After the fairly disappointing showcases by Microsoft and Sony, I had faith that Father Nintendo would save the day with some stellar announcements and gameplay trailers. But was that the case?
You bet it was.
Ignoring my obvious bias for just a second, I feel that Nintendo objectively did a better job of giving the fans what they want; we got a damn Metroid Prime 4 announcement for chrissakes (link). The short presentation rattled through a number of quality upcoming titles, all of them on Switch. Here are your games blogger guys’ thoughts:
I was cheering within five seconds of the Direct opening; Rocket League on Switch! The game is a perfect fit for Nintendo’s hybrid console; it can be played for five minutes or five hours, the customisation options lend themselves to Nintendo’s franchises, and it should be great for taking round a mates’ house with a few beers à la Mario Kart. Additionally, the game supports cross play with PC and Xbox One; this is great to see from Nintendo, who are often accused of old-fashioned business ethics. Very exciting news and I’ll be sure to pick it up despite already owning the Xbox One version.
They threw the fans another tasty morsel in announcing that a main series Pokemon is in development for the Switch. This is a fairly obvious one, but again venerable Nintendo shows wisdom in appeasing the sweaty-palmed Pokémaniacs, like yours truly. Do not look at me like that.
A couple of nice looking titles were nestled in amongst the big announcements; Kirby and Yoshi games were both confirmed to be in development for Switch. Kirby (link) looked the more impressive of the two, with bold bright colours popping out on the Switch nicely. Both are slated as 2018 releases.
E3 has been very light on the JRPGs this year, so it was nice to get a trailer for Xenoblade 2 (link). Whilst I need to see more before I commit to purchase, it’s good to see some deep, hardcore RPG’s beginning to emerge for Switch. The system is perfect for a lengthy RPG adventure; I’ll be checking this out for sure when it launches later this year.
Speaking of lengthy adventures, we got a good look at the two pieces of DLC content coming for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, one in a couple of weeks and the oher at the end of the year. The DLC looks like it’ll be adding plenty to do, and the second, more substantial, pack looks like it might be a prequel of sorts. Very exciting. Expect reviews of these as the are released on this here blog.
Rounding out the show was an extended trailer for the bonkers-looking Super Mario Odyssey (link), showing the kind of bold, bright platforming you’d expect but with the insanity ramped up to 11. The main mechanic appears to be use of Mario’s hat, Cappy, in a variety of ways; as a weapon, a platform device, and also to possess enemies and take control of them (!). We even saw a huge T-Rex being controlled by the tiny hat sitting on top of its head. The game looks fantastic and is guaranteed to sell an absolute shitload when it comes out this October.
Fan service aplenty, then, but what I find most interesting about Nintendo is that even in these days of shareholder-appeasement, they appear to be continuously taking risks with their main franchises and challenging the preconception that they release the same game over and over. We can see this in Super Mario Odyssey, and also in Breath of the Wild; main series entries that are a great deal removed from their roots, feeling fresh but manage to maintain their sense of charm and continuity at the same time. This is great for Nintendo fans, and appears to be working, with Switch consoles still selling very well, especially in Japan.
Ok, I’ve stopped gushing. That’s it for my E3 conference coverage for this year, but I’ll be posting a more general piece covering the other conferences and my overall thoughts later this week. Also, i’ll be getting back to regular updates, and should have a retro review up by the end of this week or early next. Ta-ra!