The Nintendo Direct E3 2018 presentation primarily focused on titles for the Nintendo Switch, but it’s no real surprise since this console has been the company’s hottest product since its release.
The tone of the presentation was professional, though there was some humor thrown in with enthusiasm shown for the games. I miss the comedic sketches they’ve done in the past, but I suppose it was a business decision to change their approach to appeal to a maturing audience.
In this opinion piece, I’ll be covering the games that were essentially given the spotlight, whether it was a trailer or narrative of a title’s news and release date. You can view the segment where they quickly showed upcoming titles within the presentation, or you can check out the trailers and more under their Nintendo E3 2018 Playlist. So, with that said, let’s take a look at the titles that were deemed worthy to be in this Nintendo Direct.
The first thing that came to mind when seeing the trailer for “Daemon X Machina” from the start was the “Armored Core” games. It wouldn’t come to any surprise that Kenichiro Tsukuda, the producer of Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star, had also worked on a few “Armored Core” titles before. “Daemon X Machina” is an anime mech with action gameplay similar to “Armored Core” with the addition of picking up gear of defeated enemies to add to your arsenal during the level.
The game looks great with fast paced action, destructive attacks, and a sense of heavy metal. It helps that the cover song for the trailer sets the mood, which is very metal for this mecha game. “Daemon X Machina” comes in 2019.
The story of “The Golden Country” follows Jin and the fall of his homeland from 500 years before the events of “Xenoblade Chronicles 2”. As the title may suggest you explore the lost Titan, the Kingdom of Torna. I am for more lore and expansions for this game. You have a new story, another Titan to explore, and a refined combat system where you can control and switch between the Driver and the Blades. “Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – The Golden Country” comes out on September 14th.
Inspired by the original “Mario Party” (back in 1998 for the Nintendo 64) “Super Mario Party” brings new minigames and Joy-Con controls to make things interesting. There are also new character dice blocks for some strategy and Toad’s Rec Room where you can link two Switch units for specialized minigames that can be configured for different setups.
It’s interesting that for this installment, they went back to the N64 game that started it all and remade it for the Nintendo Switch. However, honestly, I’m more interested in Toad’s Rec Room. The overhead tank minigame looked fun. So I’m wondering how many of them are going to be in this Rec Room mode and what ways you’ll be able to use multiple Switch units to change them.
There was bound to be a “Mario Party” game for the Nintendo Switch but the way they’re handling it is the most logical for the system that can be played anywhere with anyone. “Super Mario Party” will come out on October 5.
We finally get to see the new “Fire Emblem” core game coming to the Nintendo Switch, and it looks like it’ll have about one tenth of “Advance Wars”. Intelligent Systems added some brand-new gameplay mechanics such as the ability to freely explore towns and other settlements where you can interact with characters for Support level ups or information to progress the story.
As for the tactical battle system, a Unit can now have troops at their command, complete with formations. The story itself will revolve around Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude, giving three points to the plot for the player to uncover.
Honestly, this seems like a different turned based strategy game at a first glance. Nevertheless, there are features, such as the art direction and recognizable elements from the battle gameplay, which still makes it a “Fire Emblem” game. “Fire Emblem: Three Houses” will be released Spring 2019.
Cooking mayhem comes back with more characters, recipes, and kitchens to lose your sanity in “Overcooked! 2”. The game looks insane as you can now throw ingredients without worrying about the five-second rule and dealing with kitchens that can change on the fly. “Overcooked! 2” releases August 7th.
According to sources “Killer Queen Black” has been rebuilt from the ground up for the Nintendo Switch. This game reminds me of “Joust” back from my NES days, but more hectic. This certainly looks like a fun versus game where you can ride a snail, collect berries, or go for the kill. “Killer Queen Black” will be released later this year.
As one of the RPGs for the Nintendo Switch that I’m rooting for, “Octopath Traveler” features modernized retro graphics, multiple characters to choose from with a story and special ability of their own, and exploring a fantastical world made by Square-Enix. A new demo is available now with the official release of the full game coming to July 13th.
This release of “Hollow Knight”, an action-adventure game with an amazing gothic presentation, will feature new items, areas, characters, and bosses from the current Hidden Dreams, The Grimm Troupe, and Lifeblood packs. Later this year, the Gods and Glory pack will also come to this game, and best of all these packs are free. “Hollow Knight” is now available at the Nintendo Switch eShop.
The free-to-play battle royal game “Fortnight” is now available on the Nintendo Switch. You can play online and locally with your friends, but there’s no PS4 crossplay (imagine that). Even so, alongside with “Paladins” the Nintendo Switch may be offering some fun alternatives to the popular Triple-A MOBA games. Doubt we’ll see “Raiders of the Broken Planet”, though.
Naturally, the “Pokémon Let’s Go” games would be brought up in the Nintendo Direct, but they’re the only Pokémon games mentioned. Logically, Nintendo doesn’t want to overshadow this series with the core games that are still in development. As we discovered “Let’s Go Pikachu” and “Let’s Go Eevee” will incorporate the catching mechanics of “Pokémon Go” and the classic RPG gameplay of “Pokémon” games past.
Along with that the Poké Ball Plus will be an accessory you can buy as a controller/Poké Walker, and as announced each one will come with the Mythical Pokémon Mew. Honestly, they keep handing these Mythical ones out, but this one need you to buy the accessory. So I guess that balances it out?
As a Pokémon trainer, I can see some entertainment with “Let’s Go Pikachu” and “Let’s Go Eevee” but this would be a casual playthough if I can find a fellow trainer to play with. “Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu” and “Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee” will be released November 16th.
And finally, they have revealed more about the upcoming “Smash Bros.” game, and Ultimate is the right subtitle for it! The fifth installed in the series, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”, will have all the fighters from past titles. With everyone coming back there were changes made to the fighters. One of the more direct changes was how they made the Final Smashes right to the point, even retiring Fox’s Land Master for a fast squadron bombardment.
However, apparently, the one thing that will never change is how everyone believes the GameCube controller is the best way to play “Smash”. Well, guess what? The Gamecube controller will actually be compatible with “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”! (you have to use an adapter though) And speaking of accessory support, Amiibos from the “Smash Bros.” series are also compatible with corresponding fighters, along with similar character Amiibos.
And lastly, there are new characters brought into “Smash Bros.”. The Inklings were teased in a previous Nintendo Direct (in the most gloriously and hilarious hyped manner) and their mechanics from “Splatoon” heavily plays into how they fight. Their ink weapons coats the other fighters to increase damage as they layer it on them but like in their game you have to refill the tank. Speaking of ink the alternate skins will come in different color inks as well as different gear fashions.
Nintendo has also announced Echo Fighters, which are essentially the clones but supposedly their fighting style is changed up to match their personality. One of these Echo Fighters happens to be one of the newcomers, Princess Daisy. Princess Daisy is an Echo Fighter of Princess Peach, but with the difference that she puts more moxie into her attacks, so her butt smashes are hotter.
And last but not least, the fighter that many have wanted in “Smash Bros.” has made a killer reveal at the end of the presentation. Ridley, the leader of the Space Pirates, is going to one of the new fighters for “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” and he fights like a beast. If revealing the return of all the fighters weren’t enough, I’m sure Ridley is what finally sold it. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” will be released on December 7th, and this will be bigger than getting a Nintendo 64 for the holidays.
Most of Nintendo’s E3 presentation this year was alright, but it was at its best when they revealed “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” at the end. I went in with some expectations but “Smash Bros. Ultimate” left a hell of an impression. The only let down, however, was the lack of news for “Metroid Prime 4”.
We had the assumption that there would be some information on it, especially after the success of MercurySteam’s “Metroid: Samus’s Return”. It looks like we may have to wait longer. Regardless, this was a good Nintendo Direct, but it could have focused on “Smash Bro. Ultimate” with intermissions showcasing the other games.
Entertainment Value: 3.5/5
The Nintendo Direct E3 2018 presentation was short, sweet, and ended epically. I suppose it was expected that it only focus on the Nintendo Switch with nothing on the mobile games or the Nintendo 3DS. With the Nintendo Switch not slowing down (and why would it?) and the Pokémon core games coming to the console, we may be seeing a slow end to the 3DS. So let’s try to make the most of the little handheld.
As I may have insinuated around the end of this opinion piece “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is the biggest announcement for this Direct, but the other games are worth checking out. “Daemon X Machina” has certainly caught my attention with its fast-paced mecha action and heavy-metal track. I’m sure many of you have your own choice picks for the upcoming Nintendo Switch titles, so what games are you guys hyped for? Are any of you eager for Christmas or did you see another game that fancies your preferred genre?
Let us know in the commentsection below!
Robin Ek – Editor
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
The Gaming Ground
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