Video Games on My Radar That Appeared at E3 2018

In 2005, E3, for me, was an exciting time, in part because of a Tekken trailer, not labeled Tekken 6, just a cool animation of Jin Kazama. Through the four and a half years that followed, a lot happened in waiting for that game and in my own life separate from that game. In particular, my father was diagnosed with leukemia around the same time Tekken 6 arcade released in November 2007, and he passed away around the same time as Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion was announced in August 2008. I mention that because in 2008, that’s where my mind was, and it helps give context to how and why I approach any E3 or similar event since 2009 when Tekken 6 was finally released and far from the game I hoped it would be. Put simply, my feelings about Tekken 6 are very intense, and I would prefer to not have that kind of intense negative feeling about a video game ever again. From that experience onward, I do my best to not hype for anything or keep my anticipation and expectations tempered, my excitement to a minimum.

So, the other day, when I explained to my husband my lack of hopes for E3, the next thing I knew I was listing off a lot of things that are on my radar and of interest, I just tell myself not to bring expectation with them.

With that in mind, here is what did catch my interest at this year’s E3.

Kingdom Hearts III

Apparently, I missed the already announced, before E3, release date of January 29, 2019. That’s one day before my birthday and gives me a timeline of completing the older games I’m still playing on the PS4 version of Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 ReMix. I am on break from KHII and hoping to get back to it soon, once I’ve decided a more concrete plan or at least made it a little further in recording and posting my Let’s Play Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix videos. I was happy to see Larxene and Axel. They did not appear together but made appearances.

There were 3 trailers that I know of, here they are:

Here is a screenshot of Axel:

While I was searching for a screenshot of Axel, this shot of Riku caught my eye. It’s a good shot in my opinion.

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

I played Tales of Vesperia in 2016 and quite enjoyed it. It was my first Tales game, second being Berseria. I liked it enough that I’d be happy to play it again on a PS4 though now that I think about as a type this, that is signifcantly lessened by Bandai Namco’s common tactic of disallowing PS4 share clips and screenshots for much of Tales of Berseria and Tales of Zestiria. I do not expect that to much change. It comes out this winter, whether that is winter being the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019 remains to be seen. Here is the trailer:

Soulcalibur VI

A new trailer for Soulcalibur VI came out with a release date to boot! It comes out Friday, October 19, 2018. My husband described a tempting collector’s edition with a Sophitia statue and art book but also convinced me to wait because it is a bit over-priced all things considered. UPDATE: A previous version of this post said it included a season pass. It does not, so it is definitely not worth it then. So, I may actually wait a bit to buy and play this one. The trailer starts off with who I assume is Siegfried and almost-ends with Nightmare, implying a transformation. Unlike the Tales games, Tekken 7 allowed PS4 share option in a lot more of the game so I have the same expectation for another fighting game. Although no character creation has been shown, if there is one, I would very much like to show anyone I make. And if anyone from Namco or able to reach Namco can put in this word for me, I would like to make characters with Jin-style hair. You could do it in Soulcalibur III but not IV or V. The last installment was especially frustrating because you could even buy Jin-based clothes and had a Devil-Jin-based move set yet could not make Devil Jin.

Anyway, here is the story trailer:

That’s it. There are other games I’m watching from afar or that weren’t present, but these are the games I am more likely to play, possibly even within the next year.

Kingdom Hearts III Monsters, Inc. and Theme Song Trailer Impressions

I have not played all Kingdom Hearts games so am not completely up-to-date on the story from that though I did look up some information while writing this post. This post will contain spoilers from previous Kingdom Hearts games.

Monsters Inc. Trailer

The Monsters Inc. trailer starts with a scene between Sora, with Donald and Goofy to each side, talking to Marluxia, the main antagonist from Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories. I have conflicted feelings about this sight because Marluxia is supposed to be done with after Sora defeats him in Castle Oblivion. Then again, if Marluxia’s back, then maybe Larxene is too, and she was one of my favorites from a recently completed Chain of Memories play-through, being delightfully devious and alas, the only girl in the entirety of the Organization XIII cast up until 358/2 Days with the introduction of Xion. That makes two girls out of fourteen characters in just that one group.

In any case, the sight of Marluxia and his exchange with Sora indicate the Organization is still a significant antagonistic presence. Indeed, I have learned of True Organization XIII and will find out more on that if I ever get around to playing Dream Drop Distance. Sora, Donald, and Goofy do not remember Marluxia in particular, them still having forgotten all the events of Castle Oblivion to have their memories put back together by Naminé.

The trailer then moves onto scenes and characters from the likes of Toy Story and Monsters, Inc., followed by game-play footage of a Tangled world though no scenes to introduce Flynn and Rapunzel. Much of the footage shows movement with transforming keyblades and various interactions between characters. Of note is that in each of the three worlds, Sora is shown as being accompanied by Donald and Goofy, as usual, but rather than them being interchangeable with a given party member from the world, two characters from each world are shown in the lower right, indicating a five-character party rather than three. The pairs from each world are Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, Sully and Mike from Monsters, Inc., and Rapunzel and Flynn from Tangled. That makes Rapunzel one girl out of each of the three possible parties shown.

In the Tangled world, we do see a glimpse of, presumably, an Ariel summon. Ariel’s world is one Sora has visited in both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora had forms where his clothes would change and affected his abilities. Again, in the Tangled world, Sora’s clothes do appear to change color as he is doing something with special commands though the entire party still shows in the lower right of the screen. Instead of “Drive,” we see “Focus” as part of the gauges available to him.

Each world shows a lot of interaction with the environment and affecting Sora’s available weaponry and attacks with Monsters, Inc. Part of the Monsters, Inc. footage includes a LAUGH POWER meter with a Boo icon in the upper left part of the screen.

As the trailer nears its conclusion, Sora is confronted by none other than Vanitas, with the Birth by Sleep antagonist saying he will take the half of him sleeping inside, addressing Ventus. Sora addresses him by name though acts surprised, indicating he doesn’t know why he knows Vanitas’ name.

Theme Song Trailer

In addition to the Monsters, Inc. trailer was a trailer for the theme song, again done by Utada Hikaru. This time around, there is only dialogue at the end and so most of the video is visuals to the song. These visuals include a Young Xehanort, an introductory scene between Sora, Donald, and Goofy meeting Buzz and Woody, a scene of Vanitas addressing our heroes in the Monsters Inc. world, seeming to anger Mike in the process, and a glimpse of returning villains Maleficent, Pete, and Hades in probably the Tangled world. We also see Xemnas meeting Sora and another character next to him, who resembles Ansem from the first game (which is also the same appearance Riku has for most of Kingdom Hearts II). I assume this is more of True Organization XIII.

Speaking of Riku, the trailer concludes with a scene of Riku and Micky in the Dark Margin where Riku stares at a broken keyblade, notes he cannot use it anymore, and says he will leave it in this place in case the “other me” needs it. Micky looks surprised as he says, “Huh?” If he means his replica that disappeared in Chain of Memories or something else, we do not know yet.

Both trailers end with stating the game is “Coming 2018.” Familiar with long waits and delays from Square-Enix or other video game development companies, I can’t help remaining a little skeptical though I am happy to be wrong and see it release this year, especially since I am making 2018 my Kingdom Hearts Year, as I am going through the games in Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5 ReMix and might even follow that with Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. The timing will work out nicely at this rate.

I’m looking forward to it.