Nintendo once again takes the screen at E3 2018, but like previous years the publisher opts to give a brand new Nintendo Direct for E3 2018. This year is no exception, and on the day E3 officially begins, we got to see what Nintendo has to offer for the Nintendo Switch.
Like previous years, Nintendo is opting to have their E3-long Nintendo Treehouse Live session between June 12- June 14th. The first two days of the conference also sported their other major event for the show, the Splatoon 2 World Championship, which already had matches take place on June 11th. The championship rounds will be held later today on June 12th.
The Nintendo direct starts with hot with something brand new, robot mechs fighting each other. The game, Daemon X Machina, sports fast-paced action and a unique visual look, backed by a hardcore metal soundtrack punctuating the action on screen. We see a mix of single and two players fighting at the same time battling massive mechs, complete with guns, rockets, and laser swords. Nothing was revealed about Daemon X Machina except a tentative release date for 2019 and is being developed by Kenichiro Tsukuda, one of the producers of the famed Armor Core series.
The Nintendo direct keeps up a quick pace, switching immediately from Daemon X Machina to a new, Japanese trailer for the first major DLC for the RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2, titled Torna the Gold Country by Monolith Soft. The now typical Xenoblade action is shown, along with a ton of characters and storylines familiar to the game at this point.
Reggie Fils-Aime then takes the screen, touting the power and portability of the Nintendo Switch. Reggie then goes right into the next game, Pokemon Lets Go Pikachu! and Eevee!. The recap goes over the brand new features found in the game, revealed two weeks ago, such as co-op play and trade features with Pokemon Go. He also goes over the Pokeball Plus attachment and reveals that an exclusive Mew will be available to any players who purchase the Pokeball Plus.
Super Mario Party comes next, showing off how two Nintendo Switch consoles can be combined together in any combination to play the games patented mini-games with each other. We see one group of people configure their switches like tetris blocks to fight each other with koopa tanks, while another goes split screen to strategize with each other. The use of two Switch consoles is, of course, optional, the ultimate goal is the brand new collection of mini-games offering tons of entertaining options for players.
A new Fire Emblem game with the title of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, shows off a more war-like strategy RPG style than ever before. Combat still follows the typical Fire Emblem strategy but adds multiple troop formations and quads into the mix. Hero characters are still the main focus, but they now are able to set up formations and weapon usage for their squad of soldiers on the battlefield to crush enemy opponents. The game takes place on Fódlan, where the Church of Seiros exercises great power over the land and its people. This turn-based tactical RPG will put new strategic twists on battling with formations of troops supporting individual units on the battlefield, and we also saw hints of an open world, with the main character off the field interacting with several NPCs.
Fortnite comes next with a new trailer, touting the frantic multiplayer actions and the ability to download the game for free starting today at 10 AM PST. Reggie comes back, promising the complete battle royale experience through Fortnite, and segueways into the massive indie game support on the console. Some of the bigger games are shown; the first being Overcooked 2, touting new features like the ability to throw ingredients and wireless local and online play, coming August 7th. Killer Queen Black, wholly redesigned from the ground up, comes next, coming first to the Switch later this year. Team Cherry's Hollow Knight also gets some love, with the popular metroidvania being available for download today on the Nintendo eShop.
Reggie then gives a quick update for Switch exclusive Octopath Traveller, announcing a brand new demo coming for the game on June 14th ahead of its summer release on July 13th. He then moves to a bumper reel showing off several games previously announced over the past year, along with release dates. Some of the games shown include Minecraft, Pixark, Just Dance 2019, Dragon Ball Fighters Z, Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion, Dark Souls Remastered, Fallout Shelter and more. In all, over twenty games from Nintendo and third-party developers, AAA titles, and indies were highlighted in the reel.
After the reel, we get sent to Nintendo HQ and are greeted by Shinya Takahashi. Takahashi notes "he can't help but smile" when players are able to bring out their switches from their bags on the go, before turning the conference over to Masahiro Sakurai from Sora Limited. The big throw goes to the new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Sakurai introduces a new video showing off the games fighters, each of them with a number in the order they joined the series.
Meaning every character ever introduced in the Smash Bros. Franchise will be in the game, a total of over 64 characters. The reel ends with the title Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, followed by massive art showing off everyone in the game. Sakurai touts it as the biggest crossover in gaming history this way and mentions several features such as 8-player battles and character unlocks returning.
In terms of extras, all amiibo figures who are characters in the game will be compatible with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and the Nintendo Gamecube Controller can be used with the Switch to play the game. Before Sakurai goes, he throws in one more announcement. A pre-made trailer that showcases the newest fighter in the game, Samus' nemesis Ridley, the now 65th fighter in the game. It ends by saying the game will be available on December 7th, 2018.
To celebrate E3 2018, Nintendo eShop is also offering savings on select digital games that helped make some of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game’s fighters famous, as well as other great digital games on Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. The sale kicks off on June 14 at 9 a.m. PT, and runs until 8:59 a.m. PT on Thursday, June 21. The full listing of digital games on sale will be posted here on June 14 at 9 a.m. and can be purchased directly from the website for download or in Nintendo eShop.
And there you have it, Nintendo's E3 presentation this year. It was all about Smash Bros. while giving some new games a first look, but the in-depth guide by Sakurai over the big changes for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are making it the end all, be all title for the series. Nintendo, like always, was brisk and to the point, and the reveals punctuated a long-form discussion on Smash Bros. that every fan of the franchise will no doubt study for days to come.
What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Direct Conference? Was it a good showcase? Leave your comments below and be sure to check out all of our E3 2018 Recaps here.