GBAtemp Exclusive E3 2019 Show Floor Coverage and Demo Impressions: Rune Factory 4, Dying Light 2, Genesis Mini & more

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Chary, Jun 15, 2019.


    17,706

    32
    Front-page GBAtemp Exclusive
    IMG_7479.JPG

    IMG_7207.JPG IMG_7233.JPG

    As June 13th has come to a close, so has the annual experience of E3. Just like the previous three years, I had the wonderful chance to represent GBAtemp at this year’s E3, acquiring meetings, interviews, and being able to play tons of demos. Now that the festivities have ended, it’s time to share my experiences with you! Thanks to the combined efforts of Costello, T-hug, Hells Malice, and I, GBAtemp was able to meet with a wide variety of developers and publishers, such as Ubisoft, Nintendo, and XSEED, to name a few. There was a lot to see and do this E3, so I’ll be splitting the writeup coverage into three separate threads. Today’s article will focus on the Microsoft and Bethesda press conferences, and the first day of our show floor meetings, which included Techland Publishing, XSEED, SEGA, and the many fun adventures in between. So with that, I hope you enjoy the coverage; let’s get started!

    Kicking off E3 2019 was Microsoft, which promised to be a major deal—after all, there was talks that they would be showing off their next-generation Xbox hardware for the first time. Arriving at Los Angeles’ aptly named Microsoft Theater, I was incredibly excited, as I had a shiny media badge, allowing me entrance to the industry section of the huge building. I was still shocked that they’d actually invited GBAtemp; I’d initially been denied a pass, but they’d eventually given in, after extra insistence. Hundreds of other reporters stood beside me in the blazing California sun, as we all waited behind a velvet rope. Eventually, Phil Spencer walked by, with an entire crew following him, clad in green "Xbox Staff" shirts. Inside, the Microsoft Theater was nothing short of stunning, with a wild array of flashing lights and booming music. Everyone filed through and quickly walked towards their seats, as a seemingly endless stream of people passed by. The speakers then shook the ground with music, as a countdown began, signaling the start to the showcase.


    IMG_7236.JPG IMG_7280.JPG IMG_7283.JPG
    For years, I had watched these presentations from the comfort of my own room, but the feeling of attending the press conference live, alongside an excited crowd, in a stunning theater, all made it so much more impressive than watching from a Twitch stream. The moment Keanu Reeves made his way on stage was, well, nothing short of breathtaking. Everyone rose from their seats to give a standing ovation, while some yelled and cried in complete joy. That reaction alone made the entire experience unforgettable. At one point, during the Gears of War 5 segment, plumes of fire rose from vents on stage, shocking the crowd in an elaborate display. You could smell the fire, and even feel the heat, intentionally making the trailer that much more immersive.


    While attending the Microsoft conference had been a brand new experience for me, the next showcase, Bethesda, would not be. In 2017, I had been fortunate enough to be invited to their adorable outdoor "Bethesda Land" setup, which was stylized like a mini-theme park, featuring attractions, prizes, food, and other fun sights. This year would be quite different, however, as Bethesda would instead opt for a more traditional event, held at the fancy Shrine Auditorium. Passing through a metal detector and weaving through lines of velvet ropes, I made my way into the lobby of the Shrine, where I was handed a movie ticket, for entrance into the Bethesda 2019 E3 conference. Though it was certainly fun to visit this historic building, the press conference felt middling, and the event itself paled in comparison to the efforts Bethesda went to in 2017.

    IMG_7356.JPG
    IMG_7360.JPG IMG_7361.JPG IMG_7366.JPG

    With all the press conferences having wrapped up, that meant there was just one thing left; the show floor itself! Over 60,000 gamers, media, and developers would be making their way to the Los Angeles Convention Center, to show off and play the latest and greatest that gaming has to offer. Walking up to the building, I could see that this year's headline games would be the annual Call of Duty entry, Modern Warfare, and Marvel's Avengers. Giant posters and murals for other games were plastered onto buildings, turning downtown LA into one big showcase for every major upcoming video game. Sitting outside in the parking lot were giant monster trucks advertising a racing game, and transit buses passed by, adorned with Final Fantasy artwork, while a limo with a Nintendo logo pulled up beside me, letting out a group of men dressed in immaculate business suits. For those three days, everything in the city was dedicated to all things gaming.

    Grinning with my badge in hand, I passed through the security check, and into the lobby. Writers from Destructoid, Twinfinite, and Dualshockers were ahead of me, talking excitedly about which game they most wanted to see first. For me, that question didn't take much thought, as, well, I've formed a tradition that I planned to uphold; SEGA/Atlus would be my first stop, as it always has been. The moment the doors opened, I was off with a clear path ahead, since the majority of the horde began pushing the opposite way, towards the Nintendo booth. SEGA had absolutely no line at this point, and I slipped into the front of the queue for multiple games: Catherine Full Body, Mario and Sonic at the 2020 Olympic Games, Judgement, and the Genesis Mini.

    IMG_7532.JPG
    IMG_7493.JPG IMG_7683.JPG

    Judgment was the first game I tried, being the shortest demo of them all, taking place during an introductory stealth mission. While a tailing mission wasn't the best suited for an E3 demo, I quite enjoyed my time with Judgment, likely due to the fact that I also greatly enjoy the Yakuza series, which is from the same developers. Combat is just as punchy and fun, (yes, you can still grab random things off the street and use them as a weapon!) feeling very similar to Kiwami 2. Crispin Freeman and Greg Chun play the voice roles of the main characters, and their performance is on point here, which should result in a solid English dub. If you prefer the original Japanese voices, then SEGA has confirmed that Judgment will have dual audio, when it releases soon, on June 25th.

    Next up was Catherine: Full Body, the definitive take on the 2011 puzzle-platformer from Atlus. While the majority of the demo played the same as the original, there was an option on the main menu to play "remix" levels that change things up a bit, which should be a great option for those that happened to have recently played Catherine Classic. As an added bonus, you can play as Persona 5's Joker in the game's versus mode, if you happen to pick up the Deluxe version of Catherine: Full Body.

    IMG_7527.JPG

    Way back in 2008, I can recall having mixed feelings towards Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. The Wii's motion controls could be wonky at times, and some of the minigames weren't that fun to play in repeated sessions, but I was amazed at the fact that there were Mario AND Sonic characters together in a real, actual game. With a decade having passed since then, the awe of Mario and Sonic sharing a crossover game has long since worn off, leaving players with a game that feels awkward on a console that no longer lives and dies on Wii-waggle mania. Despite personally not being very interested in Mario and Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, I thought I should at least try it out, to which I got to play four of the available minigames: archery, surfing, skateboarding, and hurdles. Surfing was a terrible starting point, with controls that were way too sensitive to the slightest movement of the Joy-Cons. Skateboarding was inoffensive, though bland, as you simply just swing the controller up whenever you get to a ramp, and twist left or right to control the skateboard. There wasn't much input when it came to archery, which has you aim towards a target, pull back, and let go, though it at least offered a slight challenge. Perhaps the most fun of the assortment was hurdling, which required more than two simple movements or button presses, as you need to time your takeoff, pump the Joy-Cons to run, swing up while holding a button to jump at the right time, and continue that pace. Overall, I walked into the booth not expecting much, and walked away feeling fairly nonplussed.

    There was a nice spectacle, however, in the form of a giant rock wall situated within the SEGA booth. If you were brave enough, you could scale to the top, in order to win a prize. With the promise of "free stuff", I decided to climb it. What was the reward, you ask? A small pin of Joker's mask, bearing a logo of Persona 5R, along with a bright Sonic-blue t-shirt that featured the history of every SEGA console on the front of it. So cool!

    IMG_7546.JPG

    The absolute highlight of SEGA's booth was, oddly enough, the Genesis Mini. This year, the company had a clear focus on ports and classic games. SEGA had a little alcove set up, with beanbag chairs, fake wood-paneled walls, and a nightstand, with the Genesis Mini resting atop it. Everything felt right out of the 90s, with fake dorky VHS tapes and little green army men figures sitting next to the Genesis Mini, perfectly capturing the era from which the Genesis hails from. With, as the representative said, "Over 40 Genesis roms to pick from", the miniature console is packed to the brim with nostalgic titles. The first thing I noticed about the Mini was the controller, which felt just a bit cheap, and lighter than I remembered. This was especially apparent after I'd gotten to extensively try out the new Retro-Bit Genesis Model 2 controller earlier this year, which felt leagues more comfortable and solidly built. Regardless, it all comes down to personal opinion and preference, and if you dislike the controllers that the Genesis Mini comes with, you can replace them with your own. The real concern was how well the games ran. Since the Genesis was my very first console, I have a very deep-rooted nostalgia for the console and its games, having extensively tried many similar products, including the much-disliked Atgames replica. I chose to play Sonic 2 first out of the lineup, knowing exactly how the game should feel on original hardware. The Genesis Mini managed to live up to my lofty expectations, and playing through the first level of Emerald Hill Zone felt just like it did when I first played a SEGA Genesis as a child. For those that are used to playing on emulators, the Genesis Mini features savestates, and a nicely designed menu UI that lets you see all 42 games in their full boxart-clad glory. Sony should take note, as this is exactly how you do a reproduction/classic/mini console.

    IMG_7535.JPG
    IMG_7534.JPG IMG_7536.JPG IMG_7541.JPG

    After that, I turned my focus back to the rest of the show floor, which had become fairly crowded. A ridiculous line wrapped around Nintendo's booth, as a woman waved a sign that said anyone who was just getting in the queue was looking at about a 2-hour wait time to play The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. No thanks! I would definitely be back, though, when I had my meeting scheduled with Nintendo. People were rushing about in droves, looking for the shortest lines, with exhibitors waving free swag around, tempting people to play demos in order to get fun prizes. Keychains, bags, posters, and pins, of all sorts were available. Here's a handful of some of the cool things I was able to get my hands on!

    IMG_20190615_171634.
    IMG_7953.JPG
    It was time to rush to the other side of the convention center, as my first meeting of the conference was about to begin with Techland, the publisher of Dying Light 2. This was a fairly strict showing, as the team forbade footage from being recorded, and no hands-on gameplay was available. I got to watch 45 minutes of one of the first missions, directly showing off one of the game's newest mechanics; choices and consequence. Dying Light 2 is being written by Chris Avellone, one of the lead writers of Fallout 2, Planescape Torment, and Icewind Dale. I absolutely love the writing in Avelone's games, so him penning the story was enough to interest me in the entire series. In Dying Light 2, you play as Aiden Caldwell, who at the start of the game, is given a handful of choices. The city's water is being withheld by the general, so do you storm his well-guarded palace in order to learn why he's keeping the water from the people, or do you choose to protect your friend, who needs your help after being fatally shot? If you choose to take down the guards and sneak in to the general's room, do you decide to hear him out, or do you take charge and steal all the water for yourself? Each choice you make affects the story, and will shape the development of your game world. Co-op also returns from Dying Light 1, and this time around, you can visit your friends' worlds, to see how their decisions resulted in different areas to explore, or find characters that might not have survived in your save file. To me, it almost felt like a co-op take on Dishonored, with a bigger focus on choice. Despite not being able to play, I was incredibly excited by the promises made by the development team. It all sounds very ambitious, and if it comes together, it might just be one of 2020's biggest games. For attending the meeting, Techland Publishing gave out a little gift, too! A statue figurine of the main character. How awesome!

    The last meeting of the day would be with a company that I'm sure many GBAtemp users know I fangirl over: XSEED. Every E3, I look forward to what they have in store, and this year was no exception, with the company being in charge of bringing us Rune Factory 4: Special, to the Nintendo Switch. It was an incredible surprise when Marvelous revealed that the Rune Factory series was not in fact dead, and would be getting both a new entry, and that the Nintendo Switch would be getting a special port of the previous game in the series. Though we don't know much about Rune Factory 5, XSEED had a playable demo of Rune Factory 4: Special, which I immediately flocked to.

    Having initially been a 3DS game, I was a little worried about how the game would look, blown up on a TV screen. Luckily, the graphics are smooth and crisp, with no sign of Rune Factory 4 once having been relegated to a tiny resolution of 400x240p. The demo tosses you right into gameplay, letting you run around the town, or even adventure into the first dungeon. I was, sadly not allowed to take footage of what I played, but Rune Factory 4: Special is all I could have hoped for. Character portraits are sharp, and high quality, environments are simple and clean, yet pretty, and the text was easy to read. Keeping my expectations low, I asked the XSEED rep if it was possible for the game to come to PC, as XSEED has certainly had a solid track record of PC ports. While he didn't outright object to the idea, he said they'd have to wait until closer to launch, to see if there was a possibility of bringing the game to other platforms in the west. For the many excited fans of Rune Factory 4 here on GBAtemp, you should be excited to know that there will be a wealth of new content for returning players, such as a veteran mode for those familiar with the original, a newlywed mode for spending more time with your waifu or husbando after you've married them, and brand new story content.

    IMG_7757.JPG
    IMG_7747.JPG

    Knowing that RF4 was a game dubbed with an English cast, I inquired about how likely it would be for XSEED to get certain actors back to reprise their roles, as many ports that feature new content and come years after the original tend to have to recast actors, as they've either moved on, or retired. The answer I received was that while XSEED wasn't currently in the process of hiring voicework just yet, they were quite certain that they would be able to get trickier voice artists back on board, including Laura Bailey.

    Once the demo ended, that wrapped up my first official day of E3 2019. I had so much fun, and I hope everyone enjoyed reading about GBAtemp's experience at the conference! There are still two more jam-packed days left to talk about, so I hope you'll stick around and read part two, which will feature our meeting with Nintendo! See you then!
     
    Discussion (32 replies)
  1. anhminh

    anhminh Pirate since 2010

    Member
    8
    Sep 30, 2010
    Vietnam
    As much as I love Rune Factory to stick around Nintendo, I want it to be multi-platform. The series have so much potential and I really believe that everyone should try it at least one. Every times I talk about Stardew Valley I always mention Rune Factory but then realize those PC crowd couldn't play it. I wish they could now, and the game will gain so much popularity that they would remake older game. If so my final wish will be complete.
     
    r5xscn, Chary and Vulpes Abnocto like this.
  2. Idontknowwhattoputhere

    Idontknowwhattoputhere See i would put something here if i knew what to

    Member
    5
    Jan 19, 2019
    United Kingdom
    will some soul tell me what is with all the keanu memes?
     
  3. Xzi

    Xzi A terrible fate fills you with determination

    pip Contributor
    19
    Dec 26, 2013
    United States
    Spiraling Out
    It was revealed that Keanu will be starring in Cyberpunk 2077. In fact, word is that the amount of spoken dialog he has in the game is second only to the main character. He also came on stage in person after the release date trailer during the Microsoft presentation.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Jun 16, 2019
  4. Idontknowwhattoputhere

    Idontknowwhattoputhere See i would put something here if i knew what to

    Member
    5
    Jan 19, 2019
    United Kingdom
    Thanks!
    Have a dance from pepe! 585834952986460180.
     
    Costello likes this.
  5. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo G'nome

    pip Contributor
    21
    GBAtemp Patron
    Tom Bombadildo is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Jul 11, 2009
    United States
    I forgot
    You forgot to mention...

    He's breathtaking.

    :wub:

    This was a pretty decent E3 this year, miles better than last years for sure. Glad we can get someone like Chary to give us the personal scoop every year. Good work! :yay:
     
  6. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

    Member
    24
    GBAtemp Patron
    the_randomizer is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    I'm interested in the Sega Genesis Mini, it looks like it has a cool UI :P
     
    NoNAND, raxadian and Chary like this.
  7. azoreseuropa

    azoreseuropa GBAtemp Guru

    Member
    11
    Nov 6, 2002
    United States
    Azores/Portugal
    Ignored Keanu. He didn't mean anything to me. Why meme ? Don't bothered, lol.
     
  8. Xzi

    Xzi A terrible fate fills you with determination

    pip Contributor
    19
    Dec 26, 2013
    United States
    Spiraling Out
    No YOU'RE breathtaking. You're all breathtaking!
     
    RobXcore, r5xscn and Vulpes Abnocto like this.
  9. kuwanger

    kuwanger GBAtemp Maniac

    Member
    9
    Jul 26, 2006
    United States
    LGR approves.

    Not sure if I'd say "oddly". SEGA has been working to cash on its older titles for some time now. I don't inherently disapprove--it's better to offer for sale old IP than to remake IP. I'm still hoping they'll announce some legitimate mechanism to buy more games for the system. Anyways, my point is that most game companies are so focused on old IP and making sequels. I'd rather just have the old IPs as straight as possible. I hope Square Enix's plans in that area pan out.

    Cool to hear about the SEGA swag and having to earn it. The real icing on the cake would have been, I think, the T-Shirt having an "Achievement Unlocked" on it. :)

    On an unrelated note (Atlus related), still waiting for Cryamore. :/
     
    Chary and raxadian like this.
  10. DarthDub

    DarthDub Amateur Hacker

    Member
    11
    Jan 26, 2016
    United States
    Your mom's basement.
    Absolutely nothing negative to say about the Genesis Mini? Nice. I'm personally looking forward to Rune Factory 4: Special though since I've never bought any of the previous ones in the series but I did play a bit of Rune Factory: Frontier for the Wii.
     
    raxadian and Chary like this.
  11. Issac

    Issac I

    Supervisor
    14
    GBAtemp Patron
    Issac is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Apr 10, 2004
    Sweden
    Sweden
    Where's the taco?!?
     
    Costello and Chary like this.
  12. Xzi

    Xzi A terrible fate fills you with determination

    pip Contributor
    19
    Dec 26, 2013
    United States
    Spiraling Out
    It's kinda hard to tell: was the TV a CRT or HD? Do we know if Genesis Mini has composite out as well as HDMI out?
     
    raxadian likes this.
  13. Chary
    OP

    Chary Never sleeps.

    pip Senior Editor
    43
    GBAtemp Patron
    Chary is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Oct 2, 2012
    United States
    HD 16:9. There was no mention if it’ll support composite. The games all had backgrounds to fill in the space.
     
    DarthDub and Xzi like this.
  14. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

    Member
    24
    GBAtemp Patron
    the_randomizer is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    Will there be a way to make it 4:3 without borders?
     
  15. Costello

    Costello Headmaster

    Administrator
    22
    Oct 24, 2002
    Very nice article. I've always kind of wanted to go to E3 at least once. Waiting for the right year... :D
     
    Chary likes this.
  16. raxadian

    raxadian GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    4
    Nov 10, 2018
    Argentina
    I am so happy I could cry.

    Yeah I am a sap like that. I have several Sega Genesis controlers, do these work on the mini? Otherwise I will have to look for a sturdier yet compatible replacement.
     
    Chary likes this.
  17. zoogie

    zoogie playing around in the dsiware

    Member
    21
    Nov 30, 2014
    Micronesia, Federated States of
    "With, as the representative said, "Over 40 Genesis roms to pick from"

    Seems this rep knows about where you hail from, Chary. :ninja:
     
  18. Xzi

    Xzi A terrible fate fills you with determination

    pip Contributor
    19
    Dec 26, 2013
    United States
    Spiraling Out
    Ah. I didn't really expect it would, but that could've been an "above and beyond" inclusion.
     
  19. Prior22

    Prior22 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    6
    Sep 23, 2010
    United States
    I've never understood why Sega and Nintendo won't take the Mario/Sonic combination further. An RPG with those two worlds coming together, especially if produced by Intelligent Systems, would likely be fantastic. Those two franchises being in Olympic competition doesn't pique my interest at all though.
     
    Chary likes this.
Loading...