Saturday, June 15, 2019

Top Ten Most Anticipated Games of E3 2019

Like a flash, E3 2019 started and ended. While this was a transition year for many, as new hardware is coming within the next year or two, there were still plenty of great games coming out of the show. SuperPhillip Central's list of its most anticipated games of the show include all-new franchises and old returning favorites, big budget blockbusters and smaller-focused games, as well as games with cute and adorable art styles and ones with bloody and brutal aesthetics. There's something for everyone on this list, much like there was a game for everyone at this past E3. Which of SuperPhillip Central's picks are you most looking forward to?

10) Gods & Monsters (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

Ubisoft ended its E3 2019 press conference with a brand-new IP to ride this generation of gaming platforms into the sunset, Gods & Monsters. Although an exciting prospect of a game, based on Greek mythology and featuring visuals and open world expanses reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we really didn't get to see too terribly much of the actual gameplay. It was more of a concept trailer, and for a game releasing in February of next year, here's hoping the date supplied by Ubisoft isn't too ambitious that Gods & Monsters becomes a game that doesn't live up to its potential. That said, there's plenty of time for a better, more in-depth look at the game, which is coming to all major gaming platforms.

9) Trials of Mana (PS4, NSW, PC)

At long last, the third entry in the Mana series, Trials of Mana has reached shores outside of Japan with the Collection of Mana launching on the Switch. While that game has the newly localized Super Famicom version of Trials of Mana in it, allowing international players to finally enjoy the original game, a remake is also coming. Not only that, but the budget and care being put into the remake of Trials of Mana is obviously much higher than what was afforded to both Adventure of Mana and Secret of Mana's remakes. It's a shot in the arm to a series that hasn't found solid footing with past installments, and here's hoping that Square Enix sticks the landing when Trials of Mana launches on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2020.

8) Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (NSW, PS4, XB1, PC)

I was one of dozens--DOZENS, I TELL YOU!--that enjoyed Playtonic's Yooka-Laylee, a game that was an ode to Banjo-Kazooie and similar 3D platforming collect-a-thons. While the passion project did not turn out as well as everyone would have hoped, we thankfully aren't seeing the last of the chameleon and bat pairing. While the original game was modeled after Banjo-Kazooie, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair pays homage to another one of Rare's successful platformers, this time the 2D delight that was the Donkey Kong Country trilogy. Offering 2D side-scrolling levels similar to Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair's namesake comes from the titular lair. This level can be accessed at any time, and beating it means you beat the game. However, it's next to--well--impossible at first, and as you complete other levels, you get more health available to you as a means to even the odds and up your chances of successfully clearing the stage.

7) Astral Chain (NSW)

Nintendo showed up with lots of interesting and good-looking games in its Nintendo Direct and subsequent Treehouse Live showings, so it's rather unsurprising that this list of Top Ten Most Anticipated Games of E3 2019 from SuperPhillip Central has plenty of Switch games on it. Astral Chain is one of these, and it's Platinum Games at its absolute finest. Between the fast-paced action where players can take control of mechanical armaments via attaching a chain to them to do battle with fast and fierce enemies, to the abundance of gameplay styles available, Astral Chain has me absolutely salivating for a chance to pick up and play it. I, as long with every other Switch owner, won't have to wait long, either, as Astral Chain releases on Nintendo's hybrid at the end of August.

6) Doom Eternal (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

I'm once again ready to rip and tear, and Bethesda's gameplay demo of Doom Eternal, the direct sequel to 2016's DOOM didn't help satiate that desire. The game looks exceptionally brilliant with how combat seamlessly flows between running and gunning and performing brutal melee finishers, a feature of the 2016 game dialed up all the way to 11 in this sequel. Although the competitive multiplayer from the original will not be making its way to Eternal, a brand-new Battle Mode is, which seems to be a worthy replacement. Doom Eternal launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in November, but there's been radio silence towards the Switch version, unfortunately.

5) Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (NSW)

While Marvel's Avengers was highly hyped, its actual showing was a slight disappointment. That said, there's obviously more time for Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix to gussy up the game, but in the meantime, there's an even more appealing Marvel game coming to a different console--and it's but a little over a month wait till everyone can own it. It's Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, offering a robust roster of Marvel characters, including many more coming via DLC, but the base lineup is nothing to scoff at regardless. The Black Order, by far, has the most characters in its starting lineup than any previous Marvel Ultimate Alliance game, and I can't wait to try each and every one of them out in battle, wiping the floor with foes and clearing out rooms full of enemies. Team Ninja has seriously put in a fantastic effort with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and I'm frothing at the mouth to get my grubby hands on this game (not literally, of course, or else I'd be heading to the hospital).

4) The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (NSW)

While The Legend of Zelda is one of my favorite franchises of all time, the original Link's Awakening isn't my highest regarded 2D game in the series. By all means, it's a truly fantastic title, but just not one of my favorites in the franchise. However, with seeing the new footage and gameplay of this 2019 remake--with adorable clay-mation-like art style in tow (:3)--I'm thinking my ranking of 2D Zelda faves my get quite the shake up come September 20th when The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening launches on the Nintendo Switch. Aside from the cute new art style comes with it a "dungeon maker" of sorts, where you place rooms in your own desired pattern and sequence, challenging your friends to tackle them and beat your best time. It was a massive joy to see series director Eiji Aonuma tackle such a dungeon during the Treehouse portion of Nintendo's E3 showing, so I feel this mode may have a lot of mileage to it!

3) Animal Crossing: New Horizons (NSW)

Ah, Animal Crossing... it's like the return of an old friend! I'm definitely liking what I'm seeing with the latest Animal Crossing, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Heck, even the delay to March next year doesn't really faze me, as the game will surely be even better looking both visually and gameplay-wise due to said delay. Between the major new addition to New Horizons: starting from scratch on a deserted island and doing all sorts of foraging for materials, as well as being able to customize your island to your liking, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has me insanely hyped. I'm ready to lose another 500 hours into this game just like I easily did with Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the 3DS.

2) Luigi's Mansion 3 (NSW)

BOO! Luigi is back, and this time he's stepped up from ghostbusting in spooky mansions and is now exploring haunted hotels. This scary seventeen-story house of horrors has captured Mario, Peach, and a collection of Toads, and Luigi is the only one who can save them. Well, of course, Luigi and his trusty, dusty Poltergust G-OO and helpful "Virtual Boo" ghost-detecting device. Oh, and how can I forget the awesome addition of Gooigi, who can be summoned as a co-op companion locally? Those who were dissatisfied with Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon's mission-based structure will be happy to know that the more Metroid-style approach to design has returned with Luigi's Mansion 3, as have special human-like ghost characters. Returning from Dark Moon is an old haunt (but a fun one), the Scarescraper, allowing up to eight players to hop online and bust some ghosts together while obtaining treasure and scouring the Scarescraper's floors for helpless Toads. Luigi's Mansion 3 has a marked improvement graphically from its initial de-"boo", and the game itself delivered an impressive showing in both the Direct and Treehouse Live.

1) Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)

Square Enix absolutely delighted and impressed with its showing of Final Fantasy VII Remake. Not only did the company supply action-packed footage and nostalgic, old, memorable moments from the original game recreated in fresh, new ways, S-E also managed to provide a firm (?) release date of March 3rd, 2020. It's safe to say that the majority of fans' worries who were concerned with how Final Fantasy VII Remake would shape up, especially with the move to real-time action-RPG combat, have been alleviated. Perhaps my only real concern now is when the actual full story of Final Fantasy VII Remake will be completed. Seeing as this is still an episodic game, I'm wondering if witnessing a conclusion to this epic undertaking will ever actually happen. Regardless, I'll happily go along for the ride if the first episode is as robust and deep as the trailer, gameplay footage, and subsequent details from the developers are anything to go by.

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