The final conference of E3 fell upon us in spectacular fashion. Although it was not exactly a conference but more in line with the Nintendo Direct presentations we’ve come to know over the years (it was called a ‘Direct’ after all). The video presentation kicked things off with a rousing trailer for Daemon X Machina. The music and visuals portrayed the fast-paced intensity one could expect from a mecha-style shooter as rampaging robotic characters clashed in massive fire fights. It’s not exactly up my alley, but appears to easily be something fans of this genre would be thrilled to have on the Nintendo Switch.
We were then treated to a slew of videos for upcoming titles along with release dates/windows. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will receive DLC in on September 14th, 2018 for season pass holders and on September 21, 2018 for everyone else as a standalone purchase. The DLC will follow two characters from the game, Aegis Malos and Jin, and delve into their history including the fall of Jin’s homeland. It’s sure to enrich the lore of the series even more for those who appreciate the narrative. Additionally, a brief snippet for Fire Emblem: Three Houses was shown along with a release window of Spring 2019. Overcooked 2, Killer Queen Black, Hollow Knight, and Octopath Traveler (a Square Enix exclusive) were also given brief moments within the video montage as upcoming titles both this year and next. Nintendo also reminded us of the onslaught of Switch titles heading our way in a quick video reel including Dark Souls, Wolfenstein II: A New Colossus, and the port of Captain Toad which is on it’s way next month. I was even surprised to see a game like Ark: Survival Evolved coming to the Switch. Apparently, that was announced a while back, but I must have missed it somewhere along the way.
Reggie Fils-Aimé, COO of Nintendo of America, then took over the screen to highlight the upcoming Pokémon: Let’s go Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s go Eevee! titles for the Nintendo Switch. The Pokémon games will largely be the same with the exception of the titular character for each: Pikachu and Eevee. Reggie largely covered ground that we were already made aware of weeks back including the interactivity between Pokémon Go and the Switch title being able to transfer Pokémon caught on the mobile game over to the Switch, the capability of two-player gaming, and even the Poké Ball Plus, a Poké Ball controller that can be used in place of a joy con to play the game using motion controls to catch Pokémon. With the Poké Ball Plus, players will also receive the Pokémon, Mew, as an exclusive to the peripheral.
In a surprising twist, a Super Mario Party was announced for the Nintendo Switch to be released on October 5th, 2018. It was only a matter of time before Nintendo released their biggest party game on their most social console. Multiple consoles can be paired to share in the experience as a video display of the game in action showed two couples on a campout competing on two Switch consoles. Additionally, some of the mini games appear to enable multiple consoles to be placed together and play across multiple screens. I’m actually quite thrilled for this. For a long time Nintendo fans have wanted a new Mario Party title, and like myself many were probably disappointed that the last release hit the Nintendo DS, a platform not exactly conducive to party style games. And like the masses, I have fond memories of burning a hole through my palm trying to obliterate my sisters on the Nintendo 64 control stick. Good times.
Fils-Aimé then delighted many Nintendo fans by finally breaking the news we all knew was coming, Fortnite on Switch available today. The world’s favorite battle royale offering is now on the highly popular Nintendo console, and I’m sure the downloads for the game were through the roof this afternoon. I know I was part of that onslaught!
Last but definitely not lease, Super Smash Bros. This was, perhaps, the most anticipated game for Nintendo’s E3 previews. While a teaser was offered weeks ago, little else was known about the game. There’s a ridiculous amount of information to unpack here. Needless to say, I’m not going to cover it all. And, if reading this news excites you, you’re likely going to find time to watch the video presentation yourself. So where to begin? For starters, the game is called Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the game includes every single fighter that has graced a Smash Bros. stage since the Nintendo 64. That’s a massive roster. Yes, even the third-party characters such as Sonic, Cloud, Solid Snake, Pacman, and more will return. The game also features three new characters: Princess Daisy, Inkling, and Ridley of Metroid fame. Additionally, Masahiro Sakurai, creator of Super Smash Bros., went through each and every character to explain how new or varied abilities were added to each. Many of the classic stages return as well as costume changes for various characters. Dodging has been upgraded to allow mid-air dodges which is a feature sure to ratchet up the skill level of some of the game’s most intense players. Also, for the amiibo collectors out there, all amiibos for the previous games will work with this game. Additionally, a retail Gamecube controller will be released to operate with the Switch for the hardcore Melee purists. This game is going to be huge, and we’re all going be able to get our hands on it on December 7th of this year. So mark you calendars and count your dollars, gamers are going to have a dicey time affording the treasure trove of goods across all platforms hitting stores this fall and holiday season.
The only game notably absent from this presentation was the previously revealed Nintendo title, Yoshi. I love the character Yoshi, and the little dinosaur has held a place in my heart since Yoshi’s Island on the SNES. Rumor on the net seems to suggest that this title is possibly delayed to 2019. That seems like a probable assessment since we didn’t see it on the video reel for upcoming titles this year.
As a whole, I have been beyond thrilled with the results of E3. There were many great announcements, showcases, and video footage for me to chew on for some time. What I enjoyed even more is that most of the big announcements included release dates within a year’s time helping to stave on that exhaustion we might feel from titles announced so far in advance we have to wonder when we’ll ever see it. I’m looking at you Final Fantasy VII remake and Death Stranding. However, I hope you all enjoyed E3 as much as I have. Time to get crackin’ on that backlog of games in advance of the heavy populated fall/holiday season.