When you think of the E3 exposition, the first thing that probably comes to mind is “what’s new in gaming.” While the 2015 E3 exposition covered a heap-load of up and coming content, major developers and companies saw the demand in retro gaming. Retro gaming is becoming more of a focal point in today’s gaming world, where gamers enjoy taking a trip down memory lane and playing their favorite Mario game on Nintendo 64. Many gamers pride themselves on the consoles that they have owned. While some hold on to them, others sell them to buy the next big thing, and sometimes with a heavy heart. Major gaming companies and developers have addressed the various situations at the E3 exposition, and it is evident that 2015 is going to be the year of retro gaming. Here are the top five retro gaming takeaways from the E3 expo:
1) The Rare Replay Collection
Xbox One announced a collaboration with acclaimed British developer, Rare. The collection marks the 30th anniversary of the developer and brings together select titles from Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to more recent Xbox 360 games. The collection contains 30 games with new challenges, cheats, and achievements worth well-over 10,000 gamerscore and over 700 hours of gameplay. Retro gamers will appreciate these initiatives taken by Xbox and Rare, as it brings back classics such as Jetpac, Lunar Jetman, Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, and more. The full list of games available in this $30 collection can be found here.
2) Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy fans were in for a treat throughout E3 as there were some major announcements about the franchise. Firstly, a new game titled World of Final Fantasy was announced and is set to release on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. The trailer shown during E3 showed adorable and somewhat deformed versions of the classic Final Fantasy Characters. No gameplay information was actually revealed, so fans would need to buckle up and wait.
However, the news that may have blown everyone away and the news that stole the show was announced by Square Enix. Eighteen long years and three PlayStations later, IT is finally here.
Yes, Final Fantasy VII is back and looking better than ever. A remake was announced for the PlayStation 4, with other platforms to follow. For years fans have been demanding for a remake and Square Enix has always come up with some sort of an excuse. But this time, however, it is really happening. No release date has been announced, but be prepared for the epic journey that Final Fantasy VII has in store.
3) Xbox Backward Compatibility
Another major announcement during the Microsoft press conference was Xbox backward compatibility. Xbox One gamers now have the ability to play Xbox 360 games on their console. While the program is only open the Xbox Preview members, it will soon open up to all users. While this initiative does not date back to games from the 90s, it is a step towards games on the original Xbox which was launched in 2001. One can speculate that these games will also be playable in the near future. A similar initiative was taken by Sony with PlayStation Now, a cloud gaming service that allows users to pay for access to select PlayStation 3 titles. With a Netflix-like subscription program, PlayStation now has a large list of games available and will soon expand to games from PlayStation 2 and 1. Perhaps Xbox will choose to go down this route in the future, but for now, the announcement of backward compatibility really swept fans off their feet. A current list of games that are compatible can be found here.
4) The Nintendo World Championships Tournament was Awesome
Nintendo knew that they needed to make their presence known at the E3 exposition, especially competing with the likes of Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox. So, what did they decide to do? Hold the biggest and best NWC tournament ever. Qualifiers began well before the E3 exposition at eight different Best Buy locations. After countless, gruesome gaming battles, 16 well-rounded gamers made their way to the E3 stage and were put through many different challenges. Each game went through multiple rounds of qualification and elimination, and each elimination round got harder as the rounds progressed. From trying to escape Mother Brain and Planet Zebes in Super Metroid to speed running The Legend of Zelda, the tournament was full of thrills and excitement. The final battle was played in Nintendo’s new game Super Mario Maker, in which the maps were created by Nintendo specifically for this tournament. Competition qualifier John Numbers defeated guest competitor Cosmo Wright, winning the coolest trophy ever, but also an autographed 3DS by the one and only Shigeru Miyamoto. For those of you who do not know that name, he is the genius that created Mario.
5) Nintendo Game Announcements
While Nintendo did not announce any remakes of their classics, they did announce quite a few games that have ties to the games that were dearly loved on the older Nintendo consoles. Firstly, and probably the game that Nintendo created the biggest excitement for, was Star Fox: Zero. Star Fox: Zero includes levels from the Star Fox on the Nintendo 64, but also includes a ton of new content including levels, game modes, and vehicles. Zelda fans will be ecstatic as Nintendo also announced a new Zelda game titled The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes. The game was announced for the 3DS and is the newest addition to the franchise. Lastly, the moment that may have pleased almost everyone: the announcement of Metroid Prime Hunters: Federation Force. Other game announcements can be found here.
E3 is still underway and there is bound to be more announcements for retro gamers. What are your thoughts on the exposition so far? Do you think Xbox made the right decision with backward compatibility or should they have tried something similar to PlayStation Now? Did Nintendo meet expectations or did they fall short at E3 once again? What are your thoughts on the Final Fantasy VII remake? Let us know in the comments below!
By: Aakash Daryanani