Muppets, Dresses, Yarn, and Co-Op: Nintendo’s Exceedingly Cute E3 Presentation
Nintendo’s E3 presentation pretty much erupted my Twitter timeline into explosions of surprise and joy, after cynicism and low expectations. Starting the show with honest to god Muppet versions of some of the head honchos of Nintendo that morphed into representations of characters from Star Fox Zero, due for a release this winter. We saw new footage of Arwings transforming into different forms, along with descriptions of influence for Star Fox in general- including the classic Supermarionation (heh) tv show Thunderbirds. Many of the games shown off featured anecdotes from the developers, including Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Wooly World.
More features of the Amiibos were shown off via a new “transformation” theme that continued from the Star Fox segment of the presentation, that allowed for removal from bases. Amiibos factoring into Mario Maker and Animal Crossing games, and a crossover with mega-hit Skylanders were also revealed.
Customization and expressing one’s self were continued in the reveals for a new co-operative Zelda game where you can dress up Link into a variety of outfits, including Zelda’s dress. (The trans femmes I follow on Twitter went wild over this — they’re the kind of folks that “joke” about Cloud wanting to use female pronouns after Wall Market in Final Fantasy 7.) As an aside, the reaction I saw was wildly different from the response to the Fallout 4 dress gag — that was transmisogynistic, relied on tired transphobic imagery, and put next to other “goofy” outfits. Here, Link was shown smiling and the viewer was told that you could get unique attributes from it. One was a mockery, the other didn’t pass judgment.
Yoshi can be put into different costumes colored like other Nintendo characters in Wooly World, including a Samus Aran based design. Thankfully, that wasn’t the only representation for Metroid — two new games were announced for 2016: Federation Force, a mission based co-operative shooter game on the 3DS with a chibi art style, and Blast Ball, a 3v3 competitive sports themed game.
Sports were also represented in the new Mario Tennis game, Ultra Smash. Players’ characters can now grow to enormous heights, which sounds about right for a new Mario game. Mario featured pretty heavily this year, with RPG crossover Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. The Paper Mario cast teams up with the versions of the characters from the Mario & Luigi series, for rather silly shenanigans. Mario Maker continued Nintendo’s crossover theme with characters such as Link and the Wii Fit Trainer showing up in in-game footage as sprites.
Other announced games included the 3DS version of Hyrule Warriors, featuring fan favorite Tetra from Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and new Animal Crossing games: looks like there’s a Mario Party style game in its future, along with one that focuses on decorating houses. Nintendo also showed off an American release for the Level 5 IP, Yokai Watch.
All in all, considering how jaded I’d been feeling about video games and E3 in general (aside from XCOM 2), I’m feeling pretty stoked for the stuff coming from Nintendo soon.