Welcome back to Koop Calls It, where our ever-confident staffers duke it out by predicting what we’ll see at gaming’s most anticipated press releases and scheduled news events to see who has the superior sense of foresight.
With Nintendo’s unique digital E3 reveals just a few short hours away, Pete and Jack will be going toe-to-toe on this one to see who can do a better job of predicting the Big N’s hand. Pete hopes to keep the momentum going after his last victory over Jack, while Jack looks to even the score at the biggest gaming event of the year. Without further adieu, here are Jack’s five predictions for Nintendo at E3.
Update: Nintendo had a lot to show us both new and old and it seems we have another tie with Pete and Jack going 2-2!
Check out Pete’s Nintendo E3 predictions here.
1) 3D Metroid on Wii U False!
With Super Mario 3D World already released, Mario Kart 8 sending plenty of consoles off of store shelves, and the next console iteration of Zelda already confirmed to have a presence at E3, I think Nintendo is finally in the position to reveal what fans have been begging for since day one. There are a few Nintendo franchises with cult followings that are eligible for a big reveal this E3, such as F-Zero and Star Fox, but what sets the 3D Metroid franchise apart (minus Other M) is its consistent, reliable sales, and its consistent, reliable gameplay.
F-Zero is a great game by all means, but especially so soon after the release of Mario Kart 8 I just can’t see it as a crucial franchise to shove on the struggling Wii U. This, coupled with its average sales compared to Metroid Prime’s Grand-Theft-Auto-matching sales, make it a less-than-likely candidate. Star Fox is another title with a huge cult following, but the adventure games that came after Star Fox 64 never quite achieved a truly worthwhile and must-have experience.
Metroid Prime 1-3, on the other hand, have been almost universally well-received and met with high praise even years after their release. It is time for a proper new Metroid title, and I hope Nintendo realizes it. As for personal hopes, I am just praying that we find the right developer at the helm. With Retro Studios, the creators of the franchise, working on a mystery project after their completion of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, I don’t see it as too unlikely that they have been hard at work on the title already. Only Nintendo’s Direct will tell.
2) Majora’s Mask 3D on 3DS False!
I don’t have all that much to say about this. After the Ocarina of Time remake released during the 3DS’ early days was met with a tidal wave of praise, this one seems like a no-brainer. It has been asked for by fans time and time again, and with the 3DS’ release schedule looking pretty empty for the first time in a long time, now would be the perfect time to show it off and keep the 3DS steamrolling once Smash Bros. releases this summer. Miyamoto himself has even admitted interest in the remake on several occasions, so the question might not even need to be “if,” but “when?”
Make it happen, Ninty.
3) Smash Bros. newcomer reveal: Princess Palutena Correct!
I can only imagine that we’ve only got a few mystery fighter slots left with the game releasing this summer, so Nintendo really has to make them count. I think they’ll succeed at that when they announce Princess Palutena from the Kid Icarus series as a playable character in Smash 4 at E3.
A Palutena statue seen on the new Kid Icarus stage in the upcoming Smash Bros.
Aside from being the omnipotent Goddess of Light and coming packed with powerful sorcery and a giant-orby-staff-of-whoopass, Palutena has also never been more relevant as a character to be considered for a spot on the roster. Kid Icarus: Uprising, the recent title for the 3DS which brought the franchise back from the dead, was a huge success. Clunky controls aside, by utilizing Star Fox 64-esque flying sequences and unique land battles chocked full of different weapon types, the unexpected title gave 3DS owners a true glimpse at the innovative experiences they were going to get to be a part of on the handheld for the first time.
Oh, and did I mention Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai was the creative director behind the entire game? I’ll mention it now.
While there were several other notable characters in the game alongside Pit such as the villainous Medusa and the mysterious Magnus, nobody had quite as much of a presence as Princess Palutena. With her lovable lightheartedness, quirky humor, and undeniable sense of authority, I have very little doubt that we’ll be seeing her sorcery join the fray at E3.
4) New Zelda mechanic prediction: Non-linear dungeon progressions False!
Eiji Aonuma, who is already hard at work on the next Zelda home console iteration, has shared a lot of his plans for one of the Wii U’s most anticipated titles. The Zelda veteran has expressed several things he does and does not want in the new HD title, such as his hesitations about ultra-realistic graphics and his desire for the game to feature a Hyrule setting that “no one has ever imagined before.” There’s not much doubt that the new Zelda title for Wii U is going to change the Zelda formula in more ways than one, so the only real question is “how?” I think one of the things we’ll hear is that the new title will feature non-linear dungeon progressions like the most recent handheld Zelda, A Link Between Worlds. For the first time, players were at true liberty to complete dungeons in whichever order they wished, and all necessary items to complete them were made available from the start of the game. Not only did it change up the pace of the game and give more choice to the player, but it also encouraged a truer sense of exploration – something that Miyamoto valued very heavily when creating the series in the first place.
A Link Between Worlds was thrown insanely high review scores almost across the board, and I think a large part of that was due to the new freedoms granted by dungeon progression that wasn’t pre-determined. Hopefully Nintendo realized this, and we get to experience the same freedoms in glorious HD action.
5) A surprisingly underwhelming Wii U presentation Correct!
This one pains me to write, but it’s a part of the job, unfortunately. The surprise isn’t that Nintendo’s home console presence won’t be outstanding at E3 – even the most devoted fans like myself can admit that it has never been Nintendo’s strong suit. The surprise will be that instead of bringing everything it can to the table to promote the struggling Wii U, Nintendo will completely underwhelm the audience and spend too much time focusing on titles that we either already know about or don’t particularly care about (*COUGH WII MUSIC COUGH*)
The difference between the 3DS’ suffering period was that at the very least Nintendo released the handheld after making the promise of some incredible and long awaited titles: a new Paper Mario, Animal Crossing, and Luigi’s Mansion 2 were among the batch. While the quality titles slowly rolled out, owners of the handheld had, at the very least, justifiable hope for the future. The Wii U, for reasons beyond me, has still not been given that hope. I have waited several years now for Nintendo to cement its place this generation by announcing all the mindblowing sequels and new experiences to hit the Wii U, and I am quickly getting tired of defending the topic.
With only a handful of must-haves on the Wii U several years later, I’m not sure if the presentation the console deserves is ever coming. I definitely think we’ll see a few new titles, but ultimately be let down by the presentation that could have been. I’m not happy about it, but I have to follow my head above my heart on this one. This is one prediction I would be ecstatic to be utterly wrong about.
Nintendo’s E3 digital event will take place at 9AM pacific time Tuesday, June 10, and can be watched directly from here (among other places.) Be sure to check back after the event to see which of our staffers came out on top!
Have any predictions of your own? Let us know in the comments below!