Bandai Namco unveils new games at E3
One of the biggest announcements at E3 was Bandai Namco’s reveal of Dragon Ball Fighter Z at the Xbox conference on Sunday. Not only did I get to try out this highly anticipated game at the company’s E3 booth, but they also let me play 30 minutes of Ni No Kuni 2! Here are my impressions:
Dragon Ball Fighter Z
The first thing I noticed about Dragon Ball Fighter Z is how amazing the anime graphics are, they may even be better than the anime itself. Bandai Namco chose the perfect developer for this project–Arc System Works–best known for their Guilty Gear and Persona 4 Arena fighting games.
The game offers spectacular clashes and high-speed aerial combos, all presented in glorious 2.5D animation rendered at 60fps with a resolution of 1080p. In the demo, there were six characters available, and you had to chose a team of three to play as. This allowed us to swap characters mid-battle to practice the game’s Z-Assist and Z-Change game mechanics.
With over 30 years of franchise history, I expect we’ll see many more exciting roster additions as we approach the game’s launch. While the game was difficult to master, I had a total blast and can’t wait to play more!
Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom
The original Ni No Kuni game is one of my all-time favourite RPGs, so playing the sequel at E3 was a real treat. This time Ni No Kuni 2 tells a completely different story and action is all done in real-time in beautiful anime-inspired 3D worlds.
The developers told me this time around they want to blend the best elements of Japanese and Western RPGs to create one of the world’s first true global RPG game. How they’re doing this is mixing Level 5’s incredible anime visuals with fast, fluid gameplay that would appeal to Western gamers.
In the demo, I played as Evan, the young king of Ding Dong Dell who got banished from his home. As Evan, you’ll set out to establish your own new kingdom, along with the help of friends.
The demo offered two massive boss battles to try, the first being against a huge dragon surrounded by burning lava, and the second an arena battle against a brute named Thogg. In both fight, I got to meet the Higgledies, mini Pikmin-like creatures that will assist Evan and his team. Higgledies can heal your team mid-battle, create defensive shields, and much more.
The world of Ni No Kuni is rich and beautiful, and the story looks epic. I’m excited to see more! Ni No Kuni 2 is releasing on PlayStation 4 on November 10, 2017.
THQ Nordic and ELEX
Later in the day we had the opportunity to swing by the THQ Nordic area to meet the developers of ELEX, Piranha Bytes. Known for their amazing work on the Gothic and Risen action-RPG series, their pedigree in the space is second to none. Now their newest game looks to be expanding upon their medieval fantasy roots by adding in post-apocalyptic and science themes into the mix.
The game takes place in a vast open world containing many factions of different technological eras. Each one has differing views on a mysterious substance called ELEX that provides an immense power source, but also has the side effect of corrupting those who consume too much of it. According to the developers, exposure to ELEX will inhibit emotions, while adding to your physical strength.
In this world you’ll meet factions living in traditional medieval, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic settings. You play a survivor of this harsh world who is outcasted from your homeland and must now seek out a future for yourself. This involves meeting the factions, and if you so choose you can join one. This decision is permanent and will have a lasting effect on the story. What’s neat is all factions have different views of each other, some may be hostile, while others friendly or neutral.
In the demo we were presented, our hero wielded a sword and a jet pack — this is just one of example of many of how ELEX integrates many eras into one. The gameplay is very dynamic and like Fallout games, you can befriend or attack NPCs at will. That means, for example, if you enter someone’s house and get caught attempt to steal goods from them, you could kill them before they alert the town’s guards. Or, you could let them alert the guards and suddenly have a bounty on your head. The choice is completely yours to make.
Be warned though — attacking innocents can result in missing out on future missions, so all actions have a ripple effect. So far everything I’ve seen from ELEX is very promising, and I can’t wait to see more. The title is expected to release on October 17, 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Stay tuned for non-stop E3 news!
Check out Best Buy’s coverage of E3 2017 for more great articles, links to preorder games and more
Typically, I don’t play a lot of fighting games, but the Dragon Ball series has always been a favourite anime of mine. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Dragon Ball Fighter Z and possibly picking it up!
DB Fighter Z was a real highlight of E3, what a great showing. I thoroughly enjoyed by 30 minutes with the game and looking forward to seeing new character reveals as we approach launch!
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