My Picks of E3 2018

I’m not a totally mainstream gamer (as you may have noticed) so when everybody got a bit excited over the likes of the new Fallout and Elder Scrolls games that were revealed at this year’s E3 event, I was pretty much nonplussed. It was similar case with many big names that were shown to be returning for sequels either later this year or in 2019. It didn’t used to be this way either because in years past, there’d be so much coming out of E3 events that I wouldn’t know where to look first and while this was great back then, I now see some value in only coming away with a few games that interest me. After all, money and time are both finite resources so not having around twenty upcoming titles on my wanted list is actually a positive thing. So what did catch my eye then?

Dead Or Alive 6

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I’ve already spoken about DOA6 so I won’t rabbit on about it too much here. In brief, it’s another awesome-looking fighting game from a series I’m already a fan of so a brand-new installment is a good thing. Team Ninja are apparently trying to grow up at last (moving out of their parents’ house and getting a mortgage not yet confirmed) and tone down the boobs so that will be interesting. I’m hoping that they don’t go too far with the whole getting serious thing but I will definitely buy this regardless.

Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition

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As a big fan of Namco’s Tales series, I’ve always been well served by owning every Playstation console to date. However, the last generation threw a curveball in the form of Tales of Vesperia, a critically acclaimed installment in the long-running franchise, which became an Xbox 360 exclusive back when Microsoft were determined to attract fans of Japanese games to their system. Save for the original black slab, I’ve never been an Xbox owner so I missed Vesperia the first time around and was pretty peeved that an eventual upgraded PS3 port remained a Japan-only release complete with incomprehensible language barrier. Thankfully, a new ‘Definitive Edition’ is coming to various platforms including (yay!) PS4 so I will at last be able to play this game. I’ve recently gotten back into JRPG’s and the Tales series with the two superb Xillia games on PS3 so this news is fantastic timing.

Cyberpunk 2077

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It wasn’t until it was pointed out to me on a gaming forum that I remembered Cyberpunk 2077‘s original teaser from waaaaaay back in 2013. That trailer ended with a statement along the lines of “ready when its ready” and boy, they weren’t kidding were they? Five years later, the game looks completely different and all the better for it. I absolutely adore anything Cyberpunk-y that even vaguely resembles the likes of Blade Runner or Ghost In The Shell so Cyberpunk 2077‘s detailed futuristic vision is right up my dystopian alley. I’m not sure whether it will a first or third person game at the moment but either way, this is something I will almost certainly pick up just for the art style alone.

Metal Wolf Chaos XD

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The (very pleasant) surprise of E3 2018 has to be a the remaster of Metal Wolf Chaos for PS4 and Xbox One, due later this year. Surprising because of it’s obscurity and pleasant because of it’s notoriety as one of the sparse reasons to import Japanese games for the original Xbox. The game is a batshit-crazy mech-style affair starring the president of the United States and while the game itself isn’t meant to be anything super-special, it’s one of those that can sell itself on sheer madness alone. The original Xbox was a very western-orientated console that barely performed in Japan and as such, the number of games worth importing can be counted on one hand. Hardcore Xbox collectors have been spreading the word for years about Metal Wolf Chaos however so the fact that we will finally be able to play the game natively is very welcome. I am still genuinely shocked that something this niche is being revived but who’s arguing?. Not me.

Team Sonic Racing

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Not strictly an E3 reveal since the game was already leaked pre-E3 but since a new trailer was shown at the event, I thought I’d throw it in here anyway. Developed by Sumo Digital who were responsible for the superb Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (THE best Mario Kart game to date), the footage revealed thus far shows only Sonic characters but even so, I have high hopes for this one based purely on how good its forerunners were. I’m not sure if I will enjoy it as much if there aren’t any additional Sega characters/representation as in Transformed but even so, it’s a racer that I’m definitely interested in. Fans of the Sonic Adventure era games will also be pleased to see the return of Crush 40 on soundtrack duties so open your heart for this one.

Fist Of The North Star: Lost Paradise

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Even though I have no knowledge of the legendary Fist of the North Star, I have to take an interest in this awesome-looking beat ’em up purely because it’s from the same team behind Sega’s Yakuza franchise – one of my favourite things ever in gaming. The gameplay shown at E3 looked suitably brutal and over-the-top so this is one that I will be quietly keeping an eye on.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

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It disappeared for a long time but now – just like one of its own zombies – the highly-anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake has resurfaced at E3 2018 (with a January 2019 release date) and man does it look good! Anybody who has played the original Playstation classic will instantly recognise the locations shown in the trailer but otherwise, it looks all-new with an over-the-shoulder Resi 4 style viewpoint and quite graphic, gory violence. I’m very excited for this game because RE2 is probably my second favourite game in the series after RE3: Nemesis and it’s going to be great to return to a virus-ravaged Raccoon City without all the baggage and divisive direction that some of the most recent sequels came with. I really hope that this a success and Capcom follow-up with a Nemesis remake in the same style.

Doom Eternal

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Old-school FPS favourite Doom was a critically-acclaimed success when the franchise was recently revived but even so, this freshly-revealed sequel was still a surprise and a sweet one at that. Looking set to take its cues from Doom 2: Hell on Earth, Doom Eternal should be one hell (I’ll get my coat…) of a no-holds-barred blaster with a lot more enemy designs promised this time around. I still need to get around to playing the recent Doom reboot but Doom Eternal goes straight onto my wanted list based solely on how much I enjoyed the original games and their attitude of pulling no punches.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

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I’ve not kept up with the Fire Emblem series since the superb Awakening on the 3DS and with valid reason. I found Fates to be an extremely dull follow-up that had taken too many anime tropes onboard and it had me questioning whether the franchise had become a waifu simulator. Not owning a Switch, I missed out on the Heroes spin-off and I’ve not as of yet picked up the last 3DS installment which was a remake of one of the classic Famicom Fire Emblems (so possibly all the better for it?). This newly-unveiled sequel for the Switch however looks mighty tasty with high production value. It’s certainly a step up from previous home console versions such as Path of Radiance which – while an excellent game – was a bit fugly in the graphics department and didn’t really push the host hardware at all. But then, am I calling the Switch a home console? Is it really? Regardless, this is the kind of thing that makes me want to a buy a Switch so it gets a huge thumbs-up from me.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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I honestly thought that I’d gotten over falling for Smash Bros. hype. After all, where could they possibly go from the last game save for mixing up the roster and adding in a few new bits from recent Nintendo games? How about an ‘Ultimate’ version featuring every single character – no matter how minor – that has ever been playable throughout Smash history? Oh and coming even further out of the left-field by granting the wild fan-favourite wish of a playable Ridley from Metroid? And the naysayers said it could never happen because Ridley was “too big” to be a playable character…

If the promotional artwork above doesn’t get you excited about this then I’m not sure what will. Bringing back everybody ever for one overcrowded character select screen is a simple move but a genius one that should please most people. Even more impressive is that Nintendo seems to have secured the use of all previous guest stars hence the return of MGS‘s Snake who hasn’t been seen since Brawl on the Wii. Again, I’m feeling the need to buy a Switch!

So that was E3 2018. Okay, so my “few games” turned into a ten-strong list in the end and Betheseda DID sneak in there thanks to Doom Eternal so call me a liar and sue me. The big absent elephant in the room was the Final Fantasy VII remake which seems to have vanished for the time being. Like Resi 2 though, I have no doubt it will use a Phoenix Down on itself and return before long. Shenmue III and Kingdom Hearts 3 were two other disappointments given how both games have been knocked back to 2019 now. Overall though, a pretty decent E3 showing and more than enough to get hyped for.

10 Worthy Guest Fighters for Tekken 7

Recently I posted about the elusive Tekken X Street Fighter and how the inclusion of Street Fighter‘s Akuma in Tekken 7 made me wonder whether the mysterious crossover might actually arrive in the form of a DLC expansion pack for Tekken 7. Well, my theory was blown out of the water when Namco announced SNK’s Geese Howard as a DLC fighter and then utterly nuked after the no-way-you-saw-that-a-coming unveiling of a Final Fantasy XV character (WTF?) as the next guest fighter.

It did at least get me thinking though (not always a good thing, I assure you) about just how many random characters from other non-Namco properties will drop in for the seventh King of Iron Fist Tournament. Naturally, they will probably be characters from high-profile and very relevant franchises but me being me, I just had to come up with a list of dream guest characters. A few things to note before I jump in though:

  1. This list is just my opinion and includes characters I personally like.
  2. As tempting as it was, I have tried to omit anybody with weapons. It would be nice to say “oh, wouldn’t it be awesome if Sephiroth was in Tekken 7?” but 200 mile-long katanas don’t make for a very fair or believable fight. Admittedly, this is when talking about a game from a publisher who once gave the green-light for lightsabers to clash with regular steel in Soul Calibur IV but we’ll pretend that never happened.
  3. I don’t actually believe any of these will happen but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of fantasy, is there?

So…here we go!

1 – Zell Dincht (Final Fantasy VIII)

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So there’s already a Final Fantasy character in Tekken 7 but for me, a having a sword at a fist fight just isn’t correct. Okay, Yoshimitsu carries one but a) he’s a classic and b) he at least doesn’t use it for the majority of his attacks. Anyway, Final Fantasy has no shortage of hand-to-hand brawlers who could leap in to duke it out with Kazuya and co. From FFII‘s Josef to FFVII‘s Tifa Lockheart, there are more choices than you may realise given how the series is synomonous with sword-wielding characters. My personal favourite however (and I may be biased given how FFVIII is my favourite game of all-time) is Zell Dincht. He has a cool look that I think would fit straight into Tekken and his limit break specials could provide inspiration for a lot of cool moves/combos. As currently relevant as Noctis? Not a chance. Cooler? Hell yes.

2 – Mila (Dead or Alive 5)

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Dead or Alive is certainly more relevant now than it has been for a long time and with DoA5, Team Ninja finally made a game that offered all of the playful perviness that the series is famous for along with an extremely competent and skillful fighting game. DoA5 itself has had some guest characters, including SNK’s Mai Shiranui, so it would be no surprise if one of their own managed to venture into another fighting game. I could opt to nominate somebody super-popular such as Ryu Hayabusa or ask for Tekken 7 to get a bit boobier with the likes of Kasumi or Ayane but instead, I would suggest one of DoA5‘s newcomers – Mila. With Mila, Team Ninja created another attractive female but this time made her cool and tomboyish with a bad-ass, heavy-hitting MMA style of fighting that was a welcome breath of fresh air from the usual ninja antics. Off the top of my head, I don’t recall Tekken having too many (if any) heavy-hitting girls so why not give Mila a shot?

3 – Zero Suit Samus (Metroid)

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Sorry Nintendo but this piece by ‘Dinoforce’ over on Deviantart is nicer than your official renders.

You’ll have to hear me out on this one because I can hear your thoughts now: “oh look, what a surprise, he’s going for more tits and blonde hair in Tekken“. I admit it: having another slinky blonde in Tekken complete with a skintight bodysuit would not be something that I’d protest too hard about but moreover, I was trying to think of a fitting i.e. realistic bit of Nintendo representation that would make sense in Tekken and Samus in her Zero Suit form was – in my mind – the most suitable (get it? I’ll get my coat…). I did consider having Samus in her famous power suit (because DoA4 included a Spartan soldier from Halo after all) but it seemed out of place and besides, she only really uses her arm cannon when suited-up and guns seemed as rude as swords. If you’ve seen ZSS in action over in Smash Bros. however then you will know that she can kick some serious ass even when stripped of her traditional armoury. Those particular moves wouldn’t necessarily translate well to Tekken but the potential is there as is the sales potential, especially if a Switch port of Tekken 7 was to include ZSS as an exclusive guest…

4 – Gene (God Hand)

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The first of one of my more “out there” selections but why not? Wouldn’t it be nice for one of the most unique and quirky 3D beat ’em ups ever made to get some more exposure? God Hand was one of those truly special games that the mainstream simply didn’t go for but if – like me – you did play it, the humour, bizarreness and outright challenge (it was balls-hard in many places) were unforgettable. I think protagonist Gene would be a perfect fit in a fighting game since God Hand featured a ridiculous number of moves and combos which would easily translate to a traditional fighter. Also, I think it’s such a waste that Capcom haven’t included Gene in a Marvel Vs Capcom installment by now.

5 – Honey (Fighting Vipers)

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We’re heading into the lands of the more obscure now but old-school fans of fighting games shouldn’t fail to recognise this rubber-suited girl from Sega’s Fighting Vipers, a short-lived mid-90’s series that had only two games plus the crossover with other Sega/AM2 characters, Fighters’ Megamix. The game was a 3D polygon-based fighter released at a time when everybody was jumping on the train that Virtua Fighter and Tekken had started. It was actually decent though, held back by the fact that the Sega Saturn would be the destination for a home conversion and thus the game wouldn’t receive as much exposure as if it had been a third-party Playstation release. I personally really like Fighting Vipers and would LOVE a new Fighters Megamix mash-up from Sega but failing that, some form of modern representation of the characters would do. Honey (named “Candy” for PAL versions of the game) is a girl dressed in a homemade rubber fairy suit and is probably one of the game’s more notorious characters. I don’t think it would take too much to update her moveset and expand on it for the modern fighting game arena plus an outfit refresh would be sweet to see. Characters like Lucky Chloe prove that Namco aren’t averse to inluding quirky girls in their flagship fighting game so as strange as it may seem, I reckon Honey would fit right in.

6 – Akira Yuki (Virtua Fighter)

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You can’t have guest characters from other fighting games without having the main man of the 3D fighting game granddaddy, Virtua Fighter. A simple but highly effective design (just like Street Fighter‘s Ryu), Akira is an icon in the fighting game field. Interestingly, he has already recently crossed-over into Dead or Alive 5 and the more niche 2D fighter, Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax so there’s absolutely no reason why he wouldn’t be able to slot straight into Tekken and show everybody how it was done back when characters looked like collections of cuboids and jumps took them to the moon.

7 – Rainbow Mika (Street Fighter)

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Some more heavy bias here I’m afraid because Rainbow Mika is one of my favourite characters from any fighting game BUT there is at least a sound reason for her potential inclusion in Tekken 7, that reason being that Namco created their own female wrestler for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and then neglected to bring her back for Tekken 7. True, Jaycee is an alter ego of Julia Chang but the latter isn’t even in Tekken 7 so it’s odd that Namco didn’t include Jaycee. Whatever the reasons, it means that there is room for a female wrestler so if this crossover thing is on then how about the bootylicious R.Mika? She would bring some bad-ass Street Fighter V moves to the table and Namco would no doubt cook up plenty more interesting plays for her. Make it happen. NOW.

8 – Axel Stone (Streets of Rage)

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Sega’s Streets of Rage could well be one of the most requested series revivals in gaming and while I can’t see it ever happening (nor would I necessarily want it to knowing what re-imaginings can be like…), it would be nice to see some of the favourite brawlers return. It was a toss-up here for Axel or Blaze but with enough pretty ladies already on this list, I decided to elect for Axel instead.  The small bit of hope out there is that Axel recently appeared as a support character in the superb Project X Zone 2 crossover RPG for 3DS so there’s proof that Sega haven’t completely forgotten about their famous beat ’em series. Sure, his design is a little simplistic and his moveset pretty straightforward (as you’d expect from a side-scrolling beat ’em up) but these are things Namco could easily sort out.

9 – Kazuma Kiryu (Yakuza)

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The only major barrier I see for this is that Yakuza‘s legendary protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, looks a hell of a lot like a certain Kazuya Mishima and even has a vaguely similar name! I even created a custom version of Kazuya in TTT2 that looked near-identical to Kazuma so…yeah. Look past all of that however and you have a recognisable character from a relevant series that Sega is pushing here in the West. He also comes with countless moves from the Yakuza series that could be adapted for Tekken. Of all the characters on this list, I would say that Mr. Kiryu probably has the best odds of actually making it.

10 – Cammy (Street Fighter)

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Alright…not a very imaginative choice for the final spot considering that there’s already a Street Fighter character in Tekken 7 and that I’ve nominated another already on this list but I’m going to be selfish (as selfish as can be on a list that is already personal opinion) anyway and say that I just want to see what Cammy would look like in high-quality 3D with a more serious look to match that of the other agents/assassins that compete in the King of Iron Fist Tournament. That and I actually struggled to think of somebody else more left-field or suitable from a different game for the last nomination. So shoot me.

So that’s my list of dream guest spots for Tekken 7. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to comment on my choices or tell me who YOU would want in the game.