It’s difficult to know what kind of mark Nintendo will leave at E3 every year. One year they seem lost and not able to be taken seriously and then next year president Iwata pulls a next generation console out of his jacket pocket.
This year’s Nintendo E3 Digital Event was… meh. However, for the first time ever, “meh” might actually be a step in the right direction for Nintendo. It is by no means a secret that last year’s Year of Luigi was a successful one. So a short sweet presentation on just a few things Nintendo has in store for the coming year is actually the best thing Nintendo could have done.
Of course, the presentation was certainly not without its highlights. Some were good. Some were bad. Some were, well… totally 100% Nintendo, whether that means they were interesting, different, or just plain “huh?”
You can always expect a strong start with more new Super Smash Bros. footage for the 3DS and the Wii U. Having Reggie and Iwata lock in a Dragon Ball Z style combat scene is a great way to reveal that not only can you play as some of the most iconic characters in the Nintendo history, but you can customize your own Mii to become a fighter in the game. With three types of fighters and 36 combinations of move sets, the Mii feature in Smash Bros. could be extremely fun.
Probably the biggest story, of course, was the unveiling of the new Zelda title for the Wii U. The developers spoke of a truly large and open world and the visuals of Hyrule’s vast landscape were nothing short of breathtaking. We also got to see some in-depth looks at titles we already knew about.
Specifically, Bayonetta 2 looks just about as awesome and action packed as its predecessor. With the inclusions of Bayonetta dressed in outfits that resemble famous female Nintendo heroines like Princess Peach and Samus, it makes for some fun customization. It also doesn’t hurt that they are releasing Bayonetta 2 bundled with a release of its prequel.
Aside from that, you know the Pokemon: Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will be awesome and there were some awesome visuals in Xenoblade: Chronicles.
But hey, what was Shigeru Miyamoto doing at the end? Kind of looked like Star Fox! (Update: Miyamoto confirmed new Star Fox on Tree House Live.)
Its no secret that Nintendo likes their gimmicks; they like them almost to a fault. After their strong opening with Smash Bros this became especially true. Yoshi’s
Epic Yarn Wooly World, while it clearly seems like a different game than its Kirby predecessor, seems to mimic the Yoshi’s Island platform style a little too closely. Speaking of Kirby, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is another example of taking a beloved IP and creating a gimmick. The game play obviously uses the game pad as a key element as you draw lines for Kirby to roll on as a means of navigating through the levels and to attack enemies.That’s fine, but will it be good.
However, my criticism of the Yoshi and Kirby games are more out of being skeptical—they may very well be awesome games. However, no part of me thought it was necessary to give Toad a game. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. When, at any point, did it become a good idea to give this insufferably-voiced mushroom-head a game? Do you really want to listen to this for an entire game? I don’t! I would hope you don’t!
Like I said, Nintendo is Nintendo. So sometimes when describing something from Nintendo the best adjective to use is just that, Nintendo. Sometimes it can be a word that transcends the top shelf of goodness like awesome or amazing. Splatoon fits that definition of Nintendo. I don’t even know what it means. You’re a kid, but you’re also a squid. Whatever it means, the multi-player for this game looks fun and uncontrollably addicting.
As for Amiibo, it seems a little premature. I admit that I love the idea of training and customizing my own Mario or Samus to fight. At the same time, its functionality beyond Super Smash Bros. is a complete mystery. This certainly isn’t the first time Nintendo has announced something and the public isn’t exactly sure what it does. Since the game is compatible with Mario Party 10 or Mario Kart 8, does this mean we can play as Samus or Kirby in those games? Though details will be revealed soon, I’m sure, I’d rather know the full capabilities and possibilities now.
At the end of the day…
Not bad. Not great. Nintendo is going to be feeling the backlash of its marketing strategy for the Wii U for a long time after its lackluster reveal back in 2011. At the moment,they seem to be recovering with some exciting titles, new hardware, and a few new surprises that will surely be revealed all weekend on their Tree House Live events.