With E3 2014 in the books, here are TCG staff opinions of the big 3’s showings. Did Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony make a big splash or fail to make waves? Ultimately, it is up to you, so make sure to let us know in the comments. First up in our E3 2014 recap is Eric Flapjack Ashley with his thoughts on Nintendo. After that, you will find Microsoft’s presence as reviewed by Optimus Grind, and at the bottom is Sony covered by GtVSlayer.


Nintendo @ E3 2014 Recap

Nintendo | E3 2014 Recap | Introduction

As a Nintendo fan, these last couple of years have been pretty rough. Bad console sales for the Wii U, bad financial results for Nintendo as a company, and third parties bolting like Big N was a burning building of shame. The Nintendo 3DS has been doing well, though, and was actually last year’s top selling game console by a wide margin. More recently, though, things looked up with the blockbuster release of Mario Kart 8, which sold 1.2 million copies worldwide in just three days on the market, and sales of the Wii U jumped 666% and by over 400% in North America. Finally, Nintendo had just a wee bit of momentum coming into E3, where they had their backs against the wall. The question is, did they deliver?

Legend of Zelda

Nintendo | E3 2014 Recap | Venue

For the second straight year, Nintendo ditched the showboating live press conference in favor of a smaller, online option – this year dubbed the “Nintendo Digital Event”. But moreso, they streamed live demos and interviews from the E3 floor all three days, hosted a fun Smash Bros Invitational Tournament, and a “Smash Bros Smash Fest” at Best Buy locations across the country where gamers could try out the Wii U version of the upcoming title. Nintendo was more understated at E3 in comparison to Sony and Microsoft, but they had a lot going on.

As for the “Digital Event” itself, it was similar to the “Nintendo Direct” us fans are used to, but this one was wall to wall amazing. From the hilarious Robot Chicken-inspired opening and character videos sprinkled throughout, to the epic reveal of being able to use Miis in the Smash Bros games, it was a great show, and exactly what Nintendo needed to “get back into the game”.

Nintendo | E3 2014 Recap | Line-Up

Among the games that got the most buzz were the beautiful teaser for the Legend of Zelda game for Wii U, a unique FPS-like game called Splatoon, the M-rated Wii U-exclusive Bayonetta 2 being packaged along with an enhanced version of the original game, and Xenoblade Chronicles X. They also touched upon Skylanders-like figures and new Yoshi and Kirby games for the Wii U. One of my most anticipated games? A game where you can create, share and challenge your friends in Super Mario levels you create–using either the original 8-bit art style of the Wii U New Super Mario Bros style–called Mario Maker. I simply must have this game, as a level creator for this one of my all time favorite franchises is simply a dream come true.

Nintendo also made some key announcements outside the “Digitial Event”, sprinkled through the rest of the week. Three new IPs for the Wii U and one for 3DS were talked about, the reveal of Pac-Man being a new fighter in Smash Bros., and the mere mention of Star Fox being revived for the Wii U sent us Nintendo nerds into a frenzy.

Pac-Man announced in Super Smash Brothers

Nintendo | E3 2014 Recap | Wii U Gains Momentum

In my opinion, Nintendo needed to have a solid E3 and they did just that. I feel they won this year, thanks to Microsoft’s lackluster showing of mostly similarly themed games and Sony’s bizarrely boring second half of their presentation that focused on TV interaction and making games into movies. Nintendo had a wide variety of content, from trusted old franchises (Smash Bros) to mature games (Bayonetta 2) to action games (Hyrule Warriors) to games that will clearly be wildly addictive (Splatoon). They failed to announce some things I was hoping for, like a new Metroid, and half of the games talked about are 2015 releases. But it shows their dedication to Wii U, and, according to internet buzz, they not only came out on top at E3 this year, but many people who were on the fence are making a Wii U purchase part of their future plans based on what they saw.

It was, finally, a great week to be a Wii U fan–and once again–a Nintendo fan.

-Flapjack


Microsoft @ E3 2014 Recap

Enough with the sunshine and rainbows as Nintendo was not the only company to show at E3. Multi-billion dollar Microsoft also previewed for its console, the Xbox One.

Microsoft | E3 2014 Recap | Introduction

With Microsoft losing ground to Sony, this E3 needed to make more than the fanboys scream in order to gain the type of following it’s going to take to win this console war. Did they? It’s hard to tell with all the bias in the room and I need a breath of fresh air. Sniff……ahhhh…

Master Chief Collection for XBox One

Microsoft | E3 2014 Recap | Xbox One Technology

Let’s face it, the Kinect is a gimmick. I mean, I’m sure there were plenty of middle age mom’s buying Zumba Dance Fitness 18 on the Xbox 360, right? Wake up. Although it’s a neat technology for creating models for 3D printing, a majority of gamers don’t want to do jumping jacks in their living room.

A few titles mentioned at E3 that plan on using this feature but the big news was SDK being able to bypass the vampiric effect of the kinect, stating it will be able to increase Xbox One’s GPU power by 10% by driving a wooden steak into the Kinect’s chest. You won’t need to unplug it to receive this value, which is nice, and should make quite a few gamers happy. I feel you should sell your Kinect on eBay unless you get to see your girlfriend dancing in yoga pants… frequently.

Microsoft crucifies the Kinect.

Microsoft crucifies the Kinect.

Microsoft | E3 2014 Recap | Xbox One Games

Titanfall was a pretty good reason to pick up Xbox One prior to E3. But in actuality, very few exclusive rights gave most gamers any reason to purchase it over PS4 or the Wii U. Well, guess what? Nothing has really changed. Here are a few of the major points that Microsoft touched on:

Halo: The Master Chief Collection will bundle 4 Halo titles together with better graphics.

Forza Horizon 2 will have over 200 cars but still end up being worth $5 on ebay a year after release.

Xbox One will be the first system to release DLC content for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, that game that stars Kevin Spacey.

XBox One DLC

Yeah. What a joke.

The only potentially powerful thing in the new games department was Microsoft’s compatibility with Indie Development. One of the reasons Sony became popular in the early years was a ton of really solid PS1/PS2 games created by lesser known game developers. Most of which were really strong RPG’s that are still worth some loot today. Although I feel gaining ground on Sony is going to require more than just Mighty No 9, Hyper Light Drifter, Ori and the Blind Forest–it’s at least something that does not make me want to throw up.

When Phil Spencer (The Xbox Endboss) won’t even get behind his own product, brown nosing in a press release saying, “that gamers won E3”, we know the Xbox One E3 showcase was complete garbage. Why would I ever pay $60 for a game when I can spend half that much and pick up a classic like Megaman X? Beats me Microsoft, and I won’t let you pull the wool over gamers’ eyes and hide behind your veils.

At this point, I would rather take a bet that my local Chinese place is actually MSG free than to suggest Microsoft did anything spectacular at E3. They should give the console away for free in hopes that people at least buy the remaining copies of Titanfall. I’m going to play Gradius III for at least an hour after writing this so I don’t verbally assault elderly people at Trader Joe’s this weekend.

-Thomas Hake


Sony @ E3 2014 Recap

Sony | E3 2014 Recap | Introduction

What I find admirable about Sony has always been its commitment to excellence and value beyond what is considered healthy for business. I want a game that is competitive, easy-to-learn but hard-to-master, presents a visceral cinematic experience, is shareable with friends, fun to watch, and engages the gaming community. Where Microsoft dabbles in producing cinematic games like Halo and Nintendo has increased its power with the Wii U and games like Mario Kart 8–Sony has been ALL IN on this type of game experience for a long time. I find it as games for the mature gamer. This year’s E3 2014 showing has been amazing for mature gamers on the PS4.

Sony | E3 2014 Recap | Line-Up

Sony’s presence at this year’s E3 was mostly about bringing familiar IPs to the next level.

The Last of Us comes to PS4 in full 1080p. It was considered by most as the game of the year in 2013. Here is our review: The Last of Us Review (PS3).

Bloodborne, a game commissioned by From Software in the vein of Demon’s Souls and the Dark Souls series, came into the limelight as a PS4 exclusive. I bought my PS3 Slim exclusively for the release of Demon’s Souls, and now I see it happening for Bloodborne and the PS4 for gamers at large in the near future.

Little Big Planet 3 is coming to PS4 as well.

Uncharted 4 had an amazing one shot trailer that is bound to make gamers hungry for this sequel. We have an Uncharted board game review coming out soon as well as a YouTube playthrough we are working on.

Other strong showings were: non-exclusive games showcased on the PS4 like Far Cry 4, Destiny, & Grand Theft Auto V. Sony’s white Destiny PS4 console was well received, and Sony’s PlayStation TV made a strong showing. PlayStation TV is like an Apple or Amazon TV peripheral, but is compatible with several thousand streaming video games in addition to video streaming.

That’s Sony. I think their performance was solid. Sony is about excellence and their products speak for themselves. So who did you think performed best at E3–Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony? Chime in and be heard in the comments!

-GtVSlayer