The Mind-Blowing Event That Was E3 2015

 

The most hotly-anticipated event in the video gaming world has come and gone for the twentieth time, leaving in its wake a gaggle of fan-boy adoration, critique and hope for the next year of gaming, touted as to be one of the best seen in years. If you haven’t been up to date on the events, announcements and showcases that made up the Electronic Arts Expo (E3) however, don’t worry; here were the best bits of the trade fair!

In terms of huge, ground-breaking releases, E3 was truly a sight to behold! We had DICE’s beautiful-looking Star Wars: Battlefront, where both thrilling co-op and multiplayer game modes were shown in breathtaking detail, and Rainbow 6: The Siege, where players will be given a hearty dose of strategy at a time when many shooter fans are growing tired with the over-the-top, arcade-y approach driven by titles such as Call of Duty.

Then there was the announcement that RPG fans would soon be able to play through a twenty-first-century remake of the utterly popular Final Fantasy 7, plus a remake of the much-derided, but critically-appraised Doom. There was a lot of this sort of nostalgic leaning at E3 2015, with Sony bringing back The Last Guardian (produced by the makers of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus) and kicking off a Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue 3, that despite the exciting prospect, did make one wonder why a tech giant was asking for funding from the public-at-large. Perhaps this is the moment that crowd-funding went corporate?

There wasn’t much shown from the online casino gaming world, a glaring omission given the utter, ever-growing popularity of sites such as Royal Vegas Casino. These sorts of sites, where players are afforded access to virtual versions of casino games, are booming worldwide, with the industry as a whole set to be worth nearly $60 billion by 2018. As such, it’s hard to see why such developers have yet to be invited to E3. Nevertheless, fans of casino thrills will have to wait until the iGaming Super Show later this month in Amsterdam to find out the new developments within this skyrocketing gaming sub-industry.

Fallout 4 was, for many, the highlight of the show. Fans of the series have been waiting for years for RPG-extraordinaire Bethesda to create a new iteration of the utterly popular post-apocalyptic franchise, but were treated with a gloriously long trailer and gameplay reveal that did much to reignite the hype!

Sci-Fi fans were also bestowed with a healthy crop of releases. Mass Effect: Andromeda looked set to continue our love affair with all things alien; Star Fox Zero – unfortunately one of the few Nintendo showcases at E3; and the still-hazy No Man’s Sky, which seems to appear more and more gorgeous every time we ravenously lap up another shred of gameplay footage!

The future of gaming was also spelled out at E3 in two letters – V.R. Facebook’s Oculus, Sony’s Morpheus and Microsoft’s HoloLens were all present, showing the gaming public that gaming is about to get all the more immersive. HoloLens was perhaps the most promising though; instead of taking gamers out of the real world it aims to project the game on to the real world, something that might satiate the fears of those who fear the escapist nature of other headsets.

So with one whole year to wait until E3 2016, what parts of this year’s show did you like most? Let us know your thoughts below!

 

Disney Interactive And Harmonix Announce October 21 Release For Video Game “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” and Plans for E3

Disney Interactive And Harmonix Announce October 21 Release And Unveil New Content For The Award-winning Music And Motion Video Game “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” At The 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
Experience All-New City Realm and the Game’s Narrative Plus Playable Songs from Drake, The Who, and others in Disney Interactive & Microsoft Booths at E3

BURBANK, Calif., June 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Disney Interactive and Harmonix today announce the official release date for the award-winning music and motion video game, “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved,” along with new content to be revealed at this year’s E3. The breakthrough musical motion video game inspired by Disney’s classic animated film “Fantasia,” will be available worldwide for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Kinect for Xbox 360 on October 21, 2014.

At E3, the team will follow last year’s standout performance where it received awards from Game Critics for ‘Best Social/Casual Game,’ GameSpot for ‘Best of E3,’ Polygon for ‘Editor’s Choice,’ and Game Informer for ‘Best Music/Rhythm Game.’ This year’s show will set the stage for new multiplayer gameplay and reveal the latest musical additions, along with a vibrant city realm, “The Neighborhood.”

In “The Neighborhood,” players will work their way through a restrained 2D urban cityscape, using music and magic to unleash a vibrant and magical 3D environment by interacting with billboards, rooftops, trains and other surprises hidden within the city landscape. Through this mind-bending experience, players will watch and listen as their movements create bold colors and whimsical music that make “The Neighborhood” a fantastical adventure.

The latest announced tracks from a range of award-winning artists that will appear in-game include:

Depeche Mode – “Enjoy the Silence”
Drake – “Take Care” (ft. Rihanna)
Tchaikovsky – “The Nutcracker Medley”
Police – “Message in a Bottle”
MIA – “Galang”
The Who – “The Real Me”

Additionally, players will be introduced to Yen Sid’s previous apprentice, Scout, via the game’s narrative, who will guide the player as they perform, transform and create music to restore order to the world.

Featuring over 30 tracks – including contemporary hits, classic rock, classical music, and more – “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” transports players to a breathtaking world where music and magic combine to transform extraordinary interactive landscapes in entirely new and creative ways.

Previously announced tracks for the title include:

AVICII – “Levels”
David Bowie – “Ziggy Stardust”
Antonin Dvorak – “Symphony No. 9 from the New World”
Fun. – “Some Nights”
Peter Gabriel – “In Your Eyes”
Gorillaz – “Feel Good Inc.”
Cee Lo Green – “Forget You”
Elton John – “Rocket Man”
Kimbra – “Settle Down”
Lorde – “Royals”
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven”
Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”
Modest Mussorgsky – “Night on Bald Mountain”
Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”
Antonio Vivaldi – “The Four Seasons: Winter, 1st Movement”

“Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” will be available worldwide on October 21, 2014 with an ESRB rating of E10+ with lyrics descriptor. For additional information about “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved,” join the Facebook community at https://www.facebook.com/fantasiagame, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @FantasiaGame and view all videos on our YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/FantasiaGame.

To play “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” at E3, visit Disney Interactive located in South Hall, booth #2047 and Microsoft located in West Hall, booth #4100.

About Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., based in Cambridge, MA, and established in 1995, is the leading developer of groundbreaking music-oriented videogames. Harmonix was founded by Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, who formed the company to invent new ways for non-musicians to experience the unique joy that comes from making music and have pioneered music and rhythm gaming in the US. For more information please visit www.harmonixmusic.com.

About Disney Interactive
Disney Interactive, one of the world’s largest creators of high-quality interactive entertainment across all platforms, is the part of The Walt Disney Company responsible for the global creation and delivery of interactive entertainment, multi-platform video games, and family-focused content across all current and emerging digital media platforms. Disney Interactive produces and distributes a broad portfolio of content from Disney Interactive Games and Disney Interactive Media. Products and content released and operated by Disney Interactive include blockbuster mobile, social and console games, online virtual worlds, #1 kid’s entertainment destination Disney.com and the #1 Family/Parenting portfolio on the Web.

Disney Interactive is the interactive entertainment part of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS).

Interview with Gary Daniels

When you think of actions movies, you should be thinking about Gary Daniels.  He recently co-starred along side Sylvester Stallone in “The Expendables” and Wesley Snipes in “Game of Death”.  Gary took a few minutes to chat with Movie Mikes about working on his films and what he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how it working with Sylvester Stallone both acting and directing in “The Expendables”?
Gary Daniels: As you can imagine I was kinda excited at the prospect of working with the writer/creator of “Rocky” and the star of “Rambo” and I have to say working with Stallone didn’t disappoint . The man has an incredible energy, whether working out in the gym with him or working on set…the man is full of energy. He is constantly in motion but is very focused.  He knows what he wants, has a clear vision and knows how to get it. As an actor it instills confidence in you when your director is clear about what h e wants and how to go about achieving that result. He is a very intense director but I found him to be very open minded when I had any kind of suggestions about the blocking or the character. I found him to be very inspirational.

MG: What was the most difficult task of working on “The Expendables”?
GD: There wasn’t too much that was difficult about working on “The Expendables”, I have done quite a few action movies now. For me, as someone that has done leads and is used to having a lot of say in the choreography and direction of my fights, I would say the most difficult thing was not having any input in those areas.

MG: Tell us about working on the film “Game of Death”, does Wesley Snipes still have game?
GD: I was hired on “Game of Death” kinda last minute and the script was being re-written as we were shooting…which presented its own challenges. I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to work with Wesley Snipes, but I didn’t get to play the character of Zander the way I would have liked to.  But part of being an actor is being mailable and being able to accept direction, so I always give 100% regardless. It’s always fun playing the bad guy, especially one as ruthless as Zander. Plus its always educational when you have a chance to work with such experienced actors as Robert Davi and Wesley Snipes. Wesley was obviously going through turmoil in his life at the time we were shooting, so whether he bought his A game to the film or not I will let the viewers judge for themselves. He is obviously a talented individual or he wouldn’t have reached such heights in his career.

MG: You reunited with “Expendables” cast Eric Roberts and Steve Austin, in “Hunt to Kill”, tell us about working working on that film and with them again?
GD: Most of my scenes in “The Expendables” were with Steve and Eric, so we spent a lot of time together.  They are both very down to earth and funny guys, so we had a blast together. It was Steve that called me and asked me to work on “Hunt to Kill”, so it was an easy choice to say “Yes”. I didn’t have any scenes with Eric in “Hunt to Kill” but was with Steve most of the time. For a bloke that looks so big and intimidating he is one of the nicest guys you can hope to work with on and off the set. On this film I got to choreograph and shoot a fight between us. It is always a challenge to choreograph for the different kinds of athletes, actors, martial artists that you work with in films and this was no different trying to highlight both of our strengths as we are obviously from very different backgrounds.

MG: How was it working with Steven Seagal in “Submerged”, any cool set stories?
GD: ‘Submerged’ was not one of my favourite experiences, my character was originally very pivotal , but Mr Seagal had other ideas and in the end.  They might as well of hired a stuntman to play the role as all the dialogue and relationship between his and my character was cut. Well every actor has their own vision for their films and being the star of the film you will usually get your way so for me I just get on with it and do the best I can under the given circumstances. Actually most of the cast and crew were from England,  so we all had a blast on and off the set. Nuff said!

MG: Tell us about playing Kenshirô in “Fist of the North Star” and working with Tony Randel?
GD: I was a fan of the anime before I was asked to do the film. So I knew it was gonna be very difficult to translate the anime to live action, especially back in 94 before CGI had been so developed. But I loved the character that I wasn’t about to turn it down. The first challenge for me was the physical one, Kenshiro (like most anime characters) has an awsome, huge physique. So I began a regime of training lifting heavier weights than I had worked with before and went from 180 to 192 lbs. Trouble is we were working such long hours during the summer in a sweltering sound stage with no air conditioning, that as the shoot progressed I slowly lost all that weight as I couldnt get in the gym to maintain. I think Tony had a good vision for the film but he certainly wasn’t into martial arts and didn’t like to shoot the fights. He felt the heart of the story was the love triangle between Kenshiro, Shin and Julia and that by focusing on that it would elevate the film above being a mere ‘martial arts’ film. Personally I think the fans wanted to see Kenshiro kicking ass. Again different visions, but overall I like the film and the way it turned out. The trouble when making an adaptation of an anime or video game is that you have to try to make a film that appeases the hardcore fans but also makes sense to viewers that have no idea about the original source material…not easy.

MG: What has been the most difficult film that you have work on to date?
GD: Every film presents its own challenges. Coming from a martial arts background my hardest challenge is trying to convince producers/directors to take me seriously as an actor so sometimes I end up trying too hard. Then when I choreograph action its tough getting the powers that be to let me control how it is shot and edited. When I do the lead in smaller films, I  wish I could work on bigger films that get more exposure. When you get on bigger films but playing smaller roles,  I miss being involved in the film making process.  The grass is always greener on the other side. Some films you get along with everybody but some there is a clash with other cast members, as I say every film presents their own challenges.

MG: Tell us about some of your upcoming projects?
GD: I just spent three months in Thailand working on the 1st two parts of a trilogy , “The Mark – Light 777” and “The Mark – Bangkok Rising” with Craig Scheffer and Eric Roberts…yes Eric again. The 3rd part will be shot in Europe this summer. Next up will be the lead in a MMA project called “Forced to Fight”. I am also waiting to hear on a bigger project that goes this summer but its not locked so I don’t wanna say too much right now. I am training hard and reading scripts ,so as always in this business the future is never easy to plan.

Interview with Robin Thorsen

Robin Thorsen is known for her funny and lovable character Clara on the web series “The Guild”.  The web series is entering in season five this summer and is hotter than ever!  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Robin about working on the series and about her character.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with “The Guild”
Robin Thorsen: I found the casting call online on Actors Access and it just said “The Guild: Pilot”.  The role of Clara [laughs] actually said “ex-cheerleader, fairly ditsy, kind of neglectful mother in an enduring way”. I said say “Hey I can play that!” [laughs].  I went to the audition and there were a lot of older women there, and I was the youngest person.  But I just went in and I guess I did something to make Felicia (Day) like me. It was actually my first big audition since I graduated college, so it was pretty sweet!

MG: What is the thing about Clara that you love the most?
RT: I think the best is… let’s face it she is a neglectful mom [laughs].  She does it though in such a funny endearing way..you have to like her. I loved playing a character that is almost borderline taboo.   She is a mom and she drinks.   She also chooses the game over her kids but at the end of the day, she is this lovable character.

MG: Do you have a favorite season to date?
RT: I think the past two seasons have been quite fun.  We got a bigger budget.  I got to work with Amy (Okuda) in this past season.  It is always best to get to act with the rest of the cast then oppose to trying to act in front of a computer.  I think season four was written exquisitely.  It was so much fun and we got to see how Clara deals with her pregnancy and kind of forgets about it for the first half [laughs], then realizes she shouldn’t do that. Every time we get to work together it is a lot of fun.

MG: Do you find it easy or difficult working on the web series?
RT: “The Guild” has really been the only thing I have done.  I have a done a few guest spots on other web series and a little tiny movie.  It is a little stressful because we have to do so much in such a small amount of time but I love it.  I love being able to go to work and flushing out two or three episodes.  You also kind of at that borderline stress mentality because…you don’t wanna fuck up. Sean (Becker), our director is amazing.  Felicia is so great.  Everything we film I get worried if I am doing the lines right and Felicia always says we wouldn’t move on if it wasn’t good or you didn’t look good.  It is really nurturing and always a good experience filming.  It great to see how this show has come along from being produced from a PayPal account to now being produced by Microsoft.

MG: Tell us about working on the music videos, was it a blast?
RT: Yeah! Of course…What would happen if I actually said, No they were awful, I can’t believe I am part of that [laughs].  No, they were tons of fun to do.  The Bollywood “Game On” video was a little long for me, I was there all day.  Vincent (Caso) and I had to shoot our porition at night.  So our call time was really early and then we were just hanging out.  It was really neat though because I got to see everyone else film.  I really [laughs] don’t have a lot to do in these videos.  I am usually sitting down drinking something [laughs].  That is the extend usually of my participation.  I love being part of them. It just more exposure for the show…and us for that matter. People have come up to me and said “Oh my gosh, your in that music video” and I am just shocked.

MG: What can let us know about upcoming season five?
RT: Oh my gosh, I am stocked about it.  I wish I had information to tell you but I am in the dark. I know they are doing pre-production now.  I am thinking we are going to do some sort of a convention thing due to the end of season four. I can’t wait to get the script and read it and find out what crazy antics we get into.

MG: What else do you have upcoming?
RT: I actually just guest starred on another web series called “Awkward Embraces”.  It is really funny and witty. Jessica Mills is the brain child behind it. It is another kind of nerdy geek girl centered web series, which is awesome.  In the TV world you don’t get many of those.  I am excited to be apart of it.

Interview with Jeff Lewis

Jeff Lewis is known best for his role of Vork in the incredible successful web series “The Guild”.  The series is already approaching season five this summer.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Jeff about his role in the show and how is it working on the web series.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with “The Guild”?
Jeff Lewis: I was in an improv group with Felicia Day called the Empty Stage. We had been doing improv for quite some time and had a lot of fun. Felicia called me one day with a part in the show that she thought I would be good for. I had never played that type of character before but Felicia thought I could do it.

MG: What is the best part of playing Vork?
JL: I really enjoy being able to play a character that is different from the other roles that I have played. I often play shy characters however this one is very much the opposite. I just really enjoy being able to act out different emotions.

MG: Do you find it difficult to work on a web series?
JL: I find it much more freeing. I think in other mediums like movies and television I wouldn’t have the chance to just throw out different ideas due to time and money constraints. Working on this web series has allowed me to offer different ideas as well as the directors to take their time and really get the shots that they want. It’s really great to know that once we move onto another scene the directors have exactly what they want and they aren’t just moving on due to certain restrictions. There just seems to be a lot more latitude in the web series medium.

MG: Outside of the show are you really into any MMORPG?
JL: I used to play a lot of World of Warcraft up until my son was born. Felicia and I used to have a Knight of Guild on the World of Warcraft server (Laughs).  Lately I have been playing games that have more of an ending like Call of Duty: Black Ops or some sports games.

MG: What is the best part of shooting the music videos?
JL: It was kind of a pain to have eight arms but really funny at the same time. Ten years ago I would have never thought that I would be doing a music video where I had eight arms (Laughs). It was another great experience and again it was just one of those things that I had never done before. I really have no singing ability but to be a part of music videos is great.

MG: What can you tell us about season five?
JL: I know some stuff that they are thinking of doing however I don’t think I can really say anything about it.  I do know that there will be a season five. I think we will probably start shooting it here in the next few months.

MG: Tell us about “The Jeff Lewis 5 Minute Comedy Hour”?
JL: I shot that during a break from “The Guild”. Our director came to me and asked if I had anything I wanted to shoot as he had some free time. I had a bunch of older sketches that I presented to him and he thought they were great. I got some of my friends to be in it and it’s really been great. We have two episodes left to shoot for season one and we hope to get some sponsorship so we can start shooting season two.

MG: What other projects do you have in the works?
JL: I have a stage show with a few people from “The Guild” called “Hammer Don’t Hurt’Em” that we do on a monthly basis in Los Angeles which is really great! If people are in the area they should definitely come and check it out.