Every time E3 rolls around, Nintendo never disappoints. Even on the less exciting years, they always manage to delight us with one of our old favourites, whether that be Mario, Zelda, Kirby, or another one of their many recurring IPs. There’s something so comforting about the knowledge that our old reliables will be brought back year after year, and Nintendo knows it. Which will it be this year? Mario and Zelda? Or Pokemon, Yoshi, and Animal Crossing? Whatever it is, at the end of the day we’ll leave E3 knowing that we’ve got new titles in our favourite series to look forward to. Let’s take a look at what we know so far and maybe we can figure out what we’ll see from Nintendo when E3 2018 kicks off this weekend.
Nintendo haven’t exactly been keeping quiet, with twitter posts and teaser trailers abound leading up to E3. Nintendo seems to be focusing their presentation on games that will be out this year, which gives us a clue about which titles will take center stage. Speaking of which…
What we can expect
By far the most anticipated announcement of Nintendo’s E3 2018 is that of Smash Bros. for the Switch. In a teaser trailer early in March, Nintendo showed off Splatoon’s inklings joining the smash roster. This was exciting enough, but what really had fans ecstatic was the silhouette of Link wearing his outfit from Breath of the Wild. Fans had only been speculating that Switch would be receiving a port of Super Smash Bros WiiU, but now the speculation has been shifted to wonder if this Smash Bros. will be a brand new title. Nobody at Nintendo denied the theory, adding to intrigue by fans.
This doesn’t seem like it will be the case, however. It hasn’t been that long since the release of Smash Bros WiiU and 3DS. While the base game did come out 4 years ago, the DLC content stretched all the way into 2016. This won’t have given the Smash Bros. team enough time to create a brand new game for the Switch. If this were an announcement of a brand new Smash title, we’d still be facing a development time of at a year at minimum before it were ready. Going by the development schedule of Smash for WiiU and 3DS, we’d more likely only see it’s release sometime in 2020 or 2021. However, Smash Bros. Switch will be playable at New York’s Nintendo store from 5pm on June 12th, further proof that it’s not a brand new game. The inclusion of the inklings and BoTW Link are proof of new content, but this is very likely a simple addition to make the Smash Bros. Switch the definitive version of the game we colloquially call Smash 4.
The director of the Smash Bros. series, Masahiro Sakurai, will be making an appearance in Nintendo’s conference to tell us what’s going on. Rumors have been circulating since 2016 about a secret project he’s been working on – is this it? Or is it something totally different? We’re not certain, but here’s one prediction for you: he’ll tell us while wearing a nice shirt, as always.
Out of all the games Nintendo will present, Super Smash Bros. is likely to take the most time and focus. But there are still several games we’re sure we’ll see, such as…
Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee was announced just a week before E3 is due to start, hyping us up to hear more. The trailer showed us much of what the game will be, but it also left us with a lot of questions – ones that we hope will be answered when we hear more about it at E3. We know a lot about how it will connect with Pokémon GO, but what about the story of the game? Although we know that the game is based on the original Pokémon Yellow, we haven’t been shown an indication of what will have been updated or changed. It also seems like we haven’t yet learned everything there is to know about Pokemon GO’s integration, so it’s likely that information will be revealed at E3 2018.
A brand new Yoshi game for the Switch was revealed at last year’s E3, showing off some absolutely adorable graphics and gameplay. Everything in the scene was designed after arts and crafts items like paper, cardboard, and string. It looks like a natural progression from Yoshi’s Wooley World, which had everything made out of fluffy wool. This new style reminds us of the game Tearaway, which also featured a world made from crafts.
Another safe bet is a Switch release of the massively popular game Fortnite. It’s already been released on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and with the iOS version running smoothly it seems like Fortnite will make a great addition to the Switch. Fans have been begging for it, and now it seems like Epic Games has listened, as several clues have tipped us off that we’ll very likely see Fornite on the Switch. The Nintendo eShop has been discovered to have updated in preparation for its release, and a Korean ratings board has added a listing for the game, adding to the likelihood that we’ll hear about it at E3.
We’ve heard precious little about Metroid Prime 4 since it was announced. During last year’s E3, Nintendo dropped the bombshell that the long-awaited sequel was in development. Since then, the only thing we’ve learned is that Namco-Bandai is taking over development from Retro Studios. We haven’t been given so much as a screenshot, so we’re a bit starved for information. Although we don’t expect to get too much info at E3 2018, it’s probable that they’ll at least give us an update, and maybe something on the plot or setting.
Bayonetta 3 was first revealed late last year during the 2017 Game Awards with a short teaser trailer. Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya has stated previously that he had ideas for Bayonetta 3, and that if Bayonetta 2 was successful he might be able to see them realised. The previous two games were released for the Switch earlier this year, so we’ve all had enough time to get ourselves geared up for Bayonetta 3. We haven’t received any more info about the new game since, but it looks as if it will be a hack-and-slash adventure like its predecessors. We’re sure to hear more at E3 2018.
What we’d like to see
Animal Crossing is the perfect game for a portable console, as proven by the success of 3DS’ title New Leaf. It’s been 6 years since then, so it’s high time we saw the next installment of the series. The QR code mechanic was an unexpected smash hit among the player base, who used it to share not only clothing designs but also textures of grass, water, and pathways. This level of customisation had never been seen in an Animal Crossing title, and it was one of the features that kept us hooked to the game for months. It’s incredible, really, that we can all spend so much love and effort on our towns and then do it all again from scratch in the next one. But that’s exactly what we’ll do. Don’t let us down, Nintendo!
Fire Emblem Switch is another title we’re keen to hear about. Beyond the fact that they’re planning to make one, we know virtually nothing about the title. We can speculate that it probably won’t be a remake of an older one since the latest installment, Fire Emblem: Echoes, was a remake of Fire Emblem 2. But that really all we can say on the matter, since they’ve left us largely in the dark. Well, this is the perfect time to give us some good news.
Pokémon 2019 is a little unlikely at this stage, as we’re already getting Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. But some news on the next main-line Pokémon game would be great, whether it be a new generation of Pokémon or a remake of an older one. Yes, we know Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee is already sort of a remake of Pokémon Yellow, but it’s high time we saw a remake from gen 4’s Sinnoh region. Even if something does get announced at E3 2018 it will probably only be a short teaser, but if last year’s Metroid Prime 4’s title screen reveal is any indication, fans will appreciate even the smallest of offerings.
In addition to all this, we’re still waiting on release dates for some titles, including the Luigi’s Mansion remake on 3DS and The World Ends With You: Final Remix on the Switch. It’s very likely that we’ll hear about them during the conference, though only briefly. E3 2018 will begin in just a few days, starting with EA on June 10th at 4am AEST. Nintendo will finish off the conferences on the 13th at 2am AEST. May you get everything you’re hoping for!