Pre-E3 2017 Spotlight: Nintendo

by Matthew Thompson

E3 2017 is a big one for Nintendo as it is the first year the Switch will make an appearance at the show. The new system has been a sales success early on and I’m hoping Nintendo will be able to show the kind of software and services that will build on that early momentum and keep me sated as an early adopter.

Super Mario Odyssey is the Switch’s big game of the Fall and it is sure to feature prominently at E3. I admittedly wasn’t all that taken with the game’s initial reveal. I found the real-world settings off-putting. And while it is understandable that they would want to return to the more open levels and adventure-slanting structure of 64 and Sunshine after four straight entries in a different mold, I very much prefer those more linear outings of the past decade, so going back to the older style isn’t as appealing to me. Still, all the mainline Mario platformers have been at least enjoyable. I’m sure that will be the case with Odyssey too, but perhaps its E3 showing will get me a bit more excited for this newest entry.

Splatoon 2

There are some other announced Switch titles that we should get a further look at during E3. Of them I’m only really looking forward to playing Splatoon 2 personally. And honestly, I hope they don’t spend too much time on that or Arms during the Spotlight since it sounds like it will be fairly short and we already know plenty about both games. While the leaked Mario and Rabbids crossover isn’t my kind of game (I don’t do turn-based), I’m not against the idea either, so I’m curious to see it in action. Worst case scenario, it is a bad Mario spinoff… it won’t be his first. I suppose they could tease The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC coming in the Fall. I’m hoping it includes a more traditional Zelda dungeon of some kind. The Divine Beasts simply did not live up to the series’ pedigree.

My biggest wish for Nintendo at E3 is that they give us a look at some of the games coming to the Switch beyond 2017. It is hard to tell based on the wording in their press releases as well as their history if this will happen, but I’d really like to have stuff to look forward to after Odyssey. It feels like they should be ready to tease whatever Retro Studios has been working on since Tropical Freeze. I personally covet the start of a big new action/adventure series from them. Nintendo has actually done a good job with new IPs lately, but something more of the Zelda/Metroid ilk from Retro could make for another tent pole singleplayer series going forward. I know others want Metroid Prime 4 which would certainly be welcome.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker 1

I’d also love to see something similar to Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. I think that is exactly the kind of odd mid-tier spinoff that would help fill gaps between Nintendo’s biggest releases. I’d like to see them explore that sort of idea with another series or character like they did with Toad.

Other than that, Nintendo has plenty of series to bring to the Switch in the future. Kirby, Yoshi, Pikmin, 2D Mario, Animal Crossing, Donkey Kong and so on. I think at the top of my wish list would be a new Luigi’s Mansion. I loved the 3DS game Dark Moon. Mechanically, it was fantastic. I think if they could tweak the level structure a bit (there was a little too much going through the same sections when jumping back into levels), they’d have something special.

While my biggest concern, as always, is the games, I am curious about how they will evolve the Switch services and hardware going forward. Details about Virtual Console would be nice. It feels like they really need to make some new Joy-Con with a traditional d-pad. Between VC, indies and Nintendo’s plethora of 2D series that is something that needs to be fixed. You can buy a Pro Controller for TV play, but in handheld mode a lot of 2D games aren’t going to play well at all with the directional buttons.

Luigi's Mansion

I’m very curious to see how Nintendo will approach their first E3 following the Switch launch. I hope they can show a bright future for a promising new system after their poor handling of the Wii U’s final years. We’ll find out in under a week’s time.

A few more things:

  • I mention specifically wanting to see new games announced for beyond 2017, but that is largely because I think they have laid out the major titles coming this year. I guess if they want to announce something new that appeals to me for Fall, they can go ahead. I certainly won’t argue! Given the fact that they are already holding Mario back for spacing, I doubt that will happen.
  • I get that a lot of people didn’t buy a Wii U, so there is an audience for ports of those games, but I can’t get excited about them having already played them. They won’t fill the void for genuinely new experiences for me. They definitely should not be full-priced like Mario Kart either.
  • I didn’t talk about the 3DS because I’m not looking to get more games on that thing. I still wish Nintendo would throw all their support towards the Switch now. Why would I want to play something on the 3DS’ poor screen when I could play it on the Switch? I realize this may seem selfish, but the 3DS has been out for six years. I feel like it is time to move on. It doesn’t seem Nintendo feels the same though.
  • My number one wish for the Switch is actually to see a 2D Zelda on there. Not just because I would enjoy playing it, but because it would help fill the gap between major 3D entries and it would signal that they were beginning to move away from the 3DS as per my previous bullet. Having said that, it is way too soon to expect that to be announced this year.
  • What are you hoping to see from Nintendo at E3? Let me know in the comments below. And thanks for reading!

4 comments on “Pre-E3 2017 Spotlight: Nintendo

  1. A 2D Zelda on Switch would be amazing! And yes, I hope that the plan is to show more post-2017 games, just to know what the system will be like once those heavy hitters like Super Mario Odyssey are out. And yes, Captain Toad-like games are always welcome here! I loved Treasure Tracker! Great article! 🙂

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