Nintendo E3 Digital Event Recap and Reactions

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Nintendo’s press conference, or rather, their Digital Event, was short, sweet, and downright charming at points. They didn’t overstay their welcome and they showed all the right games. There were some odd choices, like Metroid Prime Federation, but the awesomeness of things like Star Fox Zero balanced it out.

Nintendo opened with a funny little skit where Muppet-like versions of Iwata, Reggie, and Miyamoto (the top dogs at Nintendo) got together to film the Digital Event. Then they slowly transformed into the Star Fox characters. I genuinely enjoyed the playful nature of it all and the way they were having fun with the announcement and E3.

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They unveiled Star Fox Zero with a long, in-game trailer that promises a return to classic Star Fox arwing flying and fighting. The arwing can also transform into a variety of other vehicles that look awesome but for purists it appeared optional. And there are no on-foot segments! I am very excited for a true-to-form Star Fox game like this.

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Reggie Fils-Aime then talked about Nintendo as a whole. He stressed that Nintendo was evolving, by expanding into mobile, by tackling new kinds of games, and with the NX. He said that they would have more to say about the NX next year, but I am glad they acknowledged its existence before moving on.

The Digital Event took a little drop in interest as they began talking about the newest Skylanders game and the exclusive stuff on Wii U. There was also an awkward moment where Reggie seemed to goad an answer out of the Skylanders dev who was talking about it.

Nintendo announced a new Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes for the 3DS. It’s a co-op focused Zelda game where three players can work together. It seems cool for Zelda fans, though perhaps not as awesome as the last main 3DS Zelda game, Link Between Worlds. They also talked more about the 3DS port of Hyrule Warriors and how it will come with all the DLC and two new characters from Wind Waker: Tetra and the King of Hyrule. They showed extensive gameplay for both games.

Then followed what was perhaps the worst part of Nintendo’s Digital Event. Nintendo announced Metroid Prime: Federation Force for the 3DS. It’s a spin-off of the Prime series but doesn’t retain any of what made those games great. Nintendo knows that its hardcore fans would love a new Prime game, but this is kind of insulting if Federation Force is what they think we want. It’s as if they turned Metroid Prime into a Saturday morning cartoon. No thank you.

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Nintendo next showed off Fire Emblem Fates which looks absolutely gorgeous. They even showed gameplay and the in-battle animations and backgrounds definitely look nicer than they did in Awakening. All the anime-style footage they showed was just gorgeous and seeing it is making me want to go back to Awakening.

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Xenoblade Chronicles X got a release date of December 5th along with a gameplay trailer. After all the great things I heard about Xenoblade on the Wii, this one definitely has my interest.

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Animal Crossing got two new titles: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer for 3DS and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival for Wii U. Neither one seems all that compelling. Home Designer seems like just the home designing parts of normal Animal Crossing, but expanded upon. Amiibo Festival seems like Animal Crossing’s version of Mario Party.

Nintendo went on to show of Yoshi’s Wooly World. I really enjoyed this segment. A woman who worked on Wooly World and has crafted many real-life woolen Yoshis talked about the game. She described how the difficulty of the game is really up to the player: you can just go through the game and it won’t be difficult or you can try and get 100% of items and experience the harder sections. The idea of player determined difficulty is quite appealing to me, as seen in other games like Dark Souls (although in that case it’s either hard or very hard based on play style).

Nintendo announced a new Paper Mario game, Paper Mario: Paper Jam for the 3DS which brings together regular 3-D Mario and his paper version in one game. I couldn’t tell from the trailer if the game will have the series well-loved humor, but fingers crossed. They also unveiled Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for the Wii U which is definitely a Mario Tennis game, couldn’t tell what was special about this one.

The last game they showed off was Super Mario Maker and they did so in a great way. Miyamoto and Tezuka talked about the original way they designed Super Mario levels back in the NES and SNES days. They explained how they would have to draw levels one at a time by hand onto to graph paper and then hand them off to the programmers.

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Super Mario Maker seems like it is going to give an insane amount of freedom to players in how they design levels and being able to switch the style between classic Super Mario, to Super Mario World, to New Super Mario Bros. on the fly is awesome.

Nintendo ended with a fan tribute for Mario’s 30th anniversary. It was a mash up of videos tons of different fans had sent in that incorporated Mario or the music of the games in some way. It was a really nice touch to see Nintendo involving their fans in their E3 Digital Event.

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Nintendo’s Digital Event showed a Nintendo that was, at least in word, trying to evolve. They mentioned evolution several times during the event. Mario was a huge focus, it being his 30th anniversary and all. I have never cared for Mario myself, but the event was entertaining nonetheless. There were many moments, especially with things like the puppet sketch, where Nintendo was able to joke around and not take things too seriously. Their attitude during the event made it all the more enjoyable to watch. Despite the Wii U’s utter failure in sales, there are still some great games coming up for it, and soon too. If you need any more proof that Nintendo has a lot of games coming out in the next year or so, check out this handy calendar they made of their releases.

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What did you think of Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event? Comment below! And if you enjoyed this piece stay tuned here, GamesWithFriendsWrites.WordPress.com, for more coverage of E3. You can also check out my YouTube channel, Games With Friends (link at top of page), for my Let’s Plays and commentary on great games, both recent and old. Enjoy!

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