Now that the dust has settled and I’ve had a chance to let all the hype of E3 week fade a bit, I feel ready to bring you my E3 best of show. After watching trailers over and over, debating the choices, and agonizing over all the fantastic games, I’m ready to declare the winners.
These categories are mostly arbitrary and completely decided upon by a jury of one: me. Thus, they will be inherently flawed and you will doubtless disagree, but don’t just go away knowing your favorite game was robbed! Instead let me know in the comments below what your winners of each category would be.
On with the awards show. Please imagine each award accepted by an industry big wig, a large fancy trophy that has our logo on it presented for each category.
Biggest Surprise: Starlink Battle for Atlas
Of everything we saw at E3 the one thing that shocked me most was the Starfox reveal for Starlink, and my immediate interest in the game. After all, they targeted me right in my biggest weakness: useless collectible Nintendo plastic. The bigger surprise though turned out to be that the more I researched the game and watched videos, the more excited I was for the game itself.
This game wasn’t a brand new game for this E3, as it was announced last year to muted interest from the gaming community. After all, who wanted a Ubisoft entry into the dying genre of Toys to Life? However, in a genius move by partnering with Nintendo on Star Fox they brought instant attention to the new IP, and then proved to everyone that the concept was a fun one. Time will tell how all of the pricing will shake out, but this one seems very promising; not to mention it took me completely by surprise.
Best Conference: Microsoft
If you’ve read my E3 conference breakdowns, then this might come as a little bit of a surprise to you. After all, my highest grade was for the Nintendo conference, and I still find that to be true when considering my bias due to my love for Nintendo; more specifically my undying love for the Smash Brothers franchise. So for me personally their conference stole the show, but if you weren’t a huge Smash fan then there wasn’t a whole lot here to get you excited as that was literally half of their showcase.
However, I think that when it comes to the hype, surprises, and new announcements that we expect from E3 that Microsoft had the best paced and put together conference of everyone combined. They even took time to stop and give us a picture of the future of the console, directly addressing the lack of exclusives with purchases of new studios and huge announcements. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give us a lot of exclusives to look immediately forward to, but it nevertheless sets up a future for Xbox that looks quite bright.
Most Embarrassing, but Lovable E3 Moment: Elijah Wood’s OH NO moment.
There were a lot to choose from: the awkward trophy love stare from EA or the podium debacle with Ubisoft were clear contenders. For me I laughed the hardest at Elijah Wood suddenly forgetting all his lines, and having that terrified look of someone in front of a huge crowd of people who suddenly doesn’t know what to say. It could have ended at the priceless look, but his horrified exclamation of ‘Oh No!’ sealed the deal for me. His cohort on stage saved him from flailing after that, but the moment was certainly meme worthy.
Most Anticipated Game I Won’t Be Playing Anytime Soon: Ghosts of Tsushima
Did I create this category just because I wanted to give Ghots of Tsushima an award because I’m super excited for it? Maybe. Ok, yes. Hey though, when you have your own video game blog, you can make up whatever award you want too.
As a Japanese history enthusiast and a lover of things like medieval Japan, the idea of an open world Samurai game made by Sucker Punch is simply one of the best things I could have asked for. This gameplay segment looked absolutely amazing, particularly the atmosphere and the art of the game. There is so much color, and dramatic bold moments created by a confluence of sound, art direction, and design that it sent chills down my spine.
I may not get to play this game until late 2019, or maybe even early 2020, but I’ll be counting down the days until I can get my hands on a game that appears to be custom designed for me.
Most Overlooked Game: Killer Queen Black
Seriously, go watch this Treehouse Live play of Killer Queen Black. I’ll wait.
I’d long heard of this amazing arcade game on various podcasts, but seeing it in action on my beloved Switch has me absolutely convinced it’ll give Smash Brothers a run for my multiplayer time whenever it is released. These sort of simple games that have incredible depth and replayability are a god send in the gaming industry, and it doesn’t hurt that this gives me strong vibes of the love I had for Towerfall.
The fact that Killer Queen Black also has online play takes everything over the top, and insures that I’ll be competing against all of you to find victory in the game whenever it releases later this year.
Worst E3 Moment: Kingdom Hearts 3’s Release Date
Really Square-Enix? COME ON ALREADY. Look up there, even Goofy is mad.
I mean, I shouldn’t be THAT surprised. We are talking about a developer that threw a huge even to announced the release date of the FFXV and then had the gumption to delay it yet again. However, after this game being in development for so long and being constantly assured that 2018 would finally be the year we would play it, seeing it delayed was a punch in the gut. Especially after them inviting press out for a hands on, and everything pointing to the 2018 release date being a reality I really got my hopes up. Yeah, yeah; a bad game is bad forever, I get it
Sure, we found out a few days prior to E3, but it was still under that umbrella. Square-Enix barely beat itself out for this award, with a conference that left me confused about why they bothered having a conference at all. No Avengers, No FF7 Remake (a game I’m convinced will never come out), and a Kingdom Hearts III delay? Are you trying to make me cry Square?
Game of the Show: Super Smash Brothers Ultimate
I’m sorry folks, I can’t set aside my bias here as I absolutely adore this franchise; little else sets my heart a flutter like seeing a new Smash for the first time. To then learn that every single character that ever starred in the franchise is coming back into the fight, and then see Ridley announced, my heart almost couldn’t take it.
Though the deep dive into the changes might have been a little long for some, it showed me how much care and attention they’ve put into this newest iteration that could have easily just been a port of the Wii U version of the game, and still would have sold gangbusters. A lot of the changes seem stellar, the art direction as well as the graphics are gorgeous, and the game played like a dream in the Treehouse showings. Keep in mind, this game isn’t even completed yet, and Nintendo has till December 7th to pour on that Nintendo polish.
That date can’t get here fast enough.
There you have it. The celebrities are filing out, the lights are turned down, and the theatre is being cleaned: our first annual Home Button E3 Best of Show award show has come to an end. Don’t like the way the results fell? Let me know your winners in the comments below.