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Video Games and the People Who Love Them: My Favorite E3 2017 Moments

E3 has something for every gamer. Here’s what I thoroughly enjoyed at the world’s largest video game convention.

By Jeffrey L. Wilson

E3 2017 has drawn to a close, so the natural instinct for a media member such as myself is to continue whipping up impression pieces that I couldn’t write while on the floor, follow up with public relation contacts for product, and generally decompress. Still, it’s wise to take a breather and reflect on the great things that make E3 the video game show of video game shows.

Exploring Dragon Ball FighterZ

Bandai Namco’s upcoming anime-based fighting game took the crown as my game of the show, besting much-hyped AAA titles such as Crackdown 3 and Forza Motorsport 7.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is an absolutely gorgeous game even in its very early development phase, but its true-to-the-anime spirit penetrates much deeper. The fight engine has just enough casual friendliness to entertain fighting game novices, while seasoned vets can explore the more complex combat mechanics. Developer Arc System Works beautifully captures the anime’s frantic pacing is a way that surprised me and many other E3 attendees. Dragon Ball FighterZ appears to be another worthy entry in the fighting game renaissance. Check out my full hands on.

Going On a Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo naysayers will forever preach about the company’s impending doom in barely-thought-out hot takes, but the developer looks to cap a really, really good Nintendo Switch year — the best launch year in a very long time — with the ridiculously enjoyable Super Mario Odyssey.

You hop and bop your way multiple open-world stages, including the wonderful urban paradise known as New Donk City, using a new hat-tossing mechanic that let you attack or possess enemies. The premise opens fresh gameplay opportunities I can’t wait to explore when the game drops on October 27.

Becoming a Superhero In OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes

There were many family-friendly games at E3, but OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes easily ranks as one of my favorites. Based on an upcoming Cartoon Network show, OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes tasks you with playing as a starry-eyed child who idolizes his local superheroes, and the game offers the appropriate humor and action that comes along with that wild obsession.

The result of a collaboration between Cartoon Network and Capy Games (of Super Time Force fame), OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes features entertaining dialogue, a fun battle system that’s simple for anyone to jump into—but with enough meat for more advanced players to perform launchers and dodge rolls—and a novel and fun card-collecting system that grants your young hero extra combat abilities.

Experiencing Sonic Mania

The only truly great Sonic the Hedgehog games are in 2D, so I’m all aboard this Sonic Mania train. Set to debut this summer, Sonic Mania is a throwback platformer that recalls the hedgehog’s 16-bit golden age, courtesy of sprite-based graphics, classic level design, and a chiptune soundtrack.

Sega has two Sonic games coming down the pipe, but Mania is the one carrying hype for all the right reasons (the internet will die the day when Sonic Force’s create-a-furball mode hits the general public).

Mixing It Up With Traditional Media and Influencers

E3 2017 was my first in a few years, so I was surprised to see the new attendee demographics. Traditional media outlets such as Geek.com, IGN, and PCMag did the expected hall-to-hall hustle, but running with them were influencers of all types.

I mixed it up with podcasters, streamers, and YouTubers to talk games, naturally, but also the process of covering the show. Old and new media have a lot to learn from one another, and it was nice to see it go down in a friendly and enlightening fashion. Gamertag Radio, Maximilian Dood, and SpawnOnMe are just a handful of gaming-related outlets you should check out.

E3 had a lot happening, as per usual, but these were my favorite moments from this year’s show. This reflection is one that happens every time E3 comes to an end. I consider it an essential part of experiencing the convention, as it simultaneously lets you absorb the present while peering into the future at at the fine happenings, and good feelings, to come.

Read more: “Atari Teases New Gaming Console

Originally published at www.pcmag.com.




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