I’m usually the one who writes about Sony’s E3 keynote presentation each and every year but them not attending, I moved over to Nintendo as it is the next big show next to Microsoft’s. I am writing this just a scant few minutes after Nintendo’s show and I went away impressed with what I saw.
Although it was just only 40-minutes long, Nintendo managed to squeeze in a lot of games. In retrospect, they were mostly just trailers but they were really well made trailers that featured little bits of gameplay to entice viewers like myself to get hyped for them. I’ve never played a lick of Luigi’s Mansion but the third game looks rather cool. No More Heroes III looked super slick. I can’t help but notice a lack of really landmark games. No announcement for a new Metroid. The new Animal Crossing has been delayed, which is disappointing since I want to play it because it’s cute! I also appreciate the troll move of first showing the Duck Hunt animals before revealing Banjo Kazooie becoming part of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate cast. Oh, and that stinger saying that they’re making a sequel to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a fantastic way to get me excited!
It was a good show but I also watched all of the other E3 presentations and, overall, I will say it’s the second best show this year. The overall winner, in my opinion, would be Square Enix. They pulled off a great show this year by focusing on the two games we gamers everyone wanted to see them show.
But I do notice something that does link both Square Enix and Nintendo: they’re both Japanese gaming companies. I guess you can consider Sony to be one as well but they’re more of a global company these days as they have their
tentacles fingers in every country nowadays. So if and when they “win” E3, I never really feel like “Japan” wins E3. Still, it feels strange to me that Square and Nintendo would be the ones that had the best presentations this year as, to be frank, they haven’t really been all that great at E3 for the past several years.
I didn’t expect all that much from Nintendo this year, especially after mainstays like Regie Fil-Ames leaving the company and Satoru Iwata’s unfortunate passing. I also didn’t care for Nintendo just focusing on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate last year. It left a bad taste in my mouth since the other games never got enough time to shine.
This is Square Enix’s sophomore year back at E3 and, well, I honestly was thinking they would blow it this year because of how bad their freshman year’s showing was at 2018! That show was poorly executed and they strangely followed Nintendo’s process of using pre-taped segments. Too bad they just didn’t know how to do it with the class and fun nature of Nintendo’s E3 shows!
That was last year, though. This year, they went all out. They ditched the video package and went with the more traditional E3 show. They got a stage and everything but still nothing really fancy. But that’s not why Square Enix hit it out of the park this year. They knew what fans wanted to see and they delivered big time!
Of course, the game that was on my mind was Final Fantasy VII Remake. They didn’t show us anything last year and it would be a crime if they did the same thing this year. Thankfully, Square Enix gave us a whole lot of Final Fantasy VII Remake at E3! They didn’t just show us a trailer of the game. No, they showed us a lot more! They featured cutscenes, gameplay mechanics and a full-length boss fight! They even showed Aerith and Tifa in action! Best of all, they dropped an concrete release date of March of next year! And they did all of this to start off the show! Brilliant move as they could’ve shown us a bunch of crap and we’d all still be riding the wave of adrenaline to not notice!
I was pleasantly surprised that Final Fantasy VIII is finally getting some love! I know that VII gets the most love as it was the groundbreaking experience that convinced millions of Western gamers that JRPGs are fantastic and VIII felt tame by comparison. But I do have more nostalgic feelings for Final Fantasy VIII. There was something about the entire experience of watching my brother play it all those years ago. I just loved the character designs and the rendered cutscenes, while they look incredibly dated by today’s standards, were some of the best looking computer generated movies of the time! Just remembering the ballroom scene where Rinoa drags Squall to the dance floor puts a slight smile on my face. So I’m incredibly glad they’re remastering it and I’ll actually get to play it this time around!
On the other side of the spectrum was their upcoming Avengers game. I was on the Twitch chat and there were some people more excited for the Avengers than the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Not sure if these people were trolls or whatnot but I do know there are some gamers who want to see Square Enix’s take of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. They did feature a lot of stuff but, honestly, it looked unfinished to me. I don’t mind that they didn’t look like the characters from the movie (though this is a strange strategy to pull since this is how mainstream audiences would expect them to look like). I mean, Black Widow looks like Maria Hill from the movies! But the facial animations look stiff! I guess they’re going to put a lot more spit and polish on it by May of next year to make everything look great.
Overall, Japan did good this E3. At least they fared much better than their American counterparts in actually giving the crowd what they wanted. Even if, technically, they didn’t show all that much but they were much better in showing off the good stuff while covering up the bad.
Who do you think had the best show this year at E3? Let me know in the comments section below!