games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 E3 Announcements – Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Tetris Effect, More

June 19, 2018 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! I had a column last week schedule about RPG tropes but I wanted to delay it, especially since Sony’s conference was going on the time I would have posted it and it would have been lost in the din of all the trailers/news from the show. So, with E3 over with I wanted to do a bit of a wrap up article. Going back to my predictions category, I had most of the basic ones down but they weren’t too far out. The only ones I missed was the Crackdown 3 one, no N64 Classic (yet) and The Division 2 looks exactly the same as the first one. Ah well. Let’s begin:

#8: Doom Eternal

This was probably pretty obvious but is still a nice surprise from the Bethesda press conference. At least a surprise not in the form of Andrew W. K. I didn’t much like the 2016 Doom reboot, but I respected the hell out of it. I think for me, I was just unaccustomed to how fast it played, which turned me off. Still, I dug the story and the look of the game. Plus, I like how they were just sucking out Hell energy to use it to power Earth technology. Yeah, nothing bad can happen from that. Doom 2 should be a fun romp, on a Hell-covered Earth, one I hope I can get into a bit more.

#7: Star Fox/Starlink

I’m pretty iffy on this one, just because the idea of bolting a ship onto your controller and (seemingly) playing it that way is idiotic. Still, the game might be cool? I have no idea if the game will be good or not, I’m getting some serious No Man’s Sky vibes off it, but one can always hope. What might be cool is if Ubisoft did the same for Microsoft and Sony, maybe have a Covenant ship for the MS version, and some ship from Killzone or something for the Sony one. Frankly, I’m just happy that Nintendo remembered Star Fox at all, since the last good Star Fox game was in 1997, or the 2011 3DS remake of it.

#6: Jump Force

This is probably the most divisive pick on this list but not for the reason you may be thinking. Throwing together Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and Naruto, among other possible franchises, sounds like a great idea. Who wouldn’t want to see Goku vs. Monkey D. Luffy, or Naruto vs. Vegeta? The fantasy matchups you could do sounds amazing. So…what’s the problem? Well, it’s going to be a 3D brawler. Now, I can’t speak for Naruto (much) or One Piece (at all) but anytime Dragon Ball Z went into the 3D realm, it sucked hard. There’s a reason the fighting game community has fallen so in love with Dragon Ball FighterZ, because it’s a 2D fighting game, even if it is technically using a 3D game engine. The problem with 3D fighters, specifically DBZ ones is, targeting can get confused/annoying, it’s no fun to fly around trying to hunt for someone, and the camera is almost universally terrible. I saw a preview and they referred to it as playing like Tenkaichi. Really? That’s the aim of the game? I want this to be awesome, but I seriously doubt it’s going to pass muster.

#5: Microsoft Buys Stuff

So Microsoft went on a spending spree this year and snatched up four game studios: Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, Compulsion Games, and Playground Games. They also announced the founding of a new first party studio named “The Initiative”, which I doubt is related to the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer group. Honestly, I thought Undead Labs and Playground Games were already a part of Microsoft, so that didn’t impact much. Compulsion is interesting, since most people didn’t seem to like We Happy Few much, in its original version at least. Also, Gearbox is still publishing that game, so I’m curious if it makes to the Playstation 4, like originally planned, or not. Finally there is Ninja Theory, which is the big surprise. They’ve made some great games and it’s a blow that their games will be Xbox exclusive going forward. This isn’t the most earth-shattering announcement but it does show that Microsoft is trying to make a comeback for the Xbox One.

#4: Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Well, we got a release date, which is cool. The more interesting thing is the roster which is going to have every character from past Smash Bros games in it. You want Cloud again? He’s there. Bayonetta? There as well. They even got Konami to give up Solid Snake again, which is probably a small miracle. I honestly think the roster is too bloated at this point, but Nintendo doesn’t seem to care much. Frankly, I wish they could dump some of the Fire Emblem guys and get more third party characters in it like Crash Bandicoot, Knuckles, Bub or Bob (Bubble Bobble), or use Conker since Rare/Microsoft isn’t doing anything with it anymore. It should be a fun game when it comes out this year.

#3: The Tetris Effect

This was announced a few days before E3 and I am still pumped for it. Combining Tetris with Mizuguchi is something I can get completely on board with. For me personally, this was my game of the show. When I first saw the trailer I literally should “SPACE WHALE!” about a minute and 30 seconds into the trailer. This game is combining two things I love: Tetris and the look and sound of a Mizuguchi game. Puyo Puyo Tetris is an amazing game but it might have some serious competition with The Tetris Effect.

#2: Cyberpunk 2077

Everyone who has seen the demo raves about it. Unfortunently, I haven’t seen it, and the demo was behind closed doors so I don’t think there is any good footage of it out there. Even with that said, the trailer they did show looked great, and was people I think were wanting from the two recently released Deus Ex games. I don’t have much to say on this one, since there is still scan information out there but I got a feeling that it could be a huge game when it finally comes out.

#1: Resident Evil 2

Oh man, this game looks great. Using the Resident Evil 7 engine, it looks moody and atmosphere in a way that the original game never could even attempt to do. The gameplay honestly looks a lot like Resident Evil 4, specifically the over the shoulder camera angle and the gunplay but that’s all fine to me. The game looks really dark, which I kind of hope isn’t going to be the entire asthetic. I know they’re going for spooky but if there’s an objective to turn on the power, that’d be nice. I thought this game was still years out, so hearing that it’ll be out in January is kind of a treat. This and Cyberpunk was probably most people’s games of the show.

For comments, list which E3 news/announcements you liked and why.

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Top 8 RPG Clichés

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The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison