SBox Soapbox: How Did Nintendo Do @ E3 2017?

Last year, Nintendo’s E3 presence was nothing to write home about. In fact, due to their switch from the Wii U to the… Switch, they really didn’t have much presence at all outside of Zelda and a few games we all already knew about at the time. Luckily, this year is the first to feature the Nintendo Switch as their main console, and though the system was already shown to have promise in past events, now is the time for Nintendo to actually show it! How will the Switch captivate audiences in the long run?

Welcome back to those who have been joining me throughout this crazy week of E3! For those joining in for the first time, I’m dedicating the whole week to the gaming Superbowl that is E3 2017. I have already covered Microsoft and Sony’s conferences, but now’s the time to talk about the third and last big show of the event: Nintendo’s “E3 2017 Spotlight”!

As usual, I will be going through the announcements of the event in near-chronological order, giving my thoughts on each as we go along. I may not cover everything in great detail, but I will definitely discuss the highlights. Also, I understand that Nintendo’s show isn’t a traditional conference, and they may still have a few more games to announce in their Treehouse and other events. However, this post will only be talking about what was in the actual 30 minute show itself. I’ll cover any extra announcements at a later time along with other E3 games.

Poké-Penance

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The conference starts with a montage of about 5 upcoming Switch games that we already knew about, including Pokken Tournament DX, FIFA 18, Arms, Splatoon 2, and… hold on, that’s new! We’ll get to the fifth game later!

As usual, Reggie Fils-Aime leads off the conference by giving a small speech about gaming. Then he removes his shirt because his body is ready. (Not really). This leads into the first game of the show, Xenoblade Chronicles 2. While I still have yet to play a Xenoblade game, allow me to repeat my sentiments from last year when I say I’m quite interested. It’s open-world, action-JRPG goodness at its best as far as I’m concerned.

Now, they say Nintendo isn’t the best when it comes to psyche-outs, but that’s simply not true. Take, for instance, almost every time they announce a new Kirby game. It starts off all dramatic. You don’t know what to expect, so your mind automatically goes to a new IP. And then the screen is engulfed with the color pink, and you know you’ve been played! That said, I’m so happy to see a Kirby game coming to the Switch, even if it looks like a near copy-paste version of Return to Dreamland, I don’t care. I haven’t gotten tired of Kirby yet, and neither should you!

In case you’ve missed the Pokemon Direct from last week, Nintendo once again shows off Pokken Tournament DX (as well as foreshadows the live tournament of the game starting tomorrow). While I didn’t go too into my true thoughts on the announcement last week, I will say that Pokken (while expected) is a great game to port from the Wii U. I love the game, and highly recommend picking it up if you have a Switch.

However, this wasn’t the big Pokemon news. It turns out that Game Freak has “an RPG” in the works which should be ready in about a year. Could this in fact be “Pokemon Stars” or just a new IP altogether? How mysterious! Except, right after they let it slip right after that announcement that it is totally Pokemon. So, rejoice! We will soon have a home console version of Pokemon yet!

Back in Black!

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Unfortunately, I can’t talk too much about the Fire Emblem Warriors story trailer since I’ve never played the series. However, I can talk about Nintendo’s biggest surprise of the conference bar-none.

As the screen fades to black, a fiery image appears in the shape of none other than the iconic Screwattack. This can only mean one thing: Death Battle the Video Game! Join Wiz and Boomstick on a magical, action-packed journey across the… No, it’s a new Metroid game. Not just any Metroid game, though. It’s Federation Force 2, based on the ultra successful 3DS ga- Okay, last joke I swear! Honestly, I’m really hyped for the first true Metroid game in 7 years, but since it’s just a teaser there isn’t too much for me to say right now. All I can say is that I hope Metroid Prime 4 takes a traditional approach with the controls this time and that gameplay footage isn’t too far away from now.

What better way to transition from such a hardcore announcement than something equally as hardcore. Don’t get it twisted, guys! Don’t cross Yoshi, or he’ll will wreck your life up in a second. Believe me, I know! Anyway, like the new Kirby game, this game lacks a proper name. It’s very similar to Yoshi’s Woolly World from a couple years back, but with a more isometric side-scrolling style that gives you an extra dimension to work with. It’s pretty interesting, and it also gives Nintendo an excuse to make more yarn Yoshi amiibo which is always a good thing.

There was also some news for Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is getting not one but two DLC expansion packs. One is called The Master Trials, and the other is called The Champions’ Ballad. I don’t have Breath of the Wild yet, so I don’t have much to say except it’s great to see Breath of the Wild getting so much content.

A moment of silence for the Wii U logo, though, making it’s last appearance at an E3 show… Okay, let’s continue.

Nintendo’s Hat-Trick

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As I said earlier, Nintendo started the conference with a montage of 5 multiplayer games with just one being a surprise (at least as far as I’m concerned). I predicted this last year and was so glad to be right about this. Rocket League is coming to the Switch, complete with cross-platform play with console/PC and, of course, Mario hats for your cars. This was a really cool inclusion for E3, as well as a guaranteed system seller for the Switch. Why? Because even though you can play Rocket League on everything, the Switch version is also portable. Automatically, you have the coolest version of the game!

Before we get to the main event of the show, Nintendo also shared a trailer for Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, a game that I’m still having trouble believing exists. Now, this trailer didn’t show off nearly as much as the one at Ubisoft’s conference, but between both shows I’m pleasantly surprised. This isn’t the worst idea ever as I and many others were expecting. It looks kinda different and fun. Definitely is a pretty game, too. My only real complaint is why the Rabbids are in this game at all. They seem to only be there to appeal to kids, because nothing about the setting, concept, or gameplay screams Rabbids. That’s just me nitpicking, though. Game still looks good.

By the way, Ubisoft, you should totally make your next Nintendo collab Mario + Rayman. That would be great! Just a thought.

Last, but certainly not least, comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Super Mario Odyssey. Please understand that other than The Last of Us Part II (which wasn’t even there), Super Mario Odyssey was my most anticipated game of E3. Did it disappoint? Not one tiny bit. Mark my words, people! I’m thoroughly convinced that this will be the greatest Mario game ever made. I’m that confident and excited for what I saw.

Was it enough that Mario was walking around New York? Yes. Was it enough that Mario was returning to the SM64/Sunshine gameplay style? Yes. Was it enough that Mario’s hat has eyes now? Yes. Was it enough that Bowser looks like a Vegas pimp at his 3 AM chapel wedding? You know it. However, leave it to Nintendo to add just one more element to the queation that instantly makes everything better. Mario doesn’t just toss his ogling hat for the hell of it. It turns out he uses it to posses the souls of the living. That’s right! Mario is now a demon. Conspiracy theory confirmed… Which is a dramatic way of saying he can enter the bodies of those who wear his hat. This isn’t reserved for just people on the street, but also Goombas, Hammer Bros, Bullet Bills (which is awesome), taxis, and apparently random frogs among other things. You even take control of a dinosaur. No not like Yoshi. Like a fucking T-Rex!

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What I love about that is how it offers a mixup to Mario standard gameplay. It promises variety, strategy, and incentive for players to go further in the game find new things to control. It’s a fantastic addition to a game I was already planning to buy. I need a Switch right now.


Thus concludes another year of E3 press conferences and shows. Nintendo, I have to tip my hat to you, You pulled off a pretty good show for under a half-hour long. Since this is the last full conference I’m covering, I’d like to end this by declaring a winner of sorts among the big 3.

My personal order this year from best to worst is Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. None of the conference were bad, but Sony’s definitely left me wanting more and didn’t have as many surprises. Don’t get me wrong, Nintendo didn’t have many either, but their spotlight was meant to be a contained little thing that mainly talked about Mario Odyssey and games that come in the immediate future. That being said, when it comes to Nintendo vs. Microsoft, there really is no contest. Microsoft had the most surprises and the most games for a longer period of time. They seemed to have tried the hardest this year, which is why for the first time in a while, I can say Microsoft won E3 (at least not counting Ubisoft, EA, Bethesda, etc.).

What did you guys think of Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight show? What is your favorite game of E3 so far? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned for more E3 posts and discussion to come throughout the next couple of days. From this point on, it’s time to talk about everything at E3. Hope to see you then!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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