E3 2019 – The LTG Staff Reacts

By the Last Token Gaming Staff   Another year, another E3 in the books. The annual three-day gaming extravaganza ended a week ago, but left a mountain of exciting games for the world to salivate over. As we’ve done before, we at Last Token Gaming are foregoing recapping everything that happened, as there are plenty…




Read time:

12 minutes

By the Last Token Gaming Staff


Another year, another E3 in the books. The annual three-day gaming extravaganza ended a week ago, but left a mountain of exciting games for the world to salivate over.

As we’ve done before, we at Last Token Gaming are foregoing recapping everything that happened, as there are plenty of other sites that have done that. We prefer to focus on what wowed us the most, as well as let us down. We also like to take our time to digest how we feel before sharing. Here’s what we were most excited about, and what let us down the most!


Marshall Garvey: First, let me get the negative out of the way: it was disappointing to see what a non-factor Sony was this year. I’m not a console fanboy or anything, but I have loved the PS4 in the three years I’ve had it. Naturally, I hoped they’d take the next step. As it is, Microsoft is set to dominate for years to come as a result.

Being a gamer of more retro leanings, E3 usually hasn’t been of the utmost urgency for me. However, my financial circumstances have changed to the point where I can keep up with current consoles, and as such I plan on getting a Switch later this year. Naturally, Nintendo Direct’s ace presentation was the highlight for me.

The Breath of the Wild sequel looks like it’ll emulate the dark turn Majora’s Mask took after Ocarina of Time, and I am here for it. But let me be blunt: nothing, and I mean nothing, made my heart sing more than Banjo-Kazooie coming to Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. FINALLY!!! It’s a moment I’ve desired deeply for years. Their first adventure in 1998 defined my childhood more than any other game. Naturally, I inducted it into the LTG Hall of Fame a few years ago.

Every time they were passed up as an addition to the Smash lineup, my heart broke. They’ve long deserved icon status comparable to Nintendo’s most frequented mascots. More relevant, their unique set of moves in their two classic games just begged for inclusion in Nintendo’s beloved free-for-all. I consider a casual fan of Smash, as, well, I’m just not that good at it. But with my childhood gaming heroes throwing their hat (Bird? Banjo? Jigsaw piece?) in the ring, I’m getting a copy after I start my Switch addiction with BotW.

For too many generations after N64, it was sad to see Nintendo lagging behind their ascendant competitors. With the Switch, they no longer feel like they’re at the bottom of the pack. That they’ve finally revived their most criminally underrated stars for Smash after years of fan demands is just the latest sign they’re doing just about everything right.

Sean Willis: I’m usually a bit too pessimistic about E3. I miss the days when SEGA stole the show and sat through one too many Wii Music-like moments, so I keep my expectations really low and still find little to be excited about even if it does sound good.

I almost forgot Sony wasn’t even there though they usually did decent with actual gameplay and show floor demos in the past. Microsoft wasn’t bad, though I found the Battletoads reveal a bit too cringey and politically correct. Game Pass on PC is nice but rather late for a company that championed PC gaming before. Phantasy Star Online 2 releasing in the west is great, but I mean, it’s been seven years and SEGA had been silent about it till now. Overall mostly CG videos and that promise for the next Xbox to have an SSD and a stronger CPU which, custom as it may be, I’m too skeptical to get excited right now.

Bethesda gave me nightmares with their fake front row audience and turning Commander Keen into a horrible addiction gambling game for “kids,” complete with doing everything wrong for it to be a Commander Keen anything. I’m confused as to who they are targeting with that, because the fans who are now parents are more likely to just get the old versions running with a source port with all the features. Doom Eternal looks great though.

Nintendo, as they seem to usually do with their Directs, tend to show more actual game footage, and the Banjo-Kazooie (and Dragon Quest) characters are certainly some huge highlights even though they are just DLC. Animal Crossing looks like more of the same with a slight improvement, not sure why they don’t just take it much further. I guess the small upgrades every game is enough to keep it new but casual friendly. Panzer Dragoon being an exclusive to Switch is a little disappointing as I wanted it on my PC as soon as possible but eh, I guess I have a reason to get a Switch one day.

Not today though, or even this year despite even the new Pokemon giving me some interest as I’m still waiting for a Pro or discounted Mini version of the console. A little hint would have been nice, but I’ll keep waiting. Speaking of Pokemon: it seems my initial thoughts on the open areas being just limited areas were wrong. They really might be areas between towns, so it’s a step in the right direction, but the world could be a lot more living and breathing. Still, I’m looking forward to the Black and White 2 games of this gen as Pokemon games usually experiment on the first games. Just really hoping that National dex ends up DLC, though I have a feeling that was their plan after all.

I also found the PC gaming conference rather calm, less informercial-like despite the hosts trying their best. Talking with the devs just gave it a kind of old gaming show feel where it felt a lot more personal. I also seem to have missed the last year or year before as I never even knew PC gaming had a conference. Always used to be just games on the show floor, so it’s nice to see PC gaming taken a bit more seriously, while keeping to a more personal level with the devs being the main part of the show.

Even with Epic sponsoring some, it’s still nice to have this sort of thing. Speaking of Epic, Shenmue 3 as an exclusive for Epic is a real heartbreaker for reasons that should be obvious for those keeping up with that sorta thing. I’d rather not go into it here, but it’s just not enough for me to move from the game sources I’m comfortable with on PC so just gonna have to do without. Though the game looks like it needs some more polish.

Overall, E3 had some gems, and I really liked the PC gaming conference with talks with the devs. It just felt calm and personal rather than big corporate show crazy. Even if Keanu in CyberPunk 2077 was a great surprise. Really like how he handled the crowd and didn’t go full sell out like many other actors have done on stage in the past. Short and sweet.

Either way, while I wasn’t too impressed with everything and a little heartbroken for some announcements, I still think we got some nice things here and there. Not bad overall.


Jake: There really isn’t a lot of good things to show, but every company has something interesting. Yes, even EA and Bethesda had shown something that piqued my interest.

But first, some things about the conference that didn’t live up to par. The entire Bethesda conference wasn’t that impressive (with the exception of Doom Eternal, now that is awesome), I was disappointed by their Fallout 76 announcement on their plan to add NPCs and a story mode. I feel that could have been saved for outside E3. Commander Keen was not the kind of Commander Keen game that I was hoping for, and it certainly wasn’t the kind of game old fans deserved. Battletoads from Microsoft didn’t have the aesthetic that old Battletoads fans hoped for (man, what’s up with disappointing reboots?).

The Ubisoft conference wasn’t that great (with the exception of Watch Dogs Legion, that looks amazing). It seems that half of the press conference they talked about either non-video game stuff (Assassin’s Creed Orchestra tour and that TV show), or Tom Clancy games. They didn’t have too much to show outside of that, but good for them to make a Just Dance game for the Wii. And last but not least, there are a lot of hecklers in the audience throughout other press conferences. I mean, that one heckler who shouted towards Keanu Reeves was one of the best instances of heckling I’ve seen, but there were so much yelling from the audience that it wasn’t fun to watch the conference.

Now for the better parts of E3. For what I’ve seen so far, it’s nice to see this year that some companies decided to show some footage that is a lot more than teasers. Microsoft, Square Enix, and Nintendo all did amazing jobs on that front. Microsoft had some interesting announcements. Keanu Reeves pretty much sold Cyberpunk 2077 for me. Phantasy Star Online 2 looks awesome. I wished that there were some more Xbox One games that would have had me sold on the console. I hope that the next Xbox console is backwards compatible with XBone games, because there are less than a handful of exclusives that I would get.

A few other games grabbed my interest from the press conferences that were lackluster. Jedi: The Fallen Order really looks good. I am still skeptical about how it will turn out, but I am interested to hear more about it. Doom Eternal looks just as amazing as the 2016 Doom. I need to finish that one before Eternal comes out later this year. Of course, I saved my favorite for last: Watch Dogs Legion. The setting for Watch Dogs Legion looks grim, which is the kind of a game that got my interest. Of course, being able to play as a granny just looks awesome!

Square Enix had some great looking games that were interesting enough to learn more about. The Final Fantasy 7 remake looks amazing. I really loved how they turned the RPG combat upside down! Not to mention the real-time gameplay and strategy just makes it feel like you are part of the action. The Collection of Mana looks great! I enjoyed playing Secret of Mana, so I am interested in seeing more. The Last Remnant Remastered looks interesting, enough to want to learn more about it. Dying Light 2 just looks gorgeous (and I need to play the first now). I wished they would show more on Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC, but it’s nice to show they still care about it (sidenote, what’s with the music-only trailer?). Last but not least, The Avengers looks like it could be an interesting game. Yes, it does not look as serious as we are accustomed to thanks to the MCU movies, but it doesn’t look like it would be half bad to be honest. I want to see more from this game as it develops.

Now Nintendo…oh how I saved this for last…

Nintendo really hit this one out of the ballpark with their announcements. They have no teasers to show, they showed nothing but gameplay. Which is what we could all ask for for every press conference (I’m looking at you, Ubisoft, Bethesda, and EA). Of course Microsoft and Square Enix did a fine job on that front too.

Everything Nintendo showed just looks great! Not all of the games they showed are for me, but let me do a round robin of what games got my interest. Luigi’s Mansion 3 looks like they are bringing a lot more to the table this time around. Fire Emblem: Three Houses looks like it can be another amazing hit. No More Heroes 3 looks like a breath of fresh air. (With the mech action?? I hope that it makes it to the final game.) Astral Chain should be a fun game to play. Cadence of Hyrule just looks so gorgeous and fun! Fighting monsters to the tune of remixed Legend of Zelda tunes?? Sign me up! And finally, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order looks like a ton of fun!

There really isn’t much to say for the aforementioned titles, but I am not done yet…

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening…I am pleased with the art direction they went with for this remake. It should be one of the most gorgeous games on the Switch. And I can’t believe they added so much more to the game. Dungeon Builder?? I want to see how this comes out. I feel that this would be one of the games that I’d pick up on launch day and play it. (Or stream it? Hmmmm).

Speaking of Zelda, how about that Breath of the Wild sequel eh? It looks so much darker than Majora’s Mask, and I loved Majora’s Mask. If this Zelda game ends up hitting the same right notes as Majora’s Mask and then some, I think this game could take my top spot for favorite Zelda games of all time…but I must not get ahead of myself here. I will certainly pick this game up on launch day.

And finally…I am not sure what surprised me more…the fact that Nintendo announced 2 more DLC fighters for Super Smash Bros, or the fact that one of the newly announced characters just so happen to be Banjo-Kazooie!! Oh seeing Banjo Kazooie getting their fair shot in Super Smash Bros. just made my entire day. And I am so happy that (from what they have shown) they are pretty much going to forget Nuts and Bolts in terms of moves referencing previous Banjo-Kazooie games. Eggs, slamming Kazooie down, carrying Banjo to run past the enemies…this is every retro platforming gamer’s dream.