This is a digest of what GameReviewPad contributors thought of Nintendo’s showing at E3 2015.
Nintendo America’s CEO, Reggie, faced off against a finalist of a previous Super Smash Bros. tourney in order to show off Ryu. Even though Reggie lost painfully, it was still very entertaining. They then ended it off with Mario Maker, which was the biggest win of the night for them, showcasing the insane potential the games creative aspect had. The only truly weak part of the tournament was the announcers for me, as they seemed wooden for the most part and scripted, while the guests were quite nervous or just as wooden. It didn’t hit home for me, but it certainly was a valiant effort. They showcased their game library both new and old beautifully, and certainly entertained the masses with an experience many will remember.
Then came the conference, and oh boy was it a doozy. They used this weird puppet show approach with announcing new games that intrigued and confused me, as well as everyone watching with me, but we were surprisingly entertained by it. Then came the games starting off with Star Fox Zero; with the trailer showcasing this new unique transformation set up for many of the vehicles is just intriguing as to how it will play out. While I am iffy with the gyro controls used on the Wii U Gamepad, which didn’t work for me with the Star Fox 3D on the 3DS, I am still interested enough to buy the game. The problem that seemed to arise is that a lot of the time they’d go into the backstory behind the conception of the game, rather than discussing the game itself. While a neat little tidbit, I’d rather the main focus be on the gameplay and announcements. Skylanders is now on the Wii U with new Amiibo characters, while gameplay was shown, I wasn’t so glued to the screen as I was for the next set of games.
The Fire Emblem x Shin Megami Tensei game seems to have shown its true colors as a Shin Megami Tensei game first with Fire Emblem characters. The trailer didn’t spark any new interest in me, but rather made me step back and think why I wanted the game in the first place so much. Then came Fire Emblem Fates trailer, which didn’t show much either except for the English voice acting which is good, but I wanted more from my trailer or some gameplay, which was shown later in the Nintendo Treehouse, yet not in the conference surprises me. Xenoblade Chronicles X did the same thing and I was beginning to wonder whether or not those were main focuses for the Nintendo team to promote because in the conference they were more glanced over with just a trailer.
Then came a string of weak performances on their part; The Blast Ball shown in the Nintendo World Championships is a part of a Metroid spinoff game, which people would have wanted just another Metroid game instead. Mario Tennis is back with mushrooms and jumping. Hyrule Warriors Legends only showcased 2 new characters, but didn’t distinguish itself from its predecessor. The Legend of Zelda Triforce Heroes really surprised me that they would be going back to that type of aesthetic so soon, but I’m interested to see how it would fare against the Four Swords in cooperative play.
They show two new Animal Crossing games, which at the initial look seemed like just cash grabs, but nothing was truly explained about them. Happy Home Designer seems like every other Animal Crossing, but you get to design everyone’s house, which is a more interesting mechanic than the Amiibo Festival. Amiibo Festival seems like a watered down version of Mario Party just to sell Amiibos. Yoshi’s Woolly World was talked about…mostly for the unique yarn Amiibo of Yoshi. Yokai Watch seems like Pokemon mixed with the Japanese beliefs behind spirits, which sounds fascinating but not much was shown. Mario and Luigi Paper Jam was by far the biggest surprise Nintendo showed, mixing both the Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga style with the Paper Mario style into one game that looked unique in this line-up. The main focus came down to Mario Maker, which I felt was executed a lot better in the Nintendo World Championships to showcase it. I thought Nintendo showed itself up with the Championships, that the conference paled in comparison. The conference was the shortest one there was, which only makes me more depressed because they could’ve gone into more about the three games I wanted to see more about: Fire Emblem Fates, Fire Emblem x Shin Megami Tensei, and Xenoblade Chronicles X. Nintendo after such a great conference last year just hit a roadblock this year, and I can only hope that they come back next year stronger than ever or they will just be forgotten come E3 time.
After you played Smash Bros with the new fighters, Nintendo held the Nintendo World Championship. I had a blast watching the event and the Nintendo stream held up nicely. I can say this was my first esports event I watched. Kevin Pereira was a great host and is able to think on his feet when there were mic issues. The highlight of the event was not that guy being a jerk to Reggie, (though he deserved it for sucking at his promise), but showing how crazy Super Mario Maker is. I wanted to buy this game, but now this is a day one purchase for me. The winner was rewarded with the trophy and had his 3DS signed by Miyamoto in person. It didn’t end there; Satoru Iwata congratulated him on Twitter. If you have the president of a company thanking you on social media you will never live it down. They ended the event with the screenshot ending of Super Mario World. Very classily, Nintendo.
After last year’s Digital Event, many were hoping for a repeat. Like the San Antonio Spurs, repeat seems hard to do. I was entertained seeing Reggie Fils-Aime, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Saroru Iwata as Muppets. We knew about Star Fox, but seeing the game is action got me excited. When the motion controls were discussed, I was thankful to learn those were optional. Then we learned how this person took her pastime of making things out of yarn and turned it into Yarn Yoshi amiibos. She talked about how the game’s difficulty will be based on the player. If you want to speed run the game, go ahead, however if you want to collect all the hidden items, good luck.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam has a cool idea of combining Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi’s series as a crossover. After seeing the game, I reminded myself how I have to play Dream Team. We learned Miyamoto discuss what it was like making Super Mario Bros with limited resources compare to what players can do in Super Mario Maker. We got a release date for Xenoblade Chronicles X and other game news, but overall I thought the event was okay.
In fact, during E3 as a whole, I only “marked out” once. Many feel that Nintendo threw in the towel since people are waiting for them to talk about the NX, and that the next Metroid and Animal Crossing game is not what they wanted. Personally, Nintendo still has a decent lineup of games coming out this year; sure it’s overshadowed with no Zelda, but I’m still okay with that. Oh yea, No Pokémon this year since Yo-Kai is coming to the US. That game is massively popular in Japan and I’m guessing Nintendo is hoping for the same results here later this year.
I did not have any expectations going into Nintendo’s showing at E3, but the digital event they put out was just bizarre. It wasn’t a live ‘conference,’ but a video presentation put together that really seemed like more of a documentary.. They did show games, but nothing jaw-dropping. I did not expect to see new Zelda footage at the digital event, but it should have been there. The lack of Zelda footage is one example of how clueless and out of touch Nintendo is. They had footage in 2014, but not now?
Putting all the silly skits, interviews, and claymation/puppetry aside, there were some games that caught my eye. YO-KAI WATCH was probably the game that caught my eye the most, but just looking at it, it seems like a Pokemon clone. During my hardcore Nintendo days, I never got into Paper Mario, but this new game for the 3DS, Mario & Luigi Paper Jam looks somewhat interesting to me, especially the 3D movement. They showed a trailer of Xenoblade Chronicles X for the Wii U, but I don’t think it was particularly well done, considering it is probably their best exclusive this year. That being said, I would still want that game If I get a Wii U. Fire Emblem Fates for the 3DS was also shown, and that is definitely a game I want to play eventually. They also showed Mario Maker, but not a whole lot about the features. I’m still wondering what the sharing and discovery mechanism will be. The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes for Nintendo 3DS is some puzzler game, and that will probably end up in my library at some point.
When it comes down to it, I thought Nintendo’s E3 showing was sloppy and unorganized. That digital event annoyed me so much I decided not to even bother with the Nintendo Treehouse . Maybe I missed something great, who knows…All the negativity aside, I truly believe this is a case where Nintendo is just clueless about how to sell to the United States. Nintendo actually has Mario Maker, Yoshi’s Woolly World, Starfox Zero, and Xenoblade Chronicles X coming out in the fourth quarter of 2015, which aren’t bad exclusives! That’s more exclusives than Sony or Microsoft ending 2015. For all the Sony gushing that came out of E3, exclusives are still what sell systems, and for the second year in a row, I still put the Nintendo Wii U ahead of Playstation 4. In the end, I really think this is a case of Nintendo failing at style, but still has the substance.
More contributor reactions to Nintendo’s showing at E3 2015 may be added before July 1st.