Natsume E3 2016: Loving the Past
Greg Johnson / Jun 22nd, 2016 No Comments
While most remakes, reboots and sequels are typically met with groans at this point, the lineup for Natsume at E3 2016 was nothing to bemoan. From the fast-paced action of Wild Guns: Reloaded to River City: Tokyo Rumble and its incredibly immersive RPG elements, Natsume’s goal seems to be to provide fans with exactly what they want.
Not to be left in the shade, the newest game in its series, Harvest Moon: Skytree Village, brought an incredible showing of new gameplay elements. Faster farming and an entirely new story are the linchpins of the franchise’s latest iteration.
How The West Was Well Done
Those who remember Wild Guns on the SNES will remember that it was heavily influenced by arcade games. The multiplayer and side-scrolling shooting gallery gameplay was very similar to what you would experience at arcades when they actually existed.
Wild Guns: Reloaded looks to recapture this magic on the PlayStation 4 by including the multiplayer aspects of the original while also adding new characters and content. The story remains the same, with Annie, a debutante with a bad temper, hunting down Clint, a no-nonsense hired gun, to get revenge on The Kid gang for grievances against Annie. Two new characters will be added to make this game compatible with up to four players.
Each character in Wild Guns: Reloaded will have a different play style — Annie is faster than Clint, but Clint packs more firepower. This variety means playthroughs can be different as players switch between characters.
Gameplay was incredibly smooth in the demo we played at E3. Controls are simple, and difficulty is high. Enemies come from all directions without much time to breathe. The majority of enemies come from the front as opposed to the sides, and players must dodge roll to avoid bullets while also firing back. In addition, melee enemies come from the sides and must be dispatched with a quick hit of your gun.
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Levels are split into three rounds that include a boss battle as the finale.
Wild Guns: Reloaded has a very impressive art style that combines the wild west with steampunk. Cowboys and robots were the main assailants during my demo, but other enemies were seen as I progressed through levels.
Any fans of arcade music and art will find a lot to love in Wild Guns: Reloaded.
Wild Guns: Reloaded is slated for a fall release on PlayStation 4.
Get Me To River City
River City has always been a cult hit here in the United States, but is mainstream in Japan. River City first came to the U.S. with River City Ransom on the NES, but not much has followed. River City: Tokyo Rumble attempts to correct this error.
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Tokyo Rumble features the same classic side-scrolling beat em’ up gameplay as the original as well as its RPG elements. In the short demo I saw at E3 2016, I was able to walk around the city and interact with the world in unique ways.
I fought gang members and patrolled the streets, but when I wanted a break from the beat-em-up action, I hit up vending machines and purchased a variety of drinks and snacks to restore and boost my character. I found a basketball court and shot hoops in a short mini-game. I asked developers what the point of the mini-game was and they said “to play basketball.”
This mentality is what makes River City: Tokyo Rumble an incredibly unique experience. Not every mini-game and side quest has some payoff for the main game.
River City: Tokyo Rumble also has jobs as side quests that can earn players money or new moves. Fans of River City Ransom will be happy to know that familiar characters (as well as new ones) can be recruited during story and multiplayer modes.
The campaign will be strictly solo, but various multiplayer grudge matches and mini-games will be playable with up to four friends, which will be supported via local online or 3DS download play.
River City: Tokyo Rumble is slated to release this summer on 3DS.
Harvest Moon has been a series in constant flux. Whether changing art styles or gameplay mechanics, the series has never been locked down into the same routines. Harvest Moon: Skytree Village continues this tradition by offering a faster method of farming and a more diverse storyline.
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The story revolves around wilting Skytrees that must be restored in order to revitalize the land in the game’s town, Oasis.
The biggest changes in Harvest Moon: Skytree Village take place with tools and how farming is managed. Tools can be upgraded to increase the speed at which they accomplish their task and increase durability. In the E3 demo, getting a field ready was accomplished in nearly no time at all. The new tools allow multiple plots of land to be managed at once, greatly decreasing time spent farming and increasing time spent on other aspects of the game.
As for those other aspects, players can fish, tend to animals and explore romantic pursuits. I wasn’t able to get a glimpse at the full trajectory of romance, but was introduced to the male and female options. With three options for each sex, there are multiple personalities to choose from.
Harvest Moon: Skytree Village will also feature new animals, including the Poitou Donkey.
The game is slated to release this fall on 3DS.
tags: e3 , E3 2016 , Harvest Moon: Skytree Village , Natsume , preview , River City: Tokyo Rumble , Wild Guns: Reloaded