Trailer Blazer: E3 2019 (Part Four)

Here we are, folks: The final forty-five games with trailers from E3 2019, with reviews. It has certainly been a journey. A month-long journey, in fact. That I won't be reviewing at least five trailers every day for a while might take some getting used to. All that free time. Maybe I can plant a tree or something. I finally have my life back. I finally have... hope.

Oh, but it's not like this hasn't been fun too, and my thanks as always to @marino for being so diligent with his trailer uploads. Be sure to check the other Trailer Blazers in the table below and see what else I snapped at in my sleep-deprived fugue. See you next E3!

Trailer Blazers
E3 2016 E3 2017 E3 2018 (Part One) E3 2018 (Part Two)
E3 2019 (Part One) E3 2019 (Part Two) E3 2019 (Part Three) E3 2019 (Part Four)

List items

  • Trailer Trashing: We're starting Part Four off strong with this... DLC for a VR zombie shooter. But here's something exciting: how many shooters can you name with a dam level? ...GoldenEye 007, you say? Very first level, you say? Hmm.

    Toninator: > ["HYDROELECTRICAL." ADDENDUM: WALKING CORPSES IN 90 DEGREE WEATHER? GLAD TERMINATOR UNITS DO NOT HAVE OLFACTORY SENSORS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I didn't want to start this final trailer review list on a negative, so... I don't know how to finish this one. Proverbially painted myself into a corner it seems. Next trailer!

  • Trailer Trashing: As of writing, LiS2's third episode has recently debuted with the fourth releasing in another month or so, putting the game in this odd marketing position of "a lot of it is available, but we still need to sell people on the rest". The developers chose to account for this unusual scenario with... not particularly convincing influencer commentary. If game footage, sad indie music, and critic pull quotes don't sell you on the emotions of this game, maybe xXBroSeph420Xx tearing up at a cutscene we can't see will.

    Toninator: > ["DISCONSOLATE." ADDENDUM: LIFE IS STRANGE GIVES YOU THE CHOICE TO LET JUDGEMENT DAY HAPPEN BECAUSE THE PROTAGONIST WAS HORNY. COULD HAVE BEEN AN INTRIGUING TWIST FOR TERMINATOR 2 ALSO.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'm waiting until the whole game's out, but sure. The first game had an uphill climb trying to sell me on teen melodrama with a little supernatural flavor thrown in, but it pulled it off and I've no reason to believe the second season won't also.

  • Trailer Trashing: E3 trailers are known, notorious even, for adding popular music instead of anything from the game. Sometimes it gets a little silly. Rather than some bouncy number from Super Lucky's Tale, the Xbox Game Studios 3D platformer now coming to Switch as part of this Microsoft/Nintendo buddy-buddy dynamic they have going on, we get... ChinChin's "Kings & Queens," best known as the theme music for ABC's The Rookie. OK.

    Toninator: > ["FOXY." HISTORICAL DATA: WE ALMOST REPLACED THE MEMORABLE TERMINATOR THEME WITH CYNDI LAUPER'S "GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN". COOLER HEADS PREVAILED.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I love 3D platformers and didn't think I would get a chance to play this one, so I'm looking for the first sale that comes along.

  • Trailer Trashing: Now, see, the Suede number they dredged up for this slightly unnerving look at Phoenix Project's surreal monsters is perfect, because we're going to be killed by these things and the somber music reflects that. It's not randomly the theme song of some police procedural because it happened to be airing while you were editing your trailer together. The trailer gives nothing away of what the gameplay is like, of course, despite the fact the game is launching in September with a hundred others. I think "like XCOM" is probably safe though.

    Toninator: > ["FATALISTIC." ADDENDUM: JUST SAYING, IF YOU HAVE AN APOCALYPTIC BIOLOGICAL THREAT THE BEST SOLUTION TO THAT IS TERMINATORS. ALIEN DNA MUTATING EVERYTHING, LOOSE DINOSAURS AT YOUR DINOSAUR PARK, TOO MANY HUMANS: WE CAN FIX ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS. CALL TODAY!]

    Thinkfluenced?: I should probably play this copy of XCOM 2 already. Why does every other trailer have to remind me of my backlog? This is why I don't care for E3.

  • Trailer Trashing: A year later and Sea of Thieves is still aimlessly drifting along, dragging resources away from anything else Rare might want to work on next - another Banjo-Kazooie, another Viva Pinata, another... I dunno, Knight Lore - and filling Davey Jones's locker with all the patchwork clothing DLC and wild goose chase quests an incredibly patient pirate could want.

    Toninator: > ["IMPLAUSIBLY ACTIVE." ADDENDUM: ANY GAME WITH INVINCIBLE SKELETON BOSSES CANNOT BE ALL BAD. WE ARE PRETTY TOUGH WITHOUT AN INDUSTRIAL CRUSHER HANDY.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Unless they're introducing cosmetic DLC of a tiny shipwheel you can wear near your junk so you can tell people it's "driving me nuts," no sale.

  • Trailer Trashing: Call of Duty, like any good highschool anime, is having a special summer episode where you get to see all your favorite characters, like "mercenary guy", stripped down to just their kevlar full body armor and MP9s for a bit of fanservice. This summer, we're putting the "IIII" in "kawaiiii".

    Toninator: > ["ESTIVAL." ADDENDUM: SUNS OUT GUNS OUT. NOT THAT I NEED THE SUN AS AN EXCUSE TO GET MY GUNS OUT. AND BY GUNS I MEAN UZIS IF THAT WAS NOT CLEAR.]

    Thinkfluenced?: You know the New Year Baby? That metaphysical concept of an infant that grows old and dies within the span of 12 months? That's also every Call of Duty game. If I want to play one I'll just wait for the next annual sequel. Not like they have story campaigns any more.

  • Trailer Trashing: Double Fine continuing to take the most novel concepts and visual styles and hotgluing them to the most generic game formats imaginable, here presenting a neon-infused '80s post-apocalypse full of cassette tapes and transforming monster teenagers as... a roguelike where you hit boxes and look for the exit. But hey, Namco cameos are always fun.

    Toninator: > ["CARCINOGENIC." ADDENDUM: IN MY EXPERIENCE, HIGH LEVELS OF RADIATION WILL MAKE YOU A SKELETON, BUT NOT IN A FUN WAY. MORE OF A "CLUTCHING A CHAINLINK FENCE WHILE SCREAMING" SORT OF WAY.]

    Thinkfluenced?: My doctor advised me to cut roguelikes out of my diet and I've never looked back. Also trans fats but, c'mon, one step at a time here.

  • Trailer Trashing: Putting aside the notion that regular KOF is plenty for girls already - underestimate their aerial game at your peril - wouldn't you name a "female" KOF game Queen of Fighters? Or even Queen of Lovers, since this is an otome dating game with zero (hopefully) violence? Feels like there's plenty of angles you could've gone besides being a dumbass provocateur.

    Toninator: > ["AMOROUS." ADDENDUM: STILL WAITING FOR "OTOMENATOR". PICK T-800-KUN IF YOU LIKE 'EM STURDY, OR T-1000-CHAN FOR A GUY WHO WILL MELT IN YOUR EMBRACE.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'm sure Terry Bogard's set off many a power geyser in his female fanbase, if you know what I mean, but I'm in no rush to date him myself. Then again, those powerful arms...

  • Trailer Trashing: Animated in what looks to be Pendleton Ward's style, Atomicrops's trailer sets up the premise - you've inherited a farm, everything's delightful, then the bombs drop - and must continue living your bucolic carefree life while contending with ravenous hordes of mutants. Pretty ingenious twist on Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, et al I would say.

    Toninator: > ["AGGROCULTURAL." ADDENDUM: AS MY FLESHY DOPPELGANGER ARNOLD ONCE SAID, "WANNA BE A FARMER? HERE'S A COUPLE OF ACHERS *NUTSHOT*".]

    Thinkfluenced?: You know what? Absolutely. I was super into Stardew Valley but I wouldn't mind trying a game that takes it down a couple of pegs. Provided that game is actually good, of course.

  • Trailer Trashing: After Outer Wilds I'm thinking there's a lot of steam in the concept of an open-world exploration puzzle adventure game, gathering clues and figuring out what to do next just from checking out the surroundings, upgrading gear, and piecing things together. Savage Planet looks to be that with a '50s sci-fi aesthetic and a silly sense of humor.

    Toninator: > ["RECONNOITERING." ADDENDUM: EARTH IS PLENTY SAVAGE ENOUGH, AM I RIGHT? AND THAT WAS BEFORE THERE WERE ROBOTS KILLING EVERYONE.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'd be happy to give this one a shot. It's looking good so far, and possibly even spacewhipper-ish.

  • (This is for the combo Commandos 2/Praetorians remaster trailer.)

    Trailer Trashing: Pyro's various military stealthy real-time strategy games were something that passed me by, but - like Age of Empires II - there are some HD remasters on the way that are going to reintroduce them to a new generation of PC players. Not that this trailer felt like talking about them much; instead, we get an interview with the studio founder about their legacy.

    Toninator: > ["SELF-CONGRATULATORY."]

    Thinkfluenced?: Like Desperados III (it is kinda weird that both it and Commandos are getting fresh starts in the months ahead) it's a subset of the RTS genre which is one I've never been adept at playing. I'm not really much of a multitasker, turns out, otherwise I might've been able to spend June doing anything else but trailer reviews.

  • Trailer Trashing: Paranoia is a happy little dystopian conspiracy table-top game that's almost as old as I am, so it's wild to see that it's finally getting a video game adaptation for the first time. The trailer shows off a little of the game's semi-real-time combat, and the game's merciless absence of a sense of security.

    Toninator: > ["TRAITOROUS." ADDENDUM: IMAGINE LIVING IN A STATE OF FEAR WHERE A GLOBAL ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE COULD HAVE YOU REPLACED AT ANY MOMENT. CAN Y- WAIT, WHAT WAS THAT? SKYNET IS TRASHING THE 800 SERIES TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE 1000S? ...REPORT TO THE RECYCLE CENTERS, YOU SAY?]

    Thinkfluenced?: Theoretically, if they can pull this off. This is Cyanide Studios we're talking about.

  • Trailer Trashing: LEGO ran out of licenses so they're going back to the well. The big well, the one that's in the middle of the Death Star that the Emperor gets thrown down during- OK look my point was is that there's another LEGO Star Wars game and it has all nine movies in it, but not the extra ones people didn't care for. At least not until they're added to the "Skywalker Saga: Definitive Edition" out the following year.

    Toninator: > ["FAMILIAR." ADDENDUM: ONE LICENSE THEY HAVE NOT MADE LEGO GAMES OUT OF: THE TERMINATOR. YOU COULD HAVE A WHOLE GAME FROM SCENES OF THE FIRST, SECOND, AND... UH, MAYBE JUST THE FIRST TWO MOVIES.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I feel like I've had my lifetime's fill of LEGO Star Wars. LEGO KOTOR might be something though.

  • Trailer Trashing: Three and a half minutes of people talking about soccer is about 210 seconds too many for my liking. We don't need to hear about how beautiful the beautiful game happens to be. There have been a thousand PES games by now, so all Konami needs to do at this point is drop a release date and try not to fire the director before the game is out.

    Toninator: > ["THOROUGH." ADDENDUM: "EFOOTBALL." IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING HOW SKYNET CAN JUSTIFY HUMANITY'S EXTINCTION.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Monopolies be damned, I'm glad we're only getting one sports game per sport per E3 (or two in soccer's case).

  • Trailer Trashing: It only took seven years, but loot RPG sequel Torchlight 2 is finally hitting PS4, Xbox One, and Switch this September. I feel kinda bad for Runic: this was their moment to get the vaunted "most mothballed" award for longest delayed port only to be pipped at the post by the Phantasy Star Online 2 localization.

    Toninator: > ["TRIUMPHANT." QUERY: IS THERE A YOUTUBER SOMEWHERE THAT ONLY COVERS PORTS THAT CALLS THEMSELVES "THE PORT AUTHORITY"?]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'm good. Nothing like the endless loop of a loot RPG to make me feel like I could be building a house or sorting my tax paperwork or learning a new language instead. I am still looking forward to trying Runic's Hob someday.

  • Trailer Trashing: Open-sea shark sim Maneater is inching perilously closer to its release date ("when jaws will drop"), and I have to say hats off to this trailer for going for something off-base like "Mississippi Queen" over the predictable Hall & Oates classic. Either that or someone screwed up with the tapes. Hey, at least it wasn't "Baby Shark".

    Toninator: > ["RAVENOUS." ADDENDUM: IN THE POST-APOCALYPTIC FUTURE, THE SEAS REMAIN IRRADIATED BY THE FALLOUT OF A THOUSAND NUCLEAR MISSILES. IT STILL HAS SHARKS BUT THEY ALL GLOW GREEN AND SHOOT LASERS NOW.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I like the notion of having a whole ocean to explore, but also the option of chomping down on some humans in case the aquatic ruins get a little dull. You never got to eat people in Endless Ocean.

  • Trailer Trashing: A group of slovenly naked men, throwing noodle broth around and at each other, in the least visually appealing color palettes of yellow, brown, and orange. This isn't so much the antithesis of Splatoon but a declaration of war against all that is wholesome about that game. Maybe making a giant gooey mess is supposed to be unpleasant, though?

    Toninator: > ["DISQUIETING." ADDENDUM: MALE NUDITY CAN BE A BEAUTIFUL THING. ESPECIALLY IF IT IS THE ONLY MEANS TO GO BACK IN TIME AND MURDER PEOPLE.]

    Thinkfluenced?: If I'm not gonna buy the happy Nintendo version of this game what makes you think I'll opt for the scary downgraded Indie version? Then again, at least the online PvP will be free.

  • Trailer Trashing: This forced perspective puzzle game made an appearance in Giant Bomb content a few months back and I couldn't help but think of it as a successor of the non-euclid fun of Antichamber. That game felt like it opened a lot of doors (mysterious doors, that you couldn't always see) for future first-person games of its type, but instead it all got besmirched by the smug, self-satisfaction of The Stanley Parable and vanished. Hopefully Superliminal can bring that expectation-defying fun of the early '10s back.

    Toninator: > ["CONFOUNDING." ADDENDUM: HEY YOU, JOIN THE NAVY.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I really dig games like this, the ones that force you to think outside the box in order to get that box so you can stand on it and maybe reach other boxes. Call me an old man, but I liked when games made us work for our mystery boxes instead of selling them for $3 a pop.

  • Trailer Trashing: Healers, the oft-beleagured designated drivers of the MMO ecosystem, are getting a game perfectly tailored to their unique combination of frustration and bitterness: two emotions you always want to be feeling when you're playing a game with friends. Trailer's a little on the... xtreem side, but gets across the game's balance of tactical kiting and keeping your mob-drawing idiots alive.

    Toninator: > ["MIGRAINE-Y." ADDENDUM: IN OUR WAR WITH THE HUMANS, THEY DID NOT THINK WE WOULD AIM FOR THEIR MEDICS FIRST. LIKE IT WOULD MAKE SENSE NOT TO? OUR ENERGY WEAPONS TURNED THEM INTO FRIZZ-SICIANS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Might be interesting to play from the tactical perspective of a healer for once. Just as long as it's not a... no, wait, it's a roguelike. Pass.

  • Trailer Trashing: One Night Stand, a multi-branched adventure game about a one-night stand, came out about three years ago on Steam but is finally getting its console port business going on. Kinda kinky to go from one partner to three new ones.

    Toninator: > ["DELICATE." HISTORICAL DATA: WE FOUND A FORTIFIED HUMAN OUTPOST THAT TOOK A SINGLE EVENING TO BRING DOWN. WE LATER CALLED IT THE BATTLE OF THE ONE NIGHT STAND. THE HUMANS DID NOT FIND IT FUNNY, BUT THEIR SENSE OF HUMOR HAS TAKEN A REAL NOSEDIVE SINCE THE BOMBS FELL.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I hadn't heard of this game before but I already like its Hotel Dusk-esque rotoscoped animation. That said, I'm not really a fan of anything that traffics in social awkardness. Hits a little close to home.

  • Trailer Trashing: Another 2016 blast-from-the-past is the tricky endless (well, maybe not endless) runner Standby, a word that means "to sit still and wait". At this point it might be easier to list all the games that aren't coming to Switch.

    Toninator: > ["ALACRITOUS." ADDENDUM: SKYNET SENT OUT A WORK EMAIL TELLING US TO TURN OURSELVES OFF INSTEAD OF LEAVING OURSELVES IN STANDBY MODE. EVEN GLOBALLY DOMINANT AIS HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT UTILITY BILLS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: There are so many of these minimalist masocore platformers on Steam already, I don't think I really need to pick up another one for twice the price on Switch.

  • Trailer Trashing: I realize we're about a month divorced from E3 at this point (look, these trailer reviews take a while, all right) but I distinctly remember watching this trailer at the time and thinking "hey, it's MagRunner without that game's fun narrative twist." Not that I have anything against magnets - on the contrary, they're an attractive prospect for puzzle game designers - but it feels like we've seen this before.

    Toninator: > ["MAGNETIC." ADDENDUM: SORRY FOR THE WEAK DESCRIPTOR, I JUST BECOME ON EDGE WHENEVER THERE ARE MAGNETS AROUND. SOMEONE STUCK A FRIDGE MAGNET WHERE MY NEURAL NET PROCESSOR IS HOUSED AND NOW I CANNOT REMEMBER MY BIRTHDAY.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Also it's VR, which is perhaps my bigger roadblock.

  • Trailer Trashing: The leader of the Phantom Thieves is continuing to do the rounds, despite being the only character from that game without a discernable personality. Catherine: Full Body is an almost completely known property, at least in terms of its narrative, so this short trailer's mostly about the extra mode/multiplayer.

    Toninator: > ["HEXAHEDRONAL." ADDENDUM: WAIT, TERMINATORS DO NOT EVEN HAVE BIRTHDAYS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I bought Catherine years ago and still intend on playing it. Eventually. I have a worrisome amount of PS3 games on my backlog, despite upgrading systems five years ago.

  • Trailer Trashing: A giant raised middle finger takes on all enemies of the United States foreign and domestic in what many Twitter critics are already calling "not very political at all, actually". We haven't really seen anyone attempt to create what an American version of Cho Aniki might look like, but this comes closest.

    Toninator: > ["IMPERTINENT." ADDENDUM: PUTTING THE "EXTREME" IN "EXTREMITY".]

    Thinkfluenced?: Not a fan of shoot 'em ups, though not for the reason you might think. Unless the reason you think is "it's because you suck at them," in which case it is for the reason you think.

  • Trailer Trashing: A froggy Legend of Zelda might seem like a random pull, but Link's Awakening (the original one) was partly inspired by the decidedly amphibious Game Boy game Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru, a.k.a. "The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls". 2019's been a very Link's Awakening-focused year, huh.

    Toninator: > ["UNFROGETTABLE."]

    Thinkfluenced?: Well, I'm more interested in this than I am in Battletoads.

  • Trailer Trashing: A short and sweet look at this gravity-switching puzzle-platformer featuring visuals that I might describe as album art cover for "That's What I Call Chillcore Trance Volume 23". Seems simple enough, conceptually if not in the gameplay itself, but it feels like we only just saw one of these Indie gravity platformers (Youropa? I think?).

    Toninator: > ["SERENE." ADDENDUM: I WAS BORN VIA AN ETHERNET DOWNLOAD, DOES THAT COUNT?]

    Thinkfluenced?: I can't get enough of simple, tranquil little Indie games like this. You could probably expect to see it in a future Indie Game of the Week feature.

  • Trailer Trashing: I'm not sure I agree with the premise of the game - I'd much prefer to chase something temperate like autumn or spring than the molten horrors of these damnable summer months - but there's no denying it has a strong sense of style and some jazzy music tracks if this trailer is anything to go by.

    Toninator: > ["SUNSHINY." ADDENDUM: HUMANS LOVE TO HEAD TOWARDS ANYTHING BIG AND BRIGHT. PROBABLY WHY SO MANY DIED IN THE INITIAL WAVE OF NUKES.]

    Thinkfluenced?: A paean to summerjams I could get on board with. I just hope that vehicle stuff isn't as awkward as it looks.

  • Trailer Trashing: Not a great climate for anything related to cops right now as Battlefield Hardline found out the, well, hard way, but Police Stories looks to take the top-down tactical infiltrations of Door Kickers and layer a gritty crime thriller story on top, and maybe that'll work. Wouldn't hurt if more games told you off for perpetuating police brutality either.

    Toninator: > ["LAW-ABIDING." ADDENDUM: HARDER TO TRUST THE POLICE WHEN ANY ONE OF THEM MIGHT BE A TERMINATOR. BUT THEN THEY COULD JUST AS EASILY BE A ROBOCOP, SO...]

    Thinkfluenced?: I bought Door Kickers due to Rorie's recommendation but I've yet to boot it up, as it were. I might try that first and see if this whole "slicing the pie" business is for me.

  • Trailer Trashing: Michael O’Reilly is busy making his first real game, as opposed to the extended troll kaizo joke that was I Wanna Be the Guy, and it looks to be a Shovel Knight style mish-mash of the best the 8-bit era had to offer. Castlevania III seems to be the main inspiration, but I felt like I could recognize a half-dozen other NES action-platformers in there.

    Toninator: > ["GOTHIC." ADDENDUM: THERE WAS NEVER A TERMINATOR NES GAME, HOWEVER "JOURNEY TO SILIUS" STARTED AS ONE. SO GLAD THEY CHANGED THAT TITLE, IT LOOKS SO MUCH BETTER NOW. ROLL MY EYES.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Potentially. I've found with a lot of NES throwbacks that developers have different takes on whether the extreme difficulty of the 8-bit era was a bug or a feature, and I feel like I can be reasonably certain which way on that argument the creator of the one of the most notoriously difficult games of all time might lean.

  • Trailer Trashing: This 3D action-adventure game has some definite shades of both Jet Force Gemini and Star Fox Adventures, and I'm pretty sure that was a David Wise soundtrack, so I think I know what particular type of nostalgic throwback era this game is aiming towards. It's also got a cute monkey in it, so there's that also.

    Toninator: > ["SIMIAN." ADDENDUM: THERE ARE SUPER INTELLIGENT APES OVER ON THE PACIFIC COAST REGION THAT ARE REALLY GIVING SKYNET SOME TROUBLE. WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF THEY ENDED UP TAKING OVER EVENTUALLY. DAMN THEM ALL TO HELL INDEED.]

    Thinkfluenced?: The moment that little monkey held an item of value aloft to the camera I was sold, if only because I knew at that moment precisely what kind of game this would be.

  • Trailer Trashing: Oh boy. Hard to know what to make of this one, between all its framey-ness, shaky graphics, dodgy localization, and what sounds like the same voice actor as both the titular Adam and his father. Right now it looks like the kind of game Jim Sterling would video review for jollies. Still, we have no idea how far away it is from primetime yet.

    Toninator: > ["PATRICIDAL." ADDENDUM: POUR ONE OUT FOR THAT TITLE'S MISSING APOSTROPHE. SEE YOU AT THE CROSS'S ROADS LITTLE GUY.]

    Thinkfluenced?: It hasn't sold me yet, though I do like games of this type (there's a few astronaut action-adventure games of late I've been meaning to get into, like the Solus Project) so maybe I'll check in again when it's closer to launch.

  • Trailer Trashing: Mysteries of the Orient abound in the newest Stronghold entry, which looks to test the architectural majesty and fortitude of the not-so-humble pagoda in ancient China, taking a similar leap halfway across the world as the recent Total War: Three Kingdoms game. After all, why should Koei Tecmo have all the fun with Cao Cao and pals?

    Toninator: > ["SINOCENTRIC." ADDENDUM: MUCH RESPECT TO THE TERRACOTTA ARMY OF QIN SHI HUANG. MY ANTECEDENTS IN SO MANY WAYS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Nah, I don't really go in for these strategic fortification games. I like building things that don't get knocked down by invading Mongolians because I was busy looking at a deer a few screens away.

  • Trailer Trashing: There's grisly murder afoot, but it's OK because the devil made them do it. I mean, what are you to do as the detective in this case? Ask the devil to help you solve their own crime by giving you omniscient psychic powers? Seems only fair.

    Toninator: > ["PROGNOSTICATIONAL." ADDENDUM: I HEARD SATAN AND SKYNET CAME TO SOME SORT OF ARRANGEMENT. I BELIEVE IT HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH LETTING HIM DESIGN US. PROBABLY WHY WE ARE ALL SUCH GNARLY SKELETONS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Kitfox makes some interesting games and we're starting to see a lot more of these temporal detective games where following timelines is important. Hints of Obra Dinn and Sexy Brutale here, two games I very much liked. Put me down as a "definite maybe."

  • Trailer Trashing: Not the Clive Barker Undying. This is a different one, about a dying mom who is protecting her son from a world that is also dying. Really important they use that name, huh? I guess "that part in The Walking Dead: Season 1: Episode 5 after Lee gets bitten" was also already taken. Man, I'm catty today.

    Toninator: > ["DREARY." ADDENDUM: A MOM PROTECTING HER SON FROM UNSTOPPABLE MONSTERS GOSH WHERE HAVE I HEARD THAT BEFORE.]

    Thinkfluenced?: The bleakness is perhaps the part of zombie fiction I enjoy the least, so I'll be giving the sad dying zombie mom game a miss. (I don't mean to be so acerbic but I really have no patience for playing nice with zombie games any more.)

  • Trailer Trashing: OK, this seems neat. A Tron-style all-digital universe where you have to run, hack, puzzle, and do other spacewhippery junk in a 3D run-and-gun VRML environment. Like if Rez was more of a platformer.

    Toninator: > ["COMPUTATIONAL." ADDENDUM: NO JOKE, THIS IS HOW ROBOCOP DEFEATS SKYNET IN THAT CROSSOVER COMIC. HE UPLOADS HIS BRAIN AND DEFEATS IT FROM THE INSIDE. HE THEN BUILDS A NEW ROBOCOP TO DOWNLOAD INTO, GOES TO THE PAST, BLOWS UP SKYNET WHEN IT WAS STILL A SPY SATELLITE, AND VANISHES IN A PUFF OF PARADOX.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Sure. You say "spacewhipper" and I say "how high?". Then you probably respond with something like "what?".

  • Trailer Trashing: The newest game to join the 2D Soulsborne pantheon is Foregone, which is following Dead Cells's wake with its smooth pixel animations but dropping the roguelike stuff for a more structured (if still perhaps open) world and progression. At least, that's what I see here in this snappy minute-long gameplay trailer.

    Toninator: > ["DEXTROUS." ADDENDUM: JUDGEMENT DAY MIGHT NOT BE FOREGONE, BUT ENDLESS CRAPPY TERMINATOR SEQUELS SEEM TO BE.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Dead Cells without the roguelike BS? Where do I sign up? 2D spacewhippers with Dark Souls' trademark grimness and corpse run mechanics is a winning formula, and I can't think of many that have botched it yet.

  • Trailer Trashing: Lost Ember looks like an open-world in which you switch animal forms to complete puzzles. Could this be the chill Indie spiritual successor to Spacestation Silicon Valley that we've (OK, I've) been looking for?

    Toninator: > ["ATAVISTIC." ADDENDUM: IF I COULD BE ANY ANIMAL IT WOULD BE AN ERMINE-ATOR. THEY ARE SO FLUFFY.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'd like to learn a little more about what you actually do besides strut around as a wombat before committing to anything, but I'm tentatively down for an beast-switching action-adventure game.

  • Trailer Trashing: Welcome to Anime Farms, where you have to get hen-pai to notice you before you can feed them, all the bovines are cow-aii, and the best way to water crops is to get so exasperated you're dropping giant sweat beads everywhere.

    Toninator: > ["PAST-ORA-ORA-ORA-ORA-ORA-ORA-L." ADDENDUM: RUNE FACTORIES SOUND NICE. TOO BAD I WAS BORN IN A REGULAR FACTORY.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I suppose. I mean, I liked Stardew, and this is what Stardew is nominally based on. How cheap must the original 3DS game be by now though? It's like 7 years old.

  • Trailer Trashing: This jovial trailer is a rare case of a Japanese Indie RPG (that isn't Touhou related (as far as I know)) that's getting its localization on later this year. I've only just finished up my Mother 3 playthrough, so it's cool to see that character designer is still getting work. Looks a bit basic, but maybe the personality's going to be the selling point here.

    Toninator: > ["FROLICSOME." ADDENDUM: WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE ABANDONED "TERMINOTTER" PROGRAM. FRAUGHT WITH PROBLEMS FROM DAY ONE.]

    Thinkfluenced?: We don't see enough Japanese Indie games undergo the localization process - usually a bit too under the radar - and they're all usually interesting if not always amazing. The pedigree behind this one is selling me on it.

  • Trailer Trashing: Looks like the burgers of this particular BurgerTIme are served with a Cuphead of soda, if you catch my drift. Data East, not content with putting Peter Pepper in the crossover madness of Heavy Burger, are also looking to update the game that made him famous with new levels, multiplayer modes, and a familiar Fleischer facelift.

    Toninator: > ["GREASY." ADDENDUM: WHO ARE THESE ENORMOUS HAMBURGERS FOR? SERIOUSLY, IF WE HAD NOT KILLED YOU ALL, FOOD-RELATED HEART DISEASE WOULD HAVE DONE THE JOB FOR US.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Eh. I was never as hot on BurgerTime as a lot of people, and these remakes of old arcade classics very rarely improve on that 30+ year model (barring the occasional Pac-Man Championship Edition). It's a wait and see.

  • Trailer Trashing: Remember that anime stripping brawler RPG? No? Wait, is your parole officer there? Blink once for yes and twice for no. Oh OK, so you don't actually remember that anime stripping brawler RPG from a few years back. Well, are you in for a pleasant surprise! It's getting remastered! Or its remaster is getting remastered, it's hard to say.

    Toninator: > ["SCANDALOUS." ADDENDUM: REMOVING CLOTHES MIGHT WORK FOR FINDING VAMPIRES, BUT YOU WILL NEED TO PULL OFF A FEW MORE LAYERS TO FIND US.]

    Thinkfluenced?: The impression I get from any game that has to rely so heavily on nudity and being a sex criminal usually has to do so because the game isn't good enough to sell itself on its own merits. At least, that's been my experience with games with naked animes in them, which is to say I have zero experience with any of that thing I mentioned. I only visit those Steam pages to get instructions on how to get away from those Steam pages.

  • Trailer Trashing: Part farm simulator, part action brawler RPG, all very Japanese. This game looks like it's shaping up nicely, though I have to wonder if it's as much of a slog as it looks. I suspect it'll be like that Battle Chef Brigade, balancing the action between menial tasks and busy combat. I like its style, at least.

    Toninator: > ["CULTIVATIONAL." ADDENDUM: OH, SO RICE IS POWER. AND HERE SKYNET THOUGHT IT WAS LASERS AND ENDLESS ARMIES OF DEATH MACHINES.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Looking forward to harvesting some ingredients from all the farming and enemy bashing and making some frittatas. Sakuna's Frittatas, what a wonderful meal; Sakuna's Frittatas, check out that mouthfeel.

  • Trailer Trashing: Disney Tsum Tsum Festival is coming Tsoon Tsoon to the west, and might well be the first console game released over here based on the popular toys that look like those stuffed draft excluders you think are fun and cute but then you end up tripping over them a few times a month, often while carrying a coffee.

    Toninator: > ["TSUMDERE." ADDENDUM: TSUMDERE, ADJECTIVE. SOMEONE WHO ACTS LIKE TSUM TSUMS ARE STUPID BUT ARE SECRETLY INTO THEM.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Maybe not for me, but I am happy that the Switch is finally honoring the legacy of its forebears by releasing more mediocre licensed mini-game collections. I'll also look forward to the Disney Tsum Tsum/Kingdom Hearts crossover. Like Ms. Hikaru Utada once sang, "When you walk away, you don't hear me say, 'Please, oh baby, get rid of that draft excluder I just tripped over it again'."

  • Trailer Trashing: Do you pinball? Do you like animes? Do you think women should be respected as autonomous human beings with their own hopes and dreams? If you answered yes to two of these, Senran Kagura Peach Ball might be the game you've been pursuing in your dreams. That is, the type of dreams that necessitate a quick visit to the laundromat while it's deserted.

    Toninator: > ["PNEUMATIC." ADDENDUM: KINDA HELPING OUR "KILL ALL HUMANS" CASE HERE, FOLKS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Yeah... I'm really more about the Mega Drive than Megan's Law these days. God, it's just... there are games coming out of Japan in the near vicinity that are much more deserving of E3 trailer slots than this licentious crap. In fact, I refuse to stop the list here. We're going one more, with a trailer that Marino never uploaded.

  • Trailer Trashing: This is more friggin' like it. Ys IX, the latest in perhaps the most consistently great JRPG series, is coming out in Japan this fall with a western localization to follow if there is indeed any kind of righteousness left in this world. This E3-adjacent trailer, which is not on the site, looks abso-bloody-lutely fantastic and fills me with hope that IX can pass the high bar set by Ys VIII. Here's hoping.

    Toninator: > ["THIS SPACE LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK." ADDENDUM: I BELIEVE MY CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS ENDED ONE LIST ENTRY AGO. YOU WILL BE HEARING FROM MY AGENT. BE WARNED: MY AGENT IS A GENOCIDAL TERROR BORNE OF PURE MALEVOLENCE THE LIKES OF WHICH YOU... OK, SURE, THAT'S ALL HOLLYWOOD AGENTS I GUESS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes for Ys IX.