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E3 2019

E3’s Most Controversial Moments

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Every year, developers from around the world gather in June to showcase their most secret and anticipated projects. In the months leading up to E3, gamers witness the spectacle of influencers and industry veterans discussing the rumors of what might be, further fueling their desired announcements come to life. In the spirit of fun and excitement, E3 allows for the passion of gaming to be broadcast on a world stage and recognized for its influence on the entertainment industry.

Now that the industry is approaching the eve of E3, OnlySP is counting down the days remaining in a segment we like to call ‘12 Days of E3’. Please join OnlySP in celebrating an event that can be described as Christmas for Gamers, as we come together in anticipation for E3 2019!


E3 is not famous solely for its positives. However engineered hype around gaming’s “big moment” is every year, the controversies that this once modest trade event creates play an essential role in maintaining its legendary status. From the awkward to the tone deaf, E3 sometimes serves as a reminder for how out of touch companies can sometimes be, as well as provide a hefty dollop of unforgettable, nightmare-inducing cringe.

1. E3 1995 – Sega Saturn’s Surprise Release

Surprise releases of games are a common concept nowadays, but a surprise console release? Nobody would be crazy enough to do that, right? Well, Sega did. 14 years ago. Why? Who knows? The nineties were wild.

Sega, following the huge success of the Sega MegaDrive, was a little torn on what to do with the Sega Saturn. Shaken by the rumoured power of the PlayStation and the influence Sony had, Sega entered what could be termed a panic. With the console already released in Japan, Sega took steps out on the stage to announce the Saturn for US release the same day as the conference: May 11, 1995.

The motivations for the early launch were to give the Saturn an advantage over the PlayStation in terms of immediacy and price in the West, coming in at roughly USD $399. The problem? Retailers weren’t informed, so they didn’t stock the item. Oh, and since PlayStation had the later show, Sony just axed the price to $299. The result? A dead console. Could the Saturn be the first and only time a console released and died in tandem at E3? The Saturn did manage to make some headway in the future, but Sega’s “stop gap” was ultimately a failure. At least we’ll always have these acid-flashback-inducing Saturn ads to remember:

2. E3 2013 – Xbox Becomes Television

You know what gamers enjoy the most? Television. Nah, seriously – not playing games, television!

As successful as the Xbox One went on to be, its reveal at 2013’s E3 was shrouded in controversy. While Sony was announcing games, Microsoft decided to head down the “all-in-one entertainment box” angle for the Xbox One, except it went a bit too far with the messaging. The result was a consumer base who, even by 2014, were sick of being fed non-gaming guff at gaming conventions being met by a conference dominated by discussions about anything but games.

Combined with confused messaging about the console’s “always online” requirements, an almost beautiful clash between corporation and consumer occurred, leading to an almost two-year headache for Microsoft to recover from. “Xbox is about to become the next watercooler” was an actual quote that came out of the presentation. Just stare at that quote, breathe it in.

3. E3 2006 – The PlayStation 3 Announcement

Things people took out loans for in 2006: a car, a house, credit card debt, a wedding, and a brand-new PlayStation 3.

Sony’s entire conference for E3 2006 was a rush job. In a way, E3 rush jobs are a bit of an artform and, in that sense, 2006 was probably Sony’s magnum opus. The entire conference just felt so fragile, as though the entire stage was put together by tape. The worst point, though, was when jaws literally dropped, and not for the right reasons. The PlayStation 3’s 60GB model would launch at $599 RRP and, upon that announcement, the whole room fell silent.

Looking back, what was Sony thinking with that price point for the PlayStation 3? $599 is nothing to gawk at by even modern standards, but the fact that the price point was delivered in such a nonchalant, easy way suggests Sony was entirely disconnected in 2006.

Since I listed a favourite quote from the Microsoft’s conference, I’ll list one from Sony: “It’s Ridge Racer! RIIIIIIIIIIIIDGE RACER!” – an exhausted, battle-weary Kaz Hirai.

4. E3 2007 – Jamie Kennedy

Standards of presentation have been raised at E3 in recent years. While some may lament the conference’s shift to a squeaky-clean aesthetic, at least embarrassing moments like actor Jamie Kennedy’s inebriated Ubisoft presentation won’t happen again. Not much is to be written about Kennedy’s lack of professionalism, but at least the presentation is preserved as a sort of time capsule for a time when people like him could get on stage at E3, as well as a record for how far the trade show has evolved in just 12 years.

5. E3 2010 – Konami

Have you ever seen Twin Peaks? Well, the show has a place called ‘The Red Room’, which is an anomalous extradimensional space, kind of like a personal hell. The Konami conference of 2010 is my personal Red Room. Sometimes this conference comes to me in dreams and I awake, doused in sweat, begging for it not to be real:

To see more from our 12 Days of E3, be sure to follow OnlySP on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. Also, be sure to join the discussion in the community Discord server.

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E3 2019

Biomutant is Vibrant, Unique, and a Hell of a Lot of Fun

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biomutant

THQ Nordic had a bevy of games available to play on the show floor at this year’s E3. While some attendees eagerly lined up to play Darksiders Genesis (as our own Michael Cripe did), others sought to finally get their hands on Experiment 101’s highly unique Biomutant for a hands-on, 30-minute demo. Thankfully, Biomutant’s E3 demo is more than enough proof that the will end up being something truly special.

After selecting their preferred language, players were given the option to recode their mutant’s DNA, serving as Biomutant’s version of a character customizer. The customization options were satisfying. A circle graph appears on the screen with five key skills the player must find their preferred balance between: strength, agility, intellect, charisma, and vitality. A sixth skill, luck, was also present, but it was not one that the player could influence from the circle graph. This graph not only influences the player’s mutant’s skills but it also directly changes the mutant’s appearance.

Other customization options included determining the mutant’s fur length and primary and secondary colors. Once these options were set, the demo thrusts the player into a mission that begins with riding a hot air balloon  while the narrator speaks of the excitement of an adventure. Enemies begin firing to bring down the hot air balloon and the player is dropped into the action.

Biomutant

The world of Biomutant immediately pops, as the colors were sharp and invoked thoughts of Ratchet &Clank with a slightly more comic-book style. The visuals reflected the conditions of the area, too, with vibrant reds representing intense heat being a memorable example. The first thing that stood out about this sequence was how great the combat felt. Similarly to Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Rocksteady’s Arkham series, sliding through an enemy’s legs while kicking, punching, and shooting felt tight and familiar. In some instances, the game slowed down when a knockout blow was dealt, which was a nice cinematic touch.

Progressing forward saw the player in an area with additional enemies with a larger, more intimidating foe acting as the main objective. This section introduced the Super Wushu attack, which varies depending on the equipped weapon. The most rewarding of these attacks was with the Klonk Fist which was obtained later in the demo. The Klonk Fist offered huge gauntlets that could pummel multiple enemies by mashing the action button.

The key to unlocking the Super Wushu attack involves stringing together combos which felt fairly easy to do. I do not recall ever losing my combo to an enemy attack, as I obtained the special attack fairly often. The combat allowed for those who wished to mash the melee or firing button but also rewards the players who are more tactical in their combos while mixing in shooting with melee attacks.

Biomutant

With the tutorial for the demo out the way, the game continues by having the player go to a different part of the planet. This new area showcased the vibrant greens and life that contrasted the overheated reds from the previous area. After some platforming, the demo descends the player down into the world where Gizmo the Greasemonkey resides.

Biomutant NPC dialogue is spoken by the narrator from the beginning of the demo while the player’s character makes vague sounds during the conversation. This exchange felt a bit underwhelming for the action-RPG as options did not hold any consequences for how the next section plays out and can be skipped without missing out on much of the story or mission objective.

After descending down and exiting an elevator shaft, the player enters a dark, oil-spilt area. The color palette here reflected the same pop to its visuals as the other sections. A mech suit, which was required to clean up the oil, controlled fine, though combat definitely felt better out of the mech suit than in it.

A final enemy awaited which served as the boss fight for the mission. This fight contained three phases with the enemy adding a new attack method from in the second. The third phase, however, took place inside the creature. After taking him down from the inside, the planet’s Tree of Life becomes more alive as indicating a reversal of destitute for the planet.

The demo confirmed the anticipation OnlySP had for Biomutant. The combat felt great and the visuals really popped. THQ Nordic and Experiment 101 may something special on their hands if the rest of the game plays as the demo did.

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