E3 2019 Day 2 – my picks of interest

Halfway through, what tickled my fancy today?

Not as excited by a lot of today’s news as I was by Day 1’s, but there was still so much goodness to be viewed! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Watch Dogs Legion

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Watch Dogs. In a weird way, it felt too ‘Assassin’s Creed’ samey grind for me.

That said, over the last few years, apparently Ubisoft has lifted their game big time, and I keep being tempted to give it a go. Too much backlog has spared me so far, but these games keep coming to Game Pass, and surely PS Plus will get a shot soon.

But a Watch Dogs where they have ironed out the kinks, and bring in recruitment and multiple characters? I am not pre-ordering, but I will be keeping an eye on Watch Dogs Legion, be sure of that 🙂

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

Excited for this one, but I am not 100% sure why.

My Final Fantasy is VII. That is the first one I played, and as such it has a special place in my heart. In a lot of ways, XII is probably my favorite of the series, but that’s a different story.

But now, the ‘missing’ remaster is coming to basically everything. In a lot of ways, I want to get this on Switch and make it my portable Final Fantasy machine 🙂

But backwards compatibility is finally being taken seriously by Sony. Decisions, decisions. Either way you go, I am glad this fan is finally getting the remaster treatment like the rest of the PS1 classics!

Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind

So technically revealed prior to the Square Enix presentation, it was a flip up between including Re:Mind or Final Fantasy VII Remake.

While I still feel the difficulty required for the Kingdom Hearts 3 Platinum was lowered considerably, the fact that even as busy as I was I could still earn the trophy should demonstrate my love for the series.

There is more coming. If you know what the story is about from the trailer, then you are amazing.  All I care about is more Kingdom Hearts is coming, and I want to play it 😀

The Last Remnant Remastered

When Square Enix makes a hit, they make a hit. The Last Remnant was released for XBOX late 2008, and never seemed to make as big an impact as its Final Fantasy counterparts.

But it should have.

I still have The Last Remnant on Steam. Not a fancy remaster, but I can play it still I believe. Last year, the remaster was released on PS4, possibly as an apology for it never coming out on PS3 like it was supposed to?

Either way, you can play it now on the Switch. If you are short of deep narrative adventures, give this one a look. It deserves more recognition, it really does.

And that’s about it for Day 2 and what piqued my interest!

What about you? Are you really excited for something that I haven’t mentioned?

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

E3 2019 – My picks for most excited news!

How’s that wallet feel? Mine is tensing up, but it’s not complaining. Yet.

Day one is done. So many announcements and things that I am looking forward to. There were only a few things I saw that I was ‘Meh’ about, but a lot of things were largely classified as ‘keep an eye on’.

But the things that got me excited and thinking the most? Well, they are below 🙂

Cyberpunk 2077

I used to play Cyberpunk back in the day. A pen and paper RPG, it was a great escape and showed me that sci-fi and fantasy are basically the same things.  Yes, they are, you know it’s true.

A year ago, I wrote a piece asking the Australian Film and Literature Classification Board to let me play Cyberpunk 2077. Drugs and other mature things are ingrained in this universe, and they have the power to refuse the game classification.

None of this has changed. What has changed is we know Cyberpunk 2077 releases April 16th, 2020. And it has Keanu Reeves. Yes, I have already preordered it on GoG.com.

XBOX Game Pass PC and Game Pass Ultimate

Last year I bought a second hand XBOX One S to play games I had missed with Game Pass. Last weekend, I bought a new XBOX One S because it was purple.

I haven’t had the time to really sit and play the games I have wanted to, but that is changing. Void Bastards has gotten some play time, and will be getting more this week probably. $10 a month for access to over 100 games? It’s a good deal. XBOX Gold? Not so much, as I am not playing multiplayer or really want to buy new games at a discount.

This may be the best sales idea Microsoft has ever had

But now, I can keep my XBOX Game Pass, have access to a bunch more games on PC, and have Gold and the 4 free games a month for $15 a month? Yes, I am already signed up.

Doom Eternal

I know Doom’s popularity is primarily from multiplayer, but the single-player campaign from the 2016 reboot was so much fun and felt just like the original Doom.

Doom Eternal, the new sequel, seems to be taking a new twist. Run around and blow up everything with a huge array of funky weapons? Yep, that’s still there.

But now apparently you (as Doomguy obviously) have got the attention of the heavens. Angelic combat, anyone?

Doom is not a subtle series, and I hope they keep this up. Either way, more Doom coming November 22nd, 2019.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

OK, it will just be the first ‘episode’, but we now have a release date for this long teased Square Enix favourite.

The new trailer shows even more Final Fantasy XV style combat, but by itself that doesn’t worry me. As I have said before, I am not one of the people asking for a straight remaster, so I am looking forward to seeing what Square Enix has done.

And I will find out March 3rd, 2020. Luckily it is the first ‘episode’ – Bloodlines 2 and Cyberpunk are right in this same time frame!

Project Scarlett and the cloud

This is an area I am not so much excited for, as keeping an eye on. Microsoft’s cloud gaming service turns your XBOX One into a local server – essentially download the game locally. Not a bad idea, but a new packaging on an existing idea.

The next gen console though. Hardware wise, Scarlett and the PS5 (if that’s what they call it) sound the same – new hardware with early access to PCI-E 5 technology to use ridiculous amounts of bandwidth internally.

So the gauntlet is thrown, Sony.

Tech upgrades aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but people balked at the price of the XBOX One X. These new consoles either have to be crazy expensive (comparatively), or the respective companies will be making a massive loss on initial sales – much more than previous generations.

Who is going to buy this straight away? Early adopters and mega fans sure, but for the first time possibly the PC gaming ‘master class’ that has previously snubbed consoles.

The number of people that dropped around AUD$1,500 – 2,000 for the Nvidia 20×0 series before the specs were even confirmed was ridiculous. Having early access to new storage tech and the apparent blazing load times, this is a key area where PC players cite that PC beats consoles.

I am not saying that console gaming is about to make PC gaming obsolete or anything like that.  But the market for people who will throw massive amounts of money because a single number marks it as ‘the best’ has grown significantly, and I am wondering if the traditional console war is finally on the way out.

Want to play old games? Depending on your platform, you can buy them again, have some backwards compatibility or streaming. If you are lucky enough to be in an area that PlayStation Now exists. (Yes, shots fired. Stop advertising things to me you know I can’t access Sony!).

Want to play new games without expensive hardware? Stream them. You will need the internet that only about 8 countries in the world can provide, but there is no doubt that streaming content is the future.

Hardware wise, the XBOX and PlayStations are basically identical these days (yes there are differences, but they are now AMD computers with different tweaks in a broad sense). Nintendo has always done its own thing, and look at the success of the Switch.

But now more than ever before, the content is what the war is about, not the hardware. On the PC, Epic has paid for exclusive deals on big titles to woo people over. Microsoft has made it all but a no brainer for people to just hand over $15 a month, and look how much Netflix makes from the same deal. Sony is still as stubborn as ever in its ways, but that might give Microsoft an advantage.

I don’t think the end goal for hardware like Scarlett and PS5 is as focused on getting hardware to the masses anymore. That will be handled by streaming onto comparatively lower spec machines.

But that goal is still probably 5-10 years away. If you want to play the new games and don’t have access to streaming, these high-end machines could put gaming out of your reach.

It will be an interesting 12 months to see what Sony and Microsoft do about all this.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

A big week of reveals, and another one coming! E3 2019 times and more

Wow it’s been a week.  And next week is going to be bigger!

End of financial year is a hard time work wise on a lot of people, including myself.  Last thing I remember it was Tuesday and I was trying to get out early, then finish at a reasonable time, then working until way too late at home.

Now it’s Friday morning, I am semi-recharged after a night of finishing Good Omens and rest, and I am looking at all the announcements over the week I need to actually look up.

Wow.

So today is a very quick ‘Wow’ wrap up of what I have been looking at and what I want to look into over the next week or so!

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Looking at the first ‘real’ Pokemon game for the Switch, the Pokemon Direct a couple of days ago certainly revealed a lot of exciting looking info.  Not the least being the release date – November 15th!

Dynamax looks like a great mechanic, and when I first saw the affected Gyrados I immediately thought “Pokemon Kaiju!!”

Catch the entire 15 minute direct here (don’t forget to click the ‘YouTube’ link if you want to go to the main YouTube page!)

Google Stadia

So I still have a lot to take in with the Stadia stream, as I haven’t got a chance to look at a whole bunch of it in detail yet, but there is a lot of promise.

Nothing for Australia yet, but I am really happy to see Australia (and Brisbane!) on the server map – not something I was expecting!

The pricing also has me very happy. Yes, it’s more expensive than Game Pass, but you need almost no new hardware to play with it! Games wise, there isn’t anything exclusive yet that has me drooling, but there are 2 new reveals that have caught my interest…

Nothing for Australia yet, but that pricing is very attractive

Destiny 2

So Bungie is free of the Activision publisher agreement, and we are starting to see some big changes coming.

Firstly, as they are no longer involved with Activision Blizzards, Destiny 2 on PC is moving from Battle.net to Steam. I would put a joke about the Epic Store coming in and stealing it as an exclusive, but that’s another thing entirely.

It’s also coming to Google Stadia. Going for the Fortnite play anywhere approach Bungie?

Secondly, the next expansion ‘ShadowKeep’ is completely standalone – no previous purchases required to play! This certainly makes the price of entry a lot easier on new players. Shadowkeep is dropping September 17th.

And finally, the most interesting news to me overall – there is going to be a free version of Destiny 2.  Called New Light, at the moment it looks like it will be a free version of the base game and all Year 1 DLC and items associated with it.

As a try-before-you-buy tactic, this is definitely a much better idea in my opinion than the free base game that came out last year. Yes, it gave you a small idea of Destiny, but for a game that is designed to evolve over time it was the worst version of Destiny 2.  Not sure when this is coming out, but I think it’s a great idea overall.

Baldurs Gate 3

As a long-time computer RPG player, the Baldur’s Gate series has a special place in my heart.

The new Enhanced Editions are fine to play, but they do show how far the technology has really come over the years.

That said, they also prove the old adage “Good gameplay trumps good graphics 9 times out of 10!”

So during the Stadia presentation, one of the game revealed was indeed Baldur’s Gate 3.  It is being developed by Larian Studios, the same people behind the Divinty: Original Sin series.

Short version – yay it’s coming to PC and Stadia! And the reveal intro looks AMAZING.

I will just let it speak for itself.

E3 2019 Starts Monday (Australian Time, anyway)

That’s right – one of the biggest events for video games is starting – and already has in a lot of ways!

But the ‘formal’ show starts Monday 6am for East Coast Australians, so there will be another week of spotty ‘Oooh!’ and ‘Aaaah!’ reports coming 🙂

Times for the shows in Australian Eastern Standard Time are below:

Monday, June 10
Microsoft 6:00 AM
Bethesda 10:30 AM
Devolver Digital 12:00 PM
Tuesday, June 11
Ubisoft 6:00 AM
Square Enix 11:00 AM
Wednesday, June 12
Nintendo 2:00 AM

There are a lot of side events and simultaneous happenings as well, but these are the main reveals.  I wonder how much more is happening inside E3?

Until next time,

JohnHQLD