To say that Nintendo has a lot riding on this year’s E3 showing is an understatement. The gaming juggernaut is still struggling to help the Wii U find a connection with mainstream gamers, the amiibo scarcity has earned a fair amount of controversy, and rumors of a new system are in the works. To really impress niche fans and casual players alike, Nintendo will need to show up with a solid lineup of original, engaging titles at E3 next week — and I think they will do just that. Over the course of this feature, we’ll take a look at some of the titles to expect out of the Digital Event at E3 and throw out some ballsier guesses.
The Guaranteed Games:
There are a few things we know for sure going into E3, as they have been teased before or outright confirmed to hit the show stage this year.
Predictions for more specific release dates in America include Xenoblade Chronicles X, Fire Emblem: if ,and possibly a Wii U version of Pokken Fighters. But there are some other games that we can safely say will be shown off in full detail sometime next week.
First up in this category is the new Starfox title coming to Wii U. With Zelda apparently skipping the conference this year (more on that later), StarFox is the flagship title shipping for Wii U this holiday season. However, at this moment, very little is actually known about the game. It was quietly revealed at last year’s E3 by Miyamoto and since then we have heard literally nothing outside of “It’s coming”. Expect this game to get a major cut of the screentime at Nintendo’s event, showing off some glorious HD dogfighting and co-op play. I’m hoping this game will feature the best integration of the gamepad controller yet, as it will likely use the tech demos shown off last year called “Project Giant Robot” and “Project Guard.”
Amiibo will also play a big part of Nintendo’s presentation, as the collectible figures have stirred up a craze for their limited availability and embarrassing functionality. Yoshi’s Wolly World is already confirmed to be compatible with almost every amiibo currently on the market, and Starfox will likely launch with its own wave of amiibo as well. Hopefully Nintendo will strike while the iron is hot and make a widely-encompassing game akin to Skylanders or Disney Infinity that boldly declares the necessity of amiibo and opens the doors for new customers.
In addition to this, we are more than likely going to see a continued trend of downloadable content for older games like Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros and even Splatoon. The Mario Kart DLC has been extremely well-received and for good reason. It offered a good amount of content, a reasonable price, and re-invigorated a game nearly one year after its launch. Smash DLC is also expected, with speculation through the roof for new characters and stages. Lucas was confirmed to launch just before E3 kicks off, so Sakurai likely has at least one new character to show off during the special Smash-presentation. Two safe guesses are Roy and Ryu, but there is really no way to tell who we’ll see until next week.
Some Safe Bets:
No Nintendo conference would be complete without some brand new announcements. Typically, these games are hinted at beforehand, but still manage to surprise and excite gamers watching live. I have a good idea what some of these titles will be, but first there is one game apparently ‘skipping’ the show that I am confident we will see.
This game is, of course, Zelda Wii U. I promise that the entire week will not go by without at least a mention of Zelda. I’m willing to bet that Nintendo’s live direct closes with a full trailer showing off more gameplay, a proper title and maybe even a specific release date for the now-2016 title.
As for brand new games, I’ve got two guesses as to what we’ll see.
First up, a new Animal Crossing for Wii U. This series has been getting a lot of exposure lately (with Villager in Smash and the recent MK8 DLC heavily featuring Animal Crossing content). With a smaller title launching for 3DS later this year, it would be a great tie-in to have a fully fleshed out game on Wii U announced at E3. The game could also use the new amiibo cards that Happy Home Designer will feature, as well as a new line of villager figures. New Leaf is a few years old now, and there has been an Animal Crossing game on every Nintendo system since the GameCube. There will more than likely be an Animal Crossing on Wii U in the system’s lifespan and the time may be near.
Next up, I think we’ll also get a new Punch-Out title for the Wii U. This game may be small and possibly download-exclusive, announced at the end of the Nintendo World Championship tournament scheduled for the same time as E3. Little Mac has gained a lot of fans from his inclusion in Smash Bros, and the most recent game in the series for the Wii was pretty well received. It’s interesting to see what the future of Punch-Out will be, but it’s a safe guess that a new game is, in fact, on the way.
In a similar vein, the fun of E3 comes from games no one sees coming that blow our collective minds when they’re finally shown off. These are typically big-name titles that just get reveal trailers or announcements, but still make fans go nuts. A game that could do just this is a new Metroid. It’s hard to speculate at this point if it will be a new Metroid Prime, developed by Retro Studios. The company has teased its involvement with Nintendo at E3 and the series has been dying for an update for several years now.
While I think it’s more likely that we get a side-scrolling game a-la Super Metroid to show off the New 3DS’ hardware, it’s impossible to tell exactly what we’ll get. Here’s hoping we see Samus Aran during Nintendo’s digital event and that a new game is coming in some form very soon.
Other wildcard guesses include whatever Nintendo is doing in the mobile department and the NX, the rumored next home console in development. I think these developments will be very quiet, if not entirely silent but there’s really no way to be sure what Nintendo will give us. Still, part of the fun of E3 is guessing what we’ll see, so sound off in the comments on what you hope Nintendo announces and keep it locked on Entertainment Buddha for E3 coverage!
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