E3 Impressions: How Nintendo Stole the Show

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

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E3 2014 Nintendo - Captain Toad Treasure Tracker 03

Us humans are a silly, predictable lot. We like patterns and attribute more relevancy to them than we probably should. If something has happened recently, we think it will continue to happen. We expect echoes of annual events. But really, if there is anything working at oprainfall and with videogame journalism has taught me, it’s to expect the unexpected. I certainly didn’t expect Nintendo to utterly defy my expectations this year!

Smash Bros - Miis

Last year Nintendo had a very mediocre showing at E3. They were just getting a handle on their new digital broadcast format, fans were anxious they were downsizing, and they really didn’t have much to show in the way of games, with the exception of Smash Bros. reveals and Mario Kart 8. That, luckily, was NOT the case this year. I’ll be honest. I only expected a couple novel Smash Bros. shockers, but instead of just that, we were treated to a veritable smorgasbord of new games!

E3 2014: Nintendo - Mario Maker

We got the completely out of left field Splatoon, which looks to make Nintendo some fans in the multiplayer shooter genre. They turned Captain Toad from a novelty into a full fledged game. They had delicious trailers for upcoming games for both Wii U and 3DS, such as Nihilumbra, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Teslagrad, Bayonetta 2 (with bonus!) and much more. We were treated to Mario Maker, a game I predict I will spend hundreds of hours tinkering with upon release. We even got a couple of games I never expected on a Nintendo console, such as Devil’s Third and Code Name S.T.E.A.M.. And this was all from their Digital Event, as well as their unexpectedly robust Treehouse coverage.

E3 2014 Nintendo Conference - Zelda Wii U

I was flummoxed in the very best way. I know I’m not the only Nintendo fan who was losing hope after last years show and this year’s financial woes. If there is one thing Nintendo is good at, however, it’s playing the long game. They have successfully revitalized my interest and hopes for the Wii U, while appearing as more substantial competition to Sony and Microsoft. And frankly, that’s the way it should be. Gamers thrive in a more dynamic market, and it looks to be a great year for gamers of all stripes. Glad to have you back, Nintendo!

About Josh Speer

Josh Speer is addicted to two things in equal measure : Books and Videogames. He has a degree from the University of Washington in English with an emphasis on writing. He joined Operation Rainfall last year while following it on Facebook. His two giant life goals are to write his own series of fantasy / science fiction novels and to get into the creative side of the video game industry. He is beyond pleased to now have his proverbial foot in the door thanks to the opportunity provided by Oprainfall!




  • Lord Ackercocke

    I too was well impressed by Nintendo’s show.

  • MusubiKazesaru

    The show was impressive and I loved the way they did it with the Robot Chicken bits, the developer interviews, plenty of trailers, and a kung fu movie-like scene. The treehouse coverage was great and I spent all of the time I could watching it, it treated us to exclusive demos, information, and was just lots of fun to watch. The Smash Tourney was plenty of fun too

    • Agreed. The Nintendo show at E3 was very very unexpectedly surprising. Everything about it. I even laugh at the “oh great another mario game!” remark. It was clearly directed at journalists and gamers who think that Nintendo releases Mario games without anything new in them.

  • James Best

    Treehouse live was the best thing to come out of E3 this year. Oh, and Codename S.T.E.A.M.

  • Infophile

    Biggest surprise for me: Nintendo actually mentioned Mother 3. It may not mean they have plans to localize it, but it at least means they’ve heard that fans want it (as much as another Star Fox, which got name-dropped in the same manner).

    • XypherCode

      I like how they made fun of their own fanboys using Robot Chicken skits. Never expected that from Nintendo.

  • XypherCode

    My favorite part of the show was the Treehouse Live @ E3 livestream for Splatoon. Loved the NCL (EAD) dev team VS NOA Treehouse segmet.

  • stealth20k

    they really did do the best