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Friday, June 15, 2018

E3 2018 Conferences Tier List!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - From worst to best, all of the real company press conferences.

When someone asks me how E3 2018 went, I say something along the lines of, “Good, but not as great as previous years.” A lot of people don't even know what E3 is, and “Electronics Entertainment Expo” doesn't ring a bell either.

People who followed E3 2018 closely, like we did (for proof, check out our momentous and action-packed E3 Weeks 2018 Schedule), probably find that to be a non-controversial statement. I don't think there was anything overall mind-blowing or super-new that everyone had to get their eyes on or experience. Niche fanbases might be overjoyed about this E3 more than others (like if you're a Ridley fan), but here at KoopaTV, we rate conferences for more than just gaming content. Since we watch everything (again, see that schedule), we want the E3 events to be entertaining, even if we don't have a company's console or would ever actually go and buy the game.

Keep in mind that the header's “real company press conferences” excludes the PC Gaming Show (not a company) and Devolver Digital (not real), but it takes a liberal interpretation of “press conference” to include events without a stage or a physical audience. The press can be anywhere, even in Sierra Leone. (Like us! Except Kamek. He went to E3.)

Now, here are are the companies, ranked from worst to best. Then I'll go into detail about them, in that order. I won't be hyperlinking each of their associated reaction logs because you can go and pick them out for yourself in the E3 Weeks 2018 Schedule that I've been referencing in literally every article for the past calendar week.

  1. Electronic Arts
  2. Square Enix
  3. Sony
  4. Bethesda
  5. Ubisoft
  6. Nintendo
  7. Microsoft


Electronic Arts


Electronic Arts is usually at the bottom or near-bottom of any E3 list. It's a well-deserved E3 tradition. It was a worthless conference, and Electronic Arts was straight-up offensive. You better believe that I'm holding it against EA for that “FIFA 18 trial for EVERYONE!” and then the sub-text excludes the Nintendo Switch. On top of that, they're proliferating battle royales, and didn't actually have any interesting games besides Unravel 2, which is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. And they took up a lot of time with a whole lot of nothing.

Square Enix


In the complete opposite of EA, Square Enix's conference was possibly the shortest in E3 history. It also didn't show anything of particular value.

Final Fantasy XIV characters drinking potion facepalming
Square Enix's conference would normally be considered a drinking break, but it was also the first conference of Monday.
So... a break from what?
(Alternatively, they're all facepalming because of the conference.)

You could say that Square Enix respected our time by keeping it short when they have nothing to really talk about, but wouldn't it be a better use of everyone's time to just not have a conference at all? The console manufacturers were more than happy to make use of Square Enix-provided footage for their own conferences, and Square Enix didn't go into any greater depth regarding anything.

It's key to remember that Square Enix doesn't have a conference every year. They're choosy about when they do and when they do not. That means that if Square has a conference, it's for actual reasons other than tradition. But... they defied logic and held this pointless conference anyway.

Sony


There is one specific reason why Sony isn't dead last: For whatever reason, Square Enix bequeathed them an exclusive trailer for Kingdom Hearts III based on Pirates of the Caribbean. By comparison, Square Enix and Microsoft shared two very similar trailers for it based on Frozen. But Sony somehow negotiated a special one. It's basically an admission by Square Enix, “Sony is more important than we are for our own game.” To respect Square Enix's wishes, Sony is above them, which also puts Sony above EA.

Otherwise, Sony was a complete disaster, and I have no idea how people can say otherwise. From their bizarre initial setting of a cult-like tent-church that they picked specifically to showcase that their lead character is a homosexual lesbian in The Last of Us 2 (as a way to mock churches during Pride Month, I guess) to their weirdly-existing (and lengthy) intra-conference intermissions, which is unprecedented, to yet another year of sound issues, Sony was such a mess. I didn't even find the games they showed to be interesting. We finally see gameplay of Death Stranding, and it's just a walking simulator with a very creepy motif. That's not fun.


Death Stranding walking simulator Norman Reedus lake waterfall
You can walk in lakes, or mountains, or fields... but it's all just walking. There aren't even Koroks!

I don't know how people can say Sony won E3. Unless they announced big important things during their version of Treehouse Live (and if it's narrated by the same people from their obnoxious intermission, then I don't know how anyone can sit through that), what I saw is nothing to write online about.

Bethesda


Bethesda didn't upset me too much, which warrants its inclusion of middle-place. Todd Howard talked a lot more than welcome, but at least there were tangible things for the Nintendo Switch here! Bethesda did a good job of having a third-party publisher conference that isn't invalidated by a console manufacturer. They went into a lot of detail for their own games like Fallout 76.

I'm not really sure why Bethesda is using a press conference to try to recruit people (they seemed very proud of their office environment) and they were uncomfortably obsessed with killing Nazis, but at least there was a sense of humour and things were entertaining enough.


Ubisoft


First of all, Ubisoft needs to continue to be unashamed of its Just Dance on-stage musical performances. They're very much a highlight of E3 overall, and if they're trying to make these shorter because people out there are criticising them, then screw those critics.

Second of all, Ubisoft is finally announcing and showing Tom Clancy's The Division 2 which I am super-hyped for. The first Division was a fine game. Being able to divide two things, now? Even better.


Tom Clancy's The Division 2 help paper airplane message cinematic trailer cutscene
E3 cried for help, and we got The Division 2 and Ubisoft.

Not only that, but Ubisoft even started to make in-roads on games I previously tossed out, including Skull & Bones. They had TWO big Nintendo features, being Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Donkey Kong Adventure, and Starlink: Battle for Atlas. That's unprecedented in E3 history for companies to do that for Nintendo IP outside of Nintendo's own conference. Ubisoft even managed to keep Shigeru Miyamoto away from ruining Nintendo's conference, Treehouse Live, and tournaments by having him show up for Ubisoft's conference and be preoccupied for the entirety of E3 with the Arwing and Star Fox prototype toys.

That's a very noble accomplishment.

Now we even want to help contribute to Beyond Good & Evil 2's world-building, which requires us to create canon-appropriate stuff. Which means we gotta learn about that canon. Very incredible and innovative approach.


Nintendo


I might catch some crap for this, but this year, Nintendo is not number one. There is a complicated mess of reasons as to why, but basically, if you were expecting things other than Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there weren't many surprises. Now, I'm already sold on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — I'm going to buy it and play it a lot on my Nintendo Switch. And I'm going to write very extensively about it and use it as a creative tool, just like with Super Smash Bros. For Wii U.

But I'm not ecstatic about the game because there isn't much to look forward to. The number one selling point is that I can finally retire the Wii U if I want to play Super Smash Bros., and I can play Super Smash Bros. on the console that I'm currently playing everything else on.

It pretty much isn't different enough from Super Smash Bros. For Wii U. I'm going to write extensively about that subject next week.

I'm a bit upset that the Splatoon 2 tournament was little more than Jordan Kent's commentary warm-up act for the Super Smash Bros. Invitational, because if you aren't a big Super Smash Bros. fan then Nintendo's E3 was pretty one-sided. That Invitational still had some cool moments, don't get me wrong. On that note...


Our Expectations


You should recall our expectations for E3 2018 involved a lot of Mario Tennis Aces, as well as an Ace Attorney announcement. There were three segments for Mario Tennis Aces in Nintendo Treehouse Live, and it got a whopping six seconds in the Nintendo Direct — it should've gotten more. The Mario Tennis Aces segments, not the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate segments, were actually the most enjoyable of the entire E3. I have no doubts in my desire to want to buy that game.

But what of Ace Attorney? Well, it turns out Ace Attorney did get something. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney on the Nintendo 3DS has a 50% off sale specifically for E3. This ends June 21. This is the only Ace Attorney on sale. The last time Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney was on sale, it was for 25% off. This is a huge discount! (And worth it.)


E3 2018 Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Nintendo 3DS 50% off
Sure, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney happens to be the one Ace Attorney game without Miles Edgeworth/Benjamin Hunter in it (and he's in our banner logo for E3 2018), but putting Edgeworth/Hunter in the logo was Rawk's idea, not mine. I would've just had an Attorney's Badge.

Microsoft


Microsoft managed to become number one primarily because of the atmosphere built up by Phil Spencer and other Microsoft people (such as Ashley Speicher). They truly made the conference feel like something special and very hype-y. 50 games shown, and lots of exclusives and world premieres. One after the other. Sure, if you go down in the details, we don't even have gameplay for a lot of the reveals (what's Jump Force like? What's Battletoads like?), but what's that matter when your goal is to have a great show?

Jump Force Luffy One Piece American Flag staff pole
Luffy vaulting with an American Flag. Who cares what the gameplay is like?

Microsoft's conference was geared (of war) for not just the present, but also it gave hope for the future. In a way, it was the most press-y conference of them all, while also appealing to the gamer community with the rapid pace of announcements. All of those acquisitions. The Microsoft AI bit. Heck, they're even making that Xbox Game Pass look good, and I'm normally opposed to those kinds of subscription schemes. You could say that Microsoft succeeded in pulling the wool over my eyes, but isn't that the goal of every company's E3? Microsoft did it the best.

And if you do want substance, how about Devil May Cry 5? Did you know that it's coming out on the PlayStation 4 as well as the Xbox One? But you wouldn't know that if I didn't just tell you, or if you didn't go out and research it. Microsoft made the Xbox One/Windows 10 PC look like the gaming ecosystem that has a lot of games for everyone. Sony's focus-on-a-few-games made them out to be the niche console. Microsoft outplayed Sony, and quite frankly, every other company at E3.



You are definitely free to disagree or agree with KoopaTV's tier list in the comments section. Let's have some nice discussions! Don't forget about the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program kicking in for doing so — it can help buy many of the games announced at E3 2018!


Check out the E3 2017 tier list!
Here is Ludwig's article in that next week about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Apollo Justice joins the other games in the franchise when they all get a sale a month later.

10 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. There were a lot of game expansion DLCs announced at E3 overall, across many companies.

      Who am I to know what's better than another?

      Delete
  2. god howard clearly won with elder scrolls 6

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But we don't know anything about it.

      Delete
    2. we know it's real, and that's enough.

      Delete
    3. In the same place as Elder Scrolls 6. No release date, no details. Just a name.

      Delete
  3. My list would be the same except I would switch Ubisoft and Bethesda. Microsoft had the strongest showing this year while Sony was the weakest out of the big three. The only game that interested me from their conference was Spider-Man, but it had already been shown off in prior years anyway. Nintendo just needed one last big reveal that never came. I was also disappointed to learn that Yoshi got pushed back another year as well. Overall E3 was just ok.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reminder that the Spider-Man game was the final reveal of Sony E3 2017 as well.

      I don't want to punish companies for choosing to only show games that are actually coming out soon. (Unlike the above conversation about The Elder Scrolls VI.) That said, Nintendo missed opportunities to show things like the next game in the No More Heroes franchise, and at least a mention of the summer update for Kirby Star Allies. They could have showed more stuff while having their 2018 limitation.

      Delete

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