The Larson Brothers E3 Wrap Up

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IMG_5359 Hey Kats and Kittens! It’s the Larson Brothers, Ethan & Andy, coming at ya with the best tag team blogging in the business! Often times on the GotS, we comment that we aren’t just about comic books, especially when it comes to our website. There’s all kinds of fantastic pop culture stuff swimming all over this site, including many articles on the video gaming arts!

But there are some days, when we really have to put our money where are mouth is in terms of our promise to provide this kind of content, and as a result there are some articles that we just HAVE to write about. Like for example when E3 happens!

For those of you that have been living under a rock for the past 25+ years, E3 is to video games like SDCC is to comic books. It’s the major annual world wide trade show, where the biggest names in the video game industry come out and share what’s on the horizon for their industry in order to gin up excitement among their loyal fan bases, and hopefully fill their coffers with that sweet green leafy cash once the next buzz worth game drops.

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So with E3 wrapping up today, Andy and I decided to recap some of the most awesome news that came out of this gaming extravaganza in our opinion. Again this might not be all the “best” news, or what others might find the most exciting, but as life long gamers ourselves, these were our personal picks for the things that made us sit up and yell “Take my Money!”


Breath of the Wild Sequel

IMG_5389As my old high school newspaper editor said, always lead with your top story, and for me there was no bigger news drop than Nintendo’s confirmation of something that we all hoped and prayed was happening. Legend of Zelda: BotW is officially getting a sequel and it’s currently in development!

This was huge news for me given I can sincerely say that BotW is probably one of the best games I have played in the past 20 years. It was everything I ever wanted from the Zelda franchise: a sprawling open world exploration game, fantastic story, incorporation of so many aspects of the shared mythology, tons of Easter eggs, incredible fight dynamics and action, just simply the culmination of everything I’ve ever put on my Zelda wishlist. And now it’s getting a sequel, in what looks like the same style and engaging game play. Check out the video teaser and you’ll see what I mean!

Yeah, that looks soooooo very good.

I especially like the somewhat darker tone, which says a lot given BotW was pretty dark already given it pretty much took place in an apocalyptic wasteland version of Hyrule. But this has undead Liches, creepy underworld caverns, sinister dark energy infecting the living, great stuff to give you more than a little goosebumps, which I feel is always important for a good adventure story. The threats need to be credible, y’know.

I also like the fact that Zelda seems to be an equal partner in this adventure, which makes me hope now that we’ll get some sort of ability to play the game almost “Resident Evil” style, choosing whether we want to play as Link or Zelda, and possibly there be different events and story lines you can encounter depending on your choice. That would really make players get some solid replay value out of the game, with the possibility of having to beat the game twice to get the full story.

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Plus, for those that thought Zelda was marginalized in the first BotW, this will give her more of a chance to shine. I also know my daughter is going to over the moon with a chance to play as Zelda instead of Link, which I’m sure is a sentiment shared by female gamers everywhere!


Final Fantasy VII Remake

IMG_5109 And speaking of post-apocalyptic, dystopian futures set in some of our favorite childhood memories, the much anticipated Final Fantasy VII remake is finally getting a release date*: March 3, 2020. 

That (*) astricks is because this is part one of the “Final Fantasy VII experience” or some nonsense like that (gotta love Nomura’s bizarre sequel naming conventions).  My guess is instead of a full game, we’ll only get all of Midgar through ShinRa HQ up until the big spoiler (which, do we need spoilers on a 23 year old game?). I know that might seem like greek to some of our readers out there, but for those of us that loved this game and remember it as one of the defining games of our childhood or adolescence, like myself, all of my comments should make perfect sense.

However, for everyone else, The Midgar section of the game is basically Disc 1 of the original game. This is supposed to be totally remapped, making it larger in both physical scope as well as story line scope enough for a full-length game.

Not entirely sold on the real-time combat…it seems like a direct derivative of the VATS system from Fallout (are all these dystopian games secretly the same?), where you directly control a character and input real time actions until your active-time battle queue fills up, where there you’ll be able to access a tactical menu that allows you to make summons and use more complex skills (I’m guessing).

Maybe it will also allow you to explode a person’s brain like Fallout too?  *shrug* but Kotaku editor/JRPG guru Jason Schreier says it plays “great” and “could be very  special”.

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Big expectations for such a beloved classic.


More Link’s Awakening Details

IMG_5389 Staying on my Legend of Zelda obsession for my second pick, Nintendo’s E3 press conference also shed some much needed light on the definite details surrounding their Switch remake of the classic Game Boy Zelda game: Link’s Awakening.

Although some may decry this as being simply a rehash of an older Zelda hit, I say those people just don’t have the proper perspective! Everything is a rehash of something else. Everything now a days has that “been there, done that” taint to it, so I say lighten up! If you watch the video below, it definitely doesn’t look like the same game I played all those years ago on those long family car trips to the beach.

Yep, those sprites look tight! Colorful, smart, playful, everything you want from a classic Zelda game! Plus with the top down approach and the even more kid friendly vibes, you are talking about one of the perfect Zelda games to pick up for the little ones to play as a family, introducing a brand new generation to the marvels that is the Zelda franchise.

Plus I gotta say the most exciting news about this remake was the fact that they are including in the game a “Zelda Maker” mode, similar to the smash hit “Super Mario Maker”, in which players can create their own Zelda dungeons for other players to try and defeat, which adds a ton of replay value with the open sandbox structure.

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Honestly, I don’t know why they didn’t think of this idea before!! It’s simply brilliant! I can not wait for this game to finally drop on September 20th. It will definitely be a solid addition to my collection!!


Minecraft Earth

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Most of the ghosts are *still* addicted to Pokemon Go (please give me Hopip candy!), and in similar vein, Microsoft showed off Minecraft Earth at E3.

While it’s hard to explain, it basically allows you to Minecraft-ize (Mine-forge?) the world around you through the power of your phone and manipulate objects in the real world.

Which means, that office building you’re looking at?  BAM!  Can become your house.  Or that creepy shed on a back road off Route 22 near Latrobe?  BOOM!  Will be a creepy shed in the game.

You’ll also be able to go Adventures with friends, where you can fight spiders and creepers with the swipe of your phone through Minecraft’s classic and very user-friendly user interface.  Your friends will even appear alongside you as living, breathing avatars you can see and interact with.

Seeing as though my time severely limited these days, having something like this on my phone might just fill that itch for an MMO…but who am I kidding, I’ll probably just build fences.

Lots and lots of fences.

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A beta is forthcoming, but no talk about when a release is coming.  After all, I think the main game is still technically in beta, maybe…?


Squaresoft’s Avengers Game

IMG_5389 Given that GotS is still primarily a comic book podcast and website, I couldn’t leave off comic book related video game news, especially when it deals with one of the hottest comic book properties out there, The Avengers.

Yep, at E3, Squaresoft finally revealed details surrounding its new Avengers game which is set to appear on PS4, Xbox, and PC in May of 2020. Similar to other games of this ilk, like the PS4 Spider-man and the Batman Arkham games, this seems to be a highly stylized semi open world action adventure game in which Earth’s Mightiest Heroes battle through a variety of threats following a massive attack by their enemies that seemingly claimed Captain America’s life and left the rest of the world in shambles.

Twitter is evidently blowing up with negative press on this game, but I’m going to how out the bulk of any feelings I might have on it, until I’ve actually played the game.

The only thing I will say on the plus side it is a Co op game which is always welcome, but on the minus side, all of those faces are roughers. Everyone looks constipated. Constipated and greasy. Like slick back hair greasy. And what’s up with everyone’s nose and facial structure, it just seems anatomically incorrect…


Cyberpunk 2077

IMG_5109Forget the Avengers, we have a real life superhero to talk about.

That’s right, Mr. Wick himself Keanu Reeves will be appearing in Cyberpunk 2077, the new game from Witcher 3 developers CD Projekt Red. (which btw, Witcher 3 is finally being ported to the Switch as well so you’ll have that to replay while waiting for your next flight)

Cyberpunk 2077 is based on the classic tabletop RPG Cyberpunk written by Mike Pondsmith and is described as a “first-person shooter RPG”.

 

Very cool stuff, love the ascetic, looks like a Fallout 3/4 type experience with hopefully better combat. It’s due out April 16, 2020.


Atari VCS Revealed

IMG_5389This might not be true E3 news, but we are getting more details on the Atari’s latest attempt to remain relevant and hopefully ride that hipster nostagia vibe all the way to the bank with it’s VCS system.

Yes, the granddaddy of all video game companies wants you to remember the time before the NES when the 2600 dominated the home gaming landscape. With this sleek wood paneled retro design for its new VCS hiding a pretty impressive set of processing hardware underneath, it promises to pack a pretty powerful gaming punch.

However, up until recently, there’s been speculation as to what it exactly will do?!? Just play remixed versions of Pong and Yars Revenge?!? No thank you!

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But promises of being a multi funuctional media and gaming platform seemed to take one step closer to reality with the recent bombshell that you will be able to load other operating systems on the consule from an external hard drive!

That’s right, you can load Windows 10 and that means you can load everything that entails, from Steam to Media players to…ahem…emulators…cough..cough…

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Not that we would condone that at GotS, but it seems as if this system would be a homebrewers dream come true, giving other people the licease to “Rom” without having to do take a lot of elborate steps to “jailbreak” the system.

That could be a game changer for some, not only for that but just the opportunity to set it up as a Steam Machine without a lot of expensive hardware.

Preorders are already being accepted at Gamestop, Walmart, and other places for release in the Spring of 2020.


Pokemon Sword & Shield

IMG_5109So a little sad news for Stew and other Poke-holics: the upcoming Sword and Shield expansions won’t allow you to import *all* of your Pokemon from other franchises.  They have to be found native in the Galar region, which I believe will severely limit the amount of Pokemon available.

So bright side, you won’t have to find a $1000 Switch-to-GBA adapter from China on eBay.

Other good News:

A) It’s based in Europe (UK to be exact), and Europe is perfectly suited for Pokemon with varied geography and thousands of years of architecture.

B) The new DYNAMAX feature, which allows your Pokemon to become Kaiju basically.

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C) You can export your Pokemon to take them for a walk using the Pokeball controller found in Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee.

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D) Wooloo is TAKING OVER OUR BRAINS WITH ITS CUTENESS

I mean…LOOK AT IT

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IT

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Sword and Shield are due out on November 15, 2019.


 

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