Robbie’s E3 Top Five


Perhaps the biggest event in the video game community kicked off over the weekend in Los Angeles. The annual E3 convention took place with developers from across the video game world taking the stage to unveil their newest projects to gamers across the globe.

EA kicked things off on Saturday with their own EA Play event then the actual E3 event began with Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and others all showcasing their next batch of great content for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a casual gamer or playing for hours a day, there was something for everyone at this year’s expo.

For myself personally, there was A LOT of reveals and new information for games I play regularly. After watching all the conferences and reading all the details about the upcoming year of games, I settled on my top five best games from this year’s E3.

Battlefield V

Publisher: EA

Platforms: PS4, Xbox 1, PC

Release Date: October 19, 2018

About two weeks before EA Play rolled around, Battlefield V was revealed with a trailer but very few details about the gameplay. Now, thanks to their portion of the EA press conference, we have more details about the game along with another trailer.

Battlefield V will jump ahead in time but still remain in the past with a World War 2 setting. It’s predecessor, Battlefield 1, took the franchise back to World War 1 after fans clamored for trip back in time after years of futuristic shooters.

Much of what made BF1 so successful will carry over to BFV and in some cases on a much grander scale. The development team announced they will be telling the untold stories from the Second World War and the new trailer shows gameplay from a map based in Norway.

We will surely learn more information about BFV in the coming months leading up to its release in October. From what we have seen and heard so far, I am very excited to see what EA does in a World War 2 setting.

Fifa 19

Publisher: EA Sports

Platforms: PS4, Xbox 1, PC

Release Date: September 28, 2018

For years, EA Sports’ FIFA series has been the premier soccer video game on the market. From its licensing to its gameplay, no one could keep up. The only thing that was missing was the premier club soccer competition in the world, the UEFA Champions League.

FIFA’s biggest competitor, Pro Evolution Soccer, held the exclusive Champions League license. To compensate, FIFA had the “European Cup” in their game but it never had the feel of an actual Champions League match. Generic logos, fake trophy, and worst of all no famous Champions League music.

That’s all changing now because EA Sports snagged the exclusive Champions League license and will have the competition in its signature title beginning in September with FIFA 19. The game’s reveal trailer dropped during EA Play and it features all the sights and sounds of a Champions League match.

As someone who may have been on the fence regarding this year’s FIFA game, this news puts me firmly in the “must buy” camp. Developers also revealed the game will feature a special Champions League tournament mode where players can customize their own tournament and play through to the championship match.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: PS4, Xbox 1, PC

Release Date: March 15, 2019

When I saw the news Ubisoft was releasing a new Division game I was somewhat surprised. Their first installment of the series was plagued with bugs and never received the hype many thought it would.

Personally, I was a big fan of the first game and I’m glad to see a sequel forthcoming. I am admittedly not a huge fan of co-op games but there is enough single player activities to keep me invested in the long run.

Division 2 will head to Washington D.C. where the virus from the first game has spread and the nation’s capital is in shambles. You and your fellow Division agents must work together to take back the city and save it from the brink of collapse.

Developers also revealed all new content for the game will be free during the first year, meaning no season pass for The Division 2 and that is a welcome change for all gamers.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: PS4, Xbox 1, PC

Release Date: October 5, 2018

I have been an avid Assassin’s Creed player since the first game debuted all the way back in 2007. Over the past decade the series has taken players through the Middle East, Renaissance Italy, Constantinople (Modern day Istanbul), The American Revolution, pirating in the Caribbean, the French Revolution, Industrial Revolution London, and Ancient Egypt.

Last year’s edition of the game, Assassin’s Creed Origins, was the earliest dated game in the franchise going back to the days of Pharaohs and Kings in Ancient Egypt. This year’s game, titled Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, will go back even further to Ancient Greece in the 5th century B.C.E.

For the first time you will be able to choose your player, a man or woman, and play through the whole game as that character. The game will also be more of a true RPG than in the past where the decision you make actively influence the storyline of the game.

As a hardcore Assassin’s Creed fan, this new edition of the game has me excited. Exploring different periods and different places has always been a fascination of mine. Going back to Ancient Greece and interacting with the great philosopher Socrates or training as a Spartan means I’m all in on this title.

Super Smash Brothers

Publisher: Nintendo

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: December 7, 2018

If you have ever listened to our podcast you will have heard us talk about our desire to have a Super Smash Bros. game for the switch. Our prayers were answered in March when Nintendo announced the game was coming to their newest console.

At E3, Nintendo took it a step further with a full showcase dedicated to the upcoming game due out in December. They revealed the full roster of characters and it is everyone you expect to see in a respectable Smash Bros. game. Over 60 playable characters were revealed with some new faces joining the fray.

We also got a sneak peek at some gameplay and from what was shown it looks absolutely stunning. From our brief look, this appears to be everything we hoped for and more. Based on the reactions from the online community this is a game everyone will be rushing to grab on release day.

After months and months of hoping and praying Smash Bros. would come to the Switch, it’s nice to see Nintendo superseded even our wildest expectations for the game.

What Else I Liked

  • Bethesda gaming studio announced a new Elder Scrolls game is in development.
  • I don’t own an Xbox but Halo has always been a favorite of mine and the new game looks impressive.
  • The same goes for the newest Forza game.
  • Sony looks to have another winner in The Last of Us 2.
  • Nintendo hit a home run with the Smash Bros. reveal but don’t sleep on Mario Party.
  • Ubisoft’s Skull and Bones was nice to look at and is a game I could see myself jumping in to.
  • Improvements to Star Wars Battlefront 2 are welcome but perhaps too late to save it.
  • News of a single player driven Star Wars game made me feel all sorts of ways. Too bad we have to wait until holiday 2019.

Picking just five games from this year’s E3 conference was extremely difficult. It’s a good thing Rockstar didn’t show up and just play footage from Red Dead Redemption 2 because that’s all I would have talked about.

One thing is clear though, whatever your gaming tastes are, the next year of video game releases is going to have something for everyone. It’s safe to say, the video game industry may be better than its ever been before.


A different kind of reset button


The guaranteed part of any big or life-changing journey is the unexpected obstacles that you encounter along the way.

This is not a post about the obstacles. It’s not a post about overcoming or enduring obstacles. It’s simply about rallying oneself to focusing on the original task – in my case, a better life through lower numbers on a scale.

When I purchased my scale in June and synced it to an app on my iPhone, the first weigh-in saw a much larger number than the one on the display at the top of this post. For those who were just going to ask anyway, about 38 pounds higher than the pictured readout. It was an embarrassing number which left me no choice but to blame myself.

It also left me no choice but to make changes.

When I’d tell people what the number was, there was shock. Most couldn’t believe that number. I guess being 6-foot-4 has its advantages when people honestly were stunned at the number I had reported. 

By the time that I had bought the scale, I had already restarted regular trips to a gym for about a week. I had already made alterations to my diet. I had cut soda. Almost all sweets. I even chose options at restaurants that were borderline healthy. From June 5, 2017 to June 5, 2018, I was going to somehow get to 185 pounds, or as close as I could.

The number – albeit a crazy one – was never the true goal. That true goal was progress and the promise that I’d get to the goal number eventually, even if not by the date I had set, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of my high school graduation.

(No, there are no plans to show up at any sort of reunion and brag about the lost weight if I hit my goal. It was just an easy-to-remember target date)

In the almost three months that I was all-in on this quest, the progress was great. Milestones weren’t easily passed, but they were passed all the same. I was down about 40 pounds through the end of August. It felt like I wasn’t even doing all that much, but there was still a reward for the effort that was put into it all.

Hell, in June there was a social-media post that had me feeling all sorts of ways about losing 16 pounds. Sixteen. Or about 11 percent of my goal. Eleven percent had me giddy. When I was basically at 27 percent, it was a great feeling. Eventually I was going to hit a wall.

Turns out, the wall hit me.

It wasn’t one specific event, but a combination of multiple factors that absolutely throttled me.

The result of that collision was receiving a colossal effort from king’s horses and men (and women) to rebuild. So far, that’s been a success – don’t believe all the nursery rhymes, kids. Resparking that motivation hasn’t been the success story that the emotional rebuild has been.

Sure, I made a few trips back to the gym after a shift at the office. OK, it was two. Two trips in two months. Somehow from the day that I had hit the wall to the day that this post was written, I had lost four more pounds. And that was with me reverting back to a ton of coping mechanisms. The same kinds of things that put me at the original number to start with … Soda? Yup. Quick-service food? Uh huh. Choosing laziness over activity? Allllllll day.

It wasn’t for a lack of desire – or the acknowledgment that I need to start up again. There’s a bag in my car with items for gym visits. Each night – except for Fridays – I get in my car and head to the office with the goal of hitting the gym post-shift. That goal has not been met in a long time. Each day it shakes down to either wanting to go home and sleep, or an office project which occupies that hour that would have gone to an elliptical, a few cable-weight machines and even a treadmill.

This past week, I made a vow to myself that November was going to be the month that I was going to get back into something resembling the earlier routine. My reset button, if you will. While the motivations still aren’t 100 percent back, it’s still something I need to do for myself. Maybe I’ll find a way to rekindle that spark on my own, or find another source for the spark. 

At the time of the wall unloading on me, I was on a pace to be within 10-15 pounds of the target by June 5. To get there now, I’d have to shed 14.2 pounds per month. That’s kind of a ludicrous number. Not impossible, just ludicrous. 

So maybe that target-number trophy won’t be one that’s in my hands by June 5 of next year. But maybe in a year, I’ll look back at this post and see a 1 on the left of the readout with that 85.2 following.

It’s still a very ambitious goal. All I need is that ambition.