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Nintendo at E3 2018: 3 good, 3 bad

From a genuinely new Smash Bros. to Mario Party
Product: Nintendo news | Publisher: Nintendo | Format: Switch
Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation was a refreshing break from the exhausting (if frequently brilliant) excess found elsewhere at the event. But did it live up to expectations?

Here are some quick reflections from the presentation and surrounding hands-on footage - both good and bad.

#1 GOOD: Nintendo focusing on the now

Nintendo's rivals spent large parts of their E3 presentations talking about vague future release dates and showing limited videos of projects that almost certainly won't see the light of day until the next generation.

By way of a contrast, Nintendo's strict focus on the here and now (with a little of the soon-to-come) was bracingly refreshing. These were largely games we'd be playing very soon indeed.

In the case of Fortnite and Hollow Knight - two hotly anticipated third party titles - we'd be playing them that very evening.

#2 BAD: No Metroid Prime 4

It's been precisely a year since Nintendo announced that Metroid Prime 4 was in the works with nothing but a title graphic. Though Nintendo was clearly focused on near-term offerings, we had hoped that Nintendo would offer us a glimpse of... something. An Apple/Columbo-inspired 'one more thing,' if you will.

Metroid Prime 4 represents the only game on the first party Nintendo radar that could potentially stand alongside Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. We're not talking about quality here, but rather its potential status as a meaty single player slab of epicness.

Even a rendered teaser would have done for now - just something to hint at the direction being taken with this hotly anticipated title.

#3 GOOD: Daemon x Machina stomps on our expectations

Hands up who expected Nintendo to lead off its E3 2018 event with an OTT anime-inflected mech action game? Put your hand down, fibber.

Now, I'm not a particular aficionado of anime-inflected mech action games - or any sort of mech game for that matter. But there's no doubting that Daemon x Machina is something very new for the Switch, and that's something we've been hankering for in 2018.

There's some intriguing Japanese development pedigree behind this game too, which has us optimistic about its stompy quality.

#4 BAD: Mario Party

Yeah. This happened.

Look, I know there's a market for this stuff. And some might call me a hypocrite for putting this in the 'Bad' section having called for a Switch version of Mario Party 10 in a recent article.

But my reasoning for the latter was that a port of Mario Party 10 would meet the aforementioned market need without wasting the precious development resources required for an all-new Mario Party. Which seems to be precisely what Nintendo has done.

#5 GOOD: Super Smash Bros. is more than just a Wii U port

Some learned internet commentators suspected that Super Smash Bros. on the Switch would be little more than a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe-like 'director's cut' of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Others suspected that it would follow Splatoon 2's lead and present something of a '0.5 upgrade' on the previous game.

While we can't yet entirely dismiss the latter suspicion, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate looks set to be a proudly stand-alone experience. Indeed, it promises to offer everything we love about the series to date - and then some.

#6 BAD: Super Smash Bros. fighting conservatively

From one perspective, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is giving the fans of the series everything that they want. Viewed from a different angle, it appears to be giving them everything that they already had.

This is quite literally the Ultimate version of a game (or games) we know intimately. I mean, the headline feature seems to be that it has all of the characters that have appeared in the series before, for goodness sake.

Admittedly, this will be served up in the best-looking, most comprehensive package of the franchise's prestigious life, and there were plenty of tweaks (and a few new characters) on display too. But there's a distinct lack of freshness to what we've seen of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate so far.


Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 13 June 2018
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