Although not officially an E3 press conference, Nintendo held an online-only “Digital Event” (as they did last year) to reveal all of their E3 goodies. After a hectic first day – which was technically day zero – we saw Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony all impress, so it was up to Nintendo to round off the set.
Nintendo were able to do some clever things with their conference (such as the Robot Chicken opening) and executed them perfectly. The pacing was a little off in places but for the majority it was sound. There were plenty of release dates given, a bunch of new games revealed and even a new IP – marvellous. It’s time to find out what the team thought.
Favourite Moment: The Robot Chicken opening. As a fan of the show it was wonderful to see the Nintendo characters and Reggie Fils-Aime recreated in that style. It was also a complete surprise from what was expected.
Best Trailer: Splatoon. Whilst Zelda looks incredible, Splatoon was a brand new IP for Nintendo and a fantastic premise that was well demonstrated.
Best Announcement: The Legend of Zelda reveal. The snap of fingers to reveal the luscious field behind him was a class moment by Eiji Aonuma.
Biggest Surprise: That Star Fox for Wii U wasn’t given any screen time. Utter madness.
Biggest Let-Down: The number of titles slated for 2015. Hyrule Warriors and Bayonetta 2 seem to make up the remainder of – a third-party sparse – remainder of 2014 for the Wii U – given that I suspect Super Smash Bros on Wii U to be pushed into 2015.
Most Anticipated Game: Splatoon. A refreshing new excursion by Nintendo and one that looks mightily interesting.
Common Theme: 2015. What have Nintendo’s studios been doing for the past few years?!
Three-Word Summary: Good but late.
Favourite Moment: When they alluded to the fact the new Legend of Zelda was going to be open world. That is significant news in itself!
Best Trailer: That Reggie Fils-Aime versus Satoru Iwata Super Smash Bros trailer was intense, with a couple of important announcements thrown in such as using Miis and NFC toys to play the game. A strong opening.
Best Announcement: Nintendo announces a new IP called Splatoon that is an interesting take on third-person shooters. It’s genuinely interesting which is more than can be said for a lot of their more recent new IPs.
Biggest Surprise: A new Star Fox game on Wii U that uses the gamepad? Miyamoto is on board to design it? [Ed – and it wasn’t even in the main conference!] Sign me up! Can’t wait to hear more later!
Biggest Let-Down: We’ve just had a Kirby game release on Nintendo 3DS and while the one on show was more of a sequel to Kirby’s Power Paintbrush, it feels too soon compared to the long hiatus of other franchises.
Most Anticipated Game: The now named Xenoblade Chronicles X is probably the one to look out for, despite its trailer being one of those weird dodgy over-dubbed monstrosities that only work in Japan, with next to no gameplay shown off.
Common Theme: With only two 3DS games in the main conference, Nintendo placing all their bets on enhancing the Wii U. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but both Nintendo and Sony have all but abandoned the notion of showing new games for their handheld devices in their conferences.
Three-Word Summary: All Wii U.
Favourite Moment: Oooh, so hard to choose! The reveal of customisable Mii characters in Smash Bros. made my heart race, but I actually cheered when I saw that Zelda was playable in Hyrule Warriors, disrupting others in the office.
Best Trailer: Smash Bros. trailers really know what they’re doing – you’re more excited for the introduction animations more than the gameplay footage (something that large cinematic trailers often hope for but don’t always achieve). Reggie and Iwata going toe-to-toe was pretty hype, but the animation of Link fighting Pit, accompanied by the irreverent dialogue style of Kid Icarus Uprising took the cake.
Best Announcement: The Kirby Canvas Curse sequel for WiiU. The DS game was absolutely incredible and one of the few games I’ve 100% completed.
Biggest Surprise: Again, that Kirby Canvas Curse. Nintendo’s announcements were almost all well-forecasted (or leaked, in the case of Mario Maker), and this was a rad surprise.
Biggest Let-Down: It was all pretty cool, but I was expecting more news out of Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. Stuff like mega evolutions were revealed days ago, and the engine being that of X/Y was a foregone conclusion. Where are the alternate costumes? Where are the secret bases?
Most Anticipated Game: I need that Smash Bros. in my life, yo. Bayonetta 2 is pretty much equal anticipation, and it’s great that the first Bayonetta is packaged in.
Common Theme: Genuine cheerfulness. Even with the more dramatic games like Zelda Wii U and Xenoblade Chronicles X, everything is vibrant and energetic. No ironic Christmas songs sung over ruined cities or anything! Even Nintendo’s attempt at a shooty-gun game is about paint and squid-people. That’s so whimsical my heart might explode.
Three Word Summary: Buy WiiU, nerds.