E3 2023 - Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery... That Mediocrity Can Pay To Greatness

E3 2023 - Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery... That Mediocrity Can Pay To Greatness

And just like that, another Summer has come, and along with the blazing heat of a thousand scorching suns, we are also graced with the tidal wave of gaming news, trailers and mostly announcements of games we may or may not be able to play in the next 360 days. Obviously by now Gaming itself is stuck in a very odd and weird position. Games are taking way too long to release, announcements of announcements are posted months in advance, and when we finally do get to see a glimpse of a game, it’s most likely a year or two out, and will be guaranteed to be delayed at least twice before it actually comes out. All is not doom and gloom though, this year, even as E3 is no longer the official name of whatever the Summer gaming event is called, we still get to watch the big companies battle it out for the spotlight of trying to woo us potential customers.

I already posted about my love of E3 in years past and even posted some pics of the first two years that I went, and this year firmly cemented that E3 is officially dead, even as of today, it’s being reported to be canceled for 2024 and 2025 (Which basically just means it’s not gonna take place in LA at least, which I’m also fine with, let that state burn to the ground). This year I finally accepted the fact that E3 as I knew it, wasn’t coming back, and in its place is a mis-mash of stilted and poorly advertised video presentations. Geoff Keighly is doing his darndest to build up his own gaming show, called Summer Game Fest, that seems like an odd way to just present a bunch of trailers with a live audience. But with all these video presentations spread out over the entire Summer, it’s quite confusing to be able to tune in to all of it. I missed pretty much everything live, and only went back and watched the actual presentations instead of spending two or three days watching streamers cover and live talk over the real streams and make an event of it… I do miss those days, but they are dead and gone.

So I’m gonna just recap a few of my favorite announcements from each of the big streams that I was able to catch. Not all of these are drop everything and buy it now type of games to me, but each one of these caught my interest enough to hope that it’s worthy of my time and money.

Summer Game Fest

Spider-Man 2

I’m a sucker for Spider-Man, even though I can’t stand the Marvel Super Hero machine. I thought the PS4 game from 2018 was outstanding and unbelievably fun. The 0.5 stop gap game Miles Morales was odd, but still enjoyable enough to have some fun with, but I want Peter Parker Spidey swinging through New York on my PS5… I can’t wait.

Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown

I was horrible at the first original Prince Of Persia, but once the Sands Of Time Trilogy came out on the original Xbox, I couldn’t get enough of the storytelling and “oh that’s not how it happened” time reversing gameplay. It’s a charming game that I replayed back in 2020 and fell in love with the series all over again. The trailer for this new game didn’t leave the greatest impression with some questionable music and art direction, but the sidescrolling exploration seems like a good fit.

Sonic Superstars

I’m a Sonic fan (or at least the 2D side scrolling Genesis games) Sonic Mania revitalized the series and it looks like Sega is going the Sonic Generations route and giving a 2.5D try again. Generations was fairly good, so I’m down to play a new game.

Alan Wake 2

Remedy can do no wrong. Quantum Break was a big stumble, but the core game was still fun, but breaking the playing with half hour long TV show episodes in the middle was just a bad idea. Control brought the whole connected Universe together, and I am curious to see how they work in Alan Wake into it more, along with finally continuing the story after 13 years.

Lies Of P

The demo dropped, and while I still hate Souls games, the setting and story is interesting enough for me to want to play it. It’s going to be hard to go back to the no jumping and horse traveling of Elden Ring.

Xbox Gaming Showcase

Fable 4

It’s about time we heard something about this game. I still think the original two Fable games (I played but didn’t finish 3) are still amazing, and have fond memories from when I played them when they came out. My wife even referenced the original Fable game this morning over coffee… it’s a great series and I hope this new one is just as good, having Lionhead not heading it… I’m cautious.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty DLC

After playing Cyberpunk and in VR last year, I am very excited to go back into this world and see more great side stories. That’s where CD Projekt Red does exceptionally well.

Sea Of Thieves: Monkey Island DLC

While I don’t think very highly of Rare’s bait and switch of the original launch of Sea Of Thieves, they have been apparently adding more and more over the years. The Pirates Of The Caribbean DLC from two years ago was pretty cool, so this Monkey Island crossover should be decent as well.

Yakuza 8 (Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth)

While I think the renaming of the Yakuza series and it’s pretty awful subtitle are dumb, I still think this game will be good. I’ll need to pick the series back up after plowing through Yakuza Zero through 5 a couple years ago, and go through the rest before I get into this. But everything I’ve heard about Ichiban has been really good, and I look forward to getting to see his story.

City Skylines 2

I thought this trailer might have been a reboot of the spectacularly horrible SimCity 2013. But instead it’s a sequel to the game that came out as a response to EA’s trainwreck of a game. I never actually played City Skylines, since I was so burned on SimCity, and they pushed so much DLC for it too, it just kinda put me off on it. But I heard nothing but good things about it. I need a good Simulation City Builder, and this might be my ticket.

Capcom Showcase

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy

Back in 2014 I fell head over heels with the original Phoenix Wright games due mostly because of the incredible music (Find the jazz album, it’s unbelievable). Even if the games are basic visual novels, which are not my bag baby, I do find them compelling enough to keep buying them and playing a bit of them till I find something a bit more fast paced. I do hope I can finally finish these games, since they all seem so charming.

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess

Well this game made probably the biggest impression on me, since I still don’t know what the game really is, but whatever it is, it looks insanely rad. I’m sure it’s a souls game, but I’m hoping for something more fast paced and action geared, like a new Shinobi style game.

Ubisoft Forward

This one might be the most disappointing of all. I used to love Ubisoft, I thought they were the best publisher around, firing out a great set of games every year like clockwork. Games like FarCry, Assassin’s Creed, The Division, Rainbow Six, Trials and more… But somewhere they lost the way, and now instead of making good games (even if they all follow a similar formula of unlocking maps and regions) they have shifted focus to cater to the mob and those diversity hires have ruined the company and all games they are putting out. But here is the small list of games that I went “huh, I guess it has the possibility of being good”.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage

I’m actually not a fan of the original first few Assassin’s Creed games. I thought the story was stupid, I hated Desmond Miles and the animus and the combat always felt weird and rubbery. It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me, that Black Flag (the pirate one) was the turning point for me in the series. When it killed off Desmond, focused on sailing the high seas and singing sea shanties. However, I will give this game some attention as I still enjoy the overall series enough to try it out.

The Crew Motorfest

I guess since no one really cares about The Crew, they just opted to copy Forza Horizon. With the youth oriented music and racing festival. I’m always up for a good car game, so I hope this one works out better.

Skull and Bones

This is more of a joke. I just want it to come out so we can all move on from this game as soon as possible. I was ready to plop money down the first time they announced this game.. Like 7 years ago. Now, after years and years of delays… Just let it die.

Playstation Showcase


Bungie has been so preoccupied with just sticking with Destiny that I honestly forgot they even exist. Halo was killed by 343 and I can’t stand Destiny, so I’m interested to see their take on remaking their Marathon series for the modern gamer. Whatever it is, it’ll be better than Destiny be default.

Metal Gear Solid Delta (MGS 3 Remake)

I have a love/hate relationship with Metal Gear, having Kojima not a part of this is both understandable, but also odd. It’s a remake, just update the graphics and everyone will be happy, and this entry always seemed the most cool to me. I doubt I’ll actually get it, but I’m curious to see how well they pull it off.

Nintendo Direct

Super Mario RPG: The Legend Of The Seven Stars Remake

I can’t stand JRPGs, but Super Mario RPG was always one of the few that I gravitated towards and had a great time. Probably because the grinding was pretty much taken out of the equation, and instead of wasting everyone’s time for hours, it focused on a fun and honestly the first real story a Mario game had. Finally seeing Mallow and Geno in glorious HD is always a nice treat. I especially like how they kept Mario and the rest of everyone short and stalky like the SNES versions.

Mech Mechanics

Another Overcooked clone, but that doesn’t mean anything bad. I had a blast with both Overcooked games, and Moving Out (Moving Out 2 was also announced at one of these things, I just don’t remember which one)

Penny’s Big Breakaway

The Sonic Mania team switched gears and made a Rare style platformer. The color scheme immediately jumped out at me, and caught my attention. I don’t know if I have it in me to play these games anymore, I never got into A Hat In Time or Yooka-Laylee, but I’ll keep my eye on this, as Sonic Mania was a home run for this team.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Wave 5 DLC

Earlier this year, I went through every single Mario Kart game, and played through all the DLC for Mario Kart 8. The new courses were really fun, and the rebuilt older courses got me to relive some memories of playing the older games from my childhood. This wave only showed of a single course, that looks like a bathroom and a few characters. I’m not big on the characters, but I’ll take what I can get. Any Mario Kart is good.

WarioWare Move It!

I love the WarioWare games. The concept of fast paced Micro games has always been a good one, and while I personally hate the gimmicky nature of this game, the series has been pretty much built on novelty and gimmicky control schemes, so I’m sure it’ll be at least worth playing. I just hate the Joy-cons with a flaming passion.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

A new side scrolling Super Mario Brothers game… I’m not sure what I think about this fully yet. With Super Mario Odyssey, I realized that I am not the demographic for Mario games anymore and I kinda hate them. The “New Super Mario Bros.” games also have a truly disgusting art style to them, and this seems to tweak it to at least not cause my eyes to bleed, but I don’t have much hope for this game. However… It is a new side-scrolling Mario game, and the voice acting and Yoshi’s Island style gimmicks to the levels seem like a step in the right direction. I’ll give this a try once it comes out at least.

And that’s pretty much it. This year saw a few stand out announcements and games coming out this year that I am really excited about. If I had to pick a top 5… well… Here it is I guess.

5. Lies Of P
4. CyberPunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

3. Fable 4

2. Spider-Man 2
1. Alan Wake 2

Honorable Mention
Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown

And with that, E3 2023 is wrapped up, and all in all it was both exciting and a disappointment. Nothing will top real E3, with the massive elaborate booths, the babes and just being around thousands of other gamers in a three day event that was equal parts sensory overload and exhaustion. There really was nothing like E3 and there never will be again. But for what we have now, it’s good enough for the time we are in. I just hope developers get back to the core of Video Games, and make good enjoyable games. Not every game has to be an 80 hour epic with a half a billion dollar budget. Give me some solid middle tier games that we used to have bucket loads of back in the day. I’ll take a MX vs ATV or Malice or San Francisco Rush any day of the week.