The Nintendo E3 2018 Direct: Another One Hit Wonder

As a Nintendo fan, I had such high hopes for their Nintendo Direct presentation during this year’s E3. The record-breaking first year sales of the Nintendo Switch should lead into another great year, and E3 would prove that.

Well, with high expectations comes disappointment. Even after a second viewing of the Nintendo Direct presentation, I can’t help but feel that something was missing. But let me go through the presentation in detail:

The Good

  • Leading off with the cel-shaded but gritty art style of Daemon X Machina was certainly a strong start – that game looked amazing. The mecha genre has a lot of fans and I’m sure anyone who is a fan of mechs that saw this had their interest peaked. I know a lot of Gundam fans myself; I might show them footage of this game to get them thinking about buying a Nintendo Switch. As for myself, I want to see more of the game – if it gets positive reviews when it gets released, I might go ahead and buy a copy. Marvelous isn’t really seen as a major third party developer, but I’m glad to see them supporting the Switch.
  • The Mario Party franchise has it’s fans, so I’m sure they’re very excited about Super Mario Party. It looks like the game is going back to it’s roots after a few missteps in the last couple of Mario Party releases. I love the name (homage from how Mario Bros. became Super Mario Bros. or how the NES became the Super NES) but I’m not that interested in it. I mean, at the end of the day, Super Mario Party is a party game, meant to be enjoyed by a group. What I’m really interested in is that sequence wherein they showed two Nintendo Switches beside one another, connecting to become one screen – I want to see how many other ways Nintendo can use that kind of technology.
  •  I love it when Nintendo announces a game and says “It’s going to be available later” – and this treatment of Fortnite should have been bigger than it was. Fortnite is very popular right now, and the ability to be able to play it on the go at a home console quality is major. I’ve already downloaded a copy and I can see why people like playing that game.
  • It was good to see Reggie giving some love to indies. My fiancee and I are such big fans of Overcooked, so I was giddy with delight when Nintendo showed Overcooked 2. I don’t know much about Killer Queen Black (from what I’ve read, it’s a port of a popular arcade game) and Hollow Knight but I’m glad to see both games get highlighted anyway.

After Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, these two games are what I’m keeping my eyes peeled for.

  • Seeing the new Fire Emblem game get pushed back to 2019 was a bummer, but I’m glad to have seen footage of the game finally. What is up with that title? Fire Emblem: Three Houses? I’m hoping that the name isn’t final. It’s been a while since we last had a Fire Emblem game on a home console, so I was amazed at what was shown.
  • That sizzle reel of upcoming releases was awesome! Nintendo kept showing game after game after game, I couldn’t even keep up with the presentation (I was trying to take note of all the titles). Sure, most of what was shown were already released on other platforms, but that just shows that if you get a Switch, you’ll get some of the games that X-Box One or Playstation 4 owners will get. And all of the titles in that sequence will be released in the next 9 months, so Switch owners can trust that there will always be something to play.
  • Finally, I get to talk about the biggest title that was featured during the presentation: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nintendo gave me three out of five on my Smash Bros. wishlist so I’m very happy. The return of Solid Snake was enough to blow my mind but Sakurai exceeded my expectations by bringing each fighter from all Smash Bros. games back. Yes, you can play as video game icons Ryu, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and Solid Snake and beat up some of Nintendo’s most annoying characters like Pikachu and Kirby. And this game will be out in less than a year! I know what I’ll be asking for this Christmas!

The Bad

  • Because Nintendo restricted themselves to feature only releases that are scheduled for the next six to nine months, we didn’t get any truly major reveals. We already knew that Super Smash Bros. was coming out, and the Pokemon Let’s Go games were revealed several weeks earlier. If you do not like fighting games at all, Super Smash Bros. probably didn’t appeal to you – which meant probably nothing in Nintendo’s entire presentation appealed to you. I think Nintendo should have saved the Pokemon Let’s Go reveals for this presentation – Pokemon is Pokemon, even if the Let’s Go games are just spin-offs.
  • And speaking of Super Smash Bros. – even I, a big Smash Bros. fan, think that Nintendo went into too much detail with the game. I started to tune out when they started talking about air dodges and how the Wii Fit Trainer’s facial features were a little different now.
  • Nintendo still isn’t getting truly major third party developer support. They are there – Ubisoft, Square Enix, EA, and Capcom all have games coming out on the Switch, but not the kind of games that will make a non-Nintendo fan say “That’s coming out on the Switch?”. I’m still holding on to the idea that the Switch is still brand new and that it’ll take developers some time before they can fully understand how to develop for the device but I’m slowly losing hope.
  • I wrote about this in the past already and the same holds true – recent leaks have taken the bang out of some of Nintendo’s announcements during this presentation. Fortnite being announced and released for the Switch on the same day should have been big, but we already knew about it. Thank goodness that none of the Smash Bros. surprises (Snake returning, Ridley joining the series) were spoiled by leaks.

The Verdict

I’m a big Super Smash Bros. fan so I loved the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate surprises, and I did find some of the third party titles interesting (Daemon X Machina and Fortnite in particular), but overall I wasn’t very impressed with what Nintendo showed us during E3 this year. Maybe I would have been happier if I hadn’t known about a lot of the titles that were revealed (I really think that a Fortnite surprise would have been good); a teaser or two of a more distant release or the reveal of a major AAA release would have been great too.

However, Nintendo has been known to have multiple Direct presentations throughout the year. We aren’t necessarily going to be limited to the games that Nintendo showed us this week – Doom for instance, one of the biggest third party releases for the Switch, was not part of Nintendo’s E3 Presentation last year. No, Nintendo revealed Doom on a Nintendo Direct last September 13, 2017. And the game was released later that November. The same thing could happen this year, with upcoming titles announced in future Nintendo Direct presentations.

So was Nintendo’s Direct presentation during E3 this year lackluster? If you aren’t a Super Smash Bros. fan, the answer is yes! Is it a big deal? Recent history proves that it isn’t. While I don’t have much to look forward to right now (aside from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), it’s okay – I haven’t started my Breath of the Wild playthrough yet and I even haven’t bought a copy of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Wolfenstein 2 is coming out soon. I have a lot of Switch games to entertain me throughout the year.

What did you think about Nintendo’s Direct presentation during E3 this year? Drop us a line or two below and let’s talk about it!

 

 

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