We got the games, and then some!
Head over to my previous article as I talk about my predictions for the Nintendo Spotlight and what Nintendo needs to win E3.
Perhaps it was the carryover from the other conferences, the lack of real excitement, or basically any meaningful event (except for the one between Shigeru Miyamoto and the teary-eyed Ubisoft Developer) that had diminished my excitement for the Nintendo Spotlight.
After all, E3 is just as much about games as it is about creating hype, and thus far, the other conferences had failed to do so for the most part.
But leave it to Nintendo to find ways to turn it around.
Nintendo didn’t pull any punches, swinging for the fences on their very first demonstration. Previously, we had gotten a glimpse of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, but so little had been shown that most people were predicting the game would miss its 2017 release and instead be pushed back to 2018, but Nintendo clarified that the game is indeed coming out this Holiday season with a clear release date at the end of the video as well as extended gameplay during Treehouse Live.
An often overlooked character is Kirby which most of the people regard as a “kiddy” character but that actually has a great track record of high rated games as well as best-selling titles. Nintendo is not distancing itself from the core gameplay formula, which they are keeping on this 2.5D title.
When the segment started with President and CEO of The Pokémon Company Tsunekazu Ishihara, I believed there would be another big announcement, but instead Pokkén Tournament was shown. Don’t get me wrong, I own Pokkén Tournament on the Wii U and love it, but at this point we know the game is coming to Switch and the extra content it has, but we were expecting something more from TPC.
Of course Ishihara couldn’t leave us before giving us a hint about things to come, confirming that GameFreaks has started development on the next “core” Pokémon title and that the game will be on the Nintendo Switch. This should erase any doubt that the games will continue to be developed for the 3DS, with the Nintendo Switch being the true home of Pokémon games as soon as next year.
This is where Nintendo could have dropped the mic and ended the show. After years and years of constant begging to the powers-that-be at Nintendo for a new (and real) Metroid game, they obliged. Not only is the Nintendo Switch getting a Metroid game, but it is actually the next installment in the Prime series. Retro Studios is no longer attached to the game, which would normally be cause for concern, until you learn that it is being worked on internally at Nintendo, and that guarantees the best developers in the world have their hands deep in the creation of this title. Metroid Prime 4, we welcome you with open arms!
Of course, things didn’t stop there. From the title image of Metroid Prime 4 Nintendo moved on to Mario’s prehistoric green sidekick. Yoshi 2018 is a side-scrolling game in a 2.5D environment that can be flipped between the background and the foreground. Play a stage like you normally would, then turn the screen around to see everything you missed from behind. Every stage features two sides to it and Nintendo Switch allows you to play co-op with the use of each Joy-Con.
Interestingly enough, Yoshi 2018 is one of the first Nintendo games to utilize the Unreal Engine 4, which Shigeru Miyamoto had previously stated that Nintendo has ‘Mastered’. This bodes well for all of us as it can greatly cut on development time and we can see Nintendo output games more frequently.
Fire Emblem Warriors is another entry in the ‘Warriors’ series by Koei Tecmo, making it the second installment to receive the treatment after the successful Hyrule Warriors game. You can expect the same hack-and-slash over-the-top action the series is known for, although this entry seems to feature a more fleshed storyline, at least from what we saw from the trailers.
Eiji Aonuma appeared with the Master Sword in hand to provide additional details about the The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass and its two DLC Packs. With DLC Pack 1 “Master Trials” releasing this summer, we were given a glimpse of the Master Trials themselves along with hints as to what DLC Pack 2 “The Champions Ballad” will offer, which proposes a return to Hyrule and will concentrate more on the story of the four champions, further emphasized with their respective amiibo figures!
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle has been rumored to exist since early 2017 and had been the butt of jokes, with people uncharacteristically lashing out at the Rabbids and automatically discarding this game as nothing more than Ubisoft’s attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Super Mario franchise to help it boost the Rabbids brand.
But who’s laughing now?!
With a nod to games like X-COM: Enemy Unknown, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle surprised a lot of people, first at the Ubisoft Conference, and later during the Nintendo Spotlight and Nintendo Treehouse. With Ubisoft taking a stab at a Mario game and giving us something we hadn’t seen before from Nintendo’s famous plumber, hopefully this opens up the possibility of more third-party publishers working on Nintendo games, freeing Nintendo’s hands to work on creating even more franchises.
Although I noticed it when the opening video played during the Nintendo Spotlight, I can’t express how happy I am that Rocket League has finally landed on Switch. This is one of four games that I mentioned needed to be on the system (the other three being Overwatch, GTA V, and Call Of Duty: WWII) and will reap the benefits of LAN and couch-co-op with two Joy-Con play. Nintendo needs to continue to court third-party developers and get the absolute best games that make the most sense having on the Nintendo Switch.
Leaving the best for last, a T-Rex appeared on the screen curiously sporting Mario’s cap. Once the Mario trailer played we were introduced to new game mechanics. Not only is Mario able to throw his hat and jump on it, but he can also use it to possess other enemies, and even humans. Once possessing the other character, Mario is able to use their abilities to move around the stage, collect coins, and discover new secrets.
For years fans have been clamoring for a return to Mario 64. Yes, the Mario Galaxy games were excellent, but they were not the full-on action/adventure type of games that Super Mario 64 or even Super Mario Sunshine were. With Super Mario Galaxy, we can expect a potential ‘Game of the Year’ winner.
What else was there?
Just when you thought they were finished, during the first hour of the Treehouse Live Nintendo had a SECOND Metroid announcement, showing Metroid: Samus Returns for the 3DS, a remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus. If it felt almost blasphemous to ask for a single Metroid game to be announced by Nintendo, having a second one shown is outright sacrilegious. What a time to be alive if you are a Nintendo fan!
Ok, so I was nowhere close to the predictions I made, but at least some of those turned out to be true. Missing were games like Pikmin 4, Animal Crossing, Donkey Kong, Earthbound (I should have known better), Switch VR and Virtual Boy games, Bayonetta 3, Monster Hunter 5 (not for Switch at least).
What I got right
Some of those were just pure coincidences, but games like Metroid, Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga remake, Pokémon Eclipse (yes, I know, it was just a mention of a “core” Pokémon game), and Rocket League were announced during the segment. Metroid?!
Although some of the glimpses were not real glimpses but borderline MS Word documents displayed on screen, Nintendo did enough to distance itself from the other conferences and deliver fans what they were looking for all along, the games!