Nintendo at E3 2019

Nintendo at E3 2019

Nintendo won E3. I’m incredibly biased due to my undying love for everything Nintendo, but when a company shows off close-to 40 quality games in a 40 minute video, they tend to win. Nintendo’s E3 direct was all about one thing, the games. Sometimes conferences get lost in apps or hardware but not Nintendo, at least not now. The switch is firing on all cylinders and there is something for every style of gamer to play. Though I think that the Switch has definitely become THE place to play JRPGs, which is why I appreciated their Dragon Quest push. As seen here…

New Smash DLC!

 

Fans of Dragon Quest (like me) jumped out of their seats when they showed off the DQ Hero coming to smash. Yes…it’s another sword-wielding anime character. Yes it’s from another Square Enix series. I’ll argue this..the Hero is a sword-wielding TORIYAMA anime character, so think of this as being one step closer to Goku and it’s celebrating one of the most significant JRPG series of all time! The new smash character looks amazing and Nintendo’s team has once again found a way to incorporate the DQ style into how Hero plays. I love how Smash Ultimate has become the ultimate gaming crossover, and we’ll see a bit more from that later…

 

Dragon Quest XI

 

I shared my feelings on DQ11 in my last piece about the Square Enix conference. I’m very excited to see this game come to Switch and plan to treat this as my big, fall game. I’m all about more Dragon Quest on Switch and I hope this means that we’ll see ports of older DQ games hit the console in the coming months.

 

Luigi’s Mansion 3

 

It’s been a while since the Year of Luigi. Mario’s brother seems to always get the short end of the stick, which is why I think he has such a terrifying death stare in Mario Kart 8.

 

While we all knew that Luigi’s Mansion 3 was to be shown off at E3 2019, it was cool to finally see the game in action. This time Luigi, Peach, and Mario get invited to a scyscraping hotel that turns out to be…haunted! Luigi has no luck in real estate. Luigi’s Mansion 3 shows off a nice progression from the first two games and gives Luigi some more moves for his arsenal. Check out the trailer for some info.

I think these upgrades to Luigi’s arsenal will create a different and fun experience for people who love the series but want some variety. Nintendo is so good at iterating upon their franchises with new mechanics and LM3 definitely showcases this talent. Additions like Gooigi (see in the trailer) should make for some interesting puzzles which will add another layer of complexity to campaign and instant couch co-op!

I’m very intrigued by the Scarescraper mode in Luigi’s Mansion 3. Frantic arcade-style co-op looks to be a blast and something I can’t wait to jump into with my buddies on a spooky night in October. Any excuse to play Nintendo Ghostbusters is right up my alley. This game looks like it’ll be the perfect title to play this Halloween, if it releases in time (ghost laugh!). While I was expecting a firm release date, Nintendo only said “Available in 2019”, which to me means October or December. October makes the most sense due to the theme of Luigi’s Mansion 3, but with Animal Crossing getting delayed to 2020, Nintendo may need to put LM3 in a December slot.

 

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics

Switch is getting a tactical RPG tie-in to the Dark Crystal series from Netflix. Alright, sounds wacky to me! I’m not super knowledgeable about Dark Crystal outside of it being a 1980s Jim Henson production. I was intrigued by the game play and as a giant fan of Final Fantasy Tactics (PUT IT ON SWITCH), I’d be willing to give this a shot. It’s a surprising combo, but hey, who knows it could be cool! Gameplay certainly looks familiar in the right ways!

 

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Remake

 

I complain about remakes quite often, but I’m a total hypocrite, because two of my favorite games from E3 2019 are remakes. My favorite game of 2019 (so far) is ALSO a remake in Resident Evil II. So…yeah, hypocrisy is afoot. In February of 2019 Nintendo sneakily announced at the end of a direct that they were hard at work on a remake of Link’s Awakening. Check out the debut trailer.

Nintendo has done well to celebrate the Game Boy releases of some of their biggest series. In 2017 we got to play a remake of Metroid 2 and in 2019 we’ll get our hands on the remake of Link’s Awakening. The style is so endearing and Nintendo has made a great choice to make the game look like toys on little dioramas. The Island of Koholint has a great texture and tactile feel to it as though the player can stick their hands into the screen and play around with the environment.  The style and feel also fit this strange, little Zelda game so well as the Twin Peaks of Zelda games. At E3 2019 Nintendo showed off some more footage from Link’s Awakening and the game is looking good…real good.

I really hope this soundtrack is available for purchase, because the arrangement is wonderful. This quaint Zelda game has me giddy with anticipation. I love Breath of the Wild and other 3D Zelda games, but to me Zelda is always its best in 2D. A Link to the Past is still my favorite Zelda game and any excuse to play a new, isometric Zelda is exciting. Nintendo’s attention to detail and their legendary polish are shown off in full force. Every sound makes sense and gives the game a playful rhythm. The lighting effects make it look like a midsummer afternoon as Link trots along to adventure. So many of Nintendo’s decisions are purposeful and RIGHT. Oh, and they announced a custom dungeon editor too, because why not? Maybe they’re testing the waters for a Zelda Maker sometime in the future? This new mode looks great and I’m going to be spending some time this September building and exploring dungeons with my friends.

It’s important for Nintendo to be able to bridge the gap between 3D Zelda releases and the methodology behind Link’s Awakening makes the most sense. 2D and 3D Zelda games can exist in the same ecosystem and they allow Nintendo to take chances and have some fun. I can’t wait for Link’s Awakening on September 20th, 2019.

 

Trials of Mana and Collection of Mana

I had predicted via Facebook that Square Enix would have some announcement about more Final Fantasy games on Switch or that The Mana Collection would finally make its way stateside. During Square’s E3 conference a remaster of FFVIII was announced that should hit the Switch in 2019. Fans of FFVIII are justifiably happy since this game has seemingly always been the black sheep of its generation of Final Fantasy games. During Nintendo’s Direct it was announced that Trails of Mana, a remake of Seiken Densetsu 3, will be headed to Switch in 2020. Seiken Densetsu 3 never made it over to the Western World and is the sequel to Secret of Mana. Secret of Mana, or Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan, is a classic SNES JRPG that I played a bunch of over the past 2-3 decades. The remake of 3, now called Trials of Mana looks pretty good!

The presentation immediately rolled into Nintendo announcing that The Mana Collection is coming stateside and was available later that day! As someone who has been waiting to replay Secret of Mana, this was the catalyst I needed to download The Mana Collection. Fans of the series can also now play Trails of Mana without having to pirate a hacked ROM. Also, if the remake is hot garbage, like the Secret of Mana remake, you can always play the SNES version. Lastly, this collection contains the Game Boy version of Seiken Densetsu or what we call The Final Fantasy Adventure in the States. This is a great collection even if the price is a little steep at $39.99. I also would have liked to see Sword of Mana on this collection, but beggars shouldn’t be choosers. This made me all sorts of happy and strengthens my statement that Switch has become the best place to play JRPGs of all eras.  Seriously…play FF7 on the Switch and tell me it doesn’t feel perfect. I’ll wait, nah it’s cool….I’ll see you in 40-80 hours.

 

 

The Witcher 3

Will it run well, hopefully. Will it look great? Possibly. Will people get excited at the ability to play the complete edition of The Witcher 3 on Switch, absolutely. The Witcher 3 is one of the best RPGs ever released and it’s migration to Switch is both intriguing and surprising. While rumors swirled around the Internet that CD Projekt Red would be bringing their masterpiece to Nintendo’s hybrid console, many challenged the notion that it was too big and required too much power. Looks like they’re going to put the Switch to the test. I’m probably not going to buy this version but I want to see how it turns out. It’s another RPG on Switch and that’s pretty great.

 

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

We’ve seen this game a lot now, it’s coming out in July, it continues to look great. I’m probably going to get to fill the void in my life that can only be filled with a relationship-based tactical JRPG with anime graphics. Sign me right up. I will pick the house that most resembles Gryffindor and bum rush every battle in the game to a fault.

 

There is so much in this direct…Here are my quick responses to these announcements:

No More Heroes 3 – Sweet! Love these games, this looks like a blast.

Contra: Rogue Corps – Hectic isometric Contra with a cyborg panda? I’m in.

Daemon X Machina – Not my style of game, but it looks pretty cool

Panzer Dragoon – OH WOW! YES YES YES! When Star Fox is away let the Dragons play!

Astral Chain – I love Platinum games and cyberpunk and robots. This is cool!

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 – I’ve committed to this game. I’m buying it day 1

Cadence of Hyrule – Probably skipping this one

Sonic and Mario at the Olympics – I’ve never played these

Animal Crossing – Looks great, though I don’t play these. Big hit for 2020

 

And just when I could take a breath, they hit us with 18 more games

Spyro Trilogy

Hollow Knight Silk Song

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – YES!!!

Minecraft Dungeons

Elder Scrolls Blades – Yawn

My Friend Pedro

Doom Eternal

The Sinking City

Wolfenstein Young Blood

Alien Isolation – Scary!

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles – COOL!

Dragon Quest Builders 2 – See My last post!

Stranger Things Season 3: The Game

Just Dance 2020 – Also coming out for Wii, No I’m serious about that

Catan – LET’S SETTLE THIS!

Super Lucky’s Tale – More Xbox published games on Switch? Hrmmm….

Dauntless

Super Mario Maker 2 – Day 1 purchase!

 

Banjo Kazooie In Smash

Nintendo LOVES to play with fans’ emotions in the best ways possible. Every Direct often starts up with a big surprise and they outdo themselves by the end. You can expect to be shocked at least 2-3 times per direct. This time it’s Nintendo’s newest reveal, Banjo-Kazooie are coming to Smash Bros. Ultimate. Check out the debut trailer.

AH!! Due to Banjo being a Rare property and Rare being owned by Microsoft many thought that this would never happen. Fans rejoiced all over the internet as the BK goofed their way across the screen. It’s so fitting and even more so that they use Donkey Kong Country to set up the reveal. I’m really happy to see Banjo-Kazooie make their way to Smash, this series was at one point one of the pillars of Nintendo’s first part library and their place in Smash has long been overdue. There are only two DLC characters left to reveal…who will they be??

 

Ah, Nintendo had such a great showing in their E3 direct. Wow…I don’t know if I could take another surprise….whew….oh wait….

 

Breath of the Wild is Getting a Sequel

There’s not much to say other than this looks amazing. Check out this trailer.

Is this a dark world counterpart to Breath of the Wild? Is this an underground adventure exploring the ancient evils of Hyrule? Zelda has short hair, does that indicate that she may be a playable character to prevent armor clipping? There’s a ton of questions to ask, but all I can say for now is that this could be BIG! BotW is quickly being considered one of the best (if not THE best) Zelda games and no word of a sequel was on the table. This dark approach to BotW looks to be the right call, in a very Majora’s Mask to Ocarina of Time kind of way. Who knows when it’ll release, but we’ve seen more of this in action than Metroid Prime 4!

 

Nintendo won E3. It was a 40 minute tour de force that left me overcome with anticipation and out of breath. So.Many.Games.

 

Overall Grade: A

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