Didn’t see that one coming, did you?
The E3 when we all planned on Nintendo knocking our socks off was instead stolen by…Ubisoft? Has the world gone mad?
Breathe, Nintendo fans. Reggie didn’t personally kick us in the collective trouser dachshund, and the company actually delivered a lot of game announcements in their one-hour briefing.
From this conference, we found out that the Big N won’t be lacking in “core” content for the Wii U’s launch. The list of what they’ll be publishing is fairly comprehensive: a new entry in the New Super Mario Bros. series, Nintendo Land and the long-awaited Pikmin 3 make up the first-party contingent. However, they’ll also be publishing some promising titles from third parties in TT Fusion’s Lego City Undercover and Platinum’s intriguing Project P-100. Oh, and there’s also the under-the radar announcement that Ninty will be publishing Ninja Gaiden III, and are apparently working with Team Ninja to polish some parts of it up (which could be quite a big deal, considering the list of revisions most reviewers requested when NG III launched earlier this year).
And then there’s Ubisoft, who will drop Rabbids Land and Rayman Legends, in addition to the incredible Assassin’s Creed III. If Ubi’s hot streak continues, Avengers: Battle for Earth could be the rare licensed game worth owning. The overall star of E3, Watch_Dogs, may be en route, too (although the game has no firm release date on any platform). Oh yeah, and there’s also the supremely promising ZombiU:
An innovative FPS-meets-survival/horror? Sign us up.
You feel let down, don’t you? So did we. Despite a solid slate of titles that will arrive at launch or soon thereafter, something was conspicuously missing – a Nintendo megaton announcement. It’s why we all pay attention to E3 in the first place. We all waited in vain for that last teaser trailer to begin after the overwrought Nintendo Land presentation mercifully ceased. But it never came. Why?
Is this another 3DS-like launch, where the true first-party heavy hitters clear out in order for third parties to have a shot at flourishing? Are the conspiracy theorists correct, with the whisper campaigns on message boards indicating that Nintendo held back their biggest guns after comparatively milquetoast presentations from Microsoft and Sony?
One thing we can say for certain is that it isn’t for a lack of development resources. Nintendo has Retro, Monolith Soft, Sora and dedicated groups within EAD and SPD, all of whom have to be working on big projects. But all they spared was Pikmin 3, which simply didn’t carry the “LOOK AT THAT!” factor that the Zelda and bird demos from last year brought. As such, we’re still waiting for someone in Kyoto, Tokyo or Austin to deliver the lightning bolt; we search for the coup de grâce that will give us no other choice but to wait in lines at midnight for a chance at playing this shiny new console the night it arrives.
However, we also have content to look forward to. There is nothing shabby about what Nintendo has announced so far. Now that the E3 hype has died down, reexamining the list of games announced is actually quite stunning.
But I would be lying if I said I was disappointed for not attending this E3. I was shopping for plane tickets, examining my finances to see if I could really afford the press pass, and thinking up logistics with Andy for lodging and food. I was looking forward to a chance at playing Retro’s newest masterpiece, or a glimpse of Monolith’s next RPG.
Happily, I didn’t spend that money. And even more happily, there’s always next year.