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FRONTBURNR | September 20, 2014

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E3: The 10 Winners and Losers on the Show Floor

| On 18, Jun 2013

Woo! Another E3! My favorite media circus is back with a vengeance and after “Day 0″ the show floor opened up and greeted the press and exhibit attendees to explore both the West and South halls. I am going to run down who was on top of their game and who may want a do over. First impressions are always important!
I love the smell of fertilizer in the morning.

I love the smell of fertilizer in the morning.

PopCap Games – Plant Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare shows that you can teach an old zombie new tricks

What if I told you that there was going to be a family friendly third-person shooter being announced at this E3 that actually features a blend of Team Fortress 2-like combat with tower defense-like elements and traditional run and gun wave-based combat? Pretty cool, right? Now what if I told you that PopCap games (creator of Peggle, Zuma, Bejewled etc) created this game? Wait! Don’t walk away yet! They took their popular Plants Vs Zombies game and turned it into this family friendly third-person shooter. It looks great and boasts some unique and awesome looking game play.

I've missed you so much, let's never fight again.

I’ve missed you so much, let’s never fight again.

Square Enix – We came out of a coma and brought some old friends to the party

Square Enix probably dropped the biggest bomb on a software level. We saw that the 7 year long wait for Final Fantasy Versus XIII was over. It’s not going to be released. Instead, it has been reworked and given a shiny new name, Final Fantasy XV. The remastered Final Fantasy X/X-2 didn’t look horrible and Final Fantasy XIV actually looked like a game worth playing. Oh, Kingdom Hearts 3. Yep. Then the introduction of Murdered: Soul Suspect and even more information on THIEF gave us way more Square Enix news and info than we know what to do with!

A dramatic reenactment of the gaming community to EA’s booth on the show floor

EA – We hear you, really, we do. Do you still hate us now?

Electronic Arts, the 2-time winner of the worst company in the US, showed that the “bad guys” can pay attention to what people are saying. Everyone wanted to see something about Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, they delivered a teaser trailer with Morrigan as the icing on the cake. If you have ever been to Reddit’s r/gaming, you know that Star Wars: Battlefront has been a game that many people have been pining for. Well, Star Wars: Battlefront is coming soon, with a teaser trailer for an appetizer. Oh, Faith and Mirror’s Edge is back too! EA seemed to have put an ear to the ground and gave the fans what they wanted. It doesn’t hurt that you are almost forced to walk through their booth to get everywhere else on the floor.



Nintendo – Without an official E3 press conference, they still had a ton to show

It’s been rough sailing for Nintendo lately. Devs have been singling out the Wii U due to lack of sales, an extremely poor Nintendo Direct prior to E3 and constant apologies for a lack of titles for the system. Right before E3, Satoru Iwata bowed and acknowledged that they have let the fans of Nintendo down, he asked for more time… again. This time, however, he brought a little surprise with him, clips of new games for the Wii U and 3DS. He showed of Bayonetta 2, Monolith’s amazing title only known as X, Wind Waker HD, Donkey Kong Country Jungle Freeze, The Wonderful 101 and a handful of other titles. These were actual games that gamers want to play and a reason to buy their system. Finally, as their virtual curtain was starting to close, we were treated to the amazing teaser trailer for Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Super Smash Bros for 3DS that featured the highly requested Villager from Animal Crossings and a surprise announcement of the Blue Bomber himself, Mega Man. Nintendo fans once again have something to be excited about.

Lets be honest here, who the hell goes out to play games dressed like this guy?

Lets be honest here, who the hell goes out to play games dressed like this guy?

Family Games – We aren’t just budget-bin titles anymore

This E3 was big for everything, but the 3 major family games stood out among the crowd. Disney Interactive Studios’ Disney Infinity, Activision’s Skylanders Swap Force and Harmonix’s Fantasia. While both Disney Infinity and Skylanders Swap Force are physical DLC/playset binge-fests, Fantasia offers something completely different. An opportunity to use your body to give your favorite songs the Sorcerer Mickey treatment with remixes and effects, all while being everythig you’ve come to expect from a Harmonix title. Not really Rock Band, not really Amplitude, Fantasia looks to be able to stand on its own. Either way, families will find some amazing reasons to flock to the living room and huddle around the family TV soon. That is a great thing.


Ouya – I’m taking my ball and going home! (Or across the street)

The Android console “Ouya” has had its slew of issues. They’ve had many issues dealing with the power of their console and its performance. The media expected to see what team behind the conisle would do about these situations at this E3, but it seems that they had other plans. Instead of going the traditional route to give the media a decent presentation of their product, they rented out the parking lot across the street. Now in their attempt to “stick it to the man” they forgot to rent out all the spaces in the lot. So ESA decided to play hardball and rented out spots around Ouya’s “booth” and placed semi trailers in the spots. Ouya responded by renting out the spots in front of the trailer and displaying banners.Eventually, someone called the cops and they determined no one is in the wrong. However, E3 is an industry event, devs and publishers need to make the best impressions on the media. Getting into a fight with the host of E3 isn’t going to make the best impressions.

This about sums it up.

Nintendo DS – Goodnight my sweet prince

Not so much of a faux pas but more of a funeral march, the Nintendo DS is pretty much officially dead. Of all the games on the show floor, there’s one DS game at E3, Warner’s LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. The painful realization that its time is up has come. When compared to its 3DS counterpart, the DS version just looks so… Game Boy Advance. It had a good run, maybe even one of the best, yet even bringing this game to the event just seemed to be a waste of resources and time.Let’s have a moment of silence for as we let the DS move on into console Valhalla and hope that it isn’t kept on an awkward life support like Playstation 2. (FIFA was here on PS2)

Seriously, Don, you need to be as far away from the press as possible.

Seriously, Don, you need to be as far away from the press as possible.

Microsoft – Mattrick’s arrogance gets them nowhere

“If you have zero access, (the 360) is an offline device. I mean, when I read the blogs and thought about who really is the most impacted, there was a person who said ‘hey, I’m on a nuclear sub’ – and I don’t even know what it means to be on a nuclear sub – but I imagine it’s not easy to get an internet connection. I can empathize, if I was on a sub, I’d be disappointed.” President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, Don Mattrick, isn’t helping Xbox One’s reputation. His almost mocking-like tone with the criticism of the console has infuriated the masses even further. The fact that he says that if they have a product for gamers that can’t always have online access sounds hopeful. That is, until he explains that product is the nearly 8 year old Xbox 360. The man should be trying to stop the bleeding, not tearing the wound open further to help it bleed out. Someone tell him to let Major Nelson just do the talking.

B-but I thought we were cool now?

B-but I thought we were cool now?

EA – Since we are friends now, give us more money

EA has had a pretty flawless, yet very large presence on the show floor. They have some really great titles on display and the upcoming sequel to one of my personal favorite first person shooter titles is on its way! They hold the masses and the palm of their hands. Then, day 1 dlc on everything! Many of the amazing EA titles seem to have some form of DLC on launch day, which seems to have become an obvious replacement for their online passes. Will preordering or being an early adopter be the way around it? It actually looks like it could be. Come on EA, are you even trying?

COD-DOG2Call of Duty: Ghosts – You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, nonetheless the same one 4 times.

I was so excited for Call of Duty: Ghosts after the initial launch. I love first person shooters and thought this would be enough of a fresh take for the battle-worn franchise. After the preview event, it became amazingly obvious that whatever changes made to this franchise wouldn’t be enough until the whole platform evolves. While the game looks a little better, in action it’s almost impossible to notice. Call of Duty came off as reheated leftovers while its main competition brought a gourmet buffet with a brand new engine that features improved physics and large-scale destruction. It looks like Call of Duty may have just become that friend that wants to go out and go to the same old parties while their friends are work 9-5 careers. It’s time to grow up Call of Duty, but I like your dog.

We have awards coming this week for the best games at E3, but here was just a taste of the E3 experience. Did you see or hear about anything that you thought should be on the list? We’d love to hear what you think!