If Nintendo doesn’t learn from history it’s doomed to repeat it.

Nintendo finally had their E3 presentation today, expectations were high especially after the one they made last year. But, what can I say about it that has not already been said by the multitude of reviewers and graders out there? I will answer that with a resounding “not much” *shrugs*.  As I said it’s been mentioned before and it was quirky, cute and very much like Nintendo. I honestly did not know what I was getting into when I first saw the intro and couldn’t not think of much except how terrifying those Muppet’s were to me.

It appears to me, however, that this years’ presentation harkens back to a dark age of gaming called the Nintendo E3 2008 presentation of Wii Music (does anyone else remember that bomb? No? Good!) If you don’t remember I will provide a link here that you can follow (for the safety of your mental health please don’t click on it). In that years’ presentation Nintendo showcased many “casual” game titles and barely anyone had any excitement for it. It was an extremely rough year for them and 2007 was not much better either. I can’t help, but see the parallels between 2008 and the one we saw today on June, 6th, 2015. What parallels were these? Well, I’m going to list them:

  • The lack of heavy-hitting titles being announced with specific release dates.
  • The non-awe inspiring sequels such as
  • The lack of good third-party support. Both of these presentations have about five titles that were not first-party titles.
  • Both had an Animal Crossing title that appears to be underwhelming with gimmicks (The Wii-Speak and the Animal Crossing Amiibos)
  • The cringe worthy presentations (those puppets!!!!) (that Wii Music!!!!).
  • The lack of surprises and subsequent excitement that comes with that.
  • Lack of emphasis placed on actual game-play.
  • Surprise announcements for games that nobody really wants (Wii Music/ Metroid: Galactic Federation)

There are certainly more things in common with these two.  But, the most apparent aspect of this is that Nintendo did not learn from their mistakes and successes of past years. During their E3 2014 presentation Nintendo won over a lot of people. They made an excellent effort to show the new up and coming titles for the WII U with titles such as Smash Brothers 4 and Splatoon! It seemed like Nintendo could do no wrong and they “won” E3 (again, you can’t win at something which isn’t a competition), but they had to do this. Nintendo was in an extremely dire position at the time the Wii U was not doing well, and they needed to push back hard in order to gain some of the shares that had  been lost.  The scenes in that presentation were extremely humorous with Reggie and Iwata fighting only for the Amiibo Mario to take the stage was simply laugh/smile worthy. But, it seems like Nintendo loves to take one step forward and two steps back.  This is what brought Nintendo to the point they are at today.

It is said that too much of a good thing can be bad. It’s also said that when you try to make something that appeals to everyone it will come out milquetoast. Nintendo tried to please everyone with something similar to what they had last year and it just fell flat, they practically handed Sony and Microsoft a red carpet and said “you’re going to need this”. The jokes were not as funny, the games were nothing to be surprised at, they presented games that nobody had any interest in (I’m looking at you Metroid: Galactic Federation) It was simply bland and lack any of the spices which make life exciting.  I gave my spiel on gimmicks yesterday and I’m probably one of the least excited people in the world to hear about the Amiibos for Skylanders and Animal Crossing. But, for the sake of brevity let us hit a play by play of each of the titles announced.

Star Fox Zero: I could probably call myself a fan of the Star Fox Series. While I always try to look at things objectively I will say I typically ignore some of the series short-comings as part of my fanaticism. This isn’t to say that I will overlook everything. Star Fox Command was a piece of garbage, and Star Fox Adventures should have remained Dinosaur Planet (the less we speak of this title the better). Star Fox Assault fared somewhat better with their cinematic scenes and wing-rider moments (however, the parts on land without the Landmaster were extremely annoying). This game, however looks amazing the graphics look crisp, the voices from the N64 are back and I’m super excited to hear those guys reprising their roles. The multiple types of vehicles will probably raise the amount of replay value since Star Fox games are usually heavy on the re-playability.  But, the aiming mechanics for the cockpit view have me a bit apprehensive and I will not make a call on this game until it has been played in my console. Kudos to Nintendo for trying to give life back to their Wii U pad this certainly seems like an interesting mechanic to a game, but it might just make playing the game a nightmare. Hopefully Nintendo realizes that we simply want the on-rails shooter mechanics and allow for a 3rd person view at all times with an optional view from the cockpit for those who choose to play that way. All in all I would give this game a try before calling it dead on arrival.

Skylanders SuperChargers: This is not my cup of tea at all. I will not make a call because this game is simply not where I fall into the target demographics. I’m happy Nintendo let Activision create their own Amiibo’s which I have no interest in. I hope that whoever they are aiming this game to actually enjoys it, and they get a full blown legitimately good game.

Zelda Tri Force Heroes: This game looks fun, it reminds me back to the days of the Four Swords Adventures. It has the multiplayer co-op mechanics. If I’m correct it also has online which is great for someone who is constantly abroad like me. I honestly can’t wait for the game because it looks like its going to be so much fun to play with my friends. The puzzles in the game seem familiar and the boss battles might be interesting. The totem mechanics is just ripe for messing/trolling with my buddies and playing pranks with each other. The dress-up mechanics with new abilities is also something that I can’t wait to try out for myself. I love my games to be fun and lighthearted because my job often comes with a lot of heartache. Nintendo might be onto something extremely enjoyable with this title.

Hyrule Warriors Legend: I played the game on the WII U. Admittedly I had a lot of fun with the game, but the lack of online severely hampered the re-playability and once I was done with the story I never looked back. The new characters seem like fun to play with except for the King of the Red Lions, who transforms into a boat (o.0) for his combo attacks.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force: This is probably the game that is catching the most flak in the entire presentation at this moment. It’s so awful it actually got a petition for cancellation started by someone on the internet. This is very sad for one particular reason though, if Nintendo had not tacked on the Metroid Prime title to it then perhaps it wouldn’t have been hated as it is right now. It’s not fair to say that if it had been a standalone title with no connection to Metroid this title would have still failed to achieve some merit of excitement. But, as it stands Nintendo dropped the ball royally and now has to face determining what to do with a title that nobody wants because it took the spot of a game that was actually wanted (aka an actual title with Samus in it). As a new IP this would have had potential. However, as part of the extended Metroid universe all I can think of is Halo: ODST (and well all know how that turned out -_-).

Fire Emblem: This game has me excited. I am a huge fan of the series Fire Emblem and I enjoyed Awakening quite a bit. But, the whole 2 games for one has me extremely worried and I hope that the extra price is truly worth the money. I held out on buying Awakening until I found it at half-price, so I don’t think buying one and a half games for the price of two is truly worth it. I’m sincerely hoping this changes as the title releasing and it truly justifies the purchase. The storyline for the game does sound very intriguing, but the footage shown on the presentation did not leave much to work with.

Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem: Some of the online critics call this game weaboo bait, and I can see where they might be coming from. It really does look like this game will appeal to the to the heavy anime fanatics. But, I say give it a chance since the Shin Megami Tensei series has a pretty good record, and all this brings to the table is a few of the Fire Emblem characters changed into zombies (I mean seriously look at Chrom those eyes!). The introduction with the Japanese song called Reincarnation on one of the previous Directs was a lot more epic though.

Xenoblade Chronicles X: I played the original Xenoblade Chronicles on the 3DS, and frankly it was quite an enjoyable eastern RPG. However,  We didn’t see any gameplay in the presentation and I was sorely disappointed by this factor. The game has been released in Japan and we’re expecting it in the west coast during the holiday season the least we could have hoped for was some scenes of the actual game, but this was too much to ask. Hopefully this game

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer: Take Animal Crossing and remove everything that makes it fun and enjoyable insert a home designing simulator and call it a game. Nintendo decided that the best thing to do with this IP was not remake AC:NL into the Wii U, but make a game with all of the characters and none of the charm.

Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival: This game could not be any more of a gimmick if you wrote it on the title (and they did it’s inside the amiibo). The heavy emphasis on the Amiibo support plus the lack of apparent excitability factor make me truly worried for this title. Hopefully this game is only like 10 dollars and there’s only 4 Amiibo so they can equate to 60 dollars at worst. This game is a stain on an otherwise fine series. Nintendo truly dropped the ball here.

Yoshi’s Wooly World: We had one of the designers speak on this game. She showed some really nice toys and designs of the enemies made of yarn. While I appreciated how happy she seemed while speaking of this game, we did not get anything we hadn’t seen before in the previous Directs. I was extremely disappointed to see this game again since I thought it would have been released already.

Yo-Kai Watch: A series that has picked up a lot of steam in Japan and I actually had some friends that recently transfer from there show me how popular the series is to children in Japan. While the series does look very quirky and Japanese it simply reminds me of a combination between Pokémon/Devil Survivor. I was excited about this game a year ago, but now the excitement has faded and I’m simply stuck waiting for it to release in order to judge it. You capture ghost in different locations and use them for battle (haven’t seen that concept before a million times).

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam: A heavy hitter in Nintendo’s lineup this game looked amazingly fun. The game doesn’t have stickers!!! That was a major flaw in the last game of the series, and this one actually seems to bring back the heavier RPG elements. I did not play Dream Team or Bowser’s Inside Story. But, I’m excited to see Paper Mario characters once again in this series. The series is pretty fun and I can’t wait to try out this game. Way to go Nintendo sometimes you can really knock it out of the ball park.  I was really excited to see Luigi being chased by the chain-chomp? Only to use Paper Plane Mario to dodge the attack! It’s this kind of moments that I hope to see more of in the game when it finally releases.

Mario Tennis: It’s Mario Tennis and I didn’t see anything noteworthy here. If this is your type of game then go for it. I’m not a big fan of the Mario Sports Series.

Super Mario Maker: Let me preface with this statement. Mario Maker looked amazing at the Nintendo World Championship. Whoever on the development team designed the stages utilized in that competition deserves a pay raise and a pat in the back. I was at the edge of my seat the entire time while the players competed in it. I guarantee you if they had showed the crazy things you could do in the game instead of the story of how the stages were made it would have left a bigger mark than simply a sheet of paper on another one.  We didn’t come to watch game history, we came to get hyped up for these games and this direct simply failed to deliver in a significant form. Mario Maker has so much potential, people have been developing stages for Mario that are simply insane for years (look up Kaizo Mario) the fact that Nintendo acknowledge the existence for this type of game is incredible enough, but the potential is limitless. If people put in their best efforts to make some incredible levels this game will be played for years with people finding ways to abuse mechanics in order to speed run insane levels with a degree of expertise only a truly dedicated player can achieve. I have no doubt Nintendo has put a lot of love into this game, and I hope it succeeds because at this point the company needs it to be a hit.

Finally some parting words: Nintendo dropped the ball on this Direct. I was disappointed and if I had to give it a score I would give it a 4/5 out of 10 at best. I just didn’t have anything make me excited. No surprises and just more ways for them to drain my wallet of it’s hard earned cash. It seems Iwata is aware of the failure that this direct was. Perhaps they will address these issues in the next one and will put our minds at ease. Until then Nintendo, I hope you are prepared for an uphill battle.

This article is copyright of the original writer.


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