Despite being 57% Super Smash Brothers, there was lots to like from Nintendo’s lineup.
25 minutes of coverage for one game is a lot, even when it’s a delightfully exhaustive breakdown of Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. That meant the remaining 18 minutes of Nintendo’s E3 offering went at light speed through the rest of their upcoming lineup (including the much-anticipated port of Fortnite, which dropped an hour after Nintendo went live!). Don’t worry if you missed anything – we’ve got the highlights for you right here:
Super Mario Party looks like a game-changer
The Switch has drawn critical acclaim for finally coming good on Nintendo’s long-sought aim to create truly innovative hardware, and Super Mario Party looks like it has the potential to be a feather in that particular cap. Nintendo’s trailer stuck to the Switch’s advertising formula of people enjoying the console together, but it also offered some pretty astonishing gameplay insight – particularly, multiple Switches interacting locally in certain game modes, with players repositioning the consoles in relation to each other to complete a challenge. It was a tantalising glimpse into what could be a huge step forward, both for the series and for Nintendo’s multiplayer ambitions.
Pokémon Let’s Go’s Pokéball Plus comes with a free Mew
Along with demonstrating the ability to transfer captures from Pokémon Go to the new Switch title, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé revealed that Mew would be exclusive with the Pokéball Plus accessory, which also allows players to take Pokémon with them to use on another Switch. You could theoretically capture Pokémon on a walk, then show up at your friend’s house with six Pokéballs, ready to battle. It’s like living in the anime! Maybe everyone in the English-speaking world will soon be referring to rice balls as donuts for some reason!
Fire Emblem: Three Houses puts you in charge of armies
The next instalment in Nintendo’s tactical RPG series looks like a significant progression – with new 3D environments both in and out of battle, and the ability of each main character to seemingly control a personal army of soldiers rather than functioning as an individual part of a unit, it seems like the strategy has been scaled up to the next level. With the game set for a Spring 2019 release, expect more details about the gameplay and story in the coming months.
New Xenoblade 2 DLC in September
The bonus content for last year’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 rounds out with Torna: The Golden Country, promising fresh story centred around the lore behind chief villain Jin’s homeland, some kind of skirmish between Aegises, and a comeback for Pyra and Rex. Initial rumours were that this content would be Season Pass-exclusive, but it seems it’ll be purchasable separately too. Torna drops on 14th September.
Loads of stuff is coming out soon!
Fortnite’s release today was an early surprise, but it’s far from alone in terms of what’s coming our way in the next few weeks, and even the bits we knew about already formed an impressive lineup presented all together. With Minecraft, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Wolfenstein II, Octopath Traveller and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker all dropping before the middle of July, one gets the impression Nintendo’s plan was to blow us away with its immediate schedule. Gorgeous partially-hand-drawn indie platformer Hollow Knight is out today too! However, that does raise the question of what Nintendo didn’t talk about…
No Animal Crossing or Virtual Console
“Tentative anticipation” is probably the best way to describe Animal Crossing fans’ hopes for today’s presentation. With little in the way of tangible evidence to suggest a new instalment of the beloved community sim for the Switch, it nonetheless felt like the kind of thing one would expect from Nintendo today. It wasn’t to be, though, and so we’re left to continue the endless debates over whether Tom Nook is a benevolent social architect or a Monopoly game piece in a fursuit.
Also notably absent was any word about the prospect of Switch access to the Virtual Console library. The Switch’s lack of backwards compatibility has been a bugbear for players, and the radio silence about the Virtual Console at E3 casts a little bit of doubt on Nintendo’s future plans in this area. Maybe they’ve got something different or new planned, but it’s equally possible they’re making a break with the past, only ever looking back to bring things into the future.
Nintendo’s E3 presentation showed some ambitious steps forward for both themselves and third-party developers. While Super Smash Brothers Ultimate took up a ludicrous amount of time, and Fortnite’s surprise drop seems tainted by cross-platform account issues (hey thanks Sony, thanks for that), there was lots to like and love crammed into the timeslot. Tell us what you’re excited about below!