The Day Begins
Day One started with my entire room over-sleeping. Sean said his alarm was set for 5am and was gonna wake us all to go get in line for the Keynote. That didn't happen. I woke up at 7am (to a beautiful sunrise), saw it was already 7am and quickly got ready and left for the conference, leaving the rest of my roommates behind me.
Sure enough I arrived and had to walk half-way around the building to the end of the line. "Crap! Guess I'm not sitting front row like last year," I thought. It'll be fine. I'll still get in. Then when I finally get inside the building I start hearing security say the event is capped at 1,000 people. Based on pictures other people are posting, I'm easily not within that cutoff. Fortunately, those folks were misinformed and I eventually got in just fine. Sat way in the back, but I also sat with a bunch of friends, making it that much more fun.
Rather than give a full rundown of the Keynote, I'll just touch on my highlights here.
- New Uncharted footage. After live demos as last year's PSX and E3, they went with canned demo of (presumably) the opening of the game and Nate meets his long-lost brother Sam. Great little story moments here and the allusion that you may have a greater say in Nate's dialogue as you got to choose which Uncharted game to tell Sam about.
- Crash Bandicoot? Seemingly taking a page from Phil Spencer's book when he wore a Battletoads shirt at a press conference, Shawn Layden came out in a Crash Bandicoot one, fueling rumors of a return for the character. Sony and Activision (the rightsholder) are playing nicely between Destiny and Call of Duty...But no announcements came from it.
- Final Fantasy VII. The Final Fantasy VII port is available now on PS4 and Vita. And we got to see a new two-minute trailer for the Remake. This is insanely crazier than pretty much every Final Fantasy ad campaign I can remember. Usually we get a few very beautiful cinematics in the original Japanese first (with English subtitles), then months/years later, we get the same trailers in English with a few more cinematic moments. This one kicked off with an English teaser at E3 and today's trailer was in English, with world and combat gameplay. Lip-syncing suggest it was still the Japanese animation but this is moving way quicker than I ever thought it would. Though it's entirely possible that that opening Mako Reactor 1 stuff is all that's really built so far. Still, for me this was the most exciting part of the show. Which doesn't really bode well given it's placement right up front.
- Street Fighter V. I didn't make the prediction on my own list, but I sent the prediction to Irrational Passions that the final Street Fighter character would be revealed and I was right.
- Tim Schafer. Following the Psychonauts 2 announcement from earlier in the week, Tim came out to announce a release window for Day of the Tentacle Remastered, and the 3rd game in the trilogy, Full Throttle would be remastered for PlayStation 4 and Vita. Psychonauts VR also seems like an intriguing fit.
- PlayStation and Chill. Nick Suttner and Sid Shuman came out and gave me three free Vita games: Bastion (since I already own it on PS4, I got it free through Cross-Buy), Nuclear Throne and Bit Trip. This and the rewards attendees get for checking in at booths seem to be the purpose of people using their PSN names to register for the show.
- Ratchet & Clank. Live demo of the new game. Looks interesting enough. Never played the other games so maybe I'll check this one out.
- PlayStation VR. Sony's answer to the recent Hololens demos were really rough. Additionally the Move controllers weren't working. New VR games shown off. Crowd really got behind and enjoyed 100ft Robot Golf.
- Sparrow Racing. That thing that people immediately jokingly did in the game is now actually coming to Destiny: The Taken King. And the audience went nuts.
- NiNoKuni 2. I didn't ever get around to playing the first game (but I did buy it), but given I heard nothing but great things and think Level 5 does solid work, this game should turn out well.
- Lackluster Finish. The showcase sputtered out at the end of the conference with the new console MOBA Paragon. Really weird structure to the conference. Final Fantasy VII section probably would have been the best closer.
- Final Fantasy VII port will be released during the Keynote alongside new footage from FFVII Remake. Nailed it. Exactly what happened. Combined with my E3 prediction that the port would be delayed in favor of making an actual remaster of FFVII, I had a phenomenal year for predicting Final Fantasy VII news.
- Last Guardian September released date. No show.
- Uncharted 4 live demo focused on a set piece. Demo was canned and focused on character beats/story.
- PlayStation VR/No Man's Sky release date and price announced in June w/ No Man's Sky bundled in w/ PS VR. No Man's Sky was a no show and no date or price announced for VR.
- PSN Aliases. No mention of name changes. Hell we didn't even see Shuhei in the conference. Heard an interesting theory on that from Andrew Goldfarb but I'll let him share it on Podcast Beyond next week.
Final tally - 1 out of 5.
Games and Panels
I'll be following up on the games I'm playing and the panels I attended in separate posts later this week. But so far I played Severed, Tricky Towers, and my first PlayStation VR demo: Classroom Aquatic. I'll delve more into it in a separate post but I walked away still waiting for something else to sell me on VR. This didn't quite do it.
And I attended all of the afternoon's panels up through the P.S. I Love You XOXO panel. Again, I'll write up some thoughts on these later. But if you're interested, I'm sure PlayStation will be posting them to their YouTube channel within the week.
Kinda Funny Meet and Greet
Got into the Kinda Funny meet and greet and had a great time overall. Very crowded but very fun chatting with friends and introducing myself to some of my role models. I ran into Alexa Ray Corriea from Gamespot and Destin Legarie and Sean Finnegan from IGN on the show floor. Chatted with Alexa about the Final Fantasy VII stuff at the show and then visited with her some more at the bar. I had similar experiences with Marty Sliva and Andrew Goldfarb from IGN and Kristine Steimer and Brittney Brombacher. Really happy with the networking I was able to accomplish in my time there.
Highlight of the Day
At the Uncharted panel, I happened to be sitting 3 seats down from Shuhei Yoshida and he was kind enough to sign my Vita. So at the meet-and-greet, I had Greg, Colin, and Tim sign it too. Then Gio Corsi showed up and I added his signature. Lastly Andrew Goldfarb arrived and I got him, as well. My final showcase.