Nintendo’s Odyssey: A Recap of Nintendo’s E3 2017 Spotlight
June 14, 2017
Written by New Game Plus Staff
Nintendo has traditionally taken up the final press conference slot, though its showcases have recently been anything but. In this spirit, we are going to mix things up this time and bring on TWO of our contributors, Christos and Katherine, to run you through this year’s announcements.
Hey there everyone, my name’s Christos, or 8BitWalugi, a new member of New Game Plus team. Along with Katherine, or Kaphrin, also a new collaborator with the NG+ crew, we’re going to give you the lowdown on Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight and share our thoughts on some of the games showed off during the 25 minute showcase.
C: So at long last on our E3 adventure, we finish up with Nintendo. In the last few years Nintendo has ditched the traditional keynote-style presentation, and instead choose to stick with its Direct format. I think it’s worked wonders for them; in the past we’ve been presented with Robot Chicken and Jim Henson Muppets. I think it’s a great way to highlight the fun Nintendo aims to bring, and a way to differentiate the company from its competitors. What do you think, Katherine?
K: I think it’s pretty neat, and it gives them the creative space to structure their announcements in a unique way. We’ve had some classic moments from past Directs featuring Reggie, Bill, and other Nintendo staff. It was a bit more toned down this year. I kind of miss the Robot Chicken and Muppets segments, and the incredible short clips and images the internet made from them.
C: Yeah, I agree. I particularly liked the Robot Chicken skit (“Give us Mother 3!”).
So, time to jump into this year’s presentation. The scene opens with a gym, just a casual reminder of Arms which launches in the next few days on the Switch. Right after we cut to a car meetup and we get a silent reveal of Rocket League on the Switch! I feel like that’s a perfect match.
K: It’s clear that there’s a push for competitive local gaming, something that Nintendo hasn’t embraced as strongly in the recent past, with the exception of the Super Smash Brothers, Pokémon and Mario Kart franchises. I guess you could count the 3DS in that, but I feel that a lot of popular handheld games focus more on co-op. Given that portability is a key selling factor of the Switch, it’s great to see that Nintendo making a real effort to support local community gaming with these titles, even if Pokkén Tournament and Rocket League aren’t Switch exclusives.
C: Yeah Pokkén has already landed on Wii U, but now we got the ‘Deluxe’ version, the expanded re-release that couldn’t be made DLC for the Wii U either. We got a scene of Pokkén Tournament DX being played in a cafeteria, again highlighting the portability and features of the Switch. Splatoon 2 and FIFA 18 too, showed being played at home then switching to on the go. I don’t think I’ll be separated from the Switch for a while once it comes out, haha.
K: I really enjoy the way they’re marketing the Switch as a way of connecting with others in a world where a lot of our communication is done via distance, though I wouldn’t bring my Switch to the cafeteria or gym. Splatoon 2 looks pretty good, though I’m not a massive fan of the series like you. I’m happy that Splatoon fans now (hopefully) have a decent local multiplayer set-up compared to the first game, which I heard was very lacklustre.
C: The first game was great, but some of the network issues brought it down. Hopefully we can get some global servers instead of everyone having to connect to Japan’s.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
C: And we have our first trailer for the night! Nintendo’s starting off strong with Xenoblade Chronicles 2! Personally, I loved the story of the first one so I can’t wait to see where this new game heads. I’m so glad they’re doing the English-accent voices again. Although, ‘The World Tree’? Is Xenoblade Chronicles 2 going to be inspired by Norse mythology? I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. We see our main character, Rex, meet a strange mystical looking girl. “You’re a blade?” I wonder what that means. It seems like the girl is a sword? This music is fantastic; Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X both had fantastic soundtracks and it’s great to hear that’s staying.
K: I’m going to leave Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to you, because you know a lot more about the franchise than I do! Like the previous entry into the series, the environments are gorgeous and the British voices are as charming as ever. I do notice that the art style is distinctly more anime-oriented than in the past. I’m in agreement with the soundtracks being incredible.
C: Yeah, Xenoblade X previously on the Wii U had some gorgeous graphics, but some of it looked a bit… questionable at times. I’m loving the new art direction.
C: AI enemy partners are back, and co-op play too from the looks of it. And so is merging copy abilities too! It’s been years since we last saw those. It was just a short trailer, but it looks adorable already.
K: Again, I’m not invested enough in the Kirby series to make a detailed judgment on this one. But it definitely looks cute, and I’m not going to say no to more Kirby titles for the Switch. I think that fans of the series would be pretty pleased.
Pokémon Power Hour
C: Mr. Takahashi cuts in to talk to us about the success of the Switch, only to then cut over to Mr. Ishihara from Pokémon to talk to us about Pokkén and… a new mainline game!?
K: Finally! An announcement that’s a Switch seller for me, haha. A new Pokémon RPG for the Nintendo Switch hopefully means that the next main line entry will take advantage of what the console has to offer. I wonder if we’ll see elements of a Pokemon Colosseum-like overworld and gameplay style in this one. My dream come true would be a multi-region adventure, but my hopes aren’t too high for that. Maybe I should get Jamie to say it’ll never happen.
C: Jamie you know what you must do.
Metroid Prime 4
C: Continuing on now… Is it Pikmin? Is it… It is! It’s Metroid Prime 4! Oh my god! IT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING!
K: Woah! I haven’t played the Metroid games and even I felt the super hype here. It almost makes you think there might be hope for a new F-Zero, right, Christos?
C: Please Nintendo give us F-Zero too! But for now, maybe I ought to go back for a replay of some of the Metroid games.
K: And after that excitement and messaging people about Metroid, I almost forgot to keep my eyes on the new Yoshi trailer. I loved Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story, but I haven’t played the recent games. It has a similar handicraft, cut-out style in places like Yoshi’s Woolly World (which, let me tell you, is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen), but with paper and cardboard rather than cloth and wool. So far, it looks like an enjoyable game with similar gameplay to other Yoshi game titles, making it great for kids and older series fans alike.
C: It’s like a diorama, I love it. “Yoshi’s Diorama Drama” is what I’m gonna call it for now.
Fire Emblem Warriors
C: Katherine, you’re the Fire Emblem fan out of the two of us, got any thoughts?
K: I may be a Fire Emblem fan, but I’m not really a Warriors fan, so I think I won’t be picking up this one. If you’re a fan of the Dynasty Warriors or Hyrule Warriors gameplay style, but also the Fire Emblem aesthetic, I have a feeling this will be a really enjoyable title. The models look really nice, and it’s great to see my husb…I mean, Fire Emblem units in such high quality. I’m more interested in the next main line FE game for Switch, hoping that they learn from the issues that Fates had and developing a concise story/complex strategy system.
Zelda (and friends)
C: Ooh it’s Eiji Aonuma now, here to talk about everyone’s favourite Zelda game, Skyrim.
K: Breath of the Wild’s new Skyrim DLC looks really good, right?! Ha ha! Wait, I can’t make that joke, because they’ve announced the actual Breath of the Wild DLC just now. And it actually does looks pretty good.
C: I loved this game, but after collecting all 900 Koroks I’m not too psyched to jump back in. The Trial of the Sword looks super neat, but that Champion DLC has my attention. I can’t wait to learn more about my fave, Mipha.
K: Anyone who knows me knows I love Koroks, so anything with more Koroks makes me happy. The fact that the Korok Mask is actually Makar’s face from Wind Waker made tears of joy well up in my eyes. I’d probably be crazy enough to collect them all for a terrible prize when I get around to playing Breath of the Wild. The Champion DLC looks like it’ll be a fascinating way to learn more about the characters and the universe of the game.
C: Oh no more amiibo. Nintendo please — my wallet can only take so much.
K: Keeping your local EB Games singlehandedly afloat with Amiibo pre orders.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
C: This has proven to be quite a divisive game. The developer’s hearts are in the right place but… why did it have to be Rabbids?
K: So I have some opinions about this one. As a disclaimer, I personally think the concept of Rabbids is awful, and I’ll forever be salty that we got them instead of Rayman 4. Though watching the Ubisoft conference announcement of this, it was clear that a lot of love and attention was put into the development of this game; it’s also the most personality we’ve seen out of the Mario cast in a long time. I’m willing to admit that I’m not the audience for this game, but I imagine that it’ll be a great game for kids: An engaging and colourful strategy game that’s refreshingly different to the Minecraft and Skylanders clones that seem to be saturating the market. Kids and Europeans will love it, I think. That probably sounds patronizing, but there’s no dismissing the popularity of Rabbids in Europe, especially France. I still think they’re butt-ugly.
C: They’re the Minions of videogames, love them or hate them.
C: The game is going to have new hats, customisation, local wireless multiplayer and amazingly, cross-network online multiplayer! Cross-network has been something of discussion lately. What do you think Katherine?
K: New! Hats! I think Rocket League is a great game to take advantage of what they’re aiming to achieve with Switch multiplayer, even if it’s not a new game. Cross-network gameplay between consoles is something I feel is very important to having a successful multiplayer community, and it’s pleasing to hear they’re adopting it.
C: Yeah, if it’s the same game on different platforms there’s no reason not to. Hopefully I can still wreck on the Switch version. Although it’s more likely I’ll get wrecked…
Super Mario Odyssey
C: Well the Spotlight seems to running out of time, so one last game…Oh, Super Mario Odyssey! I was wondering where you were! This music though, I love it!
K: Nice! It’s cool to see how much the game has evolved since its announcement. I think it’ll be a real Switch seller, and I feel like Nintendo has listened to the fans who want a more open world 3D Mario game. The possessing mechanic is fascinating too. Just from the gameplay we’ve seen, the worlds feel massive to me.
C: I would’ve never guessed this game’s gimmick would be possessing enemies. It looks incredible, in both the visual and gameplay department; back to the golden age of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine-style levels. And ah, we can see Pauline has finally been added into the mainline Mario games. Sneaky little nod there, Nintendo.
K: I’m definitely enjoying some of the references in Odyssey. I loved Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS, so I’m hoping for that same level of Mario platforming gameplay.
C: And that about wraps up Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight. Honestly, this has been one of the best in ages. Big hitter announcements like Pokémon and Metroid Prime 4 on Switch, while also showing off more and giving release dates for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Super Mario Odyssey. Bravo Nintendo, you’ve outdone yourselves for the past few years of E3. A short, but very sweet presentation.
K: Short but sweet, for sure. Nintendo has revealed and given us a lot of information on new games from start to finish, it is hugely invested in the Switch as a gaming platform. The sheer amount of titles makes me far more confident about its direction compared to the Wii U, with new Mario, Metroid, Fire Emblem and other exclusive franchises giving it some solid footing amongst the competition. I feel we need now is Animal Crossing, Super Smash Brothers and Pikmin to have a powerful line-up of Nintendo exclusives. I wish there was more info on the new main line Fire Emblem, and I’ll always dream about more Rhythm Heaven news, but I felt like Nintendo has set itself up very well for the coming year.