Surviving E3 2017

Explosions. Flashing lights. Terry Crews. 

Walking through the South Hall doors was a mixture of surreal and pure adrenaline. Activision on my left and Microsoft on my right. 

And of course, Terry Crews on the big screen shouting BOOM in his Crackdown 3 spot. 

Loud, overwhelming and incredible

Aside from the masses of industry members and fans, the entire spectacle of E3 is stupidly incredible. 

I expected to be blinded and deafened by loudspeakers blaring trailers and projected logos and lasers darting around the show floor. I expected the lines and the waiting and the buffet of games to choose from. 

But I underestimated the scope. The sheer magnitude of scale these booths take up. Microsoft had rows and rows of 4K tvs showcasing dozens of titles that were showcased in the lead up. Activision had a giant theater surrounded by pods featuring their tentpoles Destiny and Call of Duty. 

Bethesda built a diner for Wolfenstein. Sega created a small alley based on Yakuza 6’s Kamurocho. Warner Bros. brought a dragon for Shadow of War. Capcom not only brought a dragon (a Rathlos) for Mondter Hunter they brought Ultron for Marvel vs Capcom. 

And then there was Nintendo. Nintendo had a reputation for having some of the most involved booths at the show. But they went out and created Super Mario Odyssey’s New Donk City. If the rest of E3 is super-sized, Nintendo brought along a few Mega Mushrooms. 

Blink and you’ll miss it

Take notes. Written, recorded, mental. There is a ton of stuff to note about a demo’s experience from technical execution to whether or not a game brings something new to the table.

It’s important to temper expectations when going through a demo. These are, after all, vertical slices for products that are months away from final build. 

Keep your head on a swivel

There are a ton of demos out there, most of them for the biggest of games. But there are also a lot of smaller demos to be had peppered across the floor in both their own and the mega booths. 

Companies are also peppering crowds with promotional gifts. This practice seems to be staggered to allow for product to last throughout the show rather than give it all away during the first rush. The most common question between attendees has been, “Hey, where’d you get that?”

Have fun

They are video games, after all. 

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It all starts here

E3.

This is, effectively, the Mecca of gaming events. 

And I’m here. 

Through a little bit of stubbornness and a whole lot of coercing my partner in crime, I have found my way to what might be the piece de resistance of my gaming coverage career. 

Except it won’t be. 

Microsoft’s teraflop pushing powerhouse the Xbox One X is here. As will Sony touting their 60 million PS4s sold to date. Nintendo won’t quit with their surprisingly robust Switch. And that’s just the major players. 

As always we will heed the Call of Duty, experience all the Final of Fantasies, let our lightsabers do the talking on the Battlefront and witness the Gran Forza of racing. 

E3 might be shifting with the times, especially selling public badges. But this is certainly not the prophetic doom that some may feel is coming. 

It all starts here. In more ways than one. 

Three Games that Definied My PlayStation Experience

In addition to the limited edition console, Sony has several prominent figures in game development sharing their memories of the original Playstation over on the official Playstation Blog. From President of Sony’s World Wide Studios Shuhei Yoshida (who chose games he explicitly worked on)¬†and Sony Computer Entertainment of America President Shawn Layden to reknowned third party developers Tim Schafer and Keiji Inafune, there are a ton of high profile memories and even better games being recalled.

So without further ado, I’d like to point out three first generation Playstation games that really defined my experience with that platform, so many years ago.

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid

There’s not a lot that can’t be said about MGS. It does everything so right. It uses every feature of the console, every little feature of the then brand new DualShock and even found ways to break the wall several times. There was smoke on Snake’s cigarette, individually marked boxes to hide in, a fly by wire rocket launcher and “Whose footsteps are these!?” To this day, I find the ability to run around in the snow in the game’s second screen, is mind blowing. Not only were your imprints left in that fresh powder, but the Genome soldiers would notice the tracks and become noticeably upset. One of the few games whose technical prowess is matched by its gameplay.

Bushido Blade 2

Bushido Blade 2

Many would choose the first Bushido Blade, but I have a particular soft spot for Bushido Blade 2. The environments are a little bigger and the weapon choices a little more varied but it still retains the strict rules from the first game. One killing blow equals match over. In my head, the pixelated polygons will always be stylized samurai clashing swords until one player leaves an opening large enough for an advantageous strike. Square Enix, if you’re listening, this franchise would still make for a fantastic modern reboot.

Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy VIII

I typically get a lot of flak for this, but Final Fantasy VIII is still my favorite mainline Final Fantasy. Sure, Final Fantasy VII marked the turning point of modern 3D JRPGs, but it is Final Fantasy VIII’s fated love story between Squall and Rinoa that really captivated me back in 1999. From the spectacular characters, to the stylized ATB battle system and a more mature design aesthetic that I maintain looks better than FF7’s, to the sweeping score opened by the legendary Liberi Fatali. Final Fantasy VIII was no where near perfect, but I fell in love with that game and all of its quirks. Besides, you get to pilot a school.

The PlayStation was a legendary console that gave origin to many of today’s most long running franchises. From Gran Turismo to Parappa the Rapper, Crash Bandicoot to Resident Evil, there is a ton of history on that gray box.

PlayStation.Blog – PlayStation Turns 20: Our All-Time Favorite PSone Games