It’s been quite a year for Nintendo fans, with a bounty of software coming to Switch from every direction. While things have been relatively quiet on the first-party front (especially considering the one-two punch of flagship Zelda and Mario games in 2017), Switch is enjoying the sort of third-party support that arguably hasn’t existed on a Nintendo platform since the NES days.
As we gear up for tomorrow’s presentation, we thought it was worth looking back at last year’s Direct. We didn’t know it at the time, but the 2018 show was to be Reggie Fils-Aime’s final E3 as NOA President. It will be fascinating to see how his successor, Doug Bowser, takes over the reins tomorrow. After shadowing the big man for so many years, we’re pretty sure he’ll nail the basics – no doubt he’ll be looking for a nice, uneventful debut before diving into the skits we associate with his predecessor, although last year's presentation was relatively meme-free. Perhaps there was too much Smash to squeeze in.
So, let's remind ourselves of how it went down. Having got out ahead of the presentation (perhaps a little late) and confirmed that Metroid Prime 4 wouldn’t be shown (and we all know what's happened to that game), it all kicked off with Daemon X Machina and a look at the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC, Torna – The Golden Country before cutting to Reggie who gave more details about Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee and revealed the Pokéball Plus.
Then followed the announcement of Super Mario Party, complete with the intriguing table-top mode of Toad’s Rec Room. Given that the series can sometimes get a little repetitive, it was a pleasant surprise that the Switch iteration turned out to be a very good time.
We then got a trailer for Fire Emblem: Three Houses followed by the reveal that surprised precisely nobody: Fortnite was launching on Switch that very day. Then came three indie announcements in quick succession: Overcooked 2, Killer Queen Black and Hollow Knight, the latter which was available the day of the broadcast. Octopath Traveler then got a date and a demo announcement from Reggie.
We then saw (in dizzyingly quick succession) the following games: Starlink: Battle for Atlas, Arena of Valor, Minecraft, Sushi Striker, the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Pixark, Just Dance 2019, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion DLC, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Ninjala, Carcassonne, FIFA 19, Ark: Survival Evolved, Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut, Paladins, Fallout Shelter, Dark Souls: Remastered, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, The World Ends With You: Final Remix, Mega Man 11 and Mario Tennis Aces. Blimey.
After that deluge, next up was the reveal of the characters coming to the Switch iteration of Smash. Again, the quick succession of characters quickly overwhelmed anybody trying to take notes and kept the energy of the presentation very high before revealing, hey, everyone is here! From then on you could relax and just enjoy the trailer and the title reveal – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The presentation then slowed right down as we went on a half-hour deep dive with Masahiro Sakurai. For fans of the series it was undoubtedly incredible; for everyone else it was fun to see all the characters interacting, but after the breakneck pace of the previous segment, we wonder if extending that a little and shortening the Smash overload might have been a better option. For anybody not enamoured with the series, there wasn't much reason to continue watching, although everybody did, of course.
Indeed, some fans may have felt a little duped into sitting through 30 minutes of Smash minutia waiting for the patented ‘one more thing’ only to find that it, too, was Smash-related - Ridley joined the fight. For non-devotees it was like sitting through the credits of an MCU film only to find that there’s no post-credits scene in this one - no matter how good the film was, you’re going to leave the cinema on a minor downer.
Overall, it was a solid showing from Nintendo, then, although there were few true surprises. Mario Party coming to Switch was hardly a megaton and most of the other titles featured were known quantities. Smash fans got an incredible treat; everyone else probably felt a bit bamboozled.
Nintendo's habit of focusing on titles releasing in the same year in its presentations means it tends to avoid the pitfalls of other companies that show glossy trailers for games that are half a decade away. Of all the games shown, Killer Queen Black was delayed (it's now scheduled for summer 2019) and Pixark released within only the last two weeks (although we kinda wish it hadn't). Ninjala's still a no-show, but the only real first-party 'scandal' is Fire Emblem slipping a month from spring to summer - hardly worth grabbing the pitchforks over.
Yep, by far the biggest disappointment over the last year was the announcement that Metroid Prime 4 was getting restarted, and that came in January this year. Nintendo dealt with it head-on and apologised to fans before confirming that the series was back under the stewardship of Retro Studios, albeit a Retro Studios with a vastly different personnel. Disappointing as that was, most fans would prefer the game go back to the drawing board than get a half-baked entry. A delayed game is eventually good, etc - you know the rest.
Nintendo chose to go big on Smash last year because it's Smash; that was the big 2018 release. The idea that it didn't have much else to show isn't entirely accurate in light of the games revealed in the intervening twelve months. Nintendo has taken to spreading huge announcements throughout the year and since last June we've had a raft of confirmations (including Super Mario Maker 2 which is out in a couple of weeks).
We know this year we'll be seeing Animal Crossing, Link's Awakening, Luigi's Mansion 3 and more. There's little doubt that these could have been in last year's presentation, but it was decided to hold them back because they're 2019 releases. Whether you agree with that approach or not is a matter for debate, but it means E3 2019 is looking to be a bumper year - the variety in the announced lineup is impressive, so throw in a couple of surprises and things are looking very tasty indeed. Less than 24 hours to go, now. Bodies = Ready!
Do you think Nintendo was right to go hard on Smash Bros. last year? Would you rather all the big announcements come at E3 or do you prefer getting big news throughout the year? Share your thoughts below.
If Reggie doesn't come as a force ghost in the Direct I might cry.
Let's not forget that people managed to leak quite a few of these games before the presentation even went down. I remember Fortnite, Paladins, and DBFZ being leaked for Switch well before E3 2018.
This year? Not a peep. A recent leaker was even given a cease letter. And not one major leak that I know of. We're in for some real surprises this year people!
@JR150 I've noticed the lack of solid leaks as well. Not even any candid pictures of the E3 booth designs, and I couldn't be happier. I genuinely enjoy the big reveal moments, and Nintendo in particular are masterful at setting the stage for huge pay offs.
And as far as last years presentation went, there was entirely too much Smash. It could have been condensed to a beefy 10 minutes and would have been just fine. Here's hoping whatever big title they have this year can share the spotlight.
Yea, it'll be cool. Ebb and flow and all that.
Tiny leak, I just uploaded 2 picturess.
Click the link to view: https://imgur.com/a/QEL8Scs
I think that this will be a solid yet unsurprising year. We’ll get more info on games we know about, maybe a couple new fall/winter releases (maybe Mario Kart 9 or Odyssey 2?) and hopefully start filling out the system’s list of b-list games - Mario Golf or Mario vs DK would be great for me.
Also SNES online please holy crap, since we know it’s coming I hope we hear soon. Probably won’t launch until September though.
EDIT: Lots of Mario in this post. What can I say, Maker 2 has me hyped.
All Switch commercials should be filmed in Reggie’s house.
Last year wasn't bad - I found Nintendo's E3 to be okay, just nothing spectacular - but I have higher hopes for this year. I'm looking forward to a lot of the games we do know about and encountering some surprises along the way, too.
Dawn of the Final Day: Less than 24 hours remaining.
Last years e3 for Nintendo I was not impressed with. Knowing that most of it won’t be smash already makes it better to me
I don't think Nintendo needs a big load of surprises, they just need to get out the rest of the info and the release dates for the games they already have slated for this year. If they are able to do that, then they won E3.
@JR150 spoilers for possible leaks
Actually, a leaker recently did a huge post that had tons of info on the Microsoft presentation, and it had switch stuff in it.
If true, we are getting a new Wario Ware and a new 2D Metroid, as well as the Mana collection with a localized senkei densetsu 3.
This year's E3 can only be better than last year's. No more spending 20 minutes on Smash and no leaks about surprise announcments like last year. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow
Last year's E3 got me into Smash, so I can't complain.
I am of the opinion that Nintendo has had some pretty weak E3 presentations for about 4 years.
The Switch presentation on the other hand, was pretty fantastic across the board.
Look back at E3 2008 where it was just Animal Crossing and Wii Music, this was the point where the Wii became a rollercoaster.
@Starcakes Anything about AC?
@Savino I know, I've watched every press conference, and so far, nothing has had me very excited besides Minecraft Dungeons and Gods and Monsters. Hoping for a save by nintendo
@Starcakes I really wish they could do soemthing like the switch presentation again, it was amazing. Possibly with a switch pro or mini we could see something similar
@personauser93 Not that I know of, but AC being R&D1 I would be amazed if anything about it leaked.
There was also Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! A supposed leak of Rare replay on Switch, I am not sure about how legitimate it is, but with Microsoft endorsing the Nintendo presentation and several high profile leakers saying Spoilers for smash! that they are "99%" sure banjo is going to be in smash, I think it's a reasonable bet.
@Starcakes I figured that might be the case, but I’m so desperate for info that I’m constantly on refresh for multiple sites 😂
@personauser93 why bother making an e3 presentation then. They use E3 to announce NEW games, not just dates for games we already know about.
@Jester151 What an idiotic comment. There's no reason why Nintendo couldn't have Animal Crossing info and new games to announce in their direct. I smell an AC hater.
@personauser93 whoa.. You didn't say anything about animal crossing! I'm saying it would be a boring presentation without any surprises. That is what E3 is known for. A presentation only showing off games we have already seen and know about would be pretty disappointing is all I am saying. Chill dude.
@Jester151 Oh. I thought you might have been replying to my "Any info about AC (Animal Crossing)?" comment and was saying it shouldn't be there just because it's a game that we already know about. My apologies.
Super Mario Party is a bad game. Don't know why this site keeps talking highly of crappy 1st titles such as Mario Tennis Aces, ARMS and Super Mario Party.
Some of ya'll need to lower expectations going into Nintendo's E3. It should be a good conference, but don't go in expecting megaton announcements ala "Breath of the Wild 2/Mario Odyssey 2"
Nintendo is going to save a lot of announcements for the inevitable September 2019 and February/March 2020 Directs.
@Starcakes I fixed your post for you. Some people won't have liked seeing leaks even if you had already mentioned them above.
@waluigifan1 Because some people (like me) actually enjoy the games?
Last year was really disappointing I thought. I was on holiday in the sun, took a couple vodkas up to my room and left the mrs. by the pool... "no, I need to go, this could be big". It wasn't.
Last years was awful, it started off ok with a few good games and ports of older games but then just dragged on with the worst Smash presentation they could have come up with that went on for far too long. This years already seems like it'll be much much better but I do wish they'd show some games a bit further down the line too
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