Trailer Blazer: E3 2018 (Part Two)

Fashionably late, here's part two of this year's "Trailer Blazer: E3 2018" list, which objectively reviews (in the sense that I'm infallible) all of the upcoming games shown off at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. Part One can be found over here.

For as much time and effort as all these cogent reviews take to form, the guy who actually uploads the trailers to Giant Bomb - League of Heels Fansite Webmaster and EverQuest fanatic @marino - works especially hard each June to do so. I'm really just here to denigrate* his efforts by making fun of them all.

*I probably meant to write "honor" here. I'll fix it in the editing phase.

List items

  • Trailer Trashing: Unlike the Vita, Sony has no plans to throw PlayStation VR into a closet and forget about it just yet, with this impressive montage of VR-focused games that includes games already elsewhere on this trailer list - Tetris Effect, Giant Ghost, and Beat Saber - and games I'm fairly sure are already out - Moss, Doom VFR, and Star Trek Bridge Crew. Maybe it's less "here's what's coming up" and more "hey, just to remind you what you can see on PSVR, please buy a headset we've sunk so much capital into this project already please please please".

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Not at all. If I had the cash to spare for VR gear it'd go towards a better PC instead. Far more options.

    The Royale Treatment: It's only a matter of time until we get VR Battle Royale. They just need to figure out how to have 100 people running around a server while maintaining the enormous framerate VR requires.

  • Trailer Trashing: Divinity Original Sin II is following the footsteps of its predecessor in waiting a real long time before its console debut. CRPG fans can now commit sacrilege by playing the award-winning strategic turn-based RPG on their console of choice (well, besides Switch). This trailer's basically here to tell you that, as well as remind you of all the sassy skeletons.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Look, this is one of the most pressing games on my wishlist and has been since last September. I don't need more reminders to go out and buy it, all right? Just put it on sale once already. "10% off" doesn't count.

    The Royale Treatment: The game does have co-op, but I think it's just two people right now. However, the central conceit is that only one character can ascend to godhood - I think if you had 100 adventurers making their way through this land, with only one eventual winner, that could work. Godhood sounds like a better reward than chicken, anyway.

  • Trailer Trashing: Atlus's "Erotic Pushmo" Catherine's adding a brand new Catherine to its upcoming remaster, making Vincent's life even more complicated. They've been cagey on details about the new woman in Vincent's life, who the game actually calls Rin rather than "Qatherine", but she's possibly either underaged or a transgender woman, either of which could lead to some regrettable cutscenes if the game's not tactful enough.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I keep meaning to play Catherine but I never got around to it. Suffice it to say, if I do play it, it'll be the standard "two girls" version I own already.

    The Royale Treatment: Dang, what if 100 Catherines though? You wouldn't even have enough letters for all their initials. You'd have to resort to "4atherine" and "?atherine".

  • Trailer Trashing: More Bethesda games are getting their VR spin-offs on, and Wolfenstein's going full cyberpunk for their VR hacking game, letting the player control those giant mechanical hounds or the wanzers ("walking panzers", something Wolfenstein could easily steal from Front Mission if they wanted). Cyber-WW2, damn. That's an aesthetic.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It's VR, so... not much.

    The Royale Treatment: Man, you can imagine sprinting across Erangel as one of those Panzerhunds? That'd frighten the life out of some poor schmuck with a frying pan.

  • Trailer Trashing: The opportunity to watch Kazuma Kiryu punch tigers in full HD has finally arrived, with this revamp of the Yakuza game that brought us the first visit to Osaka and a love interest for Kiryu who never shows up again. I wish they put Ryuda Goda in more games - you don't see nearly enough of him in the original Yakuza 2.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Well, I was curious about more Majima content, but I can't say I'm too on board for Yakuza Tower Defense even with Chono's involvement. Since I've played this one already (albeit the PS2 original) it's much lower priority than 0 and 6.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Yakuza on screen at once isn't that ridiculous. I just had a fight like that playing Yakuza 5. Make Kamurocho the map, fill it with random items and weapons to find, and drop 100 player-controlled Kiryus and Majimas in there and I think you have a goddamn video game.

  • Trailer Trashing: The dopey if earnest My Hero Academia's getting its first video game localization with this one-on-one fighting game, featuring a number of heroes and villains from the manga/anime. Where the hell's Gang Orca? Don't hold out on me, game.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'll admit to becoming a big MHA mark in recent months, but I'm not really into these DBZ fighters. I mean, the older kind where people are flying around everywhere.

    The Royale Treatment: I can only imagine the hell involved trying to balance a superhero Battle Royale game, but that would be some marvellous chaos if pulled off.

  • Trailer Trashing: Fallout Shelter for consoles saw one of those simultaneous E3 announcement/releases, letting PS4, Xbox One and Switch owners in on the free-to-play "fun". Build new rooms, fill them with survivors, and watch out for those renegade theme park robots! (I got the correct game, right?)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Eh, it's free. No reason not to try it out someday. Apparently, it's been slowly getting better since its debut for phones/tablets.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Vault-Tec execs build their vaults, first one to kill all their occupants via some sociopathic lab experiment wins.

  • Trailer Trashing: Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country looks to be similar to the core game, but with a (mostly) new cast and story to follow that have some connection to the events of the original. The trailer introduces us to them and what looks like the normal XC2 combat, so I guess we'll have to wait until September to find out more. I heard "standalone" and "prequel" in there somewhere.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'd have to play Xenoblade Chronicles 2 first. I don't generally truck with DLC much, but this seems more substantial than a few bonus costumes or a tacked on bonus quest chain. Probably priced substantially to match though, which is often the case for worthwhile DLC and especially anything released on the Switch.

    The Royale Treatment: A titan would make a pretty good Battle Royale map. I could never figure out how the geography works for the Bionis to know where to go if I were parachuting onto it, though.

  • Trailer Trashing: Smash is back, and its bringing the whole cast with it, including a certain purple space pteradon. This trailer is all Ridley, showing him straight up murdering Megs and Mario and presumably eating them or laying eggs in their stomach, and then a breezy little montage where he hangs out with Kirby and goofs around. That scamp.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm undecided. Maybe if they'd shown off more of the game during the E3 Nintendo Direct I'd have a better idea.

    The Royale Treatment: They managed eight simultaneous players in Smash for Wii U, so they're working their way up to 100.

  • Trailer Trashing: Every time I see this trailer, I hear a "What's good, Nintendo?" in Austin's voice echoing in my head. The trailer lays on the heavy metal aesthetic thick with one of those liquid metal pouring things that blacksmiths use, and then abruptly cuts off the music and footage for all the developer info, which I thought was amusing. "Nope, that's all you get. Enjoy our mech game coming whenever."

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Mechas aren't really my thing, but respect to Nintendo for signing off on a "serious" mecha game this soon after Labo's silly walking cardboard robot backpack. Unless... this game can only be controlled via Nintendo Labo?

    The Royale Treatment: If you wanted to see a hundred mechs duke it out, I'm sure Super Robot Wars or Battletech has you covered.

  • Trailer Trashing: Overcooked's back with more chefs, recipes, kitchens, and... everything, I guess. The trailer seemed to riff on every Fallout's slow pan across devastation while olde-timey music plays, which jibes well with the game's silly sense of humor.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I never played the first but bought it pre-emptively for the next family get-together, given how much the GB crew praised it as that type of game. I dunno if I'll ever play it enough that I'll complete it and want more, but there's no harm in trying out the single-player someday.

    The Royale Treatment: That might literally be too many cooks. Then again, with a large enough kitchen...

  • Trailer Trashing: Fire Emblem's back, baby, and we're getting a proper console version instead of another portable outing. Not that there's much of a demarcation with the Nintendo Switch. I don't think I've seen the Fire Emblem series go full Langrisser with units of soldiers surrounding each character, but that might be an interesting new direction. It'd certainly make more sense than wars where every battle is decided by a group of twenty people.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Never cared for Fire Emblem. I like my strategy games to be more on the RPG side, and everyone just feels so expendable in these games. Now, if you wanna sell me on another Vandal Hearts, I'm listening.

    The Royale Treatment: A turn-based battle royale game would probably last forever, especially if every player had their own army.

  • Trailer Trashing: It's more Mario Party, only this time it's the SNES version. Super Mario Party's trailer is filled with random folk "enjoying" the game, which is some false advertising if I've ever seen it. Hey, at least Waluigi is playable in this one?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I didn't hate Mario Party back in the N64/GameCube days, but I recognized how half-assed a lot of them were. Of all the Mario spin-offs, they were the only ones (besides the CD-i games) that felt like something Krusty the Clown might sign off on.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 players, fifty turns. Nobody survives, let alone wins.

  • Trailer Trashing: I still think it's wild that Squaresoft is bringing back the scenario RPG. That was a big thing for them in the mid-90s before Final Fantasy VII put them back onto single narrative threads again. This trailer goes through all the characters in quick succession before dropping the announcement of another demo. Still, given how Octopath looks and the small amount of time I spent with its systems in that first demo, I'm looking forward to finally playing the real thing.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I really could do with more Switch games. I bought it six months ago and Mario Odyssey is the only big exclusive I own.

    The Royale Treatment: Hmm... Centipath Traveler, now there's an idea for a sequel.

  • Trailer Trashing: The competitive team-based insectoid Joust game is coming to consoles after winning over the twenty or so arcade-goers that managed to catch it in the wild. Even if it's only a 45 second trailer, I'm disappointed (as are they, I'm sure) that the Queen song wasn't playing.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Online multiplayer team games? No thanks. Nothing makes me more anxious than feeling like I'm letting my team of anonymous internet randos down.

    The Royale Treatment: It's a 5 vs. 5 game, but what if you made it a 5 vs. 5 vs. 4 game?

  • Trailer Trashing: The bait and switch of that pinata strikes me as odd given that this is specifically for the Switch port of Fortnite, about as far removed from Microsoft's candy-monster raising sim as you can get, but it could just be that Brad has Viva Pinata on the brain and the rest of the audience is supposed to just see a random pinata.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Fortnite's free, but playing online games on consoles sure isn't, or at least it won't be soon in the Switch's case.

    The Royale Treatment: Beaten to the punch already.

  • Trailer Trashing: The Soulslikes are starting to pile up, even though FromSoftware are taking a breather to work on their new ninja and survival horror games. Hollow Knight, Nioh, and The Surge are all compelling 2017 entries in that particular sub-genre, and of those Hollow Knight seems best suited for the Switch with its cute (but still somehow horrifying?) art style.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Heck yeah, I think the Switch is a good home for it in lieu of a PS4 port. I'll grab it the first time it goes on sale.

    The Royale Treatment: Man, talk about an infestation of creepy-crawlies. Maybe a bug battle royale would work if you replaced PUBG's blue wall with a massive, slow-moving cloud of Raid.

  • Trailer Trashing: Factorio and Infinifactory have a new mass production brother in the upcoming Satisfactory (why do they always have to be factory puns? Eh, like I have an issue with puns), which looks to switch between micro and macro views of your sprawling industrial monster. It has that multiplayer "let's work together to build these enormous things" vibe that Minecraft and Terraria enjoyed, but hopefully the single-player content is just as strong.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I didn't think I'd like this type of game, but Infinifactory has proved to be very palatable in small doses. If I thought my laptop could run this game, I could be interested.

    The Royale Treatment: Depending on the size of the planet you're terraforming into a cold, lifeless industrial workhorse, 100 players working together might not be out of the question.

  • Trailer Trashing: A neo-noir cyberpunk cab driver where you slowly unravel a story by picking up various fares from around the city and converse with them in a way that won't piss them off. The weird facial expressions in this trailer reminded me of that versatile Facade social anxiety game that YouTube comedians really seemed to like.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: As much as this game reminds me of VA-11 Hall-A, which is a good thing, I might be all cab driver'd out after playing Yakuza 5. I doubt Neo Cab will have any missions as good as that one where you have to tactfully tell the woman going on a date about her visible nose hair.

    The Royale Treatment: I think the implication the game makes is that all the other cabs are automatically controlled, which kinda precludes a massively multiplayer version of the concept but honestly makes more sense in a future setting. Wouldn't all cars be automatic by then?

  • Trailer Trashing: I wish the grand return of Star Control was under more auspicious circumstances. Stardock's proven themselves to be lacking in character with the way they've handled the IP disputes around this game, and I find myself more inclined to wait for Toys For Bob's new reboot or just load up The Ur-Quan Masters again instead. The trailer looks all right, in a kinda cheap way, but I am slightly confused by how few of the original franchise's alien races are present.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Eh. Morally I'm against it, but I could really use some more Star Control in my life.

    The Royale Treatment: I don't know if a massive multiplayer Star Control is what I want. You dilute the game's frontier spirit when a dozen people have gotten to a place before you.

  • Trailer Trashing: Crytek's Hunt: Showdown is still reminding people it exists, as the foremost battle royale game what also has zombies in it. I mean, several others do too, just not at the same time as the PvP. The trailer spends almost all its time on new weapons, which will be fun to use provided you earn enough points to unlock them and then don't die and lose all your character progress? I forget how that game's roguelike shit works.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Don't care for roguelikes, or zombies, or online multiplayer, or high-spec games my PC would never be able to play. Not high on my wishlist, let's say.

    The Royale Treatment: We're good.

  • Trailer Trashing: Mavericks's big thing is that they have even more simultaneous players than PUBG and Fortnite. Seems like it would make the individual sessions that much longer too, right? Kind of a commitment, unless the map is the same size and everywhere has firefights from the word go. Of course, the more pressing concern is trying to peel enough of PUBG and Fortnite's installed fanbase away to get a full server going, which is what has killed every other battle royale game so far. Godspeed to them.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It depends what it comes out on and what the financial model is like. If it's in Fortnite's playground as a F2P console game, I might be curious enough to check it out.

    The Royale Treatment: Still good.

  • Trailer Trashing: A little rough around the edges, but this detective game with a Lovecraftian setting has a lot of promise. Apparently the Sherlock games that Frogwares put out weren't awful (did you know Sherlock dies in one of them? Spoilers!), and I'm always one for solving investigation puzzles in adventure games like this, especially if it turns out a Great Old One did it. I'm getting some Condemned vibes so far too and that's a big positive also.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I might keep my ear to the ground for this one.

    The Royale Treatment: You could solve any case pretty quickly with 100 detectives, unspeakable horrors from the beyond the stars or no. That Player won't remain Unknown for long.

  • Trailer Trashing: The horror-themed cooperative FPS Killing Floor regularly does right by its niche fanbase with new campaigns and DLC infusions, and this year's has something to do with airships and robots. The trailer sets up the new location as well as a few new weapons and characters.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It keeps popping up on my periphary, but neither online games nor KF's aesthetic really appeal.

    The Royale Treatment: Maybe when they've run out of ideas. I'd hate to see how big the hordes get in a horde mode multiplayer game with 100 players.

  • Trailer Trashing: Tripwire's evidently a fan of more horror franchises than whatever Rob Zombie movies the Killing Floor is going for, if this Jaws-aping "shaRkPG" is any indication. Munch boats, earn XP, munch bigger boats, try not to smile when you have an oxygen tank in your mouth.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I really like the notion of a shark RPG. I'm slightly concerned about how well it controls and what other hooks it has besides chomping on humans.

    The Royale Treatment: Damn, what would one of these games be like with 100 player-controlled sharks in a feeding frenzy? Maybe set it around a sinking cruise ship? That doesn't sound half-bad. For the sharks, at least.

  • Trailer Trashing: Standard story teaser here, giving us a quick glance at some of the characters both old and new and the briefest hint of one of those timeline-based story modes where everyone is doing their own thing simultaneously and it's maybe shown in achronological order, like in DOA5. I've been out of the loop for a while, but this looks to be pre-SC5's time skip. Could even be a remake of the original Soulcalibur for all I know.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I've probably had more of a past with the Soulcalibur series than most any other fighter franchise - I like the weapon combat, and how often the story modes take on a Tobal 2-style RPG aspect - but the tepid reception to SC5 put me off from trying that one. I might be back on board for SC6 depending on how well it's received.

    The Royale Treatment: You'd need a really big raft to hold 100 warriors soulbound by destiny, or whatever the series tagline is. I like the idea of it constantly losing logs as the melee continues.

  • Trailer Trashing: Speaking of fighter games, the DBZ Budokai successor that inspired a podcast is now coming to Switch, according to this 30 second teaser trailer full of Japanese yelling and blue hair (which I'm just assuming is one power level higher than yellow hair).

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: As much as it tickles me that Dan and Jeff are hosting a wildly successful DBZ fancast, I just cannot bring myself to watch the show. Let me know when All Systems Boku happens.

    The Royale Treatment: I already did the 100 Goku variants joke with the last list, so maybe this time it's the 100 previous terrible DBZ games fighting it out for dominance. My money's on one of those weird board games for the Famicom.

  • Trailer Trashing: I wonder if Marino uploaded three fighter game trailers in a row on purpose. This is the one genre, after MOBAs, that puts me out of my element the most. I've always appreciated how SNK has this lengthy history and huge stable of fighter game characters I know next to nothing about, but this particular crossover seems kind of... sleazy? Why do they all have flushed ahegao-lite portraits? Even if they're just super warm or something, it eems a bit late in the day to go after DOA and Senran Kagura's cheesecake throne.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Probably better places to start my anime fighter career if I'm being honest. I could always try to figure out Persona Arena again.

    The Royale Treatment: There might actually be 100 SNK heroines, though I doubt they all made it into this game.

  • Trailer Trashing: A very striking looking game, vaguely rotoscoped with its cel-shading tech. Reminds me of equal parts Bound, Journey, and Hyper Light Drifter. It's apparently inspired by the same French comic artist behind the Gravity Rush series, Moebius. I've no idea how this game will turn out but it certainly looks good so far.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: These Indie action-adventure types tend to be middling-to-decent, so I wouldn't object to playing another one, especially if it has such a distinctive look to it (among video games at least).

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Sables, huh? Like a stable of Sables. If PUBG wanted to add a graphical filter to make their game look like this, I'd be down.

  • Trailer Trashing: This is named for the Kavinsky track, right? From the look to the premise, it seems so in Kavinsky's ballpark of neo-noir. It's even set in Kavinsky's homeland of France. Like Neo Cab it looks to be an adventure game with a taxi service as the framing device for a lot of intimate and potentially damning branching conversations.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Yakuza 5 has a lot of taxi-based missions too. Kind of a weird coincidence that I started playing that after E3 introduced me to the idea of "taxi adventure games" with Neo Cab and this. I won't say no to an intriguing Indie adventure game, as my Indie Game of the Week column can attest.

    The Royale Treatment: There are taxi games that could work within a chaotic massively multiplayer framework - Crazy Taxi, for instance - but I'm not sure this would be one of them.

  • Trailer Trashing: We finally get a glimpse of Star Citizen, the game that probably exists and isn't a front for a very enterprising criminal organization. It certainly looks good so far; I'd say the trailer alone probably cost 10 grand, which is the equivalent of the donations from a hundred crowdfunders or one very stupid crowdfunder.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: No Man's Sky, though it looks to finally make good on its promises with the upcoming NEXT version, sort of poisoned the well when it came to overhyped space sim games, but that game has had its pre-release hype cycle, release, and subsequent two years of make-good additions all within the lifespan of Star Citizen's crowdfunding "existence". This is a roundabout way of me saying that I'm not getting my hopes up just yet.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 spaceships warp into the same star system. Who wins? Probably the guy who donated five figures so he could have a dreadnought with star-detonating quasar cannons.

  • Trailer Trashing: A brief trailer reminding people that Crash Bandicoot's still a threat and that N. Sane Trilogy owners are getting some DLC on the way. I hope the DLC includes being able to look ahead in those boulder chase levels. Now that's some added value.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Wasn't the lady Bandicoot his sister? Why are they frenching? Are there two lady Bandicoots?

    The Royale Treatment: I imagine a Crash Bandicoot battle royale game would involve being the first to reach all the crates, in which case Matt Pascual's going to win every round.

  • Trailer Trashing: Don't Starve is back with another expansion thingy called Hamlet, which looks to take on affluent pig towns and some South American ruins? For a franchise about running out of things to eat, it sure has a lot of juice still left in it.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Don't care for roguelikes or survival games. I've tried a couple of times to get into Don't Starve but it never worked out.

    The Royale Treatment: Hypothetically, with a hundred survivors milling around, there should be plenty to eat if you get over your boug-y aversion to cannibalism.

  • Trailer Trashing: The beautiful pixel physics simulator slash action-RPG is presumably nearing its release date, soon letting us all experiment with its various fire and fluid systems until we figure out how not to kill ourselves with the chain reactions. I'm excited to hoist myself by my own petard shortly.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Sure am (even if it is another roguelike, sigh). They should call this Noice-ta. Maybe they will for the European localization.

    The Royale Treatment: I shudder to think what would happen to a fully destructible world with 100 well-armed goons running around it.

  • Trailer Trashing: Theme Hospital successor Two Point Hospital appears to be coming along nicely, balancing the sterile business simulation building aspect with the original's goofy humor and outlandish medical conditions. What I'm more curious about is the name: it suggests some sort of surreal Lynchian factor is involved also, and I'm hoping to hear more about that closer to release.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I liked Theme Hospital but the cyclic nature of the stages, where you had to rebuild from scratch every time, made it tiresome after a while. My main issue is that I always got attached to my old hospitals. Can't say how long this one would keep my interest either.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 of the Infected from H1Z1 show up at a hospital, get the treatment they need, and return to being happy and productive members of society. Maybe lacks the thrills and chills of a massively multiplayer zombie shooter game, but the positivity would go a long way in today's burning corpse pile of a reality.

  • Trailer Trashing: Double Fine's publishing this cute, affable Animal Crossing type thing that's been in development a while now. The trailer covers a lot of the various gameplay models - dance-offs, exploration, farming - but we're still no closer to understanding what an Ooblet is. It's not quite a boob, and it's not quite an outlet, but oh man.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'll wait to see what the hell it's about first.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 Ooblets parachute onto a garden, but there's no guns or anything. They just hug and dance and have the darnedest little time together.

  • Trailer Trashing: Just a quick pan over some 1800CE-looking buildings. I guess everyone knows what Anno is at this point. What I want to know is whether the game suddenly quits to desktop if you play the same stage for over a year and its date is no longer divisible by 9.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Anno for me is like "Ah dunno". I've never played one, but maybe I should fix that.

    The Royale Treatment: I like the idea of painstakingly building a city with an eye to its architectural design and utility, uploading it to a server somewhere, and then letting 100 idiots with guns play urban warfare in it. Design the streets like London or Boston so no-one knows where anything is.

  • Trailer Trashing: The pneumatic ninja ladies are back in this remake of the first game in a series of cheesecake simulators nominally about fighting bad guys. As soon as its audience figures out how to turn GIS's safe search off, this series is doomed. (I love the "*Contains Japanese game footage." disclaimer in this trailer. Yeah, no shit it's a Japanese game.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Honestly, for as embarrassed as I might be to play booby fighter games, the Dynasty Warriors style combat doesn't really appeal much either. I'll leave it to the folks who are into this stuff.

    The Royale Treatment: In PUBG, bathrooms are dangerous because the person hiding inside might shoot you. In BOOBG you'll want to avoid entering occupied bathrooms for a completely different reason.

  • Trailer Trashing: More Musou business on the horizon courtesy of our good anime friends at Fate Slash Comma Apostrophe Hashtag Ampersand. Looks to be a lot of fun for people for anyone who's a fan of the franchise, of Musou games, of anime heroines, or of history in general perhaps.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I feel like if I was going to break into Fate/, I'd pick a different game as a launching point. It'd be like starting Final Fantasy with Dissidia or that World of Final Fantasy crossover - it would help your enjoyment if you knew who any of these people were.

    The Royale Treatment: Musou games laugh at your 100 player maximum occupancy.

  • Trailer Trashing: Some wicked panpipes introduce us to the world of Milanoir, which looks to be a GTA (classic top-down 2D GTA, mind) game with a plot inspired by '70s Italian noir/giallo. I was hoping for a Susperia game, but I suppose we got that with the original Clock Tower.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Looks kinda stealthy and it's based on a particular genre of cinema I don't have much familiarity with, but I do like its style. It's already out, but I guess it missed out on a Quick Look.

    The Royale Treatment: I mean, it would just be Radical Heights but a decade earlier, and we know how that game turned out.

  • Trailer Trashing: I suppose it was only a matter of time before we started seeing more VR games that pretend to be board games. It's a neat compromise between the always-first-person nature of VR and how much better strategy games work when you have a flexible view of the battlefield. There's a lot more to the table-top RPG experience than moving figurines around a flat surface though, like the group element for one.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Well, I am curious about how this game intends to recreate D&D-style table-top gaming, but I'm put off - as always - by it being VR only.

    The Royale Treatment: A game with 100 simultaneous table-top players sounds like a nightmare. The sound of all those rolling dice alone would be maddening.

  • Trailer Trashing: More PSVR games on the horizon. The brief teaser trailer for this one looks to be a platformer, or maybe an endless runner? We don't see any actual gameplay, so it's anyone's guess what the VR hook is. At least it looks kinda neat?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm into platformers. Just not VR ones.

    The Royale Treatment: I've wondered about what a 100-person simultaneous endless runner might be like. It'd be like one of those charity fun-runs where everyone has bizarre costumes, and maybe the goal is to knock people off an increasingly narrow course and be the last survivor? Sorta like that F-Zero X death race mode.

  • Trailer Trashing: Splatoon 2 was clearly jealous about the attention a certain other octo-related Switch game was getting, hence this "Octo Expansion" that released around the same time as E3. I can't make heads or tails of this teaser, nor the longer trailer that they showed a while back, but I'm sure it makes sense to Splatoon fans.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Online deathmatch shooters have never been my thing, even if they're all paint-based and wholesome.

    The Royale Treatment: Man, can you imagine completely covering Erangel with orange and green paint? Some of those buildings could use the touch-up, frankly.

  • Trailer Trashing: Now this is more my wheelhouse. Pixel-based 2D spacewhipper with a character-switching mechanic and a silly 80s aesthetic. Sort of like Mercenary Kings mixed with that Magicians & Looters game no-one else seems to have played. Even if it is something I've seen several times before, I'm liking what they're putting out there.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Yeah, I'll give it a shot. I can't seem to resist a good Indie spacewhipper.

    The Royale Treatment: A big spacewhipper map where 100 people materialize in different areas and have to explore to find equipment (and each other)? That could work. I'd say "imagine moving through an area in Metroid and having to suddenly face off against another Samus with better gear" but that's just Metroid Fusion.

  • Trailer Trashing: One of the most established games in a long line of VR shooting galleries is making its way to PSVR, it seems. Is this really a big get for them? These sorts of games are everywhere. I don't think I've seen a single space pirate even turn up in all the footage I've watched of this game.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Nah. You know what, though? When it panned out from the player character attacking all those drones, I thought that would've been a neat idea for a replay feature. Dunno if the game has it already, but it could be worth their while.

    The Royale Treatment: In the matches I've seen of PUBG's zombie mode, the zombies figured out how to win by working together against the few humans. If you just have the one human guy and 99 players as the drones, I bet they could figure something out. "Everybody attack at the same time" for instance.

  • Trailer Trashing: Not counting a brief foray into Makai Kingdom for a different blog feature, it's been a long time since I tried out one of these formidable NIS RPGs. Labyrinth of Refrain is a bit of a departure from what NIS is best known for - roguelikes and SRPGs - with what seems to be a fairly solid dungeon crawler in the style of Etrian Odyssey, though I'm hoping without the obsessive cartography.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Potentially curious. It's out September though, which pits it against about seven other RPGs I'm interested in.

    The Royale Treatment: The plot makes it sound like a witch is summoning heroes from her magic book and sending them to be butchered in the titular dungeon. If she just made 100 characters at once, that thing would be beaten in no time (or perhaps not, with how few XP there would be to go around).

  • Trailer Trashing: A brief but tense gameplay trailer from multiple perspectives which appears to show off the game's co-op mode. It certainly looks sharper than PUBG, which is my only frame of reference for modern military shooters these days, but there's not much that really appeals about the genre when done conventionally like this.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I used up all my Darude - Sandstorm jokes when this appeared on last year's Trailer Blazer list, so I care about this game even less now somehow.

    The Royale Treatment: Well, it already sorta looks like PUBG's desert map. Just need to throw more people in there.

  • Trailer Trashing: For such a dull franchise (though appealingly so to its fanbase, I imagine), I will say that these guys tend to cut entertaining E3 trailers year after year. Farmguy farms a field in a fancy tractor while a Clutch track plays, and then farms another field in a different tractor. Riveting stuff.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Rune Factory and Stardew Valley kind of spoiled me on farming games. Now I only play ones that let me dungeon crawl during the less busy seasons.

    The Royale Treatment: A co-operative farming game with 100 people might be something, but the more violent side of me is wondering what a battle royale game would be like with more heavy agricultural vehicles and pitchforks. Imagine driving through a packed tiny circle with a thresher.

  • Trailer Trashing: I commend this trailer for not using Fly Me To The Moon, since I have to imagine that's where they got their name. Instead, they've gone for this ambience thing to fit what looks to be a spiritual successor to Ecco and its spiritual weirdness. And good luck to them.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: More VR stuff. Pass.

    The Royale Treatment: Hmm... a dolphin battle royale game... All I have so far is a name: "Pod-G".

  • Trailer Trashing: The parade of Switch ports continues with Freedom Planet, the Sonic the Hedgehog spiritual successor originally released in 2014. We only just saw an enhanced version of Sonic Mania release this month (July) so the timing could've been better, but I think there are a faction of Switch owners out there happy to double-dip on everything.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I mean, I didn't like it enough to finish the Steam version I own already. Not high on the ol' hype meter this one.

    The Royale Treatment: I mean, it won't truly be a Sonic-like until it has 100 cast members, most of whom only DeviantArtists know or care about.

  • Trailer Trashing: One downside to waiting a month before publishing this second list of E3 Trailer appraisals is that a number of these games have come out in the meantime, coloring any early trailer impressions I may have had. Fortunately, the second Shaq Fu game is immune to this issue: it looked garbage when it was announced, it looks garbage in this trailer, and sure enough when the final game came out...

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'll wait for the Kazaam genie game, provided Shaq and Sinbad can work something out.

    The Royale Treatment: Two enormous teams face off on a city-sized basketball court. On one side, fifty Shaqs. On the other, fifty Aaron Carters.

  • Trailer Trashing: Huh. Looks like legendary Konami developer Tak Fujii's next game is this cute anime rhythm game for Switch with an alien invasion story that looks to be Gitaroo Man-ish, or that final mission of Elite Beat Agents if you're feeling saucy.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: After seeing more of the gameplay, it seems like a neat idea for a stripped-down rhythm game, sort of like a heavy metal Taiko Drum Master. I might be up for some of that. I hope they get some good licensed music.

    The Royale Treatment: Oh boy, when your gag ingredients are "Tak Fujii" and "a large number of soldiers" the joke really writes itself.

  • Trailer Trashing: Gungrave's something I evidently missed out on, if this trailer for a VR sequel saw this many disappointed reactions. There's some janky business going on with those arm animations and the game itself seems like a generic shooter slog. But it's in VR!

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: But it's in VR...

    The Royale Treatment: The Battle Royale genre already has a lot of guns and a lot of graves in it. Speaking of which, how cute would it be if you left little gravestones behind when you die in PUBG or Fortnite a la Worms? I suppose it'd be another cosmetic thing they could monetize.

  • Trailer Trashing: Cyanide's Call of Cthulhu game isn't looking too bad so far, though we don't see a whole lot of gameplay here. I'm imagining it'll be a cross of their previous stealthy action games like Styx and a few obligatory mechanics from the table-top RPG of the same name. At any rate, I think they've nailed the atmosphere at least.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I mean, if they can pull it off, sure. I've yet to play one of their games though, given how mixed the reviews tend to be.

    The Royale Treatment: It would be some capital-L Lore if it turns out PUBG's Erangel was directly above R'lyeh and it was mysterious cultists flying soldiers and mercenaries out there to kill each other over and over for the necessary amount of blood sacrifices to awaken the Great Old One. You'd have more to worry about than blue walls and crates if that ever happened.

  • Trailer Trashing: Focus Home Interactive continues with the CG trailers that give nothing away, despite the fact that A Plague Tale was at last year's E3 and must be getting close to release. They're looking to take Dishonored's killer rat packs to its nth degree, and I'm wondering if the whole game will involve using light sources to navigate around these furry little maneaters. (I checked some gameplay footage and... yeah, pretty much.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I don't really like rats or stealth games...

    The Royale Treatment: I just imagined the battle royale "blue wall" replaced by a wave of rats and threw up in my mouth a little.

  • Trailer Trashing: The Warhammer train won't stop, can't stop. Space Hulk Tactics is getting back to basics with what looks like a faithful adaptation of the 1980s board game, which sorta recreates the claustrophobic Aliens movies in the Warhammer 40k universe. The trailer pretty much gives you all the information you need, including the reveal that you can play as the chaotic Genestealers too.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I really liked Space Crusade as a lad, which was pretty much Space Hulk For Babies, but I never glommed onto the real thing partly because of how expensive it was. I'm not opposed to a good SRPG with flamethrowers in it, but I'll wait to hear what GB's resident WH40k expert Vinny has to say.

    The Royale Treatment: I want to say there have been SRPGs in this universe that support those kinds of numbers - those wide-scale battles are partly why the table-top game is so popular - but maybe we haven't had one with 100 live players. I imagine trying to hide in a bush in one of those giant bright red space marine suits isn't going to work.

  • Trailer Trashing: A gorgeous 2D-ish platformer with strong Okami and Muramasa vibes that looks to combine action stages with farming/harvesting mini-games. The trailer did enough to whet the appetite and synopsize the general gameplay, but I wonder how much of a connection those two gameplay modes have to each other.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'm digging the look and I'm into any game that compartmentalizes RPG gameplay with other beneficial modes as a way to unwind (see also: fishing in RPGs, or Dark Cloud 2).

    The Royale Treatment: The protagonist appears to drop from the sky onto an island filled with danger, but that's about as far as the battle royale connection goes. I don't think there'll be enough rice to go around if there's 100 harvest goddesses.

  • Trailer Trashing: If there's two things the park sim genre was lacking, it's A) dinosaurs and B) Jeff Goldblum straight up telling you before the game even starts that you're going to fail no matter what.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It came out the same week as E3, and impressions since then have painted it as a game with potential but was rushed out to meet the movie premiere date and suffered for it (as did all those who saw the movie). Maybe I'll just play that old Theme Park mod where the Pirates of the Caribbean actually can eat the tourists.

    The Royale Treatment: Drop 100 survivors on an island full of dinosaurs and you pretty much have every Jurassic Park movie. Still, nothing like a T-Rex showing up to make a tense urban firefight even more so.

  • Trailer Trashing: I know nothing about the Skyrim mod this is based on, but it looks to be an immersive first-person puzzle-adventure game with a time-resetting hook, sort of like The Sexy Brutale. Fourth-dimensional gaming is frequently a compelling foundation for mystery games, if done well.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'll give it a shot. Dunno what I'll play it on though.

    The Royale Treatment: Eh, the whole Groundhog Day thing works best when you're the only one cognizant of the loops (though Stargate SG1's "Window of Opportunity" proved that it can be fun with two as well). I somehow doubt you could prevent the murders of the other 99 people in a PUBG match, no matter how often you can rewind time.

  • Trailer Trashing: Another post-apocalyptic shooter survival game from the developers of DayZ? Well, that Vigors!

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: They never finished DayZ, did they? Putting the cart before the zombie horse here, surely.

    The Royale Treatment: It might actually be one of those. The trailer doesn't give much away.

  • Trailer Trashing: "Number 9 is Online!" in Insomniac's not-at-all-copyright-infringing Stormland, about a little robot that learns to stand up for itself against its killer brethren. The trailer focuses more on the game's look and story, but we do see a few snippets of first-person gameplay. It looks really sharp so far.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: But it's also VR, so... bleh.

    The Royale Treatment: Battle Royale with robots might be a fun idea, given the customization possibilities and debilitating but not necessarily fatal problems like having your arm blown off. It used to be you could only sell violent games in Germany if the enemies were all retroactively made robots.

  • Trailer Trashing: Genesis Alpha One is a game about playtesting Sega's 16-bit machine in 1988, several months before it goes into mass production. Can you fix the bugs in the hardware and get Space Harrier II running in time for the big launch date? (Actually, I guess it's some kind of space-sim with crafting? No Man's Sky-ish, with a stronger through line.)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: It's looking a little rough in this trailer, but I could be theoretically down with a space RPG with crafting side-games. "Dark Cloud 2 in space" might be too ambitious an appelation for this, though.

    The Royale Treatment: This would have to be another massively multiplayer co-operative experience. A whole community flying out to planets in smaller expedition groups to help a singular colony thrive. You could even hold little voting sessions to determine where all the crafting resources go.

  • Trailer Trashing: The Journey Down, an episodic adventure game in three parts, has been around for a while on Steam. Now that the story is complete, I'm seeing the full trilogy show up for sale in more places as a bundle. I'm into the look - the masks give the game a certain Grim Fandango vibe - but I'm trying not to learn too much about it before I play it.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I own the first two of these on Steam. I was going to wait until I'd picked up the third somewhere before starting them though.

    The Royale Treatment: A point-and-click game with 100 characters is just Where's Waldo.

  • Trailer Trashing: Valkyria Chronicles 4 is back, with both PS4 and PC versions on the near horizon (September, which will be a very busy time for RPGs). The trailer lets you know that it's business as usual for the Europan Front, with a new cast of characters and a few new gameplay additions. Now how about localizing Valkyria Chronicles 3 already? Or a port of the slightly inferior VC2 on Steam at least?

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Hell yes I'm ready for more Valkyria. It's been too long since I played the first.

    The Royale Treatment: A match of PUBG/Fortnite with VC's distinctive "real-turn-based" movement would take forever. Might be fun though.

  • Trailer Trashing: This Cold War thriller has its style on lock, and resembles something like a successor to Invisible Inc. with the amount of planning and strategy involved. I can't quite tell if the gameplay's unit turn-based like XCOM or one of those simultaneous squad movement things like Frozen Synapse - the gameplay footage in the trailer seemed to suggest the latter.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Heavy strategy games haven't been my thing, but XCOM and Shadowrun Returns have convinced me of their value in the recent past. Given his predilections, I might want to keep an ear out for Austin's take.

    The Royale Treatment: Radical Heights tried the goofy 80s aesthetic angle, but I wonder if a somber Cold War vibe would be more appealing to serious shooter fans. PUBG is almost that already, given that Erangel's some sort of ex-Soviet island base stuck in the 20th century.

  • Trailer Trashing: I figured this would be a biopic game about the lootbox crisis, but it's actually another janky Spiders CRPG. I'll give it to those guys; they certainly keep themselves busy. This week it looks like they're riffing on conquistadors vs. island nation natives, which gives the game a certain Risen feel. (Hey, remember Risen?)

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Yet to play a Spiders RPG, but I'm not opposed to trying one. I actually like slightly janky Euro CRPGs if they have some imagination and their heart in the right place.

    The Royale Treatment: Seems a bit one-sided to have a 50 vs 50 player battle royale if only one side has guns, but I guess if the other side has ten foot warriors that might balance it out (or make it easier to get headshots).

  • Trailer Trashing: A lot of style in this lo-fi adventure game slash hoverbike shoot 'em up. It's one of the few trailers I've seen with reviews in it, which seems especially odd seeing that it's not out yet. I don't think I've heard Austrialian Rap before, unless the Conchords count.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: Hmm, I dunno. Shoot 'em ups aren't my bag, and the whole Australian thing would be lost on me if it's as full of local references as that rap track. But I never say never with Indie games; they tend to be so cheap and short (both in a good way) that they're worth a look at least.

    The Royale Treatment: A 100 person hoverbike race sure would be something to behold, especially if they crash and burn with the regularity they did in The Phantom Menace.

  • Trailer Trashing: Black Desert Online's been around a while (it was on last year's Trailer Blazer list too) but maybe the goal of this trailer is to convince newcomers that this MMO has a story to follow, rather than gameplay focused almost entirely around spending 40 hours of your week idling while your incredibly detailed create-a-character (that may or may not be Bart Simpson) sews clothes or mines rocks.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I refuse to touch an MMO. My obsessive completion tendencies would keep me trapped inside one indefinitely if I falter.

    The Royale Treatment: Honestly, if you could lift the character creator from this game and drop it into PUBG or Fortnite, that would be amazing. The sniper from 400 yards away would be very appreciative of your hard work as they line up their headshot.

  • Trailer Trashing: Konami's still making games? If anything, a cartoonish multiplayer athletics game like this reminds me of Rare and its own current state of unlife making family-friendly avatar party fare. Speaking of which, how uncharacteristic was it for Rare that Sea of Thieves didn't just use Xbox Avatars with eyepatches and peglegs? Anyway, this is a track and field thing that's either too late or too early for an Olympics tie-in, so thumbs up for that timing.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I'd say wait for Switch Sports but that's not even a thing. Is Hyper Sports R trying to fill the gap? Maybe Konami's more on the ball than I thought (apropos, since the only other game they make now is PES).

    The Royale Treatment: A persistent track and field game set over a week or so where 100 players - each representing a different nation - take part in pre-scheduled events. I think someone (maybe not Konami) could pull off a big "event" game like that.

  • Trailer Trashing: 2K's still around making sports games also, though NBA 2K19 is the only one that got an E3 trailer this year I guess. A lot of hero worship for LeBron James (I assume that's who that is - most of my basketball knowledge comes from Space Jam and I'm pretty sure that's not the Tasmanian Tiger) which I'm guessing was part of the fee for getting his cover endorsement.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: For a sports game? Not at all.

    The Royale Treatment: That said, if someone gave me an opportunity to throw basketballs out of an airplane to aim for massive hoops on the ground below, that would be fun as hell.

  • Trailer Trashing: They're remaking Disgaea 1 again. How many times is that now? Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, Disgaea PC, Disgaea DS... I guess the goal here is to combine all the new material from those ports into one graphical remaster, which might make sense if they're looking to invite newcomers to the franchise.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I don't really play remasters of games I've already completed. There's still a lot of games out there that I haven't seen yet. Disgaea 1's a lot of fun if you remember to keep things in moderation (which is to say, keep the Item World visits to a minimum for your own sanity's sake).

    The Royale Treatment: The game's slower, turn-based nature precludes a good battle royale mode, but Disgaea's multiverse explicitly mentions thousands of Netherworlds competing with each other. You could certainly create some kind of competitive online mode out of that premise.

  • Trailer Trashing: Venerable Loot-RPG Titan Quest is coming to Switch and PS4 after a semi-recent "Anniversary Edition" remaster for Steam. Despite the inherent absurdity of a 2006 CRPG showing up on Switch, I think it makes a lot of sense for them seeing that I don't think the system has anything similar yet for fans of that style of game.

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I also have Titan Quest sitting in my Steam library, which I probably bought around £3-£4 instead of the £40 the Switch version will no doubt ask for.

    The Royale Treatment: You spend half of every battle royale game looting like crazy, so I feel like Titan Quest shares a lot of common (battle)ground. I could totally see myself playing a battle royale game set in the Age of Antiquity where I get killed by a javelin thrown by "Twerkules69" from halfway across the server.

  • Trailer Trashing: Finally, we reached the end of this list of trailers. The creators of 2017's GOTY have been hard at work on an enhanced edition exclusive (currently) to Xbox One owners, who missed out on the original release. The teaser only needs to be so long to deliver the message of "hey, remember that game that everyone was talking about last year? It's on Xbox One now".

    How Thinkfluenced Am I?: I really liked Nier Automata, but for various reasons I'm not looking to play it again so soon. Especially on a system I don't own.

    The Royale Treatment: 100 YorHa units duking it out across a ruined city might be the raddest thing ever. Instead of running after crates, you'd run after Emil whenever you hear his music in the distance.