In recent years Nintendo has an eschewed the standard E3 press conference in favor of an online only event targeted directly at their fans. In the past this has earned them their own spotlight and a lot of ways they had a better show than Sony or Microsoft.
This year Nintendo opened up with Star Fox: Zero coming this holiday season. Nintendo did a brief gameplay trailer that looked superb. The visuals were beautiful especially for a Wii U game the gameplay looks like it has a lot of variety with tanks, planes, and brand new to Star Fox mechs. It is being developed by Platinum Games the creators of Bayonetta 2 and Nintendo EAD who make most of Nintendo’s big name titles. With these two working together and the guiding hand of Miyamoto this very well could be one of the best games of the year.
Nintendo then went to a game that just isn’t clicking with the general public, but has me super excited; Super Mario Maker. You can switch between four graphical styles Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. You can modify power ups, share levels, and do tons of crazy stuff. Yes I realize this games user generated levels are going to be hit by Sturgeons Law (90% of everything is crap), but the potential for awesome community levels similar to Little Big Planet alone has me excited for this game. Not only that, what Mario fan hasn’t had the dream of creating their own levels.
After that Nintendo unveiled the unannounced Mario Tennis Ultra Smash. Not much to say here beyond that it is Mario Tennis, it is out this holiday season, and if it is anywhere near as good as the 3DS or GameCube title it should be another big hit for Nintendo. This isn’t a huge announcement; that said it will keep fans very happy, and it’s nice to see Nintendo keeping split screen multiplayer alive.
The next title was a bit of a curve ball, Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam coming in Spring 2016. This is a 3DS RPG that takes the world of the Mario and Luigi RPGs and combines it with the world of Paper Mario. The trailer was brief and showed off lots of cool features, clever writing, and a pretty cool blending of both games gameplay styles. I just wish it was coming out sooner.
Next up was one of the most adorable things I have ever seen Yoshi’s Wooly World. Created by the Kirby’s Epic Yarn team this is another 2D platformer based around yarn. They showed basically what they showed last year. The game is so unbelievably cute I just want to give it a hug, and I can’t stand Yoshi so that says a lot about the style. As for gameplay it seems like a solid 2D platformer made by a very talented team. It comes out October 16th of this year and I can’t wait to experience a cuteness overload.
A surprise announcement came next a new Animal Crossing, Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer for 3DS. Instead of building a town, or possessions, or anything like that; the game is all about designed and remodeling homes for the residents of your town. It seems like an interesting take on the franchise and is coming out September 25th of this year. This was followed by another Animal Crossing announcement, Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival. It’s basically a party game similar to Mario Party with an Animal Crossing skin. It’s due out this holiday and quite honestly this feels like something they are using to desperately pad out their holiday season.
Nintendo followed that somewhat disappointing announcement with a heavy hitter. A Xenoblade Chronicles X gameplay trailer with a massive sense of scale. These mechs, wildlife, and cities are next level huge. Not only that, but it finally has a release date December 4th, 2015. So it is coming out this year; and while I wasn’t a fan of the first game, giant robots and the sense of scale have me intrigued in Xenoblade Chronicles X.
Next Nintendo came out with a bit of a surprise Yokai Watch. Yokai Watch is a Japanese RPG made by the Ni No Kuni team and it is readily apparent from the music to the art style everything about this game says we also made Ni No Kuni and that isn’t a bad thing. The story of the game is based around a young boy catching ghosts and is coming this holiday season.
While that last announcement was a surprise this one was not. A new 3DS Fire Emblem is being made known as Fire Emblem Fates. No gameplay was shown during the event and it’s not coming stateside until 2016.
Another Fire Emblem announcement was Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. It definitely seems more like a Mega-ten game than a Fire Emblem game. That said it looks great, it has this awesome anime art style, great J-pop music, and is coming in 2016. Both this game will probably be pretty awesome, and if this crossover ends up being anything like Project X Zone I will probably love it. Also here is hoping to at least a few references to Persona.
These two known quantities were followed by another surprise. A brand new co-op Metroid Prime game for the 3DS, that also includes a soccer-like sports game. It’s being developed by Next Level Games who has a pretty solid track record; and their most recent game was Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. I am looking forward to a new Metroid, just not sure how a series based around exploration and isolation will work as a co-op game.
Now Nintendo closed the show on a relatively high note with a pair of Zelda announcements, just not the Zelda we thought they would end up showing. First was Hyrule Warriors: Legends a port of Hyrule characters with new characters specifically for 3DS coming in 2016. Very curious to see how that game will turn out on the 3Ds considering the Wii U version didn’t always run well on Wii U so it being on a weaker platform could be trouble. The other Zelda announcement was a co-op Zelda game also for the 3DS known as Zelda Triforce Heroes. It’s a three player game based around traditional 2D Zelda gameplay similar to Four Swords Adventures, but with one less person. It is slated to come out this fall.
Overall Nintendo had a pretty great show all things considered, yes it did get out shined by Sony and Microsoft, but for Nintendo fans this was a solid show and at this point that’s Nintendo’s goal make their fans happy and I think they did just that.