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Big N Breakdown @E3 2015: Digital Event Opinions!

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Welcome back once again blessed siblings to Big N Breakdown @E3 2015!

Early this morning, at 2AM my time, the Nintendo Digital Event went live. And then it ended. For some reason it felt a lot shorter than last year, but when I actually checked the time, it was actually longer by just over five minutes. None the less it felt like it was incredibly short. They say time flies when you’re having fun, but to be honest, that wasn’t it.

I’m finding this difficult to write about it, because despite deciding to sleep it off before writing this article, I’m still reeling from the shock of how bad the Nintendo Digital event was. I sat there at the end of the Digital event waiting for more thinking to myself, the good bit is coming.

But it never did.

shigsy-archesThe worst part of all, aside from Shigeru Miyamoto talking about Star Fox and Super Mario Maker with Takashi Tezuka, it was so devoid of passion and heart. The Digital Event was empty. A hollow facsimile of Last year’s Digital Event, there were lot’s of trailers for games, and a few interviews with the developers which I usually enjoy, but there was really no substance to it what so over. This was not the Nintendo that we have come to know through the Nintendo Direct announcements over the years. In the past, Iwata-san, Miyamoto-san, Reggie, and Bill have used their goofy “characters” to draw focus to the games, like when Reggie and Iwata-san fought Dragonball Z style, to advertise Smash Brothers, or just prior to E3 when Reggie… ahem… “downsized” Bill Trinen’s role in Nintendo to show off Chibirobo. This time it felt like the reverse. It felt like a lot of the time, they used the games to draw attention to themselves. To say, “look how well we’re doing now”, and from the high that was the Nintendo World Championships to this, is a down right tragedy.

By now you’ve probably read Love Letter, you’ve heard me gush about how much I love Nintendo, so I hope you can appreciate what it means when I say, I’m incredibly disappointed.

That said, it wasn’t all bad. I’ve seen so many people commenting that Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event was the worst thing ever, comparing them with EA in their dickery, or claiming that Ninendo ruined their summer or E3 as a whole. Really? Look, I get that like me you were anticipating something great again from Nintendo, so I accept that you summer has been ruined, but E3? You know there is far more than just one company at E3 right? Didn’t you hear that Sqeenix are remaking Final Fantasy 7, and Ico are remaking The Last Guardian for PS4? And what about the Rare Collection for XBone? I’d kill for that collection thirty games for $30, most of which were from the heyday of the Nintendo 64! So you are going to get so worked up over a flopped digital event, and claim they they ruined the entirety of E3!? No no no, stop right there. If it were even possible for any one company to ever ruin E3 as a whole, as an event, or even as a concept, then that would have been Micrsoft at the XBone reveal, you know, back when it was all rental games, DRM and spy technology.

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The Digital Event was not great, it was disappointing because it didn’t live up to the hype, but as disappointed as I am, I’m glad I got to see the footage from Star Fox, I thought Miyamoto-san’s explanation about how he came up with the ideas for the game and how it ties into Japanese folklore was fascinating and wonderful. No doubt in my mind that Miyamoto-san stole the show. My disappointment stems from the fact that aside from a hand full of side games and spin offs, there were no major reveals, no triple A games, and for the most part, it was all footage and trailers from games that we had seen before.

Yes I’m excited for Fire Emblem, yes, I’m excited for Woolly World, and yes, I’m excited for Xenoblade Chronicles X… but there are so many more games that SHOULD have been focused on. Where was Fatal Frame? Where’s Project Treasure that they made so much of a fuss about? Where is Project Guard and Giant Robo, that we saw last year? Where was Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon? And where the hell were the indy titles?

This year it’s pretty clear, that the Digital Event was not the big main event that it has been in previous years, and if you can get your head around that then maybe it’s possible to see there is actually a silver lining. In past E3 events, every trailer was introduced, or someone was commenting on it, explaining the game as it happens, this year, it’s completely different. This Digital Event was something to wet your whistle, a quick rundown of a decent number of games, to prepare you for what is going on, as they continue to reveal more and more information throughout the week, in Treehouse Live events, and beyond.

When Reggie Fils-Aime welcome us all to E3, he talks about the theme of the Nintendo E3 experience, being that of transformation. He even brings up the recent announcements that Nintendo is expanding into the mobile market, theme parks, and the new home console: the NX, which they will be keeping quiet until 2016. This segment ties in to the idea of Nintendo pacing their announcements, as I talked about above, when he brings up Amiibo, saying “as you’ll find out this week, there are more new Amiibo on the way, and games for them to inhabit”, and later during his chat with Karthik Bala from Activision, Reggie says “throughout the week we’ll be sharing more and more information”. To me this suggests that even if the Digital Event did come off as trite and only a taste of what we received last year, the digital event is not the be all and end all of the announcements from Nintendo at E3 2015, hopefully this is just the beginning! There is a lot more to E3 than just the very first conference and Nintendo are utilizing their Treehouse events, to get the full message out to everyone. To quote Iwata-san, Please understand, Nintendo’s E3 experience was never meant to be based of a single event. So even though it did fall, and fall hard, there is so much more to see.

So without further ado, and with all that in mind, please take a look at the Nintendo Digital Event for 2015!

 

 

As bad as it looks, Nintendo didn’t go out of their way to offend anyone, they didn’t intentionally come up with a bad set. With all the Nintendo Direct videos, they really don’t have a particularly good reason to continue appearing at E3 anyway, and no that’s not an excuse to half arse it.  But did they really half arse it at E3 this year? There is still a whole week of Treehouse events to come, there was a Nintendo Direct on Monday, and has everyone forgotten the Nintendo Championships already? Look, I’m still disapointed, but maybe that was my own expectations. Nintendo fans get regular news streamed to them from Nintendo, introduced by big names like Satoru Iwata, Shigeru Miyamoto, Eiji Aonuma, Takashi Tezuka, Reggie Fils-Aime and Bill Trinen. We don’t need another trailer fest at E3, when we get that every month. E3 used to be a big deal, but for Nintendo, it really isn’t any more, and maybe it’s us that hasn’t caught up to that.

 

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NX-protoI want to talk briefly before I close this article, about the new Nintendo NX. For those out of the loop, the NX is the next generation of games console from Nintendo. From rumours and unvarified leaks, this is a continuation of Project Vortex, which was supposedly a home games console that had no controllers, instead it interacted directly with a new generation of handhelds. The rumours were that similar to the rumours of the connection between the PS4 and PS Vita, you would be able to download your game onto your hand held, and play on the go. The consoles would share a game library, that would be moving to a primarily online store, but retained the disk slot for backwards compatibility, etc etc… as far as anyone can verify this is all hearsay.

It is however true that the NX is in development. It was confirmed by Iwata-san earlier in the year, and was mentioned by Reggie during the Digital Event, stating that they will not be releasing any information about it until 2016.

In this section I want to address this:

“You had me excited for months, and lost me within an hour. I hope you’ll do better next year, and give the Wii U the attention it deserves, instead of running over to the NX.”

“I’m honestly pissed off that they’re already pushing the NX. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like this console generation just started. I’m not too sure I’m ready to shell out a couple hundred more dollars for a new system just yet.”

“[F]or NX […] my Wii U ha[d] only one year of life. Good job Nintendo, good job” (Sorry had to make some corrections to this horrible post)

1. The Wii U isn’t doing well. Any fool can see that. The new game releases like Smash Brothers, Mario Kart 8, Mario Party 10, Hyrule Warriors, these all helped push console sales, but it’s hard to patch someone who have had their arm torn off using a band aid. Wii U didn’t release with a good line up, things got better, and then they got worse again, last year, Nintendo exploded with content and it was phenomenal, they made an epic push, and considdering some of the games that will be coming out in the next six to twelve months, they are still producing good games, but they were never going to be able to keep us the level of excitement that they generated with so many amazing games revealed all at once. It was like Christmas, and then the next day was your Birthday, and them Christmas again!

As the line goes, “It can’t rain all the time”, and it’s can’t be Christmas all the time either. Sometimes, you need to cut your losses, but this isn’t it. After the big burst from last year to get peoples attention a slow trickle of new excellent first party games is exactly what they need, to keep the eyes on Nintendo leading up to the announcement and eventual reveal of their next console.

 

2. This console generation feels like it’s only just started because the Playstation 4, and the XBone, both released around the same time in 2013, in some countries it released as late as 2014. These are big new releases and they skew our perception of when the generation started. It is currently the eighth generation, and that started with the Wii U in 2012. Remember back to when everyone was talking about doomsday prophesies? Yeah, seems like a lot longer now doesn’t it? Still, 2016, four years after the release of the WiiU would be a little soon to releases a new console-oh wait a minute!

Reggie said and I quote:

…new dedicated game platform, codename: NX, which we’ll tell you more about in 2016.

Did you catch the subtle difference there between “will be released 2016” and “tell you more about in 2016”?

This year some stories came out that Sony is already working on a Playstation 5, a lot of the rumours surrounding this came from the middle of last year, and many people were EXCITED by this prospect. Over at the website PC Advisor, their opening line for their article on the PS5 is “We waited an agonising seven years for Sony to upgrade its PS3 to the PS4, but will we have to wait as long for the PS5?”. Where is the outrage? Where is the damning statements that people have only just bought their PS4. To some extent Nintendo can get away with more regular console releases, because their consoles usually cost a lot less than their competitors. Today, I can buy a new PS4 for around $600AU, while a Wii U is usually around $350AU.

Getting back to the difference between revealing information and releasing a console. Provided that Nintendo have only being doing some of the preliminary planning for the NX at the moment, and have learned their lesson from the poor release day titles of the Wii U, Nintendo still ahve a long road ahead of them when it comes to developing the new console. After we get information on it next year, we will probably still have to wait anywhere up to two years before the console gets it’s release. That means we would have suffered through six “agonizing years” waiting for the NX.

The Wii U is on it’s way out, but they aren’t dropping support on it, or “running to the NX”, it’s going to take time to develop, to build, and knowing Nintendo, there will be some delays.

 

3. This is YOUR problem, not everyone else’s. I can’t stand this bullcrap argument!

I could have gone out the day before the release of the 3DS, and bought a DSi. Is it then Nintendo’s fault that I only got to play my DSi for a day before the 3DS was released? You make the decision to buy or not buy a console, if you buy said console three years into it’s life span, then you have no right to comaplain that you only have three years of life left, where as everyone else had six. Do you want Nintendo to push back their companies growth for widdle ole you?

Suck it up princess, the world doesn’t revolve around you. Life’s tough, buy a helmet.

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You know, the guys at Nintendo can really act like muppets some times, I guess that’s why it took me a while to notice the difference. Their theme this year is transformation, and they’ve certainly transformed the way they opperate at E3, and possibly not for the better. None the less, Nintendo have heard us in the past, and I doubt the message has been any clearer concerning peopls disapointment with this event.

It’s for this reason that I had to write something different than I was expecting to write here, and I’m going to have to come up with a new method for talking about their announcements. I’m possibly going to write a different article for each game that I want to talk about, that does mean a lot of articles, and a lot of work, so without waffling on, I’ll leave you with that.

What did you think about the Nintendo Digital Event? Was it what you were expecting? What would you have liked to see? Please leave your comments on the event and my article in the discussion section below.

I’ve been Andy Frogman – The Priest Of Gamers, and this has been Big N Breakdown @E3 2015, and I will be back soon, only on the Book of Frog!

Peace and high Scores!