Kind of/Sort of Hyped for E3 2016

E3 2016

It’s hard to believe it’s almost time for E3 already. Where the heck has 2016 gone? As the year continues to speed by, we are fast approaching 2016’s E3 event, where we’ll surely get some huge news in the world of video games and such. And I’m… kind of excited.

Look, E3 always gives gamers something to talk about when all is said and done. But usually I feel incredibly hyped to see what the event has in store. This year though, I’m looking forward to the event, but I’m also not exactly counting down the days.

Perhaps I’m a bit biased, since I once again will be unable to attend E3 this year. After having attended E3 from 2009 to 2014, not going can only end up feeling like a sting. But even if I were going, there’s not exactly a whole lot that’s been announced for the event that has me jumping (fingers crossed for some meaningful surprises).

For one, Nintendo basically relegating their presence at the show to Zelda hype alone is a huge bummer. I know some Zelda diehards think Zelda is enough to sustain Nintendo’s presence, but I’m not one of those people. Even if they don’t have them at the show floor, I want to hear what’s in store with Mario’s platforming and karting ventures, or what long-dormant Nintendo franchises are making a comeback, or even the reveal of a new IP a la Splatoon (I’m also apparently the only person who wants Retro Studios to make a third Donkey Kong title). Not to mention with Nintendo’s next console on the horizon, the fact that Nintendo has already announced that they won’t even talk about it at the event is more than a little confusing.

I suppose my selfish side is┬ásnickering a little bit, since I won’t be attending E3 I also won’t experience the lack of Nintendo-ness first-hand. But from a more objective point of view it’s still a bummer.

"You're useless, Tails!"
“You’re useless, Tails!”

Outside of Nintendo, I also just don’t see myself jumping with excitement for any other announced games aside from Yooka-Laylee (not that I ever really jump with excitement, but you know what I mean). I suppose if they end up talking a bit more about The Last Guardian, that’s another bonus.

Maybe they’ll reveal the inevitable Frozen level in Kingdom Hearts 3, which would be awesome for how big of a Frozen fan I am, but would also inevitably lead to me pointing out all the things the game gets wrong. Plus, it’s kind of hard to get too interested in a series like Kingdom Hearts, seeing as its small army of “spinoffs” that were released on various different platforms are all part of the main story, only further confusing the already convoluted plot, and that none of them have improved on the gameplay established in the 2002 original.

A lot of the announced games sound good, but I just don’t feel the same sense of excitement as I usually do for E3.I’m hoping the show can deliver a host of worthwhile surprises, and kick some life into the event. As it is, I see myself as being more excited for whatever info comes from Yooka-Laylee out of the event than for the event itself.

Hopefully, all my reservations are proven wrong by the time E3 rolls around, and the show will provide gamers with a ton of titles to look forward to. But as things go for me personally, I almost feel like I’ll be viewing the event out of obligation more so than interest. Here’s hoping all my skepticisms are for naught.

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Zelda Wii U. All Alone at E3.

Legend of Zelda Wii U

I love The Legend of Zelda. I really do. It’s one of gaming’s best franchises, and certainly one of the most consistent. But Nintendo’s decision to dedicate the entirety of their E3 presence this year to the new Zelda for Wii U and the upcoming NX is a bit baffling, to say the least.

When I first read the news that Zelda Wii U/NX would be the sole playable game on the show floor, I was a little disappointed, but I was under the impression that they would still have a video presentation showcasing other future games, so I wasn’t too bummed. But then I heard that Nintendo wasn’t even going to have a special edition of Nintendo Direct, as they’ve done the past three years, and instead just have a live stream solely dedicated to the new Zelda title, I was really disappointed, and more than a little confused.

Look, I understand that Zelda is one of the most beloved series of all time, and holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers. But for one new entry to be the entire focus of Nintendo’s presence at one of the biggest gaming events of the year just isn’t enough.

I can respect the delay for the release of the NX. Although missing out on the holiday season may be yet another bummer, but you can’t rush a product before its finished, and the delay means it won’t be launching in direct competition with PSVR and the newer edition PS4s and Xbox Ones that are supposed to hit by year’s end. But to not even make the NX a subject at E3 in any capacity is ridiculous. This is Nintendo’s new home console and, if rumors are true, their new handheld as well. Even if they don’t have it on the show floor, shouldn’t they want to use E3 as a means to get some early buzz for the platform?

At the very least, couldn’t we at least get word on some games to expect on NX? They wouldn’t even have to go into great detail with them. They could just list off “a new 3D Mario,” “Pikmin 4,” and “Super Mario RPG 2″ (let me dream!) will be hitting NX in the future” and that would be enough to get some extra interest and investment going. I mean, sure, Mario coming to NX is an inevitability, but early confirmation would help nonetheless.

Of course, the most disappointing aspect of this news isn’t even in regards to NX, but Wii U. The Wii U was Nintendo’s least financially successful home console, so I kind of get why it won’t be a focal point for E3 now that it’s entering its twilight (it was still a great system, damn it!). But to not give the people who own the console a last wave of release dates and reveals at E3 is more than a little bit of a sting. I’m not even saying they need to be major announcements, but surely there’s enough time left between now and the NX launch to give Wii U owners a game or two to look forward to.

Frankly, I feel like Nintendo is putting all of their eggs in one basket in regards to their near future and Zelda Wii U/NX. The game definitely looks great, and its promise sounds quite interesting. It could wind up being the best Zelda ever by the time it’s released. But as it stands, Zelda Wii U/NX just enough for an E3 showing. Not when they’re leaving Wii U owners high and dry and keeping those who are excited for NX guessing. Even if Zelda’s showing at E3 is phenomenal, Nintendo’s won’t be.