The Week of E3
This week has been awesome, I didn't get to watch any of the press conferences live but I've gotten to spend half of each day wandering around the show floor, while the other half was spent handing out T-shirts. I've gotten to see some pretty cool stuff.
Road Not Taken
There's a game coming out on PS4/PS Vita and PC/Mac called Road Not Taken. It's a puzzle/story game with the idea stemming from Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". By taking the less used path, you end up in a town where a bunch of kid's have gotten lost in the woods. Your job is to go out and save each kid by "throwing" them to a mother. I only got to play a little bit of the demo, but it seems as if there are up to 14 different years that you can spend in this town. Each progressive year gets you more things unlocked such as a house of your own. The year progresses in one of two ways, you either save all of the missing children or you save half of them and then return to town. I had a lot of fun with this game and can't wait for it to release later this year.
Choice Chamber is another Indie game that I had the pleasure of playing. It's an action platformer where each level is procedurally generated. The game is meant to be played while streaming through Twitch, and has some features that are reminiscent of Twitch Plays Pokemon. As soon as you start the game up your viewers have the chance to start voting on different things. Each voting has a set amount of time and changes everything from the weapon you're using, to the size of the room, to the types of enemies you'll encounter next. After the voting period ends for a vote the game will change when you enter the next room. However, before you enter another room with monsters, you enter a room that tells you what the viewers decided. You could definitely tell that the game wasn't completed yet when playing, but it was definitely loads of fun and something that I can't wait to see more of.
On the second day I had much more time to walk around. Because of this I got a chance to go wander around the other hall where the Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft booths are.
Borderlands the Pre-Sequel
I was really excited to get to see this one as the Borderlands games are currently one of my favorite series. The two playable characters were Athena the Gladiator and Wilhelm the Enforcer. I played as Athena but didn't use her main skill enough to really understand it. Other than the differences in the character classes, the biggest difference is in the fact that it takes place on the moon. Being able to jump high isn't the only new thing though, when you're in the air you can do a ground pound, or you can use some of your oxygen supply to jump even higher. You have to make sure to resupply your oxygen in either safe atmospheric locations or from special pumps. I think it will make for a really interesting game.
Super Smash Bros. 3DS
When playing the new Super Smash Bros. game, they had you going through one of the time trial type levels. You had a certain amount of time to get all of the chests and get to the end of the level. At least that's what it looked like I was supposed to be doing. I played as Zelda. From what I could tell most of the moves seemed to be the same, although I couldn't change into Sheik, which was very saddening. The control scheme was a little bit weird at first, but the more you play the more you get used to it. All in all it seemed to be a very good game.
Hyrule Warriors is pretty much exactly what I expected. It's plays mostly like a Dynasty Warriors game but with boss encounters like Legend of Zelda games. Even though they've announced four characters that will be playable they only had Zelda and Link at E3. I played as Zelda which was a ton of fun. She was using a rapier, but she has a couple of different special attacks that used a bow. The level that they had ended with a fight with the King Dodongo, who could for once be damaged by some attacks besides just bombs to the mouth, however bombs were the most effective way to kill him. Definitely can't wait to see the final product, thankfully September is only a couple of months away.
Little Big Planet 3
While playing Little Big Planet 3 I ended up playing as Toggle, one of the three new characters. He has two different states of being, one where he is extremely large and heavy, or small and light weight. Not only does this make it so you can use springs extremely effectively, but your different weights also effect the way you interact with water. I was really hoping to play as Oddsock, the sock dog whom I think is the cutest one, but I'll just have to wait for its release in November to do so.
Entwined is a game that was announced and released at Sony's press conference. I was really glad that I got to play it before buying it, because even though it is a really cool and fun to play game it's not something that can keep my attention for very long. You play as a dragon and a fish, and just like in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, you use each control stick to control one dragon. You then have to dance around each half of the circle to collect the correct colored item to bring the two characters together. As cool as the different effects and the controls were, it didn't have any sort of a scoring system and it didn't really have any sort of story even though I was playing a mode called story mode. If it pops up as free on PlayStation Plus I'd be willing to spend more time on it, but I definitely don't plan on spending any money on this one.
Don't Starve Vita
Don't Starve for the Vita is a pretty straight forward port of the game. One thing that it does have over the PS4 version is that it includes the Reign of Giants DLC pack. It was great fun to spend a little bit of time getting my face wrecked by too many spiders though.
Story of Seasons
I had never even heard of this game until I was walking around. And I sort of wish I still hadn't heard of it. It is a Harvest Moon clone through and through. And the demo only let you play a single day of in game time so you couldn't even try to compare it and see if it will be a good clone or not. Although I'm not entirely sure you can have a good clone.
On the last day I only played a couple of games because I was physically and mentally exhausted, but over all it was an extremely awesome experience.
Gauntlet is being remade for the PC and is coming out later this year. I never got to play too much of the original version, but I loved Gauntlet Legends, so I had to give this a try. It's awesome. It feels very much like Gauntlet legends except things are a bit more restricted. The only reason I say that is because there are only four character classes and each class can only be played by a single player at a time. Also the colors are set by your class type. They did a really good job of making each of the different classes feel very different. The Wizard has three different basic element attacks that you can combine to make lots of different attacks, while the Valkyrie is extremely good at defending the team. I definitely can't wait to get a copy of this, as it has both couch co-op and online multi-player, and being able to play a game like this with my brother and cousin while we're all in different parts of the country is going to be great.
I'm not really a big fan of the Alien movies, they're good movies just not exactly my cup of tea. But close to the end of the show I was wandering around and there were only a couple of people in line to play Aliens Isolation so I decided to give it a go. This game is most definitely a survival horror game. The demo took place in a very dark ship of some kind and you had to find your way out without getting killed by the aliens. The only weapon you had was a flame thrower, but it honestly did more harm than good. If you weren't close enough to the alien when you fired it it would just blind you long enough for the alien to move out of your view point. Instead of using guns to survive, there were different points throughout the level where you could hide until the alien passed by you or moved away again. And thanks to the darkness of the level, it is pretty scary when one decides to pop out of seemingly nowhere into your face. I more than likely won't be picking this game up, but anyone who is a fan of survival horror should definitely keep this in there sights.
After It Was All Over
I got extremely lucky and was invited by my boss to attend the Shadow of Mordor team dinner after the show ended on Thursday. The entire team from Monolith was able to come down for E3 so I got to meet a lot of different parts of the development team. They were such a great bunch of guys and I'm extremely greatful for getting to spend that time talking about video games and game development.