Top 5 Games of E3 2016

So another E3 has come and gone, and overall the show was…okay. There were some games that looked great, other games that everyone but me thought looked great (isn’t that right, Days Gone?), and the heart-crushing disappointment of Paper Mario: Color Splash being revealed to be everything we feared it would be.

Anyway, it was a so-so show, made a bit more lively by the few games that really stood out. As far as I’m concerned, the following are the five games I’m most looking forward to after this year’s event.

Oh, but I’m doing things just a little differently this year. Since my overall reaction to E3 this year was just lukewarm, I’m comprising my top 5 games from the event whether they were present at the show floor or not. Just what ever tickled my fancy this year, as long as it was featured or announced at the event.

I may do a few additional E3 awards later, but it all depends on how many Pixar-related posts I get around to (my “Pixar Month” has been surprisingly only slightly Pixar-y thus far).

So anyway, here are my top five most anticipated games coming out of E3 2016.

 

5: Crash Bandicoot Remastered

"If I saw that thing in my yard, I'd break out the compact bow..."

“If I saw that thing in my yard, I’d break out the compound bow…”

I was so excited when I heard the Crash Bandicoot theme on-stage during Sony’s conference. After years and years of rumors that Crash was coming back (some said under developer Naughty Dog), I thought all my wishes would come true.

And then they casually announced that they were simply remaking the first three Crash games on PS4 and that Crash Bandicoot is in the new Skylanders game, and I was a bit less excited.

After having some time to let it soak in though, I’m really excited for these Crash remakes. For one thing, the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy by Naughty Dog is still the series’ highpoint, and while the second and third entries have aged pretty darn well, these remakes have the chance to iron out the kinks they do have and bring them a more modern fluidity, while also having the chance to fix the largely outdated elements of the first Crash Bandicoot (seriously, fix the save feature!).

Not only that, but this might be the best way to reintroduce Crash to the world, after being passed around to developers like a game of hot potato, with none of the subsequent studios really getting the Naughty Dog’s formula right, and then having the IP go dark for eight years.

Who knows, maybe if the Crash remakes go well enough, it will sway Naughty Dog to get back into the platforming game.

 

4: Insomniac’s Spider-Man

"Hey everyone!"

“Hey everyone!”

Insomniac tends to make good games. Spider-Man is in serious need of a good game. Let’s hope Insomniac gets their peanut butter in Spider-Man’s chocolate…or something. It sounded better before I typed it. I don’t know why I’m not going back and changing my analogy.

Anyway, this new Spider-Man looks promising, and it could be the first great super hero game in years not to have the word “Arkham” in the title. Just please, somehow get J.K. Simmons to reprise his role of J. Jonah Jameson. Please! This goes for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well!

 

3: The Last Guardian

"A boy and his dog...thing..."

“A boy and his dog…thing…”

HOLY CRAP IT HAS A RELEASE DATE! And it’s only months away! Dreams do come true! We will get a new Crash Bandicoot from Naughty Dog! Paper Mario will go back to its RPG roots! Capcom will start making Mega Man games again!

Okay, I might be getting ahead of myself. For now, I’ll just be happy that the almost mythical The Last Guardian is actually happening. After years and years of delays, disappearances, and vague re-appearances, the follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus is finally happening. Here’s hoping it lives up to both its predecessor’s, and its own, reputation.

 

2: Yooka-Laylee

"Yooka and Laylee arrive in Arendelle."

“Yooka and Laylee arrive in Arendelle.”

Yooka-Laylee’s slight delay may be a little bit of a bummer, but my oh my, is this game shaping up to be something beautiful. It really does look like it’s going to be what Playtonic Games promised, and more.

From it’s likable cast of characters, colorful visuals and stunning locales, Yooka-Laylee is already looking like the true successor to Rare’s N64 heyday.

It’s been too long since collectathon platformers were a thing, but Yooka-Laylee looks to carry the torch so well that it’s like they never left. It’s shaping up to be the follow-up to Banjo-Tooie that we’ve waiting over sixteen years for (Gah! I’m old!), and a proper modernization and evolution of the genre. I simply can’t wait to see everything Yooka and Laylee’s world has in store (I’m guessing googly eyes are involved).

Hats off to Playtonic. Hats off.

 

1: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

"Goodbye, Pumbaa."

“Goodbye, Pumbaa.”

Sony may have had the best presence at E3, but Nintendo had the best game. After years and years of Zelda trying to tweak its established formula, we finally have a Zelda that seeks to reinvent it.

From what I’ve heard so far, Breath of the Wild looks to be one of the most open-ended games I’ve ever seen (you can fight the final boss right off the bat!), and Link’s abilities and items look unlike they have before. And finally, FINALLY, Link can jump. Yes, Link finally joins the likes of Mario as one of Nintendo’s jumpers.

I’ve seen many people already claim that Breath of the Wild is basically Nintendo’s equivalent to Skyrim (though I would argue that Breath of the Wild actually looks fun. Oooooh!), and that’s not too far off, as far as its open-endedness is concerned. But it also looks to draw inspiration from Zelda’s very first entry, Team Ico games, and even the films of Hayao Miyazaki (oh come on, the Guardians are totally inspired by Castle in the Sky’s robots).

Breath of the Wild really looks like its going all-out with its “breaking of series conventions,” and it only has me more and more interested to see what else Nintendo ends up doing with the game. Breath of the Wild is shaping up to be a beautiful swansong for the Wii U, and a fantastic introduction to the NX.

The only real question now is, what will Nintendo do with the next Mario?

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11 thoughts on “Top 5 Games of E3 2016

  1. p2d2

    Firmly believe that Zelda stole the show this year! I liked Bethesda/Id’s showcase. Very excited to see what both companies have in store for the next few years!

    Liked by 2 people

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  2. Matt

    Awesome choices. Yooka-Laylee gets more impressive every single time it is shown. The guys at Playtonic sure know what they are doing, which is not surprise given their track record. Hopefully, it will be good and successful enough to bring platformers of the kind back from the dead.

    Breath of the Wild is also looking stunning. It is the reinvention the franchise needed.

    Finally, it is too bad Color Splash is seemingly going to be terrible. =/

    Liked by 3 people

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  3. Nick the Gent

    I’m just playing through Ico for the first time, so I’m looking forward to The Last Guardian.

    If Nintendo can strike a balance between dungeon puzzles and fighting, and a massive overworld to explore (without handholding), then Zelda: Breath of the Wild should be amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. Revaryk

    Breath of the Wind certainly took all sorts of people’s BREATHs away! (I’m sorry for that horrible pun.)
    So yeah, it’s obvious what game I’m excited for the most.

    Anyways, good choices. With an E3 that was mostly “Meh”, there truly were some games that stood out from the crowd.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. nlpaulblog

    This was a great selection! Zelda is definitely my game of show. I’m so excited for it, I don’t possibly know how I’m going to cope with a nine month wait for the game. Yooka-Laylee looks like the Banjo 3 game we’ve all ever wanted, and I screamed at the TV when I saw the surprise Spider-Man announcement! Really good job on this list!

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. AfterStory

    I felt that E3 2016 overall was underwhelming. EA’s awful conference to Ubisoft’s which dragged on for far too long, it was rather disappointing to say the least. But at least the big three had interesting showcases.
    The more I read your coverage of Yooka-Laylee, the more guilty I feel about not putting it on my top E3 list! The game is literally just bursting the charm, and I will get to Banjo Kazooie very very soon!
    I’m a little worried that Team Ico’s latest simply won’t live up to the hype – being in development for nearly a decade builds some insurmountable expectations. We’ll see how the game fares this October.
    I honestly can’t wait to grab the Crash PS4 remaster, I only played Warped out of the entire original trilogy, and I didn’t really dedicate myself entirely to it so I’m ready rectify this and make amends!
    Do you see yourself getting Breath of the Wild for Wii U or will you buy the NX and grab that version of the game? The game really does try to reinvent the Zelda wheel and looks to be a breath of fresh air (I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who has used this pun).

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. themancalledscott Post author

      I’ve paid off the Wii U version for Breath of the Wild, but I’ll probably end up switching my order to NX when I can. Yooka-Laylee is shaping up to be a dream come true! I hope you enjoy Banjo-Kazooie in preparation for it.

      Liked by 1 person

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