Reactions: Nintendo Digital Event 2015

What did the staff think of yesterday’s presentation?

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 06/17/2015 08:00 13 Comments     ShareThis

We’re almost 24 hours removed from the Nintendo Digital Event, and reactions to it have certainly been mixed. While the presentation was handled with the company’s trademark humor and charm, the lack of any surprising revelations, coupled with yet more footage of games we’ve known about for years at this point, caused many fans to feel disappointed once the broadcast wrapped up. Now that we’ve had time to reflect on it, what did the Dojo staff think of Nintendo’s showing yesterday?

Robert Palacios

With the other Big 2 dropping huge surprises like backward compatibility, Shenmue 3, a Final Fantasy VII remake (all old stuff though…hmmmm), there did seem to be a lack of “Da Megaton” with Nintendo’s presentation. There really seems to be a huge emphasis on 3DS! I am a weirdo Wii-U only fan, so there wasn’t a whole lot new for me this year. I think only Star Fox Zero seemed like something I’d be getting this year. Next year, I guess! Hard to be disappointed when I got Ryu in Smash!

Andy Hoover

There have been some pretty harsh reactions to Nintendo’s Digital Event, and while my personal opinions weren’t quite as strong as some I’ve seen, I must admit that I too was rather disappointed. However, having watched more of the Treehouse Live demos that followed the presentation, I can honestly say that Nintendo’s showing is actually much, much stronger than people are giving them credit for.

First of all, when it comes to Star Fox Zero, it really was a bigger announcement than people seem to think. Yes, it was teased last year, but the fact remain we are seeing the first brand new Star Fox game in nine years. Maybe people would have preferred more photorealistic visuals, but I’m fine with the simpler, cleaner look, especially if they deliver on the consistent 60 frames per second (on two screens, mind you) Nintendo is promising. Also, those trailers featured some really cool, epic moments of space combat that I haven’t seen in a long, long time in any game. As for the motion controls, I’m already sold. Nintendo knocked the motion based aiming out of the park with Splatoon and all the demos and responses from people who’ve actually played the game have been quite promising.

Next, allow me to tell people to stop fussing about Metroid Prime: Federation Force. No, it isn’t the big, new, atmospheric first person/Metroidvania adventure many people– myself included– wanted, but that doesn’t it stop it from looking really cool in its own right. This is another example of people not really appreciating what they are seeing so allow me to clarify it– Nintendo is making a four-player cooperative FPS. If this game didn’t have the word “Metroid” in the title, people would probably be jumping for joy because of Federation Force. Also, I’m quite interested to see the Metroid universe expand even further; both Other M and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption delved deep into the world around Samus and I’m glad to see that trend continuing.

Of course, there was plenty of other good news. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is a very welcome surprise. RPGs look like they’ll have a strong showing on 3DS and Wii U now that we have a release date for Xenoblade Chronicles X, confirmation that Yo-kai Watch will be released to the rest of the world, more information on Fire Emblem Fates and Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, and the unveiling of the phenomenal looking Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. There is also some new Animal Crossing stuff, which is cool for people who care about Animal Crossing. Oh, and I’m always down for more Mario Tennis.

Finally, and this might be cheating, but let’s remember what happened before the Digital Event. Nintendo released EarthBound Beginnings, a game countless fans across every part of the world not called Japan have been waiting decades for. Super Mario Maker was shown to be just about the most amazing thing ever. And let’s not forget the nine demos of indie titles that were released alongside a promise of discounts on the final product if you have the demo. If you haven’t checked out those demos I highly recommend them, especially Runbow, Typoman, Freedom Planet (AKA the best Sonic game in years), and the supremely strange Lovely Planet, which is not just a pretty version of Freedom Planet.

Once all is said and done, I guess I can agree that there wasn’t that single, earthshaking revelation (Eternal Darkness 2), but we did get some big, very pleasant surprises (EarthBound Beginnings) and a bunch of solid showings from numerous titles both new and known.

Anthony Vigna

Wow, have you seen how much hate this conference has been getting? The way people are talking would make one think that Nintendo announced Wii U Music today! Was this Nintendo’s best E3 presentation? No, but it did a fantastic job of showing games that I generally have an interest in playing and that’s good enough for me. There weren’t many surprises, but most of the games look fantastic and I was happy to see more footage of them.

With that said, Metroid Prime: Federation Force was a complete kick in the groin for Metroid fans. Andy, while I can’t deny that Federation Force might be a good game in its own right, it wasn’t the game Metroid fans wanted. We’ve gone five long years without playing a Metroid game and this is what Nintendo gives us? What a complete joke! I’m sorry, but when I think of Metroid, I don’t think about three on three soccer matches. The only link to the Metroid Prime series is the first person combat offered in the game’s main co-op mode, but it looks like a stretch to call that a true Metroid game.

If Federation Force came out alongside a true Metroid game, I wouldn’t be so upset. But the fact that Nintendo decided to announce this game alone to appease Metroid fans shows that it doesn’t understand what its audience truly wants. Has Nintendo seen the Bloodstained Kickstarter lately? As a Metroidvania, it’s the most popular video game Kickstarters ever created, clearly showing a demand for the genre! Because of this, I honestly can’t understand why Federation Force is being made. Who came up with this idea?

Other than that, everything else looked great! After nine long years, we’ve finally seen the grand return of Star Fox in Star Fox Zero! This is exactly how you bring a series back to life. Unlike Metroid, we can clearly see familiar gameplay elements at play that remind us of the classic games. The game has on-rails segments and all-range mode dog fights, yet it also has new features with its transforming vehicles and first person cockpit aiming on the GamePad to keep things fresh and interesting. Sure, it’s not the most graphically intensive game ever made, but I’m sure that they had to make it like this to keep it running at 60 frames per second on both screens.

Plus, we did get some nice surprises with The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam! The former reminds me a lot of Four Swords, which is a good thing, and the latter is a combination of two of my favorite RPG series. Let’s also not forget about the things that were announced before the conference! Earthbound Beginnings is still a huge deal and that Smash Bros. DLC offers a ton of exciting new content. Despite my issues with Federation Force, Nintendo’s Digital Event reminded me that it’s definitely a fantastic time to be a gamer!

Marc Deschamps

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed by today’s conference. While some of the reactions around the net are hyperbolic to say the least, today’s show needed a little something more. There wasn’t a single big surprise, and that hurt, a little.

Unfortunately, that took away from what Nintendo did very well today. The games I was already excited about now have me even more amped up. Super Mario Maker really has to be one of the most talked about games of the show. Nintendo perfectly exploited the Nintendo World Championships on Sunday as a means of showing what the game can do, and I just can’t wait to have it in my hands. Also, the fact that those levels we saw at the NWC event will appear in the game is a really nice touch.

Star Fox Zero looks gorgeous! This game looks like Star Fox 64 on steroids. The scope, the graphics and the new transformation abilities made this one skyrocket to the top of my most wanted list. Also, the game’s introduction in the conference was nothing short of brilliant. Seeing Muppet Reggie, Miyamoto, and Iwata transform into the Star Fox team was hysterical, and I’m shocked we aren’t seeing Nintendo get more kudos for that.

I think the Skylanders SuperChargers/Amiibo announcement kind of got lost in the shuffle a bit. I think it’s awesome to see Nintendo working so closely with Activision, and I think it’s even cooler to see these special Bowser and DK figures doubling as Amiibo and Skylanders toys. With the design on DK, they probably should have used Funky Kong instead, but Bowser looks really great. This little partnership put the game on my radar, and I’m sure many Amiibo collectors feel the same way.

All in all, it certainly wasn’t the worst E3 showing Nintendo has ever had (that privilege still belongs to 2008), it was just a little underwhelming. The shame of it is, had Nintendo kept a lid on the leaked Super Smash Bros. DLC and moved its announcement to today, alongside EarthBound Beginnings, I think you’d hear a lot of fans singing a different tune. I think it goes to show you that video game fans really have become spoiled by E3. As much as I wanted more, this year’s Wii U lineup is killer, and fans should take comfort in that.

Anthony Pelone

Funny you mention Wii Music, my fellow Anthony. One of my friends described the Mario music video at the end as being just like that infamous performance, and I’m certain others felt the same way.

Anyway, this conference was weird for me. I can’t say I hated it like everyone else did, but it didn’t blow me away, either. At the very least, I’m convinced you’re crazy if you thought it was on the same level as Nintendo’s shows in ’08 (c’mon, really?) or even ’12. That said, there were some definite sour spots within the Digital Event, and after some reflection I’ve chalked it up to a) fatigue; b) some not-so-subtle hints at Wii U’s future post-2015; and c) the existence of Metroid Prime: Federation Forces.

In regards to the first one, think about this: we’ve already seen quite a few of the games they showed. We’ve been watching trailers of Yoshi’s Woolly World and Xenoblade Chronicles: X for years, had already been treated with Super Mario Maker just the other day, and already knew the Fire Emblem titles were on their way. Most of these look great, but they don’t show much that’s new. We have to sit through yet another developer diary for Yoshi, Xenoblade has yet to be presented in a localized state, there was no way Super Mario Maker was going to live up to that incredible showing at the NWC, and no one still knows what to make of the FExSMT crossover. There’s fatigue in stuff we’ve seen before, blatant padding via developer backstories we’ve already heard about, and worst of all, uncertainty if they’ll live up to their potential.

Mix that in with Wii U getting neglected in favor of 3DS, and it’s not going to go over well. While I think Star Fox Zero looks mighty fine, Zelda’s absence is filled in with Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, and that’s a big problem. Cries of “this isn’t what fans want” and “this isn’t Animal Crossing U” not only ring true, but they’re not even the worst par. Many predicted an Animal Crossing entry for Wii U, yet it’s getting another spin-off even though 3DS is already doing that with Happy Home Designer. When combined with the lack of Retro’s presence, an unknown schedule for 2016, and everyone getting Twilight Princess vibes regarding Zelda U, it’s easy to interpret Amiibo Festival‘s message not as Nintendo withholding too many 2016 Wii U secrets, but that the console is already being shown the door in favor of the nebulous NX (if anything, I perceive it as proof it’s a home console).

Finally, Metroid Prime: Federation Forces is such a shame to me. We know that Next Level Games is full of talented guys, and I find it saddening that what’s likely a fun game is being snubbed thanks to the mistake of being branded with the Metroid Prime name. Following the Other Mfiasco, Metroid fans had spent five years fearing their beloved franchise had been abandoned, and attempting to quell those fears with a spin-off of a spin-off (Metroid Prime Hunters, which wasn’t exactly popular) isn’t the right move. What a pity.

Again, despite all that, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Maybe they showed too much of their hand (Super Mario Maker, Smash DLC, EARTHBOUND BEGINNINGS!) too early at the NWC and mini-Smash direct, but it’s all incredibly exciting stuff regardless and I thoroughly enjoyed their pre-E3 reveals. As I’ve already stated, Star Fox Zero stole the show and I’m beyond baffled at its ill reception. If you’re worried about the graphics, please look at the Titania footage from the Treehouse stream and tell me that doesn’t look amazing! Meanwhile, Tri Force Heroes is shaping up to be a hilarious Zelda spin-off and I can’t wait to see more of it. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam also tickles my funny bone and I’m thrilled to see what it’ll pull from both franchises.

So, not the worst, but not the best, either. I’m really hoping Iwata keeps to his word of carefully gauging fan reception to the Digital Event, because they can’t afford to slip up with NX’s reveal. Not after what happened to Wii U.

Robert Marrujo

I find it strange that I’m not more excited for Nintendo’s E3 lineup than I am. The games at the show were all engaging, fun, and the sorts of titles that I can see myself going back to for years to come. I think the problem comes back to betrayed expectations more than a lack of genuine quality. First off, too many of the games were already known to fans. Star Fox was certainly never seen before today, but we all knew it was coming, so by default it just doesn’t generate as much excitement as it could. The same for Xenoblade X, both Fire Emblems, Super Mario Maker, Yo-kai Watch, and Yoshi’s Woolly World. Great games, but known quantities, nonetheless.

The surprises didn’t help because, to me, they felt safe. I want to play Mario & Luigi, I had a lot fun battling it out in the new Metroid, but overall it felt like Nintendo was hesitant to be too risky with this year’s showings. The games didn’t deliver on anything that anyone has been asking for, either, and that felt odd. Seriously, why is this even being called a Metroid game? At this point there’s nothing that ties it into the series beyond its title, and almost comes across as though Nintendo is playing with fans a bit by giving them a Metroid game in name only.

Of course, it’s possible that Nintendo is in a sort of holding pattern because it has so much on its plate with NX and mobile. No new 3D Mario platformer for the series’ 30th anniversary in particular signals to me that the company is saving whatever’s next for the plumber for a new system launch. And honestly, again I point out that everything on display is or at least looks like it’s going to be a blast to play. We got the first EarthBound for crying out loud! It was a good E3, but it definitely could have used just one more game to send it over the top.

Angela Marrujo

I had high hopes for this E3, and I didn’t think some of my wishes were particularly lofty, either. I was convinced a new F-Zero was coming, given the inclusion of F-Zero tracks in both DLC packs for Mario Kart 8. I also thought for sure that Metroid Prime 4 would be announced as Retro’s latest project, or that we’d get the next Metroid even if it wasn’t in the Prime series.

Alas, this was not to be. The bombshell of Mother‘s release on Virtual Console on Sunday seemed like the precursor to a firestorm of amazing news, but I have to agree that the Digital Event suffered from a lack of big surprises, and the games that were announced were a bit… Meh. Star Fox Zero looks fantastic and I don’t care what any of the complainers are saying about it– if it’s as much like Star Fox 64 as it appears to be, I’m happy.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam looks good and as hilariously-written as ever, and I like the idea of mashing the two separate RPG worlds into one. But as a Zelda fanatic (it’s my favorite franchise), I wasn’t super excited about Tri Force Heroes (also, anyone else notice that it’s written as “Tri Force Heroes?”). I know I’m gonna buy it and play it and probably eat my words, but I guess it felt like Nintendo rubbing in the fact that we’re not getting Zelda Wii U any time soon, with a pseudo-Four Swords title. I loved Four Swords, but when you have Zelda Wii U dangled in front of your face it’s like getting the non-holo version of a rare Pokémon card in a booster pack instead of the holo. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash looks fantastic and really beautiful though, but I wish we got to see more of it.

As for Metroid Prime: Federation Force? Where the heck is Samus? Where is Prime 4? Why am I being shown this? Why do I want to play a sports title loosely associated with the Metroid series, attached to a sci-fi shooter loosely associated with the Metroid series?

The new 8-bit Mario and Animal Crossing Amiibo look so awesome (I expect disappointment in being able to get many, if any of them, though), and I’ll have to give into the Skylanders hype just to get the Wii U exclusive Amiibo/Skylanders hybrids– I’ll find someone to give the game to that won’t mind being jilted the Amiibo…

But really Nintendo, would a new Pokémon Snap title utilizing the GamePad, or a new Pok♪0mon Stadium, have been so hard? Some solid games are being released in the coming year, but this just wasn’t what I was wanting to see from Nintendo at E3.

Jon Stevens

I pretty much agree with everyone else on this one. It wasn’t a bad showing by Nintendo in any sense– I found it funny, entertaining, and different to a lot of the presentations that other companies put on this year for E3. There just wasn’t much there that surprised me. Right at the start, Reggie told us how the theme we will see from Nintendo is how it is “transforming.” As much I am excited by the idea of Mario Tennis and the other games we saw flashes of, there was nothing that surprised me or made me see how the company is going through a transformation.

As I said, I am looking forward to the games that were shown off, but I still feel like I am waiting for Nintendo to announce more– for example, what its foray into mobile gaming will be like, what we can expect from its new membership program, and what we can look forward to playing further on down the line. Perhaps the next Nintendo Direct will answer some of these questions.

What did you think of yesterday’s showing? Were you also disappointed, or do you think Nintendo’s presentation was stronger than most fans give it credit? Sound off in the comments!

13 Responses to “Reactions: Nintendo Digital Event 2015”

  • 745 points
    OG75 says...

    My reaction to Nintendo related news coming out of E3:

    How ironic is it that XBOX ONE will be providing the Nintendo 64 goodness (and NES) I’ve been craving come August 4th? Granted, the whole “Rare owned by Microsoft” thing makes this possible, but lookie here:

    On August 4th, I’ll be playing:
    RC Pro-AM
    RC Pro-AM II
    Blast Corps
    Banjo Kazooie
    Banjo Tooie
    Jet Force Gemini
    Perfect Dark
    Conker’s Bad Fur Day
    Plus 22 more…

    All for $30. I know Nintendo doesn’t like to “de-value” their IPs, but if those games (and the 22 others) were distributed via the eShop’s virtual console, we’d be talking significantly more money.

    Oh yeah, and StarFox Zero looks great (I disagree with all the haters on its graphics.) However, Pro Controller support, please.


  • 1570 points
    penduin says...

    Star Fox Zero and Super Mario Maker, I couldn’t be happier with. They look truly fun. I’m glad we have a Xenoblade Chronicles X release date. Three-player Zelda looks fun, that was a nice surprise.

    Metroid Prime: Not! is a cruel kick in the teeth. I am actually very interested in expanded-Metroid-universe stuff, but not when it’s been this long since a real Metroid (let alone Prime) game. Animal Crossing U: Psyche! is a letdown too, though I’m not offended by it – just not interested.

    So, more good than bad, but less substance than I was hoping for. I really hope we hear from Retro soon; Wii U needs more of their magic!

  • 819 points
    Toadlord says...

    As someone who only owns Nintendo’s home console, what this E3 showed me was that every game that I’ll buy for the system had probably already been announced prior to this Tuesday. While this is admittedly four solid looking games, the lack of awesome surprises was very un-Nintendo.

    I can’t envision a scenario in which NX doesn’t launch next holiday at this point.

  • 459 points
    Drew Ciccotelli says...

    We all seem to forget that Iwata, Reggie and Miyamoto came out as fucking Muppets, and turned into Muppet Starfox, Falco and Peppy. That’s class right there. E3 isn’t a big deal, Nintendo did fine. Nitpicking and overhyped expectation is the real trouble with how people are responding to it.

    Every day I have the worst first world problems; too many Nintendo games I’ve yet to play and people are here complaining that there aren’t enough new ones coming 2 to 3 years from now. What is wrong with everyone? Will we ever be satisfied with what we have or do we need that constant fix of new new new to keep our erections going?

  • 745 points
    OG75 says...

    Unfortunately you’re wrong. Many people actually can’t seem to forget that Iwata, Reggie, and Miyamoto came out as “fucking Muppets.” If that keeps your first world erection going, have fun. To many, the muppets act (besides not being very funny) was Nintendo saying “we don’t have much to show this year, so look at this!”

    Many Nintendo fans (see “Fans” not “Apologists”), E3 is an opportunity to showcase new, upcoming, and in many instances previously unannounced software. The reality that Nintendo had no new software to announce for its struggling home console could be genuinely disappointing to many people (first world problem or not). To call it nitpicking and then provide dime-store psychology is off the mark. In fact it’s not even close.

    Do we need constant fixes and new, new, new shiny things to be satisfied? That’s a rhetorical question, right?

    • 402 points
      geoffrey says...

      And last year Reggie came out as a stop-motion animated doll while having his name made fun of, made a Link doll talk (SACRILEGE!) lit a fan on fire, and then showed up IRL for 5 seconds just to change into a Mii and get in a fight with a Mii Iwata. And yet it was one of the greatest Nintendo E3 “press conferences” ever.

      People who wanted to hate it were going to hate it no matter what Nintendo had shown and just pick whatever random reason they could think of to try and justify the hate. That people are complaining that they didn’t show the Wii U Zelda, despite Nintendo having explicitly said ahead of time that it wouldn’t be there, is proof enough of that.

  • 745 points
    OG75 says...

    Wrong. People will like or dislike based on the content of what is shown. And by content, I mean games. If you like the Muppets or Robot Chicken, good for you. I happen to like Nintendo for games.

    Last year’s “comedy” with Reggie/Iwata fighting was annoying in my opinion. However I thought last year’s event was Fantastic. It was compelling because it contained great content about games I had next to no previous knowledge about. I came away from last year’s E3 excited about Xenoblade Chronicles X, Star Fox, Yoshi, Splatoon!, etc.

    This year?: Not much new content for the Wii U. Hence my opinion that it was slightly underwhelming (even having known beforehand that Zelda would not be present at this year’s show.)

    Rather than creating straw men and throwing out conspiracy theories about people “picking random reasons” to “justify the hate”.. try to use a little critical thinking. People will have different reactions to the same event for different reasons. It’s subjective.

    Dazzling and distracting with a Muppet show, and then presenting what looks like a free-to-play chibi-shooter aimed at pre-teens (and calling it “Metroid Prime”) just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    • 459 points
      Drew Ciccotelli says...

      You are a feisty one aren’t you? But it’s up to you how you feel, sorry if you arent happy. Do what you want.

    • 402 points
      geoffrey says...

      Wrong. (See? I can start off with an arbitrary naysaying of your entire previous post too!) Your ENTIRE FIRST PARAGRAPH was about how people are using the muppets as a sign that it was going to suck. But last year’s started with something equally absurd, but was amazing.

      If you believe this year was inferior to last year, that’s fine – heck, I agree with you; the new Paper/Mario&Luigi is the only new thing they showed that I care about – but to try and drag the muppets part into it is ridiculous. If you had bothered to “use a little critical thinking,” you probably would have realized that.

  • 745 points
    OG75 says...

    Wrong (again.) But you throwing the “critical thinking” thing back at me was clever and genuinely funny.

    -Begin Snark-

    However, thanks for giving me permission to believe this year was inferior to last year. Does this mean I don’t count as a nitpicker who is going to hate and “pick whatever random reason” I can to justify it? Because it almost appeared you were attributing unfavorable opinions of Nintendo’s E3 to such shenanigans.

    Yeah, no. Many people actually think for themselves (critically:) and come to their own conclusions without being part of a conspiring mass of haters. To have genuine opinion summarily dismissed as predetermined and based on some agenda is silly at best and insulting at worst (I’m leaning towards the former since we’re just talking games… and with fellow Nintendo fans at that.)

    -End Snark-

    Thanks for reminding me of Paper/Mario&Luigi. I had forgotten about that one and am also looking forward to it.

    Peace (To you and Drew)

  • 784 points
    Marc Deschamps says...

    Gentlemen, please keep things polite.

  • 0 points

    I was massively underwhelmed by it. Sure, a few good games here and there but otherwise compared to last year it was lame. Clearly the Wii U is on life support and they are saving games for the NX. That much is clear. Still, what is coming out I am looking forward to at least.

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