Welcome back, adventurers, to the final “episode” in this trilogy of torture known as the Adventure Rules E3 Extravaganza (PS, no one calls it that). In spite of my agonizingly busy schedule this week, I’ve been staying up until the crack of dawn to try and give my opinions on the E3 press conferences that I felt mattered the most to me personally as a gamer. Of course, this is primarily a Nintendo blog and so it’s not surprise that out of everything I watched this week, this conference is the one that I enjoyed the most.
I didn’t manage to avoid spoilers of what was actually revealed as part of the spotlight, but that didn’t stop me from getting excited. But I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit; if you haven’t yet watched the spotlight yourself, you can check it out here. Have you watched it? Or simply don’t care about spoilers? Cool.
While I think the Switch has certainly demonstrated the effectiveness of its hybridity, the commercials still strike me as a little dishonest. Not because of anything to do with the Switch, but because of the people in the commercials. Where the heck is Nintendo finding these 20-somethings with nothing to do except play soccer or meet up in a sketchy garage? Who plays FIFA with a soccer ball on their head? Or does a legit workout before grabbing up the Joy-Cons to play ARMS?
I thought it was a little odd how they included Rocket League in that opening sequence, and then officially announced it at the end. I understand that it was so the developers could talk about what’s new and to throw out a release date, but maybe that little commercial should have ended with Rocket League and then went immediately into that? But that would skip Reggie’s speech – I don’t know. It was odd.
There are two main reasons I wish I never saw spoilers for the Spotlight – Metroid Prime 4 and the upcoming Pokemon RPG. Both of these things were revealed in a way that, if you already know about them, was a little underwhelming. I would have loved to be surprised by those announcements so I could experience my legit reaction to them. I also found myself missing the E3 crowd at this point – I can’t even imagine what the cheering might have been like for Metroid Prime 4. I’m excited for both of these games but it seems like they are both in very early development – they’ll probably make more substantial appearances at next year’s E3 rather than being released before it.
We’ve got a new Kirby game and a new Yoshi game coming, tentatively titled Kirby and Yoshi respectively. This is an interesting approach to me; are they attempting to reboot their franchises with the Switch generation? If so, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because the Kirby game looked like pretty typical Kirby fare and the Yoshi game is very clearly a continuation of Yarn Yoshi. PS, I love that the Yarn Yoshi aesthetic has pretty much become the official style for the Yoshi series. Yarn Yoshi is absolutely adorable and the whole craft atmosphere fits the tone of your typical Yoshi adventure.
Kirby and Yoshi are weird in that those games are both very good but I never find myself getting hyped about them. I wouldn’t purchase a Kirby game, but if I happen to have one I’ll play it all the way through, gathering all of the collectibles and enjoying every minute of it. I like the games, but I don’t necessarily get excited for them or feel motivated to spend money on them. I hope this affect is just me and that other fans not only enjoy the games, but also have the desire to purchase them.
Speaking of not getting hyped, I found myself being let down by the Fire Emblem Warriors footage. Having played Dragon Quest Heroes, it seems very same-y to me. Two of the most generic JRPG heroes ever conceived go on an adventure with more established, iconic heroes to defeat a black dragon. My hope is that the gameplay footage from the Treehouse is a little more convincing. Also, if this game has the weapon triangle, armies with lance-wielders are going to murder you because there is no one in this game that doesn’t wield a sword. I feel like this Warriors game is wasting a serious opportunity by incorporating only the casts from Awakening and Fates (plus Marth). I mean, I guess from a marketing standpoint the “new generation” of Fire Emblem fans is a much larger population of players than the “old generation,” so it makes more sense to appeal to that crowd.
I personally would be more okay with it if the characters had more variety – the fact that this commercial was the two protagonists and then mostly Fates characters seriously bummed me out. I love Xander to death but I am so tired of the royal siblings in Fates, and lord characters like Marth and Chrom. I want to play as Donnel, Kellam, Kaze, Arthur – the thing that made Dragon Quest heroes really work for me was bringing in all of these characters who revived feelings of nostalgia and who also had unique fighting styles. I feel like this game isn’t going to work that way because many of the revealed characters have similar personalities and classes. I’m hoping that I’m proven wrong about that, because I want this game to do well. We’ll see.
We saw more about Breath of the Wild, and I have to say I am definitely more into the idea of the Master Trials DLC after seeing just how varied and tactical it is going to be. Link running around naked having to figure out how to defeat enemies in these tricky environments actually seems like a lot of fun. I was hoping for more definitive information on the game’s story DLC, but what we did learn bummed me out a little bit – it seems that the new story segment is going to continue focusing on the four champions. I was hoping for backstory for Link – how cool would it be to have Link’s father actually appear in the game? Either that or backstory for Impa, as seeing young Impa in the style of Breath of the Wild would catch my interest. I hope whatever it is justifies the release of the four Champions amiibo.
That’s pretty much the end of stuff I was seriously interested in. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has definitively fallen into the “not my cup of tea” territory, but I know that the Switch needs a legitimate RPG experience and the Xenoblade games are loved by the Nintendo fanbase. So good for those who are really excited for it – the idea of literal sword-maidens is certainly interesting. I never particularly cared for Rocket League, and while I now refuse to actively make fun of Mario + Rabbids because I have seen in the Ubisoft conference just how hard that team is working and how much they care about their product, no amount of earnestness can convince me that I will like the game. I heard GameXPlain compare the rabbids to the Minions and for me it’s the perfect comparison – as soon as I look at the things I groan and roll my eyes. But again, I know there’s a crowd that’s starting to come around on this game, so good for them. Finally, I discussed my Skyrim impressions in the Bethesda conference article, but I’ll sum them up here again: there is nothing anyone can do to get me to pay more than $5 for this game. Not interested.
Well, since that covers everything they talked about, I guess we’re done he-
WAIT A SECOND.
Obviously I have forgotten the most important moment in the entire spotlight. I can’t believe it. I’m so foolish. I would be a poor amateur game journalist indeed if I didn’t talk about Aonuma’s shining moment where the Master Sword appeared in his hand as if by magic. How did he do that? Maybe Zelda games are so incredible because they are being developed by an actual magician!
“You, uh, maybe want to talk about Mario, Ian?”
Oh, right, Mario Odyssey! We finally got a trailer showing off gameplay features and this game looks really interesting. Throwing Mario’s magical hat onto enemies causes you to effectively possess them, allowing you to accomplish a lot of things that are normally impossible for Mario like flight, invulnerability, and standing on top of a Goomba without crushing its tiny, insignificant body into a lifeless stain on the grass. You can even possess objects like taxis or one of the generic human businessmen in New Donk City. My favorite part of possessing things is that Mario’s bushy mustache decorates whatever creatures he becomes.
While our glimpse of the customization in this game was pretty brief, there are a ton of outfits to enjoy here. Football gear (American football, PS), a sombrero, wedding attire, and more are possible in this exploration of a number of varied worlds. Each environment seems so different from every other and I definitely got a strong picture of just how much of an odyssey this game really is. Also, can we just take a second to admire Princess Toadstool’s piranha plant bouquet?
The whole “villain has a crazy scheme to marry Peach” thing is certainly not a new foray for the Mario series, but it hasn’t really been done in a main series title and I’m curious to see where they go with it. Bowser is flaunting his victory in gaudy fashion and it seems like his hat has a power similar to Mario’s, which could lead to some compelling boss fights. There are so many interesting mechanics to take advantage of here, so I am looking forward to playing this game when it is released!
Now I have well and truly covered everything interesting that happened at the Nintendo Spotlight. Obviously by this point there has been a lot more coverage in the form of the Nintendo Treehouse, and there are other significant announcements I haven’t touched on yet – I’ll probably get more into that stuff next week, and focus mainly on games that I personally am interested in. Just like I felt with the Sony conference, the stressful nature of my week has really sapped my drive to write and only the fact that I love Nintendo enabled me to write this article as coherently as I have. I don’t know how much rest I’ll be getting this weekend, but once I’ve slept a little more and have more free time I plan to check out all the in-between type stuff that I missed outside of the actual press conferences.
What did you think of the Nintendo Spotlight, adventurers? What was your favorite announcement? Least favorite? Was there anything missing you wanted to see, or anything announced that you didn’t expect? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!