E3 2015 Day 2 Impressions: Nintendo & Square Enix

The second day of E3 conferences have rolled on through with much less fanfare than the previous day’s excitement. Read on to learn what I thought about Nintendo and Square Enix and feel free to check out my impressions of the earlier days here and here.

Nintendo

  • The muppets are hilarious and creepy at the same time, but I appreciate them because it’s classic Nintendo.
  • The Star Fox 0 reveal was odd, but the game looks like it will be solid. I’m not sure if it is enough to be Nintendo’s big game this fall, but we shall see. I enjoyed Miyamoto’s developer story a lot. The cinematography was beautiful and his story about Star Fox’s inspiration was compelling.
  • I was surprised Reggie mentioned the NX at all, but considering how few Wii U games they showed, I doubt it could put the Wii U in any worse of a position at this point.
  • Nintendo Skylanders look counterintuitive to Nintendo’s amiibos, but hey, maybe they won’t have supply issues if Nintendo isn’t making them. This announcement slowed down the event, which unfortunately became the pace for the rest of the show.
  • Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes looks like Link Between Worlds and 4 Swords combined. I’m not super stoked about it, but it will likely be a good game that I will try out. Thankfully, the game has online multiplayer, although I don’t think that was discussed in the Direct.
  • I’m looking forward to the 3DS Hyrule Warriors, which apparently is not a port, but a “reimagination”, and includes all the DLC characters. I skipped the Wii U version, but I think giving this game a chance on 3DS will be fun. 2016 is starting to look like a really prime year for 3DS.
  • The rapid fire trailers for a bunch of new games seems like a really bad idea. Nintendo has time to go into depth with their live, 3 day Treehouse event, but it makes the Digital Event look thrown together, rather than precisely planned.
  • Metroid Prime: Federation Force was the biggest kick in the balls of E3. I look at Federation Force like really wanting a fish and somebody standing right in front of you has the fish you want, but instead of giving you the fish, they slap you across the face with it. You get a taste of the fish as it violently passes over your face, but that’s not really how you wanted the fish now was it? Aside from not even talking about the game in the event, Federation Force doesn’t even feature Samus. Giving consumers a spinoff of a series when we haven’t had a main line game in 5 years, let alone a decent one in 8 years, shows that Nintendo is not in tune with their fans like Sony is.
  • Fire Emblem Fates still looks beautiful and the story looks deep and intriguing. This is one of my most anticipated games and it can’t come soon enough. I would have liked for Nintendo to discuss how pricing will work in North America because it is unconventional in Japan, but instead we got nothing.
  • Fire Emblem x Shin Megami Tensei, or Sharp FE I think it is being called, is the oddest game shown. I think not having an English trailer to show for this super Japanese game ended up being a waste of time because I think most people watching the Direct had no clue what the game was about and they didn’t try to alleviate that ambiguity by remaining silent.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X looks good and it’s about time we got that game. May skip, but I’ll wait for the reviews.
  • Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer looks like a more fleshed out Animal Crossing experience than the original reveal led me to believe, but I’m still on the fence about it (pun intended).
  • The Animal Crossing amiibos look incredibly cute and some of the better crafted amiibo for sure. I’m really pumped for a K.K. Slider amiibo of my own, but the game looks like a less interesting Mario Party clone. The Treehouse live stream gave me the impression that the game will have more depth, but I’m unsure. Guess we will have to wait and see.
  • Yoshi’s Woolly World finally got an October release date and I’m starting to accept that this will have to be a game I play this fall because of the lack of other content on the console.
  • Yokai Watch coming this holiday season makes me happy because I thought this was a 2016 game. I’m really hoping this game isn’t too childlike because I really want to enjoy it, especially without a big Pokemon game this year. I also hope Yokai Watch becomes big in the West and breeds competition between Game Freak and Level-5 that would produce better Pokemon games.
  • Mario and Luigi meshed with Paper Mario is a crossover I never saw coming but makes total sense. Both of the series had okay showings on the 3DS, so maybe combining the two will make a great game.
  • Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash looks like a lot of fun and a little boost for the Wii U’s holiday lineup.
  • The amiibo compatibility looks really neat in Super Mario Maker, even if it is only aesthetic. A September release date works well because it allows for a community to be built up before the holiday season, which Nintendo can then use as promotion material. I also really dig the uniqueness of the 8-bit Mario amiibo.
  • Overall, Nintendo’s Direct was really disappointing. I’m looking forward to the little games I’ll be playing for the rest of the year and well into 2016, but there was a distinct lack of substance in the event. This Direct felt like it could have happened anytime of the year, which is counterintuitive. Use the hype and fanfare E3 brings to eveyone, don’t ignore it. If there was ever a time to come out swinging, it was now, but instead Nintendo just sat at the plate. The presentation seemed like it wasn’t trying to get any new consumers to buy Nintendo products or even prove to those consumers who already own Nintendo hardware that they are in the right place, much like Sony and Microsoft did, but instead simply showing what Nintendo lovers may be playing for the next 6-9 months. What the presentation lacked was Nintendo showing any sort of sense of preservation to stay relevant in today’s gaming space and that frightens me.
  • I think Nintendo banked too much on their Treehouse live streams this year. A lot of cool bits of informtion have been revealed through the stream, but I think some of these details should have been discussed in the Direct. It would have made some of the smaller games look more substantial and logistically, spreading announcements out over 3 days is just inconvenient for everyone.
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Square Enix

  • Just Cause 3 looks like a playable action movie and I’m sure a lot of people will enjoy it, I just won’t be one of them.
  • Nier 2 may be interesting or exciting, but I never played, or even heard of, the first game, so this game had little affect on me. The Majora’s Moon Mask was creepy and considering the press conferences are for the media and the industry first and foremost, the mask was very unprofessional.
  • Showing off the more technical aspects of Tomb Raider was interesting, but would have been better in something like a developer diary, not a press event.
  • Mobile games- kill me. They all looked nice and I may play them if I get the chance. Here’s hoping they aren’t as expensive as Square Enix’s other mobile games.
  • We will get more information on the Final Fantasy VII remake this Winter. Cool beans. I thought it was funny that they still plan on bringing the PC version to consoles. Besides those who will play it on iOS, nobody is going to touch that port.
  • The troll game is strong in this conference, but after the showing of a very decent looking Kingdom Hearts mobile game, we got a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3, which could possibly be one of the best made games of the show. It will likely be 2017 when the game comes out, but the wait will likely be worth it.
  • We saw some in-engine footage of Hitman and it looks good. I was expecting a little more from this game though and now I’m having a really hard time believing this game will come out in 2015.
  • I thought the sizzle reels were really cool and quite possibly the best parts of the show, although Final Fantasy XV seems like too big a title to be relegated to a sizzle reel.
  • The Star Ocean reveal was interesting, but I thought it may have been preemptive because the world looked barren and the kaleidoscope effects looked more like a mechanism to distract us, rather than a design choice. I also found it odd that we got a release window of 2016 for this title, but nothing on FF XV and KH 3, which both look further along in development than Star Ocean.
  • I was really bored with the press conference and thusly zoned out when they started talking about Deus Ex. I caught that there are multiple endings, which is usually neat, but that’s about all I know.
  • Tokyo RPG Factory is a silly name for a studio. Here’s hoping we get their games outside of Tokyo.
  • Square Enix has a lot of the games in the pipeline, but none seemed that pressing. I think they could have waited a year to have a conference, then maybe it wouldn’t have been so much of a snooze fest. They also didn’t show Nintendo any love, not unexpected, but disappointing all the same.
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Day 2 was signifcantly less exciting than Day 1, which is depressing because of the potential for greatness that ended up being unfulfilled. Tell me about what you thought in the comments or on Twitter.

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