E3 2015 Impressions – Nintendo
So, E3 2015’s come and gone, and we’re left with a slew of announcements, demos, and wishful thinking for future titles. Now that the swell of hype has somewhat passed, we have some ever-valuable hindsight. As such, I’d like to go over my impressions on what the Big Three had to offer for this E3.
Nintendo’s Digital Event and E3 shenanigans were by no means bad. Compared to last year, however, it was a bit of a let down. The Digital Event was charming with its Muppets design, but this one lacked the punch of last year’s. Most games shown were already announced, the new games that were there were underwhelming, and the execution of these announcements was confusing at best. Still, I appreciate the focus on tangible games over trailers filled with hopes and dreams.
To avoid ending on the negatives in these impressions, I’d like to go over those first. Some press conferences had more negatives/positives than others, so I’ll just be going over the aspects I most liked/disliked from what was at the show.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
First off, I’m not mad about this game existing. I’m not offended that the latest entry in the Metroid Prime series is a 4-player co-op shooter starring Federation soldiers (at least not enough to start a petition for its cancellation anyway). The problem was Nintendo’s handling of the announcement. The approach of showing off the game’s soccer minigame during the Nintendo World Championships was a nice step, but that wasn’t expanded on in the Digital Event with the minute-long trailer. It wasn’t until its Treehouse presentation that we got to really see Federation Force in action, and it actually looks fun. Games like this are some of the best examples of waiting until the smokes clears before giving my full impressions of E3.
Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this Animal Crossing party game. However, again, the Digital Event failed to expand on key details of the game that would have helped it. Right now, it’s unclear whether or not the game itself is free. A couple of sources imply that the game is a free download since it requires amiibo, but there has yet to be official word from Nintendo. If they intend to sell this game, Nintendo needs to gets its amiibo supply act together like they say they will.
With that, we get my biggest beef with the Digital Event (and Nintendo’s E3 presence), and that’s its Wii U lineup. It started out strong with Star Fox Zero and ended with Super Mario Maker, but the only new Wii U games announced were Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. Compared to last year where we saw Yoshi’s Wooly World, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, and Splatoon on top of previously announced heavy hitters like Xenoblade Chronicles X and Super Smash Bros. Oh well, at least Zelda Wii U’s coming, right?
Genei Ibun Roku #FE
For those potentially confused by this game’s reveal back in April, you may have been waiting to see what kind of game this Shin Megami Tensei/Fire Emblem crossover is. The Digital Event didn’t do much to help besides showing the world a bit more, but luckily the Treehouse segment more than made up for it. Genei Ibun Roku #FE is essentially a SMT game with Fire Emblem cameos and elements like characters and classes. The gameplay is your expected dungeon crawling with turn-based battles as is common with Atlus games. It’s hard to explain here, but if you want to get a good look at the game, I suggest checking out the video on Nintendo’s YouTube channel.
I was not excited about this game when it was announced last year. My interest slowly increased leading up to this E3, but it took this event’s exposure to finally get me invested. A strong presence during the Nintendo World Championships showed me how crazy these level designs could get, the Digital Event showed us some of the developer commentary behind the game, and the Treehouse segments let us get a good look at how the game works. Even the demo available at Best Buy during E3 week was a good way for consumers to get some hands-on time with Super Mario Maker. All in all, this was one of the few Digital Event titles that was handled well through the conference, and I can’t wait until September to give it a spin.
As I may have been eluding to and outright saying throughout this article, Nintendo’s Digital Event was by far the weakest link of Nintendo’s lineup. Luckily, that’s doesn’t mean that the rest of their E3 show was bad. The Nintendo World Championships was likely the highlight of the show on Nintendo’s end, but the continued demoing and interviewing of upcoming titles popularized by last year’s Treehouse was just as strong as this year’s. While some of Nintendo’s show was a let down, I’m now happy with the games that were shown and look forward to checking them out into next year.