Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the start of the 2014 World Cup, getting into a car accident on the way to The Vape Summit, or said accident crushing your coverage plans, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
Now that we’ve all had a few days to absorb the multimedia assault that was E3 2014, let’s talk about the show! I was working for two outlets during E3 2014, so my schedule was all over the place. I did see a lot of great games, but it’s likely that you guys and gals were exposed to more from reading various articles and watching different videos. The thing that surprised me the most about E3 2014 was that there were a lot of mainstream games that excited me. For the last couple of years, independent games like Journey, Sound Shapes, and The Unfinished Swan were my big favorites. While I certainly enjoyed several indie games at E3 2014, there were a lot of mainstream games I had a blast with too. Here are some random thoughts on the show.
Nintendo Ruled — The Nintendo booth is usually the happiest place at any E3, but this year it was my happy place. I absolutely loved Yoshi’s Wooly World, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, and Super Smash Bros. 4. Although I kept calling it Zelda Samurai Warriors, I had more fun than I expected to with Hyrule Warriors. Kicking ass with Zelda was extremely satisfying. I knew nothing about Splatoon going into E3 2014, but it was great fun as well. At the end of the day, Yoshi’s Wooly World was my favorite game of E3 2014.
Nintendo’s E3 2014 lineup was so well received that many people said things to me like, “I’m totally getting a Wii U now!” and, “Sweet! I’m really looking forward to dusting off my Wii U!”
On a side note, I pitched a high-ranking Nintendo of America exec on using Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” to market Yoshi’s Wooly World. Can’t you hear the commercial?!? “Oh baby baby, it’s a Wooly World.” That totally works…in my head, anyway.
Because I’m Batman: Rocksteady Studios’ first couple of Arkham games took Batman (and really, all superhero games) to new heights. I have a strong feeling that Batman: Arkham Knight will be the best yet. The demo had several elements from the previous games that I loved, plus some all-new Batmobile gameplay. The Batmobile stuff was so much fun that I can see myself enjoying that aspect of the game for hours and being completely satisfied. While I was disappointed that Batman: Arkham Knight got pushed to 2015, the E3 2014 demo showed a game that’s absolutely worth waiting for.
Indie Love: Naturally, there were several indie games that I ended up loving. Some pals from Sony instructed me to play Hohokum and I’m so glad that they did. This exploration/puzzle game is so aurally and visually pleasing that it’s easy to forget about the game’s goals while you’re soaking up the lovely sights and sounds. The game’s soundtrack is by Ghostly International and features several tracks by Tycho. Hohokum just made me happy every time I played it and the same thing happened to everyone that I dragged over to spend time with the game. This was probably my second-favorite game of E3 2014, so thanks Nate and Zach for making me check it out!
Meanwhile, at the Microsoft booth, my buddy Charla instructed me to check out Lifeless Planet at the ID@Xbox area. Another exploration/puzzle game, I was really struck by the sights and sounds of this one too, but in a very different way from Hohokum. While Hohokum is all about making you feel happy, Lifeless Planet is all about creating a sense of isolation as you explore a desolate world. The game’s graphics and sounds do a fantastic job at creating a sense of foreboding solitude. I definitely want to see more of this one…but in a brightly lit living room so as not to wig out.
Lastly, Galak-Z is an old-school sci-fi shooter that blends elements of classic anime and shooting games. It’s fun to play and watch other people play. If you’re into masochistic shooters that delight you with difficulty then you’ll definitely want to check out Galak-Z. I fully expect this game to be a darling among videogame journalists.
Les Unite: Several of you feel that Assassin’s Creed 2 was the pinnacle of the series and the games have been going (slightly) downhill ever since. I’m totally with you on that, so I was cautiously optimistic after being delighted by the Assassin’s Creed Unity trailer. After seeing the demo, half of me feels that Unity will be the Assassin’s Creed game that many AC2 fans are crying for. The other, more cynical half of me fears that Ubisoft whipped up an outstanding trailer and demo. Still, let’s be optimistic here and (cautiously) hope that Assassin’s Creed Unity ends up being the game that many longtime AC fans want.
Your Turn: Naturally, I want to hear how E3 2014 played in your head. What did you love? What did you hate? Any games surprise you? Any games disappoint you? As excited as I was to be at the show, I’m more excited to hear your thoughts on E3 2014, so fire away in the comments section (please)!