So E3 has been and gone. Perhaps we were spoiled by previous years but the popular consensus is that the amount of whelming is somewhat under par this year. Still, there were some gems hidden in the rough – Sea of Solitude looked fantastic and EA continues to poach incredibly adorable indie devs, even if the conference surrounding them was a colossal flaming rubbish tip, and not even terrible in an entertaining way like “GIANT ENEMY CRAB,” “YOU RILL BE SUCKED” or “how to swap games in twenty incredibly involved steps,” it was just bad. Speaking of, Microsoft by sheer random fluke had its best conference in years, netting real coups like Devil May Cry 5 and Cyberpunk 2077, and the Cuphead expansion looks lit.

Bethesda’s conference was padded by the promise of future games rather than the games themselves, but I appreciate their desire to bring the message of “f**k Nazis” to as many platforms as possible. Devolver’s showing was…er…certainly something, headlined by the long-overdue localisation of Metal Wolf Chaos (RIIICHAAAAARD!). Ubisoft, weirdly, probably had the best conference this year with coaxing Starfox to their Starlink toy range, an utterly gobsmacking twist at the end of their Beyond Good and Evil 2 trailer, and their latest Assassin’s Creed allowing you to take your Spartan lesbian to the four corners of the Aegean and it looks glorious. Sony got all experimental with their “deep looks” into The Last of Us Part Two and Ghosts of Tsushima, hiring out a church for the former and the dictionary definition of cultural appropriation for the latter and both games looked utterly incredible, but it was hard to hide the lack of product this year (and what product they did have is ALL coming out in February 2019 – like, all of it, across multiple platforms). Death Stranding, for the third year running, provided a beautifully enigmatic trailer that left us less sure what the game is about than before we started, but at least we got some gameplay this time around. I didn’t quite stay awake long enough to watch much of the PC conference but hey, new Star Control, can’t complain.

Square’s and Nintendo’s showcases were blink-and-miss-it moments, but I appreciate Sakurai striving to get everyone into Super Smash Bros Ultimate (“what do you mean everyone-?” “EEEEEVERYYYYYONNNNNE!” [/Gary Oldman]). Square-Enix pushed Kingdom Hearts III hard across multiple conferences, and I continue to be baffled by its mere existence every time I’m reminded of it. I get the appeal, and I get that the internet is extremely excited about it, but I can’t be the only one weirded out by the concept on a gut visceral level? As someone who’s spent his life trying to escape Livejournal fanfic, seeing the GDP of a small country being chucked at the most elaborate Livejournal fanfic ever produced by man is a baffling experience that makes me feel like a curmudgeony old man. There was no sign of the FFVII Remake many months after the last gameplay showcase and amid abounding rumours since then that the whole project has been scrapped and restarted from scratch – a sign if any were needed that its announcement back in 2016 was crazy premature, which is disappointing if regrettably not surprising considering Square-Enix’s recent track record.

Pfft, like I’m ever going to play any of this stuff. I can barely find time to make this comic, let alone have fun.