Xavier Woods' E3 Blog: Day Four
Recap: Last day of E3
Today was probably the most exciting day for me, because I got the chance to meet and interview some of the people that have played a hand in making my life better. There are times when some of us don’t feel so confident, or we feel awkward, or we just don’t believe in ourselves. The people that I met today have influenced me in a way that has made me confident in myself. I now have no idea what the word “awkward” means, and I believe that I can do anything I set my mind to.
Video games are a huge part of my life, and for me they are more than just a fun way to relax. They have allowed me to grow into the person that I am today, and without them I would not be where I am. I would still be that same little kid who got picked on and cared what other people thought about him. Because of video games, I now understand that those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter. But I’ll step down from my soapbox and get into the last day of E3!
“Rock Band 4”
"Rock Band” is back and it’s touting a new feature that the Harmonix team has been working on for about 10 years. There’s a guitar solo feature in the songs now where the guitarist can essentially freestyle and create their own solo. Strumming and pressing keys while this mode is active allows the player to really feel as if they’re making the music, because they literally are. In the solo mode the player can strum and hold one of the buttons closer to the bottom of the neck, and get a high-pitched, crazy Hendrix type of guitar playing sound. There are a ton of new songs and it still has that fun party “Rock Band” feel that we have all come to love.
“Star Fox Zero”
We walked to the Nintendo set-up, and a controller was thrust into my hand. When I looked at the screen, “Star Fox Zero” was loading. It’s similar to “Star Fox 64,” but there are a few new perspectives that can be taken while going through the stages. The gamepad controller has a cockpit view, giving you a more detailed perspective of what’s in front of you. While playing, you must use both the TV and cockpit screens in order to maneuver and get through the stage. The left stick is used to maneuver the plane, the right to speed up, slow down and barrel roll, and you must physically move the gamepad controller around to move the aiming reticle. This is tricky at first, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty fun. It’s a different kind of immersion than any I have seen in a game where you get to fly a plane.
You can also transform the Arwing into what’s called a Walker. This is essentially a tiny mech that uses the same controls, but it moves around on foot. Transforming back and forth between the two gives that game a really cool feel. The story is still the Star Fox crew going up against Andross, but obviously with a spin and much better visual cues than before.
After finishing the stage, I was about to play the next game, but then I saw Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario and a ton of other amazing Nintendo characters. All of my childhood feels came back as I got him in an interview. Really cool experience that will be posted onUpUpDownDownin the near future.
“Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash”
This was your basic Mario Tennis. Fun, bright, easy to pick up, and will start fights between you and your friends. One of the coolest features is that random mushrooms fly onto the court. If you pick it up, you grow into a giant. Your hits are also harder and you can use this as an advantage against your opponent. But it’s nice because the non-mushroom player still has a chance against the giant, so it’s not broken or anything. This one was pretty straightforward. If you already like “Mario Tennis” then you will enjoy this one.
“Super Mario Maker”
People have been creating their own “Mario” games online for quite a while, and it’s almost become a things to create nonsense stages that no one can beat. Nintendo thought, “Well, if you’re gonna do it anyway, then you may as well do it right.” ”Super Mario Maker” allows the user to create stages however they want. The coolest aspect is that you can then share these games online, and other people can download and play them.
One would imagine that there will just be tons of hell stages that will be impossible to beat. The catch, though, is that you can’t upload anything that you yourself haven’t beaten. If there’s a really difficult stage that is available from a user for downloading, then everyone will know that they are super-talented at building stagesandplaying them. Plus, while building a stage, you can use different generations of the Mario franchise. By this, I mean that you can create a stage that looks like one from the first NES “Super Mario,” but with a touch of the button you can cycle through the different looks that Mario has taken over the years, including the NES, Super Nintendo and updated Wii U versions. The different looks cater to different moves that Mario has in each respective game as well.
“The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes”
“Tri Force Heroes” is essentially the Zelda sequel to “Four Swords.” The main difference is that you play with three Links instead of four, and you’re working together rather than competing against each other. Each player has to rely on the other to complete the puzzles so they can advance in the dungeon. Teamwork is also very important when working to defeat bosses. Players are able to stack on top of each other to reach higher places and attack taller enemies, if need be. There’s a communication system of Link emojis that can be used to ask for help or tell your teammates what action they need to take to move ahead. This system was actually very helpful while playing due to the speed of the game. We went through a range of emotions trying to figure out, as a team, what to do and how to advance in the dungeon. By the end, we felt a sense of team accomplishment, probably comparable to what it feels like to win a championship in WWE. In short, you feel really good when you win in this game.
I was a guest on “Kinda Funny” with Greg Miller – check it out here.
“Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward”
I got to interview Square Enix’s Naoki Yoshida.Freaking. Naoki .Yoshida. This man is one of the main reasons that I have kept my sanity intact over the past year-and-a-half of my life. That said, I was in awe of how nice he was. Such a kind human, willing to talk about anything, which was awesome.
We spoke about “Final Fantasy XIV” and the upcoming expansion “Heavensward.” Yoshida explained that they love dropping the updates every three months so that everyone constantly has something to do. But “Heavensward” has enough in it to be its own standalone game. That is so much stuff! Tons of new things will be added to the story and the lore. My interview with Naoki Yoshida will be released in the near future!
“Dragon Quest Heroes”
I was able to interview Ryota Aomi and Tomohiko Sho about “Dragon Quest Heroes.” They were very excited that Square Enix’s “Dragon Quest” world was finally coming to the PS4. It gives them a much larger range to work with in the game, graphics-wise, which means the monsters, environments and main characters are really coming to life in this one. The soundtrack will have some of the iconic “Dragon Quest” music with some new tracks as well, which shouldplease those who have experience with “Dragon Quest” and give them something new to look forward to. The gameplay is a beat-‘em-up style game with combos and teamwork sprinkled in there. It looks very cartoony, fun, and is very easy to pick up and play.
“Heroes of the Storm”
This game is not a MOBA! It is what’s called a Hero Brawler – which is pretty much a MOBA with some cool extra quirks to make it more balanced and fun for everyone involved. The group leveling system creates more of a team aspect than a similar game might; players are able to move around more and explore the areas that aren’t in their specific lane of attack. Being able to successfully shift from lane to lane without it being a detriment to the team is a great aspect in a game such as this.
Blizzard Entertainment has also decided to pull in characters and stages from their other games. The newest characters are coming from “Diablo 3,” which means that the roster of heroes is expanding, as are the maps that are currently available. It looks like they aren’t finished, either. This feels like a game they can just keep adding things to so long as they have games under the Blizzard banner.
I got the chance to go on a panel to close out the E3 festivities with Twitch.
Then E3 was over.
I want thank all of the awesome people that I was able to meet. You guys were amazing, and thank you so much for accepting me with open arms. It really means a lot to me. Leaving E3 was way sad. It’s Heaven and now it’s over! But that means that it’s now time to grind for UpUpDownDown! So thanks for reading, and make sure to subscribe to mahhhh channelllllll!!