News Article

Features: The Joys of Following Nintendo at E3

Posted by Nintendo Life Staff

A rollercoaster ride

E3 2013 is entering the final stretch, with one final day of the show floor being open for thousands of keen gamers to rush to their favourite booths. The PR campaigning will start to fade, too, as executives and developers pack up and try to remember where they put their passports.

Rather like last year, this E3 has arguably passed relatively quietly, or perhaps without the killer moment that shook the gaming world. We've had two new consoles on display, but it's a strange world indeed if the biggest cheers and most coverage went to a system promising not to enforce ludicrous anti-consumer DRM and online requirements — a feature known from every games console ever released.

From Nintendo's perspective, however, it's been a strange mix; there was no live presentation, replaced by a pre-recorded Nintendo Direct, but everything else has been business as usual. The company's released a good number of interesting videos, conducted a lot of interviews — keep your eye out for a particularly exciting interview from us in the coming days — and done the media rounds. Apart from the absence of a live press conference, it's largely been business as usual.

Yet as is typical, the roster of games revealed by Nintendo stand out from the crowd of hyper-realistic offerings from other studios, with driving, FPS and online games being mainstays elsewhere at the conference. Nintendo always has a unique identity at E3, and has shown a lot of what will come to define the Wii U in the next 12 months.

With the doors getting ready to close in LA, members of the team that have been based in Nintendo Life Towers this week decided to share their personal thoughts on what's come to pass.

Damien McFerran

When Nintendo said it wasn't going to do the traditional E3 presser, part of me died a little inside. E3 is the time of year where big games need big announcements, and shirking away from this event in such a fashion seemed like an admission of failure. However, now the dust has settled I'm happier with the Nintendo Direct we saw; I think it was a wise move on Nintendo's part, if only because it allowed the company to avoid the various technical issues which usually plague E3.

The disappointment of hearing Mario Kart 8 isn't coming until next year was balanced by the fact that it looks amazing, and Super Mario 3D World is equally impressive. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze could only be a disappointment when you consider the amount of hype that has grown up around Retro's rumoured new title (I was hoping for a Star Fox reboot myself), but I'm sure I'll play it and love it, and it will sell like cakes that are exceedingly hot.

Given the media's negative reaction to Nintendo's E3 showing, you'd think that the company had shown nothing but a blank screen for 40 minutes. However, when compared and contrasted against what other companies have displayed so far, I think Nintendo has possibly the strongest line-up of software right now — certainly in my eyes, as I'm keener to play Mario Kart than I am The Crew or the latest Need for Speed title.

Anthony Dickens

E3 is always a tense/hectic time for me, not only am I waiting to see what Nintendo will be presenting for the year ahead, I'm also busy attempting to organise the Nintendo Life team and trying my best to keep our servers running smoothly on what always becomes our biggest traffic day of the year – which it was, again!

Every year I have mixed emotions the day before, during announcements and then the following day on reflection – there is never a dull moment being a Nintendo fan. Strangely I'm feeling much better about the show after digesting all of the info – Nintendo fans are probably sobering up after expecting titles like a new Zelda, Star Fox, Metroid and F-Zero; those are always craved.

The rollercoaster ride of E3 is changing too, I expect something different again next year with more highs and lows as a Nintendo fan, bring it on!

Darren Calvert

Nintendo's E3 Nintendo Direct felt like a bit of a mixed bag to me. On the plus side Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World both looked superb. There were lots of other great games to look forward to on Wii U this year, too.

After watching the announcements, however, I must confess as a Nintendo fan that I felt a little bit disappointed. I would have loved for a surprise announcement of a new Star Fox or F-Zero game to shake things up on the Wii U a bit. I was also half-expecting Retro Studios to reveal a new Metroid game, but it didn't materialise. Perhaps the most frustrating thing for me was the news that I'd have to wait until next year to get my hands on Mario Kart 8; I was sure that this would be out in time for Xmas.

Having slept on it I have to say most of my disappointments have subsided. This is a really strong line-up for the Wii U for the upcoming year. While some of the games don't feel terribly innovative as they are based on previous Nintendo adventures, I have no doubt that they will deliver the goods.

Mike Mason

While on day one I couldn't help but feel a little deflated due to the lack of shock announcements and the fact that we knew almost every game announcement ahead of time, a good sleep and a few hours of reflection made all the difference to me. Nintendo barely delivered any of the new and unexpected news that I love so much this E3, but it did throw forth a solid line-up, a handful of first party Wii U games that, without exception, look excellent.

I can say with confidence that I'll be buying most, if not all, of the games shown during the E3 Direct. This is the first time that we've seen what Nintendo can really do with the extra power and high definition. Its titles all have a wonderfully clean look, and Mario Kart 8 in particular was a pleasant surprise – I never anticipated it to best a 3D Mario title visually, but Hideki Konno's team have pulled off a blinder. Similarly, Monolith Soft's X is right up there as one of my most wanted titles.

The lack of third party activity on Wii U was disconcerting, however – outside of decent support from Ubisoft, Warner Bros., SEGA and encouraging indie movements – so I really hope things pick up on that front. From a first party perspective, though, I have no problems whatsoever with the near future – I can't wait to play all of these titles, and the 3DS line-up isn't exactly looking shabby either.

Tom Whitehead

Following Nintendo at E3 kind of feels like being the one kid in class that likes a quirky, niche pastime. Describing a multi-billion dollar corporation as niche is a peculiar comment, but when you look at what Nintendo brings to the table compared to its rivals, it feels appropriate.

That’s what I love, but also a reason why the big N often gets a rough ride on social networks and less coverage in the mainstream media. Games are apparently about realistic visuals and in many cases shooting enemies and aliens in the face, and then Nintendo has come along with Super Mario 3D World and a Wii Fit Trainer bringing the hurt in Smash Bros. Utterly bonkers, but colourful and brilliant.

If I could have had one wish it’d have been that Nintendo would deliver one additional exclusive a year – probably from a Western studio – that provides an intense, story-driven experience. Not a popular view (I know from recent experience!) but if you added a landmark title like that to all of the delights that Nintendo's brought to E3, then it could maintain its quirky status while drawing some extra headlines.

But still, Nintendo’s charm means a lot to me, that almost childish enthusiasm to make games fun above all else. Beyond the occasional indie, it’s the only company that consistently delivers on that score, and that's what it showed us at E3.

Andy Green

Following Nintendo at E3 is always a fun experience as predicting what it will showcase is a little bit like predicting next week's lottery numbers - it could literally be anything. This year was a little easier to predict though, considering Nintendo had already told us the majority of what to expect.

Obviously, it was a typical Nintendo Direct this time round instead of a big loud presentation and it seemed to work well. There wasn't as much, but considering we get more information served up at regular intervals throughout the year, it was almost expected. If Nintendo was not doing the regular updates, it's highly likely all of that 3DS goodness from a few weeks back would have been shown too and we'd all be running around high-fiving everyone and anyone.

Having time to digest what I saw from Nintendo this year, I'm actually thrilled. On the first day I was being all grumpy because Star Fox didn't emerge but, hey, Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze all looked fantastic - it's just a shame we won't be able to play them anytime soon.

Over the years, even including the latest one, Nintendo's presentations are always a little bit more fun than the other two big names in my opinion. For example, while Microsoft often puts its best business hat on and talks to the audience as if they're shareholders, Nintendo will add a bit of fun to the mix. From the company president pretending to be a green grocer to zombie Reggie scaring poor old Yves Guillemot, Nintendo always shows that in the end it's a games company operating in the games industry - it's supposed to be about having fun.

Rory Cocker

Look, the games that Nintendo showed off yesterday will undoubtedly be great. I'll buy them, I'll play them, and I'll most likely enjoy them. Nonetheless, hours after the Direct had finished, and as I moped around the Nintendo Life offices exhibiting a look of sheer nonpluss-ery, the overwhelming feeling was one of chronic disappointment.

The complete lack of surprises - both first-party and third-party - was a real sickener. You may argue that, had Nintendo kept Mario Kart, Super Mario and Smash Bros. all hushed up until E3 week, then I'd have been hailing this as a solid showing. Yes and no. The problem is, whether Nintendo tells us about them or not, we know those franchises are coming - we expect them. Don't get me wrong, I love Mario Kart as much as the next person, and I don't subscribe to the train of thought that suggests Nintendo milk their franchises more than any other publisher does, but I just wish we'd have seen something out of left-field, something a little bit different.

Over the space of 40 minutes, Nintendo surprised me once, and it was most certainly not a pleasant surprise. On Tuesday morning, we were discussing our ideas of what we would personally describe as 'worst case scenarios'. We talked about the horrifying possibility of Retro Studios' talent being wasted on a Donkey Kong Country Returns sequel. Half-jokingly at first, but with a niggling, foreboding sense that it could still very much be on the cards. Thomas raised insightful and largely indisputable points in his feature the day after; the games that Nintendo announced at E3 - Tropical Freeze included - make perfect sense from a financial viewpoint, but as a fan, I was still thoroughly underwhelmed.

I understand the Wii U is struggling, and I understand that these are the sort of titles that Nintendo needed to show in order to drive the install base and, ultimately, regain the faith of investors and shareholders. I get that, I honestly do, and to be honest, I was half expecting a show like this. I just wish Nintendo would have thrown us a bone - just a little something - to say, "Hey, do you remember spending £350 on our console back in November? Yeah, thanks for that."

So those are some of our thoughts on this year's E3 from Nintendo, and also in broader terms about the quirks of following the company. Let us know your feelings in the comments below, as always.

From the web

User Comments (49)



MAB said:

Nintendo showed more games that jumped out and said 'buy me' compared to what the PSone offered



Mahe said:

There was no joy in following Nintendo's showing at this E3. They've lost their way.



Nomad said:

They could have at least shown us a bit of the new Zelda game in development. Would it have hurt them that much?



NintendoLee said:

The more I look back, it makes sense. It's setting the first year down. It'll be next year we'll see the Metroids, Starfox or even the gambles on old franchises like Star Tropics or even a new IP. They need to increase their install base and 3D Mario, Wii Fit U and Mario Kart will do that.

It's next year that they gambles will happen.



Buduski said:

Great article, all I've been reading in different gaming news sites lately is people whining and complaining, and YES I was also disapointed also I did not see Star Fox, Metroid, F-zero or The Legend of Zelda U but every Nintendo fan got to see great trailers like Bayoneta 2, X and SSB. Im almost positive every SSB fan went crazy when they saw Megaman at the reveal trailer.



Nomad said:

I've been hoping for years to see MegaMan in Smash Bros, so I was pleased to see it happen.



Shiryu said:

Can't believe I got a tooth infection this past Sunday. Of all the times... as you can imagine, it hurts to smile, but I sure have been smiling a lot about the amount of Nintendo news this past days. Besides the insane amount of new games coming to Wii U and 3DS, the only new console I'm looking forward to isn't neither Xbox One nor PS4 but Hyperkin's Retron5. Gotta go and check which new special Mii came to the plaza last night.



Araknie said:

Seriously why only 1 person out of 10 considers good The Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2 or X, they were the best titles of the whole line-up for me.

I don't get most of you, i didn't say all of you don't whine on me now, why you always say you want stuff never before seen on a Nintendo platform and where there is it you don't even address it, i repeat most of you.

So admit it, you cringe everytime there is the same old franchises but when there is something new you talk only about the same old franchises.

Mike Mason the sane man.



OorWullie said:

Great article,cheers.I've slept on it twice now and feel a little bit better about it than the other day and even yesterday,The terrible quality of my stream really hampered my enjoyment of it but it was the first glimpse of the new Mario that ruined it for me.I've never felt as disappointed over a game reveal ever I think and I'm 35.For the rest of the direct I don't even think I really paid attention as I was just moaning to myself and then later on here haha.Now 2 days later,having watched the trailers several times and read Thomas' excellent article,I'd agree it's probably a wise move.I still say it should look a lot better than it does though.Mario Kart 8 on the other hand looks incredible and having just passed 100 hours on Xenoblade my excitement for X knows no bounds.I am still disappointed that they never announced any of their own plans for the Eshop though.Maybe next time!



Nintenjoe64 said:

I've been making lots of Miiverse pictures begging for e3 demos to come to the eshop. I hope people join me.

I don't mind paying a little over the odds to get a console on day one but when the inevitable price cut comes, I'd have much preferred the 4 demos now than a free game later. I kind of expect to not get the best deal by buying early but Nintendo have failed to deliver on their own games and have lost nearly all 3rd party support and they're drip feeding the VC to force us into buying really old games. They really ought to reward us for buying early or many of us will lose interest before they even release any big titles. They may as well have waited til this year to launch their new console if all they did with their head start was delay games.

I was quite happy with the e3 and I definitely want X, B2, MK8 more than any other games I saw at e3 but would like a WiiU port of Bayonetta to tide us over and maybe a few more HD remakes of classics.



alLabouTandroiD said:

While i expected something Metroid, Star Fox or F-Zero what they showed was really, really good and the Wii U seems to become one of the Ninty consoles with comparatively better first party titles.
It's just a shame that the overabundance of Mario (this time in form of New Super Luigi U) will likely mean less sales or at least less excitement for the awesome looking Super Mario 3D World. I really think it deserves the jump to the big screen and will hopefully profit from it as much as i think.



WaveGhoul said:

There's nothing exciting about mr.monotone emotionless Iwata standing there stiffer than the NutCracker in front of a Bland barren 'nothing' background mumbling out unexciting gobbly goop at a snails pace.

We need a young rype and fun quirky Howard Phillips(or Miyamoto) standing in front of a green screen with a surreal dreamy and colorful Nintendo themed backdrop constantly changing thematically to the game present on stage. Kind of like how Josh from the BitBlock used to review his games.

Anyways, Nintendo has definitly lost their ways, there was zero fun and ZERO creativity in this E3. If felt like a boring buisness meeting. The complete lack of Miyamoto and Reggie was also odd...I'm not a big fan of Iwata, he doesn't have enough personality.Yet it seems like they saved all of the goodness for the Demo booth showroom that came afterwards which was full of beautiful nintendo themed/statues, looked pretty magical!

But yeah, in terms of the direct, there may of been no real suprises, but the Nintendo Wii U lineup still looks pre-tty rad.
Mega Man making it into brawl was a dream come true! And yeah, sony's E3 doesn't desserve the praise it's getting. Oh Whoopdoodley'dee!
gamers will beable to play used games and won't have to be connected to the internet when playing on the PS4, the crowd roars and cheers as if a gaming revolution just happened.These are truly sad times indeed for the industry. HELLO!? this has NEVER been an issue until xbox One made it's grand scheemy entrance. what a joke, the $399 price tag was probably the 2nd biggest suprise at E3 aside from the 10 second Killer instinct clip, but that's still not saying much. The number 1? Mega Man appearing in brawl!



gavn64 said:

Mario 3D world i cant say anything it still hurts too much. Oh and RETRO confirming today that there not making anything else other than DK
THREE... YEARS... FOR... A... SOUPED... UP... WII.. GAME.... .... .... .... .... .... WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mario kart looks good though at least one NINTENDO team found the WiiU graphics chip.



hYdeks said:

All those games look great! Only down side is that my wallet is gonna be hurtin



hYdeks said:

@gavn64 obviously you where watching the wrong conference, everything they showed was amazing, and there was a huge focus on things that Sony and Microsoft never incorporate into there games, like gameplay and couch co-op Is there even a point to buying additional controllers on other systems? Super Mario 3D World and DKC TF where obvious upgrades and looked Wii U, you must have watched the Direct, and that's it. Big mistake, they real fun began after the Direct.



sinalefa said:

Did not see Miyamoto at first in the picture!

Something I like of Nintendo's presentations is that their game footage doesn't dwell on cinematics and focus on gameplay. Even Platinum showed some footage of Bayonetta 2.

I am looking forward to many games, even Mario Kart 8 was interesting, and I did not care about it before. I am not hating on 3D World, as I think Nintendo may be able to achieve what Imsomniac could not. I am getting W101 at launch, as well as Pikmin 3.

And I don't feel pessimistic about things not shown. People seem to forget that Nintendo can air a new Nintendo Direct anytime they want or need to. And that can create a bigger ripple than being at E3, when other companies make their noise too.



Samus06 said:

After having a couple days now to think about everything Nintendo showed off, I still can't get over how disappointed I am with 3D World. I think MK8, SSB, Pikmin 3, Bayonetta 2, X, DKC: TF all look fantastic. I really wanted a new Metroid from Retro, but I'm sure it will come at some point.
What I was excited for the most was a new 3D Mario because of how innovative and epic those titles are along with having some of the best visuals seen on a Nintendo console. Then Nintendo shows off 3D World which looks like it does absolutely none of those things. It just looks like a very generic casual experience, something that should never happen with a 3D Mario. Having multiplayer is neat I guess, but I would much rather have a deep hardcore 3D Mario experience. I'm sure it will be a fun game, but nothing like the amazingness of Mario 64, Sunshine and the Galaxy games.



NintyMan said:

First of all, I love that picture of the Nintendo Big Three posing with the Donkey Kong statue. Miyamoto in a barrel cannon is too cool!

Nintendo's going to be fine. All of their big first-party games look awesome to me, so I'm not disappointed. The third-parties will come once Nintendo gets the Wii U on sound footing this year, and let's face it, the Wii U is following the same cycle as the 3DS. The 3DS had to have Mario games released to get on its financial feet, and then the year after that was when the bigger and bolder games started being announced and released. Now look at the deluge of games the 3DS has! The Wii U will almost be the exact same way.



CasuallyDressed said:

@Samus06 - I have to agree. I was expecting to be absolutely mindblown by 3D Mario, just as I was back in 2005 with the reveal of Super Mario Galaxy. 3D World kinda looks by-the-numbers, just knocked together to push out as quickly as possible. The lack of orchestrated music was particularly depressing, especially after Galaxy's incredible soundtrack.

I hope this is just a quick effort to boost Wii U sales for the Christmas period, and we're going to get something in the vein of Galaxy before the generation's over.



MAB said:

Mario Galaxy was a bit lackluster in the gameplay department with some forgettable level designs... You can't be Peach in Galaxy or a blue Toad and you definitely can't ride a dragon boat down a river whilst collecting rings

You don't get a effin cat suit in Galaxy either... Who here doesn't love cats?

They're awesome bro



gavn64 said:

@hydeks dude dont dare question my loyalty or respect for NINTENDO they are the ONLY place to get the best games in the world, but this is why i am dismayed at the multiplayer casual pandering of the most precious series in gaming the mainline mario games. And if you like to pretend like some other people on here that the RETRO news wasn't at least a little disappointing then fine but i remember RETRO showing off another game you know what it was called Metroid Prime the amazing original and that blew me away this didn't but whatever. I care just as much as you or any other NINTENDO fan in the world and my opinion is as valid dont forget that.



rmeyer said:

I liked Destiny and Titanfall for psone but those probably wont come out til late 2014. This years Nintendos and I know Mario 3d world is going to be a complete blast.



NMH-TRI said:

I agree with Tom Whitehead, but to take it further NIntendo just plain needs more studios. Western talent can only help them, more Japanese talent can only help them. I wish that Silicon Knights didn't degrade the way they did, could've been an excellent team for Nintendo. 1 exclusive per month from Nintendo, great. At least 2 exclusives per month, now you're talking. Nintendo just needs to start throwing money at Independent studios and saying "You're mine now"



GooRoo said:

Excellent idea. Hope they make the demos available! How long will the Best Buy demo stations be up and running? Maybe when that's wrapped up N will make them available for download.



WaveGhoul said:


Galaxy was kind of boring, at least i found. I would of been better off watching all of the Golden Girls series on granny retro-rewind. beautiful game, highly imagintive, nice motion controls(Web slinging, bubble blower curser) and a good score(Although i found a lot of it unfitting, especiallly the orchestrated crap that didn't fit the plumpy plumber at all) but i wasn't a fan of the actual gameplay....It was a bit of a chore...And the controls were a bit too slow for my liking, it didn't have that replayability factor for this reason alone + the planet hopping game design.

NSMB.U? sure it may not be pushing the creative envolope in terms of having wild crazy worlds and it seems a bit familar when stacked up to 3D Land, but it looks a hell of a lot more fun than the first galaxy. Plus, it's got a splash of SMB2 with Peach, Toad and Lugi being playable characters while retaining their SMB2 abilities. Plus, it looks like we wont be saving the princess, finally!(Nintendo then inserts princess daisey, it's the year of luigi after and that one boss battle looks like a blast.



Yodelman64 said:

I am just a little bit disappointed by this line up. BUt now that I think abou ti we can't really blame nintendo. THye have to do this kind of line up to attract people to their consoles. i think that nintendo would want to do a star fox game or a new IP or something, but for this year they have to play it safe or else the wii u would go donw under. But with this kind of line up the wii u will be able to attract more attention and sell more units than if nintendo had announced star fox or something. This makers me even more excited for e3 next year because then nintendo won't have to play it safe anymore, and they can give us teh games taht they want to make and we want to play.



GiftedGimp said:

It seems quite a common thing with Nintendo fans, as reflected by NL staff comments, that When we first saw the Nintendo Direct everyone felt a bit let down by Nintendo.
But its Common that as the week has gone on and extra bits of info has surfaced via Developer Directs, Miiverse and the media that on the whole Nintendo fans have become more and more excited about the ganes that are coming soon.
No doubt a proper 3D Mario game, and Metroid, possibly Starfox will show up at some point on WiiU, and its a shame at least one of these didn't get announce but these are something we Nintendo fans have to look forward to in the future.
You never know there may be more suprises over the next month or two, Nintendo like to drop one in now and again during the regular Nintendo Directs.



JaxonH said:

Yes. Remember what happened to Skyward Sword after showing the Zelda HD tech demo? They actually learned from that mistake. If you want great new games, then you inadvertantly want the Wii U to sell, because that is the driving force for new games being made. For the Wii U to sell, they need to capitalize on every single title on offer right now, because first party is basically all they've got at the moment (save a few exceptions). To show the new Zelda would almost certainly guarantee a flop for Windwaker. And seeing as Windwaker is one of only about 6 hot titles to release this year starting in August, that would be a blow to almost 20% of their system-selling software this holiday season.



JaxonH said:

How could anyone think Nintendo bombed this E3? As opposed to the glorious showcase of Sony and MS? Yes, we can always want more, but the word "disappointment" should NEVER be used in the same sentence as "Donkey Kong Country" and "Retro Studios". I never thought I'd see the day people would react negatively to a new DKC from Retro, considering the first was considered by many to be the best game on the Wii (and for me personally, it's up there as one of the greatest of all time, due to the sheer atom bomb of fun it drops on you while playing).
Yes I want to see a new Metroid, Star Fox and F-Zero too! But c'mon, the system's been out barely over half a year, we can't seriously expect them to drop every single major franchise in the first half year! The Wii U's just getting its groove, and we have at LEAST another 6 years of gaming life to see all of our favorites. Patience. We can't have everything at once. We all know the number 1 priority is to get the WiiU to start selling (cause if it doesn't, there might not be ANY games coming). To do that, Nintendo needed to drop the Marios, the Mario Karts, the Zeldas, etc... Hopefully these games will serve as a defib and jump-start the Wii U to a viable pulse by mid 2014. And with these games checked off the list, Nintendo can then move on to some of the more core experiences its fans are clamoring for.
I will admit, I was shocked that Retro didn't announce 2 games, as I was expecting a Metroid and DKC sequel together. However, that emotion never devolved to negativity, as I quickly remembered how much fun DKC Returns is (and even better on the 3DS). I soon found myself in warp speed hype mode, and am nothing less than ecstatic about Tropical Freeze. Perhaps we should all go take DKC Returns out for a second spin, lest we forget what the true meaning of fun is!!!



One-Winged-Pit said:

@OorWullie You left out Smash Bros but I agree. Nintendo had the only exclusives that interested me. Sony and Microsoft just had endless shooters, how boring.



Mahe said:

@WaveBoy Highly agreed. Nintendo didn't do very well, but at least there are still some good games coming out, like Wii Party U, Wii Fit U and Shovel Knight. On the 3DS front, there are Mario & Luigi and Zelda: Link Between Worlds. And Megaman in Smash was a great surprise.

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