Round Table: E3 Reactions

Show’s over, what did everyone think?

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 06/14/2019 21:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

The show is over and the dust has finally started to settle from E3 2019. This year provided a number of exciting announcements from Nintendo and the rest of the industry. With the week still clear in everyone’s minds, we asked the staff their thoughts on the big show!

Marc Deschamps

Gotta hand it to Nintendo: they really know how to put on a show. I never really got into Banjo-Kazooie. I just wasn’t a big fan of 3D platformers when the title first launched on N64. That’s changed quite a bit since, and the years have made me appreciate the characters a lot more, to the point that I’ve been rooting for them to appear in Smash for some time, now. Seeing the hype build across social media no doubt amplified this; I actually cheered out loud when that silhouette appeared during the E3 Direct (then again when Nintendo revealed the actual pair, as opposed to Duck Hunt)! What an awesome, awesome moment. I’m just so happy for that game’s fanbase.

Link’s Awakening continues to look gorgeous. After the controversy surrounding The Wind Waker‘s graphic approach, I’m really happy to see the fans embrace something that looks so unique this time around. It fits the game so well, and I can’t wait to experience it for myself. Plus, that Amiibo is awesome, and I’m happy to see Nintendo continuing to produce the figures for titles other than Smash.

If there’s one gripe I have about E3 (and really, this is a general gripe) it’s the fact that Europe keeps getting gorgeous Steelbooks for games like Super Mario Maker 2, Sword and Shield and now The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. What gives, NOA? I’m guessing some of these will be exclusives that come to Best Buy later, like we got for Pokémon: Let’s Go and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but it’s really frustrating. I spent a good chunk of change last year importing the Steelbook for Let’s Go, only for it to come to Best Buy a few months after launch. Now I’m probably going to at least hold off on Super Mario Maker 2 for a little bit, just in case.

There’s so much more to be happy about though, but I don’t want to hog all the good stuff before everyone else has had a chance to talk!

Andy Hoover

Considering the fact Nintendo had already announced Metroid Prime 4 well before E3 and then revealed Animal Crossing: New Horizons would be delayed during their presentation, Nintendo did a heck of a good job exciting gamers. They did a great job balancing further revelations of previously revealed titles alongside brand-new announcements!

Really, though, the big shock for me comes from the prevalence of retro dominance, not just for Nintendo, but the entire industry. PS4 players are no doubt twitching with anticipation for the Final Fantasy VII Remake, but everybody was excited to see FF VIII was finally getting a modern re-master after Square Enix apparently lost the source code. Of course, Switch gamers had extra reason to celebrate with the Western localization of the Collection of Mana getting a surprise announcement and immediate release, alongside learning that one of those games, Trials of Mana, was getting a full 3D remake as well. And let’s not forget that Contra Anniversary Collection got the same “announce-and-release” treatment. Not to mention the remake of a classic Zelda never hurts!

As is always the case with Nintendo, the real treat is the ensuing Treehouse Live presentation each day. It’s one thing to see a slickly produced trailer or stage show, but its another to see long segments of actual gameplay with developer commentary. Actually seeing the likes of Astral Chain in motion does a lot to excite me for the game, plus it makes for a great chance for more, smaller announcements! Fears of not being able to play Super Mario Maker 2 online with your friends can be assuaged!

Altogether, in a year where many of the other big companies seemed to be waiting for next gen hardware, Nintendo carried on as Nintendo always does- doing its own thing with a strong focus on gameplay over everything else!

Jon Stevens

Switcher 3- yes, I’m trying to coin that! There were rumors ahead of E3 that the game was in development for Switch, but it was still mind-blowing to see it in action. News that the resolution is set to 540p in handheld and 720p docked isn’t particularly surprising given the game’s graphical fidelity, but I will be interested to see how the port holds up, as several developers have struggled to optimize games for Switch recently (Saints Row: The Third, I’m looking at you!).

The other big news obviously was the sequel to Breath of the Wild. I genuinely thought that this was a final piece of DLC when the trailer started. There’s precedent for Nintendo to develop a second mainline Zelda game on one console (Majora’s Mask is the only console entry in recent years, not counting those on multiple consoles) but it still isn’t the norm. Can Nintendo blow everyone away again like with BotW? Perhaps not, but I can’t wait to see what has changed this time around.

We didn’t get any news on the rumored Switch upgrade, or on any improvements to Nintendo Switch Online, but I’d say the games on show at this E3 more than made up for it. For now, anyway…

Robert Marrujo

It was an interesting time at this year’s E3. As upbeat and festive as the show was, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing with both Sony and Microsoft not on the floor at the convention center. Not to be a total Nintendo homer, but E3 IS owned by the House of Mario year in and out— the Nintendo booth is always the most heavily trafficked and in demand, after all. Yet, even with the throngs of people waiting to play, I couldn’t help but wish that everyone was in attendance.

Anyway, we’re here to talk games and on that front, Nintendo didn’t disappoint. Luigi’s Mansion 3 could easily go on to eclipse the original. In some ways, the designs of the first Luigi’s Mansion will be hard to topple, but the sense of grandeur in the E3 demo is hard to deny. When Dark Moon came out, some remarked that it cemented Nintendo as the Pixar of game developers, and I’d say that Luigi’s Mansion 3 makes that comparison even more apt. The attention to detail is amazing. To say nothing of the innovations that are being introduced, like slamming ghosts to the ground.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 was shockingly solid. Two Nintendo staffers and I played through a level and I was wowed at how authentic a job Team Ninja did of replicating the feel of the first two titles in the series while also propelling it forward. I miss (what seems to be the absence of) the abundant destructible elements of the game world that were so addictive to destroy, but otherwise the combat is electric and (unlike Square’s Avengers game) the cast looks great.

Link’s Awakening, meanwhile, quietly stole the show for me. I’ve played every Zelda game with the exception of the CD-i abominations and firmly believe that Link’s Awakening on Game Boy remains one of the best entries in the series. This reimagining of that title is gorgeous and preserves exactly what it needs to in order to keep it both familiar and fresh at the same time. I can’t believe that Link can still steal things! I’m apathetic to the whole “make your own dungeon” gimmick being offered here— the game alone, even if it’s the same length as the Game Boy original, is enough for me. Seeing what Nintendo has done to everything from the overworld to small characters like Prince Richard will have me busy for weeks.

With E3 now in the rear-view mirror, we’d like to thank everyone for following along with us here and on our social media pages! What did you think of this year’s show? As always, let us know in the comments!

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