Last week, the doors to E3 in Los Angeles, California opened and companies from across the gaming world started to try and convince us to buy their upcoming wares. A day later, Nintendo broadcast their Digital Event, which was followed by days of developer sessions courtesy of Nintendo of America’s “Treehouse” product development team. It was a lot of information to absorb and honestly, a tiring experience (on some nights, I didn’t get to sleep until 5am!). After we had allocated enough time to sleep and to absorb all of the information, myself (Josh Stevens), William Robinson, Demelza Ward and Neil Richmond sat down to discuss what we thought, and come to a decision on what were the best games on show for Nintendo platforms. Here are our decisions:
Winner: Untitled The Legend of Zelda Wii U game
Nominated: Mario Maker, Splatoon, Yoshi’s Woolly World (Editor Note: Splatoon was my choice *pouts*.)
Will, our site’s very own Zelda fanboy, had this to say:
It won’t come as a surprise to most of you that The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is my standout game of E3. Amongst many great showings for Nintendo, Zelda stood out with its new approach to world building and breathtaking new art style. When Eiji Aonuma clicked his fingers and we got our first view of the game… that was a magical moment that left us all in awe. He does know how to keep us on the edge of our seats. Oh, and the new art style is beautiful, too. Or did I already mention that?
Winner: Fantasy Life
Nominated: Code Name S.T.E.A.M., Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire
Although Level-5’s role-playing game wasn’t featured in Nintendo’s Digital Event, the title was given prominent focus during multiple Treehouse sessions, which gave us a chance to delve deep into a world that looks like a traditional RPG, feels like a traditional RPG but lets us make our own choices about how we’ll live in such a world. Every single 3DS game shown off at E3 this year was phenomenal in its own right, but the more we watched Fantasy Life, the more we wanted to play it.
Runners Up: Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors
The Wii U version took the spotlight of Nintendo’s Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament, but Demelza had this to say about the upcoming portable version in particular:
The Most anticipated 2014 game wasn’t too difficult a choice for me. It was between Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, or Super Smash Bros. As you can see Super Smash Bros. 3DS wins over Pokémon, purely because it’s the first Smash Bros. on a handheld and I’m really excited to be able to play this game wherever I go.
Winner: Untitled “The Legend of Zelda” Wii U game
Nominated: Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles X
In regards to her nomination for the winning title, Demelza Ward has the following to say:
Nothing caught my attention at E3 quite like the new Legend of Zelda. The game is easily my most anticipated game of 2015 and beyond and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
This year’s E3 was an incredibly strong one for Nintendo and there were a lot of games that garnered praise – there are a lot of amazing games that we wanted to celebrate with these awards, but the competition was just too fierce. However, there are times when things don’t go exactly as planned and things aren’t seen as stellar as the company might have hoped. Before we get to our final, biggest award, let’s just take a step back to look at a title that didn’t quite capture us as strongly as the ones we’ve already talked about:
Winner: Project Giant Robot
There really wasn’t much to disappoint fans with this E3, although William Robinson expressed concern about an almost empty Q3 release slate and Neil Richmond did lament on the lack of a The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D announcement, in terms of actual games, there wasn’t really any titles that stood out as looking less than amazing, except for one. Shigeru Miyamoto is without a doubt, one of the most prolific creators within the game industry – after all, he brought us the likes of Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda. This year, he shocked fans by announcing a brand new Star Fox game (well, he would have shocked them if not for TIME Magazine leaking it), but he also shown off two games that were still in very early development: Project Giant Robot and Project Guard.
Project Giant Robot as its name suggests, has you piloting a giant robot in battles against others. While the main TV screen shows an overview of the battle as a whole, the GamePad’s lets you see through the eyes of the pilot in the robot’s cockpit. You control your giant robot by tilting the GamePad left or right to move its torso, while the two analogue sticks control its arms. I have to question how possible it would be to keep track of the Wii U GamePad screen while also using the controller for motion controls? The gameplay footage shown as part of Nintendo’s Treehouse streams made the game look rather clunky and awkward – which really isn’t something we’ve come to expect from Nintendo but hopefully, that’s just because this is an early build and the finished version will look much nicer.
And now, to end things on a high note:
Winner: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U / 3DS
Nominated: Code Name S.T.E.A.M., Untitled “The Legend of Zelda” Wii U Game
Neil Richmond’s verdict on why he voted for Nintendo’s highly anticipated brawler was of few words, but still managed to capture just why Super Smash Bros. was Nintendo’s highlight of the event:
The invitational was one of the E3 highlights in terms of scope and creative ways to make E3 all about the gamers and not the companies.
Certainly, the Smash Bros. Invitational was a strong highlight of E3 as a whole. Not only was it amazing to see an official Nintendo sanctioned tournament for their iconic fighting game series, but also to see the crowds of cheering fans watching the spectacle unfold. Hopefully now, Nintendo realise that Pokémon isn’t their only franchise with a competitive, cult following and give us more events like this in the future.
That’s it from the WiiUAndMii team, but what were your highlights of E3? Do you agree or disagree with us? Let us know!