t this year’s E3 Nintendo continued their tradition of, instead of attending in person, putting on the equivalent of a grander Nintendo Direct.
The first thing that struck me about this year’s Nintendo Press Conference was the sheer number of games covered in such quick succession with little previews and some release dates and schedules. It was surprising that quite a few games which could have been big announcements found their way into this quick roundup. These included examples such as Minecraft, Donkey Kong’s inclusion into the Mario and Rabbits franchise, a sequel to Captain Toad, a Crash Bandicoot game, Splatoon Two, Fifa 18 and 19, Fallout Shelter, Dark Souls and Mario Tennis.
However, despite big franchise reveals like Fire Emblem: Three Heroes, Indie games were very large topics throughout these quicker reveals and Reggie displayed a lot of gratitude to those developers. My favourite of these indie games to be displayed was Hollow Knight which will be released on the Nintendo Switch today. The game looked beautiful featuring hand-drawn characters and intricate exploration.
Therefore, I won’t be discussing these minor reveals because they went by so quickly that I barely saw some names but instead I’ll be focusing on the to major halves of this Nintendo Press Conference.
The first of these focused exclusively on the latest Pokemon games; Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu. The graphics looked beautiful and seemed to bring back a lot of features from HeartGold and SoulSilver, the remakes of Gold and Silver, as Pikachu and Eevee stay with you and walk with you similar to your lead Pokemon in these earlier games. Also, similarly to the Pokewalker which was introduced alongside HeartGold and SoulSilver was a Pokeball shaped device which functioned both as an upgraded Poekwalker and controller.
However, despite all of these similarities to the Johto remakes these games instead see you travelling with either Eevee or Pikachu around the Kanto region. Part of me thinks that this could a be a call back in their series of remakes to FireRed and LeafGreen which were remakes of the original Red and Blue and, not only the first remakes but also the games in the franchise which come before Diamond and Pearl, the games which are supposed to be remade next. They also featured Pokemon Go transfer so I can see them trying to keep Pokemon Go alive.
The second, and most likely biggest, set of reveals centred all around the new Super Smash Bros. game. Every single fighter in Super Smash history is returning to be featured in this game! They did warn that your starting roster may be very small but to counteract this they have streamlined the recruitment process. Also, even classic fighters have been upgraded significantly both in design and fighting style so there are possibly thousands of possibilities to explore throughout this game.
The list of fighters and I’m pretty sure that I managed to get everyone down, is as follows; Mario, Samus, Kirby, Bowser, Link, Donkey Kong, Fox, Falco, Marth, Zelda (who was redesigned in her Link Between Worlds design as Breath of the Wild Zelda was more interested in research), Sheik, Villager, Mew Two, Meta Knight, Sonic, Peach, Pikachu, Ice Climbers, Inkling, Captain Falcon, Zero Suit Samus, Wii Fit Trainer, Pokemon Trainer, Ness, Lucas, Rye, Ganondorf, Ike, Jigglypuff, Pichu, Roy, Olimar, Diddy Kong, Lucario, Lucina, Robin, Bayonetta, Greninja, Mr Game and Watch, Rob, Pit, Dark Pit, Palutena, Bowser Jr, Toon Link, Young Link, Dr Mario, Rosalina, King Dedede, Wario, Pac Man, Wolf, Shulk, Mega Man, Luigi, Yoshi, Duck Hunt, Mii Fighter, R.O.B., Daisy.
Daisy, Lucina and Dark Pit are all echo fighters meaning that, while they each have their own styles, they closely relate to another fighter. There are also three different types of Mii Fighter with 12 voice options. They revealed that they are hoping to use these Mii Fighters to build online fights in the future.
Design updates include updating Mario to feature Cappy from Super Mario Odyssey, featuring the curved tail of a female Pikachu, the ability to play as the female Pokemon trainer for the first time and expressive new facial animations for some characters including Donkey Kong. Many final smashes have been heavily changed and updated but a running theme is that they have all been made faster so that they get to the point and you can get back to fighting. Also, Kirby now has a copy for every fighter in this game so he is now more complicated to use.
Lots of stages are making a come back or have been added. My favourite of these being what looks like Spear Pillar from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl and the Spirit Train from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. However, the featured stage of Great Plateau Tower from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild displayed a destructible arena.
The final reveal offered Ridley back as a challenger and the release date of December 7th 2018.
Overall, it is obvious that Super Smash Bros. was the main centrepiece of this year’s E3 for Nintendo and they certainly did not disappoint.