Nintendo Press Conference - Gi E32018 Recap #5
Nintendo in the post Switch Era has developed a all eggs in one basket strategy when it comes to their newest console. The Switch has been an odd success for it. Despite having one of the smaller launch line ups in console history, it broke records and GameStop and other retailers couldn't keep the hybrid console in stock. It launched with Legend of Zelda and a few small titles. It was a glorified Zelda machine at launch. To put that in perspective both the Xbox One and PS4 launched with a dozen or so launch titles across multiple genres, and even their launch line ups felt small. I remember Xbox One and PS4 having these tiny sections while the 360 and PS3 still dominated the walls with games. Fast forward farther we have Holiday 2017...and there was Super Mario Odyssey. Again, Nintendo banked on one star game. Granted both of these games were amazing, and Game Infinite gave them both 10/10. While the switch line up of games has certainly grown and the shop has exploded with small indie titles, Nintendo definitely seems to be going for a quality vs quantity approach. So fast forward again to now, E3 2018, over a year+ after launch, I guess it is no way surprising that Nintendo is sticking to this approach again. Xbox overwhelmed us with a 2 hour machine gun blast of 50+ games. Nintendo gave us a hour long stream with some tiny announcements and then again, all bets on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate coming December 2018. Between September to December the gaming line across platforms is pretty overwhelming with many heavy hitters that will be eating at our Christmas pockets, Nintendo is banking on a huge title it expects everyone to want. This approach is radical, but seems to be working for Nintendo. While they did announce some other smaller games, Smash stole the spotlight and screen time.
(Here is the full Super Smash Ultimate walk through with all characters)
1. Super Smash Bros. ULTIMATE
Super Smash Bros was definitely the focus of Nintendo. It took up almost half of their short one hour stream. While the line up of Switch games grows, SMASH is THE definitive Holiday 2018 Switch game. Nintendo took us from Zero to 60 with this E3 reveal of Smash Ultimate because we went from a teaser with a placeholder name to a named title with a full in-depth look at the character roster. We now know what is so special about this Smash. Ultimate includes EVERY SINGLE character from all previous Smash games ever. They all have been distinctly upgraded and improved. Kirby especially was a hard technical achievement they said as he has to have a copy ability for the entire line up. This is quiet a feat. If it a success, I think having such a huge roster will put other fighting games on notice. Games like Injustice who charge a huge premium for a few extra characters, or the new Soul Caliber who act like it is a special deal to have ONE new character from another franchise per game feel special, these games moving forward might have to rethink this small roster strategy. Smash Ultimate looked polished and smooth and Brought back a wide variety of maps. This seems to be the biggest most ambitious smash ever. To be fair, many of us were just expecting a Deluxe version of the Wii U port. I questioned why the Wii U Deluxe port wasn't a launch title. It felt lacking and silly for it to take this long. My concerns were validated. This game looks like it will be worth the year and a half wait Nintendo knew they were taking a while, but I think the fans will be happy with this surprise. In addition to the full in-depth walkthrough, we got a short beautiful CG trailer with Mario, MegaMan, and Samus, introducing a new character as well.
Nintendo did also talk about other games a little bit...
2. Super Mario Party
All I have to say, is Nintendo owes everyone who spent money (let alone 50, 60$) on 1-2-Switch, a free copy of Super Mario Party (and maybe a letter of apology) Nintendo announced a new party game (that should have been a launch title instead of 1-2-Stealyomoney!) Super Mario Party. It takes everything people love about the Mario Party games and dials it up to eleven. Prepare to lose friends over this new party game, as long as you win that is all that matters.
3. Daemon x Machina
This wasn't the game I would have started Nintendo's E3 Direct with. It is a random unknown title. They should have started with a bigger title that gets people excited. Perhaps, a updated teaser for Metroi Prime 4? (maybe more than just a logo this time) Instead we get a game, I cant remember how to spell or pronounce. That being said, while it is odd to a be a show front runner, the game looked pretty fun. it is worth a look.
4. Fire Emblem Three Houses
A new fire Emblem title that isn't a warriors mashup has been in the rumor mills for a while now. Nintendo gave us a very brief tease look at it during their Direct. It was short, but for fans of the franchise, exciting.
5. Overcooked 2
The next installment of the beloved kitchen based top down game. Watch as adorable cartoon character rush around a kitchen in a crazy rush to cook food.
6. Fortnite Fortnite is one of the biggest most popular video games in the world. It is a huge win for Nintendo that Epic Games is bring it to switch. However, I was surprised at how they handled it. It deserved much more pomp and circumstances. Maybe this should have been the shows front runner. Perhaps there should have been some exclusive content or shown how the game played with the Joy Cons. Considering how the game was immediately available; it would have done more for their event to give it some more screen time.
Nintendo did a highlight real where they ran through a multitude of small to the large titles that are coming to switch. Every game was up for a second with no new information revealed. It is an interesting strategy for Nintendo to show so little of other titles. This Nintendo E3 is all about Super Smash Bros.