Nintendo at E3 2016

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Nintendo wrapped up their E3 presentation yesterday, aside from one final Japanese Pokemon presentation earlier today. Since nothing else new was revealed on that, I’d like to go ahead and talk about what Nintendo had to offer this year. Yes, I did also check on news from the Sony and Microsoft fronts out of curiosity, but the 3DS and Wii U are my priorities. Anyway, the Nintendo Treehouse was live for the last two days, and it seems Nintendo only had enough content to offer for those days and no more than that. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, as we know they’ll announce more games before 2017 hits. But I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed at the lack of new titles.

Day 1 of the Treehouse covered the new Pokemon and multiplayer battles in “Pokemon Sun/Moon” and the “gameplay” and add-on features for “Pokemon Go”, and then spent the rest of the day showcasing “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” I’m excited for both of these, but especially “Zelda.” The vast, open world feels reminiscent of the original LoZ and there’s bound to be a lot to do that wasn’t shown during the demo. The game looks incredible and I’m even tempted to nab a Wolf Link amiibo just to have him as a companion in-game. I’m slightly apprehensive about how often I’ll have to stock up on food to heal, but that’s a minor concern for what looks to be hours upon hours of exploration.

Yesterday’s Treehouse, aside from a final segment of “Zelda”, consisted of all the other titles coming in the next few months. Most of it was stuff that didn’t interest me, even as a 3DS owner (I’m burnt out on “Rhythm Heaven”, not into “Monster Hunter”, and didn’t bother with “Yokai Watch”, just to name a few). However, they DID announce a new IP in the form of “Ever Oasis.” It looks to be a cute, Egyptian-themed RPG/Animal Crossing-esque game and I must say that I was intrigued. I’ll be keeping my eye on it, but much like with “Fantasy Life” two years ago, I’m not sure if my interest in it will last. I’ll have to see more to decide if it’s worth my time and money.

There was another slight downside to the Treehouse – an influx of 3DS games and barely any Wii U titles (also, not many indie titles either). My fiance and I only JUST got a Wii U, but it appears Nintendo is already making steps to move on to the NX (which was not brought up at E3 either, unfortunately). They were quick to announce that, much like with “LoZ: Twilight Princess” originally being on both the Gamecube and Wii, “LoZ: Breath of the Wind” will be for both the Wii U and NX. Only two other major titles were shown, those being “Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE”, a music-based action-RPG, and the next installment of the Paper Mario series called “Paper Mario: Color Splash.” I watched the Treehouse demonstrate both of these, and while I wasn’t interested in “Tokyo Mirage”, I WAS much more hopeful about “Color Splash.” I’ve been a fan of the Paper Mario series since the beginning, and while I’m still disappointed that they haven’t chosen to revisit their RPG roots, I’ve always liked the games for their colorful aesthetic, witty humor and fun gameplay. I liked “Super Paper Mario” and while I think “Sticker Star” was extremely flawed, I enjoyed aspects of it. “Color Splash” is shaping up to be like a second “Sticker Star”, but I do feel that they’re trying to make the combat have more of a point this time around, which was one of my biggest gripes about SS. I know many fans out there have cried betrayal, but it looks like a game I could have fun with. I briefly summed up my feelings on it after watching the live demo on my Tumblr.

All in all, I did enjoy Nintendo’s presentation more this year than last year, although I found that I got more out of watching the Treehouse last year than I did watching their Direct anyway. Even though I do wish Nintendo had an actual conference to ramp up people’s excitement, I also appreciate how in-depth the Treehouse is. They give each game the time needed to show things off and also provide plenty of information from the developers themselves. Plus, it’s always great seeing people like Shigeru Miyamoto or Eiji Aonuma get so excited and animated when talking about their newest creations. Nintendo may have had what felt like a smaller presence at this year’s E3, but I enjoyed some of the things they had to offer and can’t wait to see what else they have planned for the rest of 2016 and going into 2017.

 

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