Yesterday we talked about some of the things we saw at E3. Games from both eastern and western developers of titles ranging from lower to higher lily ranks. Blockbuster franchises were expanded and new AAA titles were unveiled, and though we suspect none of these games will be the kind of full-bloom lilies we could dream of, they are exceptional titles. And, as any good journalistic and geeky site should, we have or picks for Best of E3.
Best in Show: Fallout 4
This probably won’t come as a huge, galloping shock to anyone who followed E3 so we’re just going to address this from the top. Fallout 4 comes out November 10th of this year and looks already like the front runner for Game of the Year. Not only is this the follow-up to wildly successful titles like Fallout 3 and the lily of the wastes New Vegas but it’s from the developers of Skyrim. And, for the first time, Fallout 4 will bring mods to PS4 and XBox One, providing the full ‘living game’ experience Skyrim has enjoyed, and promising that the online community will make the game so much more lilyrific than it ships as. Add to that the fact that this Fallout lets you build your own entire towns and the idea of decorating your estates in Skyrim looks trivial. And, of course, Fallout 4 is set in Boston. Not only is Massachusetts known as the first real home of gay marriage in the US, but it’s lily history dates back to Boston Marriages in the 19th Century.
Best Trailer: Final Fantasy VII
Who are we to disagree with GameTrailers.com who gave the Final Fantasy VII trailer their only ever perfect ten score? And their rationale was solid. No other trailer can get away with hyping up an audience with credits, but FF7 could. It did. It was a trailer entirely built on you knowing the title, And where they could’ve been celebratory as this is the most requested game from Square probably ever, they didn’t. That might’ve alienated those worried about a remake’s ability to capture the magic of the original. Instead, the not-George Clooney voice over says “The reunion at hand may bring joy, it may bring fear, but let us embrace whatever it brings. For they are coming back. At last, the promise has been made.” This does two things. First, it invites everyone to set aside their thoughts on if it can be done right and just be in awe that we all get to share in this moment together. Second, it makes it clear that a promise is made here, and that if Square fails to deliver, they’ll be accountable for that. Add to it that we only get glimpses, clues, to spark our nostalgia… it’s honestly a masterpiece.
Best New IP: Horizon: Zero Dawn
It was really close between this and Recore, but the edge goes to Horizon, mostly because we got to see enough to understand Horizon better. Set in post-post apocolyptia, the game features a female protagonist in a world of small bands of humans and giant robot dinosaurs. I don’t know why there are robot dinosaurs, but I’m so happy there are. The gameplay features our character taking these bots on with her bow and tech arrows for their components, but the trailer also alludes to venturing to the ruins of our world, the old world, and dealing with other tribes. It looks like a fantastic concept and a fun ride.
Best for XBox: Recore
Plus I was giving Recore this. With a lot of focus spent on XBox and Windows 10 cross-comparability, the biggest reason to buy an XBox given by this E3 is a girl and her cute robot dog. The problems are that it isn’t entirely clear how this game will play or even what it really is, but it appears to be about taking toe ‘soul’ of a machine and putting it in another machine, using this mecha-reincarnation to protect your protagonist and fight alongside her. Though, the fact that the world works this way makes me wonder a lot of things, like why she was afraid of letting her puppy attack in the trailer if it could be just reinstalled in another robot. Maybe it’s painful? Who knows! That’s why we need to play it, I guess.
Best for PlayStation: The Last Guardian
This one was a tough call. From Shenmue to Kingdom Hearts the PlayStation is seeing a lot of franchises take the next leap forward on the PS4, and a lot of them were much-anticipated. But it really is hard to match the kind of sheer joy that fans of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus have hearing the game a lot of them had given up on is real. The Last Guardian is the long-awaited third installment in the Ico franchise and combines Ico’s sense of companionship with the sense of scale that was present in Colossus. And I kind of want one of those giant dog bird things. Or twelve.
Best for Wii: Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem
This one was harder to decide, mostly because I felt like it really should’ve been Mario Maker or Star Fox, but I just can’t get over how much excitement I have for SMT x FE. It seems so ridiculous, so fluff and so nonsensical, but damn do I want to play it. It combines two massively loved franchises in a really odd but very beautiful game that seems to be about, uh, idols? Which is weird even given everything else. But still, damn do I want to play it! And it also represents that most elusive of creature, the third-party Nintendo game. That’s also really exciting to see in an age where Nintendo seems to be retreating more and more to the point that people have stopped calling it a “major platform”.
Best for PC: EVE: Valkyrie
I’m always sad when things called “Valkyrie” aren’t about lesbians. That’s what I get for being a Mai HiME fangirl. But EVE: Valkyrie is actually a companion game to EVE Online, which hit mainstream news with The Battle of B-R5RB last year. Valkyrie puts players in a Valkyrie fighter in the EVE universe. The innovation? Valkyrie is developed natively for VR, meaning that it is the first truly Oculus Rift-empowered experience. You look around inside the fighter and see through its windows at the battle outside. This isn’t a tech demo or a game with VR added on top, this is the fully-VR game that aims to really sell the Oculus.
Best Press Conference: Sony
Although Yoko Taro made Square’s conference delightfully weird with his Nier cosplay, Sony had the best conference if for no other reason than they were all about wish fulfillment. The pacing could’ve used some help but the fact that they had just so much fantastic news for so many long-awaited projects wins it for them hands down. And that’s not to mention Uncharted 4, a litany of cute and weird titles and a whole lot of energy one presenter had about Disney. Seriously, that guy needed to cut down the coffee.
Cutest Damn Thing: Unravel
Watch the announcement of Unravel. You’ll understand why. The game symbolizes the string that binds us all together, or perhaps the Red String of Fate prominent in eastern mythology. Yarny is the hero of his puzzle platformer, traveling his world in order to bind together the memories and experiences of someone’s life. There are some cool gameplay mechanics and the game is very visually arresting but the most pressing question I had all E3 was when can I get my own Yarny? Why does the PlayStation Store not have an army of these little guys for sale? How long will it take for that to happen, since Yarny is the break-out star of all our hearts this E3?
Most Lily: Mass Effect: Andromeda
BioWare has probably the best track record of Western RPG lily romances from Dragon Age and Mass Effect, their powerhouse franchises, and back to Knights of the Old Republic. The latest Mass Effect is still a long way out, but it does have a name now. Mass Effect: Andromeda. The trailer had a very space western feel, making me hope for a world rich with Firefly references, but the important thing is that this game is far enough in the future of ME3 that few if any of the original cast could possibly return. Only EDI and possibly Liara are long-lived enough to make appearances in this next installment. That means all new romances!