E3 is a place where people come to show off new ideas, characters, and stories, and the whole shebang is supposed to leave me in awe. This year, as I watched Sony and Microsoft compete over who can have the best looking grey or brown corridors, I realized that I didn’t care.
Destiny is looking less and less impressive with every new reveal, The Order looks like another cover-based shooter, and Microsoft’s biggest offering was the Master Chief Collection, which allows you to play games you bought ten years ago, today. That’s nice, but hardly a groundbreaking achievement, and certainly not worthy of the time it was given. Even the Suda 51 game, Destiny, seemed like nothing more than a blood-soaked multiplayer deathmatch. And when a Suda 51 game looks dull, we have a problem.
In fact the saviors of Microsoft and Sony came in the unlikely form of indie games, most notably Hello Game’s No Man’s Sky. It has space dinosaurs.
Sony and Microsoft’s biggest failures were forgetting why they were there. Sure, it’s nice to hear about connectivity, community, and future plans, but what gamers want are games. We want more games, better games, and fresher games. Playstation Now is cool, but it’s not E3-worthy.
The constant litany of “it’s better on our console,” “you get exclusive DLC with ours,” and “if you buy it for ours, you get a different colored hat,” seemed childish. By the end of Sony’s presentation I wanted to strangle everyone who said “it’s better on Playstation.” Don’t tell me it’s better, don’t scrabble, and claw over pointless knick-knacks which have almost no impact on the game. It’s boring.
So it was with little hope that I sat down to watch the Nintendo digital event. After all, what could this pre-recorded sham from a failing company offer that Sony and Microsoft could not? As it turns out, a lot.
First of all Nintendo wowed audiences with claymation Reggie, then gave us the live action Iwata-versus-Reggie showdown of our nightmares. Seriously, how cool was that?
Say what you will about pre-recording. Nintendo’s E3 presentation shows it leaves room for some serious spectacle.
Still, I was a little disappointed with the focus on Nintendo’s new line of interactive toys: the Amiibo. They aren’t a bad idea but they were definitely the weakest part of Nintendo’s press event. But they are going to sell, just like the Skylanders and Disney Infinity figurines did, and they are a cool idea.
But then we got into the games. And Nintendo blew me away. Fan-favorite Toad is finally getting his own game in Toad Treasure Hunter, Hyrule Warriors is set to reimagine Dynasty Warriors with Zelda, and for the hardcore, there’s Bayonetta 2 which comes with the original game included!
And let us not forget that we will also be graced with two shiny new Pokemon games, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon Omega Ruby later this year on November 21. To make things even better, all of these games will be out this year! If that doesn’t make you re-consider a Wii U purchase, I don’t know what will. That’s a lot of games to be launched over the next seven months.
2015 is no slouch, either. We have JRPG Xenoblade X, and most pant-wettingly, a shiny new open world Zelda game . That’s right, open world Zelda! If that doesn’t send shivers down your spine, I don’t know what will.
Just to finish matters off, Nintendo added Splatoon, a third-person action/shooter that uses ink instead of bullets, and gives its adorable characters the ability to morph into squids. Finally, a fresh outlook on the incredibly stale multiplayer combat genre. I lost interest in Call of Duty multiplayer years ago, but Splatoon is an online game I actually want to play. I wish I knew what the team who designed Splatoon was smoking, though. I’d love to have some!
Nintendo’s games had color, they had personality, and they had humor. Everyone else at E3 was fighting over who could have the darkest, grossest, most violent game with the broodiest hero, but Nintendo ignored all that and just did its own thing. And it worked!
I am not always Nintendo’s biggest fan, and sometimes I want to strangle it for certain decisions, but I take my hat off to it for not bowing to pressure and staying the course. I’m also happy that “quality of life” was not mentioned once!
Nintendo’s presentation took just under an hour. It was shorter than both Microsoft and Sony’s, but with double the content, and it actually focused on games! Not once did Nintendo disparage its rivals, not once did they use cheap DLC trickery. They just said: “here’s what we have, isn’t it awesome?”
And yes, Nintendo, yes it was!
Check out these videos and see why Nintendo is still the king:
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