In Like a Lion…

supermarioodyssey_1987273Nintendo took to E3 2017 like a lion! Prior to the Nintendo Spotlight, which was followed by the Nintendo Treehouse Live, reports circulated about about the length of the presentation. Of course, these reports were met my some of the strangest reactions possible. In typical fashion, there were the usual complaints from this person or that, expounding on all of the “reasons” Nintendo was making a mistake, and already on the way to “losing” E3.

These sentiments, however, were wholly premature, as Nintendo absolutely showed off so much information on games that will be coming to the Nintendo Switch and a few to the Nintendo 3DS titles, as well. The Nintendo Spotlight was 25 minutes of packed details, and it was all about Nintendo Switch games coming very soon. Afterward, the Treehouse Live broadcast featured a few additional tidbits.

If you were unable to watch the Nintendo Spotlight, or would like to see it again, check it out below.

A few of the highlights from Day 1 include:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 looks amazing and is due to release Holiday 2017
  • a brand new Kirby game is coming to the Nintendo Switch, due to release next year
  • a new core RPG Pokémon game is in development for Nintendo Switch, but may be more than a year out
  • Metroid Prime 4 is now in development for the Nintendo Switch
  • Yoshi is in development and due to be released next year
  • Fire Emblem Warriors is due to be released Fall 2017
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC Expansion Pass Pack 1 is due to be released on June 30 and is called The Master Trials; and Pack 2 is due to be released in Holiday 2017, and called The Champions’ Ballad
  • Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was shown off and is due to be released August 29
  • Rocket League was announced for Nintendo Switch and includes console exclusives, cross-network support, and in due to be released Holiday 2017
  • Super Mario Odyssey was packed with tons of surprising content, features amazing music and so many never-before-seen mechanics and abilities, and is due to be released on October 27

“Nintendo Switch provides everyone a ticket for a journey to new worlds and fun, exclusive experiences,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “This journey continues through all of 2017 and beyond, and it’s one that video game fans of all types won’t want to miss.”

Nintendo's E3 2017 Show FloorDuring the Treehouse Live, Nintendo showed off several minutes of game play footage for the upcoming Metroid: The Return of Samus, a new 2D Metroid title for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. This game is due to be released September 15. In addition, we were also treated to game play for the upcoming Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions, due to be released on October 6. Also, as many as 12 new amiibo were shown off, and should be available soon.

The Treehouse Live was then followed by the first of three phenomenal tournaments featuring different competitive titles from Nintendo. The Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational took place today, pitting 4 teams from around the world against each other in the new Splatoon 2 game that will be released July 21. The remaining 2 tournaments are today and tomorrow, Wednesday June 14 and Thursday, June 15, respectively.

Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3 returns 10 a.m. PT on Wednesday. The day will include more live gameplay, game details and developer commentary, as well as two competitions. The 2017 Pokkén Tournament DX Invitational is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m., while the 2017 ARMS Open Invitational is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PT.

There was just so much to like about Day 1 of Nintendo’s E3 showing, and it was just the first day. What else will they do?!

Which aspect of the day stood out most to you? Were you happy with what you saw? What was the biggest surprise of the day?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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Hunting Down the Origins of Metroid

For the last several weeks, Nintendo has been releasing developer interviews commemorating the launch of the NES Classic Edition. Already we have seen interviews from the creators of Donkey Kong, Balloon Fight, Super Mario Bros.1 and 3, and The Legend of Zelda. Now we have come to the last in the series from writer, Mr. Akinori Sao. This interview features the developers of the wildly popular Metroid game (and series), Yoshio Sakamoto and Hiroji Kiyotake.

sakamoto-kiyotakeConcept and early development for the game was actually done by two of Nintendo’s youngest employees who, in fact, were novice game developers and had only ever worked on Game & Watch titles before. For many people who played the original Metroid game when it was first released on the Nintendo Entertainment System, the game was notoriously known as difficult. Some players who got their start with Super Mario Bros. and the like, may have recognized the game as a stark departure from Mario, and that was actually by design.

Ah, so what did you two new employees have in mind as you began making the game?

Kiyotake: As we were working, the Super Mario Bros.4 boom hit. So we wanted to make something that had what Super Mario Bros. didn’t have.

What Super Mario Bros. didn’t have? Like what?

Kiyotake: As a simple example, you know how Mario slides a little before stopping?

Uh-huh…

Kiyotake: So we tried to make a dead halt.

You began with movement?

Kiyotake: Yes. We wanted to make actions that Mario didn’t have. And then…

Sakamoto: Aren’t you forgetting something important?

Kiyotake: Am I?

Sakamoto: Super Mario Bros. is about avoiding enemies.

If you touch one, you lose a turn.

Sakamoto: In response to that, Kiyotake was complaining, saying, “Why do we have to avoid them?!” (laughs)

(laughs)

Sakamoto: When you began making Metroid, you wanted a technique called a Screw Attack for doing a spinning jump to defeat enemies. Isn’t that right?

Kiyotake: Oh, that’s right! (laughs)

As 30 years have passed since the creation and release of Metroid, a lot of the “secrets” of the game are now common knowledge, but the origin of some of those things is still unknown. By now, everyone knows the name of the protagonist of Metroid is Samus Aran, and also that she is, in fact, a woman, but how did she get her name?

Kiyotake-san, weren’t you the one who named Samus Aran?

Kiyotake: Yes, I was.

About ten years ago when I did a magazine interview, I heard from Sakamoto-san that you’re a soccer fan and took that name from the real name of Pelé, the King of Football.

Kiyotake: Yeah. (laughs) Even though it may not really be his name…

Yeah, it isn’t. (laughs)

Kiyotake: I thought so. (laughs)

Apparently, you thought Pelé’s real name is Samus Arantes Nascimentos.

Kiyotake: Yeah, yeah, something like that.

But if you look it up, it’s Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

Kiyotake: Yeah, I was totally off! (laughs)

Sakamoto: But Arantes was right. (laughs)

Yes, that much is! (laughs)

Kiyotake: I thought that conjured up the right image, so I used that name.

How did you decide to make Samus Aran a woman?

Sakamoto: Once we entered the final stage of development, we started talking about having different endings depending on how long it took players to clear the game. We wanted to prepare a reward for people who cleared it more quickly.

Kiyotake: We wondered what would surprise everyone and talked about removing Samus’s helmet.

Sakamoto: Then someone said, “It would be a shocker if Samus turned out to be a woman!” And everyone thought that would be interesting and wanted to do it, so we decided it right away.

Kiyotake: Yeah, we decided that in a flash. Back then, people played games over and over, so we wanted to give a reward for playing through quickly. Then we decided to put in four endings, with Samus removing her helmet or her suit and so forth.

As they played, everyone thought Samus was a tough, musclebound guy, but they learned in the end that Samus was a woman.

Sakamoto: People who played it back then were shocked. And even now people talk about it like a kind of legend. (laughs)

The very history of the early days at Nintendo mother-brain.pngis always an intriguing thing to me, as it is just fascinating how things came together, and certain decision led to such magnificent results. How many times were simple decisions or limitations the very things that turned out to be pivotal and most memorable! In Nintendo’s 30+ years in the video game industry, they have created a lot of the most iconic experiences ever, and as time continues to pass, it is wonderful when they take these rare moments to open up just a little bit.

Be sure to take the time to view the entire interview for Metroid here.

Did you enjoy the interview series? Have you been able to get your hands on the NES Classic Edition, yet? Do you know anyone else who has gotten one? Which classic game do you consider your favorite of the 30 games included on the system?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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