Hi everyone! With all the major presentations finished and only a day left in the show (stealth announcements notwithstanding), I want to recap and talk about this year’s E3 with you all. Despite being a freelance newswriter in the games industry, I once again couldn’t afford to go to the show on my budget. Instead, I got to perform my usual E3 ritual of sitting down in front of my PC with a 40oz, pulling up the different press conference streams, and exchanging predictions and reactions with some friends who hate themselves enough to do the same. Now I want to ask you about your reactions to E3 2017, but with less alcohol and cringing.

Let’s start with a brief recap of the presentations and announcements: Nintendo won by default, the end.

But in all seriousness, the press conferences this year were largely disappointing. I won’t talk about EA’s usual crop of sportsball games since I have no basis for judgement, but that extended look at Need for Speed: Payback gave me some really bad NFS: The Run vibes. A racing game with another story-focused campaign and material ripped straight from Fast & Furious didn’t get me excited at all. I was kinda disappointed that A Way Out can only be played in co-op, but I’m at least interested to see what the creator of a great game like Brothers has in mind. The new Battlefront II looked like... well, the old Battlefront II, which is a good thing compared to that previous game.

Microsoft did the best they could with what they had at their conference. It certainly wasn’t a bad press conference, but they needed to deal with Xbox’s lack of exclusives and sell a console at the same time, and they were fighting an uphill battle from the start. They actually teased a number of interesting exclusives and timed exclusives, including Cuphead, The Artful Escape, The Last Night, an Ori sequel, Crackdown 3 and plenty of reveals for other new games. But slapping that $500 price tag on them all at the end made me wonder why people wouldn’t just put that money towards a PC and play them on Windows 10. I know that’s what I’ll be doing with Cuphead, Ori and Crackdown 3, even though we didn’t get any substantial new info about those games from what was shown. My Xbox One has become a glorified doorstop these days.

I think Bethesda and Sony tied for the weakest show. Other than finally announcing Wolfenstein II with that unexpectedly good trailer, Bethesda didn’t present anything to be interested or excited about, especially not for me. Sony (yay, they’re remastering Shadow of the Colossus once again) didn’t exactly outdo themselves either. I can’t really think of a single thing I was hyped for from the PlayStation conference, and that Batman-esque, quicktime-filled Spider-Man trailer only made me lose hope for that game. There were some other, slightly better trailers and info off the stage, but nothing that blew my mind.

Ubisoft, on the other hand, “revealed” that strange game that we all knew about already: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, a.k.a. Mario + Rabbids + XCOM. I’ve been intrigued by the absurdity of this game since it was first rumored months ago, and after watching Treehouse’s gameplay of it, I was pleasantly surprised and even interested in playing it once it comes out. But you know what game I’m NOT interested in playing anymore, after years of waiting? Beyond Good & Evil 2. I have no idea what they’re trying to do with the tone of this game, between the already annoying characters and the constant use of the word “***”. That unbearable trailer oozed almost as much edginess as the Life Is Strange prequel, except it tries and fails to be funny instead of trying and failing to be serious.

But let’s get to the topic at hand: what we're most hyped about from E3 2017. Nintendo, for the first time in years, had a solid showing both during and after the Direct. Super Mario Odyssey, Metroid Prime 4 (developed by god knows who), Metroid: Samus Returns, a remake of Superstar Saga, new Kirby and Yoshi games, and more. Even the Zelda DLC looked cool. I’m not a fan of the direction Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is going for a few reasons, but that’s really my biggest complaint. Unless you count the fact that there was no F-Zero. Seriously, even a remaster of GX that I could spend another couple hundred hours on would have been appreciated.

All things considered, though, I think the thing that I'm most hyped about this year would have to be Metroid: Return of Samus, despite the fact that Odyssey probably deserves my attention more. Don’t get me wrong - everything about Odyssey seems awesome, and in terms of design, it’s already learning from Mario history and making some extremely smart choices. Still, Metroid II was one of the first video games I ever owned, but it was never really a great game in the first place. I played and enjoyed AM2R last year, but I thought it could have used even more reworking - which is hopefully just what Samus Returns will be. Two announced Metroid games also reaffirms Nintendo’s faith in the series and its fans, and I want to support that decision. Oh, and Kingdom Hearts III. That trailer made it look like an actual video game.

So what about you? What’s gotten you the most excited over the past few days of nonstop video game news? How did you react to the press conferences and other announcements? Are you specifically hyped about something I didn’t mention myself? Do you agree with my interpretations of the things I did mention? Comment and tell me!