Hyped for what’s being shown at E3? Did you miss a big announcement? You can pre-order it all right here!
UPDATED WITH THE NEWS FROM NINTENDO AND SQUARE ENIX’S PRESS CONFERENCE
Once more, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is descending upon Los Angeles, and bringing with it a flood of new game announcements and trailers. After a teases of what the current systems are capable of, the PS4 and Xbox One seem poised to receive some really strong games. Meanwhile, Wii U and 3DS both need some home runs to stay relevant, and PC gaming has a bigger prescence than ever at E3. What are going to be biggest game of the show? And more importantly, where can you buy them while ALSO helping out Laser Time at no extra cost? This is that very article!
Consider this first installment Day Zero of E3. As has been the case most years, a bunch of major games got announced pre-E3, possibly to get ahead of the competition. What are the most promising and exciting of the bunch? And do they have any sexy pre-order bonuses? Read on to find out!
Star Fox Zero
After receiving a very under the radar showing at last E3, Star Fox was front and center in 2015. The puppety style even infected the presenters on Nintendo’s press conference, but best of all was seeing the game look like the AAA Star Fox title we’ve been waiting decades for. Even better is that the game is being co-developed by Platinum Games! Yes, the director of Bayonetta 2 and its team are helping get this out by the year’s end. Boy, now that Star Fox Easter egg in Bayo 2 makes a lot more sense.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Some thought it would never happen. Multiple Square developers and producers have told me to my face it would be too expensive to ever be made. But this E3 proved that you really never can say never in the games industry, because a new-gen remake of the beloved Final Fantasy VII is all too real. When will it come out? How different will it be? Can director Tetsuya Nomura actually finish a game? While you wait to find out, pre-ordering it on Amazon will at least prove that that trailer wasn’t some cruel dream.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
My favorite action-RPG series is Paper Mario. My second favorite is Mario & Luigi. And for as much as I love them, I always assumed that those two fiefdoms would always be separate entities. Thus we have one of my personal favorite surprises in all of E3 2015: Paper Jam, the 3DS title that combines the two into one beautiful union. Seriously, that first gameplay of the Spring 2016 release got my blood pumping just as much as Last Guardian or Shenmue 3, and you can pre-order it now (like I just did).
Fire Emblem Fates
We are being blessed with not one, but two Fire Emblem games in 2016, and this follow-up to Fire Emblem Awakening, the best entry the series has seen to date. This next one might just top it, as the story seems even more complex, and your choices can change the direction of the entire game. I’m obviously all in on this, and it’s also interesting to note that this appears to be a single release in the west instead of the three separate packages Japanese is getting in a matter of weeks.
Some critics savaged NieR when the original hit PS3 and 360 years ago, so I assumed this was pretty low on the list of games that Squeenix would ever finance a follow-up to. But combine the cultish following NieR found over time with the hard work of superstar developer Platinum Games, and it’s now a 2016 release in all its oddball glory. And I think you can count on the involvement of the strange man who directed the original to help maintain the series odd spirit next year.
World of Final Fantasy
FFVII and promises of FFXV may have taken most of the spotlight this year, but this cute spin-off turned a few heads as well. It follows a brother and sister travelling through a storybook world called Grimoire, as the two little moppets meet and team up with many of Final Fantasy’s marquee monsters. The PlayStation release looks like a great, all-ages journey through what FF does best, but will some go into diabetic shock while playing it? That’s often a danger in a game as cute as this one.
The Legend of Zelda: TriForce Heroes
We’re all a bit bummed to not see a single screen of Legend of Zelda Wii U this year, but as a consolation we the 3DS is getting not one, but TWO Zelda games in the coming months. The multiplayer focused Triforce Heroes is the better looking of the two, as it looks like a three player approach to Four Swords that’s combined with the visuals and multilayered dungeons of Link Between Worlds. Additionally, there’s Hyrules Warriors Legends, a 3DS port of the Wii U’s take on Dynasty Warriors. At least getting these slightly eases the pain of missing out on the next Wii U adventure of Link’s.
Similar to Tomb Raider before it, Agent 47’s long-running series is getting back to basics by returning to its original title and refocusing on the basics of killing folks in a number of creative ways. And the IO Interactive developed game is coming a lot sooner than expected, as the game launches this December. Is this timed for the release of the upcoming film based on Hitman? Will this return Agent 47 to his former glory? We’ll be finding out pretty darn soon!
Just Cause 3
Square Enix’s E3 press conference was lacking in Dragon Quest (sad face), but had a large helping of new details on Just Cause 3. It looks like a game based on the most ludicrous moments of Fast & Furious, only with extra grappling hooks and parachutes, and a total disregard for reality. The game joins an ever growing list of early December launches, so perhaps post-Black Friday releases can actually be as successful as the rest of them. Get hooked onto the wild ride now.
True story: Last year, while I was in Tokyo, two franchises were omnipresent at just about every toy store. Frozen had taken over the country, but so had Yo-kai Watch, the ghost-hunting-meets-Pokemon game from the creators of Prof. Layton and Ni no Kuni. The first two games have sold in the millions in Japan alone, and now the first 3DS game is headed west to see if the series (and the accompanying anime) can have the same effect outside the island nation. Get in touch with the spirits of Japan by the end of 2015.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
When I’d see Killzone in action, I’d often think “what the fuck happened to all the color?” It turned out that Guerrilla Games sucked it all out to make its next series much more vibrant. Horizon made an impressive debut at E3 2015, showing off an interesting mix of sci-fi and survivalism, as a cave-dwelling hunter stalks a massive robo-dinosaur. It’s a real interesting concept, and you can place your pre-order for the just announced game right now.