E3 2016

Another E3 is here and I’ll be honest and say I haven’t actually kept up all that much on what’s going on. Primarily because I worked yesterday morning, but I did however make it in time to see Sony run away with yet again the honors of slaying it on Day Zero.

With E3 here and live it brings about that feeling in me that makes me think, “How awesome it’d be to be there as a part of this industry.” This is now my fifth E3 that I’ve given my focus to and it seems that every year it feels the same. Not in a bad way but in a way that makes me feel renewed about my interest, passion, and overall gaming community. It’s a week where gamers all around the world sit on the edge of their seats and wait in anticipation to see what is lined up for the coming year and the near future.  It’s like Christmas in the summer, just better. It’s much more hopeful.

We are all so lucky now to live in a time where we have access to instant information via twitter and constant coverage thanks to sites like Youtube and Twitch.Tv. It’s a blessing but let me tell you I really do miss the G4Tv days where Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb, and Kevin Pereira ran the floor covering all the up to date info on what was going on during E3. It felt even more like a special event. I remember I had it all set up. Wake up in the morning, coffee, set up my laptop, iPhone, and TV. That would be my entire day. I spent all day sitting and watching live coverage and reading every update I could find. Even on games that I could care less about, but the point was that this was a time to learn and see what every company was doing. What they were planning, the moves they were making, the new IPs on the verge and what companies were teaming up with what console for the year. It was a time and still is that time to see the business side of the gaming world but most importantly the creative side of the gaming world.

Day zero is the show and conference king of E3. All the major Platforms come out to bring their best for E3. A couple years ago it was the release of the new “Next Gen Console” for all platforms, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. The head liners were the reveal of the “Xbox One”, “Nintendo Wii U”, and “PlayStation 4.”It was the best way to enter this new generation of console gaming, underlined comments via twitter, ridiculous console prices, crazy launch day requirements, and hopeful titles to carry these consoles into a new age. All I could remember was how excited I was about seeing console gaming on a new level. I was also a little scared because I knew it would cost money which at the time I didn’t have but excited none the less.

Yesterday brought forth that same excitement.

I went into work in the morning knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to have my phone out checking my twitter to see what is going on but I did however get a call.  It was around noon when the store phone rang. I answered and it was a guy asking me if it was possible to preorder the new Xbox One console. I was like “New console, didn’t that conference just start?” The guy on the phone says “Yep.”  I instantly in my head thought they are launching off their conference with the reveal of a new upgraded console. That can’t be good. What was funny was I actually said this to the guy on the phone and his response was too funny. He just kind of stuttered and said “Huh, yeah?”But for some time now we have all known that Microsoft has been slacking behind the PS4 in sales and popularity. So revealing a new console to hopefully change the way people look at Xbox was a must need move, but this isn’t the time to compare and contrast the two consoles. Maybe at the end of this week when all is said and done. However, being home in time to watch the Sony conference was amazing. Seeing the orchestra and the stage instantly set the tone for what was about to take place. It was a conference for games and the gamers that play them. “The drums, they are coming,” okay so I won’t reference Lord of the Rings too much, but the DRUMS! And then we saw it, him. This brutish, hulking of a man with familiar tattoos and the burliest of beards that even puts mine to shame. Stood there and arose from the shadows, Kratos. Kratos has been a figure head of the PlayStation since PS2 and to see his rebirth on the PS4 put a smile on my face for nearly an hour and eighteen minutes. Just thinking about it is giving me chills. This is the magic of E3 where anything can happen.

And we still have the rest of the week to delve deeper.

But this is truly why I love the gaming industry. Change is about and everyone is on edge to see what new games are on the horizon. Nintendo had their conference this morning which has slowly evolved from an actual conference to a gab fest where they just talk about the games with the creators. Which is still great, but forty minutes of Pokémon Sun and Moon is a little too much. But we did get a chance to see the new Zelda games which looks great. So with that, Ill wrap this up and like you I will continue to stay posted on what’s going on at E3 and later on this week I’ll do coverage of the games I’m most looking forward to. So, should be fun.

So until then happy E3!


One Last Time Drakey-Boy Part 1

Almost nine years ago Naughty Dog, the game developer that brought us Crash Banidcoot  gave us the cinematic adventure known as Uncharted. Naughty Dog had created this amazing tale of a free lance treasure hunter named Nathan Drake who was armed with pistols, machine guns, and a wit that only Nolan North could implement into this character. But like all great characters in time there is always a crew to back them up. In this case an old “bastard” named Victor “Sully” Sullivan voiced by Richard McGonagle.

After three major titles exclusive to the PlayStation 3 and one other title that launched exclusively on the PlayStation Vita, Uncharted is coming to its final end. This week Naughty Dog released Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End. This is Nathan Drake’s swansong. One final hurrah, because let’s face it any good thief or treasure hunter knows that there is need for just one last heist to get out of the game for good.

Today I started playing what could very much be the last Uncharted game I’ll ever play. It’s an emotional experience that I’m having with this game, because for every moment that gives me chills and brings an obscure smile to my face. It hits me that this could be the last time I enjoy a game of this caliber. Sure Naughty Dog will continue to create masterful works of art such as the Last of Us. If there is ever another one. But Uncharted has had a special place in my heart. It’s the cinematic mix of action adventure and historical fiction that has always spoke to me. We all at one time or another have seen Indiana Jones and know what it’s like to wonder what it’d be like to be a treasure hunter or scholar for an infamous treasure. Uncharted has been that for me. Whether I was scaling the Tibetan mountain side or cutting my way through some South American jungle in search for treasure and fame. Uncharted has been a game that inspires me to continue to have some deep connection with history. Not because I want to be a treasure hunter but that knowing your history is a very cool thing and can lead to very cool places. But soon I will say goodbye to Drake.

So as I continue down this path of learning more about a man who I’ve grown to know well. I take in every moment. If you’ve played these games since they first arrived I hope you feel this connection that I have for Uncharted, but on your level. We all have those characters we hold with high regard, Master Chief, Lara Croft, and Solid Snake are just some of those icons. But here is one who story is ending. He’ll be laid to rest because the Uncharted series has deserved it. They don’t bleed out titles every year just for financial gain nor have they ever failed to hit the mark with their narrative. Uncharted has truly been of the greats and should continue to be known just as that.

The Edge of Immersion

The idea I have for this blog is that this place will be my own spot on the internets to talk about my gaming experiences, my likes, dislikes, and ideas among other things. This is here to be my take on gaming, my feelings for characters, events, new IP directions, but mostly it’s here so I can be true to myself.

So let’s start.

I figured out in 2007 that my taste in video games went past just playing “Madden” or “MLB the Show.” Don’t get me wrong. I like those games, especially baseball, but there isn’t a dire need to buy one every year. I realized, thanks to an up all night gaming session with “Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion” that there are some pretty badass games out there. And all I need to do is broaden my gaming horizons.

What was once just something I did to pass the time with on weekends slowly trickled into a serious passion. Suddenly I was looking up information about games, old and new. I wanted to see what other games were out there like Oblivion and because at the time I didn’t have a PS3 I was forced to live vicariously through others. But when I finally got that PS3 you better believe that Oblivion was the very first game I purchased. That and Assassin’s Creed. The historian in me couldn’t pass that one up.

These two games lifted me to a whole other world. Suddenly I was wrapped up in some ancient grudge between Assassins and Templar’s that was ultimately leading to some real world conspiracy. All while I was trying to both close the gates of Oblivion and preventing the bloodline of Tiber Septim from perishing. Just remembering it now reminds me of all the hours I spent exploring and immersing myself into these games. That’s what makes gaming so special to me.

Video games aren’t just games to me anymore. I’m not just sitting in front of a screen jumping over barrels and firing turtle shells across a rainbow road to sabotage other drivers. True, that may have been super fun but now I’m immersing myself into these games. I throw myself into these worlds and I become one within it. Sounds overly dramatic right? Well I would agree, which is why I don’t say that out loud. But for all the hours I spent walking about in the cities of video games I become invested. It’s funny to think about it now, but the other day I had a customer come in to the store asking me about “Tom Clancy’s Division.” He asked me what kind of game it was. So I explained it’s a third person shooter with elements of an MMO. However in this game it’ll remind you of the Rainbow Six games of old. You know the one where you had four extraction teams and it was your job to go in quickly and quietly to rescue the hostages from the terrorist; I put some miles on that game. But one thing was always sure. I always tried to walk out of the missions without any collateral damage or any deaths to my team, kind of like “Socom Navy Seals.” Never leave a man behind. Either we all go down or I’m dragging you out of this mission by your collar. But if I lost a man, it hurt me. I honestly felt bad. I didn’t realize it at the time but thinking about it now. I realize that my “immersion” approach to gaming goes back to when I was even 11 or 12. It’s an approach that either really sells me onto a game or doesn’t.

Oblivion for example was my first game in the Elder Scrolls series. If you have ever played any of those games you’ll know that there is a ton of lore in them. The history addict in me loves this. It makes it that much more real. The fact that you could dungeon crawl into old Ayleid ruins always gave me goose bumps. I loved it so much my house in Skingrad was a shrine dedicated to the Ayleid relics of old. Collecting relics wasn’t even part of that game. I just loved to do it. I wanted to know more about the lore of the game, so I read books, in game and out of. I read web pages and wiki notes. I couldn’t get enough. And yes, you better believe that when Skyrim released I spent at least four years playing it consistently over the span of seven characters, maybe eight. The point is I immerse myself in my games. This is my edge. I hope. I see things in the way of my character. I role-play if you will. So much so that sometimes it drives me from a game. Sometimes I can’t deal with certain aspects of a game and emotionally I need a break.

Crazy huh?