that doesn't have anything besides a title so far. If I didn't know better, I might suggest that someone was thinking of getting into the big open world space opera RPG market now that a certain other major publisher killed theirs dead.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: If I was gullible enough to go all in on just a name I'd be buying stocks by throwing darts at a Wall Street Journal.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 stars land on a field. Who is the last to supernova? Bonus points if you manage to incinerate an intelligent civilization on one of your planets on the way out.

  • Trailer Trashing: This trailer really needed Mel Brooks's "Let 'em all go to hell, except Vault 76". (I was beaten by approximately a hundred people to that tweet, which goes to show just how deep Simpsons nerddom gets.) It's a fantastic trailer for establishing the aesthetic and geography with a decent cover of John Denver's Country Roads, a song that got ruined for me by Kingsman 2.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I loved building a settlement in Fallout 4 and creating a fledgling community who wanted nothing more than a safe haven in a strange and hostile environment; an arable homeland that they could call their own and protect for the sake of their families. The only thing that was really missing from that idyllic picture was getting nuked to shit at any moment by a quartet of bored 9th-graders somewhere else on the same server.

    The Royale Treatment: They may as well have just gone full battle royale instead of making us pine for a single-player Fallout in West Virginia that will never be. Woe betide the last team to find a set of working power armor.

  • Trailer Trashing: Always a good sign when you're giving away your online shooter for free. It is admirable that there are still deathmatch shooters trying to make their way in a post-battle royale world though. It's like people who still insist on double-spaces after sentences because that was the way you did it on old typewriters. Or, I guess, someone who still insists on writing blogs instead of publishing videos. Dinosaurs, the lot of them.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Free trial's already over. Aw, raspberries.

    The Royale Treatment: I dunno, mentioning battle royale around Quake Champions just feels cruel in a way.

  • Trailer Trashing: We had to add an Amazon Alexa platform page because of this joke, so thanks a lot Todd Howard and Keegan-Michael Key. We've yet to add a platform page for Samsung Smart Refrigerators, but you wouldn't believe how many demanding emails Jeff Bakalar sends the wiki mods about it.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Apparently not a joke, but I'm still not buying an Amazon Alexa to play it. I hear those things laugh at you at night. I get laughed at enough during the day, thank you.

    The Royale Treatment: I wonder what kind of recursive conversations might occur if you put 100 Alexas in the same room and set them all onto "chatty".

  • Trailer Trashing: Riddle me this, youngblood - how did the future get so funky? I thought BJ's efforts would eventually pay off with the fall of Nazi Germany and their stranglehold on the world. I guess there's only so much one enormous blond killing machine can do. Here's hoping his twin daughters finish what he started. I'm getting some Atomic Blonde vibes from this trailer though.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I've yet to play Wolfenstein 2, but I'm sure I'll grab this once I'm done.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 French resistance agents are dropped into Nazi-occupied Paris to liberate it. Man, sounds like a giant co-operative version of The Saboteur, I'm into it.

  • Trailer Trashing: "Season 2" of Scum looks to combine the gritty convict reality TV show premise of Manhunt and combine it with either battle royale or online survival or some mix of the two. Turning dead contestants into zombies to attack the remaining players sounds like a good way to hurry up the game if there's stragglers still holding out.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Whatever it is, it's some big online thing with an edgy personality. Count me out. You just know everyone who got banned from PUBG for yelling racial epithets is going to wind up here. It'll probably go straight from Alpha to full release so its userbase won't laugh at them for being "beta".

    The Royale Treatment: No need.

  • Trailer Trashing: I'm liking the balletic movement and the overall silliness, but I am slightly curious about how the whole thing controls if you have an analog stick for either arm. I guess when your conscience is a talking banana who tells you to murder people, you take a lot on faith.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I could be interested, sure. I'll have to see how well it's received. Some of these stylish shooters end up being underwhelming in practice (like Ronin or Hotline Miami 2).

    The Royale Treatment: If you had 100 people doing this in a PUBG match it would be the greatest spectator sport in the world. Either that or everyone found the same cheat engine.

  • Trailer Trashing: Ah, remember when America was stupid but in a fun way instead of a mean and arbitrarily cruel way? That's the America that Metal Wolf Chaos venerates, the most American game released on the most American console (Xbox) that was never actually released in America. We're still talking early 00s FromSoftware here, so don't expect sterling gameplay, but having watched a few LPs it's definitely worth checking out for its script alone. Kudos to Devolver for resurrecting it, and kudos to Super Best Friends for having some small role in that process.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: The opportunity to play Metal Wolf Chaos in HD might be one of those things that overpowers my savvy consumer senses that would normally not buy games that aren't very fun.

    The Royale Treatment: The mind truly boggles. America hasn't had 100 Presidents yet, but once they do...

  • Trailer Trashing: I won't deny the game looks good in this trailer, but they seem to have taken out the transforming vehicles part and the many other Sega characters that used to be in this series. Feels a little lifeless if you ask me.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: If I don't get to play as Vyse or Gum then we are done here, good sir.

    The Royale Treatment: You know that fast-moving blue wall in PUBG? That's made entirely out of microscopic Sonics. If you were to take the "womp" sound it makes as it passes you by and isolate its sound channels, you'll hear a million tiny voices say "you're too slow!" in unison.

  • Trailer Trashing: Omae wa mou shindeiru. That means "Oh my, the Yakuza people are making a Fist of the North Star game?" and this trailer not only proves that it's true, but that it's getting localized also. No Fist of the North Star video game adaptation has ever been good but maybe this'll be the game to break that streak, especially if I can squeeze some Kenshiro Karaoke in.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I've still got three Yakuza games left to go, but I'll pencil it in if the press is good.

    The Royale Treatment: I used to play Fallout 2 with a mod that caused my hand-to-hand damage to turn post-apocalyptic deadbeats into ridiculous explosions of gore. I'm sure that would translate well to a battle royale mode if you remember to disable guns first.

  • Trailer Trashing: Despite what appears to be a rundown of several millennia of history for some fictional world, this trailer's sparse on details for the next Platinum Games project for Square Enix, the combo that gave us Nier Automata. If I had to guess, and maybe this is more wishful thinking, I'd say they were trying for a gothic Souls or God of War type of boss-focused game with some enormous Goddess to slay at the end of it all.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I mean, I can't ignore that dev/pub combo, but I'd like to hear more about it at least. Sounds like it's a ways off if this is all the news we're getting. It's not like the Square Enix press briefing was too crowded either.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Gilgameshes fall onto Babylon. You thought PUBG had some big bridge fights...

  • Trailer Trashing: Man, Julia Stiles kicked the shit out of those pendejos. We don't get much of anything from this trailer, but it was definitely one of the stand outs for its seamless cut from FMV into real-time. Here's hoping that's part of the game too, and not just fancy trailer magic. I hate fancy trailer magic.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: That's a big ol' TBD. I'll keep an ear out for it.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Quiet Men silently drop onto an island ready to pounce on any sound. Except for four of them, who all honk car horns and break through every window they come across. That would be Will Smith's posse.

  • Trailer Trashing: Finally, all the tedium of fetch quests and grinding in an MMORPG combined with all the tedium of crafting potions for hunts and chasing around bosses that won't sit still in Monster Hunter. Let me grab my Palico and my Palcobo and get right on that.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Two tastes I don't like that probably won't taste better together. Like peanut butter and licorice. Please don't @ me if that sounds appetizing.

    The Royale Treatment: 50 monster hunters and 50 black mages square off in a massive battle royale. They eventually bury the hatchet after the black mages offer to use Firaga to roast the hunters' meat for them.

  • Trailer Trashing: A lot of the JRPG announcements this E3 probably sounded like anime hogwash to most, but Dragon Quest XI - like Tales of Vesperia DE - represents something very exciting to those who have been following these franchsies for years. In DQ11's case, it's that we're finally getting a big single-player console JRPG entry, rather than the MMO and 3DS portable RPG that was 10 and 9 respectively. DQ8 was the last big headliner from this franchise, it feels like, and I'm glad to see 11's shaping up to be something akin to that even if Dragon Quest doesn't really budge a whole lot when it comes to its stories or aesthetic.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Hypothetically, sure. I'm all JRPG'd up right now, but maybe someday. Always fun to hear British accents coming out of DBZ characters.

    The Royale Treatment: I want to say Dragon Quest Heroes wasn't a million miles away from overpopulated pandemonium, but battle royale is tough when no-one has a gun.

  • Trailer Trashing: We're up to fifteen years now since the original came out, and what we've learned this year is that Jade and Pey'j are back in slightly younger forms and that the protagonist is a player-made character. What we haven't yet learned is if this game has a professional photography mode, because that's going to be a big deal for me.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Hell yeah, I'm excited for a sequel to one of my favorite PS2 games, Ubisoft's usual open world clichés aside. I'll be all over this world like community-submitted graffiti from underpaid artists.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 space monkeys land on a planet. Winner is the last to be banned from the server for foul language.

  • Trailer Trashing: It looks like Trials is getting back to its dirty and gritty roots after the absurdity of the last game's unicorns, cyberpunk and Far Cry crossovers. If it didn't have a subtitle that suggested a reboot of sorts, I might've thought they were putting together a compilation of their best tracks from the previous games. One of these days they're going to have to name a sequel or expansion "Tribulations", right?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I hit a roadblock in Trials Evolution and never went back, skipping Fusion in the process. I think if I ever have a hankering for more Trials, I have some cheaper options to look into (not that any of these games are expensive at launch, exactly).

    The Royale Treatment: Trials does have the casual murder and squirrely motorcycle controls down pat, but I dunno how it would look if you had 100 lanes laid out sequentially going off into the distance. Besides "a gigantic visual mess".

  • Trailer Trashing: I have never heard of any of these songs. There are a lot of Latin America or Latin-inspired tracks, though, so maybe I just live in the wrong part of the world to hear any of them regularly. Anyway, I can't be buggin' on this totally affable franchise and its humble desire to get people exercising and having fun, even as the legendary grouch that I am. (SingStar, though, can devour a sack of shit for plaguing my PS3 dashboard with its malware for years.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Nope. If you ever see me dancing it's either because I need to get the circulation back in my legs after I slept on them weird, or I've been possessed by the ghost of Lou Bega (who probably isn't dead but how is anyone to know in 2018).

    The Royale Treatment: I think there's a real life contest where 100 people dance in a room until there's only one couple left that haven't yet collapsed from exhaustion. At least, it was a thing on sitcoms for a while.

  • Trailer Trashing: More DLC for a game I haven't played yet. Anyone feel slightly guilty with some of these? Just me? Well, I'd have to play Mario + Rabbids to completion before I know if I want to play any more of it beyond that. At least I can be sure the music's good.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Gimme a chance to play Mario + Rabbids first, it only came out last year.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Jumpmen land on the scaffolding surrounding a highrise. Only one can rescue Pauline, and it's a long way down if someone should happen to get pushed...

  • Trailer Trashing: Skull & Bones is presumably getting closer, though the release of Sea of Thieves probably knocked some of the wind out of its sails. Still, Skull & Bones looks like it has actual content, so it has an edge there. At any rate, we're going to have to wait a little longer for ribald sea shanties, swordfights, keelhaulin', cannon volleys across the broadside, and... stealing? That doesn't sound right.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm curious to see if this is going to be more Sid Meier's Pirates! than a non-AC version of Black Flag. I'd probably be down either way, as long as the multiplayer part isn't too prevalent.

    The Royale Treatment: I already did the 100 islands switcheroo with Sea of Thieves, so for this I'm thinking 100 pirates enter an island from various coves and bays and have to head to the center where the treasure is buried. Do you join the big melee for dominance in the middle, or just grab some lesser treasure chests on the way there and discreetly call it a day?

  • Trailer Trashing: I might not choose to go all in on a VR FMV horror game, but Elijah would, and that's why Transference will soon be hitting the sheer dozens of PSVR headsets out there and terrifying the occupants strapped therein. The trailer hints to some of the madness to come, and the framing story of a crazy dad trying to do right by his family.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I am definitely curious about this one, but I can't claim that the interest isn't of the slightly mean ironic sort. I feel like I heard a lot of not-great things about this game last year, but it's had twelve months to sort them out I suppose.

    The Royale Treatment: The only transference that tends to happen in battle royale games is when everyone decides to transfer to the European and Asian servers to get away from the aimbots.

  • Trailer Trashing: Kudos to one of the last toys-to-life hold-outs for putting out three trailers this year and a genuine surprise with the Star Fox crossover announcement. When will these developers learn that the real money is in Gunpla kits with near-field communication built in? I see all sorts of weirdos willing to buy up that stuff even with no online gizmos in it whatsoever. (Or, for that matter, Funko Pops with NFC. You're sitting on a billion-dollar idea, morons.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: There are plenty of space sims and platformers out there that can be played without remortgaging your home for a dozen plastic accoutrements. Not that its millennial and post-millennial audience can expect to ever own their own houses, I suppose.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 player starfighters in a massive battle royale dogfight is something too perfect to exist yet, I think. It's not like there's a bathtub to hide in out in the vacuum of space. Oh wait, what if this was what Star Citizen was this whole time?

  • Trailer Trashing: Eric Pope's Foreigner is filling your eyes with double vision, releasing two trailers for its new expansion Marching Fire. I'm normally as cold as ice when it comes to DLC, but I'll admit it was fun watching those Three Kingdoms-inspired Chinese warriors march in and start showing those hot-blooded dirty white boys what's what. Feels like the first time I've seen those two army types in the same place.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I respect that Foreigner's mostly a lot of head games, as you stand face-to-face with your online opponent and try and pre-empt their next move, but my desire for online gaming has never been urgent.

    The Royale Treatment: For Honor's basically there, except most of the warriors on-screen are just NPC mooks. I think if you had 100 of those tougher player characters filling a server, you wouldn't be able to carve out enough spaces for its trademark tense one-on-one fights.

  • Trailer Trashing: It feels like I don't hear much about the Crew or this upcoming sequel, but if there's going to be boat and plane races then they're going after that Diddy Kong Racing crown for best racer and I wish them all the luck. But, man, don't ever make your letterbox spaces white; it just looks like you didn't know how to crop your trailer properly.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I wasn't joking about DKR being the zenith - I think I prefer my racers to be cartoon characters if possible. And I don't mean in a Need for Speed "script written by 15-year-olds" sense.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 racers drop onto a continent that vaguely resembles North America. This might already be what the game is, I'm out of the loop.

  • Trailer Trashing: Look. This whole exercise is contingent on me actually watching the trailers and building my case (or some germane goof) for how effective they are in getting me on board with what they're selling. But Assassin's Creed Odyssey, which so far can be boiled down to "people liked Origins so it's that again but in Greece", has over eighteen minutes of trailers: two minutes for a standard story trailer, and the rest get into detail on the new systems. From picking through them, the game definitely looks great and has one heck of a setting to explore, and I like that they're bringing a female protagonist back (how did Ubisoft find the resources for all those hideously expensive female character models? Origins must've made a lot of cash), but if it builds on Origins I really should play that first before forming any cogent opinions.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I forgot to stick a joke somewhere in the above whiny apologia. Here goes: They should've called this "The Killiad".

    The Royale Treatment: It'll have to wait until the tech is available to go from 100 to 300 simultaneous players.

  • Trailer Trashing: We now start the PC Gaming Show trailer block, which was wall-to-wall teasers for the most part. Morning Star's been described as a cyberpunk farming sim, sort of like a StarDOS Valley. It looks to deconstruct the wholesome escapism of this genre, supplementing the crop cultivation cycle with some dystopian framing story. As minute-long teasers go, it definitely captures the imagination.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'd like to learn more about it, if that helps.

    The Royale Treatment: Oh, server farms, now I get it. I guess a battle royale version would be that: a bunch of connected servers making turnip-shaped bitcoin (beetcoin?) as the national power grid struggles to keep up with demand.

  • Trailer Trashing: Another teaser that doesn't give a whole lot away, but leaves an impression. The artstyle for what looks like a glam post-apocalyptic online Pokemon game definitely stands out, and I could see this being the type of MMO that could see frequent updates as its creators to continue coming up with ideas for its heroes.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I mean, I didn't say I was going to buy it. Online gaming and Pokemon? Yuckers. (Of course, I'm not sure if that's 100% what the game is yet, given how little we know so far.)

    The Royale Treatment: 50 on 50 Pokemon fights haven't really caught on yet. There has to be ROM hacks that are working on that though.

  • Trailer Trashing: Well, this lo-fi action game certainly seems optimistic. The kind of masocore shooter-platformer that'll keep getting more and more difficult until you eventually give up and die, just like life itself. Oops, I got too real for a moment. Let me reboot, just a sec. *Urk* *arhhhg* *eeek* *unkh* *friendly start-up tune* I wouldn't say I was too overwhelmed by this trailer! More like meh-troid! Is this mic working?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Masocore's not my thing. Cool idea though.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 guys land on an island, yadda yadda yadda. But what if, when someone gets shot, everyone else gets their stuff besides you? Maybe that annoying sniper's not worth killing after all, because otherwise you'll have 98 annoying snipers on your jock.

  • Trailer Trashing: Sega's bringing the goods to PC after the triple-threat that was Vanquish, Bayonetta and Puyo Puyo Tetris, including the long-awaited first Yakuza port on Steam (two, even, with Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami) and if you wanted to play an even older and shittier version of Yakuza, Shenmue I & II is also here! Finally, there's the promise of PC ports for Shining Resonance Refrain in July and Valkyria Chronicles 4 in September. Sounds like a solid line-up.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I will absolutely play all of those that aren't Shenmue, but probably on PS4. I'm happy for those PC folk getting their first taste of Yakuza however.

    The Royale Treatment: If you wanted a true successor to Sonic All-Stars Racing, you'd find a way to squeeze Bayonetta, Vanquish Man (I think his name was Jake something?), Kiryu, Majima, Tom (the only good Shenmue character), and that Valkyria Chronicles 4 dog. They can race, dance, shoot each other; I'm not fussy just make it happen.

  • Trailer Trashing: The Payday devs are working on a co-op licensed zombie game, because Valve just didn't want to give up the Left 4 Dead brand. It's hard to know where to start mocking this trailer: the Law & Order fonts ("In the human nervous system, the brain is composed of two separate yet equally delicious hemispheres")? That Left 4 Dead's Bill is clearly visible? The way the trailer grimly intones "we used to be husbands, wives, doctors" like doctors no longer have a purpose in a world where everyone's getting bitten and shanked with chisels?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Maybe this game is the walking dead. We'll see if early sales corroborate.

    The Royale Treatment: I shouldn't have blown my "man, no-one likes PUBG's zombie mode, huh" observation so early. I didn't consider how many zombie games were at E3 that I'd have to build a battle royale idea around. Maybe when we hit 100 zombie games we'll have a new angle to work with.

  • Trailer Trashing: An affable man in a headset welcomes you to Space Junkies, the new VR online multiplayer... in SPACE! It then ends with the formerly affable man threatening you physical harm if you don't join the beta. I guess video games do make people violent.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: "Online" "Multiplayer" "VR". If I had a Bingo sheet with Fuck No as its title, I'd be sitting on a winner.

    The Royale Treatment: I mean, I imagine it would be difficult to maintain a high framerate with so many people around, but a VR battle royale game could happen. RecRoom is sort of like that already but with darts and improv instead.

  • Trailer Trashing: An amusing premise and trailer, but it does make me wonder why C&H are so strapped for cash (if their hundreds of recent Patreon pleas are any indication) with this lucrative licensing agreement in their back pocket. I can't imagine what their overhead looks like these days with those animated shorts, though, so instead I'll be kind to them and to schlock "lol random" purveyors TinyBuild by saying that I'm only skipping this one because it's another online battle royale shooter.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It's another online battle royale shooter.

    The Royale Treatment: It's another online battle royale shooter.

  • Trailer Trashing: Gosh, I dunno. I'm not someone who gets squeamish at Eli Rothian video game violence, even when it looks this realistic, but I did find this 12-minute-long story and gameplay trailer slightly discomfiting and I've been wracking my brain since it kicked off the Sony briefing to put into words why. I think because there's a streak of mean-spiritedness and cynicism in how the trailer's constructed with its snap cuts to and from the violence, and especially seems targeted towards genteel critical-darling lesbian romance sims like Gone Home and Life is Strange, almost like it chose to rub a lot of folk the wrong way for no real reason. Naughty Dog's been doing great with the human drama of late, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was a frequent delight with its levity and charm, and so to see them go for some edgy rough chuckles is a little dispiriting. Just going by what we see here I can't fault how the game looks and plays though.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I get turned off by games that are overly bleak, but that's just me. Games are frequently a mood enhancer, and very rarely do I feel the need to be more depressed. But hey, if Naughty Dog ever decide to reboot Jak (Jak 1, not the grimdark later ones) I know where to find them.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 mutated cordyceps spores fall from a plane onto an island. That island now sucks.

  • Trailer Trashing: Checking in on the Franchise That Won't Die, we got another two trailers for Destiny 2 this E3 even though all they have is an expansion. One of them starts with Optimus Prime getting shot in the face, which people seemed unhappy about, and the other presents a new competitive horde mode called Gambit where two teams compete to smash the most CPU goons. It's like PvE mixed with PvP mixed with PCP mixed with PVC! (Because everything in this game still looks so damn plastic.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Look at that subtitle. They made this way too easy for me.

    The Royale Treatment: I'm sure that's coming once everyone's done with Gambit mode after a week.

  • Trailer Trashing: Remedy's new game seems neat, a real mindscrew of a game that looks like House of Leaves and the second half of Cabin in the Woods. All it needs to seal the deal is making that psi-ops style combat work and not pull a Quantum Break by getting so far up its own ass that it needs a flashlight with Energizer-branded batteries to find their way back out. (Though, that said, I like how all of Remedy's games have a certain pulpy earnestness to them.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Plenty. I skipped the last one because of poor reviews, but I'm game for anything Remedy might have in store, especially if it involves a breathing gun and telekinetic powers.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 psychic agents fall into a M.C. Escher painting. Good luck trying to figure out where that crate is going to land with no gravity.

  • Trailer Trashing: This has to be the best looking game at E3 this year. Those vistas and sunsets are stunning, and the ~9 minute trailer covers a lot of ground with its various sub-plots. They've made it sound like you take part in various vignettes set across a long war, so I wonder how they'll factor in a sense of world consistency with that in mind. Sucker Punch has earned the benefit of the doubt by now.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm curious to see their approach to samurai fiction, after a decent interpretation of superhero fiction with InFamous before that genre exploded with Marvel. What I really want to see is something like Sly 2's superb structure or stealth mechanics, as the game the developer has yet to surpass. High hopes for this one.

    The Royale Treatment: Japan has lots of islands, I'm sure you could squeeze 100 samurai onto one and let them Bushido Blade it until there's a single survivor. Fill it with lots of Kurosawa arterial bursts and call it SprayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

  • Trailer Trashing: Rookie cop Leon Kennedy and concerned sister Claire Redfield are back in this revamped version of the second Resident Evil, with what I have to say is a smart bait-and-switch trailer where you think it's going to be a remake of Ratty's Adventures in Basement Land for the C64 instead. The second trailer shows off more of the gruesome content you'd expect. How long do you think it'll take Capcom to remake this remake?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I steered clear of the Resident Evil franchise until 4 rolled around, but series aficionados praise this one so I've always been curious. Tell you what: let me change Leon's ridiculous haircut in some kind of character editor, and I'll consider it.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 zombies descend on... goddammit. More zombies. I'd say ruined Raccoon City would make a great PUBG map, but no-one's going to want to solve a dozen key puzzles in the police station for a measly shotgun.

  • Trailer Trashing: I guess it's time to check in on Kojima's latest brainfart. If it's not de-aging 70s TV actors to make her "pure" or baby butts down the gullet, it's gameplay that looks for all the world like a third-person Dear Esther with the way the Boondock Saints guy silently wanders over grey bricks on an overcast day. I suspect the finished product will have more of a survival horror vibe, given who's involved (Del Toro) and where it originated from (PT), but it's really still anyone's guess.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I kind of want to see it just to believe it with all that's said and done, but Kojima doesn't have a great track record where I'm concerned. I'll see what everyone at GB who isn't Dan "I probably have a T-shirt that says 'A Weapon to Surpass Metal Gear' with an arrow pointing down" Ryckert says first. I love the guy like the eggshell-cooking brother I never had, but there's certain times when bias can get in the way.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 cryptic and contradictory trailers descend upon the LA Convention Center, but only one is telling the truth about the game's content. I guess trailers can't actually shoot people... but people can shoot a trailer? #KojimaThoughts

  • Trailer Trashing: Oof, this trailer. Not a great showing of Roiland's talents as a voice artist or a writer, but then half-assing a trailer this badly when it's due to be shown in front of an audience of hundreds of thousands does have a certain rebellious... nah, I'm not going to try to justify it. On the other hand, it looks like a perfectly acceptable 3D platformer that finally sees Squanch Games depart from the VR space and...

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: ...oh wait, I guess it is VR. Oh.

    The Royale Treatment: All right, so you got these like, like a hundred guys right? And then they land on this island but the island has guns on it and the guys, they find these guns and then... and then they start shooting each other with the guns! And then the island becomes this big violent bloody bloodbath kinda place with lots of violence and blood and it's horrible but then eventually the hundred guys are all dead except for this one guy and he gets some chicken to eat and he's like "mmm, mmm that's some goooood chicken" and that's my next game. (We then finish with an IQ joke and then we're off to the next trailer.)

  • Trailer Trashing: From what I can tell from this lengthy gameplay trailer, Spider-Man's looking great so far and I trust Insomniac to deliver on a big colorful comic book adventure. That said, there have been a hell of a lot of identical-looking Spider-Man games and it doesn't help yours to stand out when you don't even give it a subtitle. At this point you really need something like the killer look of that upcoming Into the Spider-Verse animated movie to make an impression with this character. But hey, I'm not a huge web-head, so maybe I'm off-base here and everyone's going to love this thing in spite of the same old QTEs and Batman combat.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I imagine it'll be a good one of these, and it's been long enough that I might entertain the thought of paying another Spider-Man game.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Spider-Men are dropped in NYC. It's going to take weeks for the city council to clean up all that web fluid.

  • Trailer Trashing: I needed some ratiocination on Deracine, but it looks like FromSoftware's finally making a return to survival horror after Kuon so long ago (though it's not like Dark Souls and Bloodborne didn't have horrors of their own). I have zero doubts that From can deliver on a more classic example of the genre, and with Sekido it feels like From's statement at this year's E3 is "hey, we make other games besides Soulsbornes you know."

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Saying all that, it's still VR, so I'll be skipping it.

    The Royale Treatment: Deracine means uprooted, and what defines that emotional state more than being abducted, put on an airplane, and dropped on an island somewhere? With 99 other people? I know, these are starting to get a bit desperate.

  • Trailer Trashing: Oh hey, it's Ms. Kalman's game. I'm gladdened to see it'll hit 1.0 soon, but I wonder what that truly means in a genre like this. No Man's Sky, which feels about as close a comparison as I'm likely to find, didn't feel like "1.0" until it had officially been out a year, and Sea of Thieves isn't there yet. Still, if you think of it like Kickstarter where you're helping to fund its future potential, that helps. I liked that little subterraean base the trailer showed off, and it looks like the game has some alien tech mysteries for late-game players to check out.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm down for anything else like Terraria that lets me build and explore and unwind.

    The Royale Treatment: I'd like to think that 100 Astroneers dropped on the same tiny planet would work together to build a self-sufficient colony rather than go at each other with space wrenches and laser welders. Maybe this could be the start of the Friendly Cooperation Royale genre?

  • Trailer Trashing: Nioh was neatoh, so there's high hopes for this sequel even if we all we have this year is a brief teaser with some dude with fire horns in his head. Personally, every time I see a trailer for a sequel to a game I've been meaning to play but haven't yet, my stress meter goes up one notch. Just not enough days in the year, mang.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Nioh first, then Nioh 2. FromSoftware's backing off from Soulsbornes for a while, looks like, so I might want to space these apart.

    The Royale Treatment: There's a lot of Japanese folklore about Onigashima, or Oni Island, and you can even visit it in games like Okami. I kind of wonder how long 100 well-armed mercenaries will last if they have to compete against youkai as well as each other. Especially if the Oni figure out how to use a SLR...

  • Trailer Trashing: EA's other, other annual sports game, NBA Live looks to establish its Street cred with the variety of venues in which to play the fine sport of Hoop-pumpkin, so named by the pilgrims after observing the classic Spalding's distinctive color and shape. I'm happy to hear the phrase "we are the one", because it finally means EA's making some cross-franchise synergy happen and including a team comprised of Geth.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Just like how "Hoop-pumpkin" will never catch on with anyone, basketball never caught on with me.

    The Royale Treatment: I don't know if basketballs are a good fit for battle royale, but I have seen a lot of folk on fire while watching PUBG.