Optimistic About Nintendo's E3 Announcements: A Shut-In Fan's Perspective
From the living room of my youth, with countless hours on Super Mario Bros. on my Nintendo Action Set under my belt, nothing could have prepared me for the massive live events that we experience today! Sadly enough, the simple act of "growing up" also made me aware of what happens when I'm in the throes of a massive crowd.
When I'm surrounded by thousands of other people on an open floor, I almost feel like I'm drowning in humanity and B.O. In the interest of my mental health, I've talked to a few psychiatrists about it, but none of them ever diagnosed me with social anxiety.
I did what any other millennial would do: I turned to the Internet!
I did find one History Channel video, featuring some dude from Rutgers University, who suggested that it could be an issue with "personal space," but nothing has really panned out and my research is still ongoing.
And that's the best part about video games: they don't require you to go outside! Regardless of what causes my anxiety (if that's even what it is), it didn't stop my excitement for what Nintendo would unveil at E3 2015!
Direct Event for the Global Win
Even though Sony and Microsoft were live in attendance at E3, Nintendo chose to livestream their announcements via Direct Event. Watching from the comfort of my home and free from anxiety, I silently applauded Nintendo for choosing a digital format for their announcements. I wouldn't be missing out on anything by foregoing E3, but I could still be a part of it!
This simply blew me away!
Interjecting some Muppet-style comedy along with dramatic gameplay and emotional development stories, one thing became clear right from the start: these folks absolutely LOVE what they do for a living!
Star Fox Zero Announced
Watching and listening to Miyamoto tell his deeply personal story behind the arches in the Star Fox franchise struck a nerve with me. This is a man who has truly taken positive experiences in his life (the Fushimi Inari shrine & drawing anthropomorphic characters) and shared it with the world. He was absolutely gushing when discussing the unique perspective and control scheme of the game, which makes use of the Gamepad's gyroscope to fine-tune aiming.
The Internet Responds Like...the Internet...
However, multiple sources immediately and vehemently began criticizing Star Fox Zero right out of the gate. One source over at the Verge described the unveiling as "not making a good first impression" due to its "fiddly controls", even going so far as warning potential consumers to "not get too excited".
Yet other sources decry its lack of multiplayer support and that it looks like an HD remake of Star Fox 64.
Beyond that, it seems that the number of detractors is far less than the number of fans excited for Star Fox Zero.
As For Myself...
I'm excited to see that Nintendo is beginning to develop games around the Gamepad. A cockpit view in conjunction with a world display paints a unique and immersive picture.
When Star Fox was first released on the SNES in 1993, us Nintendo players were still getting used to the shoulder and Y/X buttons on the new controller after having used A/B controls for so long.
This intimidated the hell out of me as a kid...
Fils-Aimes did state that Nintendo is all about "transformation" during the Direct Event, so even if the controls do need some help, I don't feel that we need to shoot Star Fox Zero out of the saddle so quickly. Let's not forget that we all started somewhere, and have had to learn as we went along.
"Nintendo is abandoning the Wii U..."
This is a comment that I've seen repeated over and over again in countless forums. Though I can see how some may think so, Reggie did say during the Direct Event that they will further "discuss" future games at a later time.
In fact, the Wii U is receiving at least 13 different titles going into 2016 according to Nintendo's E3 2015 Release Roadmap. Announced games that I'm most excited for include:
1. Super Mario Maker
2. Yoshi's Wooly World
3. Star Fox Zero
Another game that I'm super excited for is Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, slated for release this Fall. I'm not splitting any hairs as to why this North American port wasn't announced during the Digital Event (it was released in Japan September 27th, 2014), but I'm excited nonetheless. Consider yourself informed now and share with your horror-loving, gaming buddies!
Coming this Fall to Wii U!
So do I feel that Nintendo is abandoning the Wii U in favor of its upcoming NX console? Absolutely not. In fact, when considering Miyamoto's excitement over Star Fox Zero's use of the Gamepad, I'd say that Nintendo is finding new ways to use this innovative piece of technology in relevant ways.
Again, let's keep our eyes open and know that we are all definitely getting our money's worth with our Wii Us with some awesome, first-party exclusive titles on the horizon.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
This actually looks pretty cool!
Out of all of the titles featured during Nintendo's Direct Event, Metroid Prime: Federation Force has received the most negative feedback. A lot of the feedback seems to focus on the fact that it was:
- announced for the 3DS instead of being a home console release
- it doesn't appear to feature Samus
- it's multiplayer.
The vitriol has been so intense, that there is even a petition to cancel the game, with over 12,000 signatures from supporters.
Petitioning for a stoppage on development for any game is wrong. Why though, exactly?
- A beta, or even alpha, version is simply a glimpse and not indicative of what the final product will be.
- A game still in development is more or less a presentation of a concept or set of concepts.
- Rampant banning of games whose ideas we don't agree with is a slippery slope that stifles creativity.
Yes, some of us may not be thrilled with some of the concepts presented in the trailer, but to tell you the truth, I didn't get much from it other than a small sampling of gameplay and a release date.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force Trailer
None of the executives spent a lot of time talking about the game, and it didn't have a Developer's Story feature or any other clarifying information to supplement it during the Direct Event. Further, the game isn't slated for release until 2016.
I understand that Metroid fans have been waiting for a truly immersive console release for quite some time (I'm one of them), some of them may even want reparations for the critically panned Other M (I personally enjoyed the game), but we mustn't get in the way of Nintendo's creative process.
In the end, I feel that Federation Force may be a precursor to something MUCH bigger, and even if it isn't, let's see where it goes. It's simply too early to tell what the final product will be.
Let's Be Hopeful and Grateful
Being a fan since the Action Set days, if it's one thing I've learned about Nintendo, it's that they know what they're doing and they don't ride on the coattails of others. Yes, some of their games may not be the most praised, and some gamers may decide to jump ship to other consoles all together.
Regardless of where or how you may get your game on, we must remember why we're in this hobby in the first place. What works for you may not work for someone else, and that's perfectly fine. I've always been an advocate for acceptance, and I feel that it can also exist in our own little corner of the world.
As I sit in my own little space, I'm glad that I can be a part of this community, even if the simple act of walking outside seems to be an insurmountable chore. Let's do each other and ourselves good, and be thankful that companies like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft can continue to create games and put a great deal of effort into these live events, even if some of us are current or recovering shut-ins.
His puppet body is ready, and so is mine! #MyBodyisReggie