Friday, July 8, 2016

Q Attack, Round 29 – Has E3 Lived Past its Prime?
Tiger and Rabbit make their triumphant return to discuss E3 2016 and all the games unveiled at the show. They also chat about how E3 has changed over the years and whether it is still an important video game venue in the age of internet streaming.


Tiger: We’re back!

Rabbit: Just like dinosaurs!

Tiger: After a four-month hiatus, we’re back in action.

Rabbit: Yes, we spent four long months training in the Himalayans to channel our chakras and master our ultimate forms.

Tiger: *shakes head* I’m pretty sure that was all in your head, Rabbit.

Rabbit: Then, we mastered the technique to create gelnanas!

Tiger: Nope.

Rabbit: We discovered lost treasure and became famous adventurers?

Tiger: Still wrong.

Rabbit: We vegged, loafed around, and played lots of videos games?

Tiger: That sounds like us.

Rabbit: That’s still exciting!

Tiger: A special thanks to our readers for sticking around and waiting for the return of Tiger Vs. Rabbit.

Rabbit: Yes, thank you so much Qgers and Qbbits! TvR is ready to bring you more craziness with a mix of video games, Otaku culture, and the random music rant.

Tiger: Before we get to the meat of the discussion, since it has been some time, what have you been up to?

Rabbit: Well, after a rocky start to our relationship, things with Kent have been great.

Tiger: Kent?

Rabbit: Yes, he’s the nicest guy once you break down his harsh exterior.

Tiger: From Amnesia?

Rabbit: ^blushes^ Yes.

Tiger: You’re still going on about that otome game?

Rabbit: But I love Kent so much.

Tiger: *rolls eyes* I’m starting to regret coming back.

Rabbit: Hidoi yo!

Tiger: I won’t make fun of your hot anime guys if you stop harking on my love of all things TES.

Rabbit: ^crosses arms^ No deal!

Tiger: *sighs* Have you played anything new?

Rabbit: I finally started Life is Strange and am enjoying it so far. We both didn’t attend a traditional high school so I’ve always wondered what it would be like. Hopefully, it’s not like Max’s school, that place is full of scary people.

Tiger: I find high schoolers in general to be scary.

Rabbit: The music is terrible though. So bad, it hurts my ears. What about you? How have you fulfilled your violent needs these past four months?

Tiger: I don’t have violent needs.

Rabbit: Then why are you playing your 24th playthrough of The Last of Us.

Tiger: It’s my Grounded Plus playthrough, I’ll have you know, and I’m doing it for the trophy.

Rabbit: Oh, I see how it is; you trophy whor-

Tiger: Hey! I’ve also been playing games like Destiny and Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Rabbit: ^shakes finger at Tiger^ Tsk, tsk. There’s that violent side of you.

Tiger: I’m not the one who yells “fry baby, fry” when I use my super in Destiny.

Rabbit: I love my Exo Titan. She was a toaster in a previous life who dreamed of being an idol singer being recycled into a Guardian and she now vows to save the galaxy.

Tiger: She’s also not at level 40 yet, what’s taking you so long? My Awoken Hunter is tired of saving you all the time.

Rabbit: Those glowing eyes of hers are creepy. Anyway, I’m taking my time to enjoy the story and experience.

Tiger: *curls lips* Destiny has a story?

Rabbit: Har, har, it has a… what you could call an attempt at a story. It’s like a concept that was never fully fleshed out.

Tiger: I do enjoy the gameplay but that game is so dry. The Division is fun, I’m not too deep into it yet but have enjoyed running around Manhattan so far.

Rabbit: Don’t shoot the poor puppy dogs!

Tiger: Speaking of The Division, Eagle got me the interactive adventure companion book for my birthday. It’s pretty awesome. It has removable artifacts and everything.

Rabbit: Eagle got me a movie for my birthday, the Owl and the Sparrow. Must be friends of his.

Tiger & Rabbit: Thanks Eagle for the gifts!

Tiger: And thank you Rabbit for the Gundam Weapons gunplay book. Really enjoying the photos in it.

Rabbit: And even though you can be so mean to me, you got me the Hakuouki Sweet School Life artbook! ^squeals^ Saitō, my love! You look gorgeous in a school uniform!

Tiger: I’m starting to regret that too.

Rabbit: Aww!

Tiger: I think it’s time we get to the real reason why we’re back.

Rabbit: To talk about E3!

Tiger: Did you have fun watching all the coverage?

Rabbit: I did even if my butt was super sore by the end of it. There were so many great looking games from titles we’ve already seen before such as Horizon: Zero Dawn to small indie titles we haven’t seen much of like ABZU.

Tiger: There really was a ton of content. The pressers were all pretty good this year. Everyone had great games to show, except EA but who counts them anymore, and I was generally surprised by some of the titles unveiled.

Rabbit: Like Resident Evil 7! Scary!

Tiger: Or Death Stranding.

Rabbit: Engrish, anyone?

Tiger: Or that The Last Guardian finally has a release date. I thought I heard hell freeze over at the exact moment Sony announced the date.

Rabbit: ^squeals^ YES! Cannot wait to play with my bird puppy guy.

Tiger: I also enjoyed what I saw from Titanfall 2. Now, we never played the first game since it wasn’t on the PS4 but its sequel is definitely on my radar now.

Rabbit: You and your mechs.

Tiger: Don’t forget space! I love space too and there was that one space game I’m really interested in.

Rabbit: ^perks ears up^ I’m sorry, which one was that?

Tiger: You know, the one where you’re in a space fighter and then actually board a ship. It was shown during Sony’s press conference right after all the VR games were shown.

Rabbit: Still don’t remember it. What is it called?

Tiger: That Space Game.

Rabbit: Is that an official title?

Tiger: No.

Rabbit: Sorry, I’m drawing a complete blank.

Tiger: You’re going to make me say it out loud, aren’t you?

Rabbit: I have no clue what you’re talking about.

Tiger: You’re going to make me admit it in front of everyone that I’m excited for… that game.

Rabbit: Yup.

Tiger: *shakes head* It’s… it’s call… it’s… Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Rabbit: I can’t hear you.

Tiger: Fine! It’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Rabbit: ^silence^

Tiger: You aren’t going to say something snappy?

Rabbit: ^blank stare^

Tiger: C’mon, it’s not that bad.

Rabbit: … ^laughs^ Buahahahahahaha!

Tiger: Geez, you laugh like Meiling.

Rabbit: ^giggling^ Sorry, I just can’t believe that you actually admitted that you’re excited for a CoD game. You, the hater of CoD, I’m just surprised is all.

Tiger: It’s in space! It looks completely different from everything they’ve done in the past.

Rabbit: ^laughs^

Tiger: *gives Rabbit death glare*

Rabbit: Okay, I’ll stop bringing it up. You’re right though, it does look very different from past iterations.

Tiger: That grappling hook, man.

Rabbit: Battlefield 1 is also a game that is looking to reinvent itself by going back in time to WWI.

Tiger: I actually think that’s a good idea. I saw some real matches being played and it looks really fun. Those airships too. They look amazing when they’re destroyed. And the weather effects were impressive; like seeing raindrops collect on the guns.

Rabbit: There were also games we knew about but got to see more of like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Dishonored 2, and Detroit: Become Human.

Tiger: Oxford comma FTW.

Rabbit: I’ve always been a fan of Quantic Dream but I know their games, if you can really call them that, aren’t the greatest. Detroit looks like they’ve learned a lot and it impressed me.

Tiger: I can agree with you there, I’m not a huge fan of them but the trailer was compelling. I’m curious to see how the rest of the game plays out. David Cage has a tendency to put really stupid plot points in that ruins his games.

Rabbit: I was already stoked for Horizon when we saw it last year and I’ve guzzled even more of Guerilla’s Kool-Aid. I am in love with this game. They finally showed more of the RPG elements including dialogue and the open-world map. We got to see more combat gameplay and they briefly touched on the story too. Super excited and for those who like great graphics, like Tiger, it looks spectacular.

Tiger: You also mentioned Dishonored 2, which we saw at Bethesda’s presser last year. I really haven’t dived into the first game much but after seeing gameplay of Dishonored 2, I’m really interested in it now. The mixture of stealth, supernatural powers, weapons, and a steampunk-esque vibe makes Dishonored look like nothing else at the show.

Rabbit: Bethesda was kind of a strange press conference since they didn’t really announce anything new.

Tiger: Skyrim remastered, enough said.

Rabbit: *sighs* Now I get to hear you recount stories of Dar’Raza the Khajiit all over again. There were new IPs shown too like Ubisoft’s Steep and Sony’s Days Gone.

Tiger: Not a fan of Ubisoft Annecy so Steep didn’t interest me but I love Studio Bend so I will get Days Gone no matter what.

Rabbit: We also saw some old IPs return like god of War.

Tiger: Kratos is a viking!

Rabbit: I was confused by that. I was expecting it to be an alternate version of Kratos or maybe a spiritual successor. Not the man/god himself.

Tiger: Ubisoft also had a sequel to show off with Watch Dogs 2.

Rabbit: I know you’re the big Ubi fan, what did you think of the games they showed?

Tiger: I’m really not excited for WD2, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, or Steep. But For Honor has me cautiously excited.

Rabbit: I agree with you there, For Honor’s combat looks brutal and I mean that in a good way. Sony did show a ton of games. Almost too many in fact.

Tiger: Is that even possible?

Rabbit: Yes, when I barely have time to process RE7 or Death Stranding, they kept rolling on. Should’ve scheduled a minute breather so people could stop freaking out.

Tiger: *laughs* I knew you were screaming like the little kid that you are when Spider-Man from Insomniac was shown.

Rabbit: Ted Price has returned to me after his adulterous affair. It was hard but I forgive him now.

Tiger: *shakes head* Not even going to comment on that.

Rabbit: I thought Farpoint looked interesting. It’s a VR game uses the new Aim controller. Yup, the Move Sharpshooter doesn’t work with this game either.

Tiger: Yay for more plastic crap for us to store. Speaking of VR, the only game I need is EVE: Valkyrie.

Rabbit: Because space?

Tiger: Because space!

Rabbit: There were so many indie titles announced too. Pox Nora has me interested.

Tiger: And you complain about my collectable card game habits.

Rabbit: This is a video game; it’s not like I have boxes of cards lying everywhere.

Tiger: I’m stoked that Darkest Dungeon is getting released on the PS4! That game looks amazing.

Rabbit: So many games so little time.

Tiger: We watched all the pressers and three solid days of coverage too. I really felt bloated on video games.

Rabbit: We were also watching from various sources too including the official PlayStation livestream, YouTube’s coverage, IGN, Kinda Funny Vids, and GameSpot just to name a few.
Tiger: With so many ways to get information on video games nowadays, do you think E3 has lived past its usefulness?

Rabbit: It’s true that many big publishers are choosing to do their own events or showcase their games in different ways like Nintendo’s Treehouse event or EA skipping the show floor to do their own event.

Tiger: I remember when Activision also used to do a press conference but they haven’t had one for a while.

Rabbit: I remember way back when, the only way we got to see E3 coverage was with PlayStation Underground discs.

Tiger: They had that cool 360-degree video of the show floor one year. It was great.

Rabbit: Now, everyone and their dog has E3 coverage. And if it’s not at E3, it’s at the dozens of other game events that happen around the world. It’s almost as if you don’t need the big trade event because many publishers seem to focus on their own events now. Even Sony has their own little expo. I think E3’s days are numbered. It’s got to be a huge undertaking to put on a show of its size and now that they’re losing publishers and developers, it will only be a matter of time before it’s not even worth putting together. Now, if they completely opened it to the public like PAX does, then maybe it’s a different story. In its current iteration, I don’t see E3 having a long future. Plus, all the leaks that happen days and months before E3, makes me wonder why we need these huge showcases. Microsoft’s entire press was on the internet before E3 even started. If people want information on what publishers are doing, they’re going to find it one way or the other. Trying to host these monstrous events just seems absurd in this day and age.

Tiger: I don’t think it will go away completely, many members of the industry still need E3 for its ability to bring together the movers and the shakers. While the internet and communication in general has changed many things, there is still nothing like seeing a product first and getting to try it out yourself. Can you imagine the poor executive or journalist that would have to go to dozens of events just to chase down the various developers? The expenses would be insane, at E3 though, everyone is under the same roof and it makes it convenient to see what you need to see. Think of VR too, that is something you have to have hands-on experience with. At E3, all the developers can have their games running on the hardware for people to try and it’s done in a controlled environment too. Yes, I think it would be great for them to open it to the public but I also think of all the professionals there and how much more difficult it would make their jobs.

Rabbit: I see your point there. Maybe they should split it, have a couple days dedicated to true professionals and then the rest of the event be open to everyone.

Tiger: Sometimes I wonder how professional you need to be to get into E3 too. Some of those supposed journalists are just fans with a blog.

Rabbit: You know something?

Tiger: What?

Rabbit: We’re fans with a blog; we should try to get into E3.

Tiger: In your dreams!

Rabbit: I want to experience a donut wall and food conveyor belt!

Has E3 Lived Past its Prime?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 37 O’Clock – Visual Heaven!
Not to be outdone by E3, Anime Expo also hosted its own array of video game announcements. Rabbit talks with Tiger about the big reveals from Anime Expo as Random Happy Time awakens from its four-month long slumber.


Rabbit: E3 wasn’t the only place where hot new video games were being announced. (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و Nope, Anime Expo also got into the action with a handful of titles.

Tiger: You were very excited about these games. I heard you screaming from across the house.

Rabbit: I was nearly moved to tears by the news. Spike Chunsoft and Aksys Games announced that they are working on a port of 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors which is the first installment of the Zero Escape trilogy.

Tiger: The game is only currently out for DS and iOS, which means you haven’t played it yet.

Rabbit: So sad! But Uchikoshi Kotaro, the game’s director, teased a vital steamship! Many believe this is referencing Steam and the PlayStation Vita. Even if it’s not coming to the Vita, I’ll definitely play this via Steam.

Tiger: ( ̄ω ̄) Do you even know how to use Steam?

Rabbit: I have an account… that I’ve never done anything with.

Tiger: At least you have the other two entries.

Rabbit: No! I don’t! I still haven’t received my copy of Zero Time Dilemma. Contacted Amazon and they basically told me they have no idea what’s going on or when it will ship. (▰˘︹˘▰)

Tiger: You’ll get it… eventually. Anyway, back to Aksys who also had a few other announcements about its partnership with Otomate.

Rabbit: Oh! My! Gosh! So many great NVLs are going to be localized! The titles that are coming to the West in 2017 include Bad Apple Wars, Period Cube ~Torikago no Amadeus~, and Collar x Malice.

Tiger: Bad Apple Wars is about a protagonist who attends a strange school called NEVAEH.

Rabbit: It’s a school for literal lost souls who, if they follow the rules and become model students, can resume their life upon graduation.

Tiger: Period Cube follows the heroine and her quest to find her brother who is lost in an online RPG game. Along with her childhood friend, she has to beat the game in order to return to the real world.

Rabbit: Then there’s Collar x Malice, the story of a police officer who is attacked and has a mysterious poison collar is place around her neck. She becomes embroiled with investigating her attacker and meets a group of suspicious men. These men, who happen to be gorgeous, claim to be investigating a series of brutal crimes that may be connected to her.

Tiger: Aksys will also be bringing the Code:Realize fandisc, ~Shukufuku no Mirai~, Westward too.

Rabbit: But that wasn’t the only NVL that’s getting localized, no siree. ( ꒪Д꒪)ノ Sekai Project announced that World End Economica is coming! Thanks to Limited Run Games, it will get a physical edition as well as a digital one via PlayStation Network.

Tiger: World End Economica is from Hasekura Isuna, the author of Ōkami to Kōshinryō or better known as Spice and Wolf. It follows the story of Haru and his quest to stand where no man has stood before. To do that, he’s going to need a lot of money and there’s no better place than the stock market to find piles of money.

Rabbit: There were other titles that Sekai Project also unveiled but they were PC only.

Tiger: That’s actually a lot of otome/NVL games, I’m surprised.

Rabbit: I’m thrilled! I love these types of games and after Amnesia, Norn9, and Code:Realize were all announced; I wasn’t expecting to see any more titles for some time.

Tiger: Aksys also mentioned that they’re trying to localized Hakuouki: Sweet School Life but nothing is set in stone yet.

Rabbit: (o≧∇≦)o ^squeals^

Tiger: If that game comes out in English, you’ll die.

Rabbit: ^squeals^ (♥ω♥ ) ~♪

Tiger: One thing is for sure, it’s a great time to be a gamer. (•̀o•́)ง

Rabbit: I know these aren’t for everyone but I’m glad that they’re coming out. It really feels like the games showcased at E3 and Anime Expo run the gambit and really cover every genre out there. I’m so excited, it just sucks I have to wait until 2017.

Tiger: Gives you time to catch up on all the games you haven’t beat yet.

Rabbit: (/^▽^)/ Saitō and Kento will have new rivals soon!