Nintendo's E3 Presentation: At Least We Have Puppet GIFs

Nintendo's E3 Event Began With A Bizarre Puppet Show

The dust settled, it slowly began to dawn on me. That was it. That was all Nintendo had to show at E3. Oh well, at least we have a ton of puppet GIFs.

I estimate it took me around 30 minutes to realise: it was gonna be one of those Nintendo presentations. A Wii Music E3 as opposed to a Super Mario Galaxy E3 if that makes any sense. The kind of E3 where Nintendo does just about enough to convince you that games are being made, but chooses not to unveil any of its big hitters.

So — no new Mario, no sign of the new Zelda on Wii U. Nothing that substantial on 3DS. Nothing to get 'hyped' about in any real sense. Plenty footage of video games we were already aware of or announcements for games in b-tier Nintendo franchises like Starfox.

And good lord were there a lot of spin-offs.

For Nintendo it truly was the year of the spin-off. There was the Animal Crossing board game, the Animal Crossing home decorating game, Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes, a new Hyrule Warriors game, some sort of Paper Mario game for the 3DS. It truly felt like barrel scraping — Nintendo in the process of reusing assets.

Let me rephrase that: a Nintendo in the process of reusing assets whilst holding back the products they are clearly using the majority of the resources to create.

Because seriously — Nintendo is making cool stuff. No doubt about it. Nintendo just chose not to show any of that cool stuff at this year's E3. And I guess that's their prerogative.

But let's talk about what they did show.

Starfox Zero. The next major Starfox game. Personally, I was underwhelmed. I understand that Starfox has a distinct aesthetic but, based on this showing, it looked extremely old fashioned. The textures looked last gen at best, the core style of play seemed a bit loose and flat. Only the transitions — between different types of vehicles — seemed interesting. Asides from that, I am not psyched on Starfox in any way, shape or form.

The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes. It looked interesting, sort of like a reinvention of the Four Swords series we had around a decade ago. That being said, I couldn't help wondering why a multiplayer experience like Triforce Heroes was being developed for the 3DS instead of the Wii U? The Wii U is all about that same screen multiplayer experience — Triforce Heroes would have been perfect for that. How likely are we all to meet up regularly with three 3DS-owning friends to play a game like Triforce Heroes? Aren't we far more likely to gather round a television with three or four controllers? I understand: there are more 3DS units in the wild, Triforce Heroes stands a better chance of being a financial success on that console — but the Wii U needs support and this could have been a cheap and easy way of giving Wii U owners something to look forward to this Christmas.

Metroid Prime: Federation Forge was all kinds of weird. The aesthetic, to begin with, was all wrong. The game itself? Goddamn confusing. It's described as a game with co-op missions set in the Metroid Prime universe. In other words: a spin-off. A strange spin-off I can't make sense of. If you're going to chuck resources into creating a new Metroid Prime game, why make this one? No-one remembers Metroid Prime: Hunters fondly, and no-one wants a weird disparate collection of co-op missions set in the 'Metroid Prime universe'. This announcement frustrated me the most — particularly since it killed stone dead any hope I had of seeing a cool 2D reinvention of Metroid for the 3DS.

What else? The new Mario Tennis looked interesting, but it's Mario Tennis. Yoshi's Wooly World continues to look disarmingly gorgeous, but we knew about that already.

The highlight of the presentation was probably Mario Maker — which is going to result in some pretty bizarre user creations, but looks like a well put together project. But it's not a video game necessarily — it's a set of tools.

Simply put: Nintendo didn't deliver. But it was so clearly their choice not to deliver. Nintendo is holding out on us and I want to see what it is they are working on.

Hurry up please!


    After yesterday's amazing showing, from morpheus to hololens, Angela basset to Lara Croft , dreams to no man's sky, everyone else is pushing boundaries when it comes to storytelling, graphics, gameplay, creativity and the future of gaming.

    Nintendo today was basically "BRIGHT COLOURS!"

    No-one remembers Metroid Prime: Hunters fondlyI do!

    I was pretty happy when it came up. I'd only just shortly beforehand checked out the Blast Ball thing from the World Championships and thought "wow it really IS Hunters!" Then sure enough, it comes up here, looks like NST has been hard at work after all. I'm keen, especially with all the fun I've been having with Splatoon.

    Also super hyped for Star Fox. STAR FOX 2 LIVES! Looks great, can't wait to play it.

      Yes! Hunters was fantastic as an arena shooter, it was the fastest playing fps since the industry stopped giving a shit about the pc (compare any console fps to quake). The transformations were great, the controls were SO sharp, and the little poof of smoke after you vapourised a foe was as great as the pikmin death animation is sad.

      I'm happy that the 3ds is getting a sport-shooter, it'll go nicely alongside splatoon.

      I'm also keen for starfox. I was bummed that the Wii u was missing out on platinum's transformers game, but now I know why. The combat should be solid.

      Last edited 17/06/15 8:20 am

        Agreed. I got the Hunters demo with my phat DS and played it incessantly. When Hunters was released, I genuinely thought it was better than any other FPS game I'd ever played which wasn't on PC.
        I thought the genre was seriously underutilized on DS; the only other titles I can recall were Moon and it's predecessor, a horror game set in a lunatic asylum.
        I'm all over this news. And who knows? Maybe this is a deliberate introduction to the world of Metroid for newcomers in preparation for the next full-scale Prime title.

    Haha, glad I didn't bother to get up for this one.

      Yes it was a bit meh and lacked the enthusiasm of the other conferences. Just a bunch of suits with some English translation rather than a well oiled hype machine. Not much on the horizon for Wii U.. Too much focus on stuff done in the past rather than new IP. I cringed at the Yarn figures and Mario Maker, cause that's really just a less interesting version of little big planet. I feel that Nintendo needs new younger blood with fresh ideas, no disrespect of course to the founding fathers. There was some new game that was effectively an Amibo-ifyed version of Mario Party; boring and done already. Mario tennis, whilst pretty didn't seem to add anything new to the table.

    I'm just going to say it! Nintendo is officially Dead! I am so glad I sold my wii u; in fact, it will be my last product I ever waste money on from nintendo. I grew up with nintendo...snes and n64 will probably be the only consoles when nintendo had life....and now teaming ammibos (used to have 26 of them until I sold them) up with skylanders!!?? Now there just being sellouts....nothing but spin-offs at e3! Sorry fanboys, but after 17 years of playing nintendo, I will officially say it's game over for nintendo! They are better off doing what sega did, kill their consoles and just make games for the better companies!

      Uh...People have been saying Nintendo is dead ever since the gamecube and it still hasn't happened.
      You're allowed to have your opinion, but it's seriously old.

      You’re right…. kinda.
      A little bit dramatic I think, they aren’t dead, just horribly lost (in the console space).

      While they’ve got to be getting (very) rusty from pumping out AA drek to fill holes in their empty release schedule, I haven’t given up all hope that they can still make industry defining AAA titles….. I do agree with you though that they can’t do it on one of their own consoles.

      The WiiU is an unmitigated disaster. I pile tons of sh*t o them but I’m a MASSIVE Nintendo fan who planned on buying a WiiU right up until the week of launch when I realised that I’d have more fun over the next month playing 360 titles than a 2D Mario spin-off and a “pretty good” zombie game. Since then the WiiU has seen nothing more than solid titles that haven’t many people to buy the system.

      We can’t pretend that the issues they have are limited to the WiiU though, respectable 3rd party developers bailed on the Wii a good 5 years before it died even with an enormous install base. Poor 3rd party relationships, combined with redundant hardware that has meant that Nintendo hasn’t been able to receive easy ports for 10+ years, has mean that Nintendo essentially goes it alone in propping up their hardware division.

      As a result Nintendo have been increasingly designing their games from the ground up not to be brilliant Nintendo quality titles, but to fill holes in the release schedule. They’re like Ubisoft in a way, only instead of broadly ambitious games rushed out in a year as buggy messes, Nintendo picks projects that can be beautifully polished in a year at the cost of ambition.

      Need Evidence? Have a look over the 1st party release schedule for the WiiU. Mario Kart and Smash Bros are the only games that have been given full, Nintendo standard development cycles and even those games are essentially iterations on long running series. A 2D Mario based on a Wii/DS game, a 3D Mario based on a 3DS game, Captain Toad is a mini-game based on the Mario game based on the 3DS game….. as @markserrels stated above, “so many spin-offs”.

      Nintendo needs to dump the WiiU NOW and take a long hard look at their role in the console space. If they are going to try again (and I’m certain they will) then the NX NEEDS that Zelda game at launch as a legit next gen title and that means it needs at least another two years of development.

      If they release an open world Zelda game on last-gen hardware at the end of 2016, 18 months after the world has been playing around in open worlds the quality of the Witcher 3 then it could be a disaster. If the NX launches with nothing more than spinoffs and innovation-less ideas then that’ll be much worse……

      Well, my other 3 consoles sit mostly gathering dust, and the Wii-U is used almost daily, and there are still more games I want to get than I can afford to buy.
      I don't see how Nintendo is dead, it may not suit your particular gaming habits, but it does suit others really well.
      I'm not a fanboi, I didn't grow up on Nintendo products, the WiiU is the first Nintendo thing I owned other than game & watch stuff when I was in school, but the multiplayer on thw Wii-U is just so great. When friends come round we flog the crap out of it, we play it with the kids, have regular 4 player sessions *in the same room*.
      With Halo 5 scrapping split screen, and having no local LAN play, and other games having done the same, Nintendo seems to be the only company left that understands that multiplayer in the same room is just so much damned fun.
      It is also great to be able to have a quick game right on the handheld part of the Wii-U while others are watching movies or playing something else. In short, we use it more than the other consoles.

      I would have liked to have seen more games announced, but I have a pile of shame, and they are working on more than I can buy, so I am fine with how they are going.

      Oh, and the Wii-U is frigging fantastic for Netflix.

      So dead, I doubt it, just doesn't suit you, which is fine.

    Wow I completely disagree that Starfox is B-tier. BUT it is disappointing that that was literally the BEST they had to offer, otherwise it was a whole bunch of DS mini game-esq titles, and some new super cliche looking JRPG titles.

    For some reason I can't reply to XDragon8878 directly. XDragon8878, this is for you.

    Their stock price would disagree.

    You aren't interested anymore. That's cool. But they owe you nothing and the business will do just fine for the next few years.
    Not a year goes by without someone wailing about the doom of Nintendo. They were all wrong and you will be, too. Just relax and play the games you like.

    Last edited 17/06/15 7:58 am

      They aren’t going broke anytime soon, but we might be seeing the end of them as a relevent force in the AAA console title space.

      Their development cycles and ambition have been constantly dwindling and this has never been more obvious than it has been over the last few days.

      Have a look at the titles the other consoles are getting: Last Guardian, No Mans Sky, Mass Effect…. There are dozens of games that are not only interesting looking but have been the product of LONG development cycles. Now have a look over the Nintendo games released on the WiiU (and frankly aside from Zelda: SS everything going back to Mario Galaxy), short games, small games, spin-offs…….unambitious games.

      Development cycles have never been longer, development costs never higher. Nintendo can’t release AAA products which are large, innovative, immaculately polished (a Nintendo staple) AND have those games out frequently enough to prop up a console hardware division. Certainly not when their hardware is so far behind the rest of the pack that they can’t receive easy 3rd party ports even with the developers they have good relationships with (not many).

    I was very disappointed there wasn't a previously unannounced Wii U action title.

    Even HD remaster of Mario Sunshine or Luigi's Mansion would have been something.

    That said, Splatoon is amazing. I've still got a decent backlog of games. Yoshi, StarFox, Xenoblade, Fatal Frame, Art Academy and eventually Zelda are all ahead. So that's not too bad.

    (It's gonna take a minor miracle for me to start liking that SMT vs FE game tho. J-pop, bikinis and boob jiggle. It's embarrassing. )

    Starfox really does look meh, everything from textures to gameplay style. I had to sit up and make sure it wasn't Starfox on an older console. Was waiting for a graphics transition effect to happen on screen but it never happened. Yeah it wasn't pretty. After that show, odds that the next Zelda is getting the TP treatment increased dramatically (launching on both Wii U and their next console)

    Yep, that official sucked.

    To drop a 'Metroid' game like that? Well, that is a prime example (pun intended) of how to piss off your core audience.

    Clearly the NX is closer than we think.

    "Let me rephrase that: Nintendo are in the process of reusing assets whilst holding back the products they are clearly using the majority of the resources to create" - which are Zelda 15 and Mario 12. More reused stuff.

    I was a Nintendo fan from the beginning and it's been a while since they excited me.

    I couldn’t help wondering why a multiplayer experience like Triforce Heroes was being developed for the 3DS instead of the Wii U?

    You know exactly why it is being developed for 3DS instead of Wii U. We all know.

    Jayzuz the comments here - ninty fans are some of the most sensitive babies on the internet. All you have to do is comment on their lacklustre release schedule, or ongoing tech problems, and all of a sudden you are getting three paragraphs on the pleasures of Hyrule Warriors lol

    Nintendo's presentation was laughable at best... Like a sideshow in some back alley of a travelling circus.

    Nintendo has forgotten what made them great in the first place. Powerful hardware and state-of-the-art games. Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, GameCube.

    There really is no reason that Nintendo cannot design a powerful new console that pushes the boundaries, like they used to do. They do have more money than they ever had in the past!

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