A Hardcore Nintendo Fan Weighs in on Nintendo’s Big E3 Reveals
E3, the big gaming expo and annual hype holiday, has closed its doors for this year. But fans are still reeling in all of the exciting announcements. This year, Nintendo had a digital “Spotlight” presentation to detail its upcoming games for the Nintendo Switch. The Big N had an important job ahead of itself. Having just released its console/portable hybrid, the company had to convince the public that there were great games on the horizon. Based on the showing, Nintendo went all out with the message that the new console is worth it. These are my impressions of the digital event.
Nintendo first showed off the upcoming sequel Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which is shaping up to be much more story-based like the original Wii game, as opposed to the Wii U’s Xenoblade Chronicles X. The game will follow Rex and Pyra — a girl who also functions as a blade — as they search for a place called Elysium. The mechanics look as fun as ever, and the characters have a more distinct traditional anime feel. I, for one, adore the new design.
Next up was a trailer for the latest Kirby game coming for the Switch. At first glance, it looks like the Wii game Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, offering up to 4-player cooperative play. Upon closer inspection, elements from other games also seem to return including the animal buddies from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 and 3, as well as the possibility of mixing two powers a la Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. The latter is a favorite of mine, and I would be ecstatic if we could have all those unique power-ups back, particularly that dual light saber. Lastly, there appears to be a new heart mechanic that allows Kirby to befriend enemies, which gives me good flashbacks to the classic Kirby Super Star.
Ever since the Switch was announced to have portable capabilities, fans have been clamoring for the Pokémon series to move to the platform. Although Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are coming to Nintendo 3DS, the desire for Pokémon Switch was feverish. During the Spotlight, The Pokémon Company’s Tsunekazu Ishihara gave a brief message about Pokkén Tournament DX, a Switch port of the Wii U Pokémon fighting game, leaving many to expect that we weren’t getting what we truly wanted. Without fanfare or even a trailer, Ishihara finally announced that developer Game Freak is indeed working on a core Pokémon RPG. Even though we don’t know anything about it, I’m excited about the possibilities, including what it will look like. If it can even resemble the beautiful graphics of Pokkén, then I’ll be a thrilled trainer.
At around the halfway point of the Spotlight, the greatest logo reveal that Nintendo fans could have asked for happened. Nintendo finally did it. In one of the Spotlight’s biggest announcements, Nintendo revealed that Metroid Prime 4 was coming to the Switch, finally bringing bounty hunter Samus Aran back into the limelight. Hopefully, this will quell and warm the hearts of many, showing us that Nintendo still respects one of its most well-known franchises. Although we don’t know much about this game, besides the fact that it seems Retro Studios is not behind it, I look forward to this legendary IP getting a Switch release. As a bonus, during Nintendo’s subsequent Treehouse Live segment, the company revealed that Samus would also be coming to the 3DS in Metroid: Samus Returns, a remake of Metroid II for the Game Boy.
Yoshi’s new untitled game looks impressive too, taking a page from Yoshi’s Woolly World and sticking the green dino into a cardboard world. As plain as cardboard may sound, it looks stunning in the trailer, like arts-and-crafts popping out of the screen. And speaking of popping out, Yoshi can shoot eggs at enemies in the background and foreground. The big twist here is that Yoshi can flip the stage around, revealing different surprises depending on which side of the level you’re on.
I loved Hyrule Warriors, a Legend of Zelda take on the hack-and-slash gameplay of Dynasty Warriors. Now, a Fire Emblem version is coming to the Switch soon, and I’m thrilled thinking about what characters and places will be in the final game. We finally got some character reveals: Corrin (female), Ryoma, and Xander from Fire Emblem Fates will be joining the original hero Marth and Awakening’s Chrom. We’ll also be getting original characters — royal twins Rowan and Lianna. Marth and Corrin’s reveals are below.
Additionally, there will be a Coliseum mode so you can pit Ryoma and Xander (pictured below) in a battle to the death, once and for all. I expect more characters to receive reveal trailers in the weeks leading up to the game’s release!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s first DLC set is arriving at the end of the month, teasing harder trials and modes. You will also get to don Link with new armor and masks, giving him special abilities. For instance, Link can use the Korok Mask to find the numerous forest creatures hiding around the huge open world. DLC adopters will also get Midna’s mask from Twilight Princess, Phantom Armor from the DS entries, and the awesome but silly Tingle costume based on everyone’s favorite 35-year-old fairy man.
Speaking of costumes, some third-party Switch ports will also receive outfits based on Nintendo franchises. Skyrim will have amiibo functionality, allowing players to dress their character up like Link in his champion gear. Additionally, the hugely popular Rocket League will have an option to customize the cars with Mario and Luigi hats. The biggest third-party surprise was Ubisoft’s Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, a crossover between the Mushroom Kingdom plumber and silly rabbit-like creatures from the Rayman universe.
Although I’m not particularly fond of the Rabbids, I like that Ubisoft is trying something new with the Mario franchise, pitting him in a strategy game similar to X-COM. Plus, how could I not want a game that Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot promoted like this?
The big finale was from a game that I knew was going to be shown off, but couldn’t have imagined how well it was coming along. Somehow, Super Mario Odyssey’s trailer exceeding my expectations, introducing a new mechanic where Mario can possess other creatures by throwing his googly-eyed hat at them. My eyes widened when I first saw Mario possess a frog, and that instantly got me excited for the classic Super Mario Bros. 3 power-up, Frog Mario.
But he didn’t stop there. Mario then possessed many more creatures and inanimate objects, including a Goomba, Bullet Bill, and even a T. rex! I was already excited about Odyssey’s Super Mario 64–style sandbox platforming and hat-throwing shenanigans, but Mario’s new possession ability blows my mind away. There are so many opportunities that can now be taken with the gameplay. I can’t believe how much this single mechanic elevates my excitement and curiosity about what wonders this game will hold. I now wait with more bated breath than ever for Super Mario Odyssey to arrive, which will be sooner than expected, thanks to its October 27 release date!
Overall, I was very happy with Nintendo’s presentation. The company did a great job pleasing most of its audience with the franchises that people were most looking forward to. While there were other games I was hoping for, like Animal Crossing, I’m happy we got Metroid and Pokémon announcements. Plus, I am now hyped more than ever for Super Mario Odyssey.
What did you think of Nintendo’s Spotlight E3 presentation? What games are you looking most forward to? What games would you have liked to see Nintendo reveal?
Source: Nintendo Spotlight