As we do every year, today we're here with our thoughts on the E3 Press Conferences. Today we're grading the E3 press conference for Nintendo. As has been the case the last couple of years, Nintendo did their direct, and according to our editors, it was a smashing success.
We knew prior to the Nintendo Spotlight that the presentation would only last for 25 minutes, which was immediately disappointing. That being said, Nintendo at least managed to cover quite a bit of ground with that short time frame. They opened up with a new trailer for Xenoblade 2, advertising a Holiday 2017 launch. The date seems a bit vague to actually believe that there won’t be a delay, but if not, a big RPG at the year’s end would be a big win for Nintendo’s new platform. They followed up with a small surprise: a new Kirby game. Despite demonstrating gameplay, Nintendo is currently just calling the game Kirby, and it will be coming in 2018. The next portion of the Spotlight was a bit odd: essentially an apology from the Pokemon company. “We’re sorry Pokken Tournament DX isn’t what you wanted. Gamefreak is now developing a mainline Pokemon RPG for Switch, but it may take a year or more.” Good to know, at least.
Then there was an announcement for Metroid Prime 4. The announcement, as in literally just a screen that said “Metroid Prime 4” on it. There’s no way this one is coming anytime soon, but at least Nintendo saw fit to give Switch owners something to look forward to. Another 2018 game that Nintendo unveiled was a new Yoshi game, which was shown the same way as Kirby: functional gameplay, but no real title or date. Afterward, Nintendo switched (snapping noise) their focus onto games that we can realistically expect this year, beginning with a new trailer for Fire Emblem: Warriors and the upcoming DLC packs for Breath of the Wild. There was a reminder that Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle exists (and looks good) for anyone who failed to catch Ubisoft’s presentation. A big win for the Switch this year is going to stem from the announcement for Rocket League, which will feature cross-platform online play and local multiplayer. Cool.
Of course, Nintendo saved Super Mario Odyssey for last, which was revealed via a Monster Hunter fakeout (a bit cruel, considering no one knows if Monster Hunter XX is even coming to the Western audiences.) Mario is bound to be great, but we did get to see a bit more info on the title: such as Mario’s ability to possess creatures and inanimate objects by throwing his hat at them, and an October release date. In spite of all these announcements, it’s hard not to question where some of the more pertinent Nintendo information is. Do they want to talk about their online infrastructure at all? Virtual Console? No, I suppose not. Nintendo tends to focus on their own presentations now, which could pop up at any time in the year without any warning whatsoever. Nevertheless, Nintendo did a pretty good job with their short presentation. No bombshells, really, but a solid indication that the Switch has a potentially bright future.
Nintendo Didn’t Blow it Again
Nintendo’s Spotlight conference was fairly short but it had three things that made it worthwhile: New Pokemon RPG for Switch, Super Mario Odyssey, and of course, Metroid Prime 4. Before the conference, I told myself the only way I wouldn’t be completely disappointed in Nintendo was if they announced a new Metroid game and thankfully they did… sort of. We got essentially no information other than it’s “in development” but at least we know it’s coming. The Super Mario Odyssey trailer was also a highlight and was damn adorable. The gameplay showed looks like a true step in a new direction for Mario games and I have a feeling we could have another Super Mario 64 level game on our hands. It’s unfortunate Mario Odyssey is the only game I mentioned with an actual release date (or even release window for that matter) but at least Nintendo has some good stuff in the works Switch players can look forward to. The cherry on top would have been the announcement of a Super Smash Bros game for Switch but alas we can’t have everything we want.
You Got Me, Nintendo
To be completely honest, I didn’t plan on writing a piece for this feature. I’ve been in and out with Nintendo for so long that I just sort of stopped caring about what they’re doing. I was unhappy with the Wii and even more so with the Wii U. The 3DS never managed to make an impact on me, either. I always told myself I’d come to Nintendo if they could deliver a Metroid game because the company seemed more eager to prop up Mario and Link, I was sad that the coolest bounty hunter in the galaxy never got her modern due. So imagine my surprise that Metroid Prime 4 was announced? Granted, there was no gameplay footage or details about the game but I’m just so happy and excited for a new Metroid adventure, not The Other M or Federation Force. On top of that, Mario Odyssey looks really great and Ubisoft’s Mario + Rabbids looks equally spectacular.
I don’t make it a point to buy into the whole “X studio won E3!!11!1” thing but Nintendo certainly came out of this a winner while Microsoft and Sony lumbered, throwing swings at each other with the ferocity of a washed up, retired prize fighter. Nintendo earns top marks because they convinced me to purchase a Switch solely based on games, not HDR or teraflops.
Neat, But Where is the Detail?
Nintendo really had the stars aligned to impress all of their fans with their brand new console and the many unannounced games planned for the system that they boasted about back in the beginning of the year. Ultimately, I felt pretty neutral upon watching the conference. It really was awesome how they started off strong with a new trailer that shows off the world and characters within Xenoblade Chronicles 2. From there though, I felt a little left in the dust with every other announcement that they made. Sure, they showed off a new Yoshi and Kirby game that looked really fun and interesting, but the trailers were relatively short on details that would get you excited to play the games when they come out. Just before that though, Nintendo teased us with the mention of a new core Pokemon game on the Switch, and Metroid Prime 4. There was absolutely no additional information and completely lacked any sort of trailer beyond showing a logo. While I’m very excited about these two games being created, it really would have been nice to see even a glimpse of CG, behind the scenes character art, or literally anything else that isn’t just a logo on a screen. Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh, but this is E3; we need at least something more than a mention of something yet to come.
There was a CG trailer for Fire Emblem Warriors that was rather uninteresting despite my pre-existing interest in the game. Also, Rocket League is coming on the Switch with cross-network play, so that’s kind of cool. I really do like seeing developers allow for the competition to come together and let users play the same games with each other on different consoles. Finally, we had one final trailer for Super Mario Odyssey. I was already hyped for Mario’s new 3D adventure, but this trailer took what we’ve already seen and made it much, much more appealing than it already was, and that’s saying something. There is a lot to look forward to, and even if Nintendo didn’t focus on projects that will be coming in later years, at least we know what to expect from them.
Hats Off to Nintendo
As a big Nintendo fan, I was very much anticipating Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight. And I’m happy to say the company delivered what its fans were hoping for: Metroid Prime 4’s reveal and Pokemon Switch’s announcement. Unfortunately, they were only mentioned in name, but at least we now know they’re coming. There were a few other small reveals including the untitled Kirby and Yoshi platformers, and I’m simply glad that Nintendo is continuing to bring its big brands to the Switch. We got to see more gameplay of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Fire Emblem Warriors, both of which continue to look good. But no other trailer surprised me more than Super Mario Odyssey’s, which I wasn’t expecting since we already knew about this game.. I’ve always been excited for Mario’s return to 3D platforming, but the new “possession” mechanics that Mario can perform by throwing his hat at another creature blew my mind. He can become a Goomba, a frog (return of Frog Mario, anyone?), a regular-sized human, and a t-rex! All I could think about after the spotlight was what I wanted to see Mario transform into, and I felt like a kid who had just seen the most amazing magic trick. I am extremely hyped for Super Mario Odyssey. Along with the other reveals, Nintendo had a great showing, that I am sure pleased many hardcore fans.
The One With a Soul
After a string of dry press conferences, Nintendo delivered something that was missing: heart. Content-wise, this was pretty meat-and-potatoes, with a lack of the silly sketches we’ve been conditioned to see. But the feel of it was so vibrant and fun. Great-looking games came at us in a veritable parade, with the mere existence of Metroid Prime 4 capturing our hearts and minds. And then Super Mario Odyssey came along, delivering probably the best game trailer of the entire event with its showcase of innovative gameplay concepts and characters in first-time situations. However, even this one wasn't exactly perfect. The show was undoubtedly held back by the lack of a Virtual Console presence, something that really should've been front and center. And again, the supplemental content was pretty slim, even if largely rectified by its delivery. Still, when it comes to reminding us why we play video games, Nintendo certainly stands on top.
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