After years of praying, begging and downright skepticism, we finally get the games we asked for years. In the words of LeBron James “Not 1…not 2…” we have gotten 3 games pulled from the depths of gaming hell and they all occurred at Sony’s E3 press conference. The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII Remake and Shenmue III.
It’s been 7 years since the last time we’ve seen The Last Guardian at E3 2009. When I first seen the game, I thought it was damn beautiful. Art style was fantastic and had the signature Team Ico look. Of course, if you have played through Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, you would be pretty excited at the chance to play the spiritual successor and play through it of all its glory. Unfortunately, after that E3, the title disappeared from the public. No problem! It will be at the next E3 to get ready for its release on the PS3! So I’ve waited…and waited…and waited. Eventually, I gave up and deemed it vaporware and sadly forgotten about it.
Then last year, rumors started to come up that it will be re-revealed at E3 2014. Thinking that would be the best time to re-reval the game since PS4 successfully launched in late 2013, I stupidly gave in to the rumor and got on the hype train. Unfortunately, that train derailed hard when it was not to be seen or heard of at the conference. Then the rumors of the game being at PSX. That came and went. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, rumors yet again came up of the game being revealed at this E3. Did I give in? Of course not. Why should I when I’ve been burned before.
Thankfully, the effect of seeing the game again at the beginning of Sony’s conference brought a surprise and great joy to see. For the most part, the art style and graphically it was the same but it still looked pretty. Gameplay looked unique and the characters of the little kid and the birddog (or songbird whatever you’re comfortable with) is quite charming and warm. Not only they finally showed the got damn game, they also gave a release year of 2016 which is already looking like a stacked year for gaming. Small skepticism is still in the air being that most likely it will be released next year but that’s the nature surrounding the game of not being sure. That was just the beginning of the conference. Some minutes later, they decide to drop another bomb and this bomb was effective.
Now this wait was a little bit longer. This goes all the way back to the PS2 days. I remember my young self being on the Gamefaqs board in 2000 reading about Square wanting to do a sort of remake of FFVII on the PS2. Those rumors didn’t materialized that much but it was intriguing to hear. Who wouldn’t want to play FFVII, one of the best games of all time with better graphics during that time. Would’ve been pretty exciting but it never happened. Fast Forward to the E3 2005 where the PS3 was to be unveiled. During that conference, they show the infamous FFVII tech demo that circulated all around the gaming world. Of course if you was watching the E3 conference during that time, while you was getting hyped, I’m pretty sure your thinking was “Man, I can’t wait to play FFVII on my PS3! Sony dominance is back!”. Unfortunately, it didn’t play out that way. It was just a tech demo and nothing more but that didn’t stop fans from dreaming of a FFVII remake for the PS3 to eventually come out. Then the possibility of that intensified during that time. Constant rumors of FFVII remake actually being a real thing but nothing pointed to it actually being developed and being nothing more than rumors. Getting to the point of it becoming somewhat of a running joke over the times. The FFVII remake people hoped to happen never came in the PS3 generation but that didn’t stop once the PS4 was announced.
Fast forward to PSX 2014, Sony’s own hosted conference that occurred in December. Other than E3 and maybe TGS, there couldn’t have been a better time to finally announced the dream of a FFVII remake. Come to find out, Square Enix was going to have some stage time at PSX. Everybody starts losing their shit. This must be it! The dream is real! Well…that dream was broken…pretty hard. Shinji Hashimoto goes on stage to present to all the Final Fantasy fans the ultimate prize! The PC port of FFVII is coming to the PS4.
The ultimate troll job. Have to admit, after about a couple seconds of anger, it was hilarious how he had the balls to do that. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure Final Fantasy fans were at their knees crying while thinking about grabbing their pitchforks to head to Square Enix offices. I wouldn’t of been there to join in the horde of madness but I would gladly spectate that scene. Surprisingly, even after that deathblow, fans still held out hope that it will become real. By that time, I was even telling fans “Give it up. If you want to play FFVII so bad, get the damn PS1 disc and go play it”. Safe to say, I was the biggest pessimist of all when it came to FFVII remake being real because I’ve heard the rumors over and over for years just for it to never happen. Then came this years E3. Yet again, the internet streets started talking and the rumors that FFVII remake will be announced for the PS4 this E3. Just how I felt about Last Guardian, I gave up and didn’t believe the rumors because we’ve been down this road before. A road that lasted for about 10 years so of course I’m going to scoff at the idea that its actually will be presented at E3.
Now at this time after seeing Last Guardian, I was already satisfied with the conference even though it just began. I seen the game that I thought I would never see again. As the conference goes along, it was Adam Boyes turn to take the stage. Wonder what other dope we are going to see. Then the World of Final Fantasy trailer plays. I’ll admit it looks alright in a cute way but I started laughing at the fact this was another successful troll job by Square Enix cause the few people who gave into the rumor thought this was it. It wasn’t. Adam Boyes announces details about the game then continues. He then goes on to say “20 years, Square Enix went on to release a groundbreaking title” which got my immediate attention. He presents the trailer and then the music plays on. As the trailer went I was thinking, “What the hell is going on! What is this”. It was at point, I realized what was going on as soon as I saw Midgar. A quick interesting point is how many people realized it was the FFVII remake at different points of the trailer. A minute after realizing this, the trailer concludes with the words “Remake”. The internet breaks and I’m sitting there speechless. So not only Last Guardian gets a re-revealed with gameplay and a release year, FFVII remake is finally real and is announced. Just like others, I couldn’t take the hype anymore. It was too much hype to take in but this wasn’t enough for Sony. Some seconds later, they proceeded to press the button.
This waiting around lasted a little bit longer. Even though the Original release of Shenmue II was September 2001 for the Dreamcast, us North American folks had to wait until October 2002 to play because Microsoft had a exclusive deal to release Shenmue II in NA. The Dreamcast was basically dead and Shenmue II for the Dreamcast was cancelled in NA. Both Shenmue I and II were some of the most unique games that I ever played and was certainly ahead of its time. It was damn near a life simulator. The best thing about Shenmue was how detailed everything was and how immersed you felt playing. No spoilers but Shenmue II ended on a rather big cliffhanger. No fear! Once Shenumue III comes out, we will play through the concluded story! I was 11 at the time. 15 years later, me and other Shenmue lovers are still waiting. The mystery of Shenmue III is another game other gamers that were hopeful Shenmue III would become a reality rather than a dream. Because of the downfall of Sega during its time and no real trust into Shenmue being a money maker, they held it off and disappeared.
Shenmue III rumors started about a couple of days before E3 but not in the typical rumor mill fashion. Yu Suzuki tweeted this seemingly rather random picture of a forklift
People started processing in their minds rather quickly at this discovery (The Forklift is one of the most, if not, the most recognizable vehicle of the Shenmue series) and proceeded to lose their shit. Of course, pessimistic yet level-headed me thought it wasn’t that big of a deal. Of course Shenmue III is never going to be made and he just decided to take a picture of a random forklift because it reminded him of Shenmue. People have been asking for Shenmue 3 for about 15 years now. Its time to let it go….
As I was just processing the fact that FFVII remake has just been revealed, they showed some sick looking indie games but I didn’t pay much attention. I was still trying to come down from the skies and questioning reality itself. Adam Boyes proceeded to mention (and I’m just paraphrasing) that this upcoming game is a game fans have been clamoring for a very, very, very long time. The soft music starts, the petal floats down and then “Shenmue’s story was left incomplete….” reads. As you could imagine, my jaw is on the floor. As me and I’m sure many others was thinking, “Is this real life?”. Seconds later, the title Shenmue III is revealed. I think I yelled so loud, people outside was wondering if I was getting attacked. I was getting attacked. but attacked by E3 bombs. It was announced as a kickstarter project but I didn’t care. Just tell me when so I can throw money at my screen. They showed the link and I tried going to it but kickstarter crashed. That’s amazing in itself. It goes on to hit its target goal of 2 million dollars in under a day. As of right now, the kickstarter is funded at $3,778,458. It’s safe to say that me and others have been waiting for this chance for a long time and put our money where our mouth are.
This E3 has been beyond awesome but these 3 announcements made this E3 truly special. 3 games we’ve never thought we would every seen and continue to dream about became a reality. I understand we don’t have solid dates on these titles. I understand that specifically Final Fantasy VII Remake and Shenmue III are probably years away. Just the fact we don’t have to speculate anymore and there is confirmation these are actual projects is all I really needed. This basically captures what I was thinking as we’ve been shown these games in one conference.