No Halo at E3 – Disappointing or Refreshing?

It’s episode 92 of the podcast and in addition, this edition marks the 2nd anniversary of the dawn of the Gamers of the Lost Spark. Join the guys as they celebrate this milestone with their unique look at the gaming news of the last 7 days.

In a week where Halo developers 343 Industries announced that there will be no Halo 6 at E3 or Gamescom, Antony and Darren discuss whether this is a bad thing or a good move for the Xbox team’s E3 presentation.

This can be argued both ways it seems with a reasonable case put forward that Halo is Xbox and Xbox is Halo, that the rolling out of a new and exciting Halo-centric announcement at the Xbox E3 conference is a tradition, a right of passage, the big thing that all the Xbox fans are excitedly waiting for during the other treats that are announced for the future of the platform and that a no show form the Halo franchise would leave a disappointing edge to the proceedings in June for Phil Spencer and the team.

Conversely however, it could also be argued that after so many years of Master Chief giving us all goose bumps after marching out to the monks chant that instantly piques the interest of thousands of gamers, that this is a refreshing change for the guys in green and that the absence of Master Chief (at least in terms of a full blown Halo game), paves the way for something else to take the spotlight, something (hopefully) new, fresh and spectacular that will do what Halo always has done in previous years and wow us all and maybe even garner a fresh wave of excitement and anticipation for the Xbox platform.

We will have to wait until June to see what happens and whether or not leaving out one of the most loved mascotts of theXbox platform out of the festivities will be dissapointing or refreshing but it’s certainly exciting to think about what will be deemed suitable to fill those special issue Mjolnir boots.

This week in ‘What We’ve Been Playing‘ section, as well as the now ‘Spark Staples’ of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels, Darren has jumped into Arkham VR and Portal Stories VR for the HTC Vive.  But the biggest game for Darren this week has been Persona 5, as his time with Persona draws to a climactic conclusion Darren, updates us with his 80+ hour impression of this awesome game.

In the news this week the Sparks are overjoyed with the news of the next Lego game has been announced, and it’s the nerdtastic Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.

Coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 17th November, with a Switch version due in time for Christmas, Darren and Antony can not wait to play this at home and also on the go with the power of the Switch.  The brief teaser stars Baby Groot and Doctor Strange with a full trailer coming 23rd May.

Also in the news this week we have a new Kickstarter collaboration between Parappa the Rapper’s Masaya Matsuura and Gitaroo Man’s Keiichi Yano; Project Rap Rabbit, where players participate in rap battles powered by RPG-style dialogue trees.

Battles play out in three steps. First, the player listens to their opponent’s rap, during which specific keywords will be highlighted. Then the player chooses which of those keywords to run with and which type of lyric to bust back at their opponent—boast, laugh, joke or coerce. Finally their rap plays out, and they tap along with it for maximum impact – sounds like lots of fun but unfortunately we will have to wait until August 2018 before it’s release.

Watch the full reveal trailer for Project Rap Rabbit here

Microsoft’s Build conference has delivered some exciting announcements including the news that an array of HMD devices are going on sale starting at $299 and needing only minimal PC grunt in order to work while at the same time using Microsoft’s ‘inside out’ technology which calculates positional tracking using sensors on the headset and even on the newly revealed controllers (controller tracking works at the moment relying on the controllers being withing the view of the headsets tracking) which allows for freedom of movement within Microsoft’s ‘Mixed reality’ (their term for all things AR and VR), without the need for unsightly sensors being bolted to your plays area and also eliminating the extra cost for those sensors.

With Microsoft Technical Fellow and chief inventor of HoloLens, Alex Kipman taking the stage and promising us that E3 is going to be something really special, Antony and Darren can’t wait to hear the news of these developments and are surprised as teh expectation for VR related E3 news sat firmly with Sony and their PSVR up to this point. Alex said the following:

‘Holiday 2017 is going to be phenomenal, we have a product lineup that customers really want. I hope you tune in to E3 to learn more about Windows Mixed Reality content story for this holiday.’

Exciting stuff, and that’s not all as the guys also find out that a certain Valve game from 2004 is getting remastered and polished up for a legitimate VR version.

If you want more information on some of the items in this weeks Podcast here are some handy links:

If you would like to give us a rating or a review on iTunes then we have this handy link for you, click here to jump to iTunes review for the Lost Spark Podcast!

Gamers of the Lost Spark Video Episode

What is Phantom Dust

Project Rap Rabbit on Kickstarter

Lego Marvel 2 Teaser Trailer

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