Monkey Shorts: The Nutz and Balls of E3 2017

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In today’s entry I will be covering the Monkey Nutz and Monkey Balls awards of E3. Essentially the Nutz are the tasty good stuff and the Balls are sweaty and probably smelly moments of the show. And now for the disclaimer:

All Nutz and Balls awards are of the opinion of Jam only and do not represent the options of the Future Monkeys or anybody associated. Any comments please hurl your bananas towards Jam. Can you make sure they are ripe yellow ones though because they tasty much better than the brown ones.

And now on with the awards!

Nintendo made the Switch worth a purchase, eventuallyMonkey Nutz

My budget Switch

Nintendo kept things very simple at E3 this year buy showing us game after game then making a swift exit and leaving us wanting more. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was the surprise of show for me. A game from the title alone would garner little interest from me since the Rabbids are usually associated with Ubisoft shovel ware, because we hadn’t had enough of that already on the Wii. Instead we get a X-Com style game for kids. Out of my way kiddies, I want to play this game. Familiar titles were shown with the likes of Kirby and Yoshi which appear to follow the same pattern from prior entries only both feature co op which is just great. Mario Odyssey had a far better showing than its initial reveal. Showing off Mario possessing all manner of creatures with his living hat. There was also a T-Rex with a moustache so you know it’s a must buy. Fire Emblem Warriors was shown, hey I like Fire Emblem what are you groaning about. Not only that, Nintendo refused to let the 3DS die and showed off two new games with Metroid: Samus Returns, a remake of the original Game Boy game, and Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga, a remake of a old Game Boy Advance game. Nintendo did a fantastic job, and even if you’re not a fan, you can’t deny they didn’t show games that you won’t be able to play anywhere else.

Metroid 4 Prime revealMonkeys Balls

The text looks ‘Purdy’

Really! A title is all that gets people excited. It’s a nice font I guess.

Indie GamesMonkey Nutz

Indie games come out on top again

As always if you’re looking for originality and something new in video games trust, indie games to deliver. EA showed off A Way Out a split screen title and something I thought the industry had completely forgotten about. We then had Microsoft show off several indie darlings in a trailer which lasted less than two minutes. Even the PC conference – a presentation I usually fall asleep in – showed off a few indies like the adorable Tunic, an isometric Zelda looking game with a fox. Indie games do a good job showing off what’s important, the games themselves. No gimmicks no stupid pre order bonus. New imaginative ideas worth looking out for.

Sony Deja VuMonkey Balls

Is this the right year?!

Sony may as well have just shown us their conference from last year. It would have probably garnered more cheers. Sony decided to play things super safe this year by showing not only nothing new but what was shown will not be out for at least another year. I actually liked most of the games shown. God of War, Days Gone, and Detroit look good. But I already knew that… last year.. Sony once again shows their continued distaste for backwards compatibility by remaking Shadow of Colossus and proving that when the new idea well has run dry, they’ll just remake the old stuff again and again. Not a bad show but I expected more from a company who prides themselves from being the market leader at the moment.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 is aliveMonkey Nutz? (Maybe Balls)

So much for THIS trailer

There’s a monkey in the trailer so it’s automatically a win, right?! Usually I’m cynical about teaser trailers. I get particularly cynical when I hear a game that has supposedly been in development for several years, only just begun production. It’s great to see people being excited for this game but I can’t help feeling this is all going to end with one big cancellation. But we’ll see.

The X Box One XMonkey Balls

Microsoft really wants you to remember 4K

Wow, we really couldn’t think of a better title, could we Microsoft? Microsoft may be a little behind everyone else these days but rather than making games, they instead make a bigger, badder, more expensive machine than the PS4 pro. Yes, Microsoft that’s what’s going to make people buy an X Box One X especially with a $499.99 price tag. Microsoft seems to forget the rest of the world is having a little trouble affording expensive 4K TVs and consoles and instead will just buy a gaming PC or a Nintendo Switch, the latter of which selling crazy well and running of incredibly inferior hardware. You can shout 4K as many times as you like, not sure that’s enough to get people to buy a new console.

Microsoft would have been the biggest Monkey Balls of all but they came back on top…

Microsoft showed lots of gamesMonkey Nutz

Terry Crews told me to buy Crackdown 3, guess I gotta do that

Microsoft sure liked to use the word exclusive a lot this year. While most of the games shown off by Microsoft will not be exclusive to the system, they did do something grand – showed games and lots of them. More so than any other conference, and it was glorious. Even if you are not a fan of Microsoft these days they showed off games from almost every genre. Crackdown 3, several indies, a derpy car game, lots of games to get excited about even if you’re not going to buy them on a Xbox. The knockout blow came when Phil Spencer announced we would also got original Xbox backwards compatibility. Microsoft then proceeded to show footage of Crimson Skies one of the best exclusives on the old system and a long forgotten gem. With Sony laughing at any ideas of backwards compatibility this gives Xbox something to promote over the competition especially for weird folk like me who help onto their old games.

EA.. oh, AnthemMonkey Balls

Well we knew this was on the way but it’s rather disappointing Bioware’s secret project turned out to be another multiplayer shooty bang bang game. Additionally, EA decided to show this game off the worst way possible with scripted gamer chatter in its gameplay reveal. I have never been in an online game where people talk like that. Ubisoft is usually the culprit of this but now EA seems to think it’s a trend worth copying. What baffles me even more is EA showed us how utterly balmy in game chatter really is during the Battlefield 1 and Fifa showcase in all its vulgar glory. Bioware doesn’t get off easy either. From a studio that brought us Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Jade Empire and Baldur’s Gate, it’s a shame Anthem appears so generic. Time will tell maybe this will end up being great but it wasn’t the best first impression.

Devolver Digital conferenceMonkey Nutz

While not considered an official conference, Devolver Digital had a fifteen minute presentation poking fun at E3. It was quite refreshing to see a company take the business hat off and just make a joke out of generic E3 press conferences. Taking jabs at micro transactions, pre orders and the general rubbish business practices in the games industry. If you are someone that has been disheartened by the game industry, this conference is for you. It’s crazy, it’s gory but a ton of fun. Well played.

So that’s the awards for this year. There is a lot of stuff I missed but feel free to share your own awards from E3 2017. That concludes E3 for another year. Thank you for taking the time to read today’s entry and as always..

Have a mad one.

JAM

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James

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Co-host of Gaming History 101. Writing & radio have been long time passions of mine. I've kept a daily journal since '98 & worked in radio in some form since University. Currently living in England where I work & do all sort of nerdy shenanigans. All until I can retire to Iceland to a ram farm and write fiction about Norse mythology. We'll see.