The good, the bad, and the boring.
E3 2019

As June comes to an end, that typically only means one thing if you're a fan of games or gaming: E3 has once again come and gone. Typically, this is a time to look back on all of the amazing new reveals or take in details on the newest hardware announcements, but E3 2019 felt a bit different.

What is E3?
For those who are somehow unaware of what E3 is, it stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo. As you can see each word begins with an "E" and there are three words. Weird how that works out like that. E3 is one of the largest gaming related conventions and it is held every year in Los Angeles, California. Most major video game publishers have some sort of a presence at the event be it a booth on the show floor or even a major press conference in the days leading up to the start of the actual show.

Hundreds of games are shown off at E3 as it is usually a software focused event. Though new hardware is sometimes shown off, E3 is not exactly known for having the latest in gaming technologies, especially if you are a PC gamer. Really, it is typically only Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft that show off new tech at E3 and that usually only happens once very handful of years. Expect to see the latest hardware in 2020 from both Sony and Microsoft.

Those PC gamers looking for new gaming peripherals such as UHD monitors, new video cards, or the latest advances in CPU technology should instead turn their focus to the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The 2020 International CES will not be held again until January 7, 2020 but it promises to be another exciting one as the battle for more, higher clocked CPU cores heats up between Intel and AMD. Unlike E3, which takes place in LA, CES is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. To prepare yourselves for the bright lights, tantalizing shows, and wide-range of gambling that Vegas is known for, why not get a little taste of Vegas ahead of time? You can start by practicing with some online slots. If you are not sure how slots are played, an online slots guide will help give you a better understanding of those games. The skills learned from online slots will undoubtedly help you out when it comes to the real deal. Might as well do that now so you have some idea of what to expect when visiting one of the biggest gambling cities in the world.

The E3 Conferences
Maybe it was because Sony was a no-show for the first time ever. Maybe it was because between Sony and Microsoft, neither studio showed off much of anything having to do with their new upcoming consoles. Maybe it was because many of the games shown off simply were not all that great. Whatever the case may be, E3 for 2019 just did not seem to be all that great. In fact, it seemed to be rather boring when compared to previous years.

In Sony's absence, Microsoft had a bit of a "free ride" for this year's event. We are not saying that the company held anything back, but they did not really have to try particularly hard to wow their audience in the face of competition. Without Sony there to push them to do their absolute best or make some jaw-dropping announcements, Microsoft seemed to play it safe. This was especially true when the company confirmed the long-standing rumor that they have been working on a new Xbox console.

However, the company told us very little about this upcoming hardware release. At least, they did not really tell us anything more than the meager bits of information Sony quietly shared about the next PlayStation weeks ahead of E3 2019.

Even Microsoft's Halo Infinite trailer amounted to nothing more than a short tease. Though the game is still over a year away, it would have been nice to see something that could actually be construed as gameplay.

Shenmue III Disappoints
Multiple game reveals simply failed to impress. The long awaited reveal of Marvel's Avengers from Square Enix was quickly met with criticism for their ugly character models. A new Commander Keen game was revealed from Bethesda. Normally this would probably elicit squeals of joy for a beloved game series that has not had a new release in over 18 years. Unfortunately for fans, the first game in 18 years is going to be a mobile title. EA pushed all talk of Anthem to a very brief interview segment during their multi-hour streaming event. The studio also showed off a lengthy gameplay video for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, but what they showed looked to be rather boring. It was only after the show ended did the public learn that there are far more exciting gameplay mechanics than what they decided to show. For instance, Fallen Order is said to be a Metroid-vania type of game that allows players to visit plants when they want to, or even to go back to already explored planets to find new areas that were previously inaccessible until new moves were unlocked.

Shenmue III has had millions in backer support from thousands of superfans, but what was shown off at E3 2019 looked like the series never really progressed much from its Dreamcast origins. The animations were stiff, at best, and the voice acting is about on par with the previous two titles. While an argument could be made that "this is exactly what the fans wanted," the inclusion of better animation and voice work would have taken nothing away from the Shenmue experience. If anything, it may have made the game more appealing to wider audiences. This is even without the news that Shenmue III was announced as an exclusive to the Epic Games Store on the PC, something that caused a massive wave of anger from those who financially supported the game when a Steam release was promised.

On the plus side, Microsoft's event did show off some fresh reveals for Cyberpunk 2077 with none other than Keanu Reeves taking the stage and the spotlight from the entirety of E3. Other big reveals at Microsoft's event was the official confirmation that FromSoftware and George R. R. Martin are working together on a new title called Elden Ring. Though we were not given too much information about the hardware itself, Microsoft did confirm that their new system would be released in time for the Holiday season in 2020.

Ubisoft had a rather ho-hum show this year. The Tom Clancy focused studio's biggest reveals were for Watch Dogs Legion, a game where you can play as anybody including a little, old lady. Other than that, fans were shown another trailer for Ghost Recon Breakpoint, a game that had already announced prior to the event. Though a new Rainbow Six title was announced, there was not much of anything actually shown off for it yet.

Bethesda's E3 2019 showcase was about the most dull conference in years. A lot of their show was focused on talking about games and content that was already released for their existing titles. Anticipated titles such as The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield were complete no shows. DOOM Eternal was one of the few shining moments for the studio. The other exciting reveals during their showcase were for Deathloop, the newest game from Dishonored developers at Arkane Studios. GhostWire: Tokyo was also announced. This one is a new survival horror title from Shinji Mikami and the team behind The Evil Within.

Nintendo once again did not have a live conference ahead of E3. However, they again instead held a Nintendo Direct that showed off some of the upcoming titles in development for the Nintendo Switch. Fans learned that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is currently in development and it's looking to be a much darker game in tone when compared to its predecessor. Though exciting, Breath of the Wild 2 is probably quite a ways away from being released. Other big hits for Nintendo include Luigi's Mansion 3, the fact that The Witcher 3 is coming to Switch, and also an announcement of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

However, games like Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield that should have delighted fans were the targets of criticism after being revealed. Fans took to social media to "politely discuss" issues with the limited Pokedex in Sword and Shield. This is still an ongoing source of ire for fans, though some have switched over to complaining about the game's lackluster visuals.

High Praise for the Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Finally, Square Enix may have had the best overall conference this E3. Though their Marvel's Avenger was met with mixed reactions, the rest of their titles seem to have fared quite well. We finally got a new look at Dying Light 2, which continues to look like it will be a thrilling continuation of the original title. Fans were thrilled to hear about a Final Fantasy VIII remaster that is in the works for modern consoles and PC. Final Fantasy fans continued to be delighted by word that most of the Final Fantasy soundtracks were released to a number of music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. A new trailer was shown off for the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Shadowbringers. Of course, this all paled in comparison to the new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake that showed off the first look at fan-favorite character, Tifa. The studio also showed off a significant portion of gameplay from an early part of the game.

While E3 2019 had a few bright spots here and there, namely Keanu Reeves being in Cyberpunk 2077 and the big Final Fantasy VII Remake media blowout, there just was not too much to really care about from this year's event. With new hardware coming later in 2020 from both Microsoft and Sony, it should make for a far more interesting E3 next year. We should get our first glimpse at the next-generation of games that fans will be able to play later in 2020 and beyond.