thatgamecompany Panel at WonderCon 2018

I was excited to be able to attend a panel featuring one of the great developers that continues to inspires me and countless others with their beautiful games. This company brought games like Journey to life, which touched many people across the world. I knew this panel would be special, so I decided to record it.

You know them from Flow, Flower, and Journey. You saw their upcoming game, Sky, at Apple’s iPhone press conference 2017.

Now go behind the curtain and learn the inside stories on how thatgamecompany came to be and crafted some of your favorite indie games of the generation!

I also got to chat with the developers after, and learned that Sky may come to more platforms after iOS. They were also willing to give me career advice and share some of their own story, which was very helpful for me.

Watch their presentation below!

All in all, it was a great experience, and just a slice of my WonderCon experience. Stay tuned to the blog for more content coming soon!

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EMX Brings Music and Gaming Together Under One Roof

Hey everyone!

This past Saturday, I got the opportunity to go to a very cool event called Food Fight. The event was organized by a group called eSports Music X (EMX), Dim Mak, and Foodbeast.  The event was hosted at the eSports Arena in Santa Ana, California. The event ran from 6pm all the way until 12am and it was free!

This event is interesting, because it is a fusion event, combining not just one, but three things people love: food and drink, music, and gaming.

I figure, if both mediums offer entertainment, especially with music being in games, and even gaming music being popular, there must be a big market crossover for people to come to an event like this. And I was right.

First off, the eSports Arena is a pretty chill venue. The venue regularly offers local competitions for gaming, and even held a large 250-person Super Smash Bros. tournament, drawing public and drawing some of the biggest competitive names to the scene.

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There was a pretty cool food truck outside offering tricked out burgers and tacos, but only one.

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Stepping into the event, we were greeted by an employee. You walk in, and the first thing you notice is a dark and clubby vibe. Right as you walk in, you feel the energy, with electronic music pounding, and people all around.

The first thing in front of you when you walk in is a bar. For some, catching a drink is the first thing they’d want to do to start enjoying the rest of what is on offer.

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The event was also being livestreamed on Twitch, so you could see fancy recording equipment stationed everywhere. I was told that the venue also had a fancy production studio on-site, where the livestream broadcast production and editing was being handled by the team involved.

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As you delve in further, you find videogame stations, designed for playing with two people at each station. There is an arcade machine setup on an Xbox One up front, where players can use real arcade sticks and buttons to play the hot new fighting game, Dragonball FighterZ. On the right, there was another gaming station for people to play Xbox games with normal controllers. This also suited two people and came pre-loaded with many games, such as Dragonball FighterZ and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. There was a also a Wii U station for people to play two-player matches in Smash Bros.

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Though the event was not full, it was decently populated. It was interesting seeing the younger demographic come in with their friends, watching them enjoy the bar and music, but then also going to have fun with some rounds of DragonBall with their friends.

Going around a curve, you come to the main stage of the venue. There is a DJ playing electronic music, and groups of people crowding in front to party and enjoy the music. The DJ’s were provided by Dim Mak, which is Steve Aoki’s record label. Pretty good music back there.

There was also an upstairs area, which you could view the party from above from. This area also hosted several small standing tables where people could play cards or board games at.

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There was also a lounge area with a large couch and a large screen TV, and Wii U, pre-loaded with a copy of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, for a group to play.

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Having arrived at around 9pm and attempting to go back up the stairs for more photos, I found the security had closed off the second floor. Must have not gotten too much traffic up there.

Overall, the event was fun, and it goes to show how just like with fusion food, fusion parties with gaming and music can be just as exciting. And just like music can be at events, gaming can be social as well. I believe combining two of entertainment’s most accessible and energetic mediums at an event like this is something truly unique. For me, as both an avid gamer and musician, it brings two of my biggest entertainment and creative passions into one event.

Some things that I would choose to improve about the event, are as follows:

First off, I believe the marketing for the event could be better. Even though I keep up with the latest news in gaming and music, I would not have known about this event if not for my friend telling me. More advertising and local marketing can definitely be done for future events.

Also, another thing to improve is to offer more gaming stations, more food options, and more activities to do around the area. I’d also recommend having a photo booth at the event for partygoers and their friends to come. Personally, I came around 9pm and was ready to leave at 11. I suppose staying for the DJ’s music is fine if you’re at a club, but for one-off events like this, most people aren’t enticed enough to stay the full six hours. After a while, people will get tired of playing games with pounding electronic music in the background, or they’ll likely be tired of listening to the DJ for six hours. However, for a short burst of a couple hours, this event is definitely something cool.

I’m looking forward to more events from EMX, and seeing their events continue to grow and get better. It’s definitely something unique, and for being in its first few rounds, it’s off to a great start. What they’re doing is cool, and I fully recommend everyone who’s interested in gaming or electronic music to check out one of their events.

For updates, check out EMX’s social media:

https://www.facebook.com/emxmusic/?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser

https://twitter.com/EMX_Music?s=09

Till next time,

Noah Sanchez

Redout ‘Taking Longer Than Expected,’ Still On Track for Nintendo Switch

When the Nintendo Switch was announced, gaming fans the world over were promised a great proposition, being able to take a home console anywhere, playing full-quality console games on the go. Developing games for the system has been tough for some third parties, however, with games like RiME, WWE 2K18, and Yooka-Laylee being delayed due to optimization issues, and some still suffering performance issues upon release.

Redout, a fast-paced futuristic racer inspired by F-Zero, was initially teased to appear on the Switch with a snazzy one-minute trailer back at Nintendo’s Switch Presentation in January 2017, with a release window of Spring 2017. However, the Spring window passed, and the game did not show up. It was moved to Summer, and then October. Now, Amazon lists the game as releasing March 30, 2018, a full year after the initially proposed timeframe. The publisher of the game for Switch, Nicalis, still has 2017 as the release date for the game. However, this prospect is becoming more and more unlikely by the day.

When contacted by fans asking about the progress of the game, the studio stated that the Switch version is not cancelled, is taking longer than expected, but development is proceeding well. The company adds that it will post a release date once it has one for sure.

 

 

 

 

 

Most recently, the developers said they were “trying” to release the game by Christmas. However, it is unlikely it will now hit that goal.

Additionally, the company clarified that another company is handling the Switch version, and a physical version is something it would like to pursue.

 

We asked representatives from Nicalis and 34BigThings why the game is not ready yet, and what is holding it back from release, and if we can have a more firm update on the current state of the game. However, we did not receive a response.

For now, we just have the responses above to analyze. If the developer is to be believed, we should get a release within the next few months.

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

Big Nintendo Announcement Coming Soon [Rumor]

Nintendo has had a big year so far. They launched the Nintendo Switch, the first home gaming system you can play anywhere. In a surprise announcement, they announced the New 2DS XL, coming alongside two new 3DS games. They wowed us at E3 with a big shocker: Metroid Prime 4, as well as showed other new games coming to the platform such as Kirby, Yoshi, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and Super Mario Odyssey. And most recently, they continued their coverage with more at Gamescom 2017. However, if you thought Nintendo was done this year, they’re not.

We all know Nintendo produces news throughout the year, with some of its biggest announcements at E3. But Nintendo likes to surprise us when we least expect it. Though this year’s E3 was great, there was something still amiss.

As Reggie Fils-Aime said in several interviews, Nintendo will bring all of its major franchises to each platform. So what haven’t we seen on Switch yet? We have not yet seen Animal Crossing, F-Zero, Donkey Kong, Star Fox (though we are getting Star Fox 2 on the SNES Classic), Earthbound, and of course, Super Smash Bros. Additionally, we still have not seen Retro Studios’ new IP or anything from Next Level Games. So what’s coming next?

According to SupermetalDave64, a prominent Nintendo YouTuber with industry contacts, Nintendo is preparing a large announcement very soon.

He says the first announcement will not be from Nintendo, but it may be related. The second, he says, will be from Nintendo, and may come in the form of a mid-September Nintendo Direct.

Since the first announcement won’t be from Nintendo, we can only speculate it will be a big third party announcement for the Switch. Currently, it could be anyone’s guess, but if I were to bet on it, it would be a AAA third party game from 2K, Ubisoft, or Activision. Rumors have been pegging Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty WWII, and LA Noire for Switch, so we will find out.

PlayStation has a big press conference on September 19, so it may also be something announced here:

https://gematsu.com/2017/08/2017-playstation-press-conference-japan-set-september-19

As for Nintendo’s own announcement, it is also unknown at this point. However, it is slated to be coming soon after. Nintendo is holding a special panel on September 1 at PAX West to possibly talk about something that will be revealed just before it. It could potentially be about an already announced game such as Super Mario Odyssey or Metroid: Samus Returns. Or it could be about something brand new.

If we were to put any immediate bets on what would be unveiled next month, it would be Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch, or Retro Studios’ new IP. Or maybe even Metroid Prime 4? Virtual Console is also a good bet, with GameCube titles recently appearing on Nintendo’s websites.

What else could it be?

Additional speculation suggests Nintendo could be revealing a new console. Not only has SuperMetalDave hinted at this before, but our own independent developer source from previous interviews has stated that there were three parts to the NX: one portable, one docked, and… something else. And one has not been shown off yet.

We will see soon.

SuperMetalDave64, the rumor’s perpetuator, has been hinting at this for weeks, saying there are two parts to this, and plans to hold a livestream to discuss after each announcement. He also hints that Nintendo will hold a Direct or a special event in mid-September for the final announcement.

SuperMetalDave has gotten things correct before, such as two new Metroid games being announced at E3 2017. So there is reason to put faith into his presumptions.

He’s put together a rather interesting teaser trailer hinting at what is in store.

Stay tuned to Gamer Splash for the latest on this topic.

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

Inti Creates Anime Expo 2017 Panel Footage [Exclusive]

Anime Expo 2017 hosted a variety of great content, including a strong gaming presence, as well. Inti Creates hosted a panel titled “Publishing Japanese Games for a Worldwide Audience on Nintendo Switch” and we were in attendance to bring you exclusive footage from the panel on YouTube!

The developers went through their history as a company and explained how they came to develop games for worldwide release and get into the the American indie scene.

In a surprise no one was expecting, they also unveiled both Shovel Knight and Shantae as playable DLC characters for Blaster Master Zero and invited the original franchise devs to play the DLC live for the first time!

Additionally, they held a Q&A session where some interesting details were shared.

Check out the full panel (with exclusive footage of their Inti Creates history video) below:

Check out Blaster Master Zero Shovel Knight DLC gameplay with Nick Wozniak, the Pixelmancer from Yacht Club Games!

Check out Blaster Master Zero Shantae DLC debut live gameplay with Matt Bozon, the creator of Shantae, from WayForward!

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

E3 2017 Highlights and Photos!

Hey there!

I went to E3 for the first time and in short, it was amazing! I have a very fun story to share about it, but I’ll keep it brief. While there, I visited the Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation booths, along with Sega’s.

Much of the show’s news has been shared online already. However, I will offer my impressions of my experiences and some great pics I took of each booth I visited. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Nintendo:

Like last year with Breath of the Wild, Nintendo put you into the world of Super Mario Odyssey for this year’s E3 booth. You walked into New Donk City as a Nintendo player, and were surrounded with friendly New Donk citizens (Nintendo employees), as well as many fans eager to try all the latest Nintendo games. Nintendo had a great range of titles to play, from Super Mario Odyssey to Splatoon 2 to ARMS to Pokken Tournament DX, as well as third party titles, such as Mario + Rabbids, FIFA 18, and Sonic Forces.

I got to play Splatoon 2 (both Turf War and Salmon Run modes) and Super Mario Odyssey. I played Odyssey several times and had a blast. I even got to try it in portable mode and do both stages! I love how it feels similar to Sunshine and 64 as a sandbox Mario game is my favorite type of Mario game. There was a lot to do in New Donk City and many hidden areas, which I really enjoyed. This was also something I live about Sunshine that was brought back, so it made me happy. The wall jumps and triple jumps were also a welcome return, and Mario and Cappy felt great to control with the JoyCons.

Splatoon 2 Turf War was also very fun, and I enjoyed playing with all the new weapons available. It felt great to play with the new Splatoon 2 Pro Controller on a TV, and I enjoyed winning with my team and getting a Splatoon 2 shirt and pin! I was most eager to play Salmon Run and finally got to on my third day (the systems kept glitching out at the end of day 2, so they told us to come back the next day.) Salmon Run was very fun, and we got a different Splatoon 2 pin for playing! It was played exclusively in portable mode. I enjoy the concept of Salmon Run and it feels like teamwork and communication is even more necessary to succeed in this one. It is longer than an average Splatoon match with employees saying each round would last 15 minutes. It still breezed by, however, and it was very fun and well balanced. It was worth the 2.5 hour wait.

Sonic Forces felt great on the Switch and the graphics weren’t too much worse than it’s counterparts on other systems. Did not notice a huge difference at 30fps. It was great switching from 2D to 3D and I found it surprising how much it felt like 2D Sonic but also was relieved that it felt there was a bit more to do in the 3D environment coming from a Sonic Adventure fan like myself. It is great on the Switch, and you can play it portably, which is the point.

Also played FIFA 18 with my friend, and it was a blast. The graphics were not too great, I could not see any detail on the characters faces. However, the gameplay was sharp and very responsive. It is a great GAME for Switch, even if the graphics aren’t as up to par as the other versions. Again, it’s also portable.

Booth pics:

 

Sega:

I went to the SEGA booth and tried out both Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania. I played on a PlayStation 4 console both times. Both were super fun, and I got to try out new levels and take home posters for both games! I played as Tails on the Saloon level in Sonic Mania and found it great to be able to nearly constantly fly everywhere. Great level design with a lot to explore. In Sonic Forces I played the second level and had a blast switching from 2D to 3D. The game is better than it looks once you play it! Also saw the other half of GameXplain in line!

Booth pics:

 

PlayStation:

The booth was blue as you’d expect. Gran Turismo Sport looked stunning on a 4K HDR TV. I did not get to play anything, though. I didn’t have the chance to take as many pics here, but here is what I have:

Booth pics:

 

 

Xbox:

Xbox had one of the best shows of E3 in my opinion (alongside Nintendo and Ubisoft) where they showed off the new 4K Xbox One X, and a ton of new games coming to the system! I got invited to a VIP after-hours party at the booth for ExpertZone members, and was able to try nearly all the games I wanted to! I played Dragonball FighterZ (super fun and a deep fighting game with beautiful hand-drawn art style), Forza 7 (looks sharp in 4K, but the detail looked about the same to me as Forza 6), Need For Speed Payback (graphics were beautiful, enjoyed how the game felt and played. Played a mission where we had to take down a truck and some cars), and Sonic Forces (tried custom hero level, Park Avenue. Could not beat it! Very difficult platforming.) I also got to hold the Xbox One X!

Here are my booth pics:

 

 

So there you have it! My first E3 was super fun, and I have to thank my friends Daniel and Juan for helping me go with them.  It wouldn’t have happened this year, otherwise!

Can’t wait to cover E3 next year in an even larger capacity!

Till next time,

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

What to Expect from the Big Three at E3 ’17

Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft all have a big E3 ahead of them. Microsoft is announcing their Project Scorpio console, Sony will bring new PlayStation 4 games and updates to already announced games to its press conference, and Nintendo is bringing new Switch and 3DS games into the spotlight.

What to Expect

Microsoft

Microsoft will be showing their new Xbox One console, code-named Project Scorpio, a console they are labeling “the most powerful console ever,” with 4K rendering and AMD FreeSync capabilities. New games expected to be announced are Forza Motorsport 7, Crackdown 3, something from 343 Industries (not Halo 6 or Halo 3 remastered), State of Decay 2, more info on Sea of Thieves, and more first-party surprises.

Third party games will also be heavily featured, with games like Red Dead Redemption 2, FIFA, Call of Duty WWII, and Destiny 2 likely making an appearance, as well as indie games. Expect Microsoft to show off how well games, new and old, run on its new hardware.

Microsoft is first to kick off E3 with a press conference Sunday at 2PM PT:

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/e3?&ocid=PORTALS_SEM_google_xbox%20e3&cid=PORTALS_SEM_google_xbox%20e3

 

Sony

Sony is set to have a big E3, showing off new games, and updates to other previously announced games like God of War, Gran Turismo Sport, Spiderman PS4, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and Days Gone confirmed.

The Last of Us Part II, the Final Fantasy 7 remake, Detroit: Become Human, Dreams, and Kingdom Hearts III are also likely to make an appearance. It may additionally introduce brand-new games and IPs, and showcase a good amount of new third-party content such as Star Wars Battlefront II, Call of Duty: WWII, Destiny 2, Resident Evil, and Red Dead Redemption 2.

Sony is also likely to announce new games and experiences for PlayStation VR, as well as more exclusive indie games.

A new PlayStation portable and exclusive Monster Hunter and Bloodborne 2 games are also rumored, but unlikely to be shown at this time.

Sony’s press conference will be on Monday at 5PM PT:

https://www.playstation.com/en-us/e3/

Nintendo

Nintendo is set to have a huge E3 this year, as it is the first year the Nintendo Switch is on the market. They will focus on Super Mario Odyssey, but show off other games previously announced, such as ARMS, Splatoon 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, and Pokken Tournament DX for Nintendo Switch.

They will also likely announce a new Metroid game, a Smash Bros. 4 port, a new IP from Retro Studios, as well as the new Mario Rabbids Ubisoft collab game here. In addition, Nintendo will likely show a glimpse of new DLC content for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and possibly 1-2 Switch.

Other Switch games that could be announced are Pikmin 4, a new Luigi’s Mansion, Animal Crossing, F-Zero, and Mother 3, as well as the Virtual Console service for Switch. Animal Crossing and F-Zero will not likely be announced at this time, though Mother 3 does see a great chance at showing up this time, as previous Mother games were announced for Wii U at E3 in past years.

Third party heavyweights like Call of Duty WWII, Payday 2, Shin Megami Tensei, Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest, Skyrim, FIFA, NBA, Sonic the Hedgehog, Suda51’s new Travis Touchdown game, Star Wars, Resident Evil, Yooka-Laylee, Redout, RiME, and other independent games are possible to make an appearance here, as well.

Besides Switch, new 3DS games such as Ever Oasis, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon, Hey! Pikmin, Miitopia, Kirby 3DS games, as well as an unannounced port of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, are all up to make an appearance.

As always, Nintendo may also surprise us with another brand new game or two, as well.

Nintendo could also show us its VR concept for Switch, but we doubt it will reveal it this year, to keep the focus on its upcoming games.

After the Nintendo Spotlight at E3 event, Nintendo will host a Nintendo Treehouse live event with live gameplay and commentary of many of the new games, as well as invitational tourneys for Splatoon 2, ARMS, and Pokken Tournament DX.

Watch Nintendo’s event starting Tuesday at 9AM PT:

https://e3.nintendo.com/

 

Are you hyped for E3 this year? Anything else you’d like to see? Leave us a comment below.

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash