Nintendo E3 2019 Press Event Recap

Let’s be honest. Nintendo stole the show again this year. It’s not that the other press events weren’t packed with games worth salivating over. It just that none of them felt as “needed” as Nintendo’s Direct Video. This is especially true when it came to the big three: Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Sony was a no show this year and outside of some new subscription services, an expected sequel(s) and the acknowledgement of a new console, Microsoft didn’t blow everyone away.

If you missed the event, no worries; we made sure to add it to the site for your viewing pleasure. That said, we have highlighted the juicer tidbits below.

Again, that’s not to say that Microsoft didn’t do a good job or that the other press events (held by Ubisoft, Square Enix, etc.) were a waste of time. They did what they were supposed to do. Nintendo’s offerings were just better presented.

For one, there wasn’t a bunch of fluff. While they aren’t above the occasional scripted event – they’re going to run the (already Old) Bowser joke into the ground now that Reggie is no longer at Nintendo – they typically focus on showing off their games. They also stuck to a decent run time. The pre-recorded video is only meant to let people know what’s coming. All of the game demos and developer chats are held for their Treehouse events, which assumedly frees up space for an extra surprise or two.

Speaking of surprises, Nintendo started their direct video by immediately showing the next addition to the Smash Bros. Ultimate roster. The Hero (from the Dragon Quest series) was revealed to be headed to the game later this summer. What’s fascinating about this character is that there are four different character skins for him, each representing a different protagonist from Dragon Quest; they all are collectively called the hero until the player decides to change their name. The heroes were pulled from Dragon Quest XI, III, IV and VIII, with Dragon Quest XI’s hero being the default character. For those of us who are born before the 90s, seeing Hero join Smash Bros. pulled all of the right nostalgia strings. So much so, that it added excitement to the announcement of the definitive edition of Dragon Quest XI (coming to the Switch in September).

With the bar set extremely high, one would expect Nintendo to follow up with a slew of haymakers. This was true for the most part. Luigi’s Mansion 3 was the first full game to show up. Charming as ever, fans got to see Luigi traverse a haunted hotel and battle/trap ghosts using new gameplay mechanics; Luigi can now slam ghosts, shoot suction cups to pull items or remove a ghost’s “shield”, and even AoE attacks via upgrades to his vacu…I mean Poltergust.

The game will feature multiplayer modes (like what’s seen in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon) as well as the ability to cooperatively play through the campaign. Players will be able to use a blob-like version of Luigi called Gooigi to solve various puzzles. Their friends can help by taking control of Gooigi using a second JoyCon, we’d assume after the mechanic is introduced; the game probably won’t allow co-op play from the very beginning. Gooigi is able to slip past spikes and into small spaces, help battle enemies and more. While he is a great help, he isn’t without his faults. Unlike Luigi, for instance, he’ll melt if he touches water.

The hits kept coming soon after, with a slew of exciting first party games that cover a range of different genres. Even though it was a remake, Link’s Awakening looked great. The solid looking gameplay and cartoony visuals really sold the game. Not to mention, the addition of the new Chamber Dungeons – a mechanic that allows fans to create their own dungeons – shows what can happen when you use online elements in single player games correctly. After showing a bit of gameplay, Nintendo went on to reveal Link’s Awakening September 20th release date.
What makes this generation of Nintendo console sell as well as it has (aside from some great first party titles) is the ability to play your games wherever you are. That’s why most fans are ok with the system’s numerous ports. The announcements for ports like The Witcher 3, Ni No Kuni Remake: Wrath of the White Witch, Panzer Dragoon: Remake, Resident Evil 5 and 6, and various Japanese games from the Mana series (some of which never made it states side) were all well received.

After that came heavy hitters like No More Heroes 3, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and new footage of Pokémon Sword and Shield. Seeing the Pokémon gameplay was the highlight of my day. Seeing the combined features from Let’s Go, Pokémon GO, and the classic games threw me over the moon with excitement. Seeing the Pokémon in current gen graphics, freely walking around on screen in the world, is everything I had hoped for as a child. It finally feels like the Pokémon games are growing up like we have.

Some of the other major highlights for me were Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, the Animal Crossing: New Horizons teaser and the surprise reveal of Banjo- Kazooie inclusion in Smash Bros.’ season pass. We knew about MUA3 but seeing new characters like Miles Morales has me excited for its July 19th release date. And though I am not a big Animal Crossings fan, my wife is – the Switch continues to prove that it has something for everyone. I’ll get to witness her excitement as she builds up her part of AC’s adorable world.

The star of the show of course, was the final reveal. Nintendo showed a teaser (seemingly story-based) trailer for the sequel to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In it, we saw Link and Zelda exploring what looked to be the ruins under Hyrule castle, before awakening some ancient evil. There was no word on when it’ll be available; Nintendo only said that development has started. The good news was that they seemed to be using the same engine as before. Meaning, we hopefully won’t have to wait too long to hear more about this title.

Even with all of this greatness, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how we still haven’t heard anything about the new Metroid Prime game. Or even the fact that Captain Falcon, to a generation of gamers, is just a guy from Super Smash Bros. because he hasn’t had a standalone game in decades. Don’t get me wrong, Nintendo killed this conference. But, with all the fuss over remakes today, it wouldn’t hurt to just give fans a modern-day version of past games (if we can’t get new one altogether). And while Metroid was featured in a great 3DS title, Nintendo’s reluctance to show anything related to the new Prime game is frustrating. There are Nintendo staples that don’t eat mushrooms or wield Master Swords. It would be nice to see them showcased a bit more.

With all that said, I still enjoyed the show. The diversity in games being shown, the cool ports – I probably won’t rebuy the Witcher 3, but it was great to see it’s coming to the Switch – and exciting third-party exclusives really landed this year. I essentially wanted every game that was presented.

P.S. Bring back Mother for crying out loud. These kids have no idea why Ness is so dope!

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