Niche Gamer’s Picks of E3 2015

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E3 2015 has come and gone – and after much deliberation, we’ve compiled a list of our core staff’s picks from the annual trade show.

While Brandon and Cody were the only staff in attendance, all of us were on board with coverage, while also simply taking in all of the news from the expo. Sadly, it seems that we are somewhat divided in our taste – so no single game won out by sheer popularity. Nonetheless, you can find our picks, below:

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Brandon Orselli – Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

I simply adore the Senran Kagura series, from a gameplay, story, and visuals standpoint. Ever since the game’s first reveal, I’ve been patiently waiting for a western release for Senran Kagura, and we got to see and play the game on Playstation 4. It was simply glorious. I can’t really adequately describe how gorgeous the game looks – you just have to see it to believe it. Kenichiro Takaki and his team have created a masterful game within a genre all to their own, and I can’t wait for us to get our hands on it here in the Americas.

Cody Long – Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus is my game of the show due to its stunning visuals and silky-smooth gameplay. I was blown away the second I started playing. The graphics are super crisp, and the game’s framerate is buttery, a solid 60 fps with very few instances where it dropped. I played a lot of fantastic games at E3, but EV takes the cake for sheer fun value. I didn’t want to put the controller down. Also, Ryona is best girl. Just so you know.

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Carl Batchelor – Shadow Warrior 2

I thought the gunplay looked much more powerful than the katanas this time around, and the climbing mechanic looked better than DOOM even. The RPG elements look excellent as well. I think the game was unfairly overshadowed by the full-reveal of the DOOM remake. I really think the first Shadow Warrior was close to perfect, but seeing that 30 minute playthrough online was enough to convince me the developers took fan concerns to heart. It moved faster, guns seemingly did more damage, and even the gore looked better. I’m ready to see Lo Wang do his thang.

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Alexis Nascimento-Lajoie – Fallout 4

The funny thing about Fallout 4 being my game is the show is that initially it showed off the two things I feared they would with the game, a voiced protagonist and the dialogue wheel. The fact that the game managed to win me back after that start is commendable. The crafting, the base building, the new VATS system and the way power armor works show how much they are improving from the Fallout 3 formula. It was the most extensive showing of any game, and by far the most impressive, and I eagerly await for the November to come to get my hands on this game.

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Chris Gollmer – Shenmue III

The reason why I am giving more attention to Shenmue III is a laundry list of reasons. Simply for one, I am a fan of the game. I liked doing day by day activities and having the freedom to train my techniques, meet unique people on different days, and have a freedom in a title that felt different then others, combined with a pretty good cat and mouse story. The second is because I was tired of hearing the E3 rumors each year that this would’ve been announced. It was grating and saddening but now, it’s in complete fruition. The third point is what I think is more important – that Sony took initiative to what fans were saying.

Maciej Miszczyk- Shenmue III

Shenmue was always one of those series that was simply too ambitious for their own good – an epic that was supposed to span a large number of games, set in real-life Asian locations which were supposed to be as alive as the technology allowed. The idea of crowdfunding another game in the series (despite the fact that Sega is still involved) might seem like cynical attempt to cash on nostalgia but it can also mean that there are people out there who are determined to finish the project. For better or worse, Shenmue III might be the future of gaming – either as another crowdfunded disaster or as a sign of the industry moving away from the established formula and revisiting ideas and genres which weren’t fully explored before the modern 3rd person action-adventure genre became the industry standard.

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Claude Smith – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

There were quite a few games that impressed me during 2015’s E3, but the one I was interested in playing the most was Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I’ve been playing Metal Gear almost as long as I’ve been alive and I’m excited to play the title that finally completes the saga. The gameplay brings together open world stealth and a continuation of the plot after Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes, and the licensed 1980s pop tunes are the cherry on the sundae. The last reason I’m excited for this is the length of playtime – one worker at Konami said he was almost done with the main story with 50 hours in, but he hadn’t completed many extra ops. I’ve been wanting something substantial to sink my teeth into for a while.

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Chris Gregoria – Fire Emblem Fates

Fire Emblem Fates really blew me away with how much has been added and upgraded since Awakening. They’ve really upped their game in keeping what worked well, tweaking some things to make everything more fun, and adding new stuff to do.The My Castle addition is particularly awesome, and their decision to keep marriages and children involved is something I was really happy to hear. While I’m not particularly fond of the way they handled the three different versions of the game, the fact that they’ve made three utterly different storylines that are all supposed to be as in depth and long as previous titles just makes me more excited.

So there you have it. Please keep an eye out for the remainder of our E3 2015 content as we complete it and release it in staggered updates.

(Editor’s Note: Header image is where we got noticed by E3 staff themselves! Perhaps we have good taste in beer, as well as video games)

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  1. patyos
    July 6, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Senran Kagura Estival Versus I see
    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    The Plot

  2. Cred
    July 6, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    kind of late on this one
    and no one liked the awesome new Doom with fast paced gameplay, challenging hordes of enemies and and the speed and action of good old DOOM ?

    looks GOTY all it needs is some microtransactions and QTE like the good old days

  3. Steven Sanchez
    Steven Sanchez
    July 6, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Senran Kagura Estival Versus FTW!!!

  4. Tyrannikos
    July 6, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Taro Yoko did his own picking at E3.

  5. MaidKillua
    July 6, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    The only choice I see thats even on my radar is Fire Emblem. Others arent my style. For me game of the show was Dark Souls 3 just because Souls

  6. Zanard Bell
    Zanard Bell
    July 7, 2015 at 12:05 am

    I fully expect at least the first two members of NG to be for Senran Kagura, and they did not disappoint.

    For me, I’ll go with Fallout 4.

  7. Mr0303
    July 7, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Senran Kagura Estival Versus wins Niche Gamer’s Golden Boob Award and Shadow Warrior 2 gets the Golden Wang.

  8. deadeye
    July 7, 2015 at 2:30 am

    I want to be excited about Fire Emblem Fates but…well, I’ve ranted about it enough on this site. My expectations are less than zero.

    Estival Versus…well, I played SV and really wasn’t impressed. The game is just really unbalanced and floats between braindead easy and frustratingly hard. I heard that the SK games, as far as “fanservice games” go had solid gameplay, but I’m really not seeing it.

    Shenmue III, the fact that a kickstarter project gets a spot on an E3 stages leaves more than a bad taste in my mouth.

    Phantom Pain looks amazing. I only got into the MGS series recently, and everything in Phantom Pain just makes me more excited.

    Biggest thing on my radar is Nier.

  9. ThePringus
    July 7, 2015 at 5:06 am

    All who agree KenTaka gets the Golden Boob say “Aye”

  10. JackDandy
    July 7, 2015 at 6:09 am


  11. Siveon
    July 7, 2015 at 6:21 am

    I can only really vouch for the Phantom Pain on this list.

    Everything else just looks kind of…meh? Personally I’m looking forward to Dark Souls III (was that at E3?) and The Last Guardian (despite me not having a PS4).

  12. Nagato
    July 7, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Cuphead looked awesome as usual, but my game of show has to be Platinum’s Transformers: Devastation.

    A full budget, cel-shaded Bayonetta-style TF game by the guy who directed Metal Gear Rising? Yes please.


  13. PmcC
    July 7, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I’m still looking forward to Fire Emblem but if I had to pick it would either be Transformers: Devastation or Dark Souls 3.

  14. Kimihito Kurusu
    Kimihito Kurusu
    July 7, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Needs more boobs.

  15. Mike Nieto
    Mike Nieto
    July 7, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Cody is my bro.

    Ryouna is love.

  16. FalseTragedian
    July 7, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    How did I not see this announcement? I’m not even a Transformers fan (I prefer “real robot” style mecha) but I’m excited for this now.

  17. TheCynicalReaper
    July 7, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Taro-chan is the best