E3 week is upon us, and as a build up to Nintendo's Digital Event showcase we naturally want to do one thing - fantasize about our gaming dreams coming true. This is that blissful early period where Nintendo's reveals remain secret, and we can allow our imaginations to run wild on what the week will bring. We've already had loads of Super Smash Bros. DLC and a glimpse of Blast Ball on 3DS, but there's much more to come.
As a warm-up, then, some of your humble Nintendo Life writers have shared their E3 hopes below; we'd love to read yours in the comments.
I'm going to leave my colleagues to do most of the dreaming over games and franchises, as they cover most of the bases that I'd suggest. I will, though, highlight one game that I want above all others - Metroid Prime IV by Retro Studios.
Beyond that, I'll look at the week as a whole. I just hope that Nintendo shows the same wit, enthusiasm and dedication as last year. The Digital Event should be entertaining and informative in equal measure, but it's also key that - perhaps unlike its rivals - Nintendo maintains momentum over the week as a whole. The Nintendo Treehouse streams will be vital to this, and they can provide access and footage to thrill dedicated fans.
Like last year I hope one or two surprises are reserved for later in the week, too, again to keep us interested.
Last year I praised Nintendo's spirit, innovative approach and dedication to the cause of entertaining fans watching from home - more of the same will hopefully be delivered.
At the moment I feel I can only really be excited for a handful of games that can be expected, such as Metroid and Star Fox. I'd love to be blown away with something totally unexpected but I feel I have to remain slightly pessimistic in order to fully enjoy the experience of E3 this year.
Last year's E3 was the first one I ever actually followed properly, and considering I had no idea what to expect at all it made the process utterly magical. Now that I'm in a position where I'm constantly privy to all the news and happenings surrounding the Big N I have to take measures in order to prevent setting my hopes too high.
Anyway, I'd like to see that port on the bottom of the GamePad finally get some use; I can't think what it would be used for but I'm sure if Nintendo has any ideas they're going to be magical. As stated before I've got my money on a new Metroid game, but I have no idea whether we'll be seeing it on Wii U or 3DS. Frankly I'd be happy with either! I hope Retro's the company working on it, but at the same time I'd be really interested to see what else they could do with other franchises.
I'm also gagging to see some more Splatoon content; I know we've had all the new stuff so far, but I want to see even crazier stuff that feels as fresh as Splatoon itself, perhaps a new weapon class. No doubt we'll be getting some info on the game but we'll just have to see what form it'll take.
Lastly I'd love to see something new in the Pokémon series. I'm not expecting the announcement of a new main pair of titles, but some sort of significant spin-off in the vein of Pokémon Snap or Pokémon Stadium would leave me champing at the bit. The most recent entries in the Pokémon spin-off library have been pretty good, but they don't really manage to capture the magic that we had back in the N64 days.
Also, am I the only one who wants to see new Deadly Creatures game? That thing was off the hook.
I haven't spent too much time fantasizing about what I want from E3 this year, but the past few days have brought with them information that I can't ignore. Probably the biggest leak so far has been the Hyrule Warriors 3DS trailer, and it made me realize that it's absolutely a game I want. I had to skip the original Wii U release last year, so having a second chance to pick it up is more than welcome. The other bit of recent information that piqued my interest was the Diddy Kong trademark filing in Europe. While Mario Kart 8 has a commanding grasp on the home console kart racing genre, I would love to see a another story-driven game in the Diddy Kong Racing series pop up on the 3DS. Beyond those, I'm really just hoping for small enhancements. I'd love to see Inklings announced as DLC for either Smash Bros. (challengers, not costumes) or Mario Kart 8, but I'm not holding my breath.
With rhythm games clawing to make a comeback and Nintendo growing more comfortable with DLC, I think it's prime time to see one IP return to the spotlight: Elite Beat Agents. This is, hands down, the most joyful rhythm game I've ever played. The tap-and-slide style of gameplay has been matched by no similar game since, and the comic-like stories built up around each song added plenty of ridiculous yet empathetic motivation to do one's best. The 3DS definitely possesses the capabilities to not only run a new-and-improved base game, but also bring in packs of new songs each month to keep things fresh. Building a plot around each new song might take more effort than adding new music to Rock Band and Guitar Hero, but I would be first to dash into action the second Commander Khan said, "GOOOOOO!"
Tragedy struck at E3 this year, as the sacred vault of secrets was mercilessly punched full of holes, causing some tremendous leakage. As a result, the build-up has been dotted with even more rumours and early reveals than normal, which is fantastic at face value but does feel a bit like cheating. The entire Smash DLC pack was old news by the time Sakurai himself got the chance to talk about it, for example, so the hype surrounding such major announcements can take a pretty big hit overall.
This is why I'm so looking forward to Nintendo's Digital Event on Tuesday, which for the most part seems to have remained packed full of secrets. I can't wait to get caught up in the instantaneous and resolute moment of surprise that comes from seeing something like Splatoon for the first time, or the first teasing glimpse at Star Fox Wii U. Last year's event was a concise, effective blast of information, so i'm expecting something very similar this time around.
With that said...
Give me a new Metroid, a Wonderful 101 sequel, Paper Mario, and tell us what on earth Retro and Next-Level Games have been up to lately. Please and thank you. If we're to use Mario Kart 8 DLC as a digital prophecy, then I'd put my money on some Animal Crossing action for Wii U, but I'm really hoping that we get to step into the Blue Falcon for a proper spin as well. On top of all that, Pokémon Snap 2 is still forever on my E3 wishlist, though the real obscure gem I want to see rise triumphant on Wii U would have to be Mario Strikers. On GameCube it was great, but the Wii sequel in particular was a multiplayer titan, and I want every bitter loss and ecstatic victory rendered by the full HD follow-up it deserves! If I get all of that...then definitely consider me well and truly surprised.
It's clear what we need – a new F-ZERO game for the Wii U. The clues have been there all along. From the mini-game in Nintendo Land right through to the ongoing stream of F-ZERO themed content in Mario Kart 8 – all of this is such an obvious tip-off! I want to see Nintendo collaborate with SEGA's Amusement Vision once again and announce a stunning sequel to the 2003 futuristic GameCube hit, GX. Give me split-screen local play, 30 players online, a detailed first-person cockpit view for each of the 200 speed machines, track customisation, and a deep and meaningful story mode with multiple romance side quest pathways for Captain Falcon and you can knock this one out of the park, Nintendo.
If you can't make do with that, then I'll understand you have delayed this idea until the next E3 and will settle with the return of Super Mario Sunshine. I don't care what form it comes in – be it a Virtual Console title or a HD lift like Wind Waker received – just give it to me! After splashing about in ink in Splatoon, it's become apparent I need this GameCube classic back in my life. It was the original three-dimensional master of ink, starring the mysterious Shadow Mario. Although I have an inkling the actual identity of this character was Bowser Jr. Better yet, how about a sequel? That would be lovely. You shall publish it on both of your systems as well because that is just how you operate in modern times. See leaked figure 1.1. Hyrule Warriors for 3DS. So let's see it happen, Super Mario Sunshine 2: Attack of the Octolings.
My biggest hope for Nintendo at E3 is for it to carry on the upward momentum from last year's event. The success of Splatoon has proved that there are still a great deal of new ideas (and new IP) left in the company, and I hope that the "new generation" of Nintendo developers have something new up their sleeves that they can show.
But of course, we are all drooling at the prospect of some old favourites returning. Clearly, there'll be a lot of talk about Zelda and Starfox, but it's the ongoing chatter of whatever Retro Studios is up to that has my interest piqued. While it would be nice to see something completely new from them, I not-so-secretly long for something Metroid-related from them. Whether it's a Prime-style FPS for the Wii U, or a traditional 2D game for the 3DS, the return of Samus is always a welcome sight.
Finally, I really hope that Nintendo has looked at what others are doing in the Toys-To-Life genre, and give us a real reason to use our amiibo beyond the unlocking of on-disc content. Mistakes have been made with amiibo, but now's the time to put things back on track with a promise of more stock and more support.
With the biggest gaming showcase on the horizon and competition fierce, Nintendo needs to separate itself from the competitors with big announcements and great games. Toys-to-Life range amiibo, the big N's fastest growing new property, is creating big bucks for the Kyoto company, yet causing quite a ruckus in the American marketplace. Hopefully production of rarer figures will continue to be pushed to the NA market to help out those unable to stay up til 3am to preorder. Also, please make Pokemon amiibo cards, then my life will be perfect.
Moreover, Nintendo's biggest game of the 2015 calendar year will undeniably be Star Fox for Wii U. But besides Zelda in 2016, no other big mainstream titles have been revealed. With that, Nintendo will surely unveil the newest instalment in the main series Mario franchise. Perhaps a Galaxy sequel, or Sunshine 2 is in the works (personally I'd prefer the latter). Anyways, Nintendo, you got our attention with the Smash Bros. presentation and an epic NWC, now's the time to show what you've really got cooking.
~Mario Maker trailer fades to black~
An 8-bit, tiny Mario walks from the left side of our screens to the middle of an empty, black void. The camera pans back to reveal that iconic, yellow question mark block floating just off to Mario's right. With a trail of familiar sound effects, Mario paces over and jumps up to predictably smash the block.
Instead of producing either a coin or a powerup, however, the block stunningly changes from an 8-bit animation into a lush, illustrated caricature of itself. Mario jumps again, and he, too, turns into a lush, flowing animation - his face fully formed, clothes rippling, and mustache bouncing. Again - a jump - and trees and bushes begin to pop up all around himself with every manic hop. First greenery, then the yellow tinted earth beneath him. A blue sky forms, followed by puffy, translucent clouds dotted with curious, black eyeballs. Flying Koopas fly past in the background after another smash, their wings exaggeratedly flapping like a saturday morning cartoon as Goombas scuttle along their shadows beneath them.
Finally, with one last hop, the block bursts with an explosion of glistening, cartoon coins exploding out like a firework, covering our entire screen.
Without ever breaking from the sidescrolling perspective, our screen changes to a frog Mario swimming in sea-blue orchestra of donuts and squids. Then, an angered sun chasing and swooping down onto an exasperated Yoshi who is just out of reach. Everything sings like a marriage of Rayman Legends with a touch of Fez. Tied together by a score of the Star powerup music, scenes old and entirely new begin to pass by in a blazing montage, like a flip book made up of entirely different images. The manic star music grows louder and louder until, after a mad rush of frames, we fly back to our black screen once again. Finally, a loud THUD of typography:
Super Mario Bros. 4.
(Only on Wii U!)