E3 2021 just finished and, as with every year, we have to declare a winner. We have to state who had the best presentation during last week’s cavalcade of panels and the results are in! According to a poll conducted by IGN, a majority of people thought Microsoft won E3 for 2021 with a whopping 56.4% of gamers saying the Xbox & Bethesda show has the best show.
I have to disagree wholehearted, though. Microsoft’s show was good but it definitely wasn’t great, let along being the best show of this year’s E3. They simply didn’t do anything in particular to wow me. No, for me, the clear cut winner of E3 2021 was Nintendo’s Direct show. In fact, with everything said and done, I would even go as far to say Nintendo saved this year’s E3.
I actually watched all of the big shows, like the aforementioned Microsoft Xbox & Bethesda show, as well as the smaller shows. There were a few bits and pieces that like like, such as the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy from Square Enix and the reveal of Elden Ring certainly looked cool, but that was exactly the problem. There wasn’t a show that really showed one awesome new game reveal after another. That is, until Nintendo had their Nintendo Direct show.
I also do have to clarify that, as good as Nintendo’s show was, I can’t say it was the most entertaining. That honor easily goes to Devolver Digital. While I can’t really say I’m excited for any of their games, Devolver Digital always puts out the most insane E3 shows every since they started way back in 2017. They always have such brilliant and captivating programs so they’ve actually become a highlight of every E3 and I look forward to seeing what they have in store each and every year.
As entertaining as Devolver Digital’s E3 show was, I still watch the E3 panels to see what are the hot new games coming over the horizon and Nintendo had a gaggle of announcements which blew up my hype levels.
They started out strong with the reveal that Kazuya Mishima of Tekken fame will be joining Smash Bros. Ultimate in the near future. While I’m totally not good as any Smash Bros. game, I do like to watch a professional match or two. I also love the fact how Nintendo manages to bridge the gap between publishers and developers as they’re so willing to allow their big name characters to join the already humongous roster of Smash Bros. Ultimate! In retrospect, I really shouldn’t have been surprised to see a Tekken character eventually join seeing that Capcom and SNK are allowing Ryu and Terry Bogard hang around with Mario and Pokemon monsters. I do gotta say watching Kazuya dumping Smash characters over the edge of a cliff reminiscent of his Tekken 1 ending was funny in a slightly morbid way.
I’m personally not a huge Metroid fan… but my brother sure is. So when they revealed upcoming 2D Metroid Dread game, you can bet he went all kinds of crazy but in a good way. I do have some vague memories of trying to play Super Metroid on our Super Nintendo Classic (that’s the SNES Mini but Nintendo doesn’t want to call it that) and I think I got stuck in some pit and I couldn’t climb out. I knew you had to use some kind of special wall jump to get out but I just couldn’t get the timing down. This pretty much soured me to the game so, whenever I see a new 2D Metroid, I have flashbacks of straining valiantly with the controls to get out of that pit only to plummet to the bottom. Still, I’m happy for my brother and the thousands of fans that they’ll be getting another Metroid. It’s not for me but I will acknowledge the gimmick of being hunted down by some unstoppable monster is pretty unnerving and cool.
I was also very delighted to see they were porting over Fatal Frame: Maider of Blackwater over to the Switch. It may not be exclusive to the system as it’s also coming out on PlayStation systems but there are a few reasons why I might consider getting it for my Switch. For one thing, the graphics just have to be comparable to the PlayStation version. I think playing it on the Switch might feel a little bit better since it’ll feel like holding an old-timey camera, which will be much more conducive for immersion. I’m also wondering if Sony will censor some of the extra stuff, like the bikini costumes, as they have a habit of censoring some of the more naughty bits for Western audiences. Nintendo might me more relaxed?
I also love Nintendo is bringing back WarioWare. I remember when I was super young I would play the heck out of the original WarioWare on the Game Boy Advance. It was sort of a hand-me-down from my brother and actually might be the very first video game I actually touched. I love the blistering pace of those short micro games and how you have to grab the concept but it was so intuitive that even an infant such as myself could grasp.
Speaking of old Game Boy Advance games, I’m actually looking forward to Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp. I really didn’t care for it when I first saw it but my brother certainly was. There was just something in the way he explained how the turn-based combat worked and how there was a rock-paper-scissors battle system so every unit has a purpose. Besides, the graphics look charming as heck!
While we’re talking about older portable games, Nintendo’s E3 presentation made me question why I been sleeping on the Danganronpa series. I just thought it was an RPG in the vein of Braverly Second, which just isn’t my cup of tea. Little did I know it appears to be more like the Ace Attorney series where you have to determine the culprit of a murder by finding clues! Well, that’s enough to sell me on the games. Yes, games! I mean, Nintendo is packaging the first bunch of Danganronpa games into one cartridge? Sold!
While most of the announcements did pique my interest a whole lot, what really grabbed my attention was the slew of Legend of Zelda content Nintendo has mapped out. The first thing they did reveal, an expansion to Hyrule Warriors, wasn’t all that appealing to me, if I’m being honest. I just never got the appeal of mowing down hordes of hapless enemies as it gets repetitive really quickly but I guess it’s fine for fans. The next several reveals, however, really got my blood pumping.
There was the announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword getting an HD release for the Switch. I haven’t played it but I can kinda say I’m super interested in seeing this game because of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Breath of the Wild was my first Zelda game and I utterly loved my experience in this somewhat post-apocalyptic world after Gannon won. I would definitely want to see the very first game in the Zelda continuity to see how it all began.
The Game & Watch system which has 3 retro Legend of Zelda titles and a weird whack-a-mole type game with Link was strangely enamoring to me. I never even saw a Game & Watch and maybe I’ve just been brainwashed to automatically salivate over a retro Nintendo product… but I really want one! There’s just something really kitschy with the whole thing. I know I could just get an NES Classic and it’ll have 2 of the 3 games on it and it would be a much better deal as I’ll be getting more than Legend of Zelda games with it. However, I just can’t help it! It just looks adorable! I want one for my birthday and Christmas!
The best part of Nintendo’s E3 show was definitely saved for last as they finally showed us a few screens of the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I just mentioned how much I loved the first game so you can imagine how much I wanted to see the sequel finally in action! The world looks insane now with Link having to swan dive through the sky to get to islands and locations floating in the sky! I can’t help how this will connect with the events of Skyward Sword since I imagine that had floating islands as well. Link also has new powers like rewinding time and a flamethrower. Those are just guesses based on the trailer. I also love how Link can fall upwards into different areas, making a really trippy experience! This is definitely a must have and I’m so pumped to play it!
It’s because of how many quality titles Nintendo showed during E3 which makes me say that, not only did they win this year, they utterly saved it. This year’s E3 was looking to be a very mediocre showcase and it took Nintendo to make it an E3 worth watching. They showed me games which I actually want to play myself and isn’t that what E3 is supposed to do?
Who do you think won this year’s E3 and why is your answer Nintendo? Let me know in the comments section below!