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Nintendo Press Event at E3 2015 - Part 1

Let's take a look at the first half of the Big N's Tuesday announcements.

Nintendo's E3 approach has been shifting for the last few years. They've discovered that they can still get the same kind of groundswell and keep the conversation Nintendo-centric even without spending millions on a massive staged press event.

That being said, they've been no strangers to spectacle either - Last year's Smash Bros. Tournament and this year's Nintendo World Championships have shown a new side to Nintendo (or at least a side that hasn't been seen in 25 years) that is more willing to engage with their audience and let the fans help shape the conversation. And this year that might have been their saving grace.

There's no question that Nintendo didn't blow anyone away Tuesday morning with their Digital Press Event. The true-to-form puppet intro was excellent (and a tour de force of actual puppet design and puppetry if I'm going to be completely honest. Pros were involved, no doubt) and they've really honed their presentation style over the years with Nintendo Direct. But in terms of game announcements, there weren't too many bombshells, especially when compared to the one-two-three punch Sony had up their sleeves the day before.

What was shown was quality though and enough to get people excited about the rest of Nintendo's 2015, which I believe was their goal. Here's a quick rundown of some of the games that were shown off in chronological order and my initial thoughts:

StarFox has been a known quantity for some time now. It certainly looks like StarFox. It seems like it plays like StarFox. It's StarFox.

Plenty of reason to be excited about it - in fact it's probably the first time I've ever been excited about a new entry in the series, but it didn't blow anyone's minds. And that's probably just fine. After a few design missteps in previous titles it's nice to have Miyamoto steering everything in the right direction. Now let's ride this unreleased-games-on-Virtual-Console wave that Mother started and get StarFox 2 out on Wii U...

The best part of the StarFox announcement was actually Miyamoto's developer interview filmed underneath the shrine archways that inspired the game's flight in the first place. It was an unexpectedly beautiful segment that showed an earnest Miyamoto enjoying his surroundings while discussing his process. The serene backdrop and his trademark smile help drive home just how creative this man is. I've got a crush.

Bowser and Donkey Kong are making a guest appearance in the newest Skylanders. Alternate-reality-ten-year-old me is really excited about this. The announcement was accompanied by two new hybrid Skylander/Amiibo with new designs for the characters. At the very least it shows that Nintendo is still willing to partner with 3rd parties to get some exclusivity. No doubt these figures are going to be next to
impossible to get a hold of at retail.

The combination of the 3D depth from A Link Between Worlds and the multiplayer-centric puzzles of Four Swords means that The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes is guaranteed to be plenty of fun. They showcased new costumes for Link including Zelda's dress which I can't help but feel is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the longstanding request from fans to play as the princess herself as a main character. For a new Zelda announcement it wasn't met with a great deal of fanfare. While that's nothing new for the multiplayer spin-offs in the series I couldn't help but feel the reveal was a little half-baked.

Tagging along was another known quantity - Hyrule Warriors: Legends for 3DS. Full disclosure: I LOVE Hyrule Warriors on Wii U. The idea of more characters and costumes makes me a very happy boy. Tetra and The King of Red Lions himself, Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule round out the game's playable cast and I can't wait to see what new costumes they get. Too much. I'm so happy.

Okay. So.

I'm probably going to write about this in more depth later on, but everybody just chill in regards to Metori Prime: Federation Force. No one's dying. Life will go on. This isn't the first Metroid spin-off and it won't be the last. It's not what anyone expected/wanted but it exists and that's okay. Metroid Hunters didn't end the world and neither will this. So just be cool. Jeez.

I hate to leave you on that note but stay tuned for Part 2 where I tackle the back half of the event and share a few more personal thoughts about Nintendo's approach.

Until then, enjoy the rest of E3!