Nintendo E3

Nintendo Direct E3 2018 Summary

Nintendo’s presentation focused mainly on Super Smash Bros Ultimate, but there was a lot of other information to digest. With many fast-paced trailers, release dates for known games were revealed, including lots of games that were available to download today. The presentation started with a trailer for the new robot action game Daemon X Machina, which will be available at some point in 2019. Next up was a trailer for the new DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and an announcement that it will be released in September this year.

Reggie was then introduced, and he talked a little more about the already announced Pokémon: Lets Go Pikachu and Pokémon: Lets Go Eevee, which will be available on November 16th this year. Reggie presented the Pokeball Plus, a new type of controller for the game that will come exclusively with Mew and will be compatible with the popular mobile game Pokémon Go. Super Mario Party was the next game to be showcased, with an announcement that it will be available on October 5thFire Emblems: Three Houses was then shown, with a release date of sometime next year. The big news was revealed that not only is Fortnite coming to Switch, but that it will also be available to download today.

Reggie appeared again to talk about the importance of indie games to Nintendo, including a trailer for Overcooked 2 (available August 7th), a Killer Queen Black remake (available later this year), and a game called Hollow Knight that is another game available today. Reggie continued by giving us a release date and a little more information on Octopath Traveler, by Square Enix, which is exclusive to Switch July 13th.  Next up were lots of very short, fast paced trailers and release date reveals. Some of the games were brand new exclusives to the Switch, whilst others included ports of older games that were previously available elsewhere. The extensive list included:

Starlink (available October 16th), Arena of Valor (coming this Autumn), Minecraft (available June 21st), Sushi Striker (available now), Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure (available June 26th), Pixark (coming this fall), Just Dance 2019 (available October 23rd), Dragon Ball Fighter Z (available later this year), Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion (available this summer), Captain Toad Treasure Tracker (available July 13th), Crash Bandicoot N Sane Triology (available on the Switch June 29th),  Ninjala (available spring next year), Carcassonne (available holiday 2018), FIFA 18 (available now), FIFA 19 (available September 28th), ARK: Survival Evolved (available on the Switch in the fall), Wasteland 2: Directors Cut (available on the Switch in the fall), Paladins: Champions of the Realm (free to download today), Fallout Shelter (free to download today), Dark Souls Remastered (available on the Switch in the summer this year), SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy (available September 7th), Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (ported to the Switch for August 28th), Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (available on the Switch June 29th), The World Ends With You: Final Remix (available on the Switch this fall), Megaman II (available October 2nd), and finally Mario Tennis Aces (available June 22nd).

Shinya Takahashi and Masahiro Sakurai then arrived to present the main event of the Nintendo Direct, which was more information on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Sakurai announced that every single character that has ever been a part of the Smash Bros. franchise will be included in the new games, including Snake, who hasn’t been in a Smash game for ten years. Inklings, Princess Daisy and Ridley have also been added to the game to complete the roster. As well as new additions, you can now play as a female version of Pokémon Trainer or Pikachu. Sakurai mentioned how there would be a lot of new animations for the fighters and showed an expressive Donkey Kong as an example.

Although all the characters are returning, many of them have been tweaked or changed to fit in with the new game. Link and Mario have been redesigned to appeal to fans of Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Zelda has also been given a different look for the game. Instead of going for the Twilight Princess variation of Zelda, designers chose her costume from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds to tie in with her Triforce of Wisdom ability.

There will be more than 50 assist characters in the game, including the addition of the Squid Sisters to help out the Inklings. The multiple stages of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will include:
Green Greens, Spear Pilar, Midgar, Kongo Falls, Lylat Cruise, Princess Peach’s Castle, Spirit Train, Frigate Orpheon, Green Hill Zone, New Pork City, Wrecking Crew, Tortimer Island, Moray Towers, and the introduction of Great Plateau Tower from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

News that delighted fans was that the game will be compatible with GameCube controllers and all previous amiibos. Player data from amiibos from the older Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS games will carry over, as well as there being some yet to be announced new amiibos.

The Nintendo Direct then ended after the release date for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was announced as December 7th this year, and the stream then went straight to Treehouse on the Show floor. Fans were disappointed that they didn’t get a glimpse Metroid Prime 4 or of more exclusive games, but that will have to wait until the next Nintendo Direct.

Nintendo Presents a New and Very Different Zelda Game

This year at E3, it was all about the new Zelda game for Nintendo. Instead of a one hour Nintendo Direct, there was a full day of Zelda game play and announcements with Nintendo Treehouse live at E3. Fans have eagerly awaited more footage of the game, and what we were shown did not disappoint. With stunning graphics and a massive open world, this game is set to be the biggest and best Zelda game yet. No longer will we have to call the game Zelda Wii U, with the announcement of the official title ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’.

The game play starts out with Link as we are traditionally used to him, sleeping. He wakes up to an unknown British voice that helps him progress into Hyrule, picking up clothes and other useful items on the way. Before going into Hyrule, the game has more of a futuristic feel, using technology rather than magic, and as Link progresses in the world he has to use natural resources to survive.

We are given a glimpse of how big the world will be as  Link looks over a cliff, and a zoom out on the map shows us a vast expanse of undiscovered areas. There are hints at traditional areas of the Zelda games, when you can glance a giant volcano and big lake in the distance. Unlike previous games, Link really has to rely on his surroundings. He can jump, play with fire, climb walls and trees.  There are no hearts in the grass, with Link instead having to depend on any food he can find.

You don’t start out with many weapons, and they often break, but throughout the game you can steal enemies’ weapons and use them as your own. The game encourages exploration, with so many items lying around that you can use. Things like pot lids found in enemy camps can later be used as shields. A new feature to the Zelda games is that the weapons have stats, which is definitely useful when fighting different enemies. Throughout the game Link finds a bow, an axe and multiple other weapons, so exploring your surroundings is key in this game.

The music is also different and unique. There are no big ongoing themes in the background like previous games; instead there are piano notes and chords, but the well-known smaller jingles remain. The art in the game is absolutely stunning, with beautiful sunsets, shimmering snow, tumbling waterfalls and flowing rivers. When climbing up temples and mountains, you really get to see how much detail has gone into the game. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild definitely feels like Nintendo’s most advanced game to date, and has left fans really excited to see more.