As we come to the end of the E3 conferences, who has won and who has lost? Well obviously no one, it’s not a competition; it’s an exhibit and it’s so damn subjective you can’t give a metaphorical wooden spoon to your favourite developer just because they didn’t announce a sequel to that game you loved but everyone else described as a glitchy turd on a disc.
But anyway, the last slot for showing off shiny new games went to Nintendo, purveyors of playful platformers and baffling business decisions. Yep, ol’ Ninty do seem to have an odd habit of doing the exact opposite of what their fanbase, or common sense, would compel them to do; you want a min-NES? Well they only made 3 so good luck with that. Occasionally this contrariness can be frustrating and bewildering (see; Wii U), but sometimes it definitely pays off (see; Switch).
It was therefore a surprise that their E3 was such a crowd-pleaser. Admittedly two of the biggest crowd-pleasers, a new Metroid Prime and a new Pokemon RPG, were just a title screen and a vague idea spoken down a camera lens respectively, but it still shows hope for a damn good 2018, especially for those concerned the Switch’s current line-up makes it nothing more than a portable Wii U.
But it wasn’t all as abstract as that. We got some gameplay of a new Kirby instalment, which seemed to have everyone’s favourite pink blob cosplaying as Link, replete with hat and master sword. The again he also turns into a curling stone for one scene so who knows. If you like your games adorable and colourful, there’s also gameplay of Yoshi’s new adventure to behold. The new cardboard setting doesn’t seem *as* cheerfully sweet as his previous treks through Wooly World, but it’s hard to imagine this being anything other than charming in the end, isn’t it? Replete with some some of mechanic to spin the world around to ‘the flip side’ and a bit where the tamed dinosaur trots around with the skull of a triceratops on his head. 10/10.
It’s hard to necessarily feel excited about the confirmation of Rocket League coming to the Switch. Rocket League is, for the avoidance of doubt, fucking wonderful. But it’s a game most people, myself included, have already put many hours into (although admittedly I’ll be buying it and putting many more joyful hours in so what am I even whining for?). Still, it’s a good example of Nintendo putting a little something of themselves into these older ports; there will be an option for tiny Mario or Luigi hats on the cars, and the promise of further vehicle customisations to come. Similarly, the upcoming Switch release of overlong dragon-slayer Skyrim gives you the chance to dress up your hero as Link. What with these playful additions, allowing Ubisoft to throw Mario into their new Rabbids title Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (basically coming across as Fisher Price: My First XCom) and finally embracing mobile games, it seems as though Nintendo are loosening up and being a little less… well, a little less ‘Nintendo’ about everything.
And speaking of Link (nice ‘link’ there, right?), that Breath of the Wild DLC is on its way. June 30th brings The Trial of the Sword, Hero’s Path Mode (which shows you your track around the map thus far, helping you see where you haven’t been yet) and new trinkets and outfits. There’s also a hard mode, if you like that sort of thing. The second DLC pack is a little vaguer on release date and content, but we’re promised new story and new dungeons. Seeing as BoTW is basically the reason 80% of people bought a Switch, I’d imagine this will do ‘quite well’.
And then…. and THEN… we got that extra Mario Odyssey video. Here’s a detailed and measured recap:
MARIO POSSESSES DINOSAUR!
THEN POSSESSES A FROG?!
THEN… A CAR!
THE HAT HAS EYES!
NOW THE HAT IS A TOP-HAT!?
So there you go. I was wrong. E3 can be ‘won’, and Nintendo won it.