The Nintendo Direct aired last night, yesterday afternoon, in the evening, and this morning. All at the same time. Incredible how time works! I just wanted to post some stray thoughts on some of the game-specific announcements.
First of all, and this doesn’t surprise me as much as it should, let me start by saying I am far more excited for the 3DS in the foreseeable future than I am for the Switch. True that there are some solid indies coming out on the eShop, but I don’t really buy digital-only games. I also don’t care for Splatoon or multiplayer games in general, nor do I have a big interest in Arms. Not yet at least. And as far as retail releases go, it’s pretty dry till the end of the year, save a few games. I’ve got Mario Kart 8 Deluxe coming to me on release day, but with that being said, I’m sure they are saving lots of surprises on the Switch for E3.
However, Nintendo were not lying when they said the 3DS still had life left in it!
There were two main games that I was looking forward to hearing about, and both happened to be on the 3DS: this mystery Pikmin game, revealed to be called Hey! Pikmin, and Ever Oasis. And as it just so happens, they were the first two games mentioned! You’d think both development teams up and retired following the announcement, as there hasn’t been even an inkling of information released about either since then. As it turns out, not only are both projects alive and well, but they are releasing in early summer! The timing couldn’t be better, quite frankly, as I will be about done with everything I have on my Switch around that time.
Ever Oasis is the adventure, town re-building, action-RPG I’ve been craving since I got the 3DS. I know, I know, Fantasy Life exists and covers some of these bases. But for whatever reason I’ve never been able to commit to that game. Something about it just feels like it’ll suck the life out of me. I tend to bore easily and being reminded of the monotony of life right in the title just took the wind of the sails for me. Ever Oasis is coming at a time when the reservoir on my 3DS is pretty dry, and can use some rehydrating. I’m so happy with the puns in the previous sentence.
Hey! Pikmin appears to be a 2D, Lemmings-styled platformer that looks very cool. Of course, it’s a spin-off from the Pikmin formula, which is always going to draw ire and irritation from the fanbase, but a proper Pikmin 4 installment will undoubtedly be coming soon for Switch. That being said, I tried to enjoy previous Pikmin games on many, many occasions since the initial GameCube release and I could never get into it, so straying from that formula doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Of course, your results may vary, but keep in mind that a platforming spin-off on the 3DS can revitalize interest in the series for people with 3DSes, and coerce them to upgrade to a Switch for Pikmin 4 during the upcoming holiday season.
There is also the westward migration of not only turn-based RPG Monster Hunter Stories, but Miitopia! Both have me intrigued, particularly Miitopia. I don’t know a whole lot about it but I love playing around in “stupid games,” which is how I colloquially refer to what are normally called “time-wasters.” I’m not sold yet on Stories, as I’ve got enough turn-based stuff in my backlog, but it may be one I pick up on a sale and play years from now when I have a kid and am stuck playing portables on the bus. Yes, I’m actually planning for that day.
On a different note, I love that the 3DS is still being supported, but at the same time, it’s an outdated console and I’m looking to retire it in the short-term. I bought a New 3DS back during the Black Friday sale because I wanted a “more portable” version to play casual games on, rather than lugging around my massive New XL. But let’s be honest – we’re in the post-Switch world now. Playing beautiful games on a huge portable screen with controls that don’t feel limiting is pretty great, and going back to a tiny 240p screen is hard to do. While it’s of course exciting to see neat games announced and having your line of sight spammed with beautiful preview trailers, at the same time we have to ask, “why not put it on the Switch?”
Nintendo made the point of merging their handheld and console development teams in an effort to focus on one goal – making great games for gamers. Not great games for handheld gamers and great games for a separate group of console gamers. So the 3DS seemingly on a lifeline of actually great sounding titles is a little confusing to say the least. As I’m happily playing my 3DS in bed, I’m looking over at my high-tech Switch wondering, “why the hell ain’t I playing with that thing over there?”
Then again, we must remind ourselves that the Nintendo Direct is a bit of “housekeeping” before E3. That is, getting the smaller launch titles and news out of the way to make room for the ground-breaking news. I’m sure we’ll hear some great stuff from E3 – Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade 2 launch date, Virtual Console information, paid-online service details, you name it. Announcing Monopoly at a Nintendo Direct is cool and awesome, but at E3 it would spell “this is a total disaster.” Just one man’s opinion!
Did you watch the Direct? Are you looking forward to anything in particular? Hoping something comes up at E3 that they didn’t mention in the Direct? Do you sometimes feel like you need more shoes? Let me know in the comments?