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E3 2017 – Day One Recap (Showfloor Coverage)

E3 is about more than just conferences and announcements. It’s also a chance for many video game developers to show off playable demos of their upcoming software; often for the first time. The first day of E3 has come and gone and I spent much of it in the trenches…or at least on the show floor. Here is a couple of stray observations from the day.

First things first; E3 2017 was packed! The event was busy last year, but opening things up for public admission pushed it to the next level. When I first arrived I saw a line around the LA convention center (where the event was being held) for general admission ticket holders to open. Luckily, as media, I had much more direct access to the event. If E3 is going to continue to see increased attendance in the future, they might want to implement some changes organizationally. Not sure what they would be, but it’s clear some changes are needed.

On to the event itself…Day one is always a bit of a hectic affair, and I spent the majority day in the West Hall, primarily enjoying Nintendo’s set up. The most important thing you need to know is that Nintendo had the best swag this year:

Their games area was also pretty impressive. It was New Donk City/Super Mario Odyssey themed, with plenty of photo ops that I didn’t have the time to partake in. I’ll try to have some for you tomorrow. It was actually set up quite similarly to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild area from E3 2016, but luckily for us, they also had plenty of games to show off this year. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom battle was playable, and it looked really sharp. It’s a fun title, but having never played X-COM I don’t have a great frame of reference for something to compare the gameplay too. The sports game with the best title ever, EA SPORTS™ FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch™, was there for all the football/soccer fanatics to try out. I was worried this game would look like a rushed port, but it seemed very polished. While Mario Odyssey was the main event, I was excited to try out Splatoon 2 as I am a fan of the first game and was unable to participate in any of the recent testfires.

It was Splatoon…And if you’re a fan of the first game you’ll love this game. The changing of the jump button was a bit bothersome, as were the necessary changes to jumping to your team mates, but I got used to it fairly quickly. I played the game both with and without motion controls, and both options worked just fine.

I spent some time at the SEGA booth as well. Sonic Mania is an absolute delight. This was my first time playing it, and you don’t realize just how much you missed classic Sonic physics until you play a new game with them intact. Sonic Forces…eh, I need more time on it, but I wasn’t impressed. I hope to play some more tomorrow to have a better feel for the game. I also played a few smaller games… a special shout out goes to the Switch version of Shantae: Half Genie Hero. The HD rumble was implemented really well, and I will certainly double dip for it. The Risky mode was also fun, as it remixes levels to better take advantage of her pirate abilities.