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.
- You can check all of it out on my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/mrpanda2002
- And if you’d like to subscribe after watching our videos, please click here! http://bit.ly/2oaYX1r
- For more information, check out your YouTube Channel Trailer below!
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!
Without further ado, here’s what I thought of the big three press conferences at this year’s E3!
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!
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!
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…
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!
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!
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.
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…
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!