One could say that Nintendo is… Doomed. (Copyright: all the twitter brothas and sistas who did this joke 100 000 times already)
You probably know it, but on the 13th of September at midnight, Nintendo delivered the goods, and if I had to summarize it, it would be along the lines of:
Of course, some could argue that it lacked Smash Bros, Donkey Kong, Metroid Prime 4, heck, even I want to say: WHERE’S FIRE EMBLEM 2018? WHERE’S ADVANCE WARS 5? WHERE’S GOLDEN SUN 5? WHERE’S STREETS OF RAGE for SWITCH???:::&/1:&:&:&1111?! However… more on that later.
As announced, the Direct lasted 45 minutes. I have watched the European one and unlike previous times, it was not presented by Satoru Shibata. Indeed, Yoshiaki Koizumi was the front man. For those who aren’t familiar with him:
- He held various roles (artist, producer, assistant director, director etc)
- Most Zelda games since 1991
- “Sandbox” Mario games (Sunshine, Galaxy, Galaxy 2)
- He was among the founding members of the Nintendo EAD Tokyo office.
I think it is important to mention this, as we didn’t have a regular “global spokesperson” since Satoru Iwata passed away (Shameless plug: my article on Iwata-san is here, and pinky promise: it’s a cool one). Fans start to get used to him for all his appearances on SMO related segments/materials, and fans like him: having him on a global scale is a smart move.
The Direct was split into two parts; 3DS and Switch. Aside from that, it mostly focused on 2017 and early 2018. If you want to watch it in full, here are the links:
Nintendo Direct JP:
Nintendo Direct NA:
Nintendo Direct EU:
Instead of taking you through the whole content of each, I would like to share with you my top 5 announcements:
- Pokémon segment
A lot of new content announced. From new Ultra Beasts to details on the new area and Necrozma forms:
And a new console! (well two, if you count the WAY TOO CUTE Pikachu JP exclusive)
I mean… LOOK AT THIS BEAUTY:
Isn’t it fitting that I was considering buying a New 2DS XL since I don’t use the 3D (makes me dizzy and sick) and my current New 3DS starts to have battery problems :)?
2. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
In all honesty, I am surprised to write this myself.
I didn’t play Xenoblade Chronicles 1, nor did I play Xenoblade X. I wasn’t interested in this game at all, and it went even further down my interests’ list when I saw the latest communication announcing that Tetsuya Nomura joined the artists cast. Now, hear me: I respect Tetsuya Nomura for his tremendous impact on the industry, but I tend to dislike his art style. Every time I see his characters, they all have the same specifics and remind me of the guys working at the Shibuya 109 Mens tower (Not that I have something against them, far from it), but I feel that it’s far from my understanding of the J-RPG genre, and what I grew to like.
BUUUUUUT. The presentation during the latest Nintendo Direct really hits home for me. The music was perfect, the visuals looked gorgeous, the gameplay seems to fit my needs:
“DAY ONE” as young people say. However, as a Level 99 weeb, I just hope that we will have JP voiceover. English voices might put me off…
3. Project Octopath Traveler
Square Enix is an amazing company. But they are also amazingly inconsistent. Why do I say this…?
I tried to give Final Fantasy XV a chance, but… well… it’s just not my thing. I know that a lot of people liked it and are in love with it, but it was too flawed for me, especially when it comes down to the writing and character design (and gameplay…).
On the other hand, they have shown Project Octopath, and oh my lord. This game just skyrocketed to my most awaited games of 2018. I grew up with old-school Japanese RPGs and this is perfect for me. The music, the art, the gameplay mechanics, the game design: everything sounded like a sonata to my ears.
Can’t wait for it, but they were kind enough to release a demo, give it a try!
4. Bethesda does a reverse Capcom
While Capcom seems to have coined the sentence “we are testing the waters on Switch” (TM), some other publishers are taking the other route: full-throttle, and Bethesda is one of those.
Do you remember when was the last time DOOM was released on a Nintendo platform? DOOM 64 was released on Nintendo 64 in… 1997 and Doom II: Hell on Earth was ported to GBA in 2002.
Aside from DOOM 2016, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is coming. Even though FPS games make me sick, I’ll probably buy the two games to support the decision of bringing them to another platform.
Seeing more mature games coming to Switch is a good thing, and should pave the way for other publishers. The console will most likely sell more units during its first year than the Wii U did during its whole lifespan, I guess that publishers have a good opportunity to make money.
Last but not least, I hope that Nintendo/Bethesda will recognize my Marketing & communication talent:
5. Super Mario Odyssey
While a lot of persons probably watched the Direct mostly for SMO, I must admit that I am not THAT excited. Don’t get me wrong: the game looks incredible, plays incredible, does have a crazy big world and design, and will probably earn a massive amount of awards. I tried it at gamescom, and liked it. I must admit that I haven’t played the sandbox Mario games because I have missed a big part of the GC/Wii/Wii U era, of course, I still play some games from those 3 consoles and even own them, but the Mario games aren’t my go-to ones.
To conclude on SMO, the game is shaping up to be a massive hit, but also a meme machine due to the photo mode and … Mario (ex-plumber) nipples:
For the disgruntled players who thought that the Direct was weak and expected more of it: the year isn’t over yet, we might have some surprises from 3rd Parties, but also a potential Nintendo Direct and other 1st Party announcements.
Oh and.. this:
Only thing that is slightly disappointing to me right now is: where is VC? What’s next for the Online services ?
Thanks a lot for reading.