There was a lot to take in during E3 2018 and every member of the Shacknews staff got to experience something different. Now it's my turn to get in my personal favorites from the show and anyone who's followed me over the last few weeks and also over the years, in general, will not be too surprised of what's on my list.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
So yes, this isn't going to be a huge surprise to anyone who's followed me since I've started here at Shacknews. My formative years in high school and college were defined by Super Smash Bros. So yes, there's a sentimental side of me that's going to gravitate towards the latest entry in the series that promises "Everyone is here."
Just the idea of this game as a collection of everything from every single Smash Bros. game would be more than enough to win me over. But it's the fact that Masahiro Sakurai has overhauled many of the game's mechanics and made noteworthy adjustments to almost every character, enough to make this feel like the ultimate Smash Bros. game. And while there are several familiar elements to this game, the adjustments to the air dodges and blocking lend to the notion that I'll have to re-learn everything from scratch. It's an exciting time for Smash Bros. fans and I look forward to refreshing the Smash Bros. website, just like I used to back before Brawl released a decade ago.
What a beautiful game Concrete Genie is shaping up to be. It's looking like a wonderful outlet for artistic expression, with players able to craft expressive monsters from scratch. Add in the idea of painting colorful landscapes and bringing them to life and it's one of the most tranquil and creative experiences I saw on the E3 show floor.
Those looking for a few more details can jump into my E3 preview from Tuesday.
I'm not going to pretend to be this huge VR enthusiast. That's more Asif's department. With that said, I was blown away by Tetris Effect.
I'm a simple man, so I'd be sold simply by the Tetris formula alone. But that wouldn't be enough to win one of my Bests of E3. It's what the team at Enhance Games was able to do with the trippy Rez Infinite-style visuals, the environments, the music, and how crisp all of it comes across through the PlayStation VR peripheral. It's all brilliantly presented around the old-school idea of racking up that high score, especially with the new Zone mechanic that makes 10+ line combinations possible.
There's also a more detailed E3 preview available, for anyone looking to read that at their leisure.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Some readers may be looking at this and going, "Ozzie, weren't you derisively comparing Shadow of the Tomb Raider to a Batman game?"
Yes, that's true. But here's the thing about that. Batman games are also really good. So even if Shadow of the Tomb Raider doesn't exactly feel original when going down the Arkham Asylum route, the execution is solid.
Following my pre-E3 hands-on, I had a chance to try out that Arkham-style corridor section and it felt responsive, slick, and empowering. I can jab at the lack of originality when plucking an enemy with a Fear Arrow and watching him shoot at his partners in a hallucinogenic rage, but that doesn't mean that section wasn't fun.
And yes, the frantic escape from the refinery was an entertaining stretch and showed off the Tomb Raider platforming that's been executed so well in the past two games. Originality gripes aside, I have a good feeling about how Shadow of the Tomb Raider is going to play out and both the pre-E3 and E3 demos have left me feeling positive about what's coming later this year.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
One of the best games of 2015 was Ori and the Blind Forest and it's a beautiful indie platformer that's still fun to talk about. So there are a lot of high hopes for Ori and the Will of the Wisps and it's great to see that Moon Studios is looking at this sequel and thinking bigger in almost every conceivable way.
The Metroidvania formula looks to be intact, but there are also going to be a lot of new NPC characters to interact with, new attacks to master, side quests, collectibles, and so much more. There's going to be a lot to enjoy in the new Ori and it also looks like it's going to be deceptively difficult, just like the first game.
Check out our E3 preview for more on this one.
Be sure to keep up with Shacknews for more E3 coverage. If you have your own favorites from E3, join the conversation and jump into Chatty.