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About Judy

As WP's managing editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.


WorthPlaying's Best of E3 2015 - Finalists

by Judy on June 25, 2015 @ 12:15 a.m. PDT

After nominating 20 games, WorthPlaying staffers agreed upon the top four finalists for the "Best of E3 2015" awards! Read on to see the best games at this year's show!

WorthPlaying's Best of E3 2015 - Finalists
(in alphabetical order)

Guitar Hero Live (WiiU/PS4/PS3/XOne/X360)
Guitar Hero Live isn't shaping up to just be another game of the series; it's like a full-on reboot. The first indication is the new controller, which has a button arrangement that allows for more interesting gameplay. It also more closely resembles the finger movements that you use when playing a real guitar, while still being approachable thanks to the difficulty setting choices. I picked up the controller for the first time and immediately began having a blast.

Just as importantly, the game seems to allow for a better degree of experiencing new music thanks to the TV mode. As different playlists come on the mode's channels in real time, you can play the songs, whether you own them or not. This mode also yields tokens to play songs in the entire game catalog for free. It seems like the title is becoming a great way to experience music both new and familiar, and isn't that what a music game should be all about?- Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (PSV)
There were a lot of interesting RPGs at E3 2015, but The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel was one of the strongest of the show. It's hard to show off an RPG on the show floor, but Trails managed to showcase a lot of cool content. The combat system has a ton of depth and a lot of flexibility. Taking full advantage of turn-based combat to allow players to manipulate the party composition and turn orders, Trails of Cold Steel has the potential to be an engaging and fast-paced RPG.

The presentation also looks top-notch, and the plot is surprisingly interesting and engrossing, as it deals with conflicts between social classes and the difficulties of a war-torn country. The soundtrack is also an amazing Falcom offering with tons of great music. Trails of Cold Steel is looking to be one of the must-have RPGs in the upcoming year. - Chris "Atom" DeAngelus

Mad Max (PS4/XOne/PC)
I've always thought it a small tragedy that Mad Max never really had an established video game that stuck in the minds of everyone. I remember actually having conversations with my brother about the kind of game it could be: a cool, multi-genre mix of action and road combat. So, in a way, the Mad Max demo was the proverbial dream come true to play. It felt like a take-my-money cocktail of Batman, Just Cause and Shadow of Mordor.

I did some fighting on foot, of course, but what really sucked me in was trying to take down a convoy in my customized ride of death. It felt free — no buildings, guardrails, pedestrians or other annoying obstacles to get in the way. You could afford to rush around without having the mission end because you hit a fire hydrant. The game carried the rush of aerial dogfighting — except I'm in a car that can shoot flames and explosive harpoons with a deformed mechanic as my co-pilot. No other demo gave me the chance to fire a harpoon into the door of an opposing vehicle, yank it off, and then either shoot the bastard inside or send him flying with another well-targeted harpoon pull. This is after I witnessed some incredibly satisfying and fiery car explosions. I generally see driving as a chore in open-world games. Mad Max made it one of the most fun parts of the show. - Redmond Carolipio

Mighty No. 9 (3DS/WiiU/PSV/PS4/PS3/XOne/X360/PC)
I had known intellectually that Mighty No. 9 was a Mega Man sequel in all but name, as Keiji Inafune's hilarious up-yours to both Capcom and the modern Japanese development scene, but there's a difference between that and hands-on experience.

Deep Silver had what looked like a near-complete version of the game available for play at E3 2015, and the company let it stand on its own, unpoliced by PR people or developers; you could just sit down and plow through a few levels in a row on your own. It's instantly accessible, mixing the stage design and controls of the core Mega Man series with a few new mechanics and the storytelling style of the Mega Man X games, and the entire package is a master class on why those games simply worked. It's fast, smooth, and well planned, with a host of additional features and a modern approach to an old design, with Beck's mid-air dash serving as both a weapon and a source of additional mobility.

There was a lot of nostalgia on display at E3, between retro packages that were blatant cash runs or attempts to reignite old franchises and Kickstarted indie projects that deliberately recall games that developers grew up playing. Mighty No. 9 is very much a nostalgia project, but it lacks much of the cynicism that I typically associate with that label. It uses a firm grounding in the past as a starting point, rather than the entirety of its point, and develops from there.

Mighty No. 9 got my finalist nod because it's a summer festival of reasons why I continue to pursue this hobby as an adult. - Thomas Wilde

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