Rating the Conferences: Nintendo

I definitely wanted this one to be better.

Rating: C-

I’ve cooled a bit on this now that I’ve had two days to sit on it.  When I first saw Nintendo’s conference I was pissed.  I had some errands to run that morning so I rushed home in time to see Nintendo’s show, and sat down exhausted, drenched in sweat, and hoping for something that would make it all worth it.  When I didn’t get that, I was pissed.  

That said: last year everyone—myself included—talked about how good Nintendo’s “Digital Event” was.  Since it was edited together in advance, it was well-paced and moved things along at a good clip while also introducing plenty of new games to remind us that there was still plenty of life left in the Wii U.  Well, this year showed us the drawbacks of that.  When your event’s planned in advance, there’s no chance to make last-second changes.   Maybe they wouldn’t or couldn’t have done such a thing, but if it were possible I just don’t see a world in which you watch Sony’s show the night before and still go on to have such a mediocre showing.

While I’m certain gameplay wise it’ll be great, graphically Star Fox was a disappointment.  I have to assume it’s being rushed in order for Nintendo to have something that can play with the “big boys” this fall—instead of giving it extra time to cook in the oven like it deserves.

Illusory Revelations#FE looked like J-Pop: The RPG with minor Persona and Fire Emblem elements.  If I’m being perfectly honest: I’m cool with that.  And while I may be disappointed that it’s not coming out until 2016, but I’m not particularly surprised to learn it, either.

Xenoblade Chronicles X’s English date bugged the crap out of me, though.  Eight months to localize this game??   Whether they’re doing poorly or not, Nintendo’s still one of the largest video game companies there is—how does it take an additional EIGHT MONTHS after release?  Did they have to buy a copy in stores and start from there?  

The non-gaming parts of Nintendo’s show exhibited all the cute and fun that Nintendo’s games are typically known for…but the parts that actually focused on  games felt like they took this approach to the Wii U.  With the exception of Mario Tennis (the fuck…), the games they showered were mostly titles we saw last year (except #FE), and the most of the new titles were all meant for the 3DS.  It didn’t take long before the impression that they were gearing up for the N-X and trying to usher the Wii U out the door.  And interviews like this didn’t help that idea later.

I remember in 2013 I was all excited for the Wii U because I thought now that they had crossed the barrier into HD they had so much potential.  Smash.  Mario Kart.  Xenoblade.  3D World.  And I thought surely we’d see dozens more titles worth buying over the next two years.  But two years later I’m realizing that the Wii U’s relatively poor performance has put a quick end to that.   Zelda isn’t ready.  Metroid doesn’t even seem to exist.  Pokken seems eons off.  Fire Emblem (the real one)’s been banished to handhelds.  So we’re stuck with smaller titles and Nintendo’s never-ending supply of platformers until they try again next year, I guess.

Not a great way to end E3, so fortunately Square came through with the heat.


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