Final Fantasy 7 Remake AND Marvel’s The Avengers? Oh shit Square Enix really is gonna fill the shoes of the typical Sony 9 PM Monday time-slot aren’t they? Well, let’s talk about if they did:
WINNER: Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Part 1
Someone on Twitter described this best: “Notice to all publishers: If you want to know how to showcase your top game, look at the Watch Dogs Legion, DOOM Eternal, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake presentations.” And he’s absolutely right. This looked phenomenal. I’ve never been a big turn based strategy guy, so I’ve only played through Final Fantasy VI on SNES. But this is how you take an old outdated combat system and turn it into a modern masterpiece. Play it however you want; slow and strategic or fast paced like a hack and slash. The whole boss battle was badass and looked just as beautiful as the Resident Evil 2 remake. This is a huge win for PlayStation owners. The only concern I have is they haven’t expounded that this will be an episodic title, with each episode costing $60. That’s a steep price for a game that cost $40 for the whole thing a few years ago, but maybe it won’t matter if all the titles are incredible.
Loser: Generic JRPGs
We got slammed with like 5 JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games) shortly after the FF7 Remake showcase and if you asked me what the difference between all of them was I really couldn’t tell you. One of them looked like Japan didn’t know that Farmville and Minecraft existed so they mushed it all together (DragonQuest Builders 2), one looked like all the characters were fighting to defeat “my asthma” (Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles), one just kept saying “You’re a Luminary” over and over (DragonQuest XI) and so on and so forth. I understand there’s a market for these types of games, but the market is flooded.
Winner: Life is Strange montage
If you know, you know. Just last year I remember playing through the original Life is Strange and being completely unprepared for the emotional wreck that I would become. I really don’t know if I’d ever cried from a video game before that episode. The game does an excellent job making you feel emotionally attached to the characters just like a good TV show, and this montage showcased that very well. I am planning on playing through both Life is Strange 2 and The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit soon, and this time I’ll have the tissues ready. (My raging masculinity: suck it up pussy stop being a fucking wimp its a video game and you’re a man grow the fuck up oh great now you’re crying again ughhhhhhhh)
LOSER: MORE GENERIC JRPGs
OH MY GOD. MAKE IT STOP. Square Enix debuted, announced, or discussed 14 JRPGs, which covered almost 75% of their conference. And if you tried to tell me the difference between each one of them, I’d call you either a psychopath or a liar. How did anyone think this would be a good idea? Unless everyone in the Eastern Hemisphere is playing the shit out of each of these games, how are they making money on each of these titles? This was a huge giant miss by Square Enix.
This game looked pretty badass even if People Can Fly didn’t say a single word about what the fuck the game was about. It looks like an extremely dark title with Mass Effect style gameplay. And it’s another 3 person co-op shooter but I’m about done talking about how weird it is that in the last year we’ve seen more 3 person co-op games than there has ever been in the history of the gaming industry and it doesn’t make sense when so many people have at least 4 friends who want to play the game and-…fuck I’m doing it again. I’m intrigued to say the least.
Loser: Marvel’s The Avengers…for now…
What a complete and utter flop. Where in the world do I begin? Let’s start with the character models. I’m not one of the people screaming “I can’t believe they look different than the MCU”. But I am one of the people saying “how is it that this game is coming out after Cyberpunk 2077, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Watch Dogs Legions and each of those titles looks better graphically than this?” That’s a fucking problem. Why does Captain America look like he’s got a pillow stuffed under his shirt? Why are all the characters moving so…clunky? Idk, maybe it’s just me, but for some reason Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, which is coming out on the significantly less powerful Nintendo Switch, looks like it has a better game engine than this. And why would you not show any gameplay? This was your big moment to shine and you whiffed hard. I do like the online multiplayer idea, and I think releasing the game in May next year is the perfect time, but I better see a whole lot better things later this year to sell me on this living up to the hype.
The Rest of the Show
The only other highlight of the show was the Dying Light 2 trailer, which we already kinda saw during Microsoft’s conference. Everything else revealed at this conference was either a JRPG or something that I’ve highlighted above. I cannot describe how boring the pacing of this show was to me, which is insane because where I’ve knocked other conferences for talking too much and not showing trailers or gameplay, Square Enix actually showed a ton of content. Unfortunately, 75% of it was content that literally all muddled together.
Let’s review my predictions for Square Enix and see what I got right:
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Demo: Correct and extremely well done
Babylon’s Fall gameplay: Wrong and a no show from a kinda cool looking title
Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC: Correct and horribly showcased
Avengers reveal trailer: Correct, but underwhelming
Life is Strange 2 highlight: Correct and well done
A bunch of JRPGs: YEP THEY DID THAT FOR SURE
Let’s not sugar coat it: this conference sucked. And you’re probably sitting there saying “Wait, UnfilteredNerd, they basically did everything that you said they needed to win. How could it have sucked?” You’re right, I did correctly predict like 80% of this conference. But I can’t execute all the predictions for the developer; they need to find their own way of knocking my socks off, especially when I know almost everything that they’re gonna announce. And they didn’t. Square Enix spent wayyy too much time on meaningless JRPG titles that almost no one will play, and even through they opened strong with FF7, they blundered on Avengers, which makes this a huge loss for them at E3 this year.