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E3 2019

Microsoft x Nintendo: The E3 Fallout of Gaming’s Biggest Collaboration

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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!


The Microsoft and Nintendo “survive together” commercial dropped a bomb on the industry and its fallout will be felt in full during E3. The partnership is a match made in heaven and why the two titans never joined forces before is a wonder. Nintendo, while striving in the industry, is still missing out a core, graphics-focused audience. Meanwhile, Microsoft is doing well enough, but has yet to prove it has the first-party foundation to maintain a dominant place in the eyes of the public. Furthermore, Xbox console have never sold well in Japan just has Nintendo products rarely fair as well in the west as they do in their native lands. Now that the two have realized they make the perfect team, what will the companies do with their newfound harmony?

One domino already toppled is the cross-play initiative. Mere months ago, cross-play was a dream. Now, Destiny 2 players have confirmation that they will be able to transfer their progress from any console over to Stadia. Of course, Google and plenty of others had a hand in this specific victory, but Switch and Xbox cross-play on games like Minecraft and Rocket League walked so Stadia could run. Players will hear more about the shattered boundaries of cross-play going into and all throughout E3, as these initiatives are worn as a badge of honor for Microsoft specifically. Thankfully, the partnership’s reach extends so much further past what the power team has managed to accomplish with cross-play.

Xbox

Xbox Game Pass was recently announced to make the move over to PC. Soon, PC players can join in on one of Microsoft’s most consumer friendly, lucrative services for the same price Xbox players have been enjoying for quite some time. This change happened in an instant and, while unlikely, rumors have circulated of Switch users being allowed access to the copious amounts of Xbox titles through the same service. Imagine: Halo 3 on-the-go, an ever-expanding catalog of new games typically only available on PC or Xbox, the same value others have had access to for years. Though hurdles would be inevitable, the potential positives could point to an impending E3 Game Pass announcement. At the least, Xbox Game Pass could certainly have a future home on Nintendo hardware.

For those still doubting the friendships possibly heavy presence at E3 2019, one of the more tangible results of the Microsoft and Nintendo partnership to note is the half-month-old existence of Cuphead on Switch. Maybe the Xbox Game Pass is still a ways off, but who is to say that Microsoft does not have plans for a Rare return to Nintendo? Xbox One’s Rare Replay was a hit and contained plenty of games that debuted on past Nintendo consoles. Banjo Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Perfect Dark may be a switch flip away from a triumphant return to the hybrid platform. Cuphead on Switch sounded just as unlikely as any other Microsoft published property on Switch, but with that barrier blown out of the water, nothing is stopping Microsoft from porting or even remastering any one Rare game over.

Banjo-Kazooie

Banjo-Kazooie in particular is one property to note thanks to the swarm of rumors polluting gaming discourse. Not only have many talked up the return of the bird-bear combo in their own proper title, but the Super Smash Bros. community is beside itself with the teases and supposed leaks to come out in the last week alone. Before Microsoft and Nintendo even started to cuddle up to one another, Xbox head Phil Spencer had publicly given his blessing for some Banjo-Kazooie representation in a future Smash title. Smash Bros. series director Masahiro Sakurai noted in a few interviews that he looked to the official Super Smash Brothers. Fighter Ballot when deciding some of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s new fighter inclusions. Considering hopes for Banjo-Kazooie were at an all-time high when the ballot was released; Sakurai more than likely noticed the desire to see the character in Smash at some point. There may not be a better way to spotlight the Nintendo and Microsoft partnership than announcing Banjo as DLC in Ultimate during Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference.

Until only a few years ago, Nintendo had kept its first-party IP close to its chest. Recent deals with Ubisoft, however, showed that Nintendo is willing to let other publishers borrow IP like Mario and Star Fox on special occasions. This sentiment is certainly delving deep into speculation at this point, but similar partnerships could happen given the right circumstances. Metroid, Star Fox, or F-Zero likely do not have a place on Xbox consoles, though perhaps Microsoft loyal could see the return of Bayonetta after the series made the jump to Wii U a few years back. A long shot, yes, but of all of the exchanges that could take place in the next year, a Bayonetta-related release for Xbox players would make more sense than most.

Truth be told, deciphering what the two have planned behind the scenes is next to impossible. Nintendo tends to take the road less traveled when standing on its own, so adding another behemoth such as Microsoft into the mix should keep spectators on their toes.

Stay tuned for more of our 12 Days of E3 by following 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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