E3 2017: Nintendo Direct & Treehouse Recap

Early this morning Nintendo had their annual E3 Direct and Treehouse livestreams, and games were announced! Trailers were shown! Mario became a dinosaur! Let's chat about what they had to offer.

The Direct opened with a montage of games, including the as-of-yet unannounced Switch version of Rocket League. We'll go in-depth a little later.

They then showed a trailer for Xenoblade 2, the follow-up to the Wii U's Xenoblade Chronicles X. Looks like more RPG goodness from Monolith. Despite rumors to the contrary, it'll arrive this holiday.

Then a Switch Kirby game was shown off, featuring recruitable enemy characters (more co-op?) and a 2018 release date. The title is just Kirby right now, but that'll change.

The show then took a trip down to the offices of Pokemon developer Game Freak, where series director Tsunekaza Ishihara confirmed the development of a "core Pokemon RPG" for Switch. Guess Ultra Sun and Moon aren't the only things in the oven over there.

And then a major bombshell: Metroid Prime 4. All we got was a logo, but it's still an exciting prospect. News hit later that Retro Studios isn't at the helm, and instead will be led by a brand new team with some series veterans. This'll likely be 2018 as well.

Then there was Yoshi- a Yoshi game in a cardboard world. Looks like the new mechanic here involves flipping the world to its backside. Kinky. This one's also 2018 and is just called Yoshi for now. It'll probably be made by GoodFeel, the guys behind Yoshi's Wooly World.

More trailers; this time it was Fire Emblem Warriors, which like Hyrule Warriors before it, is a musou game (Dynasty Warriors). So expect to fight a metric ton of enemies while spinning swords.

It wouldn't be a Nintendo show without Zelda, so they showed off the DLC for Breath of the Wild, The Master Trials. The pack will include new armor and accessories, a harder Master Mode, and a new map feature called Heroes' Path Mode. It will be followed by a second pack called The Champion's Ballad, which will be new story content. Oh, and that'll launch with some crazy looking amiibo.

They then mentioned a few game tournaments, Pokken, Splatoon 2, and ARMS invitationals, before getting back to the games. Yves Guillemot arrived to showcase Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, which made it's presser debut Monday on the Ubisoft stage. Some footage was shown off and Yves confirmed that it is a strategy game, first and foremost. It's certainly the strangest riff on the genre I've ever seen.

Rocket League was next; the Switch version will (of course) have exclusive customization items, including Mario hats.

Speaking of Mario, it was then time for Super Mario Odyssey. The new trailer look AMAZING, and featured a new possession move for Mario; it appears that his new hat can be tossed onto NPCs and enemies to take control of their form. This will be a cool way to solve puzzles, I'm sure. 

That was it for the direct, but Nintendo wasn't done announcing things. During their Treehouse stream, they revealed the following:

  • Metroid: Samus Returns: Yes, finally, a 3DS Metroid! Before you get completely overwhelmed with hype, this is essentially a remake of Metroid 2, but still pretty great. Footage shown featured classic Metroid side-scrolling gameplay with some fancy new melee moves for Samus. 
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions: A remake of the first M&L RPG for GBA. Acronyms.

The show floor is now open, so anything could happen; if there is any more major drops from Nintendo, I'll add them. So watch this space! Overall, however, I'm most impressed with Nintendo's showing than anything else I saw this week. So maybe Media Boat should get one of those fancy Switches?

- Matt