I’m not going to lie, I initially felt really underwhelmed by the content showed during their Digital Event and, to be frank, a little blue balled.
On Sunday, we knew Nintendo was going to announce Ryu, Roy, and some other new content for Super Smash Bros. WiiU. But what we didn’t know is that Ryu and Roy would be launching the same day as Lucas. On Sunday. The day of the official announcement.
Not only that, but they’ve been listening to us, the fans, bitch and complain about tournament mode. About how ridiculously over powered Diddy Kong was. About stages, and music, and Mii Fighters, and wanting Amiibos for ALL OF THE CHARACTERS. While there is the ongoing issue of physically finding some of the Amiibos, we are still going to see all of our favorite characters turned into collectible figures.
On the surface the announcements that Nintendo made felt shallow, but in reality they gave us answers to questions we’ve been having. They showed us trailers, gave us release dates, created spinoffs for franchises that we love.
Fans have been clamoring for news on the newest Star Fox, Xenoblade X, and localizations for Shin Megami Tensei/Fire Emblem and the new Fatal Frame, they surprised us with a brand new Mario RPG that crosses with Paper Mario and a new Mario Tennis (neither of which we have seen on the WiiU yet), they saw the love many had for Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and answered with Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes which looks like it utilizes the same extra-dimensional awareness that we loved and swooned over in A Link Between Worlds. They saw the otherworldly dedication that so many of the fans of the Animal Crossing series has for meticulously taking the time to decorating their homes and villages.
And, yes, Metroid Prime: Federation Force is most definitely not the Metroid title we wanted it to be. And it may never come, but I truly believe that Nintendo is holding that card close. (2020 edit: lol)
Let’s not pretend that we haven’t been a bit spoiled these last few years: We’ve seen the announcements and releases of new installations in almost every major franchise in the last three years. We’ve seen the release of Pokemon X & Y, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Super Smash Bros. WiiU, Mario Kart 8, Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, Bayonetta 2, Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Legend of Zelda: Windwaker HD, and many, many more. And let’s not forget that Nintendo doesn’t make their announcements exclusive to E3 every year — year-round we get Nintendo Directs that reveal and showcase new and exciting titles. Hell, I remember how surprised I was by the out-of-the-blue announcement of Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire when they confirmed the game with during mini Nintendo Direct on May 7, 2014.
Nintendo showed us their whole hand for their upcoming releases last year. We haven’t seen the release of most of the titles announced, and what we have seen has released very recently (I’m looking at you Splatoon!). We all want more shown for the mysterious Legend of Zelda WiiU (Which was confirmed to still be coming to WiiU!). Super Mario Maker, Xenoblade X, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Star Fox Zero, and Devil’s Third are all slated to come out this year.
It can hard to be a Nintendo fan because we look around and we see all of these huge triple A titles coming out year after year, but no amount of Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield, and EA Sports games are going to ruin the fact that we get games that are timeless. We get games that have been cultivated from a lifetime of devotion and development. We see this in one of my favorite segments in the yearly Nintendo Digital Events: the Developer Stories.
Nintendo shares the stories of many of its developers in a way that we rarely see. Most fans of Nintendo are familiar with a few of the main developers. Shigeru Miyamoto has an intense love for the franchises he has cultivated. He is the brain behind many of our favorite series such as Pikmin, Donkey Kong, Star Fox (which he intimiately discusses this year!), F-Zero, Super Mario Bros./Super Mario 64, and Legend of Zelda alongside Eiji Aonuma. We’ve got Satoru Iwata who created the cult-classic series Earthbound and the iconic Kirby series. And then there is Masahio Sakuari, who may be less talked about, but is known for his work with Iwata on the Kirby series but is best known for the amazing work he has done on all of the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Do any of those titles ring a bell?
My last point is: Nintendo is a company that likes to have fun. They like to laugh at themselves. Remember that time that Nintendo had the guys from Robot Chicken produce the segment breaks for their Direct? Last year?
And let’s not forget about the ridiculousness that was this year with the Muppets:
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think that we, as Nintendo fans, have a reason to be disappointed.
Nintendo is a company that doesn’t need to spoil us at one press conference in the middle of June to make us happy, but they are a company who spoils us year round — whether it be with new game announcements or by making us laugh.
And lets be serious, Nintendo has this weird way of making us feel like excited kids on Christmas morning even if we aren’t kids anymore. They give us games and series that are timeless and that we will be able to share with our children (and many of us already do!).