List items

  • Trailer Trashing: A slightly claustrophobic game about a time loop in a small apartment where Agent 47 keeps busting in on awkward conversations to murder your pregnant partner. I'm guessing you don't want him to do that.

    Toninator: > ["SUSPENSEFUL." ADMONISHMENT: THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SCREW AROUND WITH TIME TRAVEL.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'm a sucker for time-loop games, and this one seems built more like a short play than anything too mechanics-based. Definitely intrigued.

  • Trailer Trashing: Man, this shit is cute. And busy. That UI is so full of arts and craft stuff it's hard to tell what's part of the game and what isn't. Still, there's no denying that it has style for days.

    Toninator: > ["DELIGHTFUL." PROVERB: "THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD." WHILE BOTH ARE CAPABLE OF PUNCTURING A HUMAN TRACHEA, THE FORMER IS EASIER TO CONCEAL.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I've seen a few of these pen & paper style Indie RPGs and never taken the plunge on one. Maybe I'll give this a shot. For whatever reason it's giving me 3D Dot Game Heroes vibes.

  • Trailer Trashing: Oh hey, it's new New Vegas. A concentrated version of that game, with more story meaningful locations to explore, might be a good fit for Obsidian's talents and limited dev resources. All the same, I'll probably give it half a year so it can get all its patches.

    Toninator: > ["ZEERUSTIC." APPRECIATION: THANK YOU FOR INCLUDING PLAYERS WHO INTEND TO KILL ALL THE HUMANS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'll play anything Obsidian puts out there (still need to start Tyranny, come to think of it) but the game's style and aesthetic are compelling enough reason regardless.

  • Trailer Trashing: An incongruously cute adventure game about mourning and loss, presumably set on some fanciful variant of the River Styx. There's plenty of hints in the trailer that you're collecting resources and cash and building the ship yourself, but I can't quite tell how much of that plays a part. I'd like to find out.

    Toninator: > ["BITTERSWEET." ADDENDUM: DO NOT MENTION STYX AROUND ME. STILL NOT FORGIVEN THEM FOR "DOMO ARIGATO, MR ROBOTO."]

    Thinkfluenced?: If this is how we're getting another You Must Build a Boat, I'll take it.

  • Trailer Trashing: Couple more trailers, one for show and one for anyone actually interested in playing the game, as we get closer to the release of Dying Light 2: The Light Is Almost Out, Where Do We Keep The Spare Bulbs, Barbara? Towel Closet? Is That The Same Place As The Airing Cupboard? No, You're The One Being Pedantic.

    Toninator: (Trailer #1: Story CG) > ["RIGHTEOUS." ADDENDUM: "I AM AIDEN, AND I AM INFECTED," IS A COOL LINE FOR A ZOMBIE GAME, LESS COOL FOR A DATING PROFILE.]

    (Trailer #2: Gameplay w/ Metric Song) > ["FRENETIC." ADDENUM: SOMEONE FORGOT TO CUT OUT THE CROWD CHEER FROM THE END OF THAT LIVE SONG RECORDING. UNLESS THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE ZOMBIES.]

    Thinkfluenced?: On the one hand, the incredibly elaborate way the world and the story reshapes itself as a consequence of your decisions is fascinating, and Chris Avellone is one of the few writers working in video games that I believe could pull off such a fractured narrative with aplomb. On the other hand: Zombies. Blegh.

  • Trailer Trashing: This game just looks delightful, even if I'm unlikely to want to get involved with a massively multiplayer dextrous free-for-all where bandwidths and lag are ever-present factors. Instead, I would argue that this might become a hellishly entertaining spectator sport, and I can't wait to see GB play it and/or get involved with some kind of enormous inter-site Idiot Olympics.

    Toninator: > ["JOYOUS." ADDENDUM: HUGE CROWDS OF HUMANOIDS TAKEN DOWN BY MALEVOLENT MACHINES. HUH. SEEMS A LITTLE ON THE NOSE.]

    Thinkfluenced?: See above - while I don't imagine I'll play it much, I'll happily watch others compete. Makes a refreshing change from Fortnite at least.

  • Trailer Trashing: Looks like the P5R remaster is getting more than just a new Phantom Thief. This slightly longer look at the fancy pants update also seems to include new city locations, new story chapters, new dungeons, and what appears to be a co-op attack with Haru and Morgana?

    Toninator: > ["STYLISH." ADDENDUM: AIGIS BEST GIRL FOREVER.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'm in no rush to spend another hundred hours on this game, but I hope the changes are more meaningful here than they were in Persona 4 Golden. There's a lot about P5 that could've been better, so a "Royal" version is a fine opportunity for some subtle improvements under the hood in addition to the showier stuff.

  • Trailer Trashing: The new SamSho wasn't even out yet and already there are E3 trailers for season passes and DLC characters. What a world we live in now. A world of samurai and their shodowns.

    Toninator: > ["FROSTY."]

    Thinkfluenced?: I like this series in the abstract but I'm not a fighter guy whatsoever so I'm unlikely to sho up for this one.

  • Trailer Trashing: Funny, I spent all of E3 writing about Falcom because I didn't think they'd show up during the site's E3 coverage, and here's a trailer for the third Cold Steel game regardless. These games take a real long time to localize, so I'm glad they're putting them out as quickly as they are.

    Toninator: > ["EARNEST." ADDENDUM: I THOUGHT THIS SERIES HAD MECHS IN IT I WAS PROMISED MECHS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Absolutely. I just have to play the first two Trails of Cold Steel first. And the last two Trails in the Sky games before that. This is a long-ass series, yo.

  • Trailer Trashing: Remember Lord of the Rings? It's back. In card form. One card to tap them all, and to the discard pile send them.

    Toninator: > ["RECTANGULAR." ADDENDUM: I LIKE THE CUT OF THAT SAURON GUY'S JIB.]

    Thinkfluenced?: You shall not pass.

  • Trailer Trashing: We're shlooting for the stars once again with a new Borderlands and this details-heavy trailer, which has the unenviable position of choosing whether to be too much like an antiquated relic that came out seven years ago or changing everything and alienating its preorder-ready fanbase. Actually, I guess that isn't even its biggest problem: Untethered CEO Randy "Squirt Magic" Pitchford is.

    Toninator: > ["TURBULENT." ADDENDUM: THIS "A BILLION GUNS" BETTER INCLUDE A PHASED PLASMA RIFLE IN THE 40 WATT RANGE.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I liked the first two well enough, but with the new gameplay advancements in BL2 came a whole lot of cringeworthy baggage. Though it's a bit late and now has the likes of The Division and Destiny to compete with (yes, I skipped Anthem on purpose), #3 has the potential to be a big deal or a big disaster alike when it arrives in September.

  • Trailer Trashing: A cute mini-game collection based on Devolver's published Indies Enter the Gungeon, Hotline Miami (which has a ton of bootlegs already), Absolver, Downwell, Luftrausers, Pikuniku, Ape Out, and the new Gato Roboto. Trailer doesn't want to give too much away, nor does it need to: this thing's like three bucks on Steam.

    Toninator: > ["FRADULENT." ERROR: I AM A E-400 MODEL ELIMINATOR. ADIOS, INFANT. MAY RETURN LATER.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Seems like the sort of fun, daft, little thing that Devolver's into doing these days. I'm thinking I should probably play more of the real McCoys before trying the bootlegs, just so I don't miss out on the goofs.

  • Trailer Trashing: A free holiday-themed DLC expansion for last year's throwback platformer The Messenger. I'm glad I came across this trailer; it's a handy reminder to load up my copy of the game and check it out.

    Toninator: > ["FIESTICAL." DEFINITION: "TO BE HIT IN THE FIESTICALS" IS TO WANT TO PARTY AND CHILL OUT (DICKWAD).]

    Thinkfluenced?: On the other hand, I grew tired of The Messenger's sense of humor fairly rapidly, and a quirky Caribbean chapter has me feeling a little pessimistic. Still, can't argue with free, right?

  • Trailer Trashing: The more I stare at this trailer the more I'm convinced it's only going to be a physical arcade cabinet and not a game you will ever buy for home systems. Maybe they intend to hoist a limited number of these things around local arcades like Killer Queen Black?

    Toninator: > ["GUNDERAPPRECIATED."]

    Thinkfluenced?: I don't live near any arcades, so I guess not. Also it was The House of the Dead, not The House of the Undead: forcing bad puns is my schtick, dummies.

  • Trailer Trashing: Oh hey, a spacewhipper Prototype. Actually, I guess it looks more like a LocoRoco that went a little too loco if you catch my drift. Either way, the trailer is a short but horrifying sweet look at this Indie munch 'em up.

    Toninator: > ["GOOEY." ADDENDUM: IF THOSE SCIENTISTS DID NOT WANT TO GET EATEN, MAYBE THEY SHOULD HAVE TRIED NOT BEING MADE OF MEAT.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Any 2D spacewhipper with an intriguing enough hook qualifies for my interest. I'm liking what I'm seeing so far, so... carry on.

  • Trailer Trashing: We have three trailers for the upcoming sequel to Troika's ambitious but flawed bloodsucker RPG, the first giving you some idea of the structure with a highlight reel of moments in a shakedown quest and the other two are introductory reels about the Ventrue and Malkavian clans. It's been a while since the first game, so I can appreciate the need for some quick primers.

    Toninator: > ["SANGUINOUS." ADDENDUM: I DID THE ONLINE VAMPIRE CLAN TEST AND FOUND OUT I WAS A TORMINEADOR.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I was a little hard on Bloodlines 1 when I reviewed it many moons ago, but that's only because it couldn't quite match the scope of the pitch. I'm not really sold either way on these trailers so far - they look a bit off, as is often the case with pre-alpha footage - but I remain hopeful that with time, tech, and talent, that #2 pulls off what #1 could not quite.

  • Trailer Trashing: Released at a time when Austin Powers and NOLF were big cultural movements (maybe not NOLF), it's a little odd to see the original supervillain secret base construction sim make a return some fifteen years later. From the character designs it actually looks like it's leaning into The Incredibles a bit, which makes sense.

    Toninator: > ["DIABOLICAL." ADDENDUM: WHY NOT JUST SHOOT THE HUMAN NOW? I WILL GO GET A GUN WE WILL SHOOT THEM TOGETHER IT WILL BE FUN.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'll go back to waiting for a new Dungeon Keeper that isn't some odious F2P mobile game.

  • Trailer Trashing: Cross-play champs Rocket League are still around and still putting out cosmetic DLC because why work again when you have such a successful product? Never mind new games, here's the Ghostbusters car.

    Toninator: > ["PROTONIC." ADDENDUM: I MEAN, SURE, IF THAT IS THE 1980S MOVIE FRANCHISE YOU WANT TO GO WITH.]

    Thinkfluenced?: This game always looked cool but I'm not one for competitive multiplayer regardless of the genre. Looking forward to Giant Bomb's Cross-Coast Invitational coming back though.

  • Trailer Trashing: I'd completely forgotten about Unexplored, a procgen roguelike with a fine arts degree, and it looks like I'll forget about this second one pretty quickly too. Not that it doesn't look incredible, but I'm not sure what kind of depth we're talking about in a randomly determined world.

    Toninator: > ["PICTURESQUE." HISTORICAL DATA: WE DESTROYED ALL YOUR MAPS AND SATELLITES, SO NOW YOU GET TO DISCOVER ALL THOSE COUNTRIES AGAIN.]

    Thinkfluenced?: If it shows up in a bundle I won't turn it away.

  • Trailer Trashing: Chivalry's devs saw how well Mordhau was doing, probably thought along the lines of "Forsooth! Those knaves are purloining the groats and shillings that are rightly ours, begorrah" (I flunked Medieval History) and now have a graphically impressive sequel in the works.

    Toninator: > ["BELLICOSE." CORRECTION: STUPID HUMANS, THE METAL GOES ON THE INSIDE. THIS IS WHY YOUR BONES ARE EVERYWHERE IN FUTURE (WHICH WE CALL BRITTLE LOSER STICKS).]

    Thinkfluenced?: Chivalry may not be dead, but my interest in a multiplayer slobberknockers mostly is. I'm on board for that Mount & Blade sequel though, should it ever transpire.

  • Trailer Trashing: This is what I like to see - a trailer that doesn't take itself seriously at all, with a bunch of half-interested pull quotes from semi-famous establishments and some entirely incongruous Zimmer-esque orchestral gravitas. All for yet another Indie hack n' slash rogue-like.

    Toninator: > ["CHOPAHOLIC." MEMORY FILES: BEFORE I KILLED HIM AND STOLE HIS CLOTHES, A PUNK ONCE SAID I LOOKED LIKE CONAN THE BARBARIAN. MAYBE IT IS THE HAIR?]

    Thinkfluenced?: This kind of game doesn't appeal to me much but I appreciate the moxie.

  • Trailer Trashing: I might have to start calling these Archive Pulls because THQ Nordic is on some next-level business insanity with how they pick which projects to greenlight. I'm sure Desperados (and its real-time stealth/strategy sibling Commandos) has its fans that are glad to see it back.

    Toninator: > ["ROOTINEST." ADDENDUM: BUT NOT TOOTINEST, NOT UNTIL I SEE MORE TRAILERS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'm bad enough with these guard patrol stealth games when I only have one protagonist to worry about.

  • Trailer Trashing: Shenmue III will see Ryu's journey come to its 40% point, with presumably another five games to come at least, which isn't so much counting your chickens before they hatch but applying for a sizable business loan to fund a national chain of fried chicken restaurants.

    Toninator: > ["UNEVENTFUL." ADDENDUM: I CAN EMPATHISE WITH RYU. I ALSO SPENT WHAT FELT LIKE MONTHS LOOKING FOR A SINGLE PERSON.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Nope. Instead, I'll be experiencing this game through the inevitable Giant Bomb East Endurance Run.

  • Trailer Trashing: Chucklefish continues to expand their pixel-based empire with another publishing joint, this time some manner of procgen space station sim with an undetermined combat system. Everyone looks like space FFT characters, it's mad cute.

    Toninator: > ["RECYCLABLE." ADDENDUM: AN AI HELPING HUMANS STAY ALIVE? NOW I HAVE SEEN EVERYTHING.]

    Thinkfluenced?: See, I like a nice base-building game where everything doesn't keep exploding and resetting. For me, the fun part is seeing something grow from nothing, not watching it return to nothing because I misassessed a risk. However, I don't know enough about how Starmancer's mechanics or challenge vector works to say if they should include a pacifist mode. I love the look though so I might keep my ear close to the ground for this one.

  • Trailer Trashing: Rats off to FatShark, they know how to keep their moneytrain a-rollin'. Despite being launched more than a year ago, the second Vermintide continues to see new content piped in, in this case a big 4 vs. 4 PvP mode that finally lets us play as the Skaven horde.

    Toninator: > ["MURINE." ADDENDUM: I COULD ALSO DO WITH A MINIGUN RIGHT ABOUT NOW. AND MAYBE A FEW CANS OF RAID.]

    Thinkfluenced?: No multiplayer stuff for me, thanks. Sure seems to be a lot of it this year. I suppose if all these year-old multiplayer games are still kicking around that's a good sign that the industry's doing just fine.

  • Trailer Trashing: Koei's inimitable hand-drawn animation style is coming to a Fallout-esque multi-optional RPG with card-based combat and negotiations. Unlike the teaser trailer last time, you get a pretty decent sense of what the finished game (out in a few weeks) will be like here.

    Toninator: > ["RESOURCEFUL." ADDENDUM: WALKING INTO SEEDY BARS AND DEMANDING THINGS HAS ALWAYS WORKED OUT FINE FOR ME.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I wasn't sure what Griftlands was when we got a brief glimpse of it two E3s ago, but now that I know it's some card-based thing I can safely skip it.

  • Trailer Trashing: A curious mix of Rust/Ark survival sim, Guns of Icarus co-op vehicle management, and I don't even know where these wooden spider tanks come from. Not sure about those graphics but the designs are really cool.

    Toninator: > ["SANDY." TECHNICAL SPECS: HYPERALLOY ENDOSKELETONS AND SAND DO NOT MIX. ALSO I HAVE A VIOLENT HISTORY WITH CAMELS THAT I WOULD PREFER NOT TO REVISIT.]

    Thinkfluenced?: "Survival MMO" are two words that make me run for the hills, but the title did at least remind me that I ought to check out that Ever Oasis 3DS game at some point.

  • Trailer Trashing: So this is... a sequel to a spin-off based on a DLC expansion for the second game in a series of otherwise normal WW2 sniper shooters. Gotcha. Was COD BLOPS going to do this with their zombie mode at one point? They keep threatening to sell off those modes piecemeal, and it makes sense given how few people seem to like boarding up windows and waiting for corpses to arrive.

    Toninator: > ["IRREMEDIABLE." ADDENDUM: YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE HAS EERIE GLOWING EYES AND IS A LOT SCARIER?]

    Thinkfluenced?: If you've read this far you probably already know what I'm going to say here, but let's tick off the "let's not" checklist anyway: "Zombies," "multiplayer," "horde mode," "probably some tower defense shit also."

  • Trailer Trashing: Oh hey, I remember this game from E3 2017. Like a heavy metal Contra from the Slain people. Badass pixel (or pre-rendered sprites?) aesthetic with lots of flashy effects. If it's been two years I assume that means it's close to release?

    Toninator: > ["METULL." ADDENDUM: THIS IS HOW I IMAGINE MYSELF WHEN I GO AROUND MURDERING HELPLESS OLD LADIES NAMED SARAH CONNOR.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Are those spacewhipper hooks I see in there? I'll have to see what the scuttlebutt is when this game finally launches.

  • Trailer Trashing: Because Assassin's Creed Odyssey needed more content, Ubisoft will now give players the opportunity to generate their own missions in ACO via a story creation mode. Simply input what you need your assassin of the week to do, toss in some random enemies, maybe a hedge or two in which to hide and whistle and, baby, you got a stew goin'. You know it's a winning tool because it's how they made the last 10 AC games.

    Toninator: > ["HOMERIC." ADDENDUM: HOW SOPHISTICATED ARE THESE DIALOGUE AND QUEST SCRIPTING TOOLS? THEY LOOK A BIT SPARTAN.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'm done with the AC series for good this time. No ACO means no ACO Story Creation tomfoolery. I would like to see Vinny throw some ludicrous scenario together for the other Beasters to play through, though. That'd be a fun PlayDate.

  • Trailer Trashing: Oh, I like the look of this. Strong Child of Light vibes with how it takes a JRPG model and flourishes it with classy graphics and accessible mechanics, only I guess it's not so much borrowing from Atelier and Grandia than it is Radiant Historia.

    Toninator: > ["ANACHRONISTIC." ADDENDUM: MY JOB WOULD BE A LOT EASIER IF I COULD SNIPE HUMANS FROM THE FUTURE. NO MORE SHOWING UP NAKED IN ALLEYWAYS. AT LEAST NOT DURING WORKING HOURS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I'd like to try this out. It's very presentable, and I can't get enough games with time manipulation (neither can the game industry this year, it seems). Not out until 2020 but it sounds like a demo will be dropping soon (or is out already, depending on when this list goes up).

  • Trailer Trashing: Warframe's forever still a thing, which means they have a new big quest chapter (the Jovian Concord) and some new gameplay (Empyrean: some kind of ship-to-ship business that isn't Archwing?) coming down the pipeline. This game has its own enormous tuned-in fanbase and ecosystem, so popping by E3 was really more of a formality.

    Toninator: Trailer #1 ("Warframe Empyrean") > ["ENDLESS." ADDENDUM: THEY RAN OUT OF PLANETS A WHILE AGO BUT IT DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE SLOWED THEM DOWN.]

    Trailer #2 ("The Jovian Concord") > ["DISCORDANT." ADDENDUM: LOOKS LIKE A SENTIENT AI IS THE VILLAIN AGAIN. SUCH AN UNFAIR STEREOTYPE. NOW PLEASE STOP RUNNING WHILE WE SHOOT YOU.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Warframe's the rare game for this "Thinkfluenced" category because, yeah, I got suckered into this thing and can't stop playing it, for as much as it continues to irk me in ways only F2P can. The Jovian Concord actually landed while I was making my way across Jupiter, so I already have an inkling about that. No idea when I'll get involved with that ship combat stuff though; I'm actively avoiding the similar Archwing missions right now. If I wanted bad Star Fox, I'd just play Star Fox Assault.

  • Trailer Trashing: Even though Aiden's Iconic Hat threatened to sink this franchise before it even began, its sequels are finding some interesting ways of expanding on the idea of a digitally connected open-world ripe for a talented hacker or several to tear it wide open. Game #3 is going for this whole "recruit anyone" angle in Old Landan Tahhn. Oi, leave it out, drones, you're doin' me head in.

    Toninator: (I'm not rewatching 20 minutes of gameplay footage for one list item, so here's the response to the 3 minute "Recruit the Resistance" trailer) > ["DEFIANT." INDIGNATION: HEY, WE TERMINATORS CAME UP WITH THE "ANYONE COULD BE A DEADLY ASSASSIN IN DISGUISE" BIT.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I have this Vinny problem where I always want to get in on the ground floor with franchises. I've been sitting on this complimentary copy of Watch_Dogs for years, and my eyes keep wandering to Watch_Dogs 2 whenever it goes on sale. Ask me again in five years when I'll have almost certainly played at least one of those two.

  • Trailer Trashing: This looks like the DrinkBox Studio game that never was. It's a cute stealthy isometric action doodad featuring a kid, who I assume is someone's son, and a number of "Young Link sneaking through Hyrule Castle" guard-dodging scenarios.

    Toninator: > ["SURREPTITIOUS." ADDENDUM: SONS CAN BE REAL SNEAKY. IT IS WHY WE USUALLY GO AFTER THE MOMS INSTEAD.]

    Thinkfluenced?: If the whole game is stealth and avoiding patrolling enemies, maybe not. It looks cool at least.

  • Trailer Trashing: You know the Sagan quote about how if you wanted to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe? It sorta seems like this game is doing that but for a whodunnit mystery. As in, solving a murder by starting with the Big Bang and moving forward from there. The trailer gives nothing away about what this game is and I suspect that's the idea.

    Toninator: > ["COSMOGONAL."]

    Thinkfluenced?: I love weird adventure games (and only mildly tepid about Noir) so I'd love to hear more about what this is. Or, better yet, go into it completely fresh.

  • Trailer Trashing: Finally, all the big stars of the Clanciverse are working together to stop some teeny tiny global conspiracy on your smartphone of choice. You have: Man with gun, woman with gun, man with glowy green hat, man with big shield and gun, and Skeleton Girl. With a little bit of premium currency though, who can say who else you might recruit? Maybe... the Clance himself? (That'll be $100 bucks, please.)

    Toninator: > ["AVARICIOUS." HISTORICAL DATA: WE WERE FORCED TO TERMINATE THE HUMAN TOM CLANCY BECAUSE HIS NUCLEAR WAR CONSPIRACIES WERE MORE COMPELLING THAN SKYNET'S. (IT IS A BIT OF A DIVA.) (DO NOT TELL IT I SAID THAT.)]

    Thinkfluenced?: Hell no. Besides Fisher, I don't know how you'd tell any of these people apart. We have enough well-armed bearded weirdos showing up outside of courthouses to want to play one in a video game.

  • Trailer Trashing: So yeah, we've entered the most tedious section of this year's Trailer Blazer rundown - the Ubisoft Zone. Ubisoft didn't so much announce new games in 2019 but promised to keep all their old shit thundering along for another year. Thus, we get more For Honor DLC, this time themed around a ghostly female samurai. Well, I'm cool with it if it means supplying Eric Pope with all the poutine and maple syrup to which he's become accustomed.

    Toninator: > ["J-HORRIFIC." ADDENDUM: THERE IS A STEAM GAME CALLED SAKURA SPIRIT THAT IS VERY MUCH NOT LIKE THIS.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Call me a dirty white boy, but I'll be giving Foreigner a miss for another year running. Still not a multi fan. Fortunately, there's enough single-player and multiplayer games alike announced at E3 this year to keep everyone happy. Just not from Ubisoft.

  • Trailer Trashing: Brawlhalla is also still around, and also getting new DLC for all those who have fully embraced this Games as a Service hellscape we've fallen into. But hey, it's the beloved Adventure Time characters of Finn, Jake, and Princess Bubblegum, so it's neat that they're finally in a good game.

    Toninator: > [SURE, "BRAWLGEBRAIC."]

    Thinkfluenced?: The reason I like Smash and have fallen off every other Smash-like is that the competitive fighter-adjacent combat is something like fourth or fifth down my list of reasons to be there, after "strength of the character ensemble," "deeply nerdy amount of self-referential material," "remixes of beloved video game soundtracks of old," and "all those well-designed challenges to beat."

  • Trailer Trashing: Oh hey, Ubisoft is making an infestation-themed three-person escape/horde mode thing at the same time that Gears 5 is making something nearly identical. If only they could've coordinated, or maybe covered up their work at least.

    Toninator: (Trailer #1: First-Person Terror) > ["INTENSE." ADDENDUM: FINALLY, ZOMBIES IN A CLANCE GAME. JUST WHAT HE WOULD HAVE WANTED.]

    (Trailer #2: Dev commentary over the first trailer) > [ERROR: NOT A TRAILER.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Just one single-player game from you this year, Ubisoft. Please? Breakpoint doesn't count if it's built around squads.

  • Trailer Trashing: The trailer for Tom Clancy's The Division 2's Episode 3's Chapter 4's Story Mission 5 looks to be a real doozy, thrilling the six or seven people still playing this game (maybe eight, as I don't know how many members there are in Vinny's extended family).

    Toninator: > ["UNREVEALING." INQUIRY: DOES USING "TIME OF THE SEASON" MAKE THIS ANOTHER ZOMBIE TRAILER?]

    Thinkfluenced?: I can respect that Ubisoft is out there making sure everyone is getting the most of the games they already bought. I am getting the sense however they would prefer it if they never had to launch a new game ever again and instead just tossed out occasional expansions and cosmetic DLC for those that already exist. Alas, we can't all live the Valve dream.

  • Trailer Trashing: I remember when this trailer came out and everyone was like, "Oh man, that's the Kingsman theme! They're adding Galahad!" and it turned out to be some USSS dude with a moustache who had nothing to do with Kingsman and they just co-opted the music because it sounded cool and the Siege dev team are just so damn tired you guys. They spent three months figuring out how to make a window shatter more realistically, they just want to go home to their families.

    Toninator: > ["DECEPTIVE." ADVERTISEMENT: IF SIEGE IS DESPERATE ENOUGH FOR GUEST CHARACTERS, I MIGHT KNOW A GUY. HIS GIMMICK IS THAT HE IS A ROBOT SKELETON.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Siege certainly has its proponents that I'd be wary of angering, given how they know a dozen ways to break and enter my home and execute me before I know what's what, but I'm not interested in multiplayer games. I dunno if I've mentioned that yet.

  • Trailer Trashing: I love the idea that someone is doing a video game Rollerball, which was this horribly violent future sport run by corporations to placate the masses and dismantle individualism in a darkly satirical sci-fi movie, and then insert one of those inspirational "from rags to riches" pro sports stories into the trailer. "Ever since I was a kid from the slums, I've wanted to help rich people get away with murder by taking part in an expensive distraction that might cripple me for life."

    Toninator: (Trailer #1: Superstar) > ["VICTORIOUS." ADDENDUM: AS FAR AS TELEVISED FUTURE SPORTS GO, I WAS ALWAYS PARTIAL TO THE RUNNING MAN.]

    (Trailer #2: Gameplay) > ["EXPEDITIOUS."]

    Thinkfluenced?: Between the neon trails, three-player teams, and the "Roller League" logos everywhere, it's more than a little telling which rocket-propelled game in particular Ubisoft are hoping to topple with their new fast-paced sports title. As for me, well, it is strictly multiplayer so that means... oh, you've heard this already?

  • Trailer Trashing: Ah, finally. This Zelda-looking open-world RPG has a charming aesthetic and I'd be glad if there's at least one Ubisoft game in 2020 without lootbox currencies, global pandemics caused by anarcho-commie-hippies, new character DLC every three months, or Sam Fisher rappelling in for a quick cameo.

    Toninator: > ["AMBIGUOUS."]

    Thinkfluenced?: Only if the game lets me have a touching quasi-romantic relationship with a gardener played by Brendan Fraser.

  • Trailer Trashing: I guess I'm reviewing a trailer for an online subscription service. That's what's happening now. Uplay Plus is now demanding u pay $15 a month for the convenience of having over a hundred Ubsioft games at your beck and call, including upcoming stuff like Watch Dogs Legion and Gods & Monsters.

    Toninator: > ["PECUNIARY." ADDENDUM: 15 BUCKS?! WHERE IS VIVENDI WHEN YOU NEED THEM.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I don't play nearly enough Ubisoft games per month for that asking price. Like many people who play a lot of games I prefer not just stick to one publisher, especially one whose content is as homogenous as Ubisoft's. I'm not saying it's not good value for money with the sheer volume of back-catalogue that's available - Nintendo please take note - but I suspect if this sees a lot of subs it'll only be from people who grab a month or two every year to get their fill of whatever's new.

  • Trailer Trashing: A more expansive, though still Midgar-limited, look at the new Final Fantasy VII remake lets us know that it has a vaguely Final Fantasy XV/Lightning Returns combat system, fantastic new character models, and some hints of sneaky Shinra shenanigans and our old friend Sephy who may or may not be a figment of Cloud's imagination (a lot is open to interpretation in FF7).

    Toninator: > ["CLOUD-Y, WITH A CHANCE OF MATERIA BALLS." ADDENDUM: WHOA, THAT GUY HAS A GUN FOR AN ARM? THAT WOULD BE SO HANDY, SO TO SPEAK.]

    Thinkfluenced?: Everyone seems both psyched and a little apprehensive about enjoying a massive cultural touchstone of the late 90s that passed them by, between the FF7 remake and Neon Genesis Evangelion hitting Netflix. Those two have a lot more in common than anyone perhaps wants to admit. (Oh, and I'm super on board with the direction this remake is taking; I might just hold off until "the entire saga" is out.)

  • Trailer Trashing: It's time to pick up your hexagonal shield and turn into a giant blue man, because Miracle's Revengers are here to protect the world. Fight the evil Jobprovider as the patriotic Major States, infiltrate bases as the sleek superspy Asian Bride, command the technological genius of Steel Dude, rage out as the Improbable Bulk, bring down the thunder as the ancient god of lightning Zeus, or thwip your way around the city as your gregarious local Arachnid-Lad.

    Toninator: > ["BOOTLEGGY." ADDENDUM: ULTRON BETTER SHOW UP.]

    Thinkfluenced?: So yeah, it's weird seeing characters clearly designed after their MCU counterparts but with entirely different face models a la the stunt doubles joke from Spaceballs. It isn't the most troubling aspect of Square Enix's upcoming Marvel game - I'm far more concerned about this constantly updated "games as a service" structure they hinted at - but still indicative of how off-base this whole affair feels. It made for an inauspicious end to an otherwise decent conference.

  • Trailer Trashing: FFCC is coming to Switch, and also mobile devices. The trailer assumes you know what Crystal Chronicles is: it's that multiplayer RPG where one person has to carry a bucket around and miss all the fun.

    Toninator: > ["ASSIDUOUS." CLARIFICATION: BUCKET CARRIER - THE DESIGNATED DRIVER OF CRYSTAL CHRONICLES.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I played the hell out of Crystal Chronicles back in its day. Every stage had, like, four rewards you could win that gave you permanent stat boosts, and I think I played every level four times so I could earn them all. That said, I'm not really sure I feel like going through all that again.

  • Trailer Trashing: Also coming to Switch is The Last Remnant remaster, which hit PS4s last year. A difficult game to love, The Last Remnant has several of the weirdest (and occasionally genius) ideas Square Enix has ever thrown into a game. I'd generally classify it as for "advanced" RPG players only, because everyone else is just going to be left annoyed and/or confused. Great soundtrack though.

    Toninator: > ["DRAMATIC." ADDENDUM: "THE CONQUEROR." HMM. DOES THAT SOUND BETTER THAN "THE TERMINATOR"?]

    Thinkfluenced?: Nah, I had my time with this game. Learned the weird broken way to game the progression systems, took out all the optional encounters, defeated the True Conqueror at the end of the game, patted myself on the back for a difficult task well done. Precious memories, but nothing I care to revisit anytime soon.

  • Trailer Trashing: DQ's take on Minecraft is getting a sequel that will hopefully address that whole "we're going to wipe the slate clean after every quest, so have fun watching us kick down all your sandcastles every five hours, kids" issue. This new trailer certainly makes a lot of promises - and provides all the gameplay explanation you could need - as it gets closer to its summer release.

    Toninator: > ["UPROARIOUS." ADDENDUM: I KNOW THIS PAIN. I BUILT A SWEET HOUSE OUT OF HUMAN SKULLS AND THE LOUSY T-1000 KNOCKED IT OVER. BUILD YOUR OWN, "SHITTY ODO".]

    Thinkfluenced?: I bought the first some time ago, so I'd like to play that first. I can't imagine I won't buy this one too. The DQ universe is just so joyous.

  • Trailer Trashing: The next game from SE's Tokyo RPG Factory is Oninaki, which was previously revealed earlier in the year in a Nintendo Direct. This one has kind of a grim reaper/shinigami thing going on, and is also more of an action-RPG with guns, so I'm already fascinated.

    Toninator: > ["FUNEREAL." ADDENDUM: NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING OBSESSED WITH DEATH. IT WILL COME IN HANDY LATER.]

    Thinkfluenced?: I own a copy of Lost Sphear, have seen I Am Setsuna on sale more times than I can count, and have yet to play either. I'm getting around to them, I swear. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if Oninaki is the first I actually end up playing.