Thoughts On Nintendo's E3 Presentation

It wasn't a conference. Not exactly. Technically it was just a regular old Nintendo Direct, but when it's E3 time everything takes on a larger significance so I'm calling it an E3 presentation. Here are some of my thoughts on what we all just watched.

Zelda Looks Stunning

The New Zelda Is Open-World, Looks Absolutely Incredible

To paraphrase my good friend Vooks, this looks like it might be the Zelda we never thought we'd play. The Zelda that feels current gen, that doesn't feel constrained by the limits of technology. That feels like a hugely liberating thing.

I honestly thought we would never get to see a Zelda like this again. A Zelda that pushes boundaries, a Zelda that tries new things, a Zelda that doesn't hold your hand. Admittedly we have little to go on but based on what Eiji Aonuma said and the limited footage we did see, I'm being swept away with the hype. The new Zelda, whatever it's called, looks gorgeous. It looks like a dramatic step up compared to what we've been playing.

More importantly, Aonuma has been alluding to the idea that this Zelda will be more directionless, more open. I'm not sure what that means entirely, but I get the sense he's taking cues from the massively successful Link Between Worlds which was far more open to the player. I'd argue that was the best Zelda in a decade, so this is good news.

Splatoon Is The Nintendo Shooter I've Always Wanted

The world doesn't need another shooter, but I've always wondered what a properly in-house developed Nintendo shooter would look like. I think we've got our answer with Splatoon.

I mean this game is Nintendo to the core. It's completely subversive. It's a shooter where you don't shoot your opponents, you shoot the bloody environment! It's a shooter where rules are turned on their head and the fundamental mechanics have been shifted. That's a beautiful thing. In a sense I get the feeling that Splatoon will be the Mario Kart of shooters. I like the sound of that very, very much.

Amiibos Will Print Money

Amiibos Are Nintendo's Answer To Skylanders

I don't like collectibles and I especially don't like spending money on them, but I recognise I'm in the minority here.

This will either succeed spectacularly, or fail miserably. There is no inbetween.

Third Parties Have Abandoned Nintendo. For Now.

Imagine Sony or Microsoft conferences without third party games.

When you take that perspective, the fact that Nintendo — asides from Xenoblade and Bayonetta — had to do all the heavy lifting by themselves is sort of incredible. Sure, there aren't enough games being released on the Wii U, but by God Nintendo's internal studios are working their balls off. I'd argue 2013 was their best year ever in terms of software and it doesn't look like they're letting up.

What choice do they have? Third parties have basically abandoned Nintendo. It's tragic, but understandable. I'd argue the Wii U still has the most must have games of any 'next gen' console, but it doesn't seem like enough.

Which takes me to my next point...

Holiday 2014 Is Looking Light For The Wii U

Captain Toad Gets His Own Game

There's Smash Bros.. But what else? The Captain Toad game? The new Yoshi one?

Smash Bros. will shift units, sure. But the rest? No-one is buying a Wii U for that new Captain Toad game, no matter how awesome it looks (and I think it looks great).

The last 12 months has actually been great for the Wii U in terms of first party games. Looks like Mario Kart 8 is going to have to do all the heavy lifting for the remainder of the year, or at least until Smash Bros. is released.

Where Was Nintendo's Big Idea?

Before E3 this year, I wrote that with their backs to the wall, I was really interested in how Nintendo would fight back. Things are looking back over there, so I expected the company to take some major risks. For this reason I felt like Nintendo's E3 would be a super exciting one, but in the end? It's was rather by-the-numbers.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. A new Zelda is nothing to sniff at, but I was really hoping for a 'big idea' from Nintendo. Something game changing. Something along the lines of a Wii Fit or a Wii Sports, something that confused the utter shit out of us. Nintendo is always at their best when they're confusing us.

The closest we got to that was the Amiibos. I don't know if that's enough.

What were your thoughts on Nintendo's E3 presentation? Let us know in the comments below!


    I don't regret setting the alarm to see this at 2AM.
    If they had a more confidence inspiring eShop / account system, this slew of news would have graduated me to frothing at the mouth fanboy status.
    Interesting way to use the figures beyond just generic progress and unlocks, and I'll be interested to see how they're utilised in more games.
    I'm seriously considering getting Bayonetta since it has the first one as well - something I missed first time around.
    Smash is looking good and could get me back into the series. Not sure if I'll bother with the 3DS version as well.
    Definitely feeling like I'll get some more value out of the Wii U yet.

    You do shoot your opponents in splatoon though ?

      From what I gathered, the objective is to have more ink on the environment than your opponents, and not more kills. I think that was Mark's overall point.

    Nintendo showed 3-4 games I'll probably buy. Sony and Microsoft showed 0, maybe 1.

      Really? You're not at all interested in Ori and the Blind Forest, Inside, Rise of the Tomb Raider, LittleBigPlanet 3, remastered Grim Fandango, Bloodbourne, Abzu, No Man's Sky, Uncharted 4, Batman Arkham Knight?

      Nintendo had a good showing, and I'm certainly a big Zelda fan, but each platform showed some great games that I'd like to buy.

        No, no, no, no, played it, no, maybe, YESSSS!, no, no. :D

        Actually I'm exagerating a little but my main point is people have different tastes and I can see some people would have not much interest in some showings (especially Xbone which is extremely narrow genre wise).

          My secondary point (in case you missed it) is that every game should have dinosaurs and space.

            Velociraptors in space fighters! "Clever girl..."

            Oddly I almost never buy Nintendo consoles for the first person titles. If/when I buy a Wii U, it will probably be for Xenoblade Chronicles X.

            Unless NIntendo get to the space velociraptors first.

            We're in luck! It looks like Xenoblade Chronicles X will have space and dinosaurs!

    I'm much more excited about the games Nintendo presented over what was shown with Sony and Microsoft. At some point I will get a PS4 but my main reason for getting one was the next Batman which has been delayed anyway.

    I was looking at Cheep Cheep beach the other day in Mario Kart 8 and thought Wave Race. Anyone else think a new Wave Race game on the WiiU would look amazing? Hopefully with the success of Mario Kart we might see some more first party racing games like Wave Race and F-Zero, one can only hope.

    Well I’ll be buying a WiiU for THAT Zelda game no matter what.
    I’d doubt I’ll be buying one this year though (the 2014 schedule still looks flat) which leads me to a few concerns:

    When is that Zelda going to be finished? OOT took 7 years or something like that. That Zelda game looks fantastic but VERY early. It needs to be both supremely polished AND ship in 2015 or Nintendo is f*cked. The WiiU is old hardware and I’m already looking at Zelda as being a swansong for the machine.

    The two screens concept for Starfox sounds completely rubbish. I could be wrong, but it just sounds like a terrible, terrible idea to me.

    With no Metroid and several other big franchises still absent from the WiiU I’m starting to wonder if we’ll EVER see those franchises on the WiiU. With no 3rd party support and Zelda WAY off in the distance the machine could be 6ft under by the time any of these games get anywhere near completion.

    The Toad game is a weird decision. I really wanted to see a proper platformer (in the style of Mario 64) on the system and I get the feeling they see Toad as a way of shovelwaring out a 1st party game to fill a release hole without risking the reputation of one of their big franchises (the same way they use Wario).

    Splatoon could be awesome. Let’s hope it is.

    Last edited 11/06/14 11:30 am

    Not enough games being released on Wii U? No new games until Smash Brothers? Did we watch the same thing, Serrells?

    Hyrule Warriors in September. Bayonetta 1/2 in October. Smash Bros in November or December (probably). Mario Kart 8 is the icing on the cake for the rest of 2014.

    And there are heaps of games coming out for Wii U beyond that in 2015. Yoshi. Kirby. The new Zelda. Mario vs Donkey Kong. Mario Party 10. Captain Toad. Devils Third. XenoBlade X. Splatoon. Where are you getting this "not enough games for Wii U" thing from?

    The lack of games for 3DS is the issue. There's Pokemon, and Smash Bros, and a smattering of indies. Not much else.

    I'm loving what I'm hearing. Once again I've got to point out how happy I am that I've already got my Wii U. I'm completely free to just enjoy these games for what they are without having to worry about whether they justify buying the console. =)

    I am however a bit surprised there wasn't a Wii U Pokemon Stadium game announced to launch with Alpha and Omega. I wonder what the hold up is there.

    Amiibos Will Print Money

    Definitely. With Skylanders: Trap Team, Disney Infinity 2.0, and now Amiibos, my wallet is going to be hurting sooo much.

    The 'Third Parties Have Abandoned Nintendo. For Now.' paragraph - love the company so much for this. Their dedication to upholding their quality of games, and in enough new titles to satisfy customers singe handedly, you cant help but love them for it. Kudos to them, big time.

    My perception of Nintendo this year is quality over quantity. Sure, from a sales figures standpoint they are are 'hurting' GOD, it's going to take me AGES to punch through all the content contained on the 4 games I acquired when the Mario Kart Bundle came out.
    (MK8, Nintendoland, Sylanders Swapforce & Pikmin 3)

    All of which are kid safe and accessible for my young son who I am introducing (slowly) to the joys of well designed and engaging gaming.

    I intentionally came late to the next gen party and I am overwhelmed with choice titles that are dirt cheap. By the time we finish the titles above, I'll be able to grab so many quality titles at a fraction of the cost. Don't even get me started on how cheap the backwards compatible Wii games are now. At this rate, I suspect we can skip 2 more gens before we purchase another system....

    I feel like this has been (by far) Nintendo's strongest showing in years.
    Everything they showed off was exciting or new. There isn't a huge amount between now and 2015, but the platform should already be way more attractive than the competitors simply because its the only one with any *good* platform exclusives (of which it has several).

    I think the next 12 months will be pretty interesting; hopefully we see some more platforms sales and a few more 3rd parties start jumping on board to fill in the cross-platform gaps.

    Nintendo makes me so angry. They make mediocre rehashes of the same kiddie-friendly tripe they've been making for years and yet the millions of fanboys lose their s**t! I can't help feeling that it's all an emperor's-new-clothes scenario.

      Don't like it, don't buy it.


        Trust me, I don't. But I'm still p**sed because Nintendo is holding the entire industry back. For every The Last of Us or BioShock pushing the boundaries of the medium, it has to fight against a dozen generic Mario sequels bringing the medium down.

      The fact that their games are so popular with adults, yet remain "kiddie-friendly" proves how high the quality is. Nintendo is the greatest video game developer in the world and you're missing out.

      Halo. COD. Battlefield.


        You can hardly compare them. Halo is up to what, 5 games and a few spin-offs? The goddam Mario kart spin-off franchise alone is already up to 8! Wikipedia tells me that there have been over 200 Mario games in 30 years. That's an average of 7 sequels and spinoffs every year.

          That just indicates that people love Mario games. Do you think that Microsoft wouldn't have created a million versions of Halo by now if they thought they could sell them all?

    Do kids really care enough about Nintendo characters to beg their parents to buy Amiibos (stupid name by the way), when there are Disney (!) and the already established Skylanders ones available?

    My own kids are only 4 and 2 (and I haven't introduced console or handheld games yet, though they play some stuff on iOS) so this is a genuine question. Do kids care about Nintendo or are these things intended to be sold to geeky older gamers?

      Only based on my own personal sample most kids I know love nintendo. Especially pokemon. Kids would kill a kitten to get their hands on more of those.

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