Nintendo at E3: That’s All Folks?

For this year’s E3, I had high hopes that Nintendo would deliver. Leading up to this year’s event, all the ingredients to make it as successful as last year were there. After two surprise announcements this year (Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon: Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee editions) and the potential follow up on everything announced at last year’s E3 conference, the bar was set high. 

Before I go any further, I am not upset with what Nintendo did announce. It was a nice presentation that, at times, felt like a standard, non-E3 Nintendo Direct. To be completely honest, the entire presentation could’ve been the Pokémon: Let’s Go! Announcement trailer on loop and I probably would’ve been content (what else matters knowing that we get a ‘Mon game this year AND in 2019?). 

This year’s show seemed to be a flash in the pan compared to what happened last year. As a quick recap, last year’s E3 surprised fans with a Pokémon announcement, a promise that we would be receiving a new entry into the Metroid Prime series and a really in-depth look at Yoshi’s latest adventure (more on that disappointment later). 

This year’s show was touted to have a heavy focus on Super Smash Bros. (rightfully so) with the added bonus of a quick jaunt around the Kanto region for Pikachu and co’s latest adventure. To the presentation’s credit, it delivered on both tenfold. With regards to everything else, let’s break down what did — and didn’t — make an appearance at Nintendo’s E3 presentation this year. 

Super Smash Bros.

Holy roster of characters, Batman! Nintendo delivered on their Super Smash Bros. promise. Not only did we get an official title, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but we also got long-awaited confirmation that the game is a completely new entry into the series with some familiar faces. Correction, with *all* the faces…literally. That’s right, the newest friendship-ending edition of Smash Bros. will have a roster featuring every single playable character throughout the franchise’s long history. 

Pokémon: Let’s Go!

Not many of my E3 predictions were correct this year, but we did get to see more gameplay footage of the November release, including how some of the game mechanics work, including gym battles, leveling up, what the candy system will look like and more. We also got to see the Poké Ball Plus in action, which, coupled with the announcement that Mew was a Poké Ball exclusive for the game, had me refreshing Google until the preorder page went live on Amazon. 

Fire Emblem

Announced at last year’s event, Fire Emblem, now known as Fire Emblem: Three Houses, was given a proper trailer and gameplay showcase at this year’s event. As many wondered, the release window for the game was pushed back to 2019. The game appears to take the beloved gameplay from the handheld series while leveraging the Nintendo Switch’s graphical prowess. 

Super Mario Party

This was the best surprise of the event. Not only do we get a Mario Party with upgraded graphics and gameplay (think about what the HD humble could mean for skill-based mini games), but it appears to strip away the *terrible* gameplay mechanic adopted in more recent games where everyone travels in the same cart. This game will be a great addition to the Switch’s lineup as we finish out 2018

Fortnite

Thanks to no one, this release didn’t come as a surprise. What was shocking was that it went live right after the conference, so the instant gratification was strong with this one. Smart move, Nintendo. 

Metroid Prime 4

I respect Nintendo’s decision to hold off on showing this game until it’s ready. It makes sense, because expectations are high, but I will admit it was extremely surprising to get absolutely no information about this title at all. 

Bayonetta 3

I had this game pegged to come out this Christmas. Needless to say, I was completely wrong. It appears that Platinum Games isn’t ready to spill the beans on our favorite gun-toting heroine just yet. Color me disappointed

Yoshi

This one completely baffles me. Last year’s Nintendo Direct and Treehouse livestream provided an in-depth look into Mario’s dino pal and his latest adventure. They announced the game for a 2018 release, and yet it was mysteriously absent from this year’s presentation. What’s more, it looks like the game is releasing in 2019. I wonder what the delay is for? 

The Nintendo 3DS

New phone. Who dis? It seems like Nintendo has cooled their engines supporting its handheld console entirely, given the complete absence of any mention of the game. Was that simply an oversight, or foreboding with what’s to come? 

With the focus so heavily put on Super Smash Bros. Unlimited and Pokémon: Let’s Go!, we can only hope that Nintendo has some more surprise directs up its sleeve for the remainder of 2018 to keep us wanting more and, more importantly, the longevity of the Nintendo Switch going well into 2019. 

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