It’s been around 24 hours now since the Nintendo Digital Event. I’ve had time to process all the information they released in that 50ish minute video. I’ve watched some additional demos of many of the games that they had on display and I wanted to get my thoughts about what was shown (and maybe not shown) during the first day of E3 for Nintendo. Nintendo was focusing on transformation during the event. It did feel like things were changing for the company, but I wasn’t sure all the changes that they were making were going to be positive. I’m going to be focusing specifically on the stuff shown off during the Digital Event. There is still plenty more for Nintendo outside of that to talk about, though.
My initial reaction to the event overall was disappointment. It didn’t feel like there was really anything new that was going to wow us. With the loss of Zelda at the event and the game not coming out until next year at the earliest I felt, personally, that Nintendo needed to pull something out of their belt to get people excited. My first thought for that was a new Metroid game. We got one, but not one that fans were expecting. Metroid Prime Federation Force is a four player co-op multiplayer arena shooter. You and three friends can play together locally, or online, in what appear to be simple objective based scenarios. Then when you’ve finished all those missions you can play 3v3 Blast Ball, a futuristic version of soccer.
This feels to me like a slap in the face to Metroid fans. I’m not a Metroid guy, but I do like the series. I was one of the few people that thought Metroid: Other M was a really good Metroid game that actually made the character of Samus more believable and closer to how she is portrayed in the official Metroid manga series. She is flawed and vulnerable at times, but ultimately ready to take on whatever the galaxy has to throw at her. I was hoping that we’d get a new, proper Metroid game, but instead we’re getting something that feels like it would be a mini-game or a small part of an overall bigger game.
Another big disappointment to me was Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. I’m a huge fan of the Mario RPG series. I’ve played every game that’s been released for both the Mario & Luigi series as well as the Paper Mario series. I think the pinnacle of those games was and is Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. I was hoping we were going to get another proper Paper Mario game. Instead what we have is yet another entry in the Mario & Luigi series, this time with Paper Mario as a guest star. This game just looks odd. Those two worlds, while they have many similar mechanics just don’t feel like they fit together to me. Paper Mario just stands out from everything else around him and looks more than a little out of place in the world of Mario & Luigi. Game play wise it looks like it’s going to be just fine, similar in vein to Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time or Bowsers Inside Story where you control more than just the two brothers. Ultimately I think this game is going to be just fine. I’m excited to at least get another Mario RPG, but I really wish it had been a proper Paper Mario RPG.
Those were the only two things I was really disappointed in looking back on the event as a whole, but they were two very big disappointments that ultimately overshadowed everything else that was shown off during the event. Some things I was more or less ambivalent to were things like the announcement of a new Mario Tennis game. I was very disappointed in the last game in that series on 3DS. It felt like a Press A to win game to me. As long as you could hit the ball it was very hard to lose in that game. I hope they’ve taken the time to go back and refine things and make it feel more like a proper tennis game. Mario Power Tennis on GameCube was a really solid entry and I’d like to see something that looks and plays more like that.
Another game that I’m not really interested in, but know that a lot of people are excited for is Yokai Watch. There are only so many capture these things to use in battle RPGs that I can play. Between anything related to Dragon Quest, Shin Megami Tensei and Pokemon I’ve got that genre of game covered. I know nothing of the anime this is related to and it just doesn’t look like something that’s going to get interested in. I don’t hate it. I don’t love it. I’m just not that into it.
As far as amiibo goes I’m done. I was never that into amiibo as I’ve consistently said that I think they’re kinda pointless. I have a handful of them, but I haven’t gone out of my way to get anything I couldn’t just walk into a store and buy. There are some coming out that I’d like to have, but like before if I can’t just get them I don’t want them. There are two exceptions and they were new figures shown off by Vicarious Visions. The Bowser and Donkey Kong amiibo figures that also have dual functionality with Skylanders Superchargers. Those look great and I’ll be adding those to my collection. I’m excited to play the new Skylanders game. My son and I have played all of the ones released to this point.
I have no desire really to play either Animal Crossing game announced. Happy Home Designer is the one I’d be more interested in playing, and I may end up getting it at some point. I’ll probably even grab a few of the card amiibo that are going to be released for it. I will not, however, be buying any of the actual Animal Crossing amiibo that have been shown off. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival looks like a Mario Party game with an Animal Crossing skin that needs amiibo to really get all the use out of the game you can get. Because of that I won’t be playing this one.
When it came right down to it there was nothing new that was shown off that I really got excited for. It was all of the stuff we’ve seen before that really got me excited to play things on 3DS and Wii U later this year and into next year. Things like Fire Emblem, which was given the official title of Fire Emblem Fates in this event. I love everything Intelligent Systems has done and I can’t wait to play these two entries into the fire emblem series. The game continues to look beautiful and I’m very interested in seeing how they play differently from each other. The trailer for Fire Emblem X SMT, or as it’s currently known Genei Ibun Roku #FE, just screams, “I’m a game you want to play!!!” This is my second most anticipated title on Wii U behind Xenoblade Chronicles, which also had a trailer shown during the event. Both of those games can’t come soon enough for me.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is a game I’ll be playing the day it comes out. I absolutely adore the Yoshi’s Island series and this game, combined with the yarn look and feel from a game like Kirby’s Epic Yarn was just a combination that meant I’d be buying it instantly. I already have a Yarn Yoshi amiibo sitting on my shelf waiting to be used. I had it custom made in purple.
There was one new game shown off that I’ll be buying on day one and that’s The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes. I have a lot of experience with the Four Swords series of games and they’re a lot of fun to play. This one builds off of the engine used for the recent release of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. It uses the depth that game had to create some truly interesting looking puzzles. It’s also a co-op Zelda game, which is something I think we’ve needed more of. That game looks really fun. If it’s got single-card play of some sort it’ll be instant buy, but I may end up having to get two copies of that game so I can play with my kids.
Hyrule Warriors Legends was officially shown off after what I still think was an inadvertent leak last week. It’s Hyrule Warriors for the 3DS. That game on Wii U was one of my top three favorite games of last year and I’m more than interested in playing through it again on a handheld. It does look scaled back in terms of size and the amount of enemies on screen at any one time, but that’s understandable given that it’s going to be on the 3DS. I still enjoyed the Musou game that we got on that system so I’ll probably very much enjoy this one as well.
Then you have what is probably the most anticipated title for many Nintendo fans this year, Super Mario Maker. I’ve been wanting for years to be able to have a way to create my own Mario levels, update some classics and just tinker with a game franchise that I’ve loved for so long. The more this game gets shown off the more hyped I get for it. It does appear as if you’ll be able to create your very own Mario game stringing together multiple levels seamlessly as if you were playing any Mario game released before. The different game styles each come with their own physics and familiar elements while also having the ability to create things never before possible in those games. This could be the first game where I create as much as I download from other people. I can’t tell you how excited I am to get my hands on this game. The sooner its release date gets here, the better.
As I look back on the Digital Event and reflect on the games that were shown off and see more about each one of them I begin to get over my initial reaction of sheer disappointment. I was prepared for a mega-ton. I thought Nintendo needed that to have a good showing. We didn’t get that mega-ton, but all of the games that were shown off were solid and have their place in Nintendo’s line up. I really enjoyed the overall presentation of the Digital Event. The puppets were a lot of fun and Nintendo continues every year to do something creative to set themselves apart from everyone else out there. I will most likely end up playing many, if not all, of the games shown off at E3 and I’ll probably enjoy my time with them all. I just needed to look back, get more information and process it all. It may not be the strongest lineup Nintendo has shown off at E3, but as usual it’s a good, long list of games that will be fun to play.
I do think Nintendo continues to focus a little too heavily on the 3DS to the detriment of the Wii U. It’s never really had its moment in the sun since launch. That system is beginning to really hurt for a lot of quality titles, but where it’s missing the big guns the indie developers have stepped up to fill those gaps. There are a lot of games coming from indies like Mutant Mudds Super Challenge, Typoman and others that I’m really excited for. Even with some low points 2015 is shaping up to be a year that will have plenty of enjoyment.