Panda Roundup – E3 2018 Impressions & Panda Updates

Hello everyone! Welcome to another Panda Roundup! I’d call this a “Weekly Panda Roundup,” but I haven’t actually done one since last July… Oops. That being said, I hope to be able to do this somewhat more regularly in the future, or at least every few months or so. This roundup is devoted to my E3 2018 Impressions as well as some general updates. You can see what my wife Tiffa “Crystal Dragon” and I thought of the Nintendo Direct E3 2018 presentation and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the video below!






Here are our impressions and reactions immediately following the Nintendo Direct E3 2018 Presentation!

Updates and Anniversaries

First off, I wanted to share some updates and thanks. I am very pleased to say that Mr. Panda’s Video Game Reviews had its 2-Year Pandaversary! Several months ago. Oops again. I didn’t get the chance to make a proper post about it at the time, and at this rate, I probably won’t be doing one for year two. Believe me, though, I am so thankful where my blog and everything else related to it has taken me! That includes my YouTube channel, which also celebrated its 1st Anniversary several months ago! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to anyone who watches my review videos and the feature videos I do with my wife Tiffa. Your support means the world to me and has encouraged me to keep going despite how much more time and effort to it takes to make these videos. Thank you so much for your love!

We recently celebrated 500 wonderful subscribers with a special video tour of our video game and anime collection, including a look at all of our amiibo, game and movie shelves, plushies, and autographed posters and wall scrolls. These are some of our most treasured items in our collection, and we hope you enjoy this look into our lives!







Thank You for 500 Subscribers!!! Enjoy our Video Tour of our collection!

If you haven’t yet subscribed to my channel, it would mean a lot to me if you checked it out! Just like on my blog, I post weekly reviews, but with accompanying video and audio for a closer look at each game! In addition, my wife and I, known as the Pandas at Play, also have discussions and special feature videos like our E3 impressions, our Nintendo Switch Launch Year Awards, and us building with Nintendo Labo, which doesn’t always translate well to text.



Here is my YouTube Channel Trailer! Meet the Pandas at Play!

Again, thank you everyone for your support, encouragement, and most of all, friendship! It means so much to me!

E3 Impressions

Without further ado, here’s what I thought of the big three press conferences at this year’s E3!

Everyone is HERE!


Nintendo’s E3 Direct was obviously the one I was most looking forward to, and I can say I enjoyed it for the most part. The bulk of the show was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a game I am stoked about. Watching character after character pop up during the reveal trailer was pure bliss to me, and I flipped out as soon as I saw the words, “Everyone is HERE!” The revelation that everyone from every past Smash game would be included was mindblowing. As soon as I saw Ice Climbers, whom I had mained in Melee, I went nuts. I was literally screaming “Snaaaaaaake!” at my TV when I saw the Metal Gear Solid protagonist on screen, after his absence in the Wii U/3DS versions. I thoroughly enjoyed the cavalcade of Nintendo and third-party mascots. The whole breakdown reminded me why Super Smash Bros. speaks to me; it’s reverential to the Nintendo franchises that I’ve known and loved all my life. It celebrates every character’s history through the movesets, stages, and music. Needless to say, I look forward to December!

Fire Emblem Three Houses
Fire Emblem: Three Houses looks absolutely grand!

I do wish there were more on the table other than Smash, and I had hoped to see at least a little of Metroid Prime 4 or the new mainline Pokémon. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to quite a few games: Overcooked 2, Dragon Ball FighterZ on Switch, Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna expansion. Daemon x Machina’s artstyle and mech gameplay intrigues me, and Super Mario Party is, well, finally on the Switch. This installment lets you play as Bowser, who is finally invited to the party! Overall, the rest of the show besides Smash was safe, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

For a more in-depth look at our thoughts on Nintendo Direct E3 2018 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, check out our impressions video above!

Super Mario Party.jpg
I am most intrigued to play as a Goomba in Super Mario Party.


I usually look forward to Sony’s press conferences, as the last few years have been stellar for the PlayStation 4. This year, Sony decided on a unique take on the standard conference, bringing the crowd to a church tent to show off one trailer and a banjo performance before moving everyone to another room. This migration required a “brief” intermission 20 minutes into the conference. I wasn’t a big fan of the setup.

The few games they showed looked solid, but some of them like Spiderman and Death Stranding (which I still don’t understand) have been shown to death (excuse the pun). Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us 2 also look pretty good, though I’m not the biggest fan of the genres. My favorite game of Sony’s show was, by far, the Resident Evil 2 remake. It’s probably my favorite of the original games, and the visuals look amazing. I enjoyed the original REmake on GameCube and look forward to what the updated RE2 brings! Speaking of remake, I guess it was too much to ask for an update on the Final Fantasy VII Remake…

Resident Evil 2.png
Okay, so they look a little weird, but I hope REmake 2 is good!


Microsoft had a pretty good showing this year, even though it was drawn out as usual. The important thing is that it was packed with games. My eyes lit up at the trailers for Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition and the Life is Strange spinoff, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. I was especially excited to see Kingdom Hearts 3 show up in Microsoft’s conference, not because I desired it on Xbox One, but because I just wanted to see it period. Frozen, as overplayed as it is, is a perfect addition to the Disney worlds, and I also liked seeing appearances by Wreck-It-Ralph and Ratatouille. The Tangled, Toy Story, and Monsters Inc. worlds look like they are shaping up nicely too. How happy I am to see Pixar in Kingdom Hearts!

I know you’re tired of Frozen, but let it go.

The other big game from Microsoft’s conference for me was Jump Force. As you may know, my wife and I are huge anime fans, especially of titles serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. And wouldn’t you know it, three of its biggest titles, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and Naruto, are represented in this 3D fighter. From what little I’ve seen, the game looks like a fun love letter to Shonen Jump fans, much like J-Stars Victory VS+ and Jump Ultimate Superstars before it. What makes Jump Force unique is that instead of the typical romp through anime-themed locales, the characters are actually going to duke it out in the real world. Watching my favorite anime heroes clash in realistic settings blew my mind. And the Death Note teaser at the end? Perfect, considering it’s my favorite anime and manga!

Jump Force.jpg
Fun fact: I got a PS3 just to play an import of the Shonen Jump game J-Stars Victory VS+.

The Rest

Out of the rest of the conferences, my favorite was Ubisoft’s, and not just because they opened with a dancing panda to promote Just Dance 2019. They also had another look at Beyond Good and Evil 2, a sequel to a game I had fun with on GameCube. I was also moved by the miniature orchestral performance of Donkey Kong music to celebrate the expansion for Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. My highlight was seeing Shigeru Miyamoto up on stage again. This time, he wasn’t shooting cartoonish blasters but instead received a nice Arwing statuette as a gift. The Arwing hails from the new Star Fox crossover content for the Switch version of Starlink: Battle for Atlas, a toys-to-life game that I am suddenly much more interested in, thanks to Fox’s inclusion.

Star Fox Starlink.jpg
Do you want that Arwing statue? GOOD LUCK.

Square Enix’s conference, which was one I was hotly anticipating, ended up being one of the most disappointing. My wife and I have recently been playing through a lot of Final Fantasy, some of them for the very first time for her. We’ve also been getting into both Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia and the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. We were excited for any FF news but got nothing aside from information on a Final Fantasy XIV expansion, which we sadly do not play. I liked the Octopath Traveler and Dragon Quest XI trailers, but I felt like we didn’t really learn anything new about the games. Witnessing the same Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer as the one that had previously been shown at Microsoft’s conference was a gut-punch as well. Maybe next time Squeenix.

I didn’t see the entire EA conference due to timing, but based on the highlights, nothing stood out to me. Sounds like lootboxes will be less of a thing, though, so good on them for fixing their microtransaction issues. I did see the wild Devolver Digital parody conference, though. I could say something about it, but I may have literally lost my mind while watching it…

Super Smash Bros Ultimate characters.png
My favorite game of E3. Not pictured: Most of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster.


Overall, it was a tame E3. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was disappointed with some conferences that I was most looking forward to. I can’t complain too much. We’re still getting solid games on every system. Most of all, Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct left a good aftertaste and remains the game I’m most anticipating this year.

Hope you have a great year of gaming to come! Until next time!

What were your favorite and least favorite E3 press conferences? What games are you most looking forward to? What are your overall thoughts on E3 2018? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! Thank you so much for reading and watching! Until next time!

25 thoughts on “Panda Roundup – E3 2018 Impressions & Panda Updates

  1. Great roundup!!! Happy as always to be a part, especially in the impressions video! That was a lot of fun, and it was great seeing the Nintendo Direct! Overall, a lot of the E3 press conferences this year didn’t exactly wow me, but I thought Nintendo’s was the best of the heavy hitters. It didn’t include everything I would’ve liked, but they sure went deep into Smash. I think they could’ve done a separate Direct devoted just to Smash. Everything else kinda fell to the wayside. I enjoy Smash casually but I am no means a competitive player, so going over every little gameplay detail felt a bit unnecessary. That being said, I’m glad some more recent roster editions (like Cloud!) made callbacks. Well, I guess everyone made callbacks. But poor Chrom was still left out… I’m also excited about the new Fire Emblem game and Overcooked 2. I’m still salty about the glaring lack of Final Fantasy VII Remake announcements from the other conferences (just like last year). Too bad there’s no Kingdom Hearts III release for the Switch. That would’ve been icing on the cake. Anyways, I think it’ll still be a good year for Nintendo.

    As for the other conferences, Sony’s was sure weird, though no weirder than that Devolver Digital conference, which I didn’t like at all. Don’t really have much to say about Microsoft besides yay Kingdom Hearts 3, Tales of Vesperia, and Jump Force! All of which will be on PS4, so I guess Microsoft did a great job of selling us onto PS4 games hehe! And the Square Enix conference was by far the most disappointing. Again, disappointed about no Final Fantasy VII Remake info and no FF information in general. 😦 Overall, an okay E3. The last few years have been better, for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so so much for being there for me at this time! Your help was astronomical, and I’m so happy we were able to enjoy E3 and discuss it together! I am truly grateful!!! 😀 I loved reading your additional thoughts that didn’t make it in. I loved everything about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but I also think that Nintendo could have saved some of the minutiae of every single character’s differences for a separate video, perhaps either during Treehouse Live or for another Smash Direct. We could have also received that information through daily postings like the Smash Dojo or Sakurai’s screenshot posts to build hype. I still loved seeing the new Smash and am beyond excited to see that “Everyone is HERE!” But we could have seen more from other games as well. I wish we saw Metroid Prime 4, the new mainline Pokemon, and Yoshi, but I understand if Nintendo wasn’t ready to show them yet. And I was hoping for Animal Crossing Switch, but alas. Still, I had a lot of fun, and I’m glad Smash is shaping up to be the most ultimate yet!

      And yup, I pretty much agree with you about all the other conferences. Microsoft’s was pretty good, but I felt like it was mostly selling us on games on other systems haha. The Xbox One exclusives aren’t as appealing for me. And yeah, sorry about no Final Fantasy VII Remake news… Maybe next year? Or maybe in 2023…?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you so much!!! I wish I had been able to post or create a video back then, but it was a very busy time. Hopefully, something for next year or even the half year! 😀 Time to celebrate other anniversaries and birthdays! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree, Square Enix’s really disappointed me. Really short, and nothing on FFVII Remake. I mean, is a teaser image of Tifa and/or other characters really too much to ask? But even disregarding that, it still was pretty lame conference.

    Not a lot of surprise or major announcements for this E3 overall in my opinion. I think the Tales of Vesperia remaster excited me the most.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know, right? I understand the Final Fantasy VII remake not being ready or coming out this year, but an update for a game that was teased years ago would be nice. It doesn’t help that all the rumors say development had to restart and that the game won’t be ready until 2023. I guess it was wrong of me to think this was finally the time. Though yeah, Square Enix’s presentation as a whole was disappointing otherwise.

      Looking forward to the Tales of Vesperia remaster! I got a cheap Xbox 360 just to play it and ended up only playing a little, so at this point, I might just wait for the definitive edition!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. My highlight of E3 was definitely Smash Bros – I’m considering buying a Switch just to play it, as I did with the Wii U version. As long as they can deliver a solid single-player experience (in my view, this is where the Wii U game faltered), I’m sold.
    Coming runner-up to that game was Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 4, both of which I’m looking forward to.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope for a solid single-player experiences for the next Smash too! I actually played a bunch of single-player for Wii U, simply because you had to do a lot with every character just to finish the challenges. The event mode helped a lot too. Hopefully, we’ll see an Adventure Mode or Subspace Emissary! Nice choices! The games look good from what I saw, even though I haven’t played much of their previous titles.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Why Nintendo chose to focus on Smash Bros. instead of Mario Party LII is beyond me, but whatever. I share your modest enthusiasm for bringing everyone back, as well as your disappointment that Waligui APPEARS to be out of the fray. We’re now on Smash Bros. 5 (can you believe it?), so might as well do a roll-call. I’ll tell ya though, I’d trade it all for Wario to have his classic charge attack back. Fingers crossed for Bomberman being more than just a trophy.

    Sony – Having recently played and thoroughly enjoyed, the GC remake of Resident Evil, it’d be cool to give the first sequel a shot, especially given your praise for it.

    Microsoft – The Shonen Jump game sounds fun. If nothing else than for the opportunity for Goku and Light to interact.

    Other – Not much to say other than Ubisoft is underrated. Rayman 4 life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your great comments my friend! Hahahaha this could have been THE Super Mario Party Direct that our lives have been missing. On a serious note, let us mourn the loss of Waluigi, who may forever be relegated to Assist Trophy status in Super Smash Bros. At least Bomberman gets to join him…I guess. It’s such a gut punch to see Bomberman finally in Smash, then see him just as an Assist. So close!! Baby steps, baby steps.

      Yes! The Resident Evil 2 remake is perfectly timed for you! Hopefully, Capcom will do Resident Evil 3 afterwards. Then you can experience the original trilogy remade!

      I sure hope Light is a playable character in Jump Forces and not just some Assist Trophy like Bomberman or Waluigi… Although he could just write their names in the Death Note, couldn’t he? Goku and the others proclaim their name on a regular basis hahaha!

      I’m hoping for Rayman in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, considering he was already a trophy in Smash for Wii U. Almost there, limbless buddy! Though, at this point, they’ll probably just add the Rabbids to promote Mario + Rabbids. WAAA!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh yeah! Ori and the Will of the Wisps also looked fantastic! I really have to go back and play the first one at some point. Game looks so beautiful. I loved the first Overcooked and can’t wait to see how ridiculous Overcooked 2 is!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Happy belated Pandaversary! I actually didn’t pay much attention to E3 this year so I enjoyed reading your thoughts on it. The Resident Evil 2 Remake is probably the thing I’m the most excited for. Oooo… Resident Evil Amiibo would be cool, haha. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awww thank you so very much for your Pandaversary wishes!! I truly appreciate your kindness!! 😀 I’m delighted that you enjoyed reading my thoughts on E3! Resident Evil 2 Remake is definitely something I hope to pick up. I hope it’s on Switch, because then it would increase the chances of an RE amiibo. 😉 I think Capcom considered amiibo for Resident Evil Revelations, but ended up not doing it. It’s a shame, because their Monster Hunter amiibo are top-notch. Here’s hoping Capcom brings both RE2 and amiibo to Switch! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I missed the Squeenix presentation, but I heard I didn’t miss much. They’d already kind of announced KH3, and they didn’t say a word about the FFVII Remake. The last thing I heard was a prospective 2023 release o.O and one of my blogger buddies said there have been problems with production. I really haven’t been following it,because I don’t want to read something that will disappoint me or get my hopes up prematurely lol. I did love Microsoft’s Ori trailer. I cannot WAIT to see that!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I was definitely disappointed with Square Enix’s presentation, including their lack of any updates regarding the FFVII Remake. It’s been several years, and I’m starting to lose faith that this game is even happening anymore. Then again, that’s what people said about Kingdom Hearts 3, and it’s finally releasing in January 2019, only 13 years after the Kingdom Hearts 2.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. They probably made the announcement in order to appease the old fans that have been clamoring for it, because now we can’t say “Where’s our remake?” because they can answer “We’re working on it!” Then it can be in development hell for years, and that can be their response. I feel like something similar happened with The Last Guardian but you know it’ll be worst with FFVII because…Squeenix. I think it’ll happen once we’ve given up all hope D:

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha yeah, I guess everything from that Sony press conference years ago was quality control to appease the crowd. It worked because we ended up getting a PS4 thanks to the hope of FFVII Remake. But if it ends up on PS5……………. Ah well, at least Kingdom Hearts 3 is still coming.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s what I’m thinking. Either something like how Breath of the Wild or Twilight Princess was where it came out for 2 systems, 1 at launch, and 1 at system death. Worst case scenario, we only get it on PS5…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy anniversary! 🙂 I always love reading your blogs and watching your YouTube videos! I am really excited for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! The fact that they are including every single fighter just amazes me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you so much for sharing your support and encouragement!! That really means a lot to me! 😀 I’m so excited for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate too! I still can’t believe that ALL the returning fighters, especially my Melee main Ice Climbers, are going to return. I’m hoping for a good helping of new fighters to join as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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