The Highs and Lows of Nintendo's E3 2015
By Peter Brown on
E3 is over; how did Nintendo do?
Click through the images here for all the highlights, biggest games, and areas of improvement for Nintendo.
Highlights: Star Fox Zero is being Co-developed with Platinum Games
Nintendo and Platinum Games are some of the best Japanese developers around, so it's very exciting to hear that the two teams are collaborating on Star Fox Zero. Fans of Nintendo have been waiting for a new Star Fox game for years, and with Platinum Games onboard, there's a great chance Star Fox Zero will be the most action-packed game in the series to date.
Highlights: Nintendo Crosses Streams, Creates Hybrid Amiibo/Skylander Toys
Nintendo surprised everybody last year when it announced it was entering the "toys to life" market with amiibos, but what's even more surprising now is that it's partnering with Activision to bring hybrid amiibo/Skylander toys to market. By simply twisting the base of the figures, players can activate either amiibo or Skylander mode, allowing one toy to work for both company's games. The first game to support this feature is Skylanders Superchargers, which will feature supercharged versions of Bowser and Donkey Kong. "Transformation" was the theme for Nintendo's E3 Digital Event, and in many ways, this is the best evidence of its commitment to change.
Highlights: The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes Supports Online Multiplayer
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures are great multiplayer experiences, but they were released at a time when online multiplayer was traditionally reserved for PC games, rather than for handhelds or consoles. With the announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes, Nintendo's revisiting the Four Swords formula, but players will be able to team up remotely, playing together to solve puzzles and scavenge dungeons. This is a first for the Zelda series, and with the costume system, where clothing gives players unique abilities, cooperative Zelda has never looked this promising.
Highlights: Great 3DS Support
Nintendo continues to push more games to 3DS, and the platform dominated this year's Digital Event. Nearly every major Nintendo franchise got some love, including Metroid, Mario and Luigi/Paper Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing. If you're a Nintendo fan with a 3DS, there's a good chance you'll get a new game from your favorite series sometime in the next year.
Needs Improvement: The GamePad
Star Fox Zero is absolutely exciting, but it's disappointing to see that Nintendo and Platinum Games are forcing players to use the GamePad to control the game. It would mean a lot to have options for the Pro Controller or a Wiimote. It seems like Nintendo is determined to shoehorn the GamePad into as many games as possible, but it's not everyone's favorite controller, nor an essential piece of hardware. It can add to the experience, but not everyone wants minor feature additions at the cost of comfort.
Needs Improvement: Talking about NX
Nintendo could do well to embrace the future by talking about the NX, its future gaming platform. People are ready to know more about it, and discussing the NX doesn't mean that Nintendo has to avoid talking about Wii U. In fact, highlighting the great games that are still to come will come across as respectful to their audience, because in everyone's eyes, the Wii U is on its way out, and everyone but Nintendo is talking about it.
Biggest Games: Star Fox Zero
Regardless of where you stand on Star Fox Zero's controls, it's a big game for Nintendo and Wii U owners. It's the sort of franchise that hardcore Nintendo fans love, because it's not given the same attention as Zelda or Mario, two series which seem to get a new game, or more, every year. With Platinum Games on board, you know there are going to be some unexpected surprises in store for prospective Team Star Fox recruits when the game ships later this year.
Biggest Games: Super Mario Maker
If you've ever wanted to make your own Mario Bros. game, Super Mario Maker allows you to do just that, with simple drag-and-drop controls and a huge selection of objects from past Mario Bros. games to play around with. There's bound to be a massive community of creators putting their all into making unusual and complex levels, and now that we know for certain you can share your creations with players around the world, Super Mario Maker may end up being the Wii U's killer app.
Biggest Games: Xenoblade Chronicles X
Xenoblade Chronicles X is a massive RPG, one which its creators claim might take completionists 300 hours to conquer. More importantly, it's a spiritual follow-up to Xenoblade Chronicles, which was one of the best Japanese-made RPGs in years. Nintendo was smart to partner with developer Monolith Soft, because without them, there would hardly be a traditional RPG on the Wii U worth caring about. For fans of the genre, Xenoblade Chronicles X could be a system seller.