Ladies and gents I come to you today as a long-term Nintendo fan and yesterday I was hoping to be wowed or at least impressed with Nintendo’s contribution to E3 considering the game that Microsoft and Sony brought in the last day or say. Unfortunately Nintendo only gave me and many other fans only a handful of things to look forward to, but didn’t give us anything to blow our minds and that’s left this fan base in a place that’s far from pleased. So I just wanted to talk about where I think Nintendo went wrong with this event.
Now before I begin I want to say that this is not a rant, more like a statement from a concerned fan who has an opinion to share.
Okay so let’s talk about the games that they did have on display. Nintendo’s E3 Software Lineup consisted of:
- The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
- Super Mario Maker
- Star Fox Zero
- Hyrule Warriors: Legends
- Metroid Prime: Federation Force
- Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival
- Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
- Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
- Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros.
- Skylanders SuperChargers
- Yoshi’s Woolly World
- Genei Ibun Roku #FE
- Fire Emblem Fates
- Xenoblade Chronicles X
A good selection of games for sure, however besides the odd new surprise here and there, there was nothing really unexpected or out of the realm of possibility. Now that’s not to say that this Digital Event didn’t have its charms. The whole puppet character versions of Satoru Iwata, Reggie Fils-Aime and Shigeru Miyamoto was quite funny and entertaining and very in line with the quirk and random nature of Nintendo. Plus seeing some ACTUAL footage of Star Fox Wii U (now dubbed Star Fox Zero) was great considering that I’ve been waiting for a home console Star Fox game for 8 years now. I also liked the look of Tri Force Heroes, Mario Maker and I am a sucker for Mario Tennis so Ultra Smash will probably be on my radar too… With all that being said there is a hole of excitement and lack of surprise from the event that cannot be unshaken and now I will talk about what I think that was.
No Wow Factor
Nintendo as a company must know by now that their fan base, especially the older ones, are like a legion of crazed animals who require immediate software to keep us satisfied, because once you gives the fans something lackluster or give them nothing for a while, then everyone loses their minds! I’m pretty sure Reggie Fils-Aime has even addressed that on a couple of occasions; that the fans are insatiable and want the next best thing after they’ve been given something good. And it’s true, when we’re given a Metroid, people want to know when the next Zelda is coming out or when the next big Mario game is coming or a new I.P. like Splatoon or The Wonderful 101, and in a few years people will be after the next Smash Bros. and Mario Kart, the cycle never stops. So as a company they should know by now that failure is not an option, and even though they’re not necessarily competing with Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles, at the same time they have to perform that much harder so that they can still be relevant and show they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Last year Nintendo rocked E3 last year with their hype with Splatoon, Smash Bros. 4, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Bayonetta 2 and of course the massive reveal of Zelda Wii U, with the last game really blowing people’s minds. That was good stuff. This time round several of the games from last year showed up again with no real significant new footage. And the other games shown were either unnecessary or just not what people wanted. There was no Nintendo game that matched the internet-breaking hype levels of Final Fantasy VII Remake or Kingdom Hearts 3 or Fallout 4 to put things in perspective.
Questionable Reveals For Certain Games
With Fire Emblem Fate had primarily the same trailer we’d seen in the past except with english voice actors and while the game looks great it is still AGES away in 2016. Also, Genei Ibun Roku #FE (the Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem game) had more footage to show off but the trailer just felt like a compilation of clips and didn’t provide much in the way of the story or in-game gameplay to give you an idea of how the game mechanics would work. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash had a really small and unremarkable trailer, to those not so interested in this series it was basically a Mario tennis game with mega mushrooms, nothing more or les than that. There were no fancy moves or abilities or cool gimmicks or big details about the game and that really doesn’t sell the game well. Oh and look Skylanders SuperChargers has Mario characters in it… Yay? No! I don’t want that!
But nothing hurt worse than what came next. It felt something like this: Nintendo: “Hey guys want a new Animal Crossing game on Wii U?” Fans: “Yeah! Nintendo: “Here’s a party game!” Fans: “What?” An amiibo-focused AC game? Why? That is the last thing fans of this series want, sure it hasn’t been too long since the last main series game but don’t ruin in by doing these unnecessary spin-off, especially the party game territory, there’s enough of that shit out there already. But then comes the big troll of the day: Nintendo: “Hey guys you love Metroid Prime right?” Fans: “Hell yeah!” Nintendo “Well here’s a Metroid-inspired shooter without Samus in it!” Fans: “What the hell Nintendo!?!” Metroid fans are the last you want to mess with and they’ve been waiting for a new Metroid adventure for almost 5 years and yet Nintendo have yet to gives us another Prime game or a new 2D game, instead what we caught was some game inspired by the Prime games but without any of the recognisable traits or charm. That felt like a massive slap in the face to the fans and I was gutted myself.
Retreading Old Ground
With this Digital Event, Nintendo gave us a lot of games, but they were games that we’ve seen before. Several of the games we’ve seen from last year’s E3 while some of the “new” games didn’t do much to change the basic formula like Ultra Smash and to a degree Papa Jam Bros. Even Super Mario Maker while showing off a few new details, has been shown before, Hyrule Warriors: Legends is just a port of the Wii U game with a few new elements, and that wasn’t good. Oh and Nintendo, I understand that you love Mario, but you can’t force it down fans throats, people love other things too. That Mario fan complilation video at the end was nice and all but it didn’t lead up to something big like a Mario Sunshine HD or Mario Galaxy 3 announcement, so the whole ending just felt very hollow.
Ignoring Good Franchises
It would have been interesting if Nintendo decided to bring one of their old franchises out of retirement, a new Earthbound game maybe? Even an Ice Climbers or Dog Hunt would have at least been given a raised eyebrow. I’m so keen on Punch-Out but gives another one of those like the Wii game except with more character modes and online functionality? Make a sequel to Kid Icarus: Uprising for Wii U? Make another Mario Strikers game? Try Excite Truck again but with all the modes and a variety that’s come with Mario Kart 8? COME NINTENDO GIVE ME SOMETHING! And to gap it all off, another year goes by and there’s still no F-Zero game, that’s just mean Nintendo. 😦 I know MK8 has pretty much filled that spot for the time being but that franchise has so much potential in this modern age of gaming, it’s ridiculous that it hasn’t shown up by now.
In the end Nintendo really dropped the ball this time. It wasn’t like they didn’t have good stuff to show off, I’ve really got hope for Star Fox, Tri Force Heroes and Paper Jam Bros., but everything else was just a bit meh to horribly disappointing. This show NEEDED something big to make up for the lack of appearance of Zelda Wii U, but we didn’t get it and now a good number of the fans are revolting. They’re really gonna have to pull off something amazing in the future to rectify this inequity.