My Top 5 Games from E3 2015

E3 has come and gone once again. Amidst all the big announcements, awesome games, and presentations that aren’t nearly as bad as people are making them out to be, the event itself, while not without its highlights, was ultimately one of the lesser E3s of recent years. But, even if the show didn’t quite reach greatness, it still gave us a glimpse of some great games. Here are my top 5 games presented at the show…but first, some runners-up! Continue reading “My Top 5 Games from E3 2015”

In Defense of Nintendo’s E3 Presentation

Star Fox Muppets

Before I divulge more into the games of E3 themselves, I thought I’d write a little something in regards to Nintendo’s E3 “Digital Event.” Unlike most people on the internet, I’ll write something a little more in-depth than “Dear Nintendo, u suk!”  In fact, I am really wondering where all this Nintendo hatred is coming from regarding their E3 showing (aside from typical gamer entitlement, that is).

Was it a great E3 for Nintendo? No. Their presentation was lacking big surprises, and things were generally predictable. But there’s a fine difference between uneventful and bad. I found that there was little “bad” about Nintendo’s presence at E3, but it could fall under the “uneventful” category.

Overall, if I were to give the presentations a letter grade, I’d say Nintendo’s probably fit into the B+ range. The fact that things went pretty much as expected prevents it from reaching into the A categories, but I don’t see anything wrong with most of the games that were present.

What I want to know is what exactly were gamers expecting? We all know Nintendo is working on their next home console (which they had already announced some time ago wouldn’t be at the event), and that they already had a pretty big lineup of games announced. Hoping for a slew of big reveals was just unrealistic. I know people will say that E3 is the time to make big surprise announcements, but Nintendo (or anyone else) can’t just whip up a brand new game for the sake of an E3 reveal. I repeat, what exactly were people expecting?

Sure, Zelda wasn’t there (and again, Nintendo previously announced that it wouldn’t be, so it’s not like they got anyone’s hopes up), but despite what the internet likes to think, Nintendo is more than just Zelda. Super Mario Maker went from being a promising curiosity into a must-have AAA Nintendo exclusive during the event, Star Fox made its long-awaited return with Star Fox Zero, Xenoblade Chronicles X is still on the horizon (though unfortunately delayed), and Yoshi’s Woolly World looks to bring an added flair of creativity to the Wii U. Zelda is still coming to the Wii U, but these four games more than fill the gap of Zelda’s no-show this year.Super Mario Maker

Then there were the 3DS games, of which there were many: The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes aims to revive multiplayer Zeldas. Animal Crossing will be getting a spinoff with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Metroid Prime: Federation Force may not be the Metroid people have been asking for, but after Other M I welcome the change of style. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (a personal highlight for me) will see Mario’s two ongoing RPG series come to a head. And Fire Emblem Fates looks to continue the series’ steam after the critically acclaimed Fire Emblem Awakening. That’s just naming a few of the titles Nintendo showed off.

I admit there were some disappointments. The sheer insistence on Amiibo stands out. They’re a fun idea, but Nintendo is starting to force them a bit too much onto their games. This was especially prominent with the reveal of Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival. This is a different Animal Crossing spinoff for the Wii U, and works like a Mario Party-style board game with a focus on Amiibo. Being a fan of Animal Crossing, I’d prefer a more traditional Wii U entry over something that seems to require Amiibo to get the full enjoyment out of it.

The abundance of Amiibo coupled with the aforementioned lack of surprises were Nintendo’s biggest follies of E3. But honestly, everything else was solid. The Wii U looks to have a strong lineup of first-party titles throughout the remainder of 2015, and the 3DS is still a handheld to be reckoned with. I can understand some disappointment on the part of some gamers, but the sheer hatred and childish backlash Nintendo is receiving is downright ridiculous. I feel gamers have just become entitled, and if things don’t go exactly the way they want, they throw a hissy fit about it like spoiled children. This seems doubly true for Nintendo fans.

Star Fox ZeroSome may call me a fanboy for defending Nintendo, but I’d say the real fanboys are the ones acting like Nintendo has betrayed them just because Zelda and Samus didn’t show up (well, they kind of did, but not in the exact way gamers wanted). Was Nintendo’s E3 presentation great? No. But it was also far from the abomination gamers on the internet are making it out to be.

We’ve been asking for a new Star Fox for years, and we’re finally getting one. We rallied for Mother to see a US release for decades, and it finally happened. We’ll see a host of other worthwhile games on Nintendo’s horizon like Xenoblade Chronicles X and Super Mario Maker, among others. But things didn’t pander to our every gaming need, so naturally this means Nintendo is an evil organization of super villains who seek to destroy our happiness. Gamer logic.

It’s alright to be letdown if you didn’t see the big new announcement you wanted. But the way gamers go about this stuff is absurd. Nintendo’s E3 was solid, if unremarkable. But there’s no need to cry about it.

"Shiggy Muppet. All arguments are invalid."
“Shiggy Muppet. All arguments are invalid.”

Getting Hyped for E3 2015

E3
“This is from last year…Obviously.”

E3 2015 will be bittersweet for me, since this is the first E3 I won’t be able to attend since I first started going in 2009. I’ve had many fond memories of the past few years, and hope to make a triumphant return to E3 in 2016. Although I’m not able to physically attend this year, I’m looking forward to the show nonetheless.

Bethesda will have their first ever presentation at the show, no doubt to show off more of Fallout 4. Square-Enix will be showcasing the increasingly uninteresting Final Fantasy XV and maybe Kingdom Hearts 3. Who knows, maybe The Last Guardian will finally show up.

Wayne's World

I must be honest though, I always look forward to Nintendo’s presence at the big dance the most. I know, according to the internet, that makes me a fanboy (heaven forbid someone enjoys Nintendo games and isn’t one). But oh well, what can I say, it’s always fun to see what the Big N has in store.

What’s interesting is that, despite having a new console in production, Nintendo won’t be showing it off this year. Instead they’ll be emphasizing new games on the Wii U and 3DS. Some think this is a bad move, since the Wii U hasn’t exactly been a runaway success. But I love Nintendo’s defiance here. It’s like they’re saying “If you have a Wii U, here’s our way of saying thanks. If you don’t have a Wii U, here’s all the more reason why you’re stupid for not yet having one.”

On the downside, Zelda won’t be there. On the upside, it gives other Nintendo franchises a chance to shine. We know Mario Maker will be there, and I have huge hopes for this title, since it’s basically a dream come true. Hopefully E3 will give us a glimpse of how deep the final game will be. The return of Star Fox is also confirmed to make an appearance. Let’s just hope it’s like Star Fox 64 for a new generation and not like…every Star Fox game that isn’t Star Fox 64.

Project Giant RobotLast year, Nintendo surprised the world with Splatoon, their first new IP since Pikmin (well, not really, but don’t tell the internet that). Can we expect a similar surprise from Nintendo this year? I don’t know, but it’d be pretty cool! Perhaps Shigeru Miyamoto’s “Project Giant Robot” from last year’s show will become a new game of its own.

Then there’s Nintendo’s other mainstays franchises, like Kirby and Metroid, who could show up once again. Personally, I would love to see another Donkey Kong Country game to turn the revived series into a trilogy to compliment the original SNES trilogy. But that’s just me.

Of course, we can never rule out another Mario game. The Wii U has already seen Super Mario 3D World, but Nintendo has since announced that another 3D Mario is in the works for the system. If Zelda isn’t going to show up, it’s not too hard to imagine that a new Mario different from Mario Maker could take its place as Nintendo’s centerpiece. A new Mario RPG of some sort would also be great… Just so long as it’s not another Sticker Star.

"Guh-huh!"
“Guh-huh!”

Nintendo isn’t all I’m excited about though. Playtonic Games has already announced that they’ll be at E3 with Yooka-Laylee in tow, and I’m looking forward to any new information on that one. There’s even a rumor that Rare might announce a new Banjo-Kazooie. Considering most of the original minds behind Banjo are now working on Yooka-Laylee, I’ll still probably see that more as the next Banjo follow-up, but I love the Banjo-Kazooie series enough that I could finally invest in an Xbox One just for a new entry… Just so long as it’s not another Nuts & Bolts (curse these disappointing sequels!).

"Remember when you actually knew what was going on in this series?"
“Remember when you actually knew what was going on in this series?”

I’m curious to find out more information on Kingdom Hearts 3, if only because it might have a Frozen level in it. I’m actually not much of a Kingdom Hearts fan. The first one was great. It had some fun gameplay, and seeing all the Disney characters as well as some familiar Final Fantasy faces all lumped together was really cool. But Kingdom Hearts 2 turned the gameplay into button-mashing, the classic Disney villains from our childhoods were replaced with generic anime bad guys, and the story is so convoluted it makes Metal Gear look straightforward by comparison. It also doesn’t help that the small army of handheld spinoff games are actually part of the main story, so if you’ve missed out on those games (like I have), then it makes it hard to care too much. But lord knows I love Frozen, and a level based on the modern Disney classic may actually persuade me to give this game my interest. Of course, I’ll also be the first to pinpoint everything they get wrong with the Frozen level, so it’s a double-edged sword I guess.

Whoa, way off subject there. Anyway, with Capcom recently revealing the Mega Man Legacy Collection (a compilation of the first six Mega Man titles with some modernized bonus content), I can’t help but wonder if Capcom is finally letting Mega Man out of whatever cage they’ve locked him away in these past five years. It would be great if we see a new Mega Man title at E3, but I won’t get my hopes up too much. At least we’ll probably see something from spiritual successor Mighty No. 9 either way.

Of course, there’s so much to look forward to at E3 every year that I can’t cover it all here. Some of the biggest treats will no doubt be the surprise announcements at the show. There are plenty of games we know will be at E3, and I’m hoping we’ll be pleasantly surprised with a host of new announcements at the show.

Whatever E3 2015 has in store, I’ll be counting down the days. Even if I’m viewing from the sidelines, I’m hoping for a great show.