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!
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!
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.
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!