As E3 begins to wind down, it is time to take a moment to think about the best and worst moments of this year’s gaming media bonanza. Obviously, I’m not there in person, so coverage is based off of a combination of live streams, articles, and videos from other sources.
So I wanted to take some time here today to talk about some of what I saw following coverage of E3. We’re going to talk surprises, the best and worst, and where the companies hit their highs and lows. I also wanted to touch base about the Sony E3 Experience as this was its first year visiting Winnipeg.
World of Warcraft has been out for over a decade, roughly a third of my entire life, and it has had a huge impact on me over the years. I played it for nearly 9 years straight, and intermittently following that. I have gone back a few times, and I have always kept an eye on it. Even when I say that I’m done with it, I keep going back and at least checking to see what has changed… and I don’t see that changing.
I’m not going to try to conjure some sob story, because in reality I had a pretty comfy home life. But I did suffer from bullying and social anxiety and I was ostracized a lot in school, so I never really learned how to socialize, how to value people, or how to treat people. Looking back, it is kind of hard to believe I found someone who was able to tolerate the person I was enough to stay with me to become the person I am now… but that’s neither here nor there. The point of this is that when I started playing WoW I was your typical socially awkward, angsty, angry nerd. And while some of that still holds true, I like who I am now. And a lot of that I owe to the experiences I’ve found through gaming, especially WoW. The rest I owe to the one I mentioned a second ago.
This post is going to be a combination of reliving some of the great memories and appreciating the impact this game has had on my life. I spent around 9 years with this game. It’s kind of crazy to think that I played the same game for around 1/3 of my entire life, especially thinking about how much has changed in that time. I got married, moved out from my parent’s place, bought a house, got my first full-time job, started a stuffed animal collection, started this website and so much more.
It was only a short time ago that they announced, much to everyone’s surprise, that Final Fantasy 7 was getting a true remake. The announcement came coupled with a fantastic trailer that delivered an odd message, likely referring as much to the fans as to the gameworld itself. The trailer showcased Midgar, spoke of the reunion, and showed off a brief glimpse of Cloud and Barret.
But… can Final Fantasy 7’s success be reproduced? Because this isn’t a remaster, it’s not an up-res, it’s a remake. Change is coming, and I don’t think the meaning of that has set into a lot of people quite yet. While doing my Final Fantasy 7 stream, a lot of people, myself included, were asking questions like ‘how are they going to do this?’ or ‘I wonder how this will look in HD’… but that’s not what we’re getting. We don’t know how much, or how little, of what we remember of the original will actually make the cut. And that’s the part that has me so excited, and just a little scared.
So going in to E3 I had very low expectations. I really expected nothing. Going into it I tweeted that I was expecting the highlight of the Sony press conference to be related to Journey… an exaggeration, but gets a point across.
And I owe almost everyone involved in E3, especially Sony, an apology.
Everyone has games that just click for them… games that you can constantly go back to simply because, no matter how many times you play them, they are always satisfying. Always fun. For some people, this is a classic game from their childhood. For me, there are a few… but the one that stands out the most is Catherine. I love Catherine, and I’ve always struggled with why.
Catherine is an obscure 2011 Atlus game that is incredibly hard to explain – or rationalize. It isn’t a game that fits into any of my favourite genres – it isn’t Metroidvania, it’s not an RTS/MoBA, it’s not a JRPG, it’s not even a Platformer. It isn’t a long game (I streamed the hard difficulty from start to finish in a ~12 hour marathon just last weekend). It isn’t perfect, by any means… so why is it that this game is the one I constantly go fall back on when I’m looking for something to watch, to play, or to stream?