E3 Recap

E3 2018

E3 2018

I’m back from California, sun-kissed and head spinning with all the amazing things I took in. I’ll have a couple posts coming up about my trip, and as E3 was my main reason for heading to the West Coast, what better place to start?

First of all, I work in tech so I was able to nab a complimentary industry pass. I don’t recommend attending as a gamer. Glux had a rougher go of things with a gamer pass. Not only was the “gamer” community stereotypically smelly, rude and pushy-shovey, but once they were admitted they clogged up the lines and made everyone miserable. It was a much more enjoyable experience with Industry early access.

That said, E3 was like nothing I’ve experienced before. The booths, the swag, the calibur of other professionals buzzing around the show floor… It was so inspirational. I can’t even go into all of it, so here are my highlights.

Best of: Booths
Bethesda stole the show with an immersive Vault 76 walkthrough experience, complete with actors in each of the rooms to make it feel real. IGN got some amazing shots of the vault.

Vault boy at E3 2018

Well hello there, Vault Boy!

When entering the main hall of the convention center, Square Enix’s Mayan ruins-themed booth filled the immediate area. To celebrate Shadow of the Tomb Raider, they took us into Lara’s world, complete with a professional Lara Croft cosplayer stalking the grounds.

Of course, I spent a lot of time around the Jurassic World Evolution compound. Outside, there was a broken fence, presumably torn down by the velociraptor inside, as well as Denis Nedry’s Jeep. Through the looming gates, monitors showed the latest dinosaur creations and their specific DNA make up.

Finally, the Largest Booth Award goes to Fortnite for being the single game with the biggest E3 presence. The back third of South Hall was essentially an ode to Fortnite. The Battle Bus was there with props for a photo opp. Staff in forts handed out branded cups. There was even a mechanical llama pinata! Rows and rows of demos filled the rest of the area.

Demo time!
The first game I played was Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. In the 15 minute demo, 4 of us teamed up to take on one of three quests. Overall, it seemed the same as MHG on 3DS… just on Switch this time. Online play will be cool and there are some new monsters – my team of four was decimated by the new Elder Dragon Valstrax – but it doesn’t feel different enough to buy again.

Inside the Jurassic World Evolution booth, we sat down in a small theater where an Ingen executive gave a presentation about our mission as new park employees (and the risks involved). She told us we could choose to release and transport one of 3 dinosaurs into their designated pens… and then create a spectacle for park guests by provoking a dinosaur fight! Then we were ushered into the Jurassic Park compound where the demo stations were set up on three platforms. I played the Playstation version and enjoyed it. The dinos are so realistic and well animated. I’m not usually a fan of sims, but this is one I’m going to pick up when the physical release drops on July 3rd.

Jurassic World Evolution Jeep at E3 2018

… I think this was Nedry’s yellow rain slicker…

Luckily, Glux and I secured the very first time slots to play Super Smash Bros Ultimate. The standby line was… deterring to say the least. We got three matches so to make the most of it, we picked the two new stages first – the Sheikah Tower from Breath of the Wild and Moray Towers from Splaton 2. We let our random match up pick the final stage – he chose Donkey Kong’s Rumble Falls, which looked spectacular on the Switch! As for characters, I went with Bayonetta first and then loved the Inkling’s moves so much i played her twice. She’ll very likely be a new main for me. Glux tested the Inkling, then new addition Ridley from Metroid, and ended with Bowser. It’s worth the hype. I can’t wait to play again. As a bonus, we got Smash pins for being among the first to play!

Spotlight on Swag
Bethesda gave away the most swag. You couldn’t walk a booth-length without seeing 50 vault boy masks. Mine is hanging eerily in my office, successfully creeping out all who pass. They also had one of those souvenir penny presser machines set up with four different Fallout 76 designs. For 76¢ (appropriately) I selected the tricentennial design and then immediately preordered the tricentennial edition. In celebration of “Reclamation Day” party hats and cups were doled out to potential Dwellers. All that was missing, was Rad-free cake!

Twitch gave out some of my favorite swag of E3. You can attribute it to my high affinity for the brand, but they gave out purple sunglasses that I’ll actually wear. The tote bags they gave out are compact and quality with the cute Glitch logo. I also really liked their simple, branded nametag stickers that said “My Twitch ID is” with a big blank for your handle. I grabbed a couple to stick on my laptop and bujo.

What Nintendo lacked in swag, it made up for in content and quality. The Smash Bros logo pin is simple and nice. I’ll treasure it. They presented a lot of great photo opps with classic relics from Nintendo games too. DK’s tie, the Master Sword, Pit’s bow, Cappy… Sandbag was my favorite forgotten hero. Glad to see him get some much deserved appreciation!

Overall, I had a great experience. The only real downside was the gamer-clogged lines and the location – LA was the dirtiest city I’ve ever seen and I didn’t feel safe there even in daylight. We Ubered exclusively after 7pm every day, not that LA was particularly walkable anyway. I’m hoping my company will have a presence next year so I can go back to the Expo, all expenses paid.

What were your favorite moments from E3 this year?

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Splat Fashion 3.0.0

Splat Fashion

With the release of 3.0.0 last week came over 100 new pieces of gear. I’ve always been a fan of throwing on a bit of military flare so mixing the new gear with some of my favorite pieces and weapons has me losing hours creating new looks and planning my ability builds.

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This is my standard gear look for ranked. Special Forces Beret with a mix of power chunks that suit my particularly strategic, versatile and insightful play-style, black inky rider stocked with sub up and speed up, and blue Moto boots with pure ink resistance.

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For these two, my coat changes sometimes based on what role my team needs me to play. My custom painted F-3 gives me an offensive advantage with pure special ups. When I need a defensive edge, I suit up in my Forge Inkling Parka with ninja squid and swim speed ups so I can make quick sprints or getaways to regroup.

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I’m still building out a lot of the newer gear – my White leather F-3, gas mask, pilot goggles (not new, but look hot af with the F-3s) and shark moccasins – but they’ve all been upgraded for max slots. I love the way they can change up my look while sticking to the theme I like.

Of course the military look couldn’t be complete with head to toe camouflage, right down to the weapon. The Moist Ghillie Suit paired with the Bamboozler creates an all-natural look well suited for an ambush! Also this set up cracks me up.

The options are becoming a bit overwhelming. Aside from saving certain gear to different amiibo, I wish there was a better way to organize my inventory. I don’t like any of the org options currently available. Honestly, I’d rather organize my own “closet” according to my priorities.

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While I’m a little confused about the TMNT theme of the upcoming Splatfest, I AM relishing the fact that I’ll essentially have three weeks to farm my Splatfest T to build out all this new gear.

What are your favorite pieces? Do you adhere to a certain type of aesthetic?

Thoughts on Bayonetta

After a very intense Splatfest that resulted in a heartbreaking loss for Team Money💸👼🏻, I was ready to dive into something new. On Friday, Nintendo released Bayonetta 2 for Switch. The physical copy comes with a code for the first Bayonetta game so I figured this was a good time to give the series a go. Ryan sweetly picked me up a copy and my long weekend disappeared into Vigrid.

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First of all, this is not the kind of game I’m used to seeing on a Nintendo console. I wrote emails to Nintendo for MONTHS begging them to bring The Binding of Issac to 3DS. I always got the response that due to the religious themes and overtones of the game, they weren’t allowing it. That game is now out on both 3DS and Switch. In Bayonetta, you are literally a bad-as-fuck dark witch whose main goal is essentially to destroy God as well as all the angels and beings of light that may stand in your way. It’s brutal. It’s incredible!

I’m a big fan of the noir style of the game. Many cut scenes employ still frames of film scrolling by to help tell the story. There are a lot of sepia-toned flashbacks, black and white and red lipstick, and of course, gangsters and shady bartenders who might be devils. Rodin might be my favorite NPC.

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Bayonetta is on a mission to uncover her past as well a mysterious jewel called the Right Eye. On her journey, she fights all manner of cherubim and demi-dieties who hint at her impending role in the resurrection of Jubileus, The Creator. I did not immediately notice that her outfit is composed of her own hair, which she can also wield as a conduit to summon demons!. The hair dragon and hair raven were two of my favorite manifestations.

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Of course, the game is deeply sexy, but Bayonetta is always in full control of her sexual agency, which I really appreciate. She’s not there to be sexy for the male characters; she’s there being sexy for herself and kicking angel ass. It’s so refreshing to play a female protagonist who is so unapologetically feminine and fearless. Aside from her gun-heeled stilettos, she keeps her outfit changes in a compact and fires her lipstick like a bullet to finish a critical battle near the end of the game. So empowering.

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I played through this game with my jaw on the floor mostly. The innuendo. The violent and graphic destruction of angelic beings. Bayonetta’s nudity every time she summons another hair demon. This has to be my favorite scene of all time.

It never gets old and I cannot stop watching it! Bayonetta is the witch I’ve always wanted to be. How did I not play this game sooner? I’m looking forward to playing Bayonetta 2 this week. Until Then, don’t ever forget these immortal words of wisdom:

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Game Updates: Splatoon 2

I’d love to go pro in Splatoon eventually. Now that I have time to practice, I’ve joined a clan! Great group. Killer players. I get to practice regularly, perfect my strategies and master stages I h-a-t-e-d before. Sometimes I even try out other weapons – trying to become more versatile in my arsenal proficiency.

I’m a Siren!

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My W/L ratio remained stuck at a pretty even scale for a while, but now? NOW? I’m crushing it. And only getting better. Tonight, this divide will grow even greater!

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And it’s not just my ratio that’s improved. I’ve ranked up almost everywhere. Clam Blitz has been slow going with randoms, but I actually really enjoy that mode even though I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who knows how to play. Most games I’m playing offense, defense, jammer, goalie AND slayer. And I still win.

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S rank is within my grasp! See you out there, squids!

Nintendo Direct Wishlist

I’m pro at getting my hopes up. With an impending Nintendo Direct, I’m holding my breath for these five announcements:

New Smash for Switch – It’s inevitable. It’s too perfect for Switch to not happen. I’m certain they’ll add a Splatoon Stage and Inkling fighters, even if they’re DLC later. But it needs to go further. Nintendo has thrown a lot of support behind indies in the last year, so I’m hoping for the induction of some indie characters. Seeing the number of indie characters voted for in the Smash Ballot, it just makes sense to include some of the more popular indie characters who could have really fun fight moves. I’d love to see Shantae’s hair whip and Shovel Knight’s shovel drop.

Virtual Console – This is a way of sneaking an extra thing into my wishlist: details on Nintendo’s online service. All we know is it’s coming, it’s required for online play and it’s $20 per year. I want to know what kind of archives we’ll have access to. I’d love to see a lot of Gamecube games reworked. I never had a GameCube so Virtual Console would be my first experience with some of the best Mario games in the franchise.

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Splatoon Updates – In the glamor shots of new weapon announcements I’ve seen Arowana Mall in the background, and maybe Mahi-Mahi Resort, so I’m expecting more maps from the original game. Personally, I’d love to see Hammerhead Bridge return. Clam Blitz is still so new, but for me, it opened the door for future ranked modes. Hopefully we’re not done getting new modes. I also hope they nerf some of the rollers’ vertical stats. They should not have both ridiculous range AND power. It’s obscene. Mostly, I REALLY want Nintendo to give us Marina and Pearl amiibos (please oh please oh please!). I don’t even care what they unlock in the game. I just want that adorable duo as little figures!

New Animal Crossing– Sure, this is incredibly unlikely, but a girl can dream. Pocket Camp has gotten so boring so fast. I love the RV concept, though. Maybe in a new full AC we can visit other towns in the RV instead of the dream suite or train. Then we’d have two spaces to decorate as well. Some new features I’d like to see: mounting bugs on the wall (you can’t even see them in the hermit crab cages). Ability to keep a couple villagers forever. A bigger “city” area with stores and the coffee shop, Katrina and some new characters – How about a tattoo parlor? (that was a joke, but now I want it to happen!). More interactions or mini-games with visiting friends – why can’t we have a snowball fight in winter? Or have a cookout on the Island? Or have a bug/fish catching competition against each other?

Something to make the 3DS relevant again. Metroid: Samus Returns was great, but I haven’t touched my 3DS since then. I’m not ready to let it go completely so I’m hoping for some decent support through 2018, even if it’s some new Smash character or some smaller multiplayer games. I still need some time to say goodbye to my little friend (and create a new all-Switch strategy for my MeetUp group).

What are you hoping to hear?

Litany of Gaming

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have access to some type of gaming system, whether it was a Tiger electronics handheld,  those “learning” games you had to plug into the TV before computers were a household item, or a Tamagotchi (hey, it counts!).

I started playing games with my family as a social activity. My mom, sister and aunt would play sometimes and I had 2 younger cousins who lived down the block who were into games for a while. Of all of us, I’m the only one who still plays. I’m terrible with dates, but I want to go back as far as possible. I hope you’ll share your history too!

The Fuzzy Days: One of my aunts had an old IBM PC with a game called Gertrude that I begged her to let me play during every visit. My other aunt got an early Macintosh and I would watch my cousins play Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat. I was awful at it because of the inverse controls. While I’m STILL awful with inverse controls, one of those cousins has his pilots license now.

Lineage:

1990 My first system was the NES. I don’t remember being aware of it or asking for it, but we had one. At this point I lived with my mom and sister so it probably kept us out of my mom’s hair with minimal fighting.I begged my mom to take me to the video store on the reg to rent Little Nemo: The Dream Master.

Around this time my cousins down the street got the SNES and we played Top Gear (that music!) and Mario Kart every day before and after school. My stepbrother also had an SNES as well as a PC he played on. He wouldn’t let me play, but I watched him play Final Fantasy, X-Com, Doom and Wolfenstein for hours.

At my dad’s house I had a Sega Genesis and all the Sonic games up to Sonic & Knuckles. Dad sometimes played Ecco the Dolphin with me, but we couldn’t get very far.

1992? I asked for a Gameboy for Christmas so I could play on the 2.5 hour ride to and from my dad’s house every other weekend. I was all about Pokemon and Yoshi’s Cookies. I skipped Game Boy Color. I still have that original Gameboy though.

Original GameBoy Nintendo

Still works!

1996 For Christmas, I got the N64. My cousins got it too and we proximity mined each other into oblivion and hysterics in GoldenEye. Ocarina of Time was the first major Zelda game I really played through and understood. Mario 64 is still my favorite Mario game.

I skipped Nintendo consoles for a while after that, but kept up on handhelds.

1999 I graduated grade school and my mom took me to Toys R Us to get a Sega Dreamcast with my graduation money. I wanted it because I loved Sonic the Hedgehog and the VMUs/save cards were like mini Gameboys. I never got to play much on it because an earthquake in Japan made the VMUs scarce in the US. I couldn’t save my games or enjoy the handheld aspect so that ruined it.

2001 I asked my mom for PS2 for Christmas. I was a Jr in high school and obsessed with Final Fantasy. I upgraded to the PS2 Lite at some point in college. At some point I spent some of my summer earnings on a Gameboy Advance. It was pink and see-through and I loved it. Golden Sun and Final Fantasy Tactics were favorites.

2003 I upgraded to a Gameboy SP.

I skipped GameCube. It was ugly aesthetically and I thought I had outgrown Nintendo consoles. I had a little exposure to it through a friend, but felt meh about it in general. When the Wii came out,  I saw it as a general sports console. My cousins got one for Christmas the year it released, but I was never interested and our moms played it more than any of us did.

Although watching my late grandfather hit a home run with the wiimote remains one of my favorite Christmas memories. Ever.

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Grampi hit a home run and we all jumped out of our seats.

2004/2005 I bought the original Nintendo DS. Then, I upgraded to the DS Lite and played it all the time. I skipped the DSi and XLs because I didn’t see the need. My

In 2006 or 7 I traded up for a PS3, which I wanted for the next Final Fantasy games mostly.

March 27th 2011, I picked up my preordered Nintendo 3DS in blue, which I still have. I was still playing my DS Lite until this point. I wanted to replay Ocarina of Time on handheld and was also really driven to buy because of the 3D gimmick and the concept of Streetpass. Several social groups sprouted around Streetpass to encourage people to meet and play. Backwards compatibility was a big draw for me too, with all systems.

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Meet the family!

November 2012 I picked up a Wii U at launch. I don’t remember why I wanted this console. I think I wanted to give Nintendo another try? I did not play it much. I was still really into PS3 and my 3DS. I started playing it a lot more when Splatoon came out, but that was toward the end of the system’s lifespan.

In May 2013, I bought the 3DS XL Animal Crossing Edition. I wasn’t planning to upgrade until I saw this gorgeous edition. I am obsessed with Animal Crossing. That and Zelda are the only two Nintendo IPs I really love. I still have this system as well.

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Still one of my favorite 3DSXL designs

For Christmas 2014 I asked my mom for an Xbox One. I had never had an Xbox so I wanted to see what the big deal was and try a new console.

In February 2015 I bought the NEW Nintendo 3DS XL Majora’s Mask edition for myself for Galentine’s Day. Wasn’t planning to upgrade because I love my Animal Crossing 3DS but I had been bugging Nintendo to port Binding of Isaac for a couple of years at this point and they were finally releasing it but only on the New 3DS because of the C stick. This is my current 3DS.

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Muldoon likes taking care of his Nintendogs.

December 2015. A dude from Tinder sent me a PS4 because we were having a great chat volley about games, (but he was only in the US for one night and I was not about to meet up with that) and he wanted to play with me on PS4, which I said I did not have. I thought it was a joke, but gave him a secure address and sure enough, the PS4 showed up with his real name on the receipt. I googled him to find him very married AND with a newborn. I kept the PS4 as Asshole Tax.

December 2016 I picked up the NES Classic because nostalgia.

March 2, 2017 my Nintendo Switch arrived at my office a day before release. Breath of the Wild wouldn’t show up until the next day. I wasn’t originally planning on getting a Switch, having been disappointed with my Wii U, but I literally cried at the trailer for Breath of the Wild. Also Splatoon 2. Also the best indie support Nintendo has ever had (I play games on PC rarely, preferring consoles, but loving the endless game options on Steam). I also got to attend a preview event for the Switch where I got to experience all of its configurations and capabilities. I was impressed. And it brought back that social aspect I love about the 3DS.

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Can I have all the joy con colors please?

September 2017 I picked up the SNES Classic because nostalgia.

So that’s where I am. Currently no plans to upgrade the PS4 and Xbox One. If an N64 Mini is announced I’ll be all over that. But this sort of feels like the last generation of console gaming. As the industry moves to mobile, AR and VR, the way we interact with games is going to change drastically.

What has your gaming litany looked like? Which systems were your favorites?

Splat Fashion

I sincerely hope someone is working on a Splatoon based clothing line. Never have I loved fashion more than when I’m equipping my inkling to optimize her abilities and make sure she’s SUPERFRESH!  Since release, I’ve played enough to keep an abundant cash flow coming in and buy everything I wanted fairly easily.

Inkling Girl with School Cardigan, Power Mask, Aeropray MG Pink

After School Special

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Mean Green Beret

I’ve been splurging and shedding gear pretty readily. SplatNet2 lets me check in on the scene throughout the day so I can make sure I’m not missing choice new looks, but I think (for now) my gear shuffle is over.

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Fly fishing or fish frying?

When I’m not scrubbing a Splatfest tshirt for ability chunks, or rocking rubber head to toe for Salmon Run, I’m splatting in a Special Forces Beret, Black Inky Rider and Gold Hi-Horses.

Splatoon 2 Gold Hi-Horses

Gold Hi-Horses are getting some hate, but clearly you nerds don’t know how IN metallics are. They’re glorious. I love the exaggerated chunkiness and Mine came with Run Speed Up and the slots unlocked Quick Super Jump, Run Speed Up, and Ink Resistance. I’m pretty ok with this line-up, but if I can find a pair with Stealth Jump, I’d grab those and add some Swim Speed over the Run Speed.

Splatoon 2 Black Inky Rider

I have both the Black and White Inky Riders (because it’s always great to have a backup!), but favor Black Inky for speed. I hit a trifecta of Run Speed Ups on that one in addition to the main attribute: Ink Saver (Sub). I’m heavy sub users so it comes in handy. My dream is to find one with Ninja Squid and fit it with a mix of Speed and/or Ink Resistance.

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And because I’m a badass from toe to head, I’ve crowned myself with the Special Forces Beret. My ideal set up here would mix Special Gauge Up with Ink Savers, main and sub. I’m a strategic bomb flinger so I need to be able to hurl a bomb without draining my tank entirely.

Alternate set ups include the Blue Moto Boots, Skull Bandana, and Camo Zip Hoodie with Ninja Squid.

Thanks to Murch’s killer deal on Splatfest T scrubs, I’ve been able to build up a nice little stock of ability chunks to prepare for my future murdersuit. What does your gear set up look like?