Nintendo defied expectations today with an E3 Time Direct that doesn’t show the hoped-for new Switch hardware but about a dozen new games – as well as a general release window for the highly anticipated next Zelda game. And to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the original, a new Game & Watch is being sold with the first three games in the series.
Nintendo showed, among other things, remasters or remakes of titles from the series “Monkey Ball”, “Mario Party”, “Advance Wars”, “Wario Ware” and other series and announced new additions to “Mario + Rabbids” and “Shin Megami Tensei” – Worlds. Other newly announced or teased games will also make it to the Switch, such as the new Guardians of the Galaxy.
Perhaps most surprising of all was the inclusion of a new side-scrolling Metroid game, the first in nearly 20 years – and in fact, it was half that time in and out of development. Metroid Dread, the fifth in the mainline franchise that started on the NES, hits October 8th and we’ll see if Nintendo managed to keep up with a genre it pioneered but refined others to have.
Everyone was hoping for Zelda news, however, and Nintendo … only slightly disappointed us. It is the 35th anniversary of the NES original, as the announcers noted, and the perfect time to announce something really special, but they “have no campaigns or other Nintendo Switch games planned”.
Instead, they offered an admittedly enticing Game & Watch in the style of the one we released for the Mario series last year. I had a lot of good things to say about this device, and the new one will no doubt be just as fun. The possibility of pausing the game and resuming it later (but not rewinding or saving states) should enable an entertaining, authentic play through of the first three games in the Zelda series: “The Legend of Zelda” and “Zelda II: The Adventure” . of Link ”for NES and“ Link’s Awakening ”for Game Boy (recently reissued).
The last item on the list was a fresh look at the sequel to Breath of the Wild, which years after its debut still shines as one of, if not the best, game on the Switch. Its sequel has a lot to offer!
While the first trailer was entirely cinematic, this one featured gameplay and the overworld, including a new level of verticality that brings flying fortresses and castles in the air into play. It certainly looks impressive, but one wonders how much further the company can push its switch hardware. After all, “Breath of the Wild” pushed the system to its limits on its debut and even then was not as powerful as its competitors from Microsoft and Sony – both of which have now been replaced by a new generation.
One hopes that Nintendo is just weird and, as so often before, has a trick up its sleeve. The switch was announced out of nowhere, and previous hardware updates were also discontinued with no or no warning and seemingly arbitrary timing. What is expected is an updated switch that is physically the same dimensions but significantly updated inside and uses a bigger, better display. A perfect backward compatibility, as with the handhelds of the 3DS series, only seems logical. But Nintendo has always done its own thing and its fans didn’t want it any other way.