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What’s in Your Box: E3 2017 Beyond the Pale

/ Jun 18th, 2017 No Comments

Arms Preview

Each week, we here at Gaming Illustrated are always playing a number of different video games. However, we may not be talking about them in reviews or editorials. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth talking about, but for any number of reasons an avenue to speak on them doesn’t come up. To remedy the issue, we’re going to ask our staff (and you, honestly) what’s in your box?

What’s in Greg’s Box

Hey boxers one and all, welcome back from E3 2017!

While I wasn’t at E3 myself this year, I did catch the highlights online. Overall I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed with this year’s show.

Perhaps because it’s a “console year” with Microsoft showing off the Xbox One X, Sony continuing to showcase VR and Nintendo filling out the Nintendo Switch a lot more focus was on hardware than software.

Then again, Tokyo Game Show is just around the corner as well as PAX, so hopefully 2017 has some surprises left for us.

Up in Arms For ARMS

House-keeping aside, onto the games!

This week has been full of ARMS, the new fighting game from Nintendo. It came out yesterday but I already love it to death.

It does require players to have quick reflexes, but isn’t so demanding that it’ll turn away more casual gamers or newcomers to the fighting genre.

Arms Preview

A diverse roster and ARMS loadout keeps things interesting.

Diversifying what ARMS each player uses with their selected fighter is important as it ensures opponents can’t use the same strategy in dodging both hits.

I personally have grown fond of Master Mummy who focuses purely on brute strength; I get in close and use his Megaton ARMS in conjuncture with the Retorcher.

Megaton is one slow but powerful hit, while Retorcher throws out three faster but ultimately smaller punches.

If I lead in with the Retorcher I can force my opponent to dodge three separate blows then catch them off-guard with the slower, and easier to dodge, Megaton.

Keep in mind every single fighter also has their own unique abilities on-top of what their specific ARMS can do punch-wise.

Arms Preview

Master Mummy doe.

Master Mummy’s biggest special is his ability to heal while guarding, but when doing so players need to be careful as a grab attack can always break through a guard. His second ability makes it so common punches won’t cause him to flinch whenever he is attack, dashing or jumping.

Master Mummy is very much about coming in close and hot, then winding out the clock if necessary.

Not Just ARMS Day

But hey, I’ve only had ARMS for a short amount of time right? Surely I must have played other games… and I certainly did, this week was spent enjoying some more Lego Dimensions.

I’ve had a few unopened packs sitting around for a while and finally took the time to hop into those.

A fondness for Legos has been with me since I was a kid, and Lego Dimensions seemed to just be a natural extension of that.

LEGO Dimensions

Greg loves Legos.

While it is a toys-to-life game, which means shelling out a bit of hard-earned cash, the upside is that there is no Lego Dimensions 2 I’ll ever need to buy, and I get to build a Lego set alongside enjoying the levels and story I unlock via my purchases.

I cannot recommend Lego Dimensions enough to anyone with kids or just for those looking for a more interactive video-game that has cooperation at its heart.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

What a week! I feel like I’ve died and came back to life only to talk about disappointment, but also triumph. I was at E3 this year. Boy was that something. I’ll talk about that later. Like good Greg, I too have been playing ARMS!

ARMS floored me with its Global Testpunch. I’ve been itching to get my hands on it. Being out of town meant I had to wait til I got home to play it. Exhaustion from traveling and not sleeping all week hit when I got home and I couldn’t get any time on it until Saturday morning.

I took it out and hooked it up to a TV to let my buddies with Switches try it out. They’d been on the fence like me when it was announced and didn’t try the Global Testpunch.

Let me tell you there is nothing more enjoyable than seeing the transformative experience you went through happen to someone else. Basically everyone that got their arms on ARMS ended up loving it. I love it even more with the full roster and ability to dunk on people on my terms.

But enough about ARMS for now. Let’s talk about E3, baby. Let’s talk about lines and me.

Came to Dance, but Had to Wait

E3 2017 is a bench mark show, but not necessarily for the reasons you think. I’ve been going to E3 going on five years now. It is always a mixed bag. Some are amazing like when Sony announces Final Fantasy VII remake, the Last Guardian gets a date, and Shenmue III gets announced or a new console generation starts, others are so-so like when all the games are way out, and some are bad.

2016 wasn’t terrible, but felt like a contraction of the spectacle with major publishers like EA and Activision pull out of the show floor. While Nintendo’s booth focused on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with an incredibly girthy demo and elaborate booth, it did feel like a weak showing in the bigger picture. Plus you could walk through the show floor in no time like it was the first PAX South just with worse lines.

My first E3 was my worst one. I was in the middle of reviewing The Last of US on PS3 as it was coming out that Friday. I got sick, lost my voice and had to chew cough drops constantly just to talk to anyone, let alone conduct interviews. It was absolutely nuts too given it was the first E3 of the next-gen consoles with everyone swarming through. It made for a super rough time.

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey

I wanted to play Super Mario Odyssey, but the lines were horrendous.

As bad as E3 2013 was, it was nowhere near as bad as the **** show that was E3 2017. On top of the normal high attendance of E3 adding in 15,000 attendees from the general public made everything super jammed up. Even Thursday when it is usually dead it was still a vast ocean of sweaty masses packing in to take a picture of a Shadow of Mordor dragon.

This meant anywhere you went on the show floor there was a line to play anything. With a smaller presence of indies and smaller games along with a contracting of the floor, it meant if you wanted to play something you had to wait. For normies that’s the name of the game: wait and get whatever free shit you can. For me, it meant I went from playing nearly 40 games at the show to 10. It might not seem like a big deal, but I love getting hands on anything I can and seeing what’s awesome. This felt like PAX LA, but way ***tier.

Ni No Kuni II

I did get to spend some real quality time with Ni No Kuni II, so it wasn’t a huge bust.

That wasn’t to say I had a bad show. The appointments I did book were great and I saw some really cool games. Stuff I wasn’t into turned out better than I expected, and the games I was amped on prior absolutely floored me.

While this was one of the worst E3’s I’ve been too, it wasn’t completely unfruitful. Hopefully over the next week, you’ll enjoy the coverage I can provide.


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Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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