E3 is wrapping itself upy, and it’s been an… interesting year. Not exciting, not groundbreaking, but still, enough decent games leaked through the monotony of the press conferences to ping my interest for the holiday season.
Here are the best trailers from the show. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily my favorite games from E3 2017, just the ones that sold themselves best through the classic medium of video game trailer.
Super Mario Odyssey
As if any other game could be considered the winner. Super Mario Odyssey’s two and a half minutes of video bliss is a barrel of fun, and it’s got everything I love from video game trailers. Mario’s weird new powers and that theme song bring it all home.
Nintendo delivered a classic with this one, and we can’t wait to see how the game measures up to the marketing. We’re sure that it’s going to be a blast!
Skull and Bones
The surprise hit of E3 2017, Skull and Bones‘ CG trailer was out of this world and caught me totally off guard. With production values like this, you would think it was a new Assassin’s Creed game, and indeed, I thought Ubisoft finally caved in to admit that Assassin’s Creed IV is popular enough to warrant a direct sequel.
While not exactly that, it is an admission that a pirate theme is strong enough to inspire its own spin-off. Skull and Bones’ trailer features an epic pirate ship battle with explosions, waves, and a moment of badass sacrifice as the lady captain refuses to go down without bringing her rival captain’s ship with her. And a surprise appearance by Cthulu at the end seals the deal. (It’s the Kraken, I know, but I want to be loose with my interpretation)
It’s just a CG affair, but Ubisoft provided more than enough gameplay afterwards to help put this game at the front of our lists heading into holiday 2017.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Another knockout from Ubisoft, this one put to rest the idea that the insufferable Rabbids dropping into Mario’s universe would be an unsalvageable disaster. It works. Mario’s mute friends, who exude emotions through facial expressions and sound bits, clash wonderfully with the noisy, insane creatures, creating some genuinely fun moments. The Rabbid parading around in Peach’s dress is hilarious, and we love when Peach herself learns how to fire the llaser gunhe.
The oddest choice of all? Mario and friends being led around by a wandering Roomba. That’s one I don’t get.
And call me tacky, but I even appreciate the generic “We wanna be AC/DC” rock song here. Again, the gameplay followed, and it was enough to turn us into believers. We’ll pick this one up in August.
The Crew 2
One more from Ubisoft. I realized that this year’s press conferences mostly devolved into YouTube playlists of video game trailers, but it was Ubisoft who at least decked their games out in exciting wrapping paper. This trailer is for a game I’m not likely going to buy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the marketing.
From what I can tell, The Crew 2 stars a Chris Pratt look alike as he races to the top of the racing world, only his world is actually a strange sci-fi planet with Inception and Dr. Strange geography. It’s a world where cinematography and clever camera tricks reflect upon itself in awkward crazy directions. Are we sure this is just a racing game?
Again, the goofy rock track fits, and it led into a solid gameplay presentation from Ubisoft.
A rockin’ CG trailer gets people hooked, brief gameplay demonstration shows them the game, and then a speaker to explains what they just saw. This is a basic, repetitive formula that helped Ubisoft stand out this year.
The Artful Escape/The Last Night
During Xbox’s otherwise forgettable stream of video game trailers, it hit a brief montage of indies that had a few interesting games way more interesting than any of the AAA offerings. These two stood out the most, and I’ll pile them uncategory catagory.
The Artful Escape is a weird platformer/rhythm game hybrid… I think? I’m not actually sure what I saw, and I chuckled at the indie game pretension the first time I saw it. However, after watching this a few times, as well as setting the main characters’ marching GIFs to the tune of Of Monsters and Men’s “Little Talks,” it has won me over. It was the best new indie game shown off at E3 2017, alongside the game that preceded it. (see below)
The Last Night takes pixelated graphics and sets them to a fever dream of neon lights. Again, I’m not sure what I’m looking at, but at least it hit my interest to look it up and find out more, just like a trailer is supposed to do. This one oozes with style, music, and a pixelated man in a hot tub. So weird.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Oh, totally! Sign me up! I’ve been impressed with the recent wave of Dragon Ball Xenoverse games, but this is on a whole other level. Bandai Namco turned to who is arguably the best fighting game studio in the world to make the latest game in the series.
Combining the crazy, high-resolution character models of Guilty Gear with the Dragon Ball universe is a dream that has gone unrealized for far too long. The gameplay is intense, with the 3-on-3 team match-ups making up for the dullard style that Marvel vs Capcom Infinite has turned to,
Another sweet point is that it looks like you are playing the actual television show. South Park isn’t the only animated series that does that any more.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Just a reminder that Final Fantasy XII’s story is one of the best in the series. It’s loaded with political intrigue, swashbuckling sky pirates, enormous monsters from a mystical realm beyond our own, and endless Star Wars references. The flaw of Final Fantasy XII is that you have to dig through one of the most grindy open world RPGs ever created to uncover it all buried beneath.
Final Fantasy XII is a balancing act where you must find your most comfortable pace to progress through the plot and dig through its busy sandbox. I’ve always failed in my attempts to do so, so the story remains unfinished for me. This trailer makes me want to go back and finally wrap it up.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
This trailer changed my opinion on the game at hand, so that in turn makes it a good trailer in my eyes. When I first saw Xenoblade Chronicles 2, I was turned off by the shift in art direction as the character art seemed to borrow a bit too much from the light and fluffy Tales games in my taste. Now, I’ve come around and agree that it works.
The world itself blends the new age of anime JRPGs with the classic feeling of the 16-bit era’s. Dare I say, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 pings a little on the cliche side? We’ve gone from exploring a living alien biodome in Xenoblade Chronicles X to the most generic 16-bit JRPG setup of all time. A young man wants to explore the world, and he meets a mystical girl who grants him the ability to do so. It’s a tale ripped right from the likes of Lunar, Grandia, and all the JRPGs I grew up with.
I wonder how it plays out, and I wonder if such a tale will work in 2017.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
CONTROVERSIAL! But I need to mention this. I’ve waited forever to play this game, and I would be remiss not to when it finally comes out. I dig the CG, the world, the diverse cast of anthropomorphic characters, and how quickly it changes from something new into something familiar when it takes us onto the ship.
However, that &*@!ing ugly monkey has to ruin the whole trailer by opening his &*@!ing mouth and ceaselessly dropping &*@! bombs. The creative decision to write a script that sounds like it was penned by a nine-year-old is ripping the usually united Beyond Good & Evil fanbase right in half.
It’s not the best trailer, but it will definitely get fans talking. Hopefully, it will also give us some answers if Ubisoft wants to assure us that the writing behind this game is worth the 15 years we’ve waited to play it.