Star Wars Celebration has officially begun! For everyone who is there at Chicago, I hope you enjoy it. The panels and the livestreams won’t start until tomorrow, giving the opportunity to look ahead to what is happening across the next four days.
And first off, I’ve confirmed how I’ll be covering it all. Each day will have its own post, talking about everything that happened on that day on the livestream. There’s been the main events already confirmed as appearing which will bring a good amount of talk, but extras such as other panels being shown and interviews with guests are sure to bring even more.
My mom’s a big fan of ELO. My dad’s a big fan of ELO. I’m a big fan of ELO, thanks to them and a film I’ll be talking about sometime soon. So when it came to Jeff Lynne starting touring again, I knew that soon would be the time. Soon I would be going to watch.
And Friday 12th October was that day. The tickets had been bought by my dad when the tour had first been announced this year, and I was looking forward to it.
Then comes a few days before the date we’d be going where the excitement builds, then the day itself. During the journey I was reading Star Wars Rogue Planet, and then we arrived and ate at Ed’s Easy Diner.
With E3 finished for another year, Microsoft won out. Nintendo had the bomb-shell of a new Super Smash Bros., but they failed to hold any interest after showing it off in the Direct for twenty-five minutes.
And that wasn’t helped at all by the fact across the three days of Treehouse they showcased it for more than four hours total – not including the Smash Bros. Invitational which would add more than two hours to that total. I wouldn’t have minded as much if there was a showcase of different modes.
Nintendo gave little within their Direct, but really? Smash Bros. Ultimate is pretty all that was needed. There was a recap of Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu / Eevee, with a reveal that the Pokéball Plus holds a Mew inside when you first buy it. A new mech game was shown off called Daemon x Machina, and DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 called Torna – The Golden Country was shown.
As for everything not Smash, Fire Emblem for Switch has been dated with a Spring 2019 release. It looks to be a larger upgrade in terms of visuals to the 3DS games, and the battles seem larger as well. It has the name of Three Houses, which seems to tie into the concept of the game.
Ubisoft delivered. There was enough here for me, and enough hype moments. As ever a live dance performance advertises Just Dance at the beginning. The Division 2 has raids and three DLCs that are free for everyone.
The VR game Transference was here, and For Honor was talked about for its new expansion and the fact they are allowing the PC version to go free until 18/June. Rainbow Six: Siege was also here but exclusively as eSport material. A documentary following eight players was shown off. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey had quite a bit of focus with some gameplay.
Microsoft hit it out of the conference centre and all the way to the UK. That is how you do a presentation. While they cheated a bit the same as last year – saying there would be a massive amount of games yet a number of them being in a highlight reel – it was definitely solid. A few of those games in the highlight reel were Outer Wilds, Wargroove, Below, Generation Zero, The Golf Club, and Afterparty.
And speaking of the parts that fell short – what was the point of saying there would be Battlefield V story content at this conference, EA, if it was just a trailer as long as the one you showcased at your own conference? You could find time to show gameplay footage of a mobile game but not fit an extra minute or two onto a trailer for one of your biggest games of the year?
EA felt like an unbalanced board, having good stuff to show but at the same time filling it with parts that weren’t needed. I’m not going into hating on the sports games, but with NBA and Madden, it felt like the only reason they were there was to show that they are there.
There isn’t a need to do that. We already know they are coming. At least with FIFA they had some actual news – the fact that the UEFA is now included in the roster of leagues available. Even the World Cup of FIFA 18 tied into that – having a free trial for people to play.
E3 is here again, and I'm ready for the surprises it will give. Quite a lot has leaked ahead of time this year, so whether there will be any left remains to be seen. However, I'm not talking about all of that here. As ever, this is what I want to be seeing throughout the event.
Nintendo, as ever, is where my focus lies. With Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo Switch being announced and mentioned as a focus, it’s possible this will be the last item of the presentation to segue into being the first item of the Treehouse streams.
Day one of those streams is sure to focus on a lot of the big stuff announced in the presentation, with the end being the Splatoon 2 finals and the Smash Invitational. The Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion will probably get a focus in the Treehouse too.
E3 finishes for another year, and it has honestly been a bit... bland. EA really want to push Star Wars Battlefront 2, such is the fact nearly everything else felt rushed.
As you probably saw with my post of EA’s conference, that footage of Battlefront 2 in action really had me impressed. It feels massively improved, in gameplay and mechanics, and if everything else looks as great as that did then… Consider it a vital purchase and a possible chance of beating Pandemic’s effort back in 2005.
I’ve said before, but Pandemic really set out to get the core mechanics down before expanding with new modes between their first and second games. EA threw a lot of things in, found what worked and improved on what didn’t, and are hopefully coming out with a better game. Time will tell.
Nintendo's short and sweet Splotlight paid off in a way. It still had talk involved, but with three days of Treehouse, they can afford it. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was shown off first, with a slightly more anime look than previous games.
This one doesn't have a date, and neither does a new Kirby Switch game which is coming in 2018. A previous Direct showed off three Kirby games for 3DS, so it's good to know one is coming to Switch. Pokken Tournament was talked about a bit, but the bigger news is that Game Freak are working on a main-line Switch game.
This wasn't revealed during the Pokémon Direct last week - which revealed Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon as well as Gold and Silver on the 3DS Virtual Console - which means they were saving it specifically for this point. Nothing can be shown, as it's probably only recently started development.