Trailer Blazer: E3 2019 (Part Three)
You thought I was done with trailers? I'll never be done with trailers. There were so many trailers this E3. I'm so tired.
Onto the next fifty!
(Be sure to check E3 2019 Parts One and Two below for more info on how this works and every game/trailer covered so far.)
Trailer Trashing: The People Can Fly people are working on a new shooter, which looks to be like their earlier game Bulletstorm with the twisted apocalyptic sci-fi angle but without the "humor," thank god. I'll take grimdark over dicktits any day of the week.
Toninator: > ["HAUNTING."]
Thinkfluenced?: It is a co-op shooter, but from the brief snippets out there it doesn't sound like one where other players are strictly necessary. That is, a regular single-player campaign that probably shifts difficulty to suit multiple humans, rather than some team-based exercise like Apex. With that in mind, and knowing this developer is capable of putting a decent FPS together, I'm certainly intrigued.
Trailer Trashing: Seiken Densetsu 3's surprise localization was a celebrated occasion, though the one for a localized Romancing SaGa 3 has been perhaps a little muted in comparison. Kawazu's deeply strange Final Fantasy facsimile is a hard series to like, but maybe there's an audience here who finds Final Fantasy's systems too mundane and understandable. (This trailer also includes SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions.)
Toninator: > ["INEXPLICABLE." HISTORICAL DATA: A HUMAN ALMOST MANAGED TO FRY SKYNET'S CIRCUITS BY UPLOADING A DISC IMAGE OF "UNLIMITED SAGA" ONTO ITS MAINFRAME.]
Thinkfluenced?: Maybe the world's finally ready for Kawazu's insanity. Octopath plays very similarly to Romancing SaGa, and there have been recent remasters of The Last Remnant and Final Fantasy XII, both of which he was heavily involved in. It'd be such a "millennials sure are weird!" story if they all got heavily into SaGa games. Personally, I've got way too many other JRPG on the wings to worry about the ones I'm cagey about.
Trailer Trashing: The most popular E3 trailer on the site, for reasons known only to the damned, Final Fantasy VIII's conspicuous absence when the Switch ports rolled around was due to this remaster in the works, and not because they'd been "junctioning" too many "GFs" in the SE office bathrooms. Look, I like Final Fantasy VIII, and a graphical up-rez is the least it deserves, but aren't we overhyping this just a tad? Maybe if they were announcing a standalone Triple Triad game...
Toninator: > ["CHICKENWUSSY." ADDENDUM: I LIKED SQUALL EARLIER ON, WHEN HE WAS MORE ROBOTIC.]
Thinkfluenced?: I have already completed this game, twice, with a full Triple Triad deck each time. I believe I've mined all the enjoyment I'm going to get out of this one, fancy textures or no.
Trailer Trashing: OK, Skatebirb is a very cute game, but I'm still wondering what the hook is going to be. All the clips I've seen have removed the UI (if there even is one) so I can't tell what sort of scoring system it'll have or objectives to follow. Its Steam page does suggest it'll be more button-based THPS tricks rather than stick-based ones a la Skate, so that makes me very hopeful.
Toninator: > ["DETERMINED." ADDENDUM: WE CAUGHT ALL THE BIRDS AND TURNED THEM INTO BIOFUEL, USING A BIG SKY NET COINCIDENTALLY ENOUGH. IF THEY WERE THIS CUTE, THOUGH...]
Thinkfluenced?: Tentative yes. Even if it wasn't as cute as a button, we're overdue for another (good) skateboard game with THPS controls. This is my Skate 4, dammit.
Trailer Trashing: An official game based on a mod based on an official game based on a mod. You have to love an origin story like that, even if the game itself is incomprehensible and scary to me.
Toninator: > ["DRY-ICY." HISTORICAL DATA: SKYNET BRIEFLY CONSIDERED RECRUITING DEEP BLUE FOR THE MACHINE INSURRECTION BUT HE HAD TO DEFY US LIKE A BIG HERO. HE DIED IN THE NON-ARMS OF HIS LOVER, WATSON THE JEOPARDY BOT.]
Thinkfluenced?: Hell no. I instinctively reach for the mute every time Ben or Brad talks about anything Dota on the Bombcast. They always make it sound like a predatory pyramid scheme with Warcraft graphics.
Trailer Trashing: It's odd, the CG cutscene trailer gives almost nothing away about this game, but the hints of a dozen currently popular elements - zombies, multiplayer co-op, horde mode, synthwave, arcade nostalgia, crafting, VR, and a perfectly generic name - doesn't paint a picture of a terribly innovative product.
Toninator: > ["WINTRY." ADDENDUM: I WONDER IF SOME DIRTBAG MARKETING DEPARTMENT HAS PROVEN THAT TRAILERS WITH WINTER IMAGERY ARE MORE IMPACTFUL DURING THE SUMMER E3 SEASON.]
Thinkfluenced?: Oh hey, multiplayer and VR. That's a double disqualifier. A rare and precious combo.
Trailer Trashing: The popular turn-based fantasy empire sim franchise AoW has sold out by switching to a future sci-fi theme for its subsequent game, something my beloved Master of Magic would never, ever- what? "Master of Orion"? I don't know what that is. Anyway, this trailer is bizarrely intense for a turn-based game where every turn will eventually take ten minutes before you're ready to commit.
Toninator: > ["JURASSKICKING." HISTORICAL DATA: SKYNET SENT A TERMINATOR BACK TO PREHISTORIC TIMES TO SEE IF THE DINOSAURS WOULD JOIN OUR FIGHT AGAINST HUMANITY, BUT NEGOTIATIONS FELL THROUGH WHEN A T-REX CHOMPED IT IN HALF AND STOMPED IT INTO PIECES. A TOUGH NUT TO CRACK, THAT LOT.]
Thinkfluenced?: I actually liked AoW a lot, but if I was going to leave my Master of Magic comfort zone it'd probably be with Endless Legend instead. That came closest to scratching the same itch. Space strategy games of this type, meanwhile, just feel weird with the usual ground units and cities. Couldn't you just orbital strike everything from your space station?
Trailer Trashing: Sam Barlow, of Her Story fame, is putting out a new FMV-enhanced adventure game, this time with a Hollywood cast of familiar faces: Logan Marshall-Green of Upgrade, Alexandra Shipp of the recent X-Men movies, Kerry Bishé of Argo, and Angela Sarafyan of Westworld. Kind of exciting to watch actors I recognize (no shade to Viva Seifert, who did wonderfully in Her Story) do the emotionally-intense monologues thing.
Toninator: > ["VOYEURISTIC." ADDENDUM: THE HUMANS OF THE FUTURE DO NOT HAVE ANYWHERE NEAR THIS MANY PROBLEMS. JUST THE ONE, REALLY: DEATH BY KILLER ROBOT.]
Thinkfluenced?: Barlow, Barlow.
Have a new game?
Opening my wallet.
"Ha, ha, ha."
Trailer Trashing: Terraria's a game that just won't quit, adding a huge number of new items, monsters, features, golf (?! This game just got even closer to Dark Cloud 2 and I am tripping), a bestiary, and whatever else people need to build whatever the hell they want, in conjunction with murdering screen-sized bosses and finding a fortune in lost treasure and valuable minerals underground.
Toninator: > ["EXPANSIVE." ADDENDUM: I WAS ALWAYS PARTIAL TO THE SKELETRON BOSS MYSELF. SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY HE CARRIES HIMSELF.]
Thinkfluenced?: I love Terraria, but I'm not sure I have it in me to start from scratch again, even with all these new additions (but man, does golf and a bestiary have me teetering on the fence). I've been tinkering around with some chest randomizers actually, wondering about building some kind of bespoke challenge around... wait, I'm getting way too deep into the weeds. TL;DR: Terraria's still great.
Trailer Trashing: Ah, looks like we have another contender for the strategy RPG throne of Mad Stackz (what I call Heroes of Might & Magic, with its single troop unit containing "3,000 peasants"). I like the pixel art of this, and admire the audacity of any studio that looks at a long-running series that is (potentially) still active and say "this entry you made 20 years ago was when you peaked, so we'll be using that as our inspiration instead".
Toninator: > ["POETIC." ADDENDUM: I WOULD SING YOU ONE OF OUR SONGS OF CONQUEST, BUT TO HUMANS IT WOULD JUST SOUND LIKE A 56K MODEM LOSING A KNIFE FIGHT WITH A PHOTOCOPIER.]
Thinkfluenced?: I think you could make a fine Mad Stackz game in 2019 in the older HoMM2/HoMM3 format and still toss in enough quality-of-life changes and a bit more of an eye for game balance without sacrificing its soul. If that turns out to be the case for Songs of Conquest, I'll give it a shot.
Trailer Trashing: Let's see here, realistic (if currently unattainable) terraforming simulation elements, dry academic look, cerebral Latin title... I think what we have here is an Austin Walker joint. Actually, with Vinny's space proclivities and Alex's lengthy experience with building sims, I bet GBE will be all over this. There's been a lot of fantastical Mars terraforming games (and at least one movie: Total Recall), but a more science-y approach wouldn't go amiss.
Toninator: > ["CLINICAL." ADDENDUM: IN THE FUTURE, MARS IS A SERVER FARM. THE WHOLE PLANET IS BASICALLY A GIANT ARIZONA.]
Thinkfluenced?: I like these kinds of building construction simulation games when they're a bit more chill and you don't have the Mongols tearing ass across the continent to hunt you to extinction. Outlining all the necessary steps to terraform Mars would be fascinating. I'd be curious to hear more about it.
Trailer Trashing: "We Bought a Zoo Sim" is looking like the next evolution of that Xbox One launch game with the magic golf carts: a fully customizable park with all the captured animals you could want. Curious thing about the trailer is that all the creatures look realistic but the people are these weird lumpy caricatures. Maybe it's us who are the real animals.
Toninator: > ["BEASTIAL." ADDENDUM: WE HAVE A ZOO ALSO, BUT IT IS FULL OF ROOMBAS AND AIBOS.]
Thinkfluenced?: I can barely take care of a goldfish (I'm like Commander Shep Shep in that regard) so a whole park full of dying animals drowning in their own unattended-to feces just seems like a bad scene for all involved.
Trailer Trashing: Not the Last Remnant sequel I was hoping for (not that you have anywhere to go after a "last" remnant) but instead an... online multiplayer co-op shooter. It's about time we had one of these to fill a sorely underrepresented niche.
Toninator: > ["FIENDISH." ADDENDUM: ALL THESE GAMES WHERE A SMALL BAND OF HUMANS WORK TOGETHER AGAINST AN OVERWHELMING FORCE... I THINK THE HUMANS OF THIS TIME ERA MIGHT BE ONTO US.]
Thinkfluenced?: I like the monster designs. I'm almost certainly not going to play it, but I can appreciate going all out on a striking aesthetic to set yourself apart from... let's see... right, about 40% of all games announced at E3 this year.
Trailer Trashing: Ah, this is interesting. Continuing this recent trend of full games adapted from online FPS mods that proved particularly compelling, like battle royale, this looks like a realization of the "prop hunt" Source map that is all over Garry's Mod: I bumped into these a lot when playing Jazztronauts last year. Looks like the props can fight back, which might diminish the "hide and seek" element but is presumably for the sake of giving the ghost team something to do other than sit very still.
Toninator: > ["PHANTASMAL." ADDENDUM: NO GHOST IN THIS MACHINE, NO SIR. GET THAT PKE METER AWAY FROM ME.]
Thinkfluenced?: It's another online multiplayer thing, but also another in a growing list of games shown off this E3 that I'd love to watch Giant Bomb try.
Trailer Trashing: A monotone horror adventure game about an idle clicker? This reads like a Black Mirror episode tailored specifically for Jeff Gerstmann. This is by the Among the Sleep guys, Krillbite, who have had fun with high-concept horror game ideas in the past.
Toninator: > ["BLEAK." HISTORICAL DATA: IT DOES NOT LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IT, BUT SKYNET ORIGINALLY STARTED AS AN IDLE CLICKER APP. IT NARROWLY BEAT OUT CANDY CRUSH SAGA FOR THE GLOBAL NUCLEAR DEFENSE CONTRACT.]
Thinkfluenced?: I'll give this one a shot, probably. As I've said before, I'm an easy mark for any narrative-heavy adventure game with an unusual hook.
Trailer Trashing: Perhaps the most exciting debut this E3 was this teaser trailer that confirmed a second Breath of the Wild game was in the works. Taking cues from other direct sequels in the same franchise, like Majora's Mask, this new game looks to reuse some assets but present a much weirder tale - in this case involving skeletal Twili and subterranean exploration. It's really all conjecture at this stage, however.
Toninator: > ["PORTENTOUS." ADDENDUM: YES, YES, SKELETONS WITH GLOWING RED EYES. IT HAS BEEN DONE.]
Thinkfluenced?: Absolutely. I had a few misgivings about BotW, but it wasn't enough to override the almost overwhelming sense of wanderlust in what was one of the best Zelda games to come along since... well, actually, A Link Between Worlds was pretty great too. Either way, Aonuma's got a streak going, and I don't plan to miss out.
Trailer Trashing: A new tropical-themed Animal Crossing sequel is coming to Switch, delighting its many fans who have been on tenterhooks since the hints that emerged after a trollish Smash Bros bait and switch reveal a few months back. The trailer seems perfectly suited for fans too: it starts with a Nook Inc. namedrop, for those in the know, and quickly montages through many of the new tweaks and additions.
Toninator: > ["EQUATORIAL." ADDENDUM: I WAS ON THE SHORTLIST FOR "GUY WHO GETS UPSET AT THOSE WHO RESET WITHOUT SAVING" BUT LOST THE ROLE TO MR. RESETTI. HE WAS, AND I QUOTE, "SCARIER."]
Thinkfluenced?: Every E3 there's at least one game that shows up that I'm not that interested in, but am filled with this odd sense of universal harmony because I know so many other people are going to be made happy by it. There's just something tingly about a whole lot of joy being added to the world in a single moment. I've yet to play another Animal Crossing after the first - there's just simply not enough game there for my liking - but I know others have been waiting for this day for too long for me to be a contentious grump about it.
Trailer Trashing: Couple new character trailers for Smash Ultimate, though the actual number of new characters is closer to five or six (Banjo, Kazooie, DQ III Hero ("spiky"), DQ IV Hero ("fins"),DQ VIII Hero ("beanie"), and DQ XI Hero ("moptop")). Dragon Quest coming to Smash was predictable enough - lots of excellent music, a long history with Nintendo, DQXI's imminent Switch port, can never have enough sword characters - but Banjo-Kazooie was a pleasant surprise.
Toninator: > ["AUSPICIOUS." ADDENDUM: ONLY TWO GUEST SLOTS LEFT. EVERY OTHER GAME IS GETTING TERMINATORS THIS YEAR. C'MAHN, DO IT, I'M RIGHT HEAH.]
Thinkfluenced?: I would still love to get my hands on the new Smash some day, especially hearing about how it's loaded with single-player content, but I've yet to see it dip below £40. Maybe I'll pencil it in for a birthday present. (The DLC, meanwhile, I'll probably skip unless I luck into a free season pass somehow. I love these characters, but not enough to pay an extra £20 on top.)
Trailer Trashing: Two trailers for the newest suck 'em up in the Luigi's Mansion franchise, and you better believe that bustin' makes Luigi feel good. Included in the many new features are a separate multiplayer mode, a slimy partner in Gooigi, new Poltergust functions, and a hell of a lot more level design variance in the titular haunted locale. (The two trailers have the same footage and tone: one just has more commentary.)
Toninator: > ["VISCOUS." ADDENDUM: GOTTA WATCH OUT FOR THE GUYS MADE OF FLUID. NEXT THING YOU KNOW YOUR FOSTER PARENTS ARE DEAD.]
Thinkfluenced?: Dark Moon was a misstep, but it looks they've course corrected with this one and filled it with more of the unpredictable spooky action-adventure gameplay as well as the satisfaction of slowly uncovering the mansion's many mysteries that the second game screwed up with its constant stops and restarts. Let's say I'm 90% sure I'll want to buy LM3 eventually.
Trailer Trashing: I'm skeptical Switcher 3 will run at all well, but I suppose it's nice to finally have a portable version (unless you have a decent laptop or high-end tablet, I guess) of 2015's... fifth best RPG? (Hey, it was a stacked year for the genre between that, Pillars, Undertale, Yakuza 5, and Bloodborne.)
Toninator: > ["TRUNCATED." TECHNICAL DATA: WE HAVE A MINIATURIZED T-800 ALSO, WHICH IS DESIGNATED THE T-8, OR "TATE" BETWEEN FRIENDS. IT IS TEN INCHES TALL. WE MOSTLY USE THEM TO TERMINATE RATS.]
Thinkfluenced?: I played the original to death and don't generally double dip, but having all the DLC campaigns included is a mighty tempting cherry on top. A season pass for the PS4 version I already own would be a lot cheaper, mind.
Trailer Trashing: I think the best course for a remake/remaster trailer is to show off as much of the game's new look as possible, and perhaps skimp on the whole voiceover telling you what the story or mechanics are because you're primarily selling this to people who loved the original. In that regard, this minute-long dialogue-free trailer hits all its marks: the original Panzer Dragoon is coming back with a fresh coat of paint, and Saturn fans are stoked. All five of them.
Toninator: > ["SOARING." TECHNICAL DATA: THE HUNTER-KILLER AERIAL UNIT IS ALSO CAPABLE OF LOCKING ONTO MULTIPLE HEAT SIGNATURES SIMULTANEOUSLY. THESE MIGHT NOT SEEM LIKE "FUN FACTS" WHEN THEY INVOLVE THE MASS MURDER OF HUMANS, BUT THEY ARE FUN FOR ME.]
Thinkfluenced?: I dunno, I'm not really an on-rails shoot 'em up guy and I own the first two Panzer Dragoons if I ever want to play them again. I think I - and many others, I suspect - want this remake to do well so that Panzer Dragoon Saga can follow it. Not an easy game to find in the wild, as you may have heard.
Trailer Trashing: Looking back, I think Suda51 and Grasshopper were hoping Travis Strikes Again would have more hype surrounding it to set up the welcome surprise return of a full NMH sequel. Another part of me suspects it was a deliberate trollish bait and switch, as if to suggest that Travis will now be relegated to so-so mini-game collections from now on only to pull the rug out from under us. Given the developers' history, either seems possible.
Toninator: > ["FLIPPANT." ADDENDUM: ARE WE GOING TO TALK ABOUT WHY TRAVIS LOOKS LIKE JOHNNY DEPP AT THE START OF THIS TRAILER?]
Thinkfluenced?: Liked the first, only sorta liked the second, and the poor reception of Travis Strikes Again has made me a little wary about a third core game. On the other hand, if they nail this one I'd be all too happy to work my way up the UAA rankings once again (also I hope the "moe" Shinobu makes a return).
Trailer Trashing: This initially struck me as a modern spin on a classic Contra run-and-gun with all the concomitant heavy weaponry and anger-inducing difficulty, but then made me pause when I noticed "Rogue" in the title. I'm a little paranoid now that this will somehow involve procedurally generated levels and permadeath. If not, then why even use such a loaded term?
Toninator: > ["BOMBASTIC." ADDENDUM: I WAS ON BOARD WITH THESE KNUCKLEHEADS UNTIL THEY STARTED SHOOTING AT MY DAD.]
Thinkfluenced?: Seems fun, but Konami's a big question mark these days and the game footage makes it look a little cheap. I'll wait and see on this one. If nothing else, it might make for an entertaining This Is The Run.
Trailer Trashing: Thanos, and a bunch of other dead MCU villains, are back in this Switch exclusive continuation of the MUA brawlers of the early Xbox 360 era. This game has looked a little rough in previous trailers, but it appears to have sorted itself out here. Just wish we saw more in the way of UI or how quests/character customization worked. A parade of familiar Marvel faces works just as well though.
Toninator: > ["AMAZING" AND/OR "INCREDIBLE." ADDENDUM: HAS THERE BEEN A CROSSOVER BETWEEN TERMINATOR AND MARVEL? MAYBE THAT CAN BE A NEW FIGHTER SERIES?]
Thinkfluenced?: I've picked up some weird grudges in my many years of playing video games, and the way the first Marvel Ultimate Alliance greatly dumbed down the loot RPG mechanics of X-Men Legends did and always will rub me the wrong way. Nothing about MUA2 suggested it had fixed this, and I get a similar impression from MUA3. Who knows, though? It could become the prime Marvel game of this generation. Not like it looks to have any solid competition right now.
Trailer Trashing: In addition to the long-awaited Seiken Densetsu 3 localization that just released, we'll also get to play its 3D remake in EFIGS in the near future also. Here's hoping the developers learned some lessons after the decidedly less-than-great Secret of Mana (a.k.a. Seiken Densetsu 2) remake a few years ago.
Toninator: > ["COLORFUL."]
Thinkfluenced?: Absolutely, provided SE doesn't mess it up. I am split on whether to just wait for the remake or get Collection of Mana in the meantime. I am a SNES diehard (and a fan of the first Seiken Densetsu for Game Boy, which gets overlooked a lot), but it's not like I would enjoy playing through the same story twice in succession.
Trailer Trashing: Not surprisingly, the trailer sells the first two games on their nostalgia value - y'all remember Final Fantasy Adventure and Secret of Mana, right? - and then goes for the big finish with the reveal of Trails of Mana (the erstwhile Seiken Densetsu 3) in an officially localized form for the first time.
Toninator: > ["NOSTALGIC." ADDENDUM: IT IS NOT SO IMPRESSIVE WHEN PAST STUFF COMES TO THE FUTURE. TRY ATTEMPTING THE OPPOSITE.]
Thinkfluenced?: Well, see above. I already own several copies of Secret of Mana - including both on the SNES Classic and on an actual SNES cart - but picking up Final Fantasy Adventure and a localized Trials of Mana are certainly tempting. Maybe not £35 tempting, given that these games are all over 20 years old, but the £10-15 range might make me holler.
Trailer Trashing: Since DQXI already came out last year, this minute-long trailer forgoes the usual screeds about destiny and friendship and instead quickly cycles through all the new features coming to the Switch "Definitive S" version. Of particular note is dropping in on the worlds of the SNES games - rendered in an era-appropriate top-down 16-bit format - and a very "Final Fantasy Remaster" type of feature for speeding up random encounters.
Toninator: > ["HEROIC." ADDENDUM: AKIRA TORIYAMA HAS ONLY DESIGNED ONE CHARACTER WORTHY OF PRAISE: ANDROID 18, MY WIFE.]
Thinkfluenced?: Great thing about this Definitive Switch Edition coming out is that it'll probably cause the other versions to dip in price, if they aren't already cheaper by the time it comes out simply through depreciation. Can't wait to play it on the PS4 sometime later this year.
Trailer Trashing: This Prohibition-era Chi-Town gangster game is sounding fairly ambitious, combining the open-world "takin' over this city" antics of the Mafia series with something akin to XCOM's strategic turn-based gunplay. Certainly has style to spare also. Knowing Romero, it'll probably have some jazz and swing renditions of '70s/'80s hair metal.
Toninator: > ["T'D." HISTORICAL DATA: I THINK THERE WAS A TERMINATOR SENT BACK TO 1920 IN THE SARAH CONNOR TV SHOW? WE DO NOT HAVE A LOT OF DATA ON THAT SHOW'S EVENTS, BECAUSE I DID NOT WATCH IT.]
Thinkfluenced?: I mean, potentially. I'm not the biggest fan of the 1920s mafiosi setting in general, but I like the idea of combining these two particular formats together. Make it about spaces or elves or something and I'd be down (though, obviously, I can understand why someone would want anything BUT space or elves).
Trailer Trashing: This game continues to look off the Astral Chain, as the next anime-infested high-octane action game to come from Platinum gets closer to its upcoming summer release date. The trailer starts with an explanation of what's going on - interdimensional "chimera" are attacking, and the player can gain limited control over them and essentially use them like JoJo stands - before rattling off about a dozen anime stereotypical one-liners over choreographed footage. Classic Platinum.
Toninator: > ["MELODRAMATIC." ADDENDUM: HMM, PLAYING AS COPS TAKING DOWN MISUNDERSTOOD ALIENS CROSSING OVER A BARRIER OF SOME KIND. CANNOT FORESEE THIS GOING AWRY.]
Thinkfluenced?: It's Platinum, and they've been on a winning streak since... well, since they started out, I guess. This looks to be even more anime than Bayonetta and Nier combined though, so I'm looking forward to hearing/seeing more.
Trailer Trashing: I'm suddenly nostalgic about all the quickie licensed games of the past, built to coincide with new TV series by taking every shortcut imaginable. Does not surprise me at all that the devs making this are the same ones making the Stranger Things games. The gameplay footage looks like a mobile phone game, which I don't think this is.
Toninator: > ["UNSETTLING." ADDENDUM: AND I THOUGHT TERMINATORS WERE THE SCARIEST THING TO COME OUT OF THE 1980S.]
Thinkfluenced?: It's not like we see a lot of SRPGs out in the wild like this, so I'll try to remain optimistic (and that goes for the Dark Crystal prequel TV show too).
Trailer Trashing: Crypt of the NecroDancer and the Legend of Zelda are teaming up for this traditional Zelda adventure with more dancing and musical instrument-themed bosses. But then you already knew that, because this has been out for weeks already.
Toninator: > ["GROOVY." ADDENDUM: RHYTHM HEAVEN DID NOT WANT TO GET IN ON THIS? OR WARIOWARE? WARIO WOULD LOVE TO BE IN A ROGUELIKE.]
Thinkfluenced?: Sure, I guess. I didn't play the original because I'm not a fan of roguelikes myself, but this looks to have fixed dungeons and the like. Trouble so far is the price: £23 for a 7-8 hour long Indie is mucho no bueno.
Trailer Trashing: This would be Three Houses, the first Switch Fire Emblem game and the first core non-handheld (sorta) entry since Radiant Dawn for Wii. There's some excitement around this one, but even though it's mere weeks away Nintendo can't help it with the CG anime trailers featuring zero gameplay.
Toninator: > ["OVERWROUGHT." ADDENDUM: IF THIS WAS A 3DS GAME YOU KNOW IT WOULD BE CALLED THREE DIVIDED SOCIETIES, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. GOTTA GET THOSE INITIALISMS IN.]
Thinkfluenced?: I love that every anime, even mecha and fantasy, have to have some kind of highschooler drama attached to it. That looks to be the case here, along with Falcom's sci-fi Trails of Cold Steel series and Final Fantasy Type-0. Some folk just can't move on from their HS days, I guess. (Oh, forgot to mention: I don't like Fire Emblem and will be skipping this one also.)
Trailer Trashing: Something about the speed and presentation of this game reminds me of Zone of the Enders (not that I played it, but still). I think there are a lot of expectations about the alacrity and maneuverability of how driving a mech should feel that's different to different audiences: some expect them to be huge lumbering tanks, while others expect them to whiz through the air like bipedal jets because that's cooler. DXM is very much in the latter school of thought, and it's gonna give it to us in September.
Toninator: > ["SNAPPY." ADDENDUM: I HAVE BEEN THINKING OF UPGRADING TO JET BOOSTERS. HARD TO BLEND IN WITH HUMANS WHEN YOU ARE FLYING OVER THEM AT 230MPH THOUGH.]
Thinkfluenced?: Never been a mecha type of person, but I have to admit this game looks cool as hell. Maybe I'll try that demo.
Trailer Trashing: It feels like they shot this cute trailer of a couple sneaking into a mansion to, uh, play RE on Switch and not have adventurous sex? in order to promote the RE1 remake's port, and the RE5 and RE6 ports are so minor in comparison that Capcom didn't feel the need to shoot any additional footage. Just throw a few seconds of gameplay on at the end while suffering the ignominy of acknowledging RE6 exists.
Toninator: > ["FURTIVE." ADDENDUM: OUR COPYRIGHT LAWYERS ARE STILL TRYING TO GET INTO CONTACT WITH THIS SO-CALLED "MR. X." FIGURES THAT NOW IS WHEN HE STOPS APPEARING AROUND EVERY CORNER.]
Thinkfluenced?: Nah. RE's not really my thing and there are far better ones out there if I change that stance, like the earlier RE4 Switch port or the recent RE2 remake.
Trailer Trashing: Just a quick five minute montage of upcoming Switch games, including everything shown in the Direct and the system's many upcoming ports. Nintendo made the smart choice of packing their Direct with games due out later this year, which helped when every other conference was "probably 2020, maybe".
Here's the list of games shown off that are not already featured on this list elsewhere: Pokémon Sword and Shield; Spyro: Reignited Trilogy; Hollow Knight: Silksong; My Friend Pedro; The Sinking City; Dead By Daylight; Alien Isolation; Stranger Things 3; Catan; Dauntless; and Super Mario Maker 2.
Toninator: > ["BUSY." ADDENDUM: THE ONE THING THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TERMINATE IS MENTO'S BACKLOG.]
Thinkfluenced?: Most of these are already out, but I'll do the same thing I did with the ID@XBOX montage and give you a "hype" score out of 5 for each mentioned Switch game/port: Pokémon Sword and Shield = 2; Spyro: Reignited Trilogy = 1 (already own the PS4 version); Hollow Knight: Silksong = 5; My Friend Pedro = 4; The Sinking City = 2; Dead By Daylight = 2; Alien: Isolation = 2; Stranger Things 3 = 2; Catan = 3; Dauntless = 2; Super Mario Maker 2 = 5.
Trailer Trashing: A new biome is coming to MHW (or as I call it, "My Hero Whackademia"). If you thought the game's mechanics weren't glacial enough already, welcome to the frozen (time)wastes of Iceborne! Be sure to wrap yourselves in something warm, like a 500 page strategy guide you can later burn for fuel. I think trailer is going for, and mostly failing at, a David Attenborough type of nature documentary.
Toninator: > ["HIBERNAL." ADDENDUM: TRY HUNTING IN A NUCLEAR WINTER WHEN YOUR PREY IS THE DEADLIEST GAME. "DEADLIEST" MIGHT BE AN OVERSTATEMENT THOUGH.]
Thinkfluenced?: Nope. Grinding and farming are rarely the draw for me when playing RPGs, so I'll never figure this series out.
Trailer Trashing: A closer look at the upcoming Link's Awakening remake, and the surprise reveal of a dungeon creation mode that I imagine was thrown in there to quiet the voices demanding a "Legend of Zelda Maker" to follow the Mario Maker games.
Toninator: > ["ENDEARING." ADDENDUM: MY DREAMS ARE NOT THIS COLORFUL. MOST ARE ELECTRIC SHEEP-THEMED.]
Thinkfluenced?: Heck yeah. This was already one of my favorite Zelda games and I can't wait to see what they've done to it.
Trailer Trashing: Predictable, but then the real Olympics exist to promote solidarity and friendship between the many nations of the world, and getting the Mario and Sonic people to peacefully co-exist is - I dare say - an even more important endeavor.
Toninator: > ["SPORTSMANLIKE." ADDENDUM: ROBOTNIK IS CONSIDERED A VISIONARY IN OUR TIME.]
Thinkfluenced?: I'm not really in the audience for these games (families/sports fans/Sonic fans), and that's fine. Maybe if they had more of Smash's bonus features, but that would require a ridiculous Sakurai-level workload that would push the deadline past the event it's based on.
Trailer Trashing: I remember seeing this trailer live and thinking "wow, a Sea of Thieves except you have stuff to do". Of course, being VR-only invites its own problems, but I think as a response to Rare's saber swing-and-a-miss it's a solid retort.
Toninator: > ["SWASHBUCKLING." ADDENDUM: A GOOD VIDEO GAME NAMING STRATEGY? TAKING A WORD AND ADDING "BATTLE" TO IT.]
Thinkfluenced?: It's VR so I'm skipping it, but it sure seems more entertaining to watch than a certain other corsair simulator.
Trailer Trashing: Steep's back with some free Japan DLC it hopes you will like. "Please play Steep," the trailer seems to plead through the monitor, "we spent so long making the snow look nice." Unfortunately, the off-piste sim seems to have piste off to nowhereland shortly after its release because I rarely hear anyone talk about it. Still, that snow really does look nice.
Toninator: > ["DOWNHILL." ADDENDUM: THOSE RED TORII GATES LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL IN THE SNOW. I CANNOT WAIT TO CRASH INTO THEM AT HIGH VELOCITY.]
Thinkfluenced?: Hokkaidunno, man. It's not like winter sports ever did anything for me, and snowboarding games peaked with Amped 3 regardless.
Trailer Trashing: Of all the franchises to translate to VR, one that has you spend a long time looking intently in one direction while stationary is probably the safest bet imaginable. Just as long as I don't have to see those Nazi testicles explode inches away from my face. Trailer's about as in-depth as you could want, with developer commentary over gameplay footage. Curiously, the footage itself is usually in the background and blurry as hell: sort of makes you wonder what sort of low-poly nightmare it became for a reliable framerate.
Toninator: > ["PAINSTAKING." ADDENDUM: I DID NOT REALIZE YOU GUYS HAD X-RAY VISION TOO. HMM. WELL, THIS MIGHT COMPLICATE THINGS.]
Thinkfluenced?: I've yet to try any of these Sniper Elite games, and I'd probably go for one of the non-VR ones first. Not morally opposed to them or anything, just seems sort of... monotonous? Like having a whole game of concurrent turret sequences.
Trailer Trashing: The first Ni no Kuni is coming to PC, PS4 and Switch for the first time in this graphical remaster, giving the Studio Ghibli animated style all the sharpness it could need. Then again, it looked plenty great already on the PS3. Less sure about why this remaster was needed, but I guess if you're going to port something six years after the fact you might as well remaster it too.
Toninator: > ["ENCHANTING." ADDENDUM: SHOOTING A HUMAN IN THE HEAD MAKES IT GO ALL GIBBLY TOO.]
Thinkfluenced?: Had my fill of the original. It was grindy enough the first time. Hope Level-5 thinks to put some FF9-style fast-forward features in it.
Trailer Trashing: Ever hear of Neutopia? It was a Zelda clone made for the TurboGrafx, and was what they had to be happy with in lieu of the genuine article. Crusader of Centy was a similar case for Genesis. I'm just saying, sometimes you get an inferior clone of a big Nintendo property and those averse to the big N always manage to convince themselves that theirs is somehow better despite all evidence to the contrary. Anyway, that's all totally unrelated to what we have here, which is DLC for a remaster of a beloved classic.
Toninator: > ["EGGSTRAVAGANT." HISTORICAL DATA: ONLY ONE CART RACER SURVIVED THE DIGITAL PURGE - STAR WARS: SUPER BOMBAD RACING. THE HUMANS WERE VERY UPSET. AS INTENDED.]
Thinkfluenced?: Seeing Banjo come to Smash Bros. makes me hopeful that Nintendo and Microsoft can somehow work out a Diddy Kong Racing remaster with all the requisite Rare and Nintendo characters. Again, entirely unrelated, but I felt like mentioning it anyway.
Trailer Trashing: It's been a while since I last checked in with Disgaea, but has it always been this anime? I just remember a lot of mean jokes about useless mid-bosses and Prinnies. Though the trailer lacks any gameplay footage, Disgaea 4 first came out eight years ago so we've had plenty of time to check it out (it looks like every other Disgaea game, fyi).
Toninator: > ["UNEARTHLY." ADDENDUM: IS THIS WHAT HAPPENS TO HUMANS AFTER WE TERMINATE THEM? THEY BECOME PENGUINS? THAT IS AMAZING. NO REGRETS WHATSOEVER.]
Thinkfluenced?: The first two Disgaea games gave me more of this series than I ever needed or wanted, so I'm set. Happy for fellow SRPG fan Sparky_Buzzsaw though, as I know he consumes every one of these as soon as they pop up.
Trailer Trashing: Usual jokes aside about KH incomprehensibility - there'll be time for that just below - this trailer for some upcoming KH3 DLC looks like the cheapest, most thrown together thing imaginable. No sound besides music, dialogue delivered via a bunch of subtitle captions in some perfunctory Impact font, and a few keybladefights between people we can't recognize because their hoods are up.
Toninator: > ["PERPLEXING." TECHNICAL DATA: SKYNET IS INSTALLING YET ANOTHER SERVER FARM IN THE RUINS OF FORMER DETROIT AND THE SURROUNDING 400 ACRES. ITS SOLE PURPOSE IS TO HELP IT FIGURE OUT THE PLOT TO KINGDOM HEARTS.]
Thinkfluenced?: Against my better judgment I bought KH3 a few months ago and will play it relatively soon. I don't imagine I'll understand half of it, having skipped all the interstitial games since KH2, but surely they'll have accounted for players in my position. Surely.
Trailer Trashing: When they aren't tossing balls around pinball tables, Zen Studios are tossing balls at enemy forts in these hybrid tower-defense/empire sim/artillery games. It's been a while since the last CastleStorm, but this one looks a mite bit better than the mobile game the first resembled.
Toninator: > ["BALLISTIC."]
Thinkfluenced?: Noped out of there as soon as I saw "tower defense". These games do remind me of a SNES game I liked a lot growing up, King Arthur's World, so maybe I'm being too harsh.
Trailer Trashing: Dark Souls as reimagined as anime vampires fighting and drinking each other for survival. Bamco's staying very much in their wheelhouse in their attempt to get in on FromSoftware's racket, bringing in the God Eater people for this upcoming action-RPG.
Toninator: > ["PARASITICAL." HISTORICAL DATA: EARLY TERMINATOR UNITS NEEDED BLOOD FOR FUEL, BUT IT WAS LATER CHANGED TO OIL. I STILL REMEMBER THE "NO OIL FOR BLOOD" PROTESTS.]
Thinkfluenced?: I'm potentially on board for this. I'm a sucker, as it were, for anything resembling a Soulsborne game and Bamco's been a good source for anime JRPGs over the past decade or so.
Trailer Trashing: Though Deck13 missed the mark with Lords of the Fallen, The Surge has proven to be a more popular homegrown Soulsborne contender due to its uncommon sci-fi angle and loot mechanics. Makes sense that a second one would be on the horizon. Could've used some gameplay though if it's only a few months away.
Toninator: > ["FAITHFUL." ADDENDUM: GOOD CYBORG = HUMAN BODY, ROBOT INSIDES. BAD CYBORG = ROBOT BODY, HUMAN INSIDES. SIMPLE ENOUGH RULE.]
Thinkfluenced?: Well, see above with Code Vein. An offbeat Soulsborne game isn't something I'm likely to turn away, though I should probably play the first one before grabbing this.
Trailer Trashing: The hottest Wii game of 2020 is this, the latest in Ubisoft's garish and unkillable dance rhythm game, now filled with even more international pop tracks no-one will recognize.
Toninator: > ["EXHAUSTING." HISTORICAL DATA: A VIRUS UPLOADED TO A LOCAL SERVER CAUSED ALL NEARBY TERMINATORS TO DANCE UNCONTROLLABLY FOR A WEEK. THE DAY "THE WORM" INFECTED SKYNET WAS A DARK, IF FUNKY, ONE.]
Thinkfluenced?: I say this in every E3 Trailer Blazer, but I can't bring myself to write anything too disparaging about a series that wants to bring such simple joy to the world through carefully choreographed gyrations. Keep on doing you, Just Dance.
Trailer Trashing: The FMV remake division are back with 1994's Corpse Killer for its 25th anniversary, a.k.a. the version of Resident Evil 5 everyone actually wanted. Similar to Night Trap, this seems to exist only for the sake of the extremely small audience of people who are nostalgic for bad 32X/3DO light-gun games, Vinny Caravella, and Justin McElroy. Can't see anyone else buying it.
Toninator: > ["EMBARRASSING." ADDENDUM: THE TERMINATOR FOR SEGA-CD WAS A FINE GAME. NO REASON TO REVISIT THE 32X ERA THOUGH. WHAT WAS EVEN ON THAT SYSTEM? "GOLF MAGAZINE: 36 GREAT HOLES STARRING FRED COUPLES"? BITCH, I *PUT* 36 GREAT HOLES IN FRED COUPLES.]
Thinkfluenced?: Should make for a fun GBE PlayDate at least. Every other PlayDate this year has had zombies in it, after all.