E3 2015: Where Nintendo’s Digital Event went wrong

QrMGVB0AMm0sptQKYOyUvLB2kLdWqYfzLast year at E3 2014, Nintendo proved that they could do so much more with a pre-recorded presentation instead of a traditional press conference; with Amiibos, Super Smash Bros, Zelda Wii U, and Robot Chicken sketches, they arguably had the greatest presence on the show floor. Now we fast-forward a year later to E3 2015, and things aren’t looking so good for the Big N. Before we get into the negative details however, let’s talk about the good stuff!

The show began with Satoru Iwata, Reggie Fils-Aime, and Shigeru Miyamoto in Muppet form. That’s right, they were legitimate Muppets made by The Jim Henson Company. All of a sudden, they slowly turned into Fox, Falco, and Peppy from Star Fox, which was a rather strange way to premiere the first gameplay trailer for Star Fox Zero. This new entry in the franchise is being co-developed by Platinum Games and is a re-imagining of the first game. After the awesome trailer and interview with the Miyamoto, it was all downhill from there…
screenshot10As a Nintendo fan, they’re the company I look forward to the most at E3 and I can’t help but feel disappointed by their 2015 Digital Event. Granted, I’m not livid to the point where I’d want to start an online petition to remove one of the games (Seriously, why would you do that?), but I do think it’s important to analyze in a calm, collective manner what exactly Nintendo did wrong and what they could’ve done to prevent it.

If I had to pinpoint what exactly did harm to the Digital Event, it had to be the games Nintendo decided to focus on. The Wii U Zelda game was a no-show and third-party support has been lacking with the exception of Skylanders SuperChargers and Lego Dimensions (which wasn’t discussed in the Event), so Nintendo had to work with whatever games their first and second-party studios were working on; the problem was that most of them weren’t compelling enough to receive shock and awe. Not to say they look like bad games, they just weren’t what fans wanted. Take for example Metroid Prime: Federation Force, the Metroid series has finally returned after 5 years in the form of a 4-player online co-op shooter with a 3v3 soccer game called Blast Ball; not the homecoming fans were expecting to say the least. There was also the belief that they would announce an Animal Crossing game for Wii U to go along with the 3DS spin-off game Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Well, they did announce a Wii U game in the form of a party board game called Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival. Ouch. Finally, they spent the rest of the Digital Event talking more about games we already knew about: Yoshi’s Woolly World and Super Mario Maker.
screenshot3If the reasoning behind these underwhelming game announcements was that Nintendo didn’t have many new ones to show off I’d understand, but they have two Wii U games that could be heavy-hitters if they treated them as such, and would’ve given the Digital Event more variety.

2658390-0049jjnvOne of these games is a Japanese survival horror game called Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, which released in Japan last year and is set to come out this Fall in the US. Not only does it prove to be a good horror game for Wii U, but it offers a way to use the gamepad as a weapon against supernatural foes. The other game is called Devil’s Third, developed by Valhalla Game Studios and owned by Tomonobu Itagaki, known for creating Dead or Alive and bringing back Ninja Gaiden. It’s a ridiculous third-person shooter featuring an 80s-type hardcore protagonist who uses blades and guns whenever necessary. Considering most of the Digital Event consisted of safe and “kid-friendly” titles, it would’ve been nice to see that Nintendo isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty once in awhile. I mean Bayonetta 2 was a big M-rated hit at last year’s E3, why not have more of these types of games?
1280x720-hRSBy now, two days after the event, it seems that fans have started to get over how underwhelming and disappointing the Digital Event was. I just hope that Nintendo gets the message of what we want. True, they don’t owe us anything, but if they want us to buy their hardware and software, they need to get the message clearly. The negative response to Metroid Prime: Federation Force doesn’t mean we don’t want a Metroid, it means we want a Metroid game that is true to the formula. Not to say these games are going to be bad, matter of fact they might be great, but they simply fail to bring the hype.

Next year’s E3 could be a better one for the Big N, as they’ll be discussing their next hardware platform NX, which is great because a new console (assuming it is one) is always the big talk of E3. However, the Wii U’s reveal and two big press conferences dedicated to it didn’t go smoothly, so here’s hoping they learned from those mistakes.

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Joey Ferris
Joey Ferris 260 posts

l love to play games and write stuff about them. I can't play something and not tell anyone how I feel about it. Call it a sickness, because it is.