Coming into E3 this year, Nintendo found itself in a position it hasn’t enjoyed in a number of years. The debut of their latest console back in March, the Nintendo Switch, has propelled the company forward and put it back on track after the relative disaster that was the WiiU.
Thanks to strong sales of the console and first party games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, most fans were likely wondering what else Nintendo had in store. With a couple more big name games left on the schedule, many questions were left unanswered coming into E3: When would Super Mario Odyssey release? What other games were coming in 2017? Is Metroid finally coming back?
Thankfully, Nintendo had answers and gave fans what they wanted to see. Here are my thoughts.
Unsurprisingly, the phenomenon known as Rocket League is at long last making its way to the Switch. While most gamers likely already own the game on some platform, the real draw here is being able to take the game on the go. I know a lot of people who find that feature alone very appealing.
After the flak the Pokemon Company received for its somewhat lackluster Nintendo Direct presentation a couple weeks prior, a short video was shown to calm fears and confirm that a dedicated RPG style Pokemon game was coming for the Switch. That alone should make fans beyond happy.
Metroid is back everyone. Finally. Metroid is back. It feels so good to finally be able to type these words to you. They showed pretty much nothing outside of a placeholder logo but seriously everyone: Metroid.
Kirby and a new Yoshi game are also in the works. Kirby looks to focus on co-op shenanigans while Yoshi just looks so darn adorable. I love the “materials” aesthetic they have taken with that series and now being able to flip stages to reveal a different perspective on the level? Very cool.
We also saw the first details for the upcoming expansion packs to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. My money is still on the second expansion having at least 1 new character to play as.
The new Hyrule Warriors style game, Fire Emblem Warriors was given a new story-centric trailer and it indeed looks to play as one would expect. If you like the Warriors style of games, this one should be on your wish list.
For me though, the biggest announcement was saved for last: Super Mario Odyssey. I don’t think I was prepared for how off the rails this game looks, and I mean that in the best way possible. Mario can basically possess anything he wants by tossing his hat at it, the levels are unbelievably varied and unique, and apparently Pauline is now a lounge singer in New Donk City.
The zany trailer also showed some really cool 2D elements which basically displayed a retro style Mario running around on a wall like he was pulled out of the original Super Mario Bros. The best news though? This thing is hitting a lot sooner than most people thought: October 27, 2017.
What was most surprising to me was the actual runtime of the show. Nintendo is known for not following the crowd and this year, that was very much on display. While other shows lasted well over and hour, Nintendo stuck to a very rigid 25 minute conference.
While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it did feel like they left a lot on the table that could have been added. Instead, Nintendo opted to show fans what they were up to with plenty of gameplay and hands-on demos in the Nintendo Treehouse segment. While I did tune in, I feel like these press conferences are what companies use to really announce things as they know people tune into them. When they’re over, people tend to head back to other things, whether that’s a different channel, or whatever. It’s possible that Nintendo didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to wow its viewers when it had their full attention.
In addition, 3DS owners got no love during the E3 presser as the entire 25 minutes was geared towards Switch owners. However, Nintendo did make up for this later on thanks to Metroid: Samus Returns.
Overall, I thought Nintendo did a good job this year. Clearly, they want to keep that wave of momentum going, even with a laser-focused and shorter conference than usual. They have a solid list of games coming for the Switch, led by none other than Super Mario Odyssey.
You can just see the quality, care and love Nintendo has put into this project and it’s easily the best-looking game in the series to date. It’s amazing what Nintendo can do to their games even without the best hardware on the market.
I would have loved for Nintendo to put a bit more content in their show, but what they did show was pretty fun and exciting to me. I personally enjoyed their content and this is coming from a person who doesn’t own a *Switch.