E3 2015 – Nintendo’s Wins And Losses


E3, or the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is a yearly trade fair for the video game industry held in Los Angeles, CA.  The expo was held June 16-18, and kicked off with press conferences from the 3 big hardware players: Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.  For Nintendo, the vast majority of the feedback for their showing has been negative, and I disagree complete…and I also agree 100%.

I decided to play a game of Wins and Losses with what was announced at the Nintendo E3 Digital Event.



The show begins with Iwata, Miyamoto, and Reggie all in Muppet form.  It was such a strong start.  Creative and fun, it was bursting with personality…the personality that only Nintendo has.  I kind of wish every direct from now on was hosted by Muppet Iwata.



Amiibo Skylanders

So, from the outside this looks like a win. Skylander is popular so adding Nintendo characters is a no brainier.  Also, the argument with Nintendo is always third-party support, so this is a great marriage of a third-party property.  So, why is it a loss?  Amiibo is broken (look for that post soon!) and by mixing the figures Nintendo is making it worse.  There is no clear picture of what Amiibo can do and Nintendo has failed to clarity that at all.  And, I’m not being cynical, they announced the figures on the digital presentation and even showed how to transform it from Skylander to Amiibo and they never once mentioned what, if anything, it will do as an Amiibo.



Star Fox Zero

With Zelda being pushed to 2016, Nintendo needed something to fill the holiday gap.  Enter Star Fox Zero.  Nintendo kicked off the show with a full video presentation of all things Star Fox.  They announced transformations that include a new walker and new mode for the Tank as well as a new craft all together.  I love Star Fox, always have.  The idea of getting a good quality Star Fox game won’t fill the Zelda size hole in my heart, but it will give me a good reason to play my Wii U this holiday.



Star Fox Zero

What…what?!  Yes, I just called this a win, but I would also say it’s a loss.  The game just doesn’t look strong overall.  This is supposed to be the flagship, first party game for Wii U owners this fall.  And, we all know there is zero third-party support coming, so Star Fox Zero is supposed to show what a good idea it was to buy a Wii U.  The game mostly looks like a retread of most areas, or at least from what they’ve shown.  And looking at it next to Mario Kart 8 or Splatoon, it looks very dated graphically.  And, the biggest issue is with the control system.  Sure, until I get to go hands on with it, I can’t judge.  But, from what I’ve seen in videos and what I’ve heard people say, it’s just not what I want from a Star Fox game.  The jury is still out until this holiday, but right now this game could go either way.  I think it’s a pretty good bet for current owners, but I don’t feel like this announcement attracts any new players to the platform at all.



The Legend of Zelda Tri Force Heroes

They announced a new Zelda game, but it wasn’t one I think anybody saw coming.  It is a three player, Co-Op adventure for the 3DS, not a proper console shooter.  The art style is basically A Link Between Worlds, while the gameplay appears to be more Four Swords Adventures.  What they showed looks great with the main emphasis on Co-Op puzzle solving and boss fights.  In the game you change costumes and each different costume will give you different set of powers/abilities.  You will need 3 unique characters to make it through each challenge.  The cool thing is that it’s three player Co-Op OR you can play the game single player and just switch between each character.  This is great because, while I will try to play with my kids, I like having the ability to play the game by myself.  They did announce that it will release Holiday 2015, so we won’t have long to wait for Tri Force.



Metroid Prime Federation Force

They ALSO announced a new Metroid Prime game.  However, Federation Force is a four player Co-Op game for the 3DS.  Everything I just said is exactly what no one wanted.  A 4 player only Metroid game?!  A new Metroid Prime on the 3DS?! Co-Op Metroid?!  Seriously, this is like asking your waitress for a Steak and Baked Potato and she brings you a cup of lime pudding, day old tater tots, and a roll of duct tape.  I am not saying the game will be bad, we actually know nothing about it so it may turn out to be my favorite Metroid of all time, but the announcement and following presentation was a travesty!



Fire Emblem Fates

Fire Emblem Awakening might be my favorite 3DS game so far.  To think we are getting a full fledged, AAA follow up is amazing.  And everything they’ve shown to date is awesome.  There is honestly nothing else you need to tell me about Fates. If you put it out right now I would buy it without hesitation.



Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival

I’ve said for a while what Nintendo really needs to do is announce an Amiibo only game and make it backwards compatible.  And, for a moment I thought they finally got it together.  But alas, they didn’t.  They announced a new Animal Crossing game coming to Wii U WITH Amiibo support.  Then, they announced that it’s basically a party game.  I’m sorry, did I miss the vocal cry of the masses for a party style game set in the Animal Crossing world?  No…I didn’t think so.



Super Mario Maker

I’m going to end on the happiest note of all.  Super. Mario. Maker.  This already has the buzz to be my game of the year.  And after watching the Nintendo World Championships I just can’t wait to play it.  They have shown a ton of stuff for Maker since it debuted last year at E3 and I have never see anything that has been negative. The game is pure joy pressed on to a disc and I can’t wait to play it this September!



The Legend of Zelda MIA

Sure, Nintendo said that Zelda was pushed to 2016.  And yes, they even said they wouldn’t show it at E3.  But…WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?  This is the one, Zelda is the game that reminds everyone why they bought a Wii U.  It is for the promise of this one, single game.  And they decided to show NOTHING!  Not a trailer, not a concept, not a title, n-o-t-h-i-n-g!  Even as I write this, it completely blows my mind. The biggest misstep for Nintendo this year is thinking everyone would be satisfied with a C-level Star Fox game and be “OK” that Zelda is coming in 2016.  You have a failing system.  You have waivering fans.  You have a poor software line up for the next 12 months.  You don’t close that show without showing Zelda.


Other Wins

  • Mario & Luigi Paper Jam
  • Mario Tennis Ultra Smash
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X
  • Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash
  • Steamworld Heist

Other Losses

  • Blast Ball
  • Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer
  • More Amiibos
  • FE

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