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E3 2018: Nintendo Shows Smash Bros. Ultimate, Fortnite, Pokémon Switch
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E3 2018: Nintendo Shows Smash Bros. Ultimate, Fortnite, Pokémon Switch

Nintendo goes full Smash Bros, while new Pokémon and tons of ports should keep Switches humming all year long.

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Nintendo doesn’t “do” E3 like the others do it; for starters, they don’t throw the traditional press scrum or even a flashy conference anymore. While this is a bit sad, their alternative presentation, the familiar Nintendo Direct, was packed with more than enough Nintendo-themed goodness and console exclusives to keep curious Switch fans more than happy with their best-selling console/portable fun machine. And they’re going to need it, too, as there wasn’t even a whiff of 3DS news.

So if you’re ready to let the soothing tones of Reggie Fils-Aimé, comfortingly strange dubbing and some of the very best Japanese hair styles this side of a J-POP video, Nintendo’s direct probably has something you’ll like. That and Super Smash Bros.; lots and lots of Super Smash Bros.

What They Showed:

Nintendo hit the ground running with Marvelous Entertainment’s Daemon x Machina. Not much is known about it outside the fact it looks a lot like Zone of the Enders mixed with other mech combat titles such as Armored Core and SEGA’s classic Virtual On games. We’ll be sure to have our sensors locked on to this one when it’s released.

The latest and last expansion for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is called Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country, and this time you get to play from a different perspective, that of Jin the antagonist of the game. Set hundreds of years before the story of the main game, you step into the life of Jin and will learn a lot of the title’s backstory and lore, something I’m sure fans (and our editor Cory) will love when it’s released this fall.

It wouldn’t be Nintendo without some Pokémon news, and they brought it in troves with not one, but two new titles for the Switch called Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu. Even more interesting is the all-new Poké Ball Plus controller that’s a real Poké Ball you carry around to catch Pokémon in the games. Just like a “real” Poké Ball, you can use it to transfer your Poké pals between games, and it even lights up and shakes when you capture one. To add even more coolness, the Pokémon you capture in it will make their authentic sounds from inside the device, and it comes with the legendary Mew so you already have an epic catch to start off with. Expect a lot of these to sell come November.

We knew it was a matter of time before another party game would be released, especially with the popularity of the Switch. Now we have Super Mario Party that allows you and your friends to connect your Switches like domino pieces to form a single, giant display in which the configuration of them determines the playing field. Family night just got a little more interesting, and we can’t wait to play in October.

While the Switch had Fire Emblem Warriors last year, it wasn’t a proper entry in the series like the upcoming Fire Emblem: Three Houses is, complete with the top-down strategic gameplay fans love. Not much is known about the story, but you can expect real-time combat sequences and nicely animated cutscenes in this release. We had hoped this one was coming this year, but we’ll have to wait until Spring 2019 to enter these houses.

While it’s already off to a shaky start thanks to a certain gaming giant not playing ball with others, Fortnite is finally available today on the Switch. It’s very frustrating that players with Epic accounts on said gaming giant’s console can’t use their account on the Switch version, but those with Xbox and PC accounts can carry over their characters, skins and more to the powerful portable and kick butt while cross playing on these platforms to boot (except the one that’s not playing with others sadly).

The biggest release both figuratively and literally that was talked about is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Anyone who has played the previous entries will be happy to know that every single character from them will be included in this one, making it one of the largest (if not the largest) fighting game rosters ever. Another sweet announcement came in the form of the game being compatible with GameCube controllers. So if you still have your old faithfuls, you’ll be able to connect them to your Switch via a USB adapter. With Ryu from Street Fighter, Cloud from Final Fantasy VII, Solid Snake, Bayonetta, and Ridley from Metroid as a main boss, this will be the fighting game to beat just in time for the holidays in early December.

There were also a slew of indie titles and ports announced at the show such as Overcooked 2, Killer Queen Black, Hollow Knight which is available now, Starlink: Battle for Atlas, Arena of Valor, Just Dance 2019, DragonBall FighterZ, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, ARK Survival Evolved, and many others that will keep Switch players busy for quite some time. We always knew the Switch would become the go-to console for ports, and yet somehow this still only feels like the beginning of an incoming flood.

In Conclusion:

Yes, Nintendo’s Direct was overloaded with all-things Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but that’s probably for the best as it’s bound to be The Big N’s heaviest-hitter when it pummels Switch users just before the Christmas season. Multiple Pokémon titles should keep those fans more than happy, too, while we’re at the beginning of an impending Switch Port Tsunami that can’t be ignored.

I wish there had been at least news or some updates about Metroid Prime 4, but that will come at some point. Until that happens, though, there’s plenty of gaming goodness to look forward to in the world of Nintendo – even if so much of it looks pretty familiar. But that’s what we love about E3 – the surprises – so we’ll have to see what third-parties can offer anxious Nintendo fans in this area.