Friday, June 19, 2015

The Top 50 Game Soundtracks of All Time - #30-21

Welcome to week three of the Top 50 Game Soundtracks of All Time, as chosen by yours truly. There are but two rules for games to be listed here: 1) They have to be from games I've played, and 2) They can't be made up of licensed music.

After this edition, we're more than halfway through my picks of the best gaming soundtracks to ever grace my small, delicate ears. I'd love to hear your thoughts on my choices, and perhaps I'll make you a fan of a soundtrack you slept upon! For now, though, let's get back to my list with #30!

Check out entries #50-41 here.
Check out entries #40-31 here.

30) The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)

Ryo Nagamatsu arranged classic A Link to the Past themes as well as composed a high number of original themes to create a soundtrack in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds that blends the familiar sounds of Hyrule with a lot of new aural goodness simultaneously. From unforgettable themes of Koji Kondo like Hyrule Field and Kakariko Village to Ryo Nagamatsu-penned pieces like the various dungeon themes, this soundtrack is a favorite of mine for sure.

29) Star Fox 64 (N64)

Seems like a fitting time to be mentioned Star Fox 64, what, with the unveiling of the partly Platinum Games-developed Star Fox Zero for Wii U. There's no better on-rails classic than Star Fox 64, and its soundtrack heightens all of the aerial action, ground combat, and undersea exploration that the game possesses. All of this music helped Star Fox 64 feel like a much bigger spectacle than it would have been without it.

28) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)

Dave Wise is a masterful composer and musician, and time and time again he proves this. Another example of his greatness lies in the Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze soundtrack. It's a menagerie of glorious sounds, sophisticated beats, complex rhythms, and marvelous melodies that can't help but make you hum along as you play-- no matter how many times you fall into one of those bottomless pits!

27) Mario Kart 64 (N64)

Kenta Nagata composed one of my favorite soundtracks for the Nintendo 64. It just so happens to be Mario Kart 64, an early release on Nintendo's 64-bit system. Listening to the country jamming of Moo Moo Farm, sliding across the ice to Frappe Snowland's music, or watching a moving tribute to every course in the game with the wonderful credits music accompanying it are all memories I have thanks to the remarkable compositions of Mr. Nagata.

26) Mega Man X4 (PS1, SAT)

If you're a fan of synth instruments that sound awesome, then you're probably like me and dig the superb sounds of the Mega Man X4 soundtrack. I wanted to limit myself in my picks of soundtracks for each series (well, I sort of failed already with Sonic the Hedgehog), so I picked what I consider the best of the Mega Man X soundtracks to reach the number on my list. With outstanding melodies, terrific rhythms, and impressive instrumentation, Mega Man X4 is one of my favorite Mega Man soundtracks.

25) Banjo-Kazooie (N64)

Successfully creating a dynamic soundtrack which has instruments and key signatures changing as the player reaches different parts of a given level is no easy challenge. However, Grant Kirkhope rose above it and created just that. With a lengthy list of whimsical themes, happy-go-lucky tunes, and tense arrangements, Banjo-Kazooie's soundtrack seldom fails to put a smile on my face whenever I listen to it or play the game.

24) Perfect Dark (N64)

A woman needs a fine selection of weaponry and guns for a given mission. As a player, I need a fine selection of tremendous music to go along with my missions of espionage, stealth, and extraction. Perfect Dark delivers just this, with a wide range of smooth spy themes as well as kicked up versions of mission themes. It doesn't matter how many rounds in the old Combat Simulator (the multiplayer mode of the game) that I play-- the music never fails to get me hyped for combat!

23) Sonic the Hedgehog (PS3, 360)

The game itself might be an absolutely horrid one to make spies talk, but the actual production values of Sonic the Hedgehog's 2006 entry cannot be denied as anything but great. From the beautiful visuals to the subject of this list, the music, Sonic the Hedgehog's 2006 outing wasn't wholly bad. It at least had one of the best soundtracks in series history, offering rock as well as outstanding orchestral pieces.

22) Sonic Adventure 2 (DC)

I just can't seem to shake that blue hedgehog! Wow. Now I'm starting to sound like old Robotnik/Dr. Eggman! Anyway the Sonic Adventure 2 features a wide variety of musical styles. While Sonic the Hedgehog's levels feature fast-paced rock songs, Tails' stages feature more uptempo and bouncy music. Then you have my man Knuckles who has some interesting rap and hip-hop beats that yes, while totally cheese, are still fun to listen to.

21) Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)

Coming from an assortment of composers including the team of ACE+ and Kingdom Hearts' Yoko Shimomura, Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the Wii's best soundtracks. I'd go as far to say that the sensational score of the game is one of the last generation's greatest. Then again, that's not too big of a leap to make, as it's of the great majority that Xenoblade's music is the cream of the crop when it comes to soundtracks last generation.

We're more than halfway through my list of the top 50 game soundtracks of all time. Stick around for next week when I list numbers 20-11!

Mega Man 7 (SNES, Wii U VC) Retro Review

E3 2015 is in the books. What books, you ask? Don't press me on these things, please. Instead of worrying about which books E3 2015 is in, why not check out this all-new retro review featuring one of my favorite video game series, Mega Man! It's time to dive into the seventh installment of the series, the Super Nintendo's Mega Man 7. Let's see if it has the power of a charge shot or a weak little pea shooter instead.

A new era of Mega Man doubles the bits and the action

For a long time it seemed like a Mega Man game releasing was a common occurrence. Heck, Capcom could have four Mega Man games releasing in one year-- and that's on the low end. Nowadays, we don't know what we've got until it's gone. Mega Man is seldom seen outside of rare cameo appearances. Still, we have a profusion of classic titles featuring the Blue Bomber to enjoy, and one such title is the Super Nintendo's Mega Man 7, also available on the Wii U Virtual Console. The latter, to me, is the better option considering most of us don't want have to justify spending over $100 to legally own a copy of the game.

Mega Man 7's structure is a little different from what you've seen from past Mega Man games. Yes, you still enter one of eight Robot Master stages and beat the boss at the end to absorb their special weapon, but this time around, Mega Man 7 begins with an opening stage that brings some narrative during gameplay. It's this dilapidated city street opening stage that has Mega Man meeting up with Bass and his canine companion (hmm, that seems a bit familiar) Treble. Is he friend, or is he foe?

Mega Man's about to send this polar bear into hibernation... for good!
After finishing the opening level, instead of all eight Robot Master stages being available to choose from, only four are available from the start: Freeze Man, Cloud Man, Junk Man, and Burst Man. Upon defeating all four Robot Masters, an interlude stage at the robot museum takes place, and then after that, the other four Robot Master stages of Slash Man, Spring Man, Shade Man, and Turbo Man are available along with the ability to replay the other four Robot Master stages if you like.

Junk Man's stage is in great need of an exterminator. 
This is different from past classic Mega Man games because in the NES series of six games, you couldn't return to a previously beaten Robot Master stage. With Mega Man 7, it's recommended to do so, as Mega Man 7 again adds more to the classic formula by having a heaping of collectible items that are optional but very helpful to gather.

For instance, in the first four Robot Master stages there are one of four R-U-S-H circuit pieces hidden in each that when all have been gathered, allows Mega Man to fuse with Rush, Mega's canine companion, to thrust into the air as well as power up his charge shot to unleash a homing arm attack. That's not all there is to find in Mega Man 7 either to add to the longevity of the game. There's Mega Man's bird buddy Beat to free from its cage in one of the eight Robot Master stages, items that are buried underground that only Rush can dig up (but you also need to find the Rush Search upgrade to do this). Perhaps there's even a gift from Mega Man's brother Proto Man to be found for those who search well enough for it...

On the Robot Master selection menu, you can press the Select button to enter Auto's shop, where bolts that are found sprinkled in levels and dropped by defeated foes can be spent on various goods. These are goodies like extra Energy Tanks that heal Mega Man in the middle of battle, Weapon Tanks that refill Mega Man's weapon energy, and extra lives for those especially hazardous levels to Mega Man's health.

Use bolts found in stages to purchase helpful
boosts for Mega Man's cause.
As the Blue Bomber in Mega Man 7 is a much larger sprite than what was seen in the NES games, levels feel much more compact. This is especially apparent in vertical areas, where it's not very easy to see what's up ahead of you.

As for levels themselves, Mega Man 7 features a robust collection of Robot Master stages that contain numerous obstacles, level hazards, and for lack of a better term, gimmicks, that will keep you on your toes and your palms sweating profusely. For example, Turbo Man's stage is one part tire factory, where you have to make careful jumps while avoiding getting bounced by the never-ending supply of tires being transported on the ceiling. The other part is a mad dash downward, evading deadly heat beams a la Quick Man's stage. Then there's Cloud Man's stage which is all about perilous leaps over bottomless pits from suspended in the sky platform to platform.

There's not much room to maneuver on these platforms,
so don't let those enemies push you off, Mega Man!
Each Robot Master stage coincidentally enough ends with a Robot Master battle. Each has their own attack patterns, some easier to dodge than others. It's to your benefit to figure out and use the weapon that that Robot Master is weak against (unless you're a total showoff, of course). Each time you defeat a Robot Master, you gain their special weapon. That weapon can be used on another Robot Master who it is weak against to make battles much easier than they would be otherwise. Obviously you can also use special weapons outside of boss battles, but you do have to worry about running out of weapon energy. This can be recharged by dropped items from enemies or through the aforementioned Weapon Tanks.

Mega Man-- practice your base-stealing moves
at another time. You've got a Robot Master to beat!
After the initial eight Robot Masters are taken down, Dr. Wily's lair opens up, It's a series of four stages that get progressively more difficult and offer the greatest platforming challenges within Mega Man 7. It also just so happens to feature what I consider the hardest final boss in the classic Mega Man franchise!

Mega Man 7 is a short game, possibly spanning anywhere between 3-6 hours based on skill level. Since the game does not have a save battery, you need to record the sixteen digit password that displays each time you complete or exit a level. Then, when you return to the game, you have to input that password to pick off where you left off with all of your items and weapons intact. It's a pain of a process, especially when games with save batteries on the Super Nintendo were so common even at the time of Mega Man 7's release, but at least it's not an NES Metroid-length password!

Perfect timing to be in this stage considering
Jurassic World just released in theaters.
Mega Man himself controls extremely tightly, offering great precision control. It's incredibly important for a precision-based run and gun platformer, so it's a godsend that Mega Man 7's controls feel so well done.

The visual style of Mega Man 7 truly uses the Super Nintendo's 16-bit processor to its full potential, offering vibrant levels, detailed and expressive character and enemy sprites, and impressive environments. There is slowdown to watch out for in particularly heated moments, which did mess me up once or twice while playing, so that's something to keep in mind. The music is suitably catchy, and is just as memorable as the NES stuff to me. That is to say that the music is still as awesome as ever.

Sure, it's all fun and games bouncing around
until you get skewered by some spikes.
Mega Man 7 is seen as sort of a black sheep in the Mega Man line due to its larger sprites, which I didn't mind too much, and it being the only 16-bit game in the classic mainline Mega Man series. What it doesn't offer much in screen space, it does offer smart level design, challenging boss battles, and plenty of extras, against the norm of past Mega Man games. It's imperfect and pales in comparison to the greats of the franchise, but Mega Man 7 is a solid Blue Bombing experience all the same.

[SPC Says: B]

SPC Interviews: Happy Badger Studio (SmuggleCraft)

I've had the privilege of interviewing some great subjects in the past: Sean Velasco of Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight), Manfred Linzner of Shin'en Multimedia (FAST Racing NEO), and most recently, Big John Games (Cube Creator 3D). However, this interview subject is more personal to me as part of the St. Louis game development community. Happy Badger Studio is stationed right here in St. Louis, and I've known most of the crew there for a couple of years now. It excites me that they're entering console development with their work on the upcoming PlayStation 4 downloadable title SmuggleCraft, an atypical racing game featuring players piloting hovercrafts through procedurally generated courses. See the details of this upcoming PS4 release with my interview with them below.

Phil Stortzum (PS): Just to bring everyone up to speed, would you tell everyone about Happy Badger Studio, how long you've been a team, past games, and the origins of your studio?

Happy Badger (HB): Happy Badger Studio has been making games since 2011, including mobile titles like Stodgy Gents, The Flip. Cosmic Kitty Pop, and Strange Donuts vs. The World, among others. Long story short, we and several friends came together shortly after graduating from college, and decided to work together to make games.

PS: In our first interview I asked if you were ever going to delve into console gaming. Now, several years later, SmuggleCraft is your console debut, and it’s looking promising. What made you decide now was the time to try your hand at console game development?

HB: It felt like the right time for us to experiment with console game development. We wanted to create something that felt more substantial than a two-minute mobile game, and PC and console seemed like the obvious choice. Once we saw the PlayStation presentation at IndieCade, we were convinced that Sony would be the right platform for us moving forward.

PS: Where did the inspiration to make SmuggleCraft come from? Where did the ideas about the mechanics, narrative, and structure originate?

HB: The idea came out of wanting to question what's typically expected of a racing game, and make something totally unique. We were tired of games that ask you to constantly race around in circles, so our first goal of the prototype was to make a game that was fun to play and had randomly-generated tracks to keep players from memorizing circuit tracks.

PS: When did development for SmuggleCraft begin? What did you work on first for the game?

HB: We started in October of 2014. In the beginning, it was just one or two of us working on it a few hours a week. We spent most of our time in the beginning focusing on controls and the feel of the hovercraft. We knew that it had to feel just right, so we spent a lot of time getting it exactly where we wanted it. It wasn’t until later on that we started adding in better graphics, effects, and additional mechanics.

PS: When is development set to end for SmuggleCraft, and when is the game planned to be released?

HB: We’re aiming to release early 2016. There’s a lot of work left to be done!

PS: Do you worry that the name of SmuggleCraft might lead people to believe your game is related in gameplay style to Minecraft and games of its ilk?

HB: Some people don’t like the name. I guess they think ‘craft’ is overused. It’s a bit polarizing, and we think that’s okay. In the end, it’s a hovercraft game that’s about the skill (or craft) of smuggling, and it also includes craft-able vehicle parts. It seemed too perfect.

PS: SmuggleCraft features procedurally generated courses to speed one’s hovercraft on. How does they work and how hard was it to make it so randomized courses didn’t look or play off-kilter or totally messes?

HB: The track is designed sort of like a puzzle-piece system. The track pieces have a variety of path sizes that connect to other pieces with the same size path. Each track piece is designed carefully with a specific experience in mind, but which pieces will ultimately connect together is randomized.

PS: Not only are the courses procedurally generated, but if I recall correctly, so are the hovercrafts presently. Do you plan to offer hovercraft customization?

HB: Hovercrafts will be customizable. The hovercrafts in the multiplayer demo right now are random to visualize the variety in crafts that there can be, but ultimately players will be able to use their own custom vehicles using modular ship parts.

PS: What does the single-player portion of SmuggleCraft currently offer, and what else do you plan on adding to it? How much variety will there be apart from maneuvering one’s hovercraft from the start of a given course to the finish?

HB: The single player campaign mode will offer a few different quest types for players to enjoy, and an overall narrative that they can play out and will change depending on the quests they take on and the way they play the game.

PS: How is progress measured in SmuggleCraft? How are you going to keep SmuggleCraft in the minds of players for the long-term, so it’s not just played once and then never played again?

HB: Our hope is that players will fall in love with the gameplay in the single player campaign mode, then continue to play as a social experience with the local and online multiplayer functionality. We've found within ourselves that the games that we play the longest and keep coming back to are the ones that give us a great social experience.

PS: When I played SmuggleCraft at your studio, I accumulated credits as I completed racing events. What are they going to be used for?

HB: Credits will primarily be used for the crafting system. Players will be able to use what they collect to make ship parts and upgrade their ships to suit their specific driving preferences.

PS: What are you planning on offering for multiplayer? Will there be local as well as online play, and if so, for how many players? What is your biggest ambition towards multiplayer in SmuggleCraft?

HB: We do plan to offer both local and online. We’d love to be able to offer eight or more players simultaneously online, but we still have a lot of work to do for that, so we’ll see what we can do!

PS: What is each member doing as part of SmuggleCraft’s development?

From left to right: T.J. Hughes, Carol Mertz, Joey Paniello,
Ben Triola, Dana Huth (not pictured: Philip Hayes)
HB: Ben Triola: Producer, Designer;
Dana Huth: Creative Director, Level Designer;
Carol Mertz: Narrative Designer, Character Artist;
Joey Paniello: Lead Developer;
TJ Hughes: Technical Artist;
Philip Hayes: Music

PS: You’ve been collaborating with Sony for SmuggleCraft with them giving you access to a PlayStation 4 development kit. How was the process to become a PS4 developer? Has Sony been kind and complementary to your studio?

HB: Sony has been very helpful and supportive throughout the process. We are really grateful to be working on a title for the PlayStation 4.

PS: Where do you see Happy Badger Studio in a year’s time? Five years? If I could be so bold, in ten years' time?

HB: For all of those things: still making great games!


My thanks to the Happy Badger Studio crew for their time and thoughtful responses through this insanely busy time for them. Stay tuned to SuperPhillip Central for even more interviews in the future of developers both big, small, and everything in between.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nintendo Digital Event 2015: A Swing and A Miss-- But It Didn't Have to Be

Perhaps you're not of the opinion that Nintendo's Digital Event for E3 2015 this past Tuesday was a failure. That's quite okay as an opinion, but it's one that makes you in the minority. A great number of people found the Digital Event more than disappointing. However, it really is bewildering to me because it didn't have to be a disappointment. It could have been something actually successful had it possessed better organization.

No, I don't mean throwing in an announcement of a "true" 3D Metroid or anything of that stature. I'm not talking about revealing that a game is in development that doesn't even exist yet. I mean that first of all, Nintendo could have staggered its announcements from E3 week much better. For instance, Nintendo revealed a lot of announcements within a Nintendo Micro Direct a week or so prior to E3. These included localization announcements of Bravely Second, Little Battlers Experience (or LBX), and the new Nintendo 3DS Chibi Robo game. These could have been saved for the Nintendo Digital Event to excite fans.

Even the Super Smash Bros. Direct that took place this past Sunday could have been implemented into the Digital Event instead to make for some very exciting announcements. The announcements of Street Fighter's Ryu and Fire Emblem's Roy could have been quite intriguing announcements to fill fans with hype at the Digital Event rather than being unveiled earlier.

What was most disappointing about the Digital Event was that many of us assumed that Nintendo was getting all of these announcements prior to the event out of the way because there was so much left to show during the event itself. This turned out to be a false assumption, and one that very much angered plenty of Nintendo fans. Well, they are some of the most emotional fans out there...

Just imagine, if you will, if Nintendo had saved the localization announcements from the Nintendo Micro Direct and the news from the Super Smash Bros. Direct from Sunday for the Digital Event. There would have been so much more to be excited about definitely. Instead, what we got were overly long developer interviews, one for a game that is due out really soon in PAL territories, Yoshi's Woolly World; a lengthy Skylanders Superchargers segment (which at least showed what little third-party support the Wii U still has); and while entertaining, puppet segments that seemed to have more love put into them than the actual way the announcements were shown.

That said, I'm not of the opinion that Nintendo hurt my feelings or betrayed me by their E3 showing. I'm quite interested in a lot of the games they unveiled (The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, Metroid Prime: Federation Force-- I won't go into detail about the entitled man-baby petition to cancel the game because it hurt their feelings-- Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, Fire Emblem: Fates, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, etc.). It's just the messaging and how the announcements were arranged that completely confuse me-- really showing me that Nintendo truly doesn't have a clue.

While the sky won't fall because of a poor E3 showing, Nintendo does have to step it up if it wants to keep gamers thinking it is a relevant company within the video game world. Showings like its Digital Event do not help in this instance. While Nintendo was never going to wow gamers as well as Microsoft or Sony (I doubt anyone could after Xbox One backwards compatibility and news of The Last Guardian, Shenmue 3, and a Final Fantasy VII remake), it could have done a lot better and a lot more to keep itself from being the odd console maker out this E3.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs - E3 2015 Edition

Man, this E3 so far has had it all-- "megaton" announcements of games you'd never expect to happen in a million years, cool reveals, great new IP, and glorious console zealot meltdowns, both positive and negative. None of the big three's conferences/showings really disappointed me, so I'd say it has been a terrific E3 thus far!

Let's do a special Tuesday edition of SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs! I didn't want to post it yesterday because it would have been lost under all of the news coming out of E3. I think it's much safer to post my weekly listen to awesome video game music this evening instead.

It's a special occasion because this edition we're hitting the 900th VGM volume! It's unprecedented how much VGM goodness we've had over the years, and I have no inclinations of stopping any time soon!

How can you want to when my VGMs keep delivering awesome themes, whether intense, exciting, uptempo, mellow, sad, emotional, astounding, or whatever else. This week's lineup of games includes music from the iOS-only Rockman X Over, shake things up with an orchestral choir-centric final boss theme from Pandora's Tower, return to the Blue Bomber with Mega Man 3, settle it in battle with Street Fighter IV, and explore space with Mario in Super Mario Galaxy! Before we begin, be sure to check out the VGM Database for all VGM volumes posted thus far. Now, without further ado, let's get to the music, yo!

v896. Rockman X Over (iOS) - Arcade Man

This go around we kick things off with Rockman X Over, an iOS-exclusive and, I believe, Japan-exclusive game. It doesn't play anything like the classic Mega Man X games, and it wasn't too highly received. That said, that won't stop me from including this excellent hard rock theme for Arcade Man. Sure, you'd think of 8-bit sounds permeating from a boss named Arcade Man, but I'm no composer or anything. What do I know?

v897. Pandora's Tower (Wii) - Final Boss

No worries, friends, there are no spoilers to be found here with my Pandora's Tower VGM selection. Well, that is unless hearing the final boss theme of the game is a spoiler to you, then don't click on that link!! Pandora's Tower was a really enjoyable game, harmed by the North American version containing a game-breaking bug. Though avoidable, it was still quite easy to come across and mighty annoying when it happened!

v898. Mega Man 3 (NES) - Snake Man

Move over, X, classic Mega Man has returned to SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs! From Mega Man 3 comes Snake Man's catchy theme. There's something totally endearing about the classic 8-bit themes from the Mega Man collection of six games that still resonates with gamers to this day. Speaking of which, the upcoming Mega Man Legacy Collection will contain these six NES classics with some bonus content. While not as fulfilling a compendium as it would be to have all ten Mega Man games, it's still great to see Capcom giving attention to the Blue Bomber.

v899. Street Fighter IV (PS3, 360) - Shop PV

We can't seem to get away from Capcom with this edition of the old VGMs, can we? That's okay, though, as with Capcom you usually are guaranteed some great music. That is at least the case with Street Fighter IV's soundtrack. At Sony's E3 press conference, a new look at Street Fighter V was shared with fans and the media. It looks mighty fantastic, even with my lack of any fighting game skills. That's saying something if the game still appeals to me despite totally blowing at those games!

v900. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - Stardust Road

A magical and mysterious theme comes from our 900th video game music volume. It's Super Mario Galaxy's Stardust Road, played during the Space Junk Galaxy, an early-ish galaxy within the game. With it, it's just a space, a bunch of floating debris, and a plumber with his own thoughts. Thank goodness this theme won't take Mario's attention away from the objective at hand!

Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, XONE) Official Gameplay Trailer

At Square Enix's press conference earlier today, a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts III was shown. This one showed off an extended look at the gameplay within the title. You can expect Kingdom Hearts III to reach our sunny side of the hemisphere at the earliest some time next year (might want to plan to wait a little while, folks).

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS) E3 2015 Trailer

We knew of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer's existence, but now we have even more footage of the game with this trailer from the Nintendo Digital Event this morning. Customization is a big part of the Animal Crossing series, and it's one of my favorite pieces of the game. A whole game devised up of that intrigues me to no end. That's exactly what Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer will deliver when it's released later this year.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS) E3 2015 Trailer

Combining two worlds of Mario RPGs into one (Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario), Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam was announced during Nintendo's Digital Event. This was one of the more exciting announcements from the event, as both my brother (who occasionally contributes content on SuperPhillip Central) and I enjoy the series a lot. Unfortunately for us, we'll have to wait a little while, as the game is due out in early 2016.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (3DS) E3 2015 Trailer

When one hero isn't enough, how about three? Using the same engine from one of my favorite The Legend of Zelda games of all time, A Link Between Worlds, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes interjects cooperative-based gameplay to solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and overcome tough boss battles. The game will have online play as well, which makes me very happy.

Hyrule Warriors Legends (3DS) E3 2015 Trailer

Though leaked by the Tecmo-Koei YouTube page prior to E3, now we have the official word and trailer for Hyrule Warriors Legends, a re-imagining of the Wii U game with all of the downloadable content from said game already available in this 3DS version. Play as both Tetra and the King of Red Lions from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in this all-new update to one of my favorite Wii U titles.

Star Fox Zero (Wii U) E3 2015 Trailer

Nintendo's Digital Event for E3 2015 kicked off with the newest entry in the Star Fox franchise, Star Fox Zero. Why Nintendo failed to mention that Platinum Games was working on the campaign during the event itself can be answered with "because it's Nintendo." The company doesn't always have a pulse on what would make its most dedicated fans enthused. That said, this footage for the game looks absolutely action=packed and exciting. I'm eager to get my hands on the game when it releases this holiday season.

Yoshi’s Woolly World (Wii U) E3 2015 Trailer

Yoshi's Woolly World was officially unveiled with its final name last E3, and this E3 the game has shown up again. A North American release date has finally been revealed, October 16, 2015. Our European and Oceania friends will just have to wait another week or so to get their hands on the pure adorableness of Yoshi's Woolly World. Lucky them!

Super Mario Maker (Wii U) E3 2015 Trailer

Showcasing new elements like the ability to bring certain Amiibo characters into the game and different modes, Super Mario Maker is a game I am definitely looking forward to sinking my teeth into. As someone who adores level design, I can't wait to be able to build my own Mario levels when the game releases September 11 of this year.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS) E3 2015 Trailer

Hell hath no fury like a Nintendo fan scorned! Judging by the amount of dislikes compared to likes in the YouTube link, the announcement of Metroid Prime: Federation Force does not seem to be a popular one. I'll wait to judge, as Nintendo has shown constantly that as a release date approaches, so do the changes of opinion from something negative to something more positive.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash (Wii U) E3 2015 Trailer

While this year's Nintendo Digital event was pretty lackluster (I'm not one of those who gets kneejerk reactions about wishing Nintendo dead or selling his Wii U because of a poor E3 performance), we did get some interesting announcements. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is one of them. However, it seems to have the same Simon Says-style tennis spots that many disliked in Mario Tennis Open on the Nintendo 3DS. We'll see if Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash on Wii U can deliver a better tennis experience when it releases this holiday season.

Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4) E3 2015 Trailer

Horizon: Zero Dawn is a new IP from Guerrilla Cambridge. The game is set in a vibrant post-apocalyptic world that is ravaged by small and large mechanical monstrosities. The footage shown absolutely blew me away, and perhaps it will blow you away as well!

Final Fantasy VII (PS4) E3 2015 Trailer

After years of hopes and dreams of a remake for Final Fantasy VII, Square Enix has answered with one! One of the most exciting announcements to come from E3 2015 so far (and I'm not even that big of a Final Fantasy VII fan!), the remake of Final Fantasy VII will be appearing first on PlayStation 4 with a probably PC release shortly thereafter. There is no word so far on an Xbox One version.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Star Wars Battlefront (PS4, XONE, PC) Multiplayer Gameplay | E3 2015 “Walker Assault” on Hoth

While this footage definitely contains mass amounts of scripted video, this multiplayer gameplay video of Star Wars Battlefront looks absolutely delightful and full of intense aerial and ground action. From piloting an AT-AT to going it on foot, mowing down storm troopers, Star Wars Battlefront's current generation debut seems to be checking off all of the right boxes.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (PS4, XONE) Announcement Trailer

Faith is back, but don't think that this is a sequel! Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a reboot of the series, and it features all the parkour perfection you'd hope to see in a second Mirror's Edge game. This time, it has been confirmed that Faith will not use guns of any kind to ward off her pursuers. I'm game if you are, Faith!

Sea of Thieves (XONE) E3 Announce Trailer

Rare's latest looks like an MMO based off of the life of the plunderers of the sea-- pirates. All footage shown is apparently in-game, and it looks to be the studio's most ambitious project yet.

Rare Replay (XONE) E3 Announce Trailer

Teased prior to Microsoft's E3 press conference and officially announced there, Rare Replay is a collection of 30 Rareware classics such as Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Blast Corps, Perfect Dark, Jet Force Gemini, and Conker's Bad Fur Day, all in one complete package, all for a low entry price of $30. I can't think of a better deal in gaming than this, and with this announcement in combination with that of backwards compatibility for the Xbox One, the system is now on my radar.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Multi) E3 Trailer

E3 week is underway, but rather than cover everything (that's a Herculean task even for a group of bloggers, much less just one), I would like to post trailers from games that most interest me. The first is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, releasing on PlayStation 3 and 4, as well as Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and Steam. It launches September 1st. If you are wary of spoilers, you probably already know not check out a Hideo Kojima trailer, especially one that is over five minutes long. However, if you do decide to view this trailer, the hype for MGSV will be heightened greatly. I know that was the case for me!