Nintendo will be one of the big game companies having a showcase at E3 this year. It’s safe to say it needs to have a big show. Here are five of the announcements I’m looking forward to seeing.
Unfortunately for gaming fans across the globe, E3 skipped 2020 all together because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, little by little, things seem to be returning to normalcy, which is a great sign. This also means E3 will be returning this year and we’re just about a week a way from all of the festivities. One of the presentations I’m looking forward to the most is Nintendo’s annual E3 direct. Although it does a number of directs throughout the year, the company usually saves its biggest announcements for E3, so I’m expecting some massive reveals. Then again, there have been some disappointing E3 directs in the past which have left fans a bit outraged and confused about Nintendo’s decision making. But, I have a very strong feeling this will be one to remember.
There have already been some rumors. Over the last couple of days, even weeks and months, the speculation over an improved Switch console, popularly called the Nintendo Switch Pro, is rumored to be announced at any moment. Of course, this may be revealed during the direct, but I have a feeling Nintendo will opt to focus more on the games rather than the hardware. With the company’s announcement about its involvement at E3 2021, it said the presentation will mostly focus on Switch software releasing in 2021, so there’s that. I think we’ll get a Nintendo Switch Pro reveal prior to the E3 direct, and the direct will focus entirely on games. As for games already announced, I can see some new footage for Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, and even a new look at The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD. The possibility of Mario Kart 9 or a brand-new Super Mario adventure game being revealed is also amazing, but there are some other games I want more since they’ve already been announced, not just rumored or teased. Plus, I want to make way for some fresh, new ideas, along with some potential comebacks.
So, here are the five things, all games related, that I want to see at E3 2021 from Nintendo.
5. An expanded virtual console on the eShop
Other than the constant additions of NES and SNES games, I think it’s a great time and opportunity to finally add even more classic games to the Switch’s library. As unlikely as it may be, I predict we’ll be getting some announcements about some old and beloved games coming to the eShop. It’s more wishful thinking than anything, but I would absolutely love to see Nintendo 64, GameCube, and even Wii games eventually making their way to the eShop. It can definitely be done and optimized for the Switch and this feature is extremely long overdue. It’s something the fans have wanted for a very long time now. Again, we may not get games from all three of these consoles, but I think it’s a possibility to at least see some 64 games making their way to the eShop soon enough. Then again, Super Mario 64 is playable as part of the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection. I can see other big games, like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask being part of future collections as well rather than just being released virtually. It’s the greed from Nintendo that frustrates me at times, but I’m still the one who buys these collections anyway since I can’t help it. Regardless, there are many other games fans would love to experience in a different light on the Switch and Nintendo should take full advantage of this.
4. New IP’s
If I’m being honest, the only new Nintendo IP that stands out the most is the Splatoon series and Splatoon 3 is already on the way. Other games include Platinum Games’ Astral Chain and the Bayonetta series, which wasn’t always exclusive to Nintendo. Other than that, Nintendo usually sticks to what works and it has paid off for the most part. However, I want Nintendo to create an entirely new game that could develop into a brand-new series of games all together. It’s hard to think of some other games that have the lasting appeal of games like the Super Mario Bros. series, The Legend of Zelda series, the Mario Kart series, the Super Smash Bros. series, and so on, unless you’re thinking of other franchises, such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, which most aren’t even playable on Nintendo consoles. In reality, these new IP’s can be standalone games if necessary. The fact of the matter is, fans want to play new games. I mean, of course, new Zelda and Mario games are always going to be welcome, but sometimes, we want a change of pace and a refreshing new adventure to embark on. Plus, it’s something to get excited about as we wait for all these other games to release.
3. The return of dormant franchises
Nintendo has so many IP’s I feel it doesn’t fully take advantage of. For example, there’s games like Star Fox, Donkey Kong, F-Zero, Kirby, and so on. Let’s look at the facts; the last entry in the Star Fox series released in April of 2016, which was over five years ago. Unless you’re counting Starlink’s Star Fox integration, which arguably did more justice to the series than Zero, then it’s been quite a long time. Considering the nature of how the Switch is played, I feel it’s the perfect series to bring back for this kind of console. Then there’s F-Zero, which other than the handheld installments, hasn’t released on a home console since the GameCube in 2003, which was almost 20 years ago. Mario Kart isn’t the only racing game that fans like playing. F-Zero deserves a bit more respect. There have been various iterations of different kinds of Kirby games throughout the years, most recently Kirby Fighters 2 in 2020. But, most have been pretty underwhelming and haven’t really lived up to, let’s say, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, which is debatably the last good Kirby game. Then again, I can’t really say any Kirby game is extremely critically acclaimed. It is a beloved character though, and I believe a lot of it has to do with its inclusion in the Super Smash Bros. series. A new game is more than welcome, in my opinion. Lastly, there’s Donkey Kong. The Switch did get a port of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which is absolutely fantastic, but it’s originally a Wii U game from 2014. Even then, I’m thinking more of a game similar to Donkey Kong 64. I feel the series worked incredibly well as a 3D platform adventure game. There are already rumors of the team behind Super Mario Odyssey doing this, which would be a dream come true. But yes, seeing any of these franchises returning, or any other IP Nintendo doesn’t always utilize, is something I’d be incredibly excited about.
2. A Metroid Prime 4 update
Metroid Prime 4 was first announced back at E3 2017, but since then, there has been no new footage and barely any updates. The last big update was in 2019 when it was announced the game had restarted development under Retro Studios after previously being developed Bandai Namco Studios. It’s been two years since then, so I’m pretty confident we’ll, at the very least, get a gameplay trailer or a cinematic trailer revealing the game in progress. Of course, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it may have pushed things back a bit, but again, that’s purely speculation since there isn’t enough details to state whether the game’s development was actually hindered by this. But, I think there’s an extremely good chance Nintendo will reveal something Metroid Prime 4 related, and I’m over the moon about that. As mentioned, it’s probably still a year or two away, so I can’t get my hopes up either, but I could be wrong and it’s more further along than everybody realizes. What I can say is I have a strong feeling the Metroid Prime trilogy will be ported to the Switch, which is great news for fans of the series, as well as newcomers who never played these games during their initial releases. So, I expect something Metroid Prime 4 related. Now, whatever that “something” is remains to be seen.
1. Give me all of the Breath of the Wild sequel news
As if there was another game I was more excited for than this one, right? Well, it’s been a pretty long wait, considering when it was first revealed, anyway. The first glimpse of this game was back at E3 2019 and it sort of came out of left field. I figured Nintendo would be at work on another Zelda game already, but I didn’t expect it to be so soon. I also didn’t expect it to be a sequel to Breath of the Wild, since sequels in this series are pretty rare. Then again, considering what Breath of the Wild established in terms of the world and how it’s played, it makes sense to return to this setting to take full advantage of everything it has to offer. By the time E3 2021 comes around, it’ll be two years since its announcement, and in between that time, there have been very little updates, other than some small details about how development is going well, it just wasn’t ready to be shown yet. I think we’ll finally be seeing some extensive footage for this sequel, and I’m pretty confident it’ll be getting a release date for late 2021. As for what changes will be coming? Well, that’s still up in the air. Of course, I loved everything the first one introduced, but I would love some ne gameplay elements, along with some returning factors. For example, I think the first one lacked a more focused and layered story compared to other entries in the series. The shrines and Divine Beasts sections were fun to play, but they weren’t as fun to play or as immersive as the traditional dungeons from the other games. If they can incorporate all of this into the sequel, it has the potential to be one of the greatest games ever made, which is a title many people already give to the first one. This will be the highlight of the entire direct, without a doubt, and it may very well be what everyone loves the most about E3 2021.
Be sure to check out Nintendo’s E3 direct on Tuesday, June 15, at 12 PM ET.