E3 (aka the Electronic Entertainment Expo) is far from over yet, but I’d like to share my thoughts in light of the company conferences wrapping up yesterday. More specifically, my thoughts on Nintendo. Now, that’s not to say that Microsoft, Sony or the others had showings not worth mentioning, but in my personal case, I only currently own Nintendo products (with my fiance picking up my slack by having Microsoft and Sony). Even worse, I STILL don’t own a Wii U, so my attention was mainly focused on what 3DS offerings were available. But despite all of this, I’d like to go over my personal pros and cons of their conference and overall presentation thus far.
- Nintendo’s Direct started off strongly with the long-awaited Star Fox game for Wii U, “Star Fox Zero.” I’m not into it myself, but it looked pretty good and it’s always nice to hear Miyamoto explain his creative process. That man is a treasure and I’d still love to meet him one day.
- While most of the games weren’t surprises, there was one that caught me off-guard and made me instantly want it: “Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam.” Not only is it a new entry in the Mario & Luigi series, but it crosses over with my personal favorite Mario spin-off series, “Paper Mario.” I’m super excited for both it as well as the full roster that will be incorporated in the 3DS version of “Hyrule Warriors”, dubbed “Hyrule Warriors Legends.”
- The livestream of the Treehouse is easily the best part of Nintendo’s E3 stuff, barring actually being there to try the games for yourself (I wish!). Not only do the hosts speak with the developers while playing through live demos of each game, but this also allows more gameplay and information to be revealed than what is shown in the Direct. While E3 is over after tomorrow, I still find myself tuning into the Treehouse to get the most out of the games I’m interested in, and even hear cool behind-the-scenes info about the making of them.
- Nintendo’s Directs have gotten more goofy over the last couple or so years, and this year was no exception. Instead of “Robot Chicken” antics, however, this year utilized Muppet versions of Reggie, Miyamoto, and Iwata before launching into “Star Fox Zero”. It was silly but awesome, and I really hope Nintendo continues having these fun interludes next year.
- This one is my main complaint of Nintendo’s E3 showing: the Direct itself was a bit disappointing. Granted, I knew a lot of the games would get focused on through the Treehouse, so that helped alleviate things. But given the lack of games people didn’t already know about or games people wanted to know about (looking at you, Zelda Wii U), it was a let down. And I hate to say it, but even initially seeing the Samus-less “Metroid Prime: Federation Force” and the utter tease that was “Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival” (a party game rather than an actual sequel) caused me to cringe just knowing the amount of backlash both would receive. This E3 Direct just felt extremely meh compared to what it could have been and overall didn’t have much wow factor.
- Since I only started catching E3 livestreams within the past 2-3 years, I only knew secondhand that Nintendo used to do conferences at E3 like the other companies still do. I really wish they would go back to that even for one year, if only because I know they have what it takes to make it engaging and bombastic. Nintendo’s always been about games first and I’d love to see the likes of Reggie, Iwata and Miyamoto live on stage presenting upcoming Nintendo games. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Treehouse in-depth livestreams, but Nintendo really could use a big push to sell their titles beyond a standard Direct. We see those throughout the year, so something on a grander scale would grab people’s attention immediately.
- Finally, it may be minor, but as interested as I am in “Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer,” I’m becoming convinced that it’s going to cost more money than it’s worth for me. I’m not the type of fan who bought every version of AC, barring the Gamecube and 3DS ones, but I always liked the decorating aspect. And even though it looks cute and has intriguing elements (getting to build/design buildings for the town as well as homes), I can’t help but worry that it’ll get…boring after a while. One thing AC does best is give you a decent variety of things to do daily/yearly as well as allow you to set goals for yourself. With “Happy Home Designer” focusing on ONE aspect of that, I’m not sure it’ll have much longevity. But my biggest concern is with the amiibo cards part. I still wanna know if that’s a necessary component to get the most from the game, because if it in fact IS, I just know it’ll cost a ton of money for the game, cards and card reader. Like I said, I’m just not sure yet if I’ll personally want to invest in it.
So, these are my personal pros/cons of Nintendo’s E3 presentation. Feel free to agree or disagree with me. Despite my gripes, I really am excited to play some of the upcoming Nintendo games (although I REALLY need a Wii U, because “Yoshi’s Woolly World” looks adorable) and can’t wait for what they offer throughout 2016.