Nintendo E3 Spotlight Impressions for Every Game

Nintendo E3 Spotlight Impressions for Every Game

Hats Off to Nintendo!

The annual gamer’s hype holiday week is finally here! The big gaming expo E3 is in full swing, and the major companies have all given their press conferences. In Nintendo’s case, as in previous years, the presentation came in the form of the web broadcast titled the “Nintendo Spotlight.” Although I still miss the live press conferences with cheering, the Spotlight was an exciting event. My wife and I did cheering of our own and recorded our impressions directly after the event, which you can see below.

Here is the Video Version, with fresh reactions directly after the show!

Nintendo had an important job ahead of itself. Having just released the Nintendo Switch, the company had to convince the public that there were great games on the horizon. Based on the showing, Nintendo went all out with the message that it was worth it to have the new console. Here are my impressions of each game trailer and reveal.

Here’s the Nintendo Spotlight: E3 2017, if you missed it.

Super Mario Odyssey – Mario’s New Ghost Trick!

I’ve put Super Mario Odyssey on the top of my Switch wish list before, so there’s no doubt I was hyped for this game. But with the possibility of brand new announcements, this game wasn’t on the top of my mind. I was initially disappointed when SMO ended up being the Spotlight’s final trailer.

Super Mario Odyssey Boxart
Just look at that box art!

But boy, am I glad that Nintendo ended with this. Somehow, SMO’s trailer exceeded my expectations, introducing a new mechanic where Mario can possess other creatures by throwing his googly-eyed hat at them. The first creature we saw him possess was a frog, and that instantly got me excited for the classic Super Mario Bros. 3 power-up, Frog Mario. But he didn’t stop there. Mario then possessed many more creatures and inanimate objects, including a Goomba, Bullet Bill, and even a T-rex! He even possesses a regular-sized human!

Super Mario Odyssey Frog.png
Return of Frog Mario

I was already excited about SMO’s Super Mario 64-style sandbox platforming and hat-throwing shenanigans, but Mario’s new possession ability blows my mind away. There’s so much that can now be done with the gameplay. We saw elements of it when Mario possessed an electric charge going through a wire to travel from building to building (similarly to how Inklings get around) and when he took control of a pole and propelled himself upwards like a catapult. I can imagine that Mario possessing a car would let him drive around New Donk City and becoming a Cheep-Cheep would help him swim.

Mario Goomba Odyssey E3.jpg
I’ve always wanted to play as a Goomba with a mustache.

It seems every possessable creature has its own controls and abilities, which means the gameplay will be ever-changing. It reminds me of several games: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask mask powers, Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie’s magical transformations (including a T-rex!), and Space Station Silicon Valley – an underrated N64 game in which you played as an electronic chip that inhabited and controlled robotic animals. I can’t believe how much this single mechanic elevates my excitement and curiosity about what wonders this game will hold. I now wait with more bated breath than ever before for Super Mario Odyssey to arrive, which will be sooner than expected, thanks to its October 27 release date!

Super Mario Odyssey Dinosaure.png
The trailer started with a T-rex, no joke. I had no idea what to expect.

Metroid Prime 4 Announced!

Nintendo finally did it. In one of the Spotlight’s biggest announcements, Nintendo revealed that Metroid Prime 4 was coming to the Switch, finally bringing bounty hunter Samus Aran back into the limelight. Fans have been clamoring for a new Prime game ever since the poorly received Metroid Other M. Metroid Prime Federation Force for the 3DS was met with backlash as the public demanded Samus. Hopefully, this announcement will quell and warm the hearts of many, showing us that Nintendo still respects one of its most well-known franchises. Although we don’t know much about this game, besides the fact that it seems Retro Studios is not behind it, I look forward to this legendary IP getting a Switch release.

Metroid Prime 4 Logo smaller.jpg
What does the logo tell us about the game? Hmm…

As a bonus, Nintendo also revealed Metroid: Samus Returns for the Nintendo 3DS. It’s a remake of Metroid II, a Game Boy game that could really use an upgrade. The original was difficult to play due to a lack of color, meaning all pathways looked very similar. The 3DS revamp looks wonderful, with upgraded graphics and plenty of color, making the Metroids’ home planet of SR388 come to life. I’m actually more excited for this game, as I have been wishing for a 2D Metroid for a long time. Although it’s a remake, I have hope for this leading to future 2D titles.

Metroid II Samus Returns Nintendo E3 3DS.png
Triumphant Return

And hey, somehow my predictions for both a 2D and 3D Metroid were fulfilled this year! How were your predictions for Nintendo’s event?

Core Pokémon Game Announced for Switch!

We actually had a Pokémon Direct the week prior to Nintendo’s Spotlight, and it was disappointing. Pokkén Tournament DX, an upgrade to the Wii U’s Tekken-esque Pokémon fighter was announced for Switch. While I’m excited for that, I was hoping for a mainline Pokémon game to come to Switch, whether a third version of Pokémon Sun and Moon or the next generation. During the Pokémon Direct, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon was announced for 3DS. I didn’t find the news compelling, mostly because I just played Sun and Moon half a year ago, and also because it wasn’t coming to Switch. Don’t get me wrong. The 3DS can still use more games, but why did Sun and Moon need an upgrade so soon? I’m getting horrible Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 flashbacks.

Pokken Tournament DX.png
If the next Pokemon Switch game can look as great as Pokken Tournament DX…

Thankfully, the Spotlight revealed that Switch owners were also getting a piece of the Pokémon pie, with a new core entry in the series coming to Switch. We know absolutely nothing about it, though since we’re already getting Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, I’m assuming this upcoming game will be the next generation. Regardless of what it ends up being, the Switch is going to be perfect for the series. We still have portability thanks to the Switch’s handheld mode, and we’ll finally get a mainline entry playable on the big screen!

Two New Switch Platformers: Kirby and Yoshi!

The cutest Nintendo mascots are getting new entries on the Nintendo Switch, and from what little we’ve seen, they look fun! The currently untitled Kirby looks like the Wii game Kirby’s Return to Dreamland at first glance, offering up to 4-player cooperative play. Upon closer inspection, elements from other games also seem to return including the animal buddies from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 and 3, as well as the possibility of mixing two powers a la Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. The latter is a favorite of mine, and I would be ecstatic if we could have all those unique power-ups back, particularly that dual light saber. Also, the broom power-up is back. Yay?

Kirby Nintendo E3.jpg
Gives me a Kirby Super Star vibe too, now that I think about it.

Yoshi’s new untitled game looks impressive too, taking a page from Yoshi’s Woolly World, and sticking the green dino into a cardboard world. As plain as cardboard may sound, it looks stunning in the trailer, like arts-and-crafts popping out of the screen. And speaking of popping out, there seems to be some kind of depth mechanic where Yoshi can shoot eggs at enemies in the background and foreground. It suspiciously sounds like a 3DS mechanic, as if this game were originally planned for that system. The game looks so beautiful though, and I appreciate the higher fidelity that the Switch will provide.

Yoshi Nintendo E3 Logo.jpg
Not to be confused with the NES puzzle game of the same name.

Fire Emblem Warriors – New Characters Revealed!

I loved Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors Legends, investing many hours into both. The Fire Emblem version of this Dynasty Warriors form of gameplay is coming to the Switch soon, and I’m thrilled thinking about what characters and places will be in the final game. We finally got some character reveals: Corrin (female), Ryoma, and Xander from Fire Emblem Fates will be joining the original hero Marth and Awakening’s Chrom. We’ll also be getting original characters – royal twins Rowan and Lianna. The gameplay Nintendo showed off during its Treehouse Live segment seemed pretty par for course, with FE aesthetics and level-up mechanics being primary differences. Additionally, there will be a Coliseum mode so you can pit Ryoma and Xander in a battle to the death, once and for all. The Fates characters look great, though I’m wondering 1) if we’ll see any more Fates characters and 2) what happened to male Corrin? I hope more characters are revealed in the weeks leading up to its release!

Fire Emblem Warriors E3 Characters Nintendo E3.jpg
The Fire Emblem Heroes – I mean Warriors

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle.jpg
Ok, I kind of like Rabbid Peach taking a selfie.

The rumored crossover is happening! Mario is teaming up with the Raving Rabbids in an original tactical RPG developed by Ubisoft. At first, upon hearing the rumors, I wasn’t thrilled about the game, especially since I’m not a big fan of the silly Minions, I mean Rabbids. I quickly changed my mind once I saw the reveal trailer at Ubisoft’s conference. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle looks like nothing we’ve seen for Mario. I’ve heard it’s like X-COM, but having never played that, this would certainly a new experience for me. It looks more fun than Paper Mario has been recently, at least! I like the idea of hiding behind cover, and throwing allies in the air (which actually also happens in Disgaea 5). The idea of Mario and friends using customizable guns sounds awesome. While I still don’t like the Rabbids, I’d be willing to give this game a try. Plus, how can you not want a game, for which the series’ creators presented it like this?

Miyamoto Yves E3.jpg
Probably the best moment of E3 – Shigeru Miyamoto & Yves Guillemot: Locked ‘n’ Loaded

Everything Else – Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Rocket League, Mario & Luigi

There were a handful of other games during both the Spotlight event and the subsequent Treehouse Live segments. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is shaping up to be a huge game, as its predecessors. I didn’t see much of its Treehouse Live presentation, but based on the trailer, the game definitely looks more anime than it ever has, and I like the style! Rocket League is another port coming to the Switch. I’ve never played this car-battling soccer game, but the Switch-exclusive bonus of hats on cars has me more enticed than it should.

Rocket League Switch Mario Hat E3.jpg
So does that mean Mario possessed the car or what?

During Bethesda’s press conference, the company revealed that Skyrim was coming to the Switch, and amiibo functionality would allow your character to have Link’s clothes from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And while we’re on the topic of Zelda, the new DLC for BotW looks great, with the first set providing some great costumes and harder trials, and the second set sporting a juicy tease about the Champions. Will we be playing as the Champions? I’m now suddenly sold on getting the DLC. As for amiibo, we’re getting lots of them! We’re getting a Fire Emblem Warriors amiibo (another prediction come true!) of Chrom (which makes my wife happy) and Tiki. The Metroid series is getting more amiibo representation with a sweet Samus based on Metroid II, as well as a squishy Metroid figurine… YES! We’re also getting champion amiibo from Breath of the Wild and classy wedding outfit figurines for Mario, Peach, and Bowser. Koopa Troopa and Goomba finally get amiibo, specifically promoting the following final game.

Super Mario Odyssey amiibo.jpg
Love the Super Mario Odyssey outfits and poses!

A remake of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the very first game in the series was announced for 3DS. The latest game (and my first review here) Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, was only decent. So hopefully this game will remind developers how fun and inventive the original was. It also comes with a bonus game, Bowser’s Minions, in which you play as Mario enemies to gather troops for Bowser. It looks moderately interesting, but the main attraction is worth it for me already.

E3 2017 Impressions.png
Actual candid shot from watching E3 – Yes, we live in space.

Conclusion

As a big Nintendo fan, I was very much anticipating Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight. And I’m happy to say the company delivered what its fans were hoping for: Metroid Prime 4’s reveal and Pokémon Switch’s announcement. Unfortunately, they were only mentioned in name, but at least we now know they’re coming. And of course, Super Mario Odyssey’s new possession mechanic trailer was absolute bliss. All I could think about after the spotlight was what I wanted to see Mario transform into, and I felt like a kid who had just seen the most amazing magic trick. I am extremely hyped for the mustachioed plumber’s next big game. Along with the other reveals, Nintendo had a great showing, that I am sure pleased many hardcore fans.

What did you think of Nintendo’s E3 2017 Spotlight? What were your favorite game reveals and trailers? What did you wish was there? What were your immediate reactions and emotions following the event? Which of your predictions came true? Please share your thoughts in the comments section! Thank you for watching and reading!

Panda’s Picks: 10 Anticipated Switch Games

Panda’s Picks: 10 Anticipated Switch Games

Joy-Cons to the World!

The time has come! The Nintendo Switch will finally launch this Friday, and gamers worldwide will soon play with their shiny new console/handheld hybrid. I’ve already detailed why I’m excited for the Switch as well as my impressions from Nintendo’s January presentation. Now I’m turning my attention to the most important part of any console: the games. Here are my top 10 most anticipated Switch games!

10. Arms

Arms.jpg
Ouch. That’s gotta hurt.

I wasn’t initially keen on Nintendo’s upcoming motion controlled fighting game, Arms. But the more I learned about it, the more I wanted the game in my… arms. This game may look like Wii Boxing, but the characters’ arms extend to hit their opponents, similarly to Mr. Fantastic. Consequently, it’s more reliant on solid punches rather than frantic arm-waving. Although I’m not the biggest fan of motion control, I’m interested in seeing how the Joy-Cons’ improved gyro affect Arms’ gameplay. I’m also intrigued by the controller’s HD Rumble functionality, which allows for sensations within the Joy-Con.

9. Runner3

The Nindies Showcase announced a hefty lineup of indie games launching this year for the Switch. Among those, one title that caught my eye was Choice Provision’s Switch-exclusive Runner3. The first two autorunner games were the best parts of the Bit.Trip series, and I enjoyed them more than Super Mario Run. Funnily enough, the voice of Mario, Charles Martinet, contributed his vocal talent to the second entry. Nevertheless, Runner3 will surpass those on the graphical level with its incredible dynamic camera angles and jaw-dropping artstyles. Runner3 looks to be a visual tour de force, and I’m looking forward to hopping to the beat with Commander Video soon.

8. Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2.jpg
Stay fresh!

I enjoyed the ink-splatting turf wars of Wii U’s Splatoon, but I didn’t get the GamePad’s motion controls. Though that was the way to play, I felt they were unresponsive and instead played with the analog controls. Splatoon 2 promises better gyro aiming thanks to its upgraded Joy-Con and Pro Controllers, and that has built up my desire to play the sequel. If Nintendo can deliver lots of fresh content, then I’m on board to being a squid again! I mean, being a kid again?

7. Super Bomberman R

Super Bomberman R.jpg
I love the art for this game!

My hype for Super Bomberman R may be mistaken for mere excitement that the adorable bomb-dropping mascot is alive. But I’m sincerely excited for classic 8-player bomb battles and a cooperative 2-player story mode. I’ve never played the series online, so I’m also looking forward to the mayhem that will ensue. It will be a blast (pun intended) to play when it launches this Friday.

6. Yooka-Laylee

I grew up in the heyday of Rare’s 3D collectathon platformers like Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64. The talented creators of these classic games have opened a new studio to bring that experience back to the forefront. The team at Playtonic Games have been hard at work on Yooka-Laylee since 2015, and the finished product will be joining the Switch’s ever-growing lineup in April. As a huge fan of the genre, I wasn’t sure that we’d ever see the return of the classic 3D collectathon. But here we are, mere weeks away from experiencing the misadventures of a chameleon and bat pair as they collect pagies throughout open sandbox worlds. In typical Rare fashion, the game will include trademark googly eyes and mine cart levels. I’d be excited for Yooka-Laylee regardless of platform, but now that it has a Switch release, I know how I’ll be playing it!

5. Snipperclips: Cut it Out, Together!

What is Snipperclips anyway? It’s as hard to explain both what it is and why I’m excited for it. The Treehouse Live video does a great job showing where the potential fun lies, so that would be a great start. Essentially, it’s a cooperative game in which each player uses a Joy-Con to control a cartoonish bullet-shaped creature with legs. If one player stands directly in front of the other, he can clip off a segment of his partner, completely altering his shape. For instance, you can erase your partner’s bullet-shaped tip to create a scooper, which you’ll need to pick up a basketball.

It’s something that we haven’t seen before, and that breath of originality is what we need in this era of sequels and remakes. Working together with a friend to accomplish goals like sharpening a pencil is bound to cause limitless hilarious outcomes. Combined with the charmingly silly faces, this game will likely be a riot at get-togethers. We don’t have to wait long for it either, since Nintendo is releasing Snipperclips at launch this Friday! Snip!

4. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade Chronicles 2.jpg
I’m really feeling it!

Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles X was one of my favorite games on Wii U. Its hybrid turn-based action battle system easily won my RPG-loving heart. However, it didn’t have the heartfelt character-driven story of the first Xenoblade Chronicles. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be a sequel to that original game. We don’t know too much beyond the initial reveal trailer. But if the other games in the series are any indication, we will be treated to a gorgeous world where if you can see it, you can reach it. Hopefully, the Switch’s more powerful hardware will allow XBC2 to live up to the lofty standards that the humongous predecessors have set. The release is currently scheduled for 2017, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the developers needed more time to create this expansive RPG. Either way, I’m ready to set dozens of hours into it when it launches.

3. Fire Emblem Warriors

Fire Emblem has been gaining so much traction these past few years, thanks to the success of Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates. In fact, a FE-focused Nintendo Direct revealed an upcoming mainline title for Switch. But I’m currently more excited about the forthcoming Fire Emblem Warriors, the spinoff that combines the hack-and-slash gameplay of Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors with the likable characters and wartorn countries of Fire Emblem. The FE series had a previous Wii U crossover with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, but Fire Emblem Warriors is poised to service the fans more with direct references to the franchise proper. My wife and I enjoyed playing Hyrule Warriors together because of its fun gameplay and nods to the beloved series. Now that she’s suddenly become a huge FE fan thanks to Fire Emblem Heroes, we will be sure to enjoy Warriors when it ships later this year.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda Breath of the Wild.jpg
Breathtaking

I’ve written quite a bit about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ever since its unveiling from E3 2016. There’s so much more I could say about this exciting open-world title that takes the series to its humble adventurous roots. Of course, the game is more than humble, promising a massive continent to explore and hundreds of puzzle-filled shrines. BotW offers unique tools and a gigantic playground to experiment on. But I’m most excited about having my own personalized journey through this new land. Based on the freedom within the first area alone, no two playthroughs will be identical. Much like the first Legend of Zelda, BotW will allow you to explore at your leisure, letting your curiosity be your guide. And that’s exactly all I could have asked for from the newest entry in the Zelda series. I’ll be looking forward to diving into this long-awaited epic this Friday!

1. Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey.jpg
I hope Mario catches his hat.

Let me preface this by saying that I am a huge fan of Super Mario 64, so much that I’ve been playing it profusely to prepare for an upcoming passion project. The Super Mario Odyssey reveal trailer showed us that the game will be a return to form; it’ll hearken back to the large 3D sandbox worlds of SM64 and Super Mario Sunshine, and that has me thrilled to bits! Although Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D World were stellar games in their own right, they were distinctly more linear than their Nintendo 64 and GameCube predecessors. After Sunshine, I’ve been yearning for a new Mario experience where I could traverse a huge hub, jump into new worlds, and hunt for stars hidden across the map. Based on what we know so far, Super Mario Odyssey looks like it will replicate that nostalgic experience. The theme of the game is literally “jumping to an unknown world.” Coupled with dazzling visuals, strikingly juxtaposed areas, and new mechanics emphasizing Mario’s iconic cap, Super Mario Odyssey has the potential to be a game that defines the Switch. And that’s why it narrowly edges out Breath of the Wild as my most anticipated game.

nintendo-switch
Switch it up soon!

Conclusion

There are more games that I’m looking forward to, but but these are my ten most anticipated titles. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much depth the Switch’s first year will have, from the most beloved Nintendo franchises to an armful of new IPs. We’re truly entering a new age of Nintendo consoles, and I hope that the company delivers an experience surpassing the Wii U’s. We’ll see once the Switch finally launches on March 3!

What are your most anticipated Switch games? Will you be getting the Switch at launch? What games would you like to see most on the console/handheld hybrid? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!

Nintendo’s Switch Presentation: My Roller Coaster of Highlights

Nintendo’s Switch Presentation: My Roller Coaster of Highlights

Merry Switchmas

Nintendo finally held its long awaited press conference for its upcoming console/handheld hybrid, the Nintendo Switch. The company revealed the system’s $299.99 price tag and its March 3 release date. Nintendo also announced quite a few games. Here are my strongest positive and negative reactions to the Switch Presentation.

HIGHS

Super Mario Odyssey

Imagine a modern urban setting with your typical skyscraper, a theater, a store called “Crazy Cap,” and a street sign for Dixie St. The only indication of which game world you’re in are the words, “New Donk City.” Pan down to the streets where a taxi passes by. Suddenly, a manhole cover begins to shake and out pops… Mario? This is how the new Super Mario Odyssey trailer started, and I love it!

The game will feature an large open sandbox world akin to Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. I adore Super Mario Galaxy and its inventive worlds and mechanics. However, most levels were distinctly more linear than the rich, explorative areas of the former two. Super Mario Odyssey is a return to form, and it looks more amazing than I could have imagined based on the initial Switch video. The theme is “jumping to an unknown world,” and the world looks spectacular. I wanted to roll around in that Mexican-themed town, run across magical leaves that form in midair, ride a lion through an inverse-pyramid desert expanse, and dance with robots in a lush jungle. I’d even cook myself in that giant crystallized vegetable soup area. The world looks somewhat parallel to our own, yet it oozes with such creativity.

Bowser's Royal Wedding.jpg
I hope I’m invited!

New Donk City, an area with realistic humans walking about, will be a fitting playground for our Brooklyn-born plumber. In the trailer, Mario triple-jumps on a cab, spins on a traffic pole, and wall-jumps up skyscrapers. Sure, it’s odd to see Mario in a city setting with regularly-proportioned people, but Sonic did it in his first 3D adventure… Actually, that’s probably not the best example. Sorry, Sonic! Regardless, it’s endearing to see Mario jump rope with two ladies in a park. Even Bowser is dressed for the occasion, looking more debonair than ever before in his white top hat and suave suit. Seriously, Peach, give him a chance!

Super Mario Odyssey Hat.jpg
That hair though.

The last major point changes up the gameplay significantly. Mario can throw his signature red cap as a boomerang. While the hat is in midair, Mario can then bounce on it, leading to what will likely be a huge platforming game-changer. Nintendo even borrowed a page from Rare’s old-school collectathons like Banjo-Kazooie and put googly eyes on the hat. Super Mario 64 is one of my favorite games of all time, and if SMO can replicate and improve upon that style, then I will have a fantastic time next holiday season. There are other great games to come to the Switch, but Super Mario Odyssey was quite easily my game of the show.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild at Launch

The latest trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is gorgeous. Watch it if you haven’t already. I fell in love with the new open-air gameplay that Nintendo showed off during their 2016 E3 presentation, and the newest trailer cements it as my most anticipated game this year. Zelda herself looks like she jumped out of a Ghibli movie, and I adore the personality she displays this time around. It’s especially powerful when she cries into Link’s arms. To that point, Nintendo is really making an effort to finally use voice acting to its finest. With what appears to be a fascinating cast of characters and an intriguing plot with 100 years of history, Breath of the Wild will hopefully be one of the finest titles to grace the Switch. And the best part? It’s a launch game, coming out on the same day as the Switch!

Fire Emblem Warriors

I spent over a hundred hours playing the content-rich Hyrule Warriors Legends, and Fire Emblem Fates was one of my favorite games of 2016. Enter Fire Emblem Warriors, a fusion of the Fire Emblem franchise and Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors gameplay. Excuse me while I salivate. The very prospect of running around the field slicing and dicing enemies as Marth, Ike, Lucina, and Corrin has me giddy inside. Unfortunately, we didn’t see much and can’t tell exactly who will be in the game. But if it’s anything like the fanservice celebrations of Hyrule Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes (which is now coming to Switch!), we will have a star-studded cast of the series’ lords.

RPGs

Next to platfomers, one of my favorite genres is the role-playing game, particularly Japanese ones (JRPGs). The Wii U unfortunately lacked RPGs, only having a few (great ones!) near the end of its life cycle. During the presentation, Nintendo announced a handful of RPGs. If they all came out within the next year, I’d be set until their next system. I’m most hyped for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which appears to be a truer sequel to the Wii original than Wii U’s Xenoblade Chronicles X was. The game looks great so far, with stunning visuals, a vast world, and cute anime characters. That game on its own would be meaty enough, but there were more surprises during the show. Atlus teased a new Shin Megami Tensei, a classic RPG series that has since spun off into Persona and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. Square Enix also revealed a new “Project Octopath Traveler,” made by the same team who worked on (and named) the Bravely Default games. Though we didn’t see much, the game had a distinct Super Nintendo or early PlayStation sprite artstyle, which speaks to the 16-bit lover in me. Finally, we got announcements of Dragon Quest X and XI, though it’s up in the air whether those will make it to the West.

The Return of Bomberman and Puyo Puyo Tetris

There was a sizzle reel at the end that showed nearly every other game publicly scheduled for the Switch. I saw some good-looking games in the reel such as Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Ultra Street Fighter II, and Sonic Mania. But honestly, no other games caught my eye more than Super Bomberman R and Puyo Puyo Tetris. For Konami to actually release a new Hudson game, and for it to be Bomberman, is nothing short of amazing. I was actually moved by the Bomberman 33rd anniversary logo in the corner of the game box. Bomberman hasn’t had a proper console game in years, and yet here he is, gracing the Switch with his adorable presence. Playing eight-player local and online battles will probably be a launch highlight. I’m happy this beloved gaming mascot is back. Similarly, I’m excited for the return of Puyo Puyo Tetris and the chance to play two different puzzle games with cute anime characters. I wish these games had a bigger presence during the actual presentation rather than being relegated to bits in a sizzle reel and post-presentation YouTube uploads.

LOWS

Presentation

This brings me to my lowlights: The presentation itself wasn’t that great. Make no mistake. The games look fabulous, but perhaps the presenters could have spent more time showing them off, particularly the ones that actually had trailers. For instance, they could have easily talked about their new Mario Kart 8 Deluxe update which has a revamped Battle Mode and new characters and tracks from Splatoon. They could have also shown us why we should be interested in a game called Snipperclips, which I knew nothing about until Treehouse Live did a hilarious playthrough the following day. Instead, we had a long explanation about the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers. I understand that the mini Wiimote-like devices that snap onto a bigger controller deserve explanation. However, it was unnecessary to talk about them for a fourth of the conference, especially when they began showing off the Joy-Con’s ability to read hand signals.

1-2 Switch

It didn’t help that the first game they showed off was this eccentric party game called 1-2 Switch. I was fine with Wii Sports, stuck with Wii Play, and even enjoyed Nintendo Land. I’m not sure what the appeal of 1-2 Switch is. The game revolves around a series of minigames where two players face each other and perform random motion-controlled actions, completely ignoring the screen. The first example was “Quick Draw,” a wild-west style gun duel where the first one to pull their Joy-Con out on the mark wins. Other examples include mock-eating contests, air guitar, wizard duels, swordplay, and milking a cow. I suppose it allows you to reach into your imagination, but then why would you need a $300 machine to do it? Perhaps it’s for children, but it’s primarily an older crowd playing in the trailer. I’d understand if it were a launch game, in which case, I would certainly play it and would love to be pleasantly surprised. Otherwise, I’m not sure whom this game is for. I don’t generally hate on things either. I’m genuinely confused what’s fun about 1-2 Switch.

launch-lineup
Launch Lineup 2017

Launch Day Lineup

On launch day, we will at least have Breath of the Wild, Super Bomberman R, and 1-2 Switch. We also have Skylanders Imaginators and Just Dance at launch, with more games to come in the year. While Breath of the Wild will hopefully be enough as a launch game, it’s also coming out on Wii U the same day. As alluring as Bomberman is, Nintendo has an uphill battle to climb if they want to attract people to their system. To be fair, most consoles have had poor launch days. Even some of my favorite systems only had a single remarkable game. Although it’s still a low point that the launch is weak, the launch year looks like it will be strong overall, with hits like Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 coming soon.

nintendo-switch
March 3, 2017

Conclusion

There were other assorted highs and lows during the presentation. I’m very excited about the system being region free, the HD rumble technology (as weird as that sounds), and the Switch’s capacitive touch screen – making it closer to a smartphone than a 3DS. I’m also glad that EA and Bethesda are supporting the Switch at this stage and hope that they stick with it. I’m not fond of the new paid online, though I hope this leads to a better online infrastructure. I’m fine with the system’s price, but don’t like the expensive costs of each additional controller and accessory. Overall, I’m still as excited as ever for the system. The excitement isn’t as mind-blowing yet, but there’s enough great games in the pipeline to have convinced me to preorder. This will be an interesting year for Nintendo, and I hope to cover my own journey with the Switch when it ships on March 3!

What did you think about the Nintendo Switch Presentation? What are your highlights and lowlights regarding the new system? What do you want to see for the system? Are you getting a Switch? Please share any thoughts in the comments section below! Thank you for reading!