It’s that time of year again, when the industry does its ritual of announcing the next installments of your favorite annual franchises, showing off “pre-alpha footage” that ends up being better than the final game, and dragging people onboard the hype train that is the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Regardless, it’s still an exciting time for developers and fans alike, and I always look forward to the news that comes.
Nintendo may be lagging in last when it comes to the console space, but their finances are taking a turn for the better and the company is profitable again. Now’s the time for another great E3 presence since they’ve still got the power of first-party titles. Although the arguably biggest hitter that is the next Zelda is delayed until 2016, we’ve still got the chance to see some new games as well as new footage of upcoming titles. Here’s the announcements I expect to see and hope to see.
Expect To See
It seems like a no-brainer. The Japanese release of Monolith Soft’s spiritual successor was at least two months ago. We’ve seen plenty of unlocalized footage over the past year and localization has been well underway. I don’t need a specific date, it would just be nice to confirm that it is still coming out in 2015, preferably in the fall. Xenoblade Chronicles X may not have the pull of other Nintendo properties, so it could struggle in a holiday season release.
We know that Lucas is coming in June, but we don’t know when yet. I think it would be cool it he was announced to be available after the Digital Event, similar to the way I hope Journey for the PS4 is released. Even though it’s very likely that Lucas will come in relatively unchanged like Mewtwo, more characters are always good. It’ll also be nice to see the Miiverse Stage and the results of the Character Ballot, but that’s a bit more in the “Hope To See” category.
Nintendo had quite a few games announced last E3 that have yet to come out, and Mario Maker is no different. We’ve had snippets of information come out for the game, like support for visual styles ranging from classic to modern Super Mario Bros. and the ability to share user-created levels online. All that’s really left now is a price and a release date.
If there’s anything to say about Nintendo’s Digital Event, it’s that it won’t be lacking in (hopefully still) 2015 games. Yoshi’s Wooly World looks well on its way so far, so I expect that we’ll get a release date in North America more accurate than Fall 2015 (still jealous of Europe getting it in less than a month). Of course I’m just as hyped for the Yarn Yoshi amiibo as the game, but I’m curious as to its price point compared to the amiibo we know and love.
Such a small amount of footage was shown last year it’s not even funny, but I sincerely expect to see Star Fox this year. Late last year, Miyamoto himself said that the new Star Fox will come before the new Zelda. Now that Zelda is delayed, Nintendo needs a classic franchise to show off this year, and I don’t think Mario Maker is going to cut it. Star Fox hasn’t been confirmed to be delayed yet, so I don’t think there’s any harm in expecting to see it here.
Hope To See
It’s inevitable that we’ll be getting more Smash characters, but as for who will join the roster it’s unclear. However, if some Smash 3DS file digging is any indication, we may know at least two more characters. A few months ago, Smash 3DS got an update and Reddit user shinyquagsire23 found sound files for character victory themes, indicating that Fire Emblem’s Roy and Street Fighter’s Ryu may be coming. Of course it’s just a rumor, but it makes sense for Roy as a returning character and for Ryu since Capcom already contributed Mega Man.
If you’ve seen my impressions before, you know that I love Mario Kart 8’s DLC. Pack 1 was an awesome addition to the base game, and Pack 2 upped the ante as some of the best DLC on the Wii U. I hope it’s not just me, and this DLC is doing well enough to warrant Packs 3 and 4 being made. I guess we’ll see in a few weeks, won’t we?
Bravely Default was one of my favorite games of last year, and one of the great turning points for Square Enix. Who knew that making what fans have been waiting years for would pay off! Now, it’s inevitable sequel time. Like Xenoblade Chronicles X, Bravely Second: End layer launched in April in Japan. However, there’s no western announcements yet, so now could be the time.
I lumped these two in the same paragraph since they’re essentially in the same position. Previously shown during the April 2015 Direct, we got a peek at gameplay for both SMT X Fire Emblem and Fire Emblem 2016. Currently, there is some information on the next Fire Emblem from Japan, where it is known as Fire Emblem IF. It is known that the game will have two separate storylines and that the weapon system is getting reworked, but not much else. SMT X Fire Emblem still only has the trailer, so it would be nice to see something from either of these games.
I am a simple man, with basic wants and desires. Contrary to what these E3 predictions may imply, I don’t ask for much. True, Nintendo said that they wouldn’t have any Zelda footage to show at E3. There’s still a chance, a tiny sliver of hope, that we may get an official name or trailer, right? Right? Oh well, one can dream…
E3 2015 will be held in the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 16th-18th. The pre-show press conferences will be held between June 14th at 7PM PDT and June 16th at 10 AM PDT. You can check out the full conference schedule below to see when you’d want to tune in. The AMD PC Gaming Show will be on June 16th from 5 PM to 8 PM PDT in case you’d want to (or have time to) catch it.