As I sat there at my dinner table with a plate of Spanish chicken before me, happily eating away. I glanced up at the clock and suddenly realised that it was five past five. “Shit! The Nintendo conference!” I thought to myself, and with that I quickly grabbed my phone and within moments I had the live stream of Nintendo’s show.
I am never as usually bothered by the Nintendo one. I do not mean that in a particularly bad way. Most of the games on whatever platform they are showcasing look amazing, but the fact that it is just a normally a pre-made video, rather than them taking to the stage and showing the people of E3 and the world their games in person, doesn’t fill me with the same kind of excitement that Sony’s or Microsoft’s conference would bring. As Nintendo do not release as much as the others, I find their show rather long winded and dragged out. This year’s was no exception to that, in fact they spent around fifteen minutes talking about the new Amiibos of Mario, Peach and Bowser all dressed ready for a wedding. At that point I was able to do the washing up and grab myself a little dessert, so at least they gave me the time for that.
The Nintendo Switch has only been out for a few months and other than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind, there was not really a strong line-up to justify buying the new console at the price of around £200 without even a game. I am a huge Zelda fan and have loved nearly every other title in this series, but I could not warrant spending nearly £240 to play it, not without anything else to play during or afterwards. A new Mario Kart came out not long after (well not really a NEW one per-se, but in fact a port of the one that came out on the Wii-U before that thing met it’s demise).
In my opinion, Nintendo have always been lagging a little behind in the console wars. In the handheld market, Nintendo are King above all else. The 2DS in my house is fantastic (whenever I get a good enough game to play on it). But when it comes to home consoles, the Wii-U just didn’t cut it. It was a good idea, but no one really wanted to develop for it, integrating the tablet controller with new ideas must have been too much work.
I guess that is why they decided to change over to the Switch (or “switch over” should I say). The prospect that you can take it out and play it anywhere, was fantastic. I have seem a friend of mine playing Zelda on it, and I must admit that I thought it looked great. The controls are a little funky and take some time to get used to, and I have no idea how anyone can play it with half a controller in each hand separate from one another, but other than that I will definitely look into picking one up once the price drops, and when more games come out for it. This was the main issue that I had with it. I did not feel that, other than Zelda, there was enough launch titles for it. Maybe Nintendo want to stagger their releases throughout the coming year and early into the next, but I feel that if they went straight in with a new Zelda, a new 3D Mario (similar to the N64 one), a new Metroid, a new Mario Kart, a new Donkey or Diddy Kong, a new Splatoon, and an RPG Pokemon game that is pretty much the ones on the handheld console, as well as stating that your DS and 3DS cards are compatible with the Switch, then I would have rushed out and bought it. No question. A strong line-up like that would have given a little something for everyone. I would have been like that Fry meme from Futurama and literally threw my at whatever shop had stock.
Thankfully Nintendo’s conference (oh yeah! That’s what this article is about) showed us pretty much everything mentioned above. It a shame that these were not closer to the Switch’s release, as I am sure that most of the people who own one have completed Zelda and have most likely returned to their Xbox, PlayStation, or PC eagerly awaiting the next release, as their Switch gathers dust.
So, first of all we have Rocket League coming to the Switch. Now this has been out for a couple of years on PlayStation, and a year or so on Xbox, so much like the Switch release of Skyrim, Nintendo are trying to catch up with their friends.
One good thing to note is that the online is now offering cross-play. So players on the Switch can play against ones on PlayStation or Xbox. Which is a good touch to keep Nintendo fans from feeling like recluses.
We Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in a new extended story trailer with a few bits of gameplay thrown into the mix. This game looked good. Although the graphics might look a little cartoon, which might put some gamers off, it looked like a very classic Japanese hack and slash RPG. I have never played any of these games, so you’ll have to forgive me if I do not know enough about them, but from what I saw of the trailer, the game looked good. This is set to release at some point later this year.
Nintendo then showed us a brand new Kirby game. This game kept with the classic platforming multiplayer games that people have come to love and expect from Nintendo. This game looked enjoyable either single player or with a few friends. I can envision me and a couple of friends sitting around, having a beer and a laugh, as we mistakenly knock each other off ledges and leave one another in the dust to continue the level, something reminiscing of the evenings spent playing the New Super Mario Bros on the original Wii, or even Rayman: Origins/Legends. They were some good nights spent.
One that Nintendo announced was a Core RPG Pokemon game, which is coming to the Switch! This is something that Nintendo should have done years ago, in the days of the N64 when they were first release Pokemon on the Gameboy. Why they decided to keep this amazing RPG series to the handheld is beyond me. Maybe it was because they copied and pasted the same game over and over and over again, but as a sucker, I always bought it, played it, and enjoyed it.
The idea of playing one on your big TV at home has me very excited. I would definitely consider picking up a Switch as soon as this one released (and with the back catalogue of games at that point in time, I would have stuff to play once I was finished).
Much like the Pokemon game mentioned above, a new Metroid game was announced; Metroid Prime 4, but without any gameplay or anything other than just the title. I am sure fans of the Metroid series are wetting themselves over this one, so it will be one to keep an eye out for once Nintendo do start to release gameplay footage for it.
A new Yoshi game was also announced. Unlike the last couple of titles, this one actually did have a little bit of gameplay footage. AS with Kirby and a few others, I am not sure how to introduce these games. Are they simply “A new Yoshi/Kirby game” or do these games actually have proper titles, such as “The Chronicles of Yoshi: A Dark Awakening” (sick title by the way, feel free to use it Nintendo).
The game looked fun. Another classic Nintendo platformer to add to the collection. This one sees Yoshi going around collecting gold coins (of all things) and eating enemies. It’s amazing how sections of old Super Mario Bro games have been converted into their own games entirely.
Fire Emblem Warriors was next. This is one releasing on both the Switch and 3DS just after the summer this year. The trailer didn’t show much, but anyone who has played a previous Fire Emblem game will get a kick out of it. Again I am not too familiar with this game, so if you are a fan, then go and check out the trailer.
Nintendo’s first proper DLC is coming out for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind in a few weeks. As I said before, anyone who has bought a Switch has most likely already completely Zelda by now and so the prospect of making the game fresh again would come as a delight. Although no new story quests or dungeons have been added in for this DLC. This is purely just a cosmetic one, adding in new armour, a new difficulty, and apparently some “higher-ranking enemies you won’t find through normal play”, so hopefully there will be enough to bring people back onto their Switches.
Other than another Metroid game for the 3DS (which is as re-imaging of an old Metroid game) the last game that Nintendo showed us (and show us they did!) was Super Mario Odyssey, which is coming out on October 27th. Now this game did look fantastic. If/when I do pick up a Switch, this will be one for me to buy. Other than the Amiibo stuff that I do not really care too much about (although you watch me change my mind once I actually own a Switch) this section of Nintendo’s presentation had me glued to my screen.
This new Mario appears to be unlike any other Mario game that came before, as well as throwing in stuff from every Mario that ever was. It looked open world (kind of) where the player has large a large area, in various different worlds, to run around and explore, completing strange side missions (such as changing your costume, to a Mexican themed one, in order to gain access to an area), and finding secrets hidden all around.
One great part was when Mario ran up to a pipe in a wall, where on the wall we can see classic 2D Mario sprites going about their day, only to go into a pipe and turn the game back into a 2D one in order to access the top of the building the 2D game was being played on! I thought it looked amazing. The transition was slick, and reminded me of Paper Mario or the Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (but I suppose Paper Mario is more relevant). Once you had reached the top, Mario jumped and turned back into 3D and the game continue as normal. This style of gameplay felt exactly the same as Super Mario 64, which for me has to be one of the greatest Mario games ever made.
Mario now uses his hat to attack as a throwing weapon, but he can also use it to take control of the Bullet enemies, using them to his advantage to gain to inaccessible areas before the bullet explodes.
The game looked great in all honesty and is one I would pick up (along with a copy of Zelda, Pokemon and Yoshi most likely).
All in all the Nintendo presentation, although dragged out at times and never really had the same kick that the Sony or Microsoft ones had, was still impressive. They knew what their fans wanted and, although they might not have had gameplay for a couple of the games, the announcements of some great Nintendo I.Ps, such as Metroid and an RPG Pokemon game, might be enough to generate enough excitement that people like myself rush out and pick up a Switch. Not to mention that we have already seen a few other Nintendo games at E3, such as the Mario XCOM game; Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Definitely a lot for Nintendo fans and Switch owners to look forward to.