Nintendo @ E3 2017 – Our Thoughts On The Shenanigans


Nintendo’s E3 showing, and E3 itself, is over for another year and what a year it was. A low key Spotlight broadcast, live streams, and Invitational tournaments … Nintendo definitely pulled out all the stops. But, what did we think of the whole thing? Well …

CONOR

In what was the most memorable E3 event ever for me, Nintendo pulled out all the stops to please as many fans as possible, and entice many more people to invest in their hardware.

First off is simply all the games lined up for this year and next. Mario Odyssey was in the spotlight, and it blew me away. It’s undoubtedly quirky, even for Mario, and Nintendo are far from “playing it safe” with their most universally-appealing franchise. Kirby and Yoshi will continue to delight gamers with adorable instalments planned for 2018. Rocket League was announced, featuring cross-network access, and Nintendo’s online subscription service is starting to feel truly justified as more online games come onto the table. It’s not just going to be ARMS and Splatoon 2; a lot of popular games will utilise online play.

Metroid fans – and if I haven’t made clear by now, that includes myself – were ecstatic, as Metroid Prime 4 was confirmed to be in development. No footage was shown, Retro Studios aren’t involved, and it’s likely not to be released until the end of 2018 or 2019, but the short trailer was enough to get everyone cheering. Even better was the surprise announcement of Metroid: Samus Returns, a remake of Game Boy classic Metroid 2, that launches three months from now. It looks like a brilliant re-imagining, featuring cinematic melee counters and 360-degree aiming. Nintendo topped it off with two fresh Metroid Amiibo, and everyone was happy. Hopefully.

Samus Returns was probably my personal highlight, but praise also needs to be given to the hype-building tournaments Nintendo organised. Splatoon 2, ARMS, and Pokken Tournament DX were all filled with epic moments. These included surprise results in Splatoon 2, and an incredible showing by ARMS producer Mr. Yabuki, facing that tournament’s champion and not dropping a single round. This advertised ARMS to me better than anything so far, as it showed what an experienced player is capable of, and how much more fun it is to watch. The commentary teams did a fantastic job, professional and accommodating for both experienced players and newcomers.

It was a great showcase of games and what Nintendo is capable of, and they clearly showed the direction they’re heading with the Switch. If they continue to develop unique games and host tournaments like these, the console will undoubtedly be a success.

REUBEN

I wasn’t expecting much from Nintendo this year. Given that the E3 broadcast this year was due to be thirty minutes long and was clearly marked as being solely geared towards the Switch (understandable, yes, but I do love my 3DS), I wasn’t expecting to be blown away. I was settled in genuinely believing that we would just simply see more of the games we already knew about, and nothing more. I tell you what though, it’s good to be wrong sometimes.

Obviously the key game in the presentation was Super Mario Odyssey, as it was billed as being so, and it most definitely didn’t disappoint. I genuinely thought that Nintendo wouldn’t be able to pull out another incredible gimmick to centre a Mario game behind but the hat possession mechanic looks to be just that. I can’t help but wonder how it will work and how much that will freshen up the series. Needless to say though, I think it looks incredible and I cannot wait to see more of it.

In other bits from the broadcast itself to get excited about, we had new Yoshi and Kirby games, more from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (which I want, quite badly), a lot more of Fire Emblem Warriors, plus the announcement that a Pokémon is in development for Switch. Furthermore, I’m tentatively excited about the announcement of Metroid Prime 4. The only reason I say tentatively is because we have absolutely no idea about the game besides a name and a logo.

The main excitement for me, however, came during the post-broadcast Treehouse stream in which they announced remakes for the 3DS of both Metroid 2: Return of Samus and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Two games that I deeply love, being ported to a console that I still play a lot of the time. Especially exciting given the various changes they appear to have made to Metroid 2. The new version (Metroid: Samus Returns) looks and plays beautifully, to the point I think that it’s possibly one of the best looking Metroid titles in years. Once again though, I’ll have to wait and see.

My personal highlight of the whole affair was Fire Emblem Warriors. It was great to see more of the game and good to see that it is heading down a similar path to Dragon Quest Heroes, with original characters at the centre of the plot, driving the game forward and the recognisable heroes during the fray throughout. It’s one of the upcoming Switch games that I have the highest levels of excitement for, and I’m glad that it’s looking so good. Simply put, I think that Nintendo really nailed this one.

WES

So, there was nothing about Mario Kart DLC. No sign of Yooka-Laylee on Switch. Nothing about Virtual Console, Smash Bros or Animal Crossing for Switch. You’d be forgiven for thinking I was disappointed. But no, far from it. Indeed I would go as far as saying it was one of my favourite E3s ever from Nintendo. 

Yet, all that said, all those things from my wish list which DIDNT show, what about the things that did?! Wow, what a line up it was. Super Mario Odyssey looks incredible. With new mechanics, beautiful looking worlds, co-op play – I simply can’t wait to pick this up. It feels like a very long time since we’ve got to experience the world of Mario in this way. Too long. The ever familiar multi-world exploration, range of moves, and knowing that what we did get to see is surely just a small part of the full game. My preorder is in.

And it’s gets better. A subtle yet effective reveal of Metroid Prime 4 – I literally shouted out in surprise – it’s finally here! It was such a shame we didn’t get to see any footage, but just knowing it’s in development is what we needed to hear. A great move by Nintendo. 

More surprises came in the form of Kirby and Yoshi. Solid looking platform adventures, each with a new hook. Watching Yoshi being played on one of the multiple, Treehouse sessions certainly grabbed my interest. It looks like it could be a lot of fun. That non-specific ‘2018’ release date means something else to look forward to going into next year. Perhaps a feature of next years E3 spotlight?

The Treehouse live segments were also a great way to introduce a couple of surprise announcements for 3DS too. The fantastic looking Return of Samus is a reason enough to keep hold of that 3DS for just a little bit longer – visually impressive, some intuitive new controls and that special edition with soundtrack come together to form a great looking package. The Splatoon 2 matches were a great watch too, with more footage of Salmon Run and opportunities to see some of the new stages, weapons and gear. I’m keeping some space on my SD card free for a launch day download. 

Oh, and rounding it all off were a whole load of new lovely looking amiibo. The four Breathe of the Wild Champions are simply a must-buy. Mario and Peach in wedding gear will surely be appearing on wedding cakes around the world and the Samus and Metroid figures look absolutely amazing. The quality of these things just keeps getting better and better. Spare my wallet (and shelf space!) please Nintendo.

I must also say that I’m really interested in Mario + Rabbids too. It looks to me like Ubisoft have given the characters the care and attention they deserve, in order to come together in what looks like a genuinely fun game. And with the release just around the corner, timing is spot on too. Dodgy looking Rabbids dressed as Peach aside, I’m intrigued to see more and I’m looking forward to playing this one for myself.

Nintendo have proved that they are on a role with the Switch and a solid line up of titles for 2017 and into the future. I question the long term future for 3DS personally, but in general, very impressive stuff.

So what did you think? Do you think that Nintendo did well or not this year? Also, what about highlights for you? Was there any particular game that really stood out? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@reuthegamer).

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