One man's ramblings about an E3 that gets the lowest grade possible: C minus minus
When E3 actually works - which happens once every four years or so - it's because there's something that I can look forward to without reservation. E3 2018 had the following announcements in that line:
- Yakuza games are multiplatform now, maybe we get that 1/2 HD port on Switch after all
- Cosmic Star Heroine, a game I started plugging before I started writing here, is coming to Switch
- Nintendo's rediscovering their arcade roots with the original Donkey Kong and Sky Skipper
- ...that's it.
Every other announcement has a major reservation behind it. What does a "streamlined" character unlock mean for a Smash Bros. game where the roster is bigger than the headcount at my job? What happened with Fire Emblem: Three Houses that caused it to slip all the way to spring of next year? (And why do we appear to have another manakete that looks way too young for comfort?) Speaking of Fire Emblem, why does the writer for Fates being involved in Daemon X Machina's story sound like a really bad idea? I was always wary enough about Pokémon Let's Go, but WHY is the Poké Ball Plus sixty five Canadian dollars before tax? And most importantly, how slavish is Nintendo to the "upcoming releases only" deal at E3 that they devoted more than 60% of the presentation to Smash?
Maybe I set my expectations too high this year, but I kind of expected more. I'm stunned that they think they can get away with throwing online play for their games behind a paywall and have the next online game after it comes out be a Mario Party game. (A Mario Party game where the online isn't the main mode of play, no less.) I expected at least one more 3DS game to show up during Treehouse Live of some import; give me my Link's Awakening remix in the LBW engine, you cowards. I expected maybe one more big rescue from the Wii U; maybe Tokyo Mirage Sessions isn't coming through the door, but a New Super Mario All-Stars would have been nice.
I don't know what the term is for a tent with two poles at the back, but that's what the Switch schedule looks like right now. Pokémon and Smash right around BF will be moderate for me and big for Nintendo's financials, but after Everything Releases Day on July 13 they have two 3rd party publishing projects (Go Vacation, TWEWY Remix), the Xenoblade 2 DLC, and Mario Party for four months? That feels a little light. Nintendo is the last company who should be concerned with the Red Dead Redemption 2-caused release crater around October 26, and hopefully we'll see a news dump or presentation sooner rather than later.
I can't count on the rest of E3 to deliver games I care about, so I look to Nintendo and this year's show didn't really do it. The fact that games are being talked about that won't come out until I'm 40, like Elder Scrolls VI and Kingdom Hearts III, only makes it worse. I can't imagine next year is going to be any better, and for some reason I committed to being on our Away Team for it, so I really hope I'm wrong. But as we close the book on 2018's show, I hope I never have to open it again.