ThinkBoxly is the personal developer blog of Lucas Chasteen, author, programmer, artist, and always learning. Read more

Friday, June 19, 2015

Show Floor @ E3 2015 - 3 Favorite Games not on Stage

Every year at E3 a ton of new game announcements and demos hit the stages of downtown LA, and every year a number of great titles go unmentioned during presentations because there's just not enough time in the day to list them all. This year's E3 made a valiant effort as one of the most packed yet, but even with three extra press conferences there are still some games you'll only see this week on the show floor--arguably where the real fun of E3 takes place. It's become something of an E3 tradition for ThinkBoxly to pick three of the best as a special feature, but bear in mind that 'best' is relative, and opinions will vary. Still, in my opinion, here are three games from the E3 show floor that you ought to know about.

Fire Emblem

(See 24:46 - 28:05)

The results are in: Nintendo's digital E3 presentation is officially a flop. However, that doesn't mean it was completely devoid of great showcases. Specifically, both Fire Emblem: Fates on the 3DS and Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem (aka Genei Ibunroku #FE) on the WiiU look pretty fantastic. What's that you say? That's two games, not one? Of course you're right, but since Nintendo did kind of have an E3 presentation in digital form, I feel it's only fair to dedicate the majority of this list to games that really had no other exposure. We still don't know much about how Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem will play (UPDATE: have 40 minutes of gameplay!), but Fire Emblem: Fates on the other hand looks like the perfect continuation of what Fire Emblem: Awakening started. It's familiar but still fresh, with an interesting new plot to boot. If you've kept up with this game at all, you'll likely be aware that in Japan it's being called Fire Emblem: If and will ship as two separate games, each covering the campaign of a different kingdom, similar to how the Pokemon games always release in parallel and offer slightly different experiences of the same title. That being a distinctly Japanese trend, Fates will ship as a single game in the west, presumably including both campaigns out of the box. To see it in action, check out the gameplay video below.

Persona 5

Oh Atlus, you just can't help yourself when it comes to teasing this game. Persona 5 reveals have been cryptic at best since the beginning, and now after teasing an appearsnce at E3 it turns out all we got on the show floor was an endless loop of the same Japanese trailer we saw months ago, translated into English. No new gameplay footage, and certainly no playable demo, but the fact remains that Persona 5 was at E3 2015, promising to release in both Japan and the west before the year is up. The crazy part? Even knowing so little about it, Persona 5 is practically guaranteed to be one of the highlights of the year. If financial earnings calls are to be trusted, we can expect to see Persona 5 on our PS3s and PS4s in Q4 of this year.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

After just about every Metal Gear Solid game, creator Hideo Kojima has tried to be done with the series and ended up getting dragged back in for another entry. But what with relations between Kojima and MGS publisher Konami gone sour, it looks like this really will be the last one. It also fills the last gap in a narrative that's been expanding since the '80s, and fans are chomping at the bit to get their hands on it this September. Even with a very different approach to storytelling for the series and a more modernized control scheme the game is unlikely to disappoint, as Metal Gear games aren't exactly known to be vulnerable to the common pitfalls of other AAA games. It's not for everyone, considering playing every other game in the series is an absolute prerequisite, but for long-time fans there's little else coming out this year that's capable of overshadowing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain's release.