E3 2017 recap: Nintendo

Nintendo’s Spotlight was much bigger than to simply lay down the groundwork for the rest of 2017; it was about laying the groundwork for the rest of the Switch’s life. The Switch got off to an unprecedented start with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but moving forward, Nintendo can’t rely on a once-in-a-lifetime Zelda game. What they can rely on, are the wide variety of franchises they possess in their library, a library that was on full display at E3.

Super Mario Odyssey — October 27, 2017

Arguably the most recognizable character in all of video games, Mario is back for his next big-time adventure. Originally announced on October 20, 2016, the extended gameplay trailer shown everyone’s favorite plumber traversing across various kingdoms outside of the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario commends a hat-shaped airship named the Odyssey. The only story details the trailer revealed pointed toward Mario and Peach being interrupted on their wedding day by Bowser. A new ability added to Mario’s arsenal on his journey to rescue his bride-to-be is the use of his hat. Mario can throw his hat to either collect coins, knock away enemies, use as an extra boost jump or what has just been recently revealed, the ability to possess other objects. The trailer shown Mario throwing his hat onto any object, a frog or car or even a Goomba, and that item grows a mustache and has Mario’s eyes. It seems morphing with things around you will be necessary to progress through certain worlds.

Rocket League — Holiday 2017

A minor surprise from Nintendo: they announced that Rocket League will be coming to the Nintendo Switch. That part isn’t the surprise; the surprise is that players can compete cross-platform with other players. This means players on the Switch can duke it out with Xbox and Windows players. In addition, the Switch version will feature a few Nintendo-based items, like Mario and Luigi styled vehicles.

Kirby (2018)

While given no specific title, seeing a certain tiny pink blob on screen absorbing insanely amounts of mass is a sight for sore eyes. The last Kirby game that appeared on a main Nintendo home console was Kirby and the Rainbow Curse on the Wii U in 2015. The trailer at the direct did not display any real story information, but rather, showed Kirby in action.

Yoshi (2018)

Also without a specific title, Mario’s green dinosaur friend returns in another solo act. The last game that featured Yoshi was 2015’s Yoshi’s Wooly World and 2017’s Poochy and Yoshi’s Wooly World. Just like the Kirby trailer before it, Yoshi did not give much indication of where the story was heading.

Metroid 4 (TBA)

Nintendo fans have waited a longtime for this franchise to see the light of day again. Finally, that patience has been rewarded: Nintendo announced not only the absolute unknown project known as Metroid 4 on Switch, but also Metroid Samus Returns for the DS. The DS title will hit the shelves on September 15.

Fire Emblem Warriors — (Fall 2017)

Originally showcased in January 2017, Fire Emblem Warriors made a return to the big stage. The trailer showed a typical Fire Emblem game, however with a more hack and slash approach to it. While there hasn’t been a set date hammered out yet, the franchise hopes to make its return sometime this fall on both Switch and DS.

Xenoblades Chronicles 2 — (Holiday 2017)

Following up on the events of Xenoblade Chronicles X that came out on the Wii U in 2015, the new Switch title shows early promise. The trailer showed two people’s journey to reach a floating utopia known as Elysium.

Pokémon (TBA)

Even though Nintendo announced a week ago all of GameFreak’s plans regarding Pokémon, it was revealed during the E3 Spotlight that the company is developing a core RPG Pokémon game for the Switch. No other information was divulged, other than the game will not be out for at least a year.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC — (June 30, 2017/Holiday 2017)

The first piece of downloadable content for Nintendo’s likely Game of the Year is the Master Trials. Contained in this pack comes the Trial of The Sword; imagine Horde Mode from Gears of War where you must defeat waves of enemies in each level. In Breath of the Wild, Link must take down each wave of enemies in order to awaken the Master Sword’s true power and use it in a powered-up state always. Aside from the pseudo Horde Mode, the DLC comes with an increased difficulty known as Master Mode with harder enemies, and also various pieces of new armor. One piece of new armor is specifically interesting, because it shakes when in the immediate area of a Korok seed. The other piece of DLC that was announced is the Champions’ Ballad. The only piece of information regarding this latter DLC package are four new Amiibo that can be purchased.

Wrap-up

Nintendo was riding a wave of momentum coming into this year’s E3. They already released the likely Game of the Year in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild back in March that helped propel the Switch on launch, so following up with sustainable content was necessary. Their conference presented a deeper look into Mario’s next big adventure, which didn’t add any addition hype to the train with the gameplay, but rather the fact that it will release in October. Nintendo showed off other stable franchises in Yoshi, Kirby, Pokémon, Fire Emblem and Xenoblade Chronicles. Not to mention, Nintendo still possesses an assortment of Wii U games the company intends to port over to Switch, specifically Super Smash Bros. Deluxe. Nintendo can wait for the opportune time when there’s not much going on and just dropped a game. Nintendo is in a good spot right now, the only thing they need to worry about is getting the Virtual Console up and running and nail down the online services.

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