Welcome back to The Weekly Nerd! Here at Digital Fiasco, we had a lot of fun covering the various conferences during the show. As always, Nintendo matches to the beat of their own drum so they had a Nintendo Direct as opposed to a conference. They had a surprisingly robust showcase of games, so let’s go over some of the highlights!
Super Mario Odyssey Looks Incredible
No need to bury the lead on this one. Mario Odyssey essentially stole the show for Nintendo. We finally got to see what is coming next for the intrepid plumber and it looks like he has quite a few new tricks. The most obvious is his magical hat. His cap, apply named Cappy, gives him all kinds of abilities. He can now throw his hat to grab items, use as a platform for jumping on, and to… possess people?
Mario can throw his hat at anything from frogs to an actual T-Rex in order to control them and use their unique abilities to solve puzzles as well as reach previously unreachable areas. Marion and Cappy seem to be able to possess any creature that does not already have a hat because wearing two hats would be ridiculous. This reminds me of the transformation mechanic seen in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, but much more dynamic.
Perhaps the most exciting thing is that Mario Odyssey is the fact that it is returning to a more open level design similar to Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. The theming in the levels look like they are breaking away from some tired tropes of platformers. Rather than displaying the fire level and the ice level, we get to explore a strange forest with remnants of an industrial factory, a desert with a mix of Egyptian, Mayan and Mexican themes and a sprawling concrete jungle known as New Donk City. Each of these locations has a special currency that can only be spent there. Players will be able to use this currency to buy region specific items that give Mario different properties as well. Needless to say, this game looks absolutely fantastic. October 27th, 2017 cannot come soon enough.
Many a Nintendo fan was delighted to hear about not one but two Metroid games being announced at E3. After years of fans begging, Nintendo has finally announced Metroid Prime 4 for the Nintendo Switch. Right now we only have a logo to go on as well as the knowledge that Retro Studios is not developing the game. Hopefully, Nintendo will reveal more about this highly anticipated game in the following months.
The other game in the franchise that was announced is Metroid: Samus Returns for the 3DS. This is a remake Metroid II: Return of Samus for the Gameboy released back in 1991. This announcement comes on the heels of Nintendo shutting down distribution of a fan made a remake of Metroid II entitled AM2R. It certainly is a shame AM2R got shut down, but it is very cool that there are now two different updated versions of a Metroid game that was missed by a lot of fans.
Metroid: Samus Returns is being developed by MercurySteam (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow) and utilizes 3D characters models and environments on a 2D plain, so it plays like a classic Metroid game. New to this remake is the ability to aim in any directions. This allows the intrepid bounty hunter to be significantly more accurate that the previous iteration of the game. She also has the ability to perform a melee counter to knock back attacking enemies. The game will also feature a bunch of new updates to make the game more modern. While it is exciting to know that Metroid Prime 4 is being made, the fact that a classic side-scrolling entry in the franchise is coming to the 3DS is fantastic!
The Legend of Zelda DLC and Fancy Amiibo
I am on record for saying that I am not a fan how Nintendo chose to distribute the DLC for The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild. The fact that you have to buy both DLC packs is not ideal but the things the first DLC give you sound quite interesting. Among the coolest features of the DLC include the Hero’s Path, which allows players to see where they have explored over the past 200 hours of the game. This will also make it easy to see the areas that the player has not explored yet. Another cool DLC feature is the Trail of the Sword. This is a side quest that pits you against hoards of monsters in order to permanently charge up the Master Sword. The release date of the first DLC pack is June 30th, so fans don’t have to wait much longer!
Nintendo also showed a trailer for the second DLC pack entitled The Champion’s Ballad. It looks like this one will focus on story, so I am really hoping we get to play as the other heroes who assisted Link and Zelda in their battle against Gannon.
Bringing the excitement of Rocket League to the Switch seems like a no brainer. What is really interesting is the fact that this game will be cross platform with the Xbox One and PC! This is fantastic as the game already has a strong community, so growing it even more by allowing Nintendo fans to join them sounds like a great idea. The Switch has a significantly smaller install base than the other platforms, so allowing Switch owners to join the already thriving community is a good idea.
E3 is always a great time for news and announcements, so it was great to see Nintendo pull out some great surprises. Even with E3 come and gone, Nintendo is notorious for making going by their own schedule and announcing surprises whenever they want. I am hopeful that in the following months, Nintendo will reveal more about these titles as well as continue to show us the potential of their new platform.