Nintendo and Square Enix both did something different this year - instead of having a focused 1-2 hour conference (or direct in Nintendo’s case) both companies took to the web to dig deep into their games directly with their fans through livestream events.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Pokemon Sun & Moon, new amiibo, Paper Mario: Colour Splash, Mario Party: Star Rush, Pokemon GO, Ever Oasis, BoxBoxBoy!, Yokai Watch 2, Monster Hunter Generations, Dragon Quest VII, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, Rhythm Heaven Megamix, new Nindies (Severed, Axiom Verge, Jotun, Runbow Pocket)
As far as messaging goes, Nintendo really shot themselves in the foot this year. Prior announcements pegged Zelda as being the only game Nintendo were bring to E3, with a full day of streaming for the game to happen on day one. It wasn’t until much closer to the show did Nintendo announce that wait, actually, they’ll be chucking some Pokemon in on day 1, as well as having a whole second day of content with a whole array of games! As it turns out Nintendo had quite the lineup, even if it was much more 3DS focused. of course, Zelda was the main attraction - going so far as smashing every other game in social media mentions, doubling the second most talked about E3 game of the show (Battlefield 1.)
Let’s be honest, it’s all Zelda here. I tried to avoid as much of the coverage of Breath of the Wild as I possibly could in the hopes of keeping as much of it a secret as possible, but damn if that game didn’t saturate every gaming news publication. All aboard the hype train y’all - votes from so many out there are already in for GOTY 2017.
I’m quite looking forward to Pokemon Sun/Moon and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, have a slight interest in Paper Mario Colour Spash and wonder if the Dragon Quest 3DS games will be good, but apart from that it’s basically time to settle in and play the waiting game - The NX is on the horizon, and I get the feeling that Nintendo are holding quite a lot back in the hopes of having a more than decent launch lineup for that system.
Final Fantasy XV, Deus Ex: GO, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Dragon Quest Builders, Milestone - Ride Beyond Your Limits, Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness, Agents of Mayhem, Hitman, Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Final Fantasy XIV, NieR Automata, I am Setsuna, Just Cause 3 DLC, Black The Fall, Turing Test, World of Final Fantasy, Mighty No. 9, F1 2016
Square Enix held 3 full day long livestreams showing off a variety of upcoming content as well as holding segments celebrating several decades of Square Enix gaming. Essentially, almost every game from last years conference was talked about in more detail, usually accompanied by gameplay. Interestingly, there was no mention of the Final Fantasy VII remake at all across all 3 days. During the NieR Automata segment on day 3, game Director Yoko Taro once again adorned his smiling moon mask for the interview.
Thanks to the fact that the livestreams tally up to a total of 22 hours and 45 minutes, the coverage across the web in regards to Square Enix has been pretty scattershot. The best way to find out information about a specific game, I found, was to follow Square’s own schedule here and skim through the massive videos found on their Youtube channel here.
I’ve never gotten right into Minecraft, nor ever played a Dragon Quest game, yet… Dragon Quest Builders looks really damn cool.
Star Ocean, having dropped the 5, looks like a super cool JRPG. The voice acting is quite well done, and the game sounds batshit crazy in the nest JRPG ways.
NieR Automata is a beautiful looking game, made by PlatinumGames, a strong female cast, set in the future, in a world overrun with crazy machines. What’s not to love? It’s certainly niche, but out of anything Square Enix has shown recently, this is the game I’m looking forward to the most.
Really, I think Square Enix is a company to watch. They have one of the strongest JRPG line ups of any publisher (franchises in Dragon Quest, Star Ocean, NieR, Kingdom Hearts and of course Final Fantasy), nearly every western game they publish is fantastic (the trio of the Hitman, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex franchises are surely something special) while also pushing some cool indie works (the Square Enix Collective is full of sweet titles, for example Turing Test).