Hidden facts about your favorite games at E3 2019.
Just like that, another E3 has come and gone. And I’ll go ahead and say it, I loved E3 2019.
I mean, sure, the entire conference was held up by two great showcases. But who would have guessed that Square-Enix would put on an amazing show after last year’s catastrophe? And the Nintendo Direct was so packed with reveals that fans were satisfied before the Breath of the Wild sequel was announced. It was a show that RPG lovers and Nintendo fans got the most out of, but for those audiences, there was a lot to chew on.
Like every year, E3 2019 hid a lot of important details about its games through post-show livestreams and demo booths on the floor in Los Angeles. In other words, there’s a lot of great stuff you might have missed. Here are 10 small-scale reveals we uncovered amidst the whirlwind of E3 2019 coverage.
1: There are 1000 Pokémon as of Sword and Shield, but not all of them are returning.
Starting off is a report that… requires a little speculation to fully understand.
According to Sword and Shield director Junichi Masuda, the newest titles will push the total number of Pokémon over the big 1000 monster milestone. However, he specifies this number includes alternate forms of existing Pokémon, and we don’t know what actually counts as an alternate form. This could mean there are as few as 60 new monsters or as many as 120 new monsters – it’s too early to say for sure.
Unfortunately, Masuda also revealed that not all previous Pokémon would be returning in the new game. This has led to a lot of backlash, and the hashtag #bringbacknationaldex has been trending on Twitter. Masuda has not ruled out adding older Pokémon into the titles via patch updates.
2: Raid Pokémon are really bulky.
In brighter news, the new raid battles in Sword and Shield look spectacular.
In the demo battle shown, even super effective attacks would only knock off small chunks of a raid Pokémon’s total health. What’s more, raid Pokémon can attack multiple times per turn and put up defensive shields that need to be broken before more damage can be inflicted. Support Pokémon who can buff and debuff stats will be key players in taking these huge monsters down.
3: Fire Emblem: Three Houses has Persona-style relationship building, but you can skip over it.
Fire Emblem has always featured life-sim elements through its support system. Fire Emblem: Three Houses looks to take this up a notch with even more relationship building mechanics, from eating dinner with other characters to giving anonymous advice to those in need.
This will provide tons of customization in Three Houses, but it’s not necessary to beat the game. Players eager to just play the strategic combat can use the auto-tutor function to skip these sections and stick to the main story line.
4: Breath of the Wild 2 could be the darkest Zelda game yet.
The teaser trailer for the Breath of the Wild sequel was unsettling enough, but that might only scratch the surface of its themes.
When asked if this new title will have any relation to Majora’s Mask, director Eiji Aonuma denied any connection. However, he did say “what we showed you is a little darker [than Majora’s Mask].” We don’t know if he was just talking about the trailer footage or the whole game, but one thing is clear – things are gonna get spooky in Hyrule.
5: Legend of Mana could be remade if Trials of Mana does well.
Trials of Mana was an incredible reveal for retro gamers. As I discussed in my retrospective, it’s a game fans have hoped would come west for almost a quarter of a century. What’s more, this remake could spark a rebirth of the entire Mana franchise.
The producers of Trials of Mana have expressed interest in remaking the entire series if Trials sells well enough. In fact, they’re interested in making new Mana games too! If the fan enthusiasm is strong after launch, this series could reach heights it hasn’t seen since the days of Secret of Mana.
6: Limited Run Games is bringing 14 games to the Playstation Vita.
Sony killed the Playstation Vita, but the system’s passionate fans aren’t letting it go down without a fight. That’s why the avid collectors over at Limited Run Games are gearing up to ship physical carts for 14 Vita games.
These are games already on the system, of course. But up until now, you could only get them through digital downloads. Titles include Red Faction, Freedom Planet, and Papers, Please. Make sure to secure your pre-orders if you want these collectibles!
7: Physical copies of The Witcher 3 on Switch will contain all content on the cart.
Speaking of physical carts, CD Projekt Red is doing collectors a major solid with the Switch version of The Witcher 3. The massive open world adventure will ship on a massive 32 GB cart with no extra downloads required.
32 GB carts are still very unusual for physical Switch games. Many publishers are content to ship using smaller cards and relying on huge downloads for the rest of the data. A huge game like The Witcher 3 could hopefully buck this trend by showing the industry how to really make video game collectors happy without needing to cut costs. The game even ships with bonus goodies like maps and stickers, hopefully sweetening the pot if this is your second or third time buying the game.
8: Square-Enix isn’t sure how many episodes Final Fantasy 7 Remake will take, but the next one will come sooner.
During the Square-Enix conference, we received confirmation that the first game in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake series will expand the Midgar story arc into a full fledged title. Since Midgar was a small portion of the original game on the PS1, fans and critics have wondered how big future entries would be. The answer? No one knows.
Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase told Jason Schreier of Kotaku that the team has focused strictly on the first installment so far. Though they’re working on planning the second part now, they aren’t sure how much of the original game it will cover. However, with the groundwork the first installment has laid, Kitase promises that we at least won’t wait another five years until we see the second part of the adventure.
9: Link from the Link’s Awakening remake is getting its own amiibo and special edition.
It is physically impossible to own too many Legend of Zelda amiibos, and Nintendo seems to agree. The adorable plastic-looking Link from the Link’s Awakening remake will get the amiibo treatment alongside the game’s launch on September 20th of this year.
Link’s Awakening is also getting an absolutely lavish collectors edition that includes a 120 page art book and a GameBoy shaped SteelBook case. The catch? It’s Europe only. Gamers in the United States will have to settle for a special edition that doesn’t sport the sweet bonus case. There’s a strong chance that this one will be a hot import item, ’cause I mean… look at it.
10: Sega Genesis Mini and TurboGrafx-16 are coming and look promising.
Finally, as E3 2019 paves the way for the future of gaming, it also proves that nostalgia for the past is as strong as ever. Not only did this conference feature time to test the upcoming Sega Genesis Mini console, but a TurboGrafx-16 Mini was announced as well!
Critics who got to test the Sega Genesis Mini console came away impressed at E3 2019. All the buttons on the system work exactly as they did on the original console, and even the faux cartridge slot opens and closes for extra authenticity. The system also features a huge library of 42 games on the system, starring classics like Sonic 2 and fan favorites like Castle of Illusion. The emulation is being handled by the masters at M2, who gave us the the incredible localized version of Trials of Mana. These retro consoles are in fierce competition, but the Genesis Mini could rise above the rest with amazing features and a great list of games.
Meanwhile, less is known about the TurboGrafx-16 Mini. However, there’s one big reason why I think we should be excited for this one: Ys Books I & II is confirmed to appear on it. As a massive Falcom fan, of course I love seeing this game appear on the system. However, it does confirm that Konami is willing to put in games from the incredibly niche TurboGrafx-CD add on. If they can include super rare titles like Dungeon Explorer II or the original Legend of Heroes, then this console’s value will skyrocket for retro enthusiasts. The TurboGraphx was a great console with a ton of criminally overlooked games, but Konami has a real opportunity here to get an entirely new generation of gamers to fall in love with these classic titles forgotten by time.
It’s impossible to say how any of the game shown at E3 2019 will pan out. But in the meantime, at least there’s a lot to be realistically hopeful for. Frankly, if I can even play and beat all the great looking titles that were shown this year in time for E3 2020, then I’d consider that a victory.