E3 2021 Impression

E3 2021 has completed (a little over a week ago granted, oh well). This year, due the pandemic, E3 went pure digital and free for all. So how did that all translate out in the end? Meh. It was okay overall. Don’t get me wrong though, there were definitely some showcases that brought their ‘A’ game (“cough” Xbox/Bethesda and Nintendo “cough”), but it was okay overall.

So, what exactly stood out to me? Take a look at my Post E3 2021 Guide to see what stood out to me the most each day. No big surprise that most of what I listed were either part of the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase or Nintendo Direct. Out of all the publishers/showcases, they had the best showcases in my opinion.

The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase had the most announcements with some 30+ games. A nice mixture of first party, third party, and indie titles. However, I think their strongest statement wasn’t the games themselves, it was the fact that almost every titled they showed was tagged with “Day One Xbox Game Pass“. If you have an Xbox or PC, and have an Xbox Game Pass subscription, you are set for the rest of the year with all these titles. I have to hand it to Microsoft, they know what they are doing with this service. Easily the best subscription service I’ve ever signed up for. Also, they had the best trailer of all E3 with the announcement of The Outer Worlds 2.

Nintendo Direct, honestly don’t think there is much else to say. Full confession, I’m a huge Nintendo fan, so I’m thinking they would have been hard pressed not to disappoint me. However, not only did they not disappoint, they threw in some unexpected surprises with Metroid Dread, WarioWare: Get It Together, and Advanced Wars 1+2 Re-boot Camp. The even showed off some new gameplay of the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel that revealed Link is going back to the sky in this one. Skyward Sword helped introduce new mechanics into Breath of the Wild, and looks like it will now contribute to the story, potentially. I was hoping for a new Switch announcement, but I can wait. They showed me more than enough for one Direct.

As for the other publishers, I did enjoy the Ubisoft, Gearbox, Indie, Freedom Games showcases. While not a diehard Ubisoft fan, I’m really happy their are making Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. I’m also intrigued by Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Gearbox I wanted to see more gameplay from Tiny Tina’s Wonderland, but I have to hand it to them on overall production. Both the Indie and Freedom Games showcases I liked just from the perspective of seeing what new Indie games are coming out.

As for those that had the weaker showcases, that would be Capcom, Square Enix, and Bandia Namco. Don’t get me wrong with Capcom though. What they had I’m excited for, but it wasn’t anything new they haven’t already showcases previously. Just wanted to see more or an unexpected surprise. Square Enix had some interesting titles they showcased that have my attention, but not enough to really sell me. Then there was the Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin trailer. I have no idea what they were thinking outside, Chaos! Must kill Chaos! Don’t know why they have to kill Chaos. They just need to kill Chaos! Chaos! Also, over the top brutal combat that has no place in a Final Fantasy title. Onto Bandia Namco, or should I say the Dark Pictures: House of Ashes showcase. For those that like the Dark Pictures series, you are covered, which I’m not, and that was it. Nothing else. Not even a new trailer for Tales of Arise.

All in all, it was okay. Would I watch free E3 coverage again. I would. Would I pay to watch it? Probably not. Either way, I’m excited for what all is coming down the pipeline for my Game Pass for PC subscription and the new iconic titles announced for the Nintendo Switch. This is going to be a good year for gaming.

The Outpost’s Post E3 2021 Guide

E3 2021 came and went last week. Meant to post something sooner, but here is my quick post guide to E3 2021. Each day’s header is a link to E3’s official coverage for that day. While I was planning on trying to list everything, being only one person with a fulltime job and doing this on the side, I decided to just highlight what stood out to me the most. All links to YouTube videos either on E3’s own channel or the specific publisher’s own channel.

Day 1, 6/12 – Ubisoft Forward / Gearbox

Day 2, 6/13 – Xbox & Bethesda / Square Enix / PC Gaming

Day 3, 6/14 – Indie Showcase / Freedom Games / Capcom

Day 4 – Nintendo Direct and Nintendo Treehouse

Dragon Quest and Sonic Anniversaries

This year really does seem to be the year of iconic anniversaries. Case in point, Dragon Quest is celebrating it’s 35 anniversary and Sonic is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary. To help celebrate these milestones, both series held their own anniversary announcements yesterday and today.

First up, Dragon Quest, which hosted their 35th Anniversary video yesterday. In case you missed it, here it is.

While I can’t say all of it excited me, they did catch me with two major announcements, Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake and Dragon Quest XII: Flames of Fate.

I’ll be honest, my jaw dropped while watching the Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake gameplay. Dragon Quest III remade using the Octopath engine, where can I pre-order? No platforms or release date, but I expect it won’t be long based on what they showed, at least that is what I’m hoping. In case you want to just see this announcement, here it is.

As for Dragon Quest XII: The Flames of Fate, that is pretty much all that was released. Just the title. Granted, after showing the announcement, they did tease that this was going to be a darker game geared more towards an adult audience. It was also teased that they are going to be making some changes to the command based combat. What exactly, they are still trialing out some ideas, so more to come.

Next up, Sonic, which was hosted today as Sonic Central for Sonic’s 30th anniversary. In case you missed this one as well, here it is.

I’d say I am a Sonic fan, not hardcore, but I’ve always enjoyed playing a Sonic game since the the very first game. Those water levels always gave me major anxiety. Have to say that I am excited for the free online Sonic concert that Sega will be hosting on June 23rd. No big surprise, they announced Sonic Origins, which is a collection of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles. No release date, but a nice collection of classics.

The bigger announcements however, were Sonic Colors Ultimate slated for a September 7th release and a new untitled Sonic game slated for sometime 2022. I’ll be honest, I missed out on Sonic Colors, but don’t think I will with this one. Haven’t played a Sonic game in a while and this one looks nice.

As for the untitled Sonic game, will just have to wait for more details and continue to wonder what this means.

All in all, I’m happy with the announcements. I’ll definitely be snagging the Dragon Quest III HD-2D remake and strongly considering Sonic Colors Ultimate. If either release on Xbox Game Pass, that’s a no brainer. Then I just have to attempt to be patient for more details on Dragon Quest XII: Flames of Fate and the untitled Sonic game. Strong anniversary announcements.

April Resident Evil Showcase

In case you missed it, Capcom held another Resident Evil Showcase a couple days ago on 4/15 to reveal more details on Resident Evil Village and a few other Resident Evil announcements. In case you missed it, here it is just before it kicks off.

The biggest draw for me was Resident Evil Village, the 8th installment of the main series and direct sequel to Resident Evil 7, reprising the role of Ethan Winters. No big surprise, they released a brand new trailer to tease out even more of the story, including what looks to be an even more direct role for Chris Redfield in the village. If you just want to see the new trailer, here it is in it’s 4k glory.

Not sure if there is anything more for them to say to get me hooked. I’ve already got the game pre-ordered on Steam and I’m taking day off. In case you aren’t aware yet, Resident Evil Village released on May 7th.

So why the big showcase? They had a few new announcements to make. Capcom confirmed that Mercenary mode will be returning. To be honest, I never really got into Mercenary mode in a RE game, but I have to admit that it looks fun. The added ability to buy and upgrade gear between rounds does look nice. If your current strategy isn’t working as planned, change it up, if you have the money.

Capcom also announced a new timed demo for Village. Interesting approach if you ask me, but I’m not going to complain about a new demo, especially on PC, finally. Starting May 1st at 8:00 PM EDT to May 2nd at 8:00 PM EDT, a 60 minute demo will be available to play where you can explore the castle and/or village in the new game. You can spend all your time in one area if you want, or split it between both. If you are PS4/PS5 player, you will get early access to additional timed demos, these ones being 30 minute demos of the castle and village on separate days. The village PS4/PS5 demo opens April 17th and the castle demo opens April 24th. Here is a link to Capcom’s official page with the details and when you can start downloading the demos, Gameplay Demo.

Capcom also announced that they will be releasing a VR version of Resident Evil 4 on the Oculus. If you have an Oculus and never got to play RE4 yet or are just a huge fan of RE4, this should be an interesting take on the game. They also released an official trailer for the Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness animated series releasing on Netflix this year. Looks good and I’m definitely planning on binging this when it releases.

All that is left for me now is to patiently wait for the timed demo and the release of Resident Evil Village.

My Verdict on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5

Wanted to make sure I gave this some additional thought before making my own verdict on the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. To be completely honest, after seeing everything for the Xbox and PlayStation, I’m not interested in getting either just yet. Neither company has me really sold yet. Yes, both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are powerful consoles; but neither has anything worth dropping $500 on this year. Yes, PlayStation 5 is getting Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales this year, but so is the PlayStation 4. Sure, it will look much better and load way faster on the PlayStation 5, but that just doesn’t justify a new system for one exclusive title. Not even $400 for the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. Same with Xbox Series X/S. Yes, I want to play Halo Infinite, but I have a gaming PC that I know can run it. I also have Xbox Game Pass for PC. There just isn’t enough to make me want to get one at launch.

As for which system I may eventually get, that is still up in the air for me. Since I have a good gaming PC, there isn’t much of an incentive for me to get an Xbox Series X or S. The only exception for me is the backwards compatibility. I still on occasion grab my Original Xbox and Xbox 360 to play some of the games I still own for them. Unfortunately, because they are all physical, that will limit me to the Xbox Series X just for the disk drive. Can’t find any options yet for the Xbox Series S, if there are any. If there is a way, I’d seriously consider getting an Xbox Series S just for that to retire my Original Xbox and Xbox 360. Then just play all the newer releases on my PC.

As for the PlayStation, they are providing me with less and less incentives at the moment. The two major titles I most wanted to play are Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon Forbidden West, yet I can get both for my PlayStation 4 and save myself at least $400. Everything else is cross platform. True, they did just officially announce the new God of War, but no release date yet, so not until 2021 at the earliest. Then don’t forget about the Sony Executive mentioning they are looking into releasing more PlayStation first party titles on PC. If that honestly happens and the new God of War also releases on PC, I really have no reason to get a PlayStation 5.

Final verdict, if I had to pick one, I’d honestly consider the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. If money wasn’t a concern, I’d just go for the full PlayStation 5 to replace my PlayStation 4. I’d just hold off on the Xbox Series X until my Original Xbox and/or Xbox 360 die. Figure by then, I may be able to get an Xbox Series X at a lower price point. As for the games, my PC can hand what Microsoft is releasing.