Find out how Screen Critics Joe took Nintendo’s E3 Livestream. In a year with underwhelming outings, did Nintendo deliver?
The House of Mario closed out the main body of conferences with its annual livestream; doubling down on the Switch in a short and sweet presentation. Read on to find out how we felt the livestream went.
With an overall lackluster E3 that lacked any powerful punches or surprises, all eyes were on Nintendo this morning. Expectations were tempered; with only a 25 minute run time and a focus on 2017 titles, how much could they really reveal? Nintendo side-stepped their own statements though, to make announcements of games fans have been clamoring for, even though they will likely be 2018 and beyond titles, and finally packed the wallop this E3 had been missing.
Nintendo started out the livestream with a stylish, more adult trailer, akin to what we have been seeing since the Switch’s unveiling in October of last year. While the usual suspects like ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Pokken Tournament DX were featured in the trailer, Rocket League made its surprise debut in the opening trailer with a few clips of gameplay on Switch. FIFA 18 was also featured.
NOA President Reggie Fils-Aime then came out and gave an awkward monologue about fun and battling before launching into the stream of games. First up was Xenoblade Chronicles 2 with an extended trailer and a Holiday 2017 release window, which was pleasantly surprising, since Xenoblade felt like a strong candidate for a delay. Next was an untitled Kirby game for Switch, which still looks painfully easy, but perhaps more mechanically deep. Kirby was given a 2018 release window, setting off the alarms that Nintendo was going to talk about games outside of 2017.
Then came the two biggest surprises of Nintendo’s conference. First, the presentation was kicked to Tsunekazu Ishihara, President of The Pokemon Company, who confirmed that a core Pokemon RPG was in development for Switch. Truthfully, the title has likely been in development, but after the negative reactions from last week’s Pokemon Direct, Nintendo felt it was probably best to cover their bases. Ishihara confirmed the title is more than a year out at least. Then, the megaton of the show, Metroid Prime 4 was confirmed to be in development for the Switch. No other details have been given, except that Retro is not developing the title.
A new Yoshi game, which looks similar to Yoshi’s Wholly World, was given a 2018 release window. The title has a greater emphasis on depth and looks more interesting than the previous titles in the series. Fire Emblem Warriors, the hack-and-slash title similar to Hyrule Warriors, showed a new trailer, which felt formulaic and uninspired, and was given a release window of Fall 2017.
Eiji Aonuma, the Producer of the Zelda series, came out and reiterated the Skyrim amiibo content before talking more about the Breath of the Wild DLC. Nothing new was shown from the first expansion, but it was given a release date of June 30th. Similarly, no new details about the second expansion were given, except that it is still coming Holiday 2017 and is titled The Champion’s Ballad, so the focus will likely be focused on the 4 champions. Perhaps it takes place in the past? Only time will tell.
Yves Guillemot from Ubisoft came to talk briefly about Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. Considering the title was shown extensively yesterday at Ubisoft’s conference, it was appreciated that they did not repeat any announcements. Then, Rocket League was discussed in more depth, the highlights being cross network play, local multiplayer, and exclusive cars and decorations. Rocket League is expected to come to Switch this Holiday season.
Finally, Nintendo finished up the spotlight with an extended look at Super Mario Odyssey, featuring a song written specifically for the game. Odyssey looks incredibly deep, gorgeous, and addicting, with mechanics that promote experimentation. Expect it on October 27.
Final Thoughts: In a year where it felt like everyone did a good job, but failed to achieve greatness, Nintendo pulled through. The Big N pulled a Sony in a year when Sony couldn’t themselves by focusing on the games in a tight, concise presentation. Nintendo also did a better job than most publishers in showing what their fans will be playing through 2017. Their is plenty to be excited for in the coming months and through next year because Nintendo was able to bring the hype in its livestream.