Nintendo like to do things differently with their E3 presence. Three years ago they stopped giving traditional press conferences and instead provide a pre-recorded video. Since starting the Nintendo Direct videos the E3 video has since become the Nintendo Digital Event, with event being very apt, as Nintendo clearly has a lot of fun making its E3 videos. These are still informative, but provide the the main facts you need with some complementary background information. Whilst this year’s was not as big as last years, then again that brought us Smash Bros and Splatoon, it was nonetheless a joy to watch.
Star Fox Zero
Just before the new Star Fox game was revealed Reggie, Iwata, and Miyamoto, were depicted as puppets and then slowly turned into the respective animals that comprise the Fox team (it’s not as creepy as it sounds). Then the majestic Arwing flies into view and we know that the game that Miyamoto teased last year is now a reality. Zero takes full advantage of the Wii U Gamepad as it depicts the same action that is taking place as on screen, but from a first person cockpit perspective, with the TV screen showing a third person “cinematic” view providing you with two different perspectives of the action. As the Gamepad is in first person the gyro controls can be utilised making it feel more like flying a plane. Also as the Gamepad has speakers, in combination with the TV screen a 3D sound effect is created adding to the immersion. What’s more they have managed to bring back some of the original voice actors.
The Arwing can also transform into a walking mode which is not as silly as it sounds and the trailer does a good job of demonstrating the advantages. The landmaster also makes a return and other vehicles were shown off as well. Whilst this wasn’t made clear during the presentation, afterwards it was announced that Platinum Games are co-developing the game, which came about after they showed Nintendo the Arwing section that appears in Bayonetta 2, and Miyamoto was so impressed they asked them to get involved. Seeing the gameplay footage after the Digital Event it was a good choice.
Skylanders Superchargers on the Wii U is getting two special figures, Bowser and Donkey Kong. But these aren’t traditional Skylanders as they are also amiibo with a switch on the base to change their function. This is a symbolic partnership with Activision and also a sign of the flexibility of amiibo.
Zelda Tri Force Heroes
Essentially Four Swords but with three Links instead. But the decision to have three Links is because of game design reasons as it uses the same engine and art style as A Link Between Worlds and they found that for one of the main mechanics in which the Links sit atop one another doesn’t work visually. As a result they made the decision to base it around three, and given the Triforce has three pieces makes sense as well. Even though it can be seen as multiplayer game it will also support single player with the other Links being dolls. Also the fashion plays a big role with different outfits altering the powers available to Link.
Hyrule Warriors Legends
This was revealed prior to E3, but it was confirmed that the 3DS version would contain all of the DLC found in the Wii U version as well as the new advertised Wind Waker content.
Metroid Prime Federation Force and Metroid Prime Blast Ball
So this was surprise double announcement for the 3DS. A Metroid Prime themed co-op shooter. That’s about all we know. What’s more Blast Ball that was revealed during the Nintendo World Championships is actually a Metroid game as well. I don’t see why it had to be tied to the franchise? When people said they wanted a handheld Metroid game this wasn’t what anyone had in mind.
Fire Emblem Fates
The game is already out in Japan (because of course it is) under the subtitle If. Now it is revealed that the Western subtitle is Fates, which does make sense given that you can choose the path you take which will affect the entire game. A 2016 date was given, and I realise translation takes a long time, especially for a game like this, but this seems a bit much. Hopefully Europe doesn’t have to wait even more, although at least with Awakening the British translation was different to the American version.
Shin Megami x Fire Emblem
No one is really quite too sure what this game really is, and the ridiculously Japanese anime style video didn’t help answer things either. 2016 was stated at the end, but it still doesn’t have a permanent title.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Another game that has already come out in Japan, but there is a now a release date of 4th December 2015 in the US, Europe, and Australia.
Happy Home Designer: The amiibo card based interior design game will be launching 25th September 2015.
Amiibo Festival: Some kind of board game with amiibo functionality. So that means Animal Crossing amiibo. Need to resist the urge to buy a Tom Nook and KK Slider. We’ll know more around the Christmas period.
Yo Kai Watch
We knew that this Japanese phenomenon from Level 5 was coming to the West, and will be just in time for Christmas this year.
Mario & Luigi Paper Jam
Take the series of Mario & Luigi action RPGs and merge it with another Mario spin off Paper Mario. For some reason Luigi doesn’t get a doppelganger though. It rips things up in Spring 2016.
Mario Tennis Ultra Smash
There was a Mario Tennis game on the 3DS a couple of years ago, but it’s been quite some time since there has been an original game dedicated for a home console. The game smashes onto consoles this Christmas.
Super Mario Maker
Like most Nintendo games now amiibo support has been revealed. Current amiibo can be used as controllable power ups in the game, although it’s not clear how that works when a level is shared. Also there will be a special 8-bit Mario amiibo that gives Mario more power in the game, as well as being one cool looking figure. Plus there is a special book that shows off design ideas. The game will be coming out 11th of September this year.
The other two projects (Robot and Guard) are still being worked on (possibly with support from Platinum Games) but there was nothing new to reveal.
For the rest of the week Nintendo will be hosting live videos on the show floor as part of the Treehouse, so there will be more announcements to come.