Ahh, E3. That wonderful arbitrary time of year when all the major gaming companies of the world descend upon a venue in Los Angeles to showcase how absolutely no games are coming out until at least September. E3 themselves seem set on underselling the event, with their two top highlights at time of writing being “Safety and Security” and a picture of Jack Black wearing an Atari T-shirt, which is like advertising a Formula 1 race with a 1998 Ford Escort. Nonetheless, everyone is expectedly ecstatic about the Electronic Entertainment Expo – and not just because it reminds us why the letter “e” in scrabble is worth sod-all – but also because after the summer drought we have a bunch of shiny new games to anticipate and to distract us from the end-times. But I find half the fun of E3 is predicting what madcap nonsense each company is going to come out with next – presuming you can avoid the fact the event is leakier than an incontinent Welshman, and especially since Mario & Rabbids got released literally all leaks ever are believable. It is also well-known that my predictions are always 100% correct, so between the two, this list of upcoming games is basically a sure thing. (LEGAL NOTE: No it isn’t.)
Nintendo have long since decided they’re too good for all this “actually showing up at E3” malarky, instead releasing a big “Nintendo Direct” during the event and having a couple things playable on the show floor, and sending their Nintendo Treehouse Division (not stupid name pending) to muck about and play the announced games. Needless to say Nintendo has had a pretty good last 365 days, comparing the multitude of stuff at E3 2017 compared to the one before, where literally only Breath of the Wild featured. This year should be equally exciting.
What we know: We have a few things set in stone showing up. The new Smash Brothers (which after the last game, Sm4sh, I will be referring to as 5ma5h) has a big invitational tournament with some Smash bigwigs in attendance, as well as Splatoon 2 and probably Arms – which Nintendo will continue to push far beyond its remit until the sequel, Legs, is announced. Then we have the recently announced Pokemon: Let’s Go to the Bank feathering Pikachu and Eevee, featuring a unique one-handed control method, so the people playing it can be as lazy as the developers are remaking the first games again. Finally, Nintendo’s Japanese Twitter account has been putting out a stream of patented “Jigglypuff from above” silhouettes of characters for the next Kirby: Star Allies DLC. There’s also the potential for Bayonetta 3 footage, as well as the recently announced Team Sonic Racing, as well as all the games featured in previous Directs, like the announced Fire Emblem and Yoshi games that, since announcement, have been quieter than a Toyota Prius in an exam hall. Plus the unreleased but confirmed ports we’re getting: Wolfenstein II, Crash N.Sane Trilogy, Okami HD, Megaman II, etc etc.
What we think we know: Hoo Boy. Nintendo has leaks circulating like they’re trapped in an enormous vegetable stew. After Star Fox Zero went down like bubonic plague soup, Nintendo has apparently given up on the franchise and handed it to second party developers Retro Studios, who also are officially out of ideas and are making it into a racing game. Again, a couple years ago this would’ve been unthinkable, but given that Mario & Rabbids was real, which was about as likely as seeing Gordon Ramsey in Green Hill Zone, anything is possible. Also on the leak cards is potential Super Mario Odyssey DLC, which seems sensible, and so many ports: Fortnite, Dragonball Fighters Z, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Fifa 19, Paladins, (SIDE NOTE: I think Nintendo will also make one of these downloadable immediately after announcement) and I’m sure many more that’ve been buried in the pile. It’s a good time to be a Switch owner, apparently.
What I think I know: Nintendo is my bread and butter, so this is where my most brazen of predictions come into play. First of all, no Nintendo 64 mini, copyrights filed or no – next year is the 30th anniversary of the original Game Boy, which was the most successful thing since breathable air, and cashing in on that would both be cheaper and more likely more successful. In that vein, Nintendo is likely hyperventilating because they haven’t released a casual 2D Mario game in 5 minutes, so a Super Mario Land 1 + 2 remake for the ailing 3DS kills two birds with one money-scented stone. I think there’s room for one more big unannounced Switch game, either Pikmin 4, a new Animal Crossing, or gameplay of the confirmed Metroid Prime 4. Ports of old Wii U games have been doing rather well, but I think we’re beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel with those – the only remaining Wii U games I see as likely are Xenoblade Chronicles X, Paper Mario: Colour Splash and The Wonderful 101. I think we’ll get something unexpected, too – ala Sushi Striker from the last E3, which showed up so unexpectedly it might as well have brought the Kool-Aid man with it – maybe something from a lesser-known franchise, like a new Kid Icarus or one of SEGA’s old IPs. Finally, Smash characters; since Smash is clearly a big focus for Nintendo this year, they’ll be coming out of every orifice. Ice Climbers will be back, for sure, and I’m thinking Dillon the Armadillo from the 3DS trilogy or “Too Big” Ridley from Metroid is a likely call, along with some third party reps. People speculate that the Switch version of Spyro Reignited hasn’t been announced yet because they want to tie it in with Crash and Spyro appearing in Smash, and I think that has merit.
So there you have it; hope you’re looking forward to the smorgasboard of Nintendo offerings discussed here, because it’s definitely definitely what we’re going to be getting, unless it isn’t. Either way, check back in after E3 for coverage of Nintendo’s announcements, and to give me your awed praise for my incredible Nintendo insight and humility.