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My experience with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at E3 wasn't very epic or heroic. Most of my time was spent orienting myself within the game's environment. I dashed through some trees and climbed a few rocks, scouring for food and killing Moblins here and there. After one of the booth workers introduced me to fast travel, I teleported to a tower and promptly ran off it and died. Twice. All of this while Link only wore a pair of underwear.

But though my Breath of the Wild story mainly consists of accidental suicides and aimless meandering, it is still my story. Others roasted apples, some climbed mountains, and a lucky few even stumbled upon bosses. No demo was like the other; each player's adventure was uniquely their own. Everybody had their own story to tell after playing the E3 demo. Strike that. Those fortunate enough to land a spot in the game's seven-hour line had their own story to tell. The allure of a singular experience is what made The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the breakout title of E3 2016, and it has also reinvigorated my adoration for this fabled franchise.

When the first-person shooter craze died down, it was inevitable that some genre would rise up and take its place. That is indeed what happened as open-world games—the ones in the vein of Assassin's Creed, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Watch Dogs—burst on the gaming scene, and developers rapidly took notice. Even the Zelda franchise received the open-world treatment during E3, much to the delight of fans worldwide (though it may be argued that the open-world convention of Breath of the Wild is merely a return to traditions past).

The consequence is that one metric of apparent quality has risen just as fast: how large is the game's map? Witcher 3 and Fallout 4 were heavily scrutinized based on the sizes of the in-game worlds, gameplay and design choices notwithstanding. Likewise, people have speculated far and wide concerning the world size of the hotly anticipated Breath of the Wild, with some claiming it's as large as 170 square miles. However, this beckons the question: just how important are map sizes?

Many Nintendo fans were delighted to hear in January that Intelligent Systems, the team behind Paper Mario, was working on a new game in the beloved series for Wii U. But when it was formally revealed under the name Paper Mario: Color Splash, that joy turned to disappointment for some and outrage for others.

The first two games in the series—Paper Mario for Nintendo 64 and GameCube's Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door—are where many of its fans began. They were traditional RPGs with an inventive battle system and interesting story elements, all topped off by a unique kicker: everything in the world was made of paper. Super Paper Mario was an oddity, and then Sticker Star is where the issue truly began.

Resident Evil and survival-horror were once virtually synonymous, but Capcom's beloved franchise saw a distinct shift in gameplay with Resident Evil 4, and each main series entry since has been more and more action-focused. While this helped popularize the series and attract new fans, it also left many veteran players feeling alienated. Capcom took note of fan frustration when Resident Evil 6 received lukewarm reviews and undersold expectations, and they promised to do more to appeal to their core base.

As such, I was intrigued (but skeptical) when a reliable source leaked that a horror-focused Resident Evil VII would appear at E3 this year. While I trusted the source, I couldn't wrap my head around the idea of Capcom truly taking the series back to its horror roots. I fully expected Capcom to take a half-measure, scaling the action back to the level of Resident Evil 4 or perhaps Resident Evil: Revelations, but I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. Based on what we've seen so far, Capcom is making a real effort to welcome in horror fans with open arms.

Every E3 comes and goes making huge waves with some of gamers' most anticipated titles, but if there's one scene in gaming flourishing brighter than ever before, it's independent game development. This year several of us from Gamnesia had the opportunity to play a wide variety of indie games on the show floor, and four of us decided to come together to highlight our personal favorite games from E3 2016. Head inside to read all about them!

You may have heard of development studio CD Projekt Red for their work on the open-world The Witcher series. Taking many game of the year awards, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt was released on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and received an astounding amount of positive reception. Now the developer is taking an interest in Nintendo's newest system, code named NX.

Read more after the jump!

Jakks Pacific has produced toys for Nintendo for a while, and their recent announcement extends the toy line into the rest of 2016. Currently there are three installments, one coming this summer, another in September, and a third during the winter. The figures include characters from the Super Mario, Pikmin, Metroid, Animal Crossing, and Splatoon franchises. This current schedule is only for the 2.5 inch figures, so it's possible we may see different figures released in the upcoming months. Some are currently available at smaller toy retailers; although, it's expected they will arrive at big-box stores in the near future.

Make the jump for the full list of figures!

Nintendo's Virtual Console platforms are an incredible solution for longtime gamers who want to relive their beloved memories as well as younger gamers or would like to go back and see the games that started some of today's most beloved series. The latter, in fact, is exactly what we got from a listener question in a recent episode of Nintendo Week, our Nintendo-themed podcast here at Gamnesia. "Say I could only play five Virtual Console games on Wii U or 3DS," Caleb Villa asks, "which ones should I play?"

Check out the discussion video after the jump for our full discussions about these (and more) incredible titles and why you should play each one, or keep reading for our short lists!

Update: Happy April Fools, everyone!

Being a former president of the United States of America gives you a lot of insight that most people don't have. This is, after all, why I am Gamnesia's go-to guy when it comes to politics and national affairs. We don't talk about politics here often, but they do affect all of us, whether we want to pay attention to them or not. Things like regulations and judicial processes affect the day-to-day operations of every game developer and publisher in a myriad of ways, and the people we put in elected office are the ones that write and enforce laws. So, naturally, it stands that even a humble gaming blog like Gamnesia would have a stake in the upcoming presidential election.

With that aside, I would like to take this opportunity to present my endorsement for Donald Trump.

If you follow our indie coverage here at Gamnesia, chances are you've heard of an upcoming game called YIIK: A Postmodern RPG. Created by Ackk Studios, the team behind action-RPG Two Brothers, YIIK is a mystery RPG set in 1999 that was inspired by the cancelled EarthBound 64.

Ackk Studio's sophomore title is launching in February or March on Steam, PlayStation 4, Vita, and Wii U, and they've supplied us with a demo of the game's "Wind Town" setting before launch. I was intrigued by the game's trailers, but I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Having thoroughly played the demo, I still have a lot of questions, and that's a good thing. You can check out my impressions by clicking below.

The following is an entry in "Growth of a Gamer," a series of articles exploring the profound ways that video games can touch people's lives. For more information and more great content, you can check out the series' hub page! Until then, please enjoy "Pokémon: Just Another Game."

As someone who's poured enough hours into video games to write several novels, it's funny to think that I fell in love with them purely by accident. My seminal experiences with interactive entertainment weren't particularly memorable. I vaguely recall my dad trying out an action-adventure game on our brand-new Xbox, while my six-year old self observed from afar, perplexed by the incoherent movements on screen. My sparse shelf was populated by mediocre titles such as Superman: The Man of Steel and Zapper: One Wicked Cricket; ultimately, these hackneyed experiences aroused little more than a casual interest in gaming. If you told me that "immersive interactive experiences" existed back then, I'd give you a puzzled look and think nothing more of it.

But there was still a strange allure to the supermarket video game aisles that managed to filter past my decidedly average gaming exploits. I'd wander into these relatively abandoned spaces, enthralled by flashy box art characters that seemed all too willing to snatch me from my reality into theirs. They were quite the motley bunch—among them, a mustachioed Italian plumber, a shorts-touting fox with a ridiculous grin, and a spunky gang of Japanese teens on rollerblades. One of the boxes, Pokémon FireRed Version, caught my attention. I locked eyes with the blazing orange dragon on the cover, and that's when my journey began. Head inside to keep reading!

The following is an entry in "Growth of a Gamer," a series of articles exploring the profound ways that video games can touch people's lives. For more information and more great content, you can check out the series' hub page! Until then, please enjoy "World of Woecraft."

"I_eat_suckas_for_breakfast" was supposed to be the name of the first character I ever witnessed in the World of Warcraft. I remember that afternoon in fourth grade clearly. My friend Max had tried to give that name to a Night Elf Druid, only to discover that underscores were not valid name characters… so we had to settle for "Ieatsuckas."

It was the spring of 2007, and the first World of Warcraft expansion was just released: Burning Crusade. Until that afternoon, the extent of my experience with video games came from a good old GameCube, which had somehow managed to survive four years of being played for several hours a week. Now, here I was in Max’s apartment, watching him as he showed me basic combat on his Night Elf character. I watched, doe eyed, as Ieatsuckas went from zone to zone in this virtual world. There were three whole continents here: Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, and Outland, each with dozens of zones to explore and endless nooks and crannies. As Max retold the events of the first three Warcraft games, my imagination ran wild. For days afterward, I would watch playthroughs and read fan theories all centered around the Warcraft universe. Head inside to keep reading.

The following is an entry in "Growth of a Gamer," a series of articles exploring the profound ways that video games can touch people's lives. For more information and more great content, you can check out the series' hub page! Until then, please enjoy "Portal to a New Phase of Life."

For the majority of my adolescence, I only owned Nintendo consoles and was, for lack of a better term, a complete Nintendo fanboy. The Wii was my jam. Never could I see myself owning a non-Nintendo console or playing one of those violent video games I associated with those other consoles. But when I bought Valve’s The Orange Box and played through Portal for the first time, I didn’t really know what to expect—and I loved it. I ended up playing through Portal many times, making it through the AI antagonist GLaDOS’s devious test chambers and Aperture Science’s abandoned research facilities with as much enthusiasm as the first time. Head inside to keep reading!

The following is an entry in "Growth of a Gamer," a series of articles exploring the profound ways that video games can touch people's lives. For more information and more great content, you can check out the series' hub page! Until then, please enjoy "Swinging Forward with Spider-Man 2."

Back in 2004, my family was living in Hidden Valley, a small community in Lake County, California. It was like a wet dream for a retired dentist from the 50s; it was a small, quiet town with houses spread sparsely across the valley. Its most exciting features were simply one grocery store, two small restaurants, and a video rental store. Clearly a village so remote is a thrilling place to live for any hyperactive child, but somehow I was not a big fan of it. There were few kids around me that I could play with, and when I could, we were still trapped by the boundaries of our homes. Even when we could escape, I never felt welcome outside. There were a few other Latino families like mine, but the town could never connect with me in a genuine way. The town felt artificial, prescribed, as if to maintain an illusion that the problems of the outside world did not apply to them.

I was abandoned on an uncharted island, and the television screen was my only portal away. I often played games based on the shows and movies that I would watch on TV. But one title helped me escape the confines of Hidden Valley into a new world of possibilities: Spider-Man 2: The Game. Head inside to keep reading!

The following is an entry in "Growth of a Gamer," a series of articles exploring the profound ways that video games can touch people's lives. For more information and more great content, you can check out the series' hub page! Until then, please enjoy "Pikmin: On the Importance of Little Things."

The DK Nature Encyclopedia wasn’t exactly a classic of children’s literature, but I would spend hours flipping through its pages all the same, tracing glossy photos of star-nosed moles and rock hyraxes and blue-footed boobies. I carried this book everywhere, including on my monthly sojourn to Blockbuster (a now extinct specimen of video rental stores). There, the flashiest games would croon at me from their shelves, their titles so full of energy they looked ready to burst with excitement: Super Smash Bros. Melee! Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Sonic Adventure 2 Battle! Wham! Ka-pow! Wowza! But one month, with my encyclopedia tucked firmly in the crook of my arm, I wandered away from these brighter and bolder titles and towards the sale bin, unsure of what I was looking for until I found it. The game should have been buried under the riot of color surrounding it, but my eye slid to it the way a stone might roll into the valley between mountains. No corona of light crowned it as I dug it out. No fanfare erupted as I turned it over in my hands. It just smiled, the ways games smile, and showed me a name written in flowers: PIKMIN.

I went back home, popped the disc into my console, and waited for the Nintendo logo to fade as I hugged my encyclopedia to my knees; I would need it, if I encountered something strange on my journey. This was new, uncharted territory, and I had to be ready for anything. Head inside to keep reading!