E3 2015

Review: Nintendo Digital Event 2015

Going in many believed that Nintendo had a lot to prove at this year’s E3. With the previous announcement of Zelda not showing up for the Digital Event people were looking forward to what Nintendo would show to fill the giant Ganon-sized hole, however it was not filled very well.

Nintendo opened their press event by showcasing the new Star Fox title, Star Fox: Zero. Seemed like a pattern this year to open the event with the most anticipated game. Sony did it with The Last Guardian to similar effect. Sure people are looking forward to Star Fox as a franchise to make its triumphant return, but their attempt felt a little flat. Miyamoto announced gyroscopic controls and to some degree the progress path through the game’s levels, but not much else. The visuals looked lack-luster. The landscapes look barren and uninspired. Overall the game did not seem like a game that could possibly be one of the last first party titles to hit the Wii U. Nintendo has always strived to make stylistic choices that complement the hardware they use, but not this. Mario Kart 8 is a perfect example of how they are capable of beautiful atheistic.

After Miyamoto showed off Star Fox, Reggie take the stage to hint at the future of Nintendo. He hinted at mobile games on smartphones and even went as far as saying that talk of the next dedicated game console, codenamed NX is not going to spoken about until next year. The comment Reggie made allowed the viewers to understand what they were in for. A conversation only about games that are on the horizon and nothing in 2016.

Amiibo and Skylander collaboration is up next as one of the bombs that Nintendo managed to drop in the digital event. Working with Activision to rid everyone of what remains of their wallets is monumental. Why compete with Skylanders when they can provide them with the assets so they can both make all the “coin” in the world. Figures that are part Skylander and Amiibo are the now. Figures that are part Disney Infinity and part Amiibo could be another possibility.

Next the reveal of Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes. The inclusion of multiplayer and co-op not seen since Four Swords, is said to focus more of puzzles and getting through dungeons instead of completing against each other. Using the assets from Link Between Worlds is a smart addition due to how well loved the game was and how well it worked for the 3DS with its added depth.

After the disaster that was Metriod: Other M fans have been waiting for a new Metroid to blow them away. However, Metroid: Federation Force does not seem to be the answer to that. It is a 4 player co-op game and 3v3 sci fi sports game set in the same universe as our favorite space bounty hunter. Only available for 3DS and not a main line Metroid game might end up hurting this game.

*insert trailers for Fire Emblem: Fates, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem (in Japanese), Xenoblade Chronicles X, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer*

All the trailers looked great with some release dates and look like promsing titles coming in 2015. However, not much shown past 2015 and localization seems key to many of these titles. Definitely a space where Nintendo has been trying to improve since Pokemon began to have similar release dates in North America and Japan.

A new Animal Crossing title for Wii U was also shown. Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is a Mario Party type game that uses the appropriate Amiibo to unlock or use characters on the game board.

The bit of exposition on Yoshi Wooly World was a sweet story and showed how Nintendo is willingly to experiment with Amiibo to be more than just plastic figures. Wooly World is definitely a day one purchase for those in love with the Nintendo charm.

After Yoshi came another title whose fate lies solely in how well the localization is handled, Yo-Kai Watch. Throughout the trailer there was snippets of english dialogue which did not sound bad and seems further long that something like Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. If done correctly this IP will become the new Pokemon and take over the West.

The combination of the Mario&Luigi and Paper Mario in Mario&Luigi: Paper Jam was pleasant surprise that is combination with Super Mario Maker are set to fill the mandatory Mario title for this year even if it is not Super Mario Galaxy 3.

Another developer story from Miyamoto leads into showing some gameplay for Super Mario Maker. He shows off how Amiibo will be used in the game to let the player use 8-bit versions of said Amiibo characters with the use of special mushroom.

The Nintendo Digital Event ends with Nintendo starting a celebration of Mario’s 30th Anniversary with www.LetsSuperMario.com built to share Mario videos all for the Operation Smile foundation that Nintendo will donate to.


Overall, the Digital Event was a clear sign that Nintendo is moving on from the Wii U as a whole and focusing on the 3DS as the transition to the NX begins next year. Many great games coming this year, but more and more it seems that the main line Zelda game will appear only on the NX or maybe on both like Twilight Princess.  Full-sized/main-line Animal Crossing, Metroid, Star Fox, and Mario also seem like they are being saved for the NX. Even Miyamoto stated this is not the sequel to Star Fox. My hopes for Nintendo is to continue building relationships like with Capcom, Platinum, and now Activision to incentivize third parties to make games for their console. Third parties sell poorly because of Nintendo IP. So Nintendo finding the way to make other games money on their console might be the way to go for now.


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About the author

Christopher Zevallos

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