E3 Guesses and Leak Thoughts

It’s my favorite time of the year, E3 season, and that means that there are all kinds of news and rumors floating around out there. We’ve already seen a couple pretty big leaks sneak out – Destiny’s Rise of Iron, Injustice 2, and a Final Fantasy XII Remake all were leaked in the last couple weeks. There are still a couple rumors flying around now as well – a Skyrim Remake? Wolfenstein 2? EA’s new Star Wars game? Each announcement could very well pop up next week at the show. On one hand I’m always a fan of finding out the newest games and DLC announcements as soon as possible, even more so for games that I really love; but I think overall I would rather the announcements be made on the developers own terms. I think leaks can be good in some cases, but these leaks happening literally the week before E3 bum me out a little. A huge part of what makes E3 so awesome is the initial announcements of these surprise games. This year’s show could have had the big moments – showing Destiny‘s next phase, the reveal of a super hero fighting game sequel done right both now have no impact behind them.

Now, that having been said, there are still a couple potential surprises that could pop up next week at the show. One thing that I think everyone does leading up to E3 is to try and figure out what those surprises could be. I’m no different, so I have a couple things in mind that could be sneaking into the show this year. First – my long shot predictions are the announcement of Borderlands 3 and Elder Scrolls VI. The timing works for each – both series are due for the next main series entry in their catalogs, but there are a couple factors that make it still seem like an unlikely move this year. Gearbox and 2K just put out Battleborn and are focused on that game – in truth, I think what we may actually get is some kind of DLC for that game that is Borderlands themed. Bethesda still has Fallout 4 to support, along with DOOM and the Skyrim remaster coming – that’s a lot on their plate without adding a full new Elder Scrolls game to the mix. I think that both games are coming, but probably are a few months away from announcement. I do have a couple more likely predictions though – I think we get actual release dates for Mass Effect: Andromeda and possibly Kingdom Hearts III or Final Fantasy VII Remake. I think we see the next Black Ops III DLC as well, along with the full Titanfall 2 announcement. There’s been a lot of leaks and announcements already this year, but I still think that this year’s E3 has a lot of good games to show us. Next week is going to be quite fun.

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Xbox Games With Gold – Goat Simulator/Super Meat Boy Thoughts

A new month brings new “free” games with the Xbox Live Games with Gold program. I grabbed the two new ones available for the first half of June: Goat Simulator and Super Meat Boy, and thought we’d talk a little about them.

Super Meat Boy

Let’s start with the Xbox One title, Goat Simulator. If you aren’t familiar with the premise, you are a goat, placed in a world that is nothing really more than a physics playground. There’s no plot, there’s no real objective outside of maybe getting a good score. It’s just a pure silly, fun time killer. The achievements are quick and easy, outside of the time on the collectibles and the nightmare that is flappy goat. The humor in there is definitely not going to be for everyone. But since it’s a free game, and outside of the flurry of FPS launches last month, we’re in the slow period of summer. There really isn’t any reason to not grab it, mess around for a few hours, and then clear it out. That’s what I’ve done at least.

On the other hand, the Xbox 360 game available right now is a longer burning game. Super Meat Boy is one of the best examples of why the Xbox Live Arcade was such a big part of the 360. It’s a throwback to when games were hard – really hard. It’s a platformer, with some light puzzle elements, and demands your precision to beat it. I played through the Light World levels over the weekend, along with a couple Dark World levels and Warp Zones. If you don’t have much in the way of patience with games, skip this one. Super Meat Boy is hard – and while the downtime between failures is small, the frustration can ratchet up really quick, especially when you know exactly what to do and just can’t quite nail it. It’s a leaderboard chaser’s dream game too though, as you keep shaving milliseconds off your time on each level. I think this one is a pretty tough sell across the board – if you don’t have the patience, or the thumbskill to beat the levels, all that Super Meat Boy is going to do is frustrate the hell out of you. It is a phenomenal game though, bringing the retro feel and also pulling in some dark humor as well.

Ultimately, both games offer up very, very different experiences. One is possibly the most casual game I’ve played outside of Minecraft, while the other is one of the most intense games out there. They’re both great at what they do, and since we’re in a bit of a slow period right now, very much worth picking up to play for a week or two. With E3 right around the corner, it also might not be a bad idea to play them as a bit of a palette cleanser before the summer cleanup season that always rolls around.