For all good things must come the crap.
As I said yesterday, this 2015’s E3 was one of its better years in quite a while, but it was not perfect. Apart some of the flecks of nonsense like pre-order bonus, console-exclusive content, microtransaction-laden mobile nonsense, there were some things going on that made me feel sad/mad/confused/nervous/nearly put me in a coma.
We are here to… honor… the “top” 5 of those Not-So-Favorite moments. Let’s begin:
- Shenmue 3 on Kickstarter
Okay, full disclosure: I’ve never played Shenmue. I knew of it, but just never played it. The reason it’s on my list is because of the announcement at an otherwise fantastic Sony conference that Shenmue 3 would be on Kickstarter. I have discussed before that I am very skeptical when it comes to large, well-known companies turning to Kickstarter for their projects. And now Sony announces such a project at the arguably largest video game stage of the year? That is an incredibly sketchy move and what makes me concerned is that this will encourage more financially capable companies turning to Kickstarter to minimize their own risks while asking customers to pay for a promise.
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
Yeah, this’ll get me flayed a bit but this announcement left me cold. Apart from my own opinion that Final Fantasy VII is an overrated game (think it’s good, if some shoddily crafted parts this did not age well), there was a point that was made by garme journalizt Jim Sterling that I really agreed with when this was announced that a lot of Square Enix fans tend to forget: This is not the Square Enix of the mid-late nineties that is doing this remake, it’s the Square Enix of 2015. It’s the company that honestly thought that Final Fantasy XIII wasn’t a nonsensically scripted, poorly structured, 20-hour corridor slog of a game with a protagonist nearly devoid of personality but they keep insisting is this wonderful addition to the franchise. The company that was shocked when Bravely Default was profitable when such games used to be its bread and butter. The company that… oh trust me… we’ll get back to Square Enix in a bit.
- The End of the Kojima Era
As I discussed in my Top 10 Favorite Things at E3, the last Kojima-created Metal Gear Solid trailer was so gloriously Kojima, but there was also a sombreness in it. It’s really the end of a great era and, just going by that trailer, you can see that this breakup between Konami and Kojima will not be a pretty one. And while I can’t wait to see what the mad bastard will do once he’s in the indie world, I will lament what will happen to the Metal Gear franchise post-Kojima, most likely to be farmed out to other developers ala Silent Hill.
- GOD DAMN SPORTS!
Electronic Arts. Arts. Arts.
Look, I’m not a sport guy and I’m especially not a sport video game guy. However, I do understand there’s a market for it. That’s fine and I’m grateful for that. But come on, EA! I feel like 80% of your show was displaying that you have iron clad contracts with some pretty damn sketchy groups like the NFL and FIFA. And I’m not lying when I say that they brought Pelé, who’s apparently a highly regarded soccer player, onto the stage and, I once have to clarify that I’m not lying, the EA E3 2015 Conference turned into the soccer-version of Inside the Actor’s Studio for what felt like three eternities! Look, if you’re going to have this much on sports, please do a separate conference for it. This was going to be the most painful experience of the convention until I was proven severely wrong with:
- Square Enix Managed to Make Every One of Their Games Look Boring
Where do I begin? Oh, wait, I know! How about with this!:
Now this…happened. This happened after they announced that they’re doing a sequel to NieR to be released in some theoretical future time. This, creepy, bizarre, dead looking mask on the head of the Creative Director for this game. Take a good, long, hard look at that abomination to man and god, because it was the least-boring thing to happen in this whole conference.
There was so. much. talking. There was so much talking about things that most customers don’t care about. There was so much talking done by people that didn’t seem to want to be at the conference. And then when we actually got gameplay (what little there was), it voiced over by bored narrators telling us what we were already seeing. And then there was no talking when their should’ve been: one time when a japanese executive was on stage talking, they forgot to cue in the translator! At least I assume they forgot and that the translator hadn’t slipped into a coma.
Even when they finally released gameplay footage of Kingdom Hearts III, which seemed to be the only thing up to that point to get a decent applause, it was only after trolling fans with a bit on a new Kingdom Hearts mobile game, because that’s what this overly bloated and convoluted franchise needed and more talk on stuff no one cares about! Combine that with the multiple times they used montages of their games to pad out the conference time, this felt like a conference that they had to do, not that they wanted to do.
EA’s conference was a slog to get through, but I got through that one. This one, I stopped. I stopped before they got to the game I actually wanted to see, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, out of fear that they would some how drain all the anticipation and excitement out like the dullest vampire ever.
All in all, Square Enix, either up your game and excitement or don’t come to the show.