Yesterday was the Nintendo Direct E3 edition, and the truth is not enough came out of it to really do its own post. I am sure if you are a huge fan of Smash Bros it was an amazing presentation because they went into copious detail on how exactly that game will work on the switch. The only Smash Bros game that I have played is the WiiU version and it honestly felt weird… like I was unable to see why everyone is such a huge fan after playing so many other better fighting game options. I realize this is probably blasphemy but whatever… it’s my blog. Some of this will be a recap for those who follow me on twitter… but I figured I would put a pin in my E3 coverage with an ordering of the show I thought was the best downwards.
- PC Gaming Show
- Nintendo Direct
- Square Enix
- Devolver Digital
Truthfully Ubisoft and Bethesda are really close, so close that I almost gave them a tie. There were so many games that I was amped for coming out of the Bethesda show, but it also provided a whole lot of awkward moments. Ubisoft on the other hand is just really good at doing a presentation and has mastered the flow of dialog to game trailer. I think they are just technically better at these shows than most of the other companies. As much of a Sony Playstation fanboy as I am… it pains me to admit that the Microsoft show was just better in every conceivable way. Sony itself almost got marked down significantly for how bad this new show concept was that involved intermissions and shuffling the live audience between venues. What gained it the fourth position however was the simple fact that everything they showed was awesome.
The PC Gaming Show has always been a mixed bag that never really felt like a blended experience. While the production value has increased massively each year it still lacks something in cohesiveness and flow. Electronic Arts would have been dead last on the list were it not for Anthem and my desire to get more information about it. The problem with this show is the majority of things covered are recursive sports titles that I have never cared about. I still feel like they would be better served having two shows… one with a high sports flavor that they could maybe partner with ESPN on… and one with everything else. Nintendo Direct was a massive disappointment because the things I wanted to see… didn’t show up. We had no news of Metroid Prime 4 and I was honestly expecting something along the lines of Pokemon Lets Go but for Animal Crossing with a Pocket Camp integration.
Square Enix didn’t really have what I would consider a proper show. What they released was a YouTube video that they just happened to be streaming. The only thing I was really interested in like I said yesterday was the FFXIV/Monster Hunter crossover. They should have simply skipped having a “live” event and just released a big YouTube video instead since everything was prerecorded. Admittedly so was everything we saw from Nintendo Direct but at least it had some dialog interspersed between the game trailers… Square was one statement at the beginning and then fifteen minutes of trailers. Devolver Digital on the other hand I don’t even consider a real show… given it is mostly a running joke at this point. That said they did at least announce two games this year… but the majority of the experience was something straight out of an episode of Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show.
The E3 experience does weird things to me… like I fully expected to be having a resurgence of Elder Scrolls Online after the Bethesda show case. Instead what I find myself doing over the last couple of nights is running around and attempting to get back into The Division. I left that game in a really weird place in that I never actually managed to make it to the level cap. Right now I am 27 and still struggling to get back used to the way it plays. I feel insanely squishy, and in truth I think it is all because I failed miserably at gearing my character. The problem there is I am too poor to do anything about that by picking up gear to fix this problem of any of the vendors. That was a huge thing for me when I last played is that it felt like I simply was not getting the drops I needed, and never got enough cash to go the vendor route instead. Similarly all of the crafting patterns that I have really don’t do much to dig me out of this whole either.
I missed the train with the Division. Those players who got in early and power leveled their way through the content seemed to have a much easier time gearing up. I remember that first patch and the nerfing of the drop rate of materials combined with an increase in the material costs of crafting really hit me hard. I think more than anything that was the point where I was largely demotivated from moving forward. I have been going with the solo build of med pack and turret and in some cases it works nicely… in other cases it feels like I keep getting one shot by things that should be well under my level range. I did one of the missions last night and it wound up taking me eight or nine attempts to get through the final phase which involved two yellow mobs that rushed in with a yellow sniper type mob.
The whole cover mechanic thing is a foreign concept for me as I am way more used to the run and gun style of Destiny. I am very much not used to finding the best option as far as cover goes… or often times ending up getting pinched from both sides as something spawns in behind me. These are things that are likely mitigated with more players, but as a solo player it is pretty much death. There lies another problem… I attempted to queue up for another mission and managed to find exactly one other player wanting to run it. Things went mostly well until once again we got to the end encounter and kept getting overwhelmed by a wave of purples and two yellow bosses. After eight attempts the other guy just left and I found myself frustrated for the evening and logging as well. It always feels like most of the encounters have one or two mobs more than are really manageable, and in turn I just die an excess amount.
I loved everything about The Division for a really long time but I just sorta hit a wall around level 26 where everything seemed way tougher than I could handle. I am sure it is a combination of the fact that the game does a poor job of messaging how you should actually be gearing for solo play. It also does not do a great job of letting you dig yourself back out of that hole because drops seem really spartan. If they offered the ability to boost to level 30 and give you a decent starter set of solo gear… then I think life would be grand. Right now the only way I succeed is to just never get hit, which isn’t always a viable option when there are eight things rushing towards you. I figure with time I might get used to the game play again… but for the moment it feels miserable.