Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nintendo Digital Event 2015: Not-so-live Impressions

Goodness knows why, but I've given all the main Nintendo Directs the not-so-live treatment so far this year. Here comes the big one though and I think a few predictions are in order first. Given the frankly ridiculous amount of time I've spent mulling these over this time round, I'm feeling pretty confident about my picks this year:
    1. Boom! Animal Crossing! I think the leaked amiibos make this pretty much a slam dunk, but still.
    2. A Mario 3D World sequel. I'm leaning more towards Wii U than 3DS with this one, but either way I think they'll put one more of these out this gen before they put this sub franchise to bed. A Wii U one makes more sense because it's in more dire need of games, and they should be able to turn around a Mario Galaxy 2 style sequel relatively quickly.
    3. Pre-made levels for Mario Maker. I think they're going to be providing some pre-made, playable levels for Mario Maker. Probably some on-disc and downloadable ones after that. Possibly some made by some game design celebrities.
    4. A Zelda surprise teaser. there's no way they're going to let E3 pass without showing the Wii U Zelda in some form, right?
    5. Lego Dimensions - Nintendo have a rare opportunity to showcase a new 3rd party Wii U game here, one that should crossover with their audience quite nicely. I'd imagine here's where we'll see the big Lego Dimensions showcase and I bet they'll have some exclusive amiibo based content for the Wii U.
    6. I'm going to say that we'll see Retro's next project here. I'm not necessarily expecting Metroid. It could well be be Star Fox.
    7. Starfox amiibos, of course. I'm guessing one for each team member and an arwing.
    8. And speaking of Star Fox, I hate to be a downer here, but I'm predicting they'll have made some major mistake with that game that will end up spoiling everything.
    9. While I'm on a negative tip, I really don't think we'll see any more 3DS games specifically for the New 3DS here. New 3DS owners can't be making up a very big segment of the market right now and I can't remember Nintendo making any great effort to support the DSi with retail exclusives. (DSiware was slightly different case).
    10. Another Kirby game for the 3DS. It feels about time. 
    11. And finally, some kind of Mario sports game, besides the Olympics one they've already announced. After the success they've almost certainly been having selling DLC for Smash and Mario Kart, I expect a new Mario Tennis or Golf if only as a venue to sell some more.
            I'll be bummed if all they do is fulfil my predictions here, so hopefully they have a few surprises up their sleeves. I doubt they can outdo Sony conference, but hey, here's hoping.

            Let's get started!

            • 00:00 - Well, this looks like the right video. (Trawling through YouTube in the thick of E3 while trying to avoid spoilers is a perilous affair.) Here goes!
            • 00:14 - Wait, is that a muppet?
            • 00:17 - If not, Disney are furiously pounding out a cease and desist notice as we speak.
            • 00:25 - Muppet Iwata. What the fuck

            • 00:34 - Yep.

            • 01:00 - I was expecting the Reggie puppet to be terrifying. This doesn't disappoint. :D
            • 01:01 - Ugh.
            • 01:23 - Oh no! Where's Miyamoto?
            • 01:24 - There he is! Oh hey, just noticed the Starfox shirt. Please be good, please be good...
            • 01:28 - Just letting the bizarre wash over me. 

            • 01:35 - Is it just me, or is there something about the way they twist their heads as they move that makes these things creepy as shit. 

            •  02:05 - And speaking of creepy, Now I'm imagining Miyamoto in a fur suit. Wow, that's... that's a disturbing image.

            • 02:47 - Thank goodness! Our Nintendo executive fur pile nightmare is over. Now these guys I can get behind. (Not like that though.)
            • 03:03 - I really want plush Peppy and Falco amiibos now. I'm sorry! I can't help it any more!
            • 03:13 - Here we go!

            • 03:29 - Looks nice. This looks like Star Fox 64 Corneria though. Hopefully this isn't just a remake of Star Fox 64 though.
            • 03:52 - Ooh, some Starfox 2 stuff. Liking the music a lot too.
            • 04:10 - I really hope all this gamepad stuff is optional though. Holding it up and moving it around to aim was what I took from last year. I don't see how that wouldn't be awful.
            • 04:30 - No sign of on-foot missions yet thank goodness. Maybe this is finally it: the Starfox 64 sequel; the game that was all anyone ever wanted.
            • 04:37 - Star Fox Zero. Holiday 2015. Colour me cautiously optimistic. I wonder who's developing though.

            • 04:53 - It's Shiggy. Huh. I wonder if this being developed in-house after all.
            • 05:07 - Whoah. So Starfox was inspired by Thunderbirds. Crazy.
            • 05:26 - Yeah Pigma! Again, this looks really nice.
            • 06:15 - Man, Miyamoto just dropping revelations here. I would have never guessed the in-game arches were inspired by a Japanese shrine.
            • 08:21 - Oh shit! A wild Starfox 2 mention appears. Any chance of VC revival, I wonder? Got to say, I not liking all this talk of the gamepad screen. If you end up having to spend a bunch of time looking at that rather than at the TV, that's going to be a real let down.
            • 08:29 - Heh. "Didn't make it out" is an interesting way of putting things. :D Yeah, doesn't look like Star Fox 2 is due for the Earthbound Beginnings type treatment any time soon.
            • 08:37 - Landmaster! (Damn you, Sakurai!) Yeah, I don't mind the Landmaster. (At least in Star Fox) The submarine I could probably do without though.

            • 08:46 - The gyro wing, which totally isn't a drone.
            • 08:54 - What!? Was that a ROB coming out of the gyro wing?

            • 08:58 - That's a cool-looking boss.
            • 09:16 - "Not a remake" Thank you, based Miyamoto.
            • 09:53 - That logo does look cool. Kind of Street Fighter-ish.
            • 10:09 - Oh, hey Reggie. Say, what's that blue feather doing on your jacket?

            • 10:15 - Ha! We do like to have fun here at NOA.
            • 10:17 - Yeah, that opening was deeply distressing.
            • 10:27 - That theme was.. hot sweaty yiffing.
            • 11:27 - Guess we're ramping up Mario Maker here. Yeesh, the Wii U NES emulator looks horrible.
            • 11:58 - "Who knows. Maybe even I'll be playing." But no, seriously, I definitely won't be playing.
            • 12:12 - New amiibo. HYPE! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE!
            • 12:27 - Calling it: here's the full-blown amiibo Skylanders-type  game I predicted last year. :D
            • 12:37 - Wha? Vicarious Visions. Googlekata suggests they're the Skylanders devs. Are they doing an amiibo tie-in with this year's one?

            • 13:14 - Yep. Donkey Kong coming to Skylanders this year. Looks more like a Skylanders figure than an amiibo though. Haven't messed with any kind of Skylanders yet. I'll probablly pick up a bunch of stuff once Activision runs the franchise into the ground and the firesales start. Just like Guitar Hero. :D
            • 13:47 - This is some late Gamecube EA-style business here. (An unprecedented partnership, if you will.) I imagine it'll have a similar effect on the sales of Skylanders as it did on the sales of SSX: On Tour and NBA Street V3 on GC: not much.
            • 14:14 - Oh, the figures are amiibos too. Nah, no sale; not into these ones.
            • 15:38 - Weird that they didn't have some kind of Starfox tie-in though if vehicles are the big thing in this year's Skylanders. Anyway...
            • 15:47 - This puppet stuff isn't doing it for me at all this year. It's certainly no Iwata/Reggie smash brawl. Than again, wasn't last year the Robot Chicken stuff too? Ugh.

            • 15:56 - Huh? I guess they're adding Zelda stuff to Mario Maker. Makes sense, I guess.
            • 16:04 - Or not. Zelda Triforce Heroes.
            • 16:08 - Sounds like a Four Swords follow-up maybe.

            • 16:12 - Yep, looks like it. On 3DS.
            • 16:15 - There are totally going to be DLC outfits in this, aren't there.
            • 17:37 - For a second there I thought this was going to be New 3DS exclusive. My prediction stands!
            • 18:51 - Yeah, I'm never going to play this. I can't really say I ever found the ea of multiplayer Zelda especially appealing. Plus, local handheld multiplayer: just not happening.

            • 20:10 - They're really leaning into the outfit stuff here. No way they're not pushing DLC for this one. DeNaaaaaaaaaaa!
            • 20:37 - Oh, there is online multiplayer. Still not for me, I think.
            • 21:19 - Ah, the 3DS Hyrule Warriors.

            • 21:43 - That King of Red Lions attack looks rad! I'll bet it's no fun to use though. Looks like the crappy spinner lunge forward attack. (Stupid spinner. Man, what a complete disappointment that was. :D)
            • 22:20 - Wait, are we getting another Wii U Hyrule Warriors here?
            • 22:31 - Nope. More Hyrule Warriors Legends. Disappointing to see that this is (mostly) just a downport with a few new bits of content. Was anyone really crying out for this?
            • 23:36 - Well, we're at about the halfway point now. Starting to get the impression tat this point hat this year's going to be a bit of a let down.
            • 23:55 - Another 3DS game. (Come on, guys. Where's the Wii U love?)

            • 24:03 - What?! This is a Metroid Prime game? Oh boy, judging by teh kiddy look of those galactic federation guys, I sense people on the internet are going to be pissssssed at this. :D
            • 24:07 - Another 3DS multiplayer game. No, after eight years of no Metroid Prime, this is exactly the type of revival I was hoping for. Thanks Nintendo. Now I'm pissed at this. :D
            • 24:33 - So was that Blast Ball thing they showed at the Nintendo World Championships just a prototype for the Blast Ball mode in this? Available 2016. Yeah, hmm. I don't know about this one.
            • 24:57 - SMT X Fire Emblem now?
            • 25:08 - Fire Emblem Fates. Is this the new 3DS game?
            • 25:22 - Yep.

            • 26:08 - No, this is SMT X Fire Emblem.
            • 26:55 - This thing's so gloriously Japanese. I kind of wonder if we'd even be getting this if the Wii U had taken off. I'm not complaining though.

            • 27:10 - Woah! My boobs!

            • 28:06 - Looks like this might have a new name now. Are they just calling it FE or did they just not get around to translating all that Japanese text around it.

            • 28:21 - Give it up Nintendo. That Iwata banana meme is done.

            • 28:35 - Xenoblade Chronicles X now. Again. I'm definitely excited for this, but man, they better have some new Wii U stuff to show here too.
            • 29:43 - Looks awesome. December 04. I'm guessing next year here though.
            • 29:52 - You know I'm right: Animal Crossing Wii U!

            • 30:05 - Or let's just show that 3DS home designer thing again. That'd be fine too. (Damn it!)
            • 31:12 - Thanks Nintendo. Just what I wanted for my birthday. I think Rodea is coming out that day too. (Which would be neat if I hadn't already bought the Japanese version. Who would have thought they'd they'd be bring it out over here at all, let alone with the Wii version included. Damn it!)
            • 31:19 - Back in the game, baby. Come on Animal Crossing U!
            • 31:20 - Yes! Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival. #JiliKWasRight Also: Great, another Animal Crossing. :D
            • 31:31 - Two thoughts: 1. Buck! My dawg. 2. This is a fucking board game. #JiliKDoneFuckedUp
            • 32:23 - What? Why? Who would want this?
            • 32:54 - If I were a hardcore Animal Crossing fan, I'd be fucking pissed right now. :D
            • 33:02 - Yoshi's Wolly Word? Come on, Nintendo. This is out in a couple of weeks! I already have it pre-ordered. (With the yarn Yoshi amiibo, natch).
            • 34:56 - Boy, Wii U releases are starting to look thin on the ground. At this point I think there's a good chance 2016 is going to be the last year of the Wii U, and it's going to be grim. 
            • 36:46 - Well, any way this still looks adorable. Absolutely can not wait to get my hands on this. In a couple of weeks.
            • 36:51 - Hnnnnnng.... Pouchie....
            • 37:25 - Oh, this is an October release in the US. That segment makes a bit more sense now.
            • 37:40 - Yokai Watch. Sort of Pokemon with ghosts as far as I can decipher from 8-4 Play anyway.
            • 39:05 - This looks like a new Paper Mario. For 3DS. Of course. Don't worry about us here on Wii U. We're doing  just fine. :D
            • 39:15 - So, judging by the graphics, the HUD and that hash tag this looks like a Mario & Luigi/Paper Mario crossover. That seems... unnecessary. We all know Paper Mario is better. :P
            • 39:38 - Yeah, this looks neat. You know what would also be neat? A proper follow-up to Thousand Year Door. It's been eleven years, Nintendo. Eleven years!
            • 40:28 - Nailed it! Mario Tennis on the Wii U. Actually just picked up the Gamecube version petty recently. It's neat, though kind of strange to step back to a time when Mario Sunshine was Mario and the whole game is themed based on that.
            • 40:55 - Taking some inspiration from Tekken Tag 2 on the Wii U I see.
            • 41:11 - Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. Holiday 2015. That's 2 Wii U games for the end of the year anyway. :D
            • 41:41 - Super Mario Maker now.
            • 42:21 - I don't know, you guys. the bushes and the clouds look pretty different here to me.
            • 42:46 - Hah! This is neat. Also, a Hyrule Historia type book of Mario concept art and designs is long overdue.
            • 43:49 - Amiibo support. That's pretty awesome.

            • 44:04 - Finally, an amiibo announcement I can hyped on. That retro Mario is siiiick!
            • 46:30 - "There's still much more to share" Is there, Reggie. Is there really?
            • 47:57 - They're not really going to pad out the rest of this with a Mario montage. Are they? I could go for a Rare Rewind style Mario anniversary package. Once it's not one freaking ROM on a disc again.
            • 48:49 -Ladies and gentlemen: Wii Music 2!
            • 49:11 - I'll bet the Internet is loving this. I know I am.
            • 50:15 - Oh finally. Hey, you guys is finally open.   
            • 51:28 - That's it? Fuck. :D
             (Predictions results and more impressions to come. It's, like 3AM now. Please understand. :D)

            Punctual as ever, it's a week after the Nintendo digital Event now, and I'm still bummed out by it. :D Not so much because RAWR! RAWR! Nintendo aren't giving me what I want! It's more the underlying cause that seems to have passed the raging fanboys by. You guys, the Wii U is DONE. With the lack of confirmed releases for next year (just Zelda and SMT X Fire Emblem) and they type of games they're putting out this year (a Mario sports game; a party game: the bread and butter of late N64 and Gamecube release lists), I'd be surprised if 2016 wasn't the last full year of the Wii U being supported; and it's kind of sad. I feel like it's only in the last year that the Wii U's hit its stride with the release of Mario Kart 8 and Bayonetta 2 and Hyrule Warriors and Splatoon, and the Virtual Console finally picking up a bit of steam. Now we're facing into another 2006 of just sitting around pining for the the next Nintendo console while waiting for Zelda to drop. Fuuuuuuuuk.

            Having said that though, and working on the assumption that Nintendo have moved most of their home console development to the NX, rather than withholding "real" games just to piss off their fans, I still think they could have done such a better job with this presentation.

            I think the biggest problem with this one was that they devoted too much time to the wrong stuff. Wolly World and Mario Maker were both well-known quantities going into this thing; Hyrule Warriors Legends is a port of a game that almost anyone that was interested in had already played last year. Putting Developer Diaries in here for those three felt like filler at this point. On the other hand, SMT X Fire Emblem, Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Mario & Luigi Paper Jam were just dumped out as trailers when I think delving into them a little deeper would have made this event
            feel more current, and relevant, as well as clarifying exactly what those games are and why people should be excited about them. I mean, how many people came out of this thing without the slightest clue what the fuck that SMT X FE trailer was even for, let alone how that game plays?

            Next up: If they had so little to show off here why did they blow through a bunch of potential announcements in the run up to this thing? Fatal Frame; Project Treasure; Earthbound Beginnings; Ryu in Smash; the first unveil of SMT X Fire Emblem: these are all things they could have, and I think, should have saved until this. Granted, with the exception of Mother, none of those were the type of announcement that would have blown most people away, but hey, at least  they would have been something; something new to get people talking about.

            The one thing they should have desperately avoided getting people talking about though was that unexpected Metroid Prime revival. I mean, Federation Force looks like it might be pretty fun and it's got a solid dev behind it in Next Level Games, but you can't bring a beloved hardcore brand like that back after eight long years, in the form of a haldheld spin-off game, that looks like it's made for babies. Certainly not without a real Metroid Prime game to go alongside it, and absolutely not without a single word of context for that freaking trailer, Nintendo.

            And finally, that ending. Boy, that ending. After such a lacklustre showing they needed something decent to finish this with, something to get the fans excited about; a freaking glimmer of hope that there was something better to look forward to. A Zelda trailer would have absolutely fit the bill here; Earthbound Beginnings would have been a strong closer; Some sort of NX teaser, while not exactly Nintendo's style, would have grabbed people's attention, and could well have diverted the conversation after this to NX speculation rather that well, everything else. :D Even another Star Fox trailer, I'm thinking a more cinematic one revealing that Platinum Games was the developer would have gone down pretty well, I think. Instead Nintendo marked Mario's 30th anniversary with the something even more disappointing than a SNES ROM on a Wii U Disc: a compilation of shit-ass YouTube clips of how much people *love* Mario. It felt like something lifted straight out of
            one of the super-casual Nintendo conferences back in the Wii days, a time I often feel that NoA still has one foot stuck in. Rest assured, NOA, anyone who who would have found this video endearing back in those days was not watching this event. Please stop.

            Ugh, now I'm in an even worse mood. :D NX next year, you guys. I have no idea what to expect out of that that, but with the way the Wii U went, they desperately need to make an impression with next year's show. I can only hope they put a bit more thought into that than they did into this.


            1. Animal Crossing WRONG - Nothing makes me more confident that Nintendo are cutting the Wii U off early than the lack of a real Animal Crossing this year. With the rest of the big franchises out, this was AC's year. I bet it's been moved to the NX now and I'm guessing that that weird board game serves a dual purpose of getting something Animal Crossing out now so they can sell Tom Nook amiibos and re-purposing work a that had already been done on a Wii U AC before it got pushed.

            2. A Mario 3D World sequel WRONG Damn it! I felt really confident about this one. :D And was kind of excited for it. I bet EAD Tokyo have moved onto the NX now too though.

            3. Pre-made levels for Mario Maker CORRECT They're providing the Nintendo World Championship levels. On the disc, as far as I'm aware. I'd expect a bunch more Nintendo-provided levels in the coming year too.

            4. A Zelda surprise teaser WRONG - (sigh)

            5. Lego Dimensions WRONG - Now here's a missed opportunity. Coming out of E3, I still don't know exactly what this is. This would have been a great place to show it off. I guess Nintendo decided to hitch their wagon to Skylanders instead. I wonder if that was the right move. I can see Lego Dimensions being pretty big this year. Skylanders though, I can't speak to it's sales figures, but it feels like its best days are behind it.

            6. Retro's next project WRONG - Nope. And I was really looking forward to Donkey Kong Country Math too. :D

            7. Star Fox amiibos WRONG - No, surprisingly. There freaking better be or I'm going to be starting a petition. :D

            8. Some major game-ruining mistake in Star Fox WRONG - Surprisingly,  I think I was wrong here. That tough screen stuff looked dodgy and by all accounts it was, but now that I know it can be disabled, it really looks like Star Fox Zero is finally the Star Fox we've been waiting for.

            9. No New 3DS specific games CORRECT

            10. A 3DS Kirby game WRONG

            11 A Mario sports game CORRECT - Yes! And I almost left this one off too. Definitely down for more Mario Tennis, and that intro better be nothing short of epic.

            3 out of 11. Also about what I'd give this year's Digital Event. :D

            No comments: