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I'll admit, I wasn't really sure if I would continue this series for Nintendo's E3 2016 presentation. I was more than a little disappointed with the announcement that Nintendo would be holding a 'Treehouse' event and would only be showcasing two games on Day 1, again breaking the mold of their previous run of Digital Events and Nintendo Directs. Because of the fact that this presentation was rather different, I'll be showcasing some of the more notable elements of the presentation factor along with the games themselves.
This E3 has had absolutely nothing to do with the Kirby series, but I suppose that's to be expected- after all, we did just get Planet Robobot.
I started to watch Nintendo's E3 presentation on Day 1 with somewhat low expectations for the format, despite my excitement for the upcoming Zelda title. Were these expectations justified, or did the Treehouse events surprise me in a good way?
(Note: These opinions are based on what was shown at the events. The games shown may turn out to be great/terrible, but my opinions are just based on what they looks like to me from what they showed on Day 1 of Nintendo's two-day presentation.)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I've been somewhat of a fan of Zelda for many years, so this game had me very excited, even before the Treehouse event. However, the Treehouse Live event proved to me that this game truly will almost certainly be amazing. I have no problem saying that the graphics are the best on any Nintendo game I've seen yet. The aspects of exploration and free-roaming gameplay are also a big plus in my book. The game is simply HUGE- it appears to be really expansive and immersive. It also breaks new ground for the series, what with Link now being able to jump and climb. Even the amiibo elements were pretty cool in my eyes. They spent a long time focusing on this game, and while I didn’t watch the entire presentation due to the length, I still thought what I saw looked really stellar.
Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon
While I'm not really the biggest Pokémon fan in the world, I'm quite pleased with the info shown regarding these two games. They seem like a major upgrade from previous titles in this series. Many of the smaller additions and changes, such as redesigning the human characters and the more organic fight visuals, make the game seem like a more realistic. It certainly seems like they've refined the Pokémon formula down to a near science in Sun and Moon!
As mentioned previously, I was skeptical of the idea of a Treehouse in place of a sort of Digital Event. However, having seen it, I can definitely see why they made that decision, especially when you don't really have much in the department of unannounced games to show. I expected the extra 'unscripted' chatter over the aspects of the game to be distracting, but a good deal of it turned out to be informative and helpful. While I don't think it would be a good idea to keep this format for future years, for the most part, it served its purpose well here. (The background noise did get a bit annoying after a while, though.)
Honorable Mention: BOXBOXBOY!
Mario Party: Star Rush
The Mario Party series has definitely stagnated over the past few entries in the series, and from what I've seen, I have little confidence that this game will do anything to break that trend. Really, I don't like the idea of having all players take their turns at once. It does seem like they are once again trying to take the focus away from the minigames, which have always been the focal point of the Mario Party series for me.
I suppose it is nearly unavoidable to have at least some slip-ups in a live, mostly unscripted event (especially with this length), but there were a noticeable amount of moments here and there that reminded me why Nintendo has decided to forgo live presentations recently. It’s hard to be critical about most of the little momentary mistakes, but as an E3 presentation, there are just enough that it makes the Treehouse event seem much more unprofessional by nature than what we’ve come to expect from Nintendo’s efforts from the past couple of years. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t always good either.
Too Long (Day 1)
While I enjoyed watching the new Zelda on Day 1, I think they could have evened out their focus a bit more with Sun and Moon. Instead of spending a full SEVEN HOURS on Zelda and a mere hour on Pokémon, for instance, they could have evened it out a bit better. Alternatively, they could have shortened the event in order to even out their focus a bit more.
Dishonorable Mention: Paper Mario: Color Splash
Well, those were my opinions on Nintendo’s two-day Treehouse Live event. It exceeded my expectations, for the most part! What are your thoughts? Let me know what you think.