As the title says, I’d like to talk about something that concerns me, and maybe concerns you as well. After the shows of this E3, I collected my thoughts on all of it, and reflect on the year we have had and share thoughts on what is ahead. You see, there is a lot to talk about Nintendo and a lot of it comes with a certain dose of negativity after yesterdays showing. I want to first look at the “direct” itself, and then speak on Nintendo’s approach to Switch in 2018. I’d like to thank ALA for inspiring me to write a long comment, in a clear and serious manner without Discord meming. This is not a dear diary thread, but rather a thread to get a discussion going by hopefully inspiring you to reflect on Nintendo’s 2018 (so far) too.
First, the show started with a game that instantly peaked my interest. Big mechs, a kick ass track and an interested art style. I briefly had the feeling that it might be something Metal Max or perhaps Advance Wars related. However, it turns out that it is a completely new IP. Daemon x Machina brings mech combat to my Switch in 2019, what more can I ask for.
The second thing that was shown surprised me. It is DLC for Xenoblade 2, or I should rather say expansion more like. This times you play as the folk from 500 years back. Without spoiling to much, I think this story is going to very different in term of emotional gravity, as the game more or less already told us what the outcome is. However, it doesn’t make me less hyped for it. I love Xenoblade 2, and I want more. I got more so I am happy. Also, I am getting that empty box lol.
Reggie showed up to do his thing. A nice little speech for the fans. He talked a bit about Let’s Go Pokemon. A game that I have been looking at from afar. I like Pokemon and Pokemon games, but when they revealed I just as everyone else got concerned that this might have been the Pokemon game for Switch that we have all hyped to heaven. Now luckily it isn’t that, but me saying that already shows my feelings on the game. It did not excite me. I don’t like Pokemon Go mechanics in my Pokemon game, I wanted the option to play it as a regular Pokemon game (with wild battles). However, the life stream afterwards did kind of give me a positive vibe about it. Perhaps this game will grow on me.
Reggie led us into Mario Party. Every Nintendo system gets a Mario party game, so it didn’t surprise me. They showed how you could connect two Switches and use them both as a form of play. This is what the patent was about. While it does look fun, I hope the game doesn’t put to much focus onto this mode of play. There should be a good amount of content that just works in the traditional tv (docked) format with 4 players (hopefully great online multiplayer too). The last time I played a Mario Party game was during the N64 era. I will watch this game closely, and wait for reviews before I consider it.
Next up, a game we are all waiting for. Fire Emblem for Switch. Finally. We are treated to a trailer with story beats. It looks good, albeit a little rough around the edges still. It does look very interesting, it looked like you would get a full unit to fight other units on the field. Maybe it will have some Advance wars mechanics. I am happy that there is a free roaming part to the game, like in FE Fates. It would be cool if you could build the castle and defend it from sieging armies every now and then. The character designs look top notch. I can’t wait for this title, which sucks since it has been delayed to 2019. Nintendo mostly knows what they are doing when it comes to development, so i’m not worried.
Fortnite, what a surprise. Not. We all knew this beforehand, so it didn’t have the impact it could have had. Oh well, it’s Fortnite. It’s a popular game, so good. Have fun. What I do want to point out however is that this game curiously has built in voice chat. So we don’t need the Splatoon and Online app contraption after all. I hope this becomes a trend for all online mp games on Switch to come.
It’s Reggie and he is starting to make me worried. He leads us into three indie games, Overcooked 2, Killer Queen Black and Hollow Knight. All look fun, but if we are already down to these games, what does it mean for bigger games? Anyway, Hollow Knight is available immediately after the direct (bought it of course) just like Fortnite. Good. Moving on. We get a thing on the Splatoon 2 World (US) Championship. Fun, please move on. We are shown Octopath Traveler shortly, soon to be released. Can’t wait for that game (it will sell over 1m, people.).
We are in full sizzle reel with games shown for a few seconds back to back. In order: Star Link, Minecraft, Pixark, Just Dance 2019, Dragon Ball FighterZ (It’s 60fps and 1080p, running on the Switch), The Splatoon 2 Octo expansion, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Crash Trilogy, Ninjala, Carcassonne, Fifa 18 and 19 (EA support guyz), Ark, Wasteland 2, Paladins, Fallout Shelter, Dark Souls Remastered, SNK Heroines, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, Wolfenstein II The New Colossus, TWEWY, Mega Man 11, Mario Tennis Aces. The reel is over and I don’t feel good even though almost all the games shown excite me. A reel usually means that the direct or presentation is coming to a close. In Nintendo fashion however, we are treated to a final game, Smash Bros.
We switch over to Kyoto only to be directed towards Sakurai, who looks as young as ever. I already know what is about to happen. They are going to over explain Smash Bros in typical fashion. However, it is Smash Bros, I am still very happy to see the game (and being far along too). We get a character roundup. All, not some, are in this game. In my mind I am thinking, this must be the ultimate Smash game. And yes, the subtitle is ultimate so our (Sakurai and myself) minds aligned. It’s Smash, you know it’s going to be good. However, the game which is a well known franchise today, is being over explained. Every segment of Smash is shown, and I am looking at the time running out, being annoyed. This is going to be it isn’t it, I thought. And yes it is. The stream ends, but not before a new character is revealed (Ridley). He’s not too big. So it ends and we immediately go to the Treehouse stream. I could not help feel disappointed. It was too short, I wanted to see more. Not more Smash, but Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime 4, the new Pokemon. Those three more would have been fine. They probably felt that they weren’t ready yet to show, but still. Give us something. Concept art for that matter. Where is Pikmin 4? Animal Crossing? Sigh.
After an evening of having fun on Discord and chatting, I thought about the whole thing. I was disappointed yes, but it wasn’t antipathy like I had with Sony’s showing. I liked what I saw, even thought it was short. So thinking that way, was what they showed bad? I didn’t feel that way. ProJared said before that you can’t really judge on what you wanted to see, but on what was actually shown. And so I came to my 7/10 for this presentation. 3 points off for not showing more FE and over explaining Smash. On the whole, I liked all of the games though. Either way, I did watch MS’s show and I liked that one better. The games were presented nicely and it had a huge and happy audience. I wish the same for Nintendo sometimes, but I know that this is the format they chose. I just think 40 something minutes is too short. It still wasn’t as bad (as far as format goes) as the Sony show.
The rest of this year is going to be something, but I do hope for a direct in-between to fill out the months with more titles. 2019 is looking to be amazing, but what of the rest of this year? This year has been a year of smaller releases and as a Switch owner I have more than enough games to play already. I am happy with what is released, be it even indie games. The only thing the year isn’t, is 2017 with that amazing launch and two GOTY contenders. Is the year lesser because of less heavy hitters? A little, but like I said, I like what is being released. I have a lot of titles that I am struggling to finish. Someone might say that those aren’t important, and only heavy hitting big games matter. I don’t agree with that, because just because you don’t care for the smaller games, doesn’t mean that they don’t matter to others. They are games that you can play on Switch, be it indie or AAA. Nintendo is tried out some stuff like LABO for younger Switch owners, and it didn’t blow people away (in terms of sales and critically), but who else is trying to do something as crazy as that? I feel like Nintendo is almost alone in takes risks like that and it’s sad. Crazy ideas can move the industry forward. Ok, it’s cardboard, but the concept of a DIY game is fun and unique.
The future of the system still looks positive. It is still selling great. Games are being made. The second half of this year has more smaller releases, but good games nonetheless. I believe there is enough to play until December 7th when Smash comes out. The cliff is far away as far as i’m concerned. The only downside is time. It takes a long time. Like their online. It is just taking a long ass time. They really need to get on with it soon. I don’t care about Netflix on my Switch because I have 7 other systems in my house that can play it, but I do know others that want it. It should happen. Same with a browser, or the e-shop itself. It only works, but it can be much much better. It needs to be good to indies, so that Switch gamers can find their game in an every growing library. You need to be able to have a cart. Simple stuff like that, are long overdue. Let it be known to Nintendo if you feel the same.
So. Do you feel the same? Do you feel differently? How did you find the direct now that a day has passed? Maybe you have some thoughts to share the morning after so to speak. What is your opinion on this year so far? Please discuss and play nice. If you’re not going to be nice, go play Rocket League or something.
Also don’t @ me.