If you’re anything like me, big Nintendo fan, tall, video game hoarder, a white guy, gaming addict, late-20s, really good looking, or any combination of the above, you’ll agree with me that Nintendo is currently dominating E3. I’ve been keeping tabs on the news throughout the past day or so, and here’s my thoughts on some of the games I’m interested in!
I think it goes without say that I will have an entirely separate write-up for Zelda, because a mere mention of what looks like it might be one of the greatest games ever made would just be an insult.
Aside from Zelda of course, hearing about a new IP from Nintendo was pretty much the focus of my excitement for this year’s E3. And I was not disappointed at all – rather, completely sold. Then again, I’m generally a pretty easy sell.
It looks like Rune Factory + Triforce Heroes + Animal Crossing. Zelda’s sense of adventure and co-op puzzles, Fantasy Life’s management and job aspect, and Animal Crossing’s town interactions. In other words, this looks like something I would love.
Very excited to try this one out, although sadly there is not yet a release window. Will be keeping my eye on this one, this sounds like a definite-buy for me so far!
Oh yeah – and the guy who made Secret of Mana is the CEO of Grezzo, the developer behind Ever Oasis. This is good news. This is very good news.
Pokemon Sun and Moon
Ever since my foray back in to the world of Pokemon, I’ve been all about Pokemon. I simply love the franchise and the sense of adventure you get in those games is unlike any other one. The fact that every single thing in the in-game world is based around the existence of Pokemon might have something to do with that. It’s like everyone has the same hobby as me! You can’t talk to a single NPC in the game about the weather, or politics. It’s Pokemon from start to finish, and I love it.
The first and most obvious thing for me was the character design, which we already saw from the trailer released a while ago, but the ability to customize the appearance slightly is nice, as is the abandonment of the ‘chibi’ art style. The oversized head and giant eyes are cool looking, but heading towards actual human being shape is definitely a plus to me.
The second thing I loved about the gameplay was how the trainers are visible in the fight. It’s such a minor thing but it conjures a nice reminder that at the core of the gameplay, you are a human battling monsters. A silly reminder that isn’t totally necessary, but it’s great to see.
I don’t want to go too far into Pokemon here in relation to the other games, but I love the Hawaii-style world, from what I’ve seen in the gameplay. Pokemon has a very calming affect on me, as the in-game world is pretty much as happy-shiny as you can possibly get, and placing the gameplay within a tropical paradise is a bangin’ decision, if you ask me. Can’t wait for this one!
Mario Party Star Rush
It looks like a blast, plain and simple. I have not ventured into Mario Party territory in quite some time, probably since Party 2 from the N64 days. Main reason being that I simply don’t have a lot of parties. And this game never quite shined when it came to single player, because getting destroyed by a cheating computer AI is simply not fun.
As I’m not huge on multiplayer games (mostly because I don’t know too many people who own a 3DS), I will most likely pass on this one, but I’ll definitely follow it a bit to learn more.
Yo-Kai Watch 2
First of all, that Watch on his wrist is huge. My god.
Anyway, this looks very similar to the first one. This isn’t inherently a problem of course, as I had a great time in the first game. That being said, the variety of the “mini-games” in the battle system did get very stale for me in the original, I’d say around 20 hours into my playthrough. You can only tap the screen like a maniac or spam circles so much before it gets repetitive. I did happen to see a few new ones in the gameplay video but also a lot of the older ones. This was one of the gripes on my (very short) list of complaints in the first game.
I’d love if they’d touch upon the befriending system, specifically, any changes associated with it. I found the befriending system far too RNG-dependent, and I quickly gave up on a long list of quests that relied on befriending specific Yo-Kai. Hunting them was fun – battling them dozens of times in a row but still not befriending was not. It was a small issue with the game that didn’t prevent me from finishing it, but I would never attempt to fill my Medallium.
Monster Hunter Generations
I got into Monster Hunter very late in the game. Started right into the action with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and burned through 45 hours of awesome gameplay in a few short weeks. Though if you’ve ever played Monster Hunter, you know that isn’t a lot. Not at all, in fact. I had stopped playing it about a month ago, anticipating Monster Hunter Generations.
Be that as it may, the game looks very fun, as expected. No surprises there. Monster Hunter delivers. Unfortunately, it’s just too big a game for me to take on with the other offerings right now, so I’ll be passing for the time being.
Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past
Full disclaimer, I have never played a Dragon Quest game. From what I’ve heard and seen, it is heavy on the random encounters, which is something that just tests my patience. Add to that the fact that the games are apparently very long (most likely in part due to the first point), and you’ve got a formula to a game that makes me want to cry myself to sleep.
Remasters of old games are interesting to me. I made some progress in Final Fantasy III on the DS, and slightly more progress on Final Fantasy IV on Steam, and from watching Let’s Plays and speedruns of the original games, there’s no shot that I’d ever be willing to give them a chance. Remasters, or “re-imaginings” as I suppose is the case here, can really invite a new audience to play an older game, and I support them wholeheartedly.
First impressions of the game? The graphics look smooth and inviting. The minimap on the bottom looks great. According to the presenters, the game has a “pick up and play” quality, which is completely necessary to a portable game, so we’ll see what kind of save system is in play. Xenoblade Chronicles has been great in that way, as you can save absolutely anywhere.
The art in the game was done by the same person as Chrono Trigger. That’s a hell of a bullet point on a CV! But at the end of the day, this looks like it’s just not my thing. Slow, turn-based battles are just not my style. “I was kind of worried about spoilers, and then I realized how long the game is,” “yeah, it’s definitely a long game.” Yep! Probably gonna pass on this one. Still though, it looks incredibly impressive and there’s always a chance, right?
Let’s be honest – this year at E3 was absolutely fire for Nintendo, if this doesn’t dig them out of the hole the WiiU put them in, I’m not sure what else will. Although of course, what it all really comes down to is the success of the NX. The 3DS is still selling like hot cakes, absolutely decimating the only other gaming handheld on the market (hardly a competition, really), and it looks like the lifecycle is still chugging along and strong. With a new IP that looks extremely promising, two Dragon Quest ports on their way, and the plethora of other properties scheduled for release, to say that the 3DS is at the end of it’s lifecycle is just wrong.
Back to the NX, one of the features that was rumored in the NX has been dispelled in the past 24 hours, and I couldn’t be happier. That feature is VR, which seems to be dominating any and all discussions of the next wave of consoles. Personally, I agree with Reggie that it’s not at a mature enough point and the hardware is still making people sick. The key to seamless VR is eliminating latency, and we don’t have the best technology yet.
Funny how Nintendo gets crucified for trying new things that come across as gimmicky, but strapping a computer to your face is praised as “the future.” That being said, Nintendo needs to release a solid console and move away from the motion controls. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I’ve got “motion sickness.” Ha! See what I did there? Give us a controller, Nintendo. Something to sit down and unwind with. We’ll love you for it.
I think the answer is clear who dominated E3, and it’s the big N. Just don’t screw the pooch with your next-gen project, Nintendo.