It’s D23 weekend! And earlier Disney had their first games panel. As you might expect in a panel for a convention not focused on video games, there were a couple of nice small surprises, but nothing mindblowing. I’m going to give some brief thoughts on the things I thought were worth discussing from the presentation (not surprisingly this won’t include much talk about updates for mobile games that already exist which was like half the panel):
Look, I loved Gargoyles in the 90s. Still enjoy it quite a bit today. But remastering the somewhat mediocre Genesis game based on the show as a solo release instead of say including it in a retro collection with a bunch of other older Disney games is a… bold choice I suppose? Hopefully, “Remaster” actually means hey we looked at this game and made it significantly better rather than just hey we splashed an HD paint job on it and called it a day. Retro re-releases and collections have generally been stellar as of late so let’s cross our fingers this doesn’t buck the trend.
Avatar Reckoning is the only mobile game mentioned at the event that I really feel like discussing, and not for good reason. I can keep an open mind on mobile games, I’ve gotten into a few for varying periods of time and hey Avatar Reckoning is not yet another gatcha rpg so I’ll at least give it that. However, the emphasis on being a shooter and specifically the focus on guns seems super anti-Avatar to me.
Plus mobile shooters generally just aren’t very good because you know, mobile. Sure you can get a controller but as I’ve stated before I play on mobile to play mobile games, adding a controller adds unnecessary bulk and I certainly can’t play it everywhere like that which is supposed to be the advantage of mobile. I’ll still certainly give Avatar Reckoning a shot when it drops on mobile possibly later this year (still listed as “coming soon”) but not expecting a good experience.
Despite the fact that I am very much not a fan of Tron as a cinematic franchise, the games have a pretty good record overall. A new visual novel game based on Tron from the same developers that gave us really unique stuff like Thomas Was Alone and John Wick Hex certainly piques my curiosity so I’ll be pretty interested to check it out when it hits sometime next year.
I was glad to see that for most platforms, Midnight Suns is still coming out this year, and honestly pushing it to December, when virtually no other big games will be releasing might’ve been the best move as opposed to a really crowded October. Rumors abound that the card mechanic was being abandoned but it’s clear that it’s a huge and integral part of the game. We’ll see if that’s a good thing when it comes out, but in a year already heavy with good RPGs and specifically turn-based strategy RPGs, I’m still pretty excited for Midnight Suns as it looks like a good way to cap off the year.
I’ve only had it for a few days, but I am really enjoying Disney Dreamlight Valley. So to hear that we are getting a pretty significant update later this year is great. It seems like you’ll be able to play as Buzz or Woody and be toy-sized which could make a huge difference in gameplay. Disney Dreamlight Valley is shaping up to be one of the most pleasant surprises of this year. I’ll talk about it more in my next blog post when I’ve gotten more time in with it.
Illusion Island was the biggest and most pleasant surprise of the entire panel for me, personally. This is the kind of thing I’ve been talking about where Disney should utilize their characters outside of their big acquired franchises like Star Wars and Marvel. Illusion Island looks incredibly fun and the exact right fit for Mickey and friends. Hopefully, it has online co-op and some replayability but even as a one-and-done short experience it could be great as well. This is the most exciting game of the whole presentation for me.
As for Skydance Media’s new Marvel Ensemble game, one that they made sure to specifically promote as a big deal for this panel, this incredibly brief look at an untitled game with little more than a concept trailer was truly disappointing. Captain America and Black Panther fighting Hydra? Cool beans. Who are these other two people I don’t care about? Granted you can probably just introduce anyone who is Dora Milaje and they will be instantly cool so that can potentially work. This soldier dude, I don’t care if he’s a Howlin Commando or even Bucky Barnes in his pre-Winter Soldier days, just looks way, way out of place and frankly way out of his league with everyone else in this photo.
Given there wasn’t even a title or release year this is clearly a ways off and a lot could change but this is not a great start and then why did Disney even promote this as a big deal when this is all we got to see of it?
And that’s pretty much my thoughts on most of the games presented at the D23 gaming showcase. D23 is going strong all weekend long and while I won’t be writing about the other stuff I’ll be sure to be checking it out along with all the other Disney fans. As for my next post I am definitely going to be talking in-depth about the newest big Disney game, Disney Dreamlight Valley next week after I’ve had some time with it but my early opinion is super positive overall so hopefully that will not change in a few more days. See ya real soon!