My expectations going into Nintendo’s spotlight direct were relatively low, due to Microsoft, Ubisoft and Sony giving just ‘ok’ conferences, and as I said in a previous article Nintendo’s spotlight directs lacked the fanfare and applause that their rivals had. Their announcements never seemed to carry as much weight as it’s something they could’ve just announced online, as t hey did with the original Switch in October. But I hoped that with focus on actual games, compared to motion controls and gimmicks, Nintendo could show off some real good games, and that they did.
It starts out with Reggie talking to us about the Switch, and how how we can games out and about, but more importantly, where games can take us (cliche I know) and goes straight into the first game trailer – Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Now I never a played a Xenoblade game but I heard good things. it was one of the few Wii U titles that actually held up as a proper game, and not some trying desperately to infuse the touchpad into it and making a bit of a mess in the progress. The game seemed solid, but the voice acting seemed a bit subpar.
Next up is a name I haven’t heard from in a bit, Kirby. I can’t remember the last home console Kirby game but it was due, and it looks to be something akin to Kirby and the Crystal Shards for N64. A side scroller with powers you can adsorb to get through. Nothing much else was shown, but we can expect it in 2018
It jumped to Nintendo HQ in Japan where news of Pokken tournament DX came out. It’s a port of the Wii U version to the Switch and also announced tournaments happening at E3. But the big the news, although lacking in any detail at all, was that Game Freak have started development on a Pokemon game for the Switch, but we shouldn’t expect any news for at least a year. This is BIG news for many people as a proper 3D Pokemon game has been on the wishlist of gamers for years, but we’ll have to wait!
As soon as we can get over that bombshell however, we’re landed with another one, but again, lacking any details. Metroid Prime 4 is in development for the Switch. Sadly it’s all we know but the prime trilogy were some of the best games ever made and I’m hyped to see what they end up with.
Fire Emblem made an appearance but it’s an underwhelming announcement. Several characters from the series will be coming to Fire Emblem Warriors in autumn. For those who don’t know, the Fire Emblem Warriors game plays similar to the Dynasty Warriors games (Nintendo has collaborated before with a Zelda based ‘Hyrule Warriors’) and while it’s an announcement still, it’s not really what fans had hope for.
Zelda Breath of the Wild had its DLC announced although it was very very basic stuff. One is called ‘The Master Trials’ which will just include a bunch of challenge dungeons, which personally I think is just a bit of a cop out, and ‘Ballad of the Champions’ which they showed off some footage we’d already seen, and announced it was coming early next year, so no much to see there.
Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle was already shown off at the Ubisoft conference in more detail, so they juts gave us a quick reminder. The game does look a lot of fun, and nothing like what Nintendo are used to. Many people are calling it Mario XCOM, but its strategy based combat, and for a title that looked so obscure at the start, it looks to be a strong title for the Switch. Rocket League was also announced for the Switch and that pretty much says it all there. It’s been out on other platforms for a bit and is a lot of fun, so it’s good to see the switch getting some love from other developers.
To finish the show Nintendo showed off it’s main Mario man with Mario Odyssey. Now I’ve always been off on Mario games and felt his releases over the last few years have been lacking terribly, but this has got me interested, and it does look good, but still odd. Mario goes all over the globe exploring and collecting coins but this trailer showed us that mario can wear different outfits and hats that will change play style based on what he’s wearing and usually relate to a specific culture. What’s more Mario can throw the hat onto people and take control, leaving to some strange gameplay. In the trailer we saw him take control of a frog (which grew a mustache) and a dinosaur. How this actually effects gameplay we’ll have to see, but it look to be Nintendo’s big landmark title after Breath of the Wild.
And that’s all! It was only short at 30 mins but with some solid games that are just games and not battles to make motion controls work, I have high hopes for whats coming. The standouts for me were Metroid Prime 4 and whatever this new Pokemon Switch game will be, even though we won’t see details for either for a long long time. But what’s important here is that it shows that Nintendo are back on track and doing what fans want, lets see if they can keep it up!