Full ethical disclosure I've never actually played the franchise I just think they look like a fun addition to the cast.
I skipped to the end a bit there because Nintendo had a really solid, consistently enjoyable showcase and to go into every game in detail would be a little redundant when the info is flooding across the internet right now. So mainly I thought i'd take the time to compare and evaluate E3 overall this year.
But first some instances I did feel were worth talking about, nay! needed addressing. Bowser's long-term unemployment and declining mental health is played for laughs in their opening welcome message and its disgusting.
We all saw the signs of potential misunderstanding when Doug Bowser took over from Reggie but actual Bowser got his hopes up for a more administrative position and was utterly shot down in flames. Metaphorically for once rather than literally and i think that's all the more painful.
I think the main take away from this is that even with a CV as strong as Bowser's, corporate will always keep you down, down in construction and manual labour where you belong. Classism is rampant at Nintendo and you needn't look further than Bowser for proof...nor can you look further than Bowser...he's massive.
The reveal of a direct sequel to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was something of a pleasant surprise. Comparisons are made to Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask being the last time clear sequelisation happened but the continuation is even stronger here. This is a great move I feel, since BotW actually took some solid steps towards giving Zelda and to a lesser extent Link, some personality and character and this can be built upon now where most of the time that chance isn't there.
Not to mention I think most people were down for more adventure in the new engine and world plus the brief cutscenes shown suggest an immediate improvement upon the central villain, something many fans felt was a little lacklustre. I didn't mind Spider-Ganon myself, felt a bit like a Resident Evil boss but the more interesting conceptual idea of undying evil that Link and Zelda now seem to be tracking to the source is a cool direction for the sequel to take.
|There's also a lot of sick imagery like this, which I'm very in favour of.|
I didn't have high hopes for EA or Ubisoft and yet some of the shit they pulled still took me by surprise. Bethesda were obviously on the back foot but often that's the best position for a good showcase of quality gameplay. They chose not to do that and even seemed to double down on their horseshit in places.
So the somewhat arbitrary "winner" title I'd have to definitely give to Nintendo this year. The output up until now was frankly really quite dire. As much as I love Keanu, a star studded cameo should not be all you have to offer in an announcement. I'm pretty sure Cyberpunk 2077 is going to hit so maybe they don't have to do much to sell but regardless, they didn't at this E3.
And bear in mind that was the best of Microsoft's showing. They were a firm second place in the ranking but Nintendo's felt more honest, polished and appealing even in the form of games I have no interest in. I think Nintendo's detachment from the majority of the industry remains one of its biggest strengths albeit sometimes also a weakness.
Where Microsoft felt compelled to play with theatrics and suspense, making every trailer as cinematic as possible yet simultaneously whoring the footage out with "Premiere", "Exclusive" and "Preorder now!" banners stuck all over them, Nintendo's basic, clean approach was refreshing and far less corporate.
Was I as gripped watching Animal Crossing: New Horizons as the Elden Ring teaser? No, but considering I had no prior interest in the AC series and now I might actually try this one whereas I remain still pretty in the dark with Elden Ring says something about the delivery of information at play here.
|I hope I'm not turning into a Farmville mum.|
I'd like to think one day companies might regain our trust enough to feel truly excited by a purely CG teaser but I think there's realistically more chance of F-Zero coming back from the dead than things becoming less overproduced.
So Nintendo doesn't bother as much with the pomp, the promises and the grandstanding and it immediately conveys as more clear, honest and enjoyable to watch, whether the trailers are actually more accurate than competitors or not.
They didn't have a flawless presentation. Things hit a bit of a lull in the middle and some of the games don't look like they'll set the world alite but they also weren't portrayed as if they were ever meant to. Bowser sketch comedy aside, Nintendo didn't faff around with their showcase and with the whole thing almost half the length of other shows, you can't claim the Nintendo Direct format is not...well, direct.
Perhaps E3's disappointment this year could be partly due to the noticeable absence of Sony but I can't help thinking maybe they made the smartest move of anyone. Not showing up if you've got nothing to show is a harsh but fair long-term plan that I honestly wish some of the conferences this year had followed suit in.
|Also just saying, Donkey Kong Sitcom. That's free money.|