Author Topic: Nintendo’s Weird E3 Succeeded Solely with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild  (Read 3204 times)

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Offline NWR_Neal

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Rightfully earning the last laugh at E3 2016, Nintendo’s Zelda show wound up winning the day.

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/editorial/42894/nintendos-weird-e3-succeeded-solely-with-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild

Let’s start this off by eating some crow. I didn’t track down any exact quotes of mine, but back in April when Nintendo confirmed that the new Zelda would be the only game playable at E3 2016, I likely guffawed. I might have said something like “well, they sure as hell gave up this year.” It seemed like yet another arrow to the heart of E3 following EA’s split, Disney’s demise, and Activision’s lack of booth.

Now, in the glimmering afterglow of E3 2016, Nintendo’s top brass can confidently march out of Los Angeles with head held high: they brought a single game to the biggest show in town and that game freaking slayed. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild might not bring home every single “Game of Show” award, but it will assuredly go down as one of the defining games of this E3. From the expansive open-world sandbox demo to the Disneyland-esque booth design, Breath of the Wild left an indelible mark on the event and anyone who paid attention to it.

A multitude of reasons back up the effectiveness of its debut and presentation, but a few specific notes about the game stick out to me.

Bold New Ideas

A while back, Producer Eiju Aonuma made comments about how the new Zelda would change up the staid formula every 3D Zelda had used for close to 20 years. Dude didn’t bury the lede; he changed up the formula in a big bad way. It’s to the point where you look at Breath of the Wild, and truly it is not like Zelda games that came before it. Now we might dive into the final game and notice more similarities to the formula than first met the eye, but for what we saw at E3 2016, this is a whole new (open) world with overt influences from series outside of Nintendo’s purview.

Sold the NX Better Than Microsoft Sold the Scorpio

We still don’t know what the hell the NX is, but we know that Breath of the Wild will be on it, so instantly, the NX has a major selling point. The impressiveness of the new Zelda on top of the confirmation that it will be the same experience on both Wii U and NX showed off the NX in a brilliant (though still mysterious) light. Judging by the absurd rush to play Zelda every day at E3, this game might be a better marketing tool for NX than an actual console reveal. Maybe just maybe holding back the NX reveal was a good idea.

Spoiler-Free Sense of Mystery

Outside of Link being asleep for 100 years and Ganon being the villain, little was confirmed about Breath of the Wild’s story and setup. That means that whatever scraps were peppered through the demo stood out more. The only official word on the story comes from Aonuma, who just pointed to his shirt when asked, which bore the Shiekah eye symbol - first seen in Ocarina of Time. Maybe Breath of the Wild is 100 years after Ocarina of Time? Maybe it’s after Wind Waker? Twilight Princess? Skyward Sword? Four Swords Adventures? Wand of Gamelon? Who knows, but man, is it fun to think of what the details are of this world, what the unseen towns holds, who that old man is, why Koroks are there, why the Temple of Time looks like its ripped out of Ocarina of Time, why Twilight Princess’ Bridge of Eldin seems to be there, what that floating thing in the distance is, what castle is that, who is that mystery voice (Zelda?), why is Link wearing blue, what does a main dungeon look like, what is the meaning of life, where is my car, what year is it?

Shield Snowboarding

How freaking rad is it that you can take your shield off your back and then ride it down a mountain? Like seriously - how awesome. SSX somehow got tossed into a Zelda game. Throw “It’s Tricky” onto the soundtrack and some dope ramps and Breath of the Wild could be the best extreme sports game in recent memory.

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Offline UncleBob

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This thread is so misleading.  Nintendo won E3 not because of Zelda.  It's nice and all, but Nintendo won E3 purely on the back of Waluigi amiibo.  Waluigi amiibo is so awesome, he retroactively makes Nintendo win every single previous E3 - as if Nintendo's 100+ year history has been building to the singular moment in time when the Waluigi amiibo is released unto the masses.
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Offline ClexYoshi

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I'm in this weird boat where I kinda don't want this game? I tend to not hold such stupidly huge in scope survival based games in high regard. I respect the sheer ammount of manpower that goes into making such happen, but I also think it's the game design equivalent of bieng sold a pitcher of ice that happens to have some soda in it instead of just a straight up cup of soda.

I really hope the booth gets repurposed and wasn't just a one-off thing. Maybe that experience would make me less of a crumudgeon when it comes to Breath of the Wild.

if I had any hope out of what I feel was an extremely subdued E3 this year, it's probably for Ever Oasis, Kingdom Hearts 2.8, and various kickstarter games that are finally nearing completion.

Offline TOPHATANT123

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Quote
Eiju Aonuma

Zelda looks absolutely amazing and Nintendo have blown me away. The emphasis on physics in an open world feels fresh not just in Zelda but in open world games in general. However I feel they could have handled their message much better. Announcing they only have a single game worth showing throws all the other games they have coming up for the next 9 months plus a bunch of nindies under the bus. Even if those games aren't the spectacle Zelda is, it feels like the initial press release just reinforced the perception that they don't have anything. Get rid of a couple of those photo opportunities and put in a few kiosks for Ever Oasis, Mario Party, Paper Mario, Federation Force, Pokemon, Dragon Quest and Nindies, even if literally no one plays them you stop things like "NIS has more Nintendo games than Nintendo does!" Things that just make them look weak as a company.

Pokemon is exciting and new Pokemon trailers get millions of views, but the way they presented it was slow and boring, bringing the demo to a complete standstill whenever an interpreter has to talk back and forth with a developer instead of just playing the demo and letting them talk in the background. Everything shown could have been summed up in a two minute trailer with gameplay later on in the day when the Zelda furvor had settled down.

Don't want to be too much of a downer though as I really do love how the next Zelda game is shaping up, they had huge expectations placed upon them and I feel they more than delivered and then some.

Offline Ian Sane

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Things worked out but only because Zelda is just that impressive of a game.  This wasn't some calculated plan.  Nintendo didn't show that many titles because without revealing the NX they didn't have much to show.  Their least successful console was making it's final E3 appearance.  It was a sure thing that there was going to be a slim E3 lineup.  But it just so happens that the last Wii U title might also be the most impressive.  This was luck.  If their last Wii U game was something like Star Fox Zero instead this E3 would have been a total dud.

And Nintendo isn't very good at recognizing when something is a fluke that cannot be replicated.  They're not going to have games like Zelda on a regular basis so don't give them the idea that focusing primarily on one title at E3 is a good strategy.  They deserve credit for making the most out of a bad situation, but they should be thankful that the stars aligned with THIS game coinciding with this E3.  If there is a strategy to take from this it's that having the most impressive game is the key to "win" E3.  So I suppose if Nintendo can just have the most impressive game year after year they can continue with this routine but that's not going to happen even if they try for it.

One really nice thing though is that there is some serious buzz for the new Zelda and it is supposed to be an NX launch title.  The NX has an immediate killer app to move consoles and create enough initial sales that third parties on the fence may decide to offer support instead of last time where the initial weak sales scared everyone off.  The difference between THIS and the initial Wii U and 3DS launch games is night and day.

Offline nickmitch

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They could've crapped out a couple of trailers and demos for some quick and dirty titles, then "move" them to NX, if they thought they needed it.  Nintendo knew Zelda would wow people and was worth betting the farm on.  I at least give them the credit of making a "calculated risk" and not just stumbling on success.
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Offline Oedo

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And Nintendo isn't very good at recognizing when something is a fluke that cannot be replicated.  They're not going to have games like Zelda on a regular basis so don't give them the idea that focusing primarily on one title at E3 is a good strategy.  They deserve credit for making the most out of a bad situation, but they should be thankful that the stars aligned with THIS game coinciding with this E3.  If there is a strategy to take from this it's that having the most impressive game is the key to "win" E3.  So I suppose if Nintendo can just have the most impressive game year after year they can continue with this routine but that's not going to happen even if they try for it.

They've explicitly said they take a fresh approach to E3 every year.

Quote
"We announced about a month ago that it would be a Zelda only game for us. And we also announced that Treehouse Live would be the primary way that we communicated with the public," ... "There’s always speculation at a show like E3, but for us, we stayed true to what we intended to do."

"Every year we look at it fresh and don’t think about what we did the year before,” Scibetta said. “It’s about what we want to talk about this year and how we want to get the word out. For future years, it could be an execution like we did this time, we could go back to a presentation, we could do more Treehouse Live, we could go to a digital event, we could do something new.“

https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/17/nintendo-e3/

I don't know why anybody would assume that Nintendo would take this year's success at E3 to mean that this is what they should do at E3 every year going forward, unless you're just trying to make up reasons to bash Nintendo. I also don't understand how you can claim that this wasn't a "calculated plan." Did you think they were completely unaware of how great Breath of the Wild is?

Offline Ian Sane

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I also don't understand how you can claim that this wasn't a "calculated plan." Did you think they were completely unaware of how great Breath of the Wild is?

There was no plan.  Nintendo has, what, three games left in the pipeline for the Wii U?  They're lucky that one of those games is super awesome.  They didn't plan to have so little to show, it's how things go when you're at the end of the life of an underperforming console.  They didn't start working on Zelda all these years ago thinking that at E3 2016 they were going to primarily focus on it and not much else.  E3 came, they had hardly anything to show, they had one game that blows away literally every other game on the Wii U and 3DS combined, and chose to make that the main focus of the show.  That's a better strategy then giving equal weight to all of the titles so that was a smart move.  But that wasn't some calculated plan, it was salvaging a shitty scenario and luckily having the most impressive title Nintendo has worked on in years coinciding with the show that needed it the most.

A calculated plan would be having the ability to show lots of titles and intentionally withholding them to put more focus on a really impressive game.  Nintendo had no such option.

Offline Spak-Spang

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This is the first 3D Zelda to me that feels like the very first Zelda game...in fact I might say it is the most pure version of Zelda I have seen.

I personally don't think the survival and resource management is going to be a huge part of the game.  It feels like there are always plenty of items available for you.  Instead I think it is placed there to get the player to use other weapons and think outside the box.  I am also sure that there will probably be weapon upgrades.  With over 100 mini dungeons, this game is going to have to upgrade Link in some manner.  There can not be 100 unique weapons, items, and magics.  I also expect this game to have a Metroid-elda (or Zel-troid) feel to it.  They will have to limit players exploration somehow to make sure that players are ready before tackling harder areas.  So this will be accomplished with obtaining items and upgrades.  Which I know has been apart of Zelda as long as it has been apart of Metroid.

Offline ThePerm

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I wonder what stage of development any metroid nx game is? While I was playing Assassins Creed I took a break to play Metroid Prime again. And I thought "what if the planet was really fucking huge?"

Assassins Creed Black flag was kinda nice because it wasn't just empty space. There was always something to do. You could rob plantations, hunt for whales, pirate boats, go on assassination missions.

I thought about Samus in the context of being a bounty hunter. If you did it right you could have Samus go across the galaxy doing her thing. I've never played a multiplanet open world game, but it could be done in the way Wind Waker. The planets would only be as big as the wind waker islands. They would be round though like Mario Galaxy worlds, but they would need to have that Metroid feel. Maybe in t he middle of the game Samus discovers some Chozo teleportation tech.
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Offline jarodea

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Re: Nintendo’s Weird E3 Succeeded Solely with Legend of Zelda:BotW
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2016, 09:06:58 AM »
Shame all I keep hearing is that E3 doesn't really matter anymore.  Anyhoo, as I often do when I pop up I'll just second Ian Sane's sentiments rather than make a mild variation of them.