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E3 2018 Report Card: Grades for All the Giant Companies Who Held Corporately Mandated Press Conferences

If you wanna call some of these “press conferences”… *cough*SQUARE ENIX*cough



E3 is over, and I’ve never felt more distraught about NOT being able to play those games right fucking now. I’m so upset that we have to wait literally a lifetime, or several months, to start playing these games. Nothing is coming out until September, and most of the games on display this week are 2019 or later. What the hell gaming industry? You used to release demos and betas and downloads on the same day after an announcement, and the future should have been “play our shit in your home right now!” and instead I just have to imagine what Cyberpunk 2077 looks like. What is this, 2002, what kind of bullshit is that? Anyways, I graded the shows, just like I have for a decade (fuck I’m old,) so compare my report card to the one you wrote for your own blog — because if there’s one thing gamers love beyond writing their own commentaries is harassing others about theirs! Fuck having opinions, let’s get to some grades!

Electronic Arts: D-

Fucking useless. Next!

Alright I’ll say more. I love Vince Zampella and his coy trolling of the audience and the corporation who signs his checks while actually giving us the one genuine surprise of the show. I love Andrea Rene, I met her at a Comic-Con once and she is the nicest person ever, and she needs to host more things forever. But Anthem is the only thing worth talking about, I’m cautiously optimistic about that game and really shocked it’s coming out in the death month that is February 2019. I just don’t see how that game comes out and is perfect right out of the box without controversy, right? They should have showed way more of it without the Casey Hudson interview. Interview Juju Smith-Schuster about Anthem, that would be more worth our time. And give us a little tease of any PopCap game, PvZ Garden Warfare 3, something, anything. This show was fucking stupid otherwise, and they need to stop doing this trash because it has never sold a single extra copy of Madden, FIFA, or Battlefield. Spare me.

Microsoft: A (and winner of best showing at E3!)

How the fuck did they manage to pull this shit off? Congrats Phil Spencer! You did it. By process of elimination you had the actual best proper press conference of the entire week, and it was paced well, had no bullshit or downtime, featured genuinely interesting games throughout the entire presentation, had lots of surprises and a good range of recent and faraway releases. Their Games Pass is a legit beast now, they’re actually investing in their future, they seemed honest about the next generation and their game-plan going forward, and we got motherfucking Cuphead DLC. That’s all I need baby: fucking Cuphead, I drink that shit up all day. Not literally, because that would be murder; they are cup people and I’m sure drinking their blood is lethal.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is also the heroin I need, just inject it into my blood stream. This is the good stuff you need to start generating hype and building a narrative to springboard off of once you get going next year into the final hoorah for the Xbox One, and into the next console generation.

Now it’s one thing to judge a presser on the breadth of announcements and quality and quantity of their trailers, and it’s another to hold it against all the major publishers for featuring third party games to draw ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. Microsoft does not get to champion around Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice as an exclusive, and Sony doesn’t get to do the same for the Resident Evil 2 remake. The magical year Sony had with Kingdom Hearts 3 and Shenmue 3 and Final Fantasy VII Remake, those are all coming to Xbox and PC so you have to take it all with grains of salt. But the actual physical act of watching the Xbox show did not make my eyes bleed, and it made me smile and cheer, so they win E3 by sticking to a great formula and making Gears 5 and Halo: Infinite and Forza Horizon 4 and Crackdown 3 look interesting, while pulling baller ass moves like purchasing Ninja Theory with cash money, straight up. Good on you Phil Spencer — now get to work on the Xbox Scarlet, since you brought it up.

Bethesda: B

A B for Bethesda, ha. The first 75% of this show was expected. That’s fine. That’s okay to get updates on the Elder Scrolls MMO and card game, and Quake, and yadda yadda. It’s totally expected and that gets a flat B-, so right off the bat Pete Hines and co. aren’t aiming for the moon. I respect all jokes made at this thing because they landed brilliantly, so that made me think about bringing the grade up to a B+. Then they trotted out Andrew W.K. for no reason to do a song to kill time, to mask Rage 2. Which looks kind of cool! But that dropped the grade again. Wolfenstein sequel with co-op is terrific, Doom Eternal is fantastic, Fallout 76 is intriguing, and Todd Howard is my dream husband if I needed to marry somebody. He crushed it, and I wish I could just personally pay him to come out and do the rest of the E3 briefings from now on, for all other companies besides Bethesda. They didn’t feel like beating around the bush with all the Kotaku leaks and Jason Schreier (fellow Jets fan) ruining their plans with solid reporting. Don’t blackball him for catching your trademarks Zenimax, that’s just petty. So I respect the honesty and upfront trailers for Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6! That’s bringing your A game to E3. And for that, you get a B. Don’t bring musical acts to a press conference about video games, that’s fucking poison, are you that naive, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Simple!

Give me Elder Scrolls: Blades on my phone now please thank you.

Square Enix: F

Image result for god of war ron swanson gif

Ubisoft: D+

This was sent immediately after we all couldn’t see the Beyond Good & Evil 2 pre-alpha gameplay because the camera pulled out and we missed it. Everything else that happened was either leaked or rumored or just had to be there like clockwork. Just Dance ✔ Trials ✔ Rainbow Six: Siege ✔ Skull and Bones ✔ For Honor ✔ Nintendo crossover and some DLC for Rabbids ✔Beyond Good & Evil not finished yet ✔ The Division 2 ✔new Assasin’s Creed ✔wow look I just filled out the checklist for being a Ubisoft executive, do I get some shares of stock now? There was no new IP to close the show, no Rayman, and no Prince of Persia.


Sony: C+

What in the fuck was that? Honestly, Sony, what were you thinking, honestly? Like, you really don’t have to try, but don’t make it look like you’re not trying at all. Remember the orchestra and God of War and Crash Bandicoot shadow thing and having a cohesive show that made sense? One designed for both the live audience AND the millions viewing at home? Somehow you managed to piss BOTH groups off with a head-scratching structure, start and stop opening and closing segments, pointless interviews with lackeys, awkward pauses, delays, horrible production quality, and piss poor video and audio. The issues that occurred while watching this live stream were literally and figuratively terrible, and the equivalent of a train wreck.

That being said, the games were stellar, the number of things to focus on were low, and you spent the time to dive into long gameplay demos. That was smart, but no release dates anywhere wasn’t, and neither was burying flops-to-be Days Gone and Dreams. You know that we know these are going to sell like duds, so why pretend they don’t exist? Really this all doesn’t matter because Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to outsell all other games combined, and Fallout 76 will clean up the rest of holiday sales. You won this generation and have more PS4s to sell somehow because everyone is buying them. Like, is it mandated that all citizens in all countries purchase one per day? Like a message was sent to all the villages and towns that if they don’t buy a PlayStation 4 the first born son of all families will die?

There is no denying though the sheer strength of Sony’s line-up. Death Stranding is a troll delivery game, Marvel’s Spider-Man looks unbelievable, The Last of Us Part II is an automatic write-in candidate for a 100 on Metacritic, and Nioh 2 was a trillion times more hype than whatever Ghost of Tsushima is.

Nintendo: Incomplete

When does their Direct actually start, because they showed Smash Bros. but like where is all the other stuff, for real? Did I miss the day, or get the time wrong, or



Cuphead Bosses, Ranked in Terms of Difficulty (In Getting Them to Help Me Move This Weekend)

The boss characters of Cuphead are notoriously a challenge…to get to help with even the most basic of moving requests! Fuckers.



This is a real list of the Cuphead bosses, ranked in order of difficulty. It also is a tier list of difficulty to get them to help me move this weekend from Brooklyn to Manhattan, specifically Chelsea, so I can get to work without a real commute. A five-minute walk is way better than an hour train ride or taxi back home, after all.

Will any of these overpowered assholes lend a hand? Let’s dive in and find out.

S Tier

Grim Matchstick

Fuck this dragon. Fuck him to hell. He is the hardest boss in the game…to theoretically help me move in over a weekend. This guy would dodge you forever, never get back to you, burn your stuff with his fire breath turning into little jumping marching fuckers, and the whole time you just jump from cloud to cloud in the opposite direction like an asshole. Fuck this boss. I hate him. Fuck him forever.

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Rumor Honeybottoms

I hate this bitch, woo boy. Boy oh boy did my life slowly lose years as my cells disintegrated one by one. I cannot express in words how disgusting and difficult it was to beat this queen bee bitch motherfucker shit cock it makes me so mad. I wouldn’t even want to ask her to help me move because I know what her answer would be and I don’t want to hear any sass or attitude. Even her minions are the damn worst: the fucking pig cop and bees, and those other bastards. And her pink balls of death to boot! The whole stage is impossible, and no one that disorganized in life can or should help me move my stuff, which is already so neatly labeled and divided into boxes

Dr. Kahl

Another total jerk, wow, can this dude please fuck off. Too busy building robots and shit that piss me off, not enough time being a reliable friend who can give me free medical advice or, you know, help me move this weekend. You can’t see his health bar or use the progress meter to determine how far you are in the fight, and you can’t see his schedule or determine if he’s really going to a wedding out of state and“just can’t, man”, or whatever. None of his robot bots or little bombs and aeroplanes would help either, they would just get in the way. This was just infuriating and grueling and grinding for no reason and I had to be in the air the entire time. Fuck this shit, I’ll move in to my new apartment all by myself.

A Tier

Beppi the Clown

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck this clown and fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck him getting near my stuff and getting clown make-up all over it. Fuck his circus friends, and his roller coaster, and the merry-go-round, and all of that other shit in the way. The dog balloons that track you, it’s all too zany and crowded and suffocating and Beppi can go fuck himself and find a new profession. He is someone who would say yes, I think, but like I would have to do him a favor and ,yeah, no: I’m not having this guy in my life. Ever. Fuck clowns.

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Wally Warbles

Why is there a bird stuck in a birdhouse, and why is there a baby bird in an egg, and at the end, why is he fighting from an old timey hospital stretcher? How is this dingus supposed to help anyone, let alone himself? Also, this fight is a pain in the ass. Same with attempting to ask for help this weekend when I hire the movers to come over and drive between boroughs and unpack my stuff up four flights of stairs. It’s extra for the movers to go without the elevator, that’s why I need friends. Is Wally one of those reliable friends? No, no he is not. I mean, possibly, if he had hands with fingers and not wings and feathers. God damn there is no room on the screen for this boss fight and I hate it. The art is cool but it is so fucking cumbersome to dodge for so long without hitting him. Screw Wally.

The Devil

The literal devil would want me to check back into hell soon, why would I hit up his phone asking for more help? I’m not signing any deal with the devil for a move this Saturday.

Hopus Pocus

This is one of those mini-bosses during the King Dice fight, and he was the hardest for me IMHO. And I want nothing I own to disappear if he were to help me move. He has that crazed look in his eye, this fucking rabbit. He might like, want shit, and steal it by hiding it and doing magic and other garbage tactics like that.  I don’t like him, I don’t like dodging his moves, and I don’t like that look. That crazy look. It’s unsettling.

Phear Leap

Another King Dice mini-boss who sucks ass, but this time part of the screen is obscured for no god damn reason. Asshole. Trees and shit going by, you can’t see anything. No way, nah, I don’t fuck with that, or a skeleton horse who gambles on the ponies. He probably owes people money, and I don’t want that involved in my life. “Hey, can you help me move Friday?” “Sure, you owe me though! Ha ha.” And then I get my thumbs broken. No thank you.

B Tier

Phantom Express

This is my favorite boss battle in the entire game, and is only difficult because of the large amount of twists and different segments, and how slightly different they were back-to-back. sprinkled with lots of floating soap bars to parry. But it’s awesome, aesthetically and mechanically, it’s just super cool to learn the steps slowly and beat this right before the ending boss at the casino. But I’m not sure who on the train would come help me move, like which skeleton dude. And I can’t rely on any of them, since some don’t have hands, only wheels. Like, the conductor? Or the first ghost guy with the eyes? Can he even see what he’s doing? Who knows, but at least they seem nice enough to want to help, even if they can’t.

Ribby and Croaks

An unexpectedly tough fight for being so early in the game. I blame the fact that these two fucker frogs pull a Dragon Ball Z and fuse together to form an unholy alliance: a fucking slot machine that spits out the hardest shit to avoid. And half the time you can’t damage this stupid thing! The ending of this fight, and whatever comes before to whittle your health away, is dumb and I do not like it. Also, while it would be good to have two guys help lift boxes up the stairs, especially strong ones like boxers, I get the feeling they are too busy “training” or “working out” to do anything. Muscle heads. They wouldn’t take off their boxing gloves anyways, in order to lift anything. They would just drop it and blame each other. Asshats.

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Cala Maria

I would be too afraid to talk to her, or even approach her, to engage in a discussion about whatever inane bullshit I have going on in my life, let alone the nerve to say two words to Cala Maria. It’s not intimidation or timidness, really, just the way she shakes her hips in the water, it’s mesmerizing. I can’t talk to her. We’re moving on now to the next boss.

Djimmi the Great

This sneaky motherfucker. This magical, dodging little shit. He would be the kind of guy to lie to you and say “yeah I’ll be there, for sure” and then at the last second send a text message with some lame ass excuse and bounce. He’d duck you for two weeks and then ask, like a smug asshole “how did the move go?” Great Djimmi…it went great. Thanks a fucking lot.


Pirouletta seems very stuck up, and prissy, and I don’t even know why I would need her. Can she lift? Can she endure the stairs up and down for an hour? Why would she want to? Because she knows me? Is that a good enough reason? Maybe she is nice enough to offer, and I would just say no and go without the hassle. Or maybe I wouldn’t even mention it to her at all. I really don’t know.

King Dice

You don’t ask him to move. You ask him if he needs help with his move.

C Tier

Cagney Carnation

This entire section involves people who are real 50/50 calls, and Cagney is just a weirdo. A total weirdo who I don’t like fighting, and I would be unsettled being around him. Anger problems. Not hygienic. Creepy friends. Bad company. Vines with thorns. The whole thing irks me, and while I could use his help, and he might say yes, I just don’t see this happening. His arm length would be appreciated, but I don’t want to pick leaves and shit off the floor after he left, and I don’t want my new place to smell. Sorry bud.

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Captain Brineybeard

I would like, hang out with this guy, but only in certain places. Not in my home. Not getting anything wet, he would show up drunk, and happily so, and just fucking destroy shit. No thanks. His whale and squid would be too much of a hassle too. Again, the help is appreciated, but one laser beam and it’s all over. Fuck that, no thank you, see you next week Captain.

Tipsy Troop

Three alcoholics? Yeah, okay. I can convince them to do anything, but who needs that, honestly?

Baroness Von Bon Bon

I’m going to assume she is royalty, which means I can’t approach her, get near her, ask her to go to a sub-par neighborhood, or have her touch anything that would dirty her gloves. Really I would want to hang with the candy and waffles and shit that protect her, THOSE people I would fuck with. But if they’re busy guarding the castle, the gingerbread one with pink frosting, then it might be hard to manage the schedules and I would just not bother. That’s what this tier is really for: these bosses could go either way and it makes it hard to pull off, you know? No hard yes or no, but just this weird lingering dance of words. Moving sucks.

Mr. Wheezy

HELL NO am I having this dirt bag over. HELL NO am I having his wheezy ass huff and puff and fail to help me at all. HELL NO am I having this sleazy scumbag get my shit covered in smoke, smelling up the joint. He would want to be there in a heartbeat, and he would say yes of course, and just smoke the whole time. Nope. Don’t want or need his help. It’s too much of a detriment, and the cost analysis of this premise is just C- tier all the way. Nope nope nope.

D Tier

Hilda Berg

On the surface, she seems like a big bloated fatass who loves to complain. But that’s because she IS a big bloated fatass who loves to complain! Which is why she would easily be a good friend of mine, and at least show up to my move to heckle me as I do everything, but then offer to get food afterwards because she is always hungry.

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Chips Bettigan

I would use Chips to gamble my life savings away in a casino so I had enough to just live in a mansion and buy new clothes and furniture. Fuck moving, I’ll bet it all on red on the roulette wheel!

Sally Stageplay

I was a drama kid, and I feel very connected to Sally and that dude in the background. We stage people stick together, and she would show up no problem. And hopefully that other dude, who just shows up every now and again. Stage hands are good at carrying things!

Werner Werman

I am not a rat. I cannot trust rats. Rats are disgusting, and he seems like a German Nazi rat. I don’t know about this guy, but if he builds a cool cat robot to help me, then by all means! Join in and help lift boxes from the truck to the living room. How would a cat do that? I have no clue, but he should be able to build the cat with thumbs, that would do the trick.

Pip and Dot

Two heads are better than one, and Pip and Dot seem cool. I like playing Dominoes, I don’t know if that is cool with them or like a war crime to their people, but I would get along with them enough to triple the workload. I also don’t know if they’re too small or not, I don’t have a sense of scale on their actual size but I need all the help I can get.

F Tier


Mangosteen is an anthropomorphize magic 8-ball, so he can only bring me good luck, right? And he always has a smile on his face, so that’s encouraging, probably a good spirit to be around, bring you some energy after a hard day of moving. Moving always brings so much stress and anxiety, nobody enjoys it, so why not have Mangosteen around to chill with, you know?

Goopy Le Grande

Goopy would be immensely helpful, I think, because of his literal and figurative flexibility. Being able to help me plug in things behind furniture, growing big to carry boxes up stairs, it would be a dream to just knock everything out in one day and then grab food after. He obviously is a polite man, tipping his cap to start the fight in the game, and I feel guilty for killing him and then shooting his headstone, but Goopy is straight with me, he’s legit. A true homie through and through.

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The Root Pack

I would just eat them for energy, so I can unpack faster and set up my new place.

Mr. Chimes

I love this dude, and I wouldn’t even ask him to help me in any way, because I just want him around to make me happy. We can just play puzzle games all the live long day, and then he’d clap his cymbals together and I’d laugh, and it would be just a rather refreshing experience, overall, I feel, to have Mr. Chimes around for an afternoon.

Lollygagging about in my brand new apartment. Just me and my best pal, Mr. Chimes. That’s the dream, folks.

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A Shot for Shot Breakdown of How Fucking Insane the Super Mario Odyssey Ending Is

I spent way too much time working on this ridiculous premise for an article, but it had to be done. It simply had. To be. Done.



First things first, let’s all watch this clip in the otherwise masterful Super Mario Odyssey and then I can break down why it is one of the most batshit insane things Nintendo has ever done. This cutscene was so impossibly stupid and crazy, that I had to talk about it and wonder out loud why more people are not talking about it.

This game is a master work, and it still somehow hampered by the laziest and most misogynist writing for children’s entertainment I’ve ever seen. Absorb this nonsense and then let’s dive in:

Okay, process that shitstorm, and just sit with it. Okay, now we can break it down part by part, added with commentary to make sense of the senseless trash that ends this wonderfully fun game. It’s mind boggling, but I spent an afternoon learning how to create many GIFs out of a YouTube video. The process has gotten easier over the years, but still, it was a lot of work for a gag.

So first off, you become Bowser in an earlier boss fight. You go to the moon, go through lava levels and stuff (which are not on the actual moon, but I’ll give that a pass). All without an oxygen helmet (less of a pass but okay, I’m still with this for now). The fight ends with you throwing the hat aka Cappy onto Bowser to become him, and fight your way out of danger with Peach to save her life. Again. But here is where things really get out of hand.

Bowser tries to marry Peach this whole game, and you and Peach are ready to be married right here and right now? What? Why haven’t you done that already you idiot, you saved her life a million times because Miyamoto can’t get his raging boner over cartoons from the ’30s. I’m surprised he didn’t steal blackface for these games but they really should have put an end to this troupe after Sunshine was about him getting arrested for graffiti. She was the star of her own game, and used her womanly emotions to fight off enemies! Jesus fucking Christ.

If you liked it you should have put a ring on it, but somehow here we are. Okay, so Mario shrugs after escaping the collapsing lava mountain or whatever. At this point things should just wrap up, a nice kiss, and a real wedding for this poor blonde woman. But no, that would be too easy.

Then their hat ghosts go to knock boots in a celestial dreamscape, sans their corporeal forms. As a symbol for Mario and Peach fucking? What the hell is this shit?

Mario, angry looking for some reason, after saving this helpless fool who I know for a fact isn’t, turns to her…

…the hats are waiting with baited breath making googly eyes…

…as he pimps walks up to her, doesn’t hear the gigantic and colossal dinosaur get up and run over to him????

He is a minimum of like 800 pounds, don’t tell me sound works in space and then use that as an excuse to mask his blindside shoulder hit Nintendo, that is garbage logic and you know it. So Bowser knocks his ass out, after being totally defeated and exhausted, and just finds the strength to wake back up. Yeah okay. Also we know that gravity is not normal, from like the gameplay and the jumping on the surface of the moon, but now it’s back to normal gravity? What gives? Did no one edit this before it went out to the public? Is there no editors or proofers or reviewers for stupidity in all of Japan? I know there are, hire them Nintendo, for the love of god.

Ok so Bowser, a gigantic monster who does nothing but kidnap royalty and race go-karts with strangers and enemies (the ones he made by being evil)  PROPOSES with piranha plant flowers, just magically ready to go, like WHAT you already tried the plan of stealing her for marriage and now you try asking her politely? AFTER? You KIDNAPPED HER what the fuck is this shit, those are living flowers who EAT PEOPLE she isn’t going to choose you right then and there.

So Mario freaks out as if she is going to say yes, like what dude? Why are you panicking? Why are you not finishing the job and murdering this sick creep? He runs over to her and shows her a different flower, the rocket one, in an attempt to win her heart in this sad pathetic competition? What? Uhhhhhhhhhhhh excuse me, you stole his idea and gave her weak ass flowers, not that you needed to, because to remind you my dude you SAVED HER LIFE and chose to NOT MURDER Bowser, he is right there!!!! So they feverishly and fruitlessly compete for her love and affection, scaring the ever living shit out of her, and she isn’t making a decision right after all of that shit, that is traumatic. How she ended up with these two after all of these years is beyond me, she deserves better or is just so damaged she can’t quit either. But that’s another column about her well being. Does she do anything as Princess? Who is the Queen? What are her responsibilities?

Is she confused, did she think Bowser saved her because Mario controlled his body? Why is Mario having to do this, and why can’t she decide, this makes no sense at all, it’s so obvious. Their motivations are all wrong, and logic has clearly stopped being an issue decades ago in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Okay so she gets pissed and storms off, lady you could have died. But maybe it’s just too much all at once and too ridiculous, okay, so just thank Mario he is right there, and leave to talk about it. She says something to the ghosts, what does she say to the ghosts, I don’t know, moving on, she’s walking to the ship wait what. You’re just leaving? Them behind? Excuse me? What the fuck is that, you’re just going to bounce like that? That’s not your ship lady, who said you could go on the Mario ship, with his logo, after he RESCUED YOU.

So Mario consoles Bowser LIKE THEY ARE FRIENDS or some shit, are you shitting me? This isn’t Mario Kart Double Dash, you can’t just team up all of a sudden, the entire length of the game you fought each other IN TUXEDOS AND TAILCOATS.

She fucking leaves them behind! On the moon! What an ungrateful bitch! You stole the ship to leave them to die! She waves goodbye, like this isn’t her abandoning them, a betrayal of the highest order.  And Mario has to leap and get to the ship, HIS OWN SHIP, in order to get off the moon with her. And so he ends the game by throwing his hat at the screen into a logo. That is the end of the game. Bounces off of Bowser’s head, who caught up to them by running? Isn’t he slower than Mario in every conceivable way?




what was that nintendo

that is how you end that game? really

give us the ending from super mario world, that was a real ending

im not even going to give you the decency of proper punctuation or grammar or capitalization, fuck you nintendo writers and copy editors and storytellers and narrative designers

luigi won a mansion in a fake contest through the mail

bowser jr thought peach was his mother

birdo is a poor soul trapped in a corporeal body and deserves the true form free from the social construct of a gender spectrum

the supreme court is stolen and illegitimate

im losing my mind

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The 18 Games I’m Looking Forward To Seeing The Most at E3 2018

With the biggest week in gaming set to kick off tomorrow, here are the 18 games I’m looking forward to (hopefully) seeing at the show.



Look, we got a lot of ground to cover here, so I’m not going to waste time here. You know what E3 is, right? You’re reading this article, so I’m assuming the answer is “yes.” Cool, cool. Since you know what the event is, I’m assuming I don’t have to explain to you how fun it is to see a bunch of new video games get shown off to the public, all in the attempt to wow as many gamers as possibly, build up them “HYPE!” points, etc. It’s an event I love to bear witness to each and every year, and even if it’s not as big a deal as it was, say, 10 years ago, the days of press conferences still occupy a soft spot in my heart. So I go into this year’s event excited — more excited than I thought, even. While my list was initially only going to be 10 games like last year, this year looked so promising, I quickly expanded it to 18 (which, coincidentally, seemed to cover about everything for me.)

But in expanding the list, I also expanded the parameters. While usually I try to make a majority of my list things that are CONFIRMED to make an appearance at the show, this year I went a little gung-ho with it, and included things that were merely rumored. Rest assured, though: I didn’t go completely crazy, and kept things in the realm of “speculated but unconfirmed” (sorry folks, no Half-Life 3 predictions here.) In any case, not all of these games are 100% going to appear during the event and, if I was a betting man, I would say there’s a good chance a few of them won’t. But, hey: it’s 2018. Let me dream a little, okay?

Here are the 18 games I’m looking foward to seeing the most at E3 2018, starting with…

18. Halo 6 or Halo: Genesis or Halo 6: Genisys or Whatever The Hell It Will Be

Ugh. It’s been nearly three years since the release of Halo 5: Guardians, and I’m still not really over it. The game is the Halo equivalent of The Phantom Menace, and I simply can’t believe how badly 343 Industries fucked up with it after releasing the surprisingly great Halo 4. Just thinking back on that awful campaign makes me mad, and no amount of competent multiplayer (Warzone is fun, sure) can make my memories of the game any better. That being said, a small part of me hopes 343 learned from the mistakes of Halo 5, and has something of a comeback with the next (and presumably final) installment of the Reclaimer Trilogy. At the very least, the reveal trailers for these games are always fun to witness, and though there’s no guaranteed Halo will even make Microsoft’s conference to begin with…c’mon. It’s been a long time for Microsoft to keep this brand dormant. If we don’t hear what is next for the universe on Sunday, by this point, it’s time to get worried. Well, more worried, at least.

17. The New Splinter Cell

Hey, cool, a new Splinter Cell game is pretty much guaranteed to be revealed on Monday. As a casual fan of that franchise: neat! Let’s hope Ubisoft won’t be able to turn it into yet another open world, multiplayer heavy “experience.” Lord knows the world of AAA gaming has enough of those already…

16. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch

It’s a new Smash Bros game – what, do you need a full paragraph of explanation or something? Its status on the list is guaranteed from the word “Smash,” c’mon now.

15. Rocksteady’s New Game

…Whatever it may be! All signs are pointing to a Superman thing, which would be a weird sort of challenge for the Arkham Asylum dev to tackle. Superman doesn’t naturally make a good video game character but, hey, so didn’t Batman, I guess. And they did an amazing job of bringing him to the medium. I mean, mostly. Arkham Knight was…disappointing? Mediocre? A whimper of a conclusion to one of the Caped Crusader’s finest stories? All of the above, sure. But if Rocksteady ends up popping up during a press conference this year (which is like 80% possible at this point), it will at least be nice to get a general idea of what they are doing.

14. Square Enix’s Avengers Game

Speaking of superhero properties: remember this? Marvel is working on a big AAA game with Square Enix, to be developed by Deus Ex developer Eidos Montreal and Tomb Raider dev Crystal Dynamics. It was something of a big fucking deal when it was first announced back at the start of 2017. At the time, Square said more details would be revealed about this Avengers projects come 2018 and, well, look at that: it’s the time known as “come 2018.” With Square’s press conference Monday morning, I would very much expect a closer look at this game. I doubt it will be anything too detailed (probably just a couple minute long CGI-rendered thing), but with The Avengers the biggest thing out there at the moment, I doubt Square will drop the chance to tease their potentially huge project.

13. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Blind Forest was one of the most beautiful game experiences I’ve had this generation, and last year’s reveal of its sequel was equally as charming. I doubt we’ll get much more than another trailer during Microsoft’s presser on Sunday (if even that), but I just want to see more from this game, in any capacity possible.

12. Beyond Good and Evil 2

Beyond Good and Evil 2 delivered in a big way last year, returning from its many years of silence with an entertaining, beautiful, instantly memorable reveal trailer. Of course, said trailer was only capable of presenting the atmosphere and FEELING of the game…what the game actually is, really, remains a mystery. Might we actually get a taste of actual gameplay for Beyond Good and Evil 2, confirmed for an appearance during Ubisoft’s press conference Monday afternoon? Let’s hope so. After nearly two decades of waiting, we’re going to need more than an (admittedly delightful) CGI trailer to stoke the flames of hype.

11. Ghost of Tsushima

I mean, it’s a huge AAA Sony production about motherfucking samurais. Please, sir, can I have some more? Because everything about this should end up being awesome. I hope this one manages to wow me in a God of War/Horizon type way when it gets its first big spotlight during Sony’s press conference. I mean, did you see that reveal trailer?! I’m already so in, you guys.

10. Fallout 76

Who knows what Fallout 76 actually is (well, everyone who reads Kotaku, I guess), but it’s a new Fallout experience of some sort, and there’s no way in hell I wouldn’t be looking forward to another one of those. Heck, it might even be enough to get me excited about a genre that, frankly, I’ve never given a damn about! Never doubt the power of the brand, folks.

9. Cyberpunk 2077

Everything about Cyberpunk 2077 looks right up my freaking alley, and lord knows the world could use more futuristic sci-fi set RPG’s semi-based on a tabletop board game, and developed by a bunch of independent-but-acclaimed Polish developers. What, it’s a perfectly cromulent niche! In any case, the brief teaser trailer first released by CD Projekt Red was INCREDIBLE, and I’m eager to see what the game actually is five years removed (yes, seriously, it’s been that long…can’t rush perfection, eh?) Well not 100% confirmed for the show, chances are high it will make an appearance in some capacity. If it’s even a tenth as amazing as that trailer looks, me feels like we’re going to be in for a treat.

8. Metroid Prime 4

I have no idea if Metroid Prime 4 will actually be shown off during Nintendo’s livestream this year, but I’m certainly hoping so. It’s been two years since the game was first announced with its literal nothing reveal trailer, and with only Smash on the horizon as Nintendo’s next big AAA game, another big franchise game has to be detailed, right? I doubt the game will be coming out until late 2019 at the earliest, but even a cinematic teaser trailer would go far here. Actual gameplay (even if it was as brief as Breath of the Wild’s first reveal) would be the cherry on top.

7. Kingdom Hearts 3

I didn’t have Kingdom Hearts 3 on my list last year, mostly because I didn’t think it would make the show. It did, but in a rather limited capacity, only showing off a “trailer” comprised of a random sequence from the game, and other random snippets. You might notice that has been a trend for Kingdom Hearts 3 so far, though, as most of the trailers Square Enix have released are just quick snippets of random action, completely subtitled in Japanese and with little rhyme or reason to their existence as a piece of promotion (Square just seemed to pull whatever piece of game footage looked decent, interstitched with some non-sensical cutscenes taken from random points in the game, and called it a day.)

Well, I say no more to that. If Kingdom Hearts 3 really is in the lead up to its actual release (BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT, FOLKS), than Square Enix better actually deliver details on the game, including what the fuck the actual story is, a trailer featuring ENGLISH dubbing, and details on all the new worlds, new gameplay features, etc. And give us the first release date, that way we can get the act of it being delayed into 2019 out of the way.

6. Battlefield V

I’ve said this in the past, but I feel it must be reiterated: for my money, Battlefield 1 is the best multiplayer shooter of the decade. Sure, it might not have created a whole new genre like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or be as massively popular as something like Overwatch, but Battlefield 1 was one of the most polished, atmospheric multiplayer shooters I’ve ever had the chance to play. And that’s coming from someone who, for years, placed himself in the Call of Duty camp, rather than the Battlefield one. But what can I say? Battlefield 1 is amazing, and really I’d be absolutely fine if DICE just kept everything the same about it, but with a WWII skin on top, for Battlefield V. Of course that’s likely not happening, which makes me extremely curious to see what the studio plans to do with the follow-up. Even putting aside the dual Star Wars: Battlefront debacles, I have faith in them to treat their star IP right. We shall see when the game gets its full, detailed unveiling during EA’s Play Conference tomorrow.

5. The Last of Us: Part II

As someone who was firmly against the idea of “franchising” The Last of Us (which perfectly works as a standalone story, thanks)…yeah, I do kinda want to see more from The Last of Us: Part II. I simply can’t doubt the abilities of Naughty Dog, and the brief looks at the game that they have given us so far looks, well, pretty damn intense. Whether or not the game can match the emotional and narrative power of the first is still VERY much up in the air, but I would like to at least see more of what Naughty Dog is aiming for here. Thankfully, we’ll probably be getting that in spades, as it is confirmed to be a big part of Sony’s E3 conference.

4. Marvel’s Spider-Man

I wrote at length last E3 about how amazing Insomniac’s new Spider-Man game looked and, for my money, it was game of the show in 2017. With launch only a few months away, I wouldn’t expect anything quite as amazing or revealing this time around, but just getting another look at a big set-piece from the game would be enough to get my hype engine going.

3. Death Stranding

I hope Death Stranding isn’t an actual video game. I hope it’s just a string of bizarre CGI trailers, each of which feature a notable presence from the world of TV and film (woah, Norman Reedus! Woah, Mads Mikkelsen! Woah…Guillermo del Toro? Okay, sure – woah Guillermo del Toro!) I hope it’s just an elaborate string of artistic short films, each more insane than the last, and showing off the Hideo Kojima we all know and love: mainly, an insane but brilliant motherfucker. Truly, I would be happy just watching these non-sensical CGI trailers year after year. But, alas, Death Stranding is (allegedly) a video game, and a video game towards the end of its promotional life cycle too. Which means that – finally – we’re probably going to get a look at actual gameplay from this strange little beast. Which is all well and good: Kojima is good at crafting that too, sure. But will extended gameplay, no matter how cool and unique, manage to top Norman Reedus with a baby up inside him? I don’t think so, folks. I expect we’ll learn a lot about what Death Stranding actually is come Monday night, but let’s hope that it will also present us with more disturbing visuals, cryptic symbolism, and atmospheric overload. I for one can’t get enough of it.

2. Anthem

Anthem was my favorite new game announced at E3 last year, as I absolutely loved the presentation that Bioware and EA put together for the game. It gave me the kind of reveal high that only a big E3 presentation can…and, frankly, can only do once. It’s a lot harder to wow gamers the second time around, and I’m not really sure if Anthem will be able to do it. Bioware has A LOT (arguably everything) riding on this game being a hit, and I hope that means they are doing everything in their power to make it one of their best ever gaming experiences. As someone who has Mass Effect 2 as his second favorite video game of all time, I truly want Bioware to deliver something incredible. And the promise of Anthem is overpowering. Then again, so was the promise of Destiny. I certainly want to see more from this game but, please, please be awesome. I can’t handle another Mass Effect: Andromeda from this company.

1. Starfield

Okay, yes: I’m putting all my speculative chips on the table here. There’s a HIGH chance that this game won’t even be at this year’s show…and yet, I still can’t help but be incredibly excited everytime I think about its mere existence, and be rather optimistic that now is FINALLY the time we get it confirmed.

After all, while not as long as the wait for games like Borderlands 3 (which, btw, won’t be making the show, sorry) or Kingdom Hearts 3, I feel like I’ve been looking out for the reveal of Bethesda’s new IP for a LONG time now. Making it worse is the fact that we don’t even know what that IP is, not really. The consistent leaks and rumors over the years have pegged it as some kind of big Fallout/Elder Scrolls RPG in a space setting (so, yes, dope), but with absolutely nothing to back it up, who the hell even knows? It may not even be called Starfield anymore, for Christ’s sake. But we do know the game exists, and that Bethesda’s main development group is in the process of creating it. Could 2018 FINALLY be the year they blow the door off their worst kept secret? I’m hoping that, by putting it on this list, that will be the case. Willful ignorance, don’t let me down now!

We’ll see if my anticipation for any of these titles were at all deserved when most of them (hopefully) get shown off at E3 2018, kicking off tomorrow with EA’s press conference at 2 PM Est. Stay tuned for more thoughts from us then!

Also published on Medium.

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