E3 2016: Nintendo Treehouse Live Recap
Opting to do something a little bit different, Nintendo chose to spread their gaming news and announcements over three days rather than shoving everything into an hour or two like Microsoft and Sony. This may seem like a strange decision, but the upside of this format is that it allows Nintendo to spend more time on each game rather than showing a brief trailer with no context. Nintendo's gamble was a strange one, but it seems to have paid off, given the feedback from the fans online. Since it would be time-consuming to condense three days worth of news into an article, let's just look at the highlights from Nintendo's live streams.
Breath of the Wild
It shouldn't come as a surprise that this game is on the list. Without a doubt, one of the biggest surprises to come out of this year's E3 was the look of the new Zelda. In a complete departure from the recent entries in the series, the game looks to drop you into Hyrule with nothing but your underwear. This brings the franchise the closest it has come to its first entry in the series in 30 years.
The game's map seems absolutely massive and for a Wii U title the game doesn't look half bad either. During the stream, it was confirmed once again that Breath of the Wild is also coming to the Nintendo NX at launch. Thankfully, the game won't see any content changes between the new version, so one can only assume that the NX version will offer a graphical overhaul and little else. Regarding what's new in this entry, Zelda seems to be embracing some RPG elements, including attack and defense points for each piece of equipment. Breath of the Wild also allows you to fully customize your gear, which changes the appearance of Link, allowing the player to customize Link's appearance for the first time in the series' history.
With some new elements and the classic characters and setting, The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild is shaping up to be a fantastic entry in the series. I can honestly say that this is the first time I've been genuinely excited for a Zelda release in years. This game will likely be a day one purchase for me, and I can't wait to learn more about Breath of the Wild and have a chance to get my hands on it next year.
The live segment for Pokémon Go likely told us more about the game than it was supposed to, especially with acclaimed developer Shigeru Miyamoto outing the game's release window. In addition to the release, we've also learned about Pokémon Go Plus, a wristband that players can use to sync up with the game and allow them to interact with Pokémon Go without having their nose always buried in their phone. According to Miyamoto, the band will not only enable you to capture Pokémon but will also help you to find additional items while wearing it. Game Freak's Junichi Masuda also confirmed that the game will have some compatibility with Pokémon Sun and Moon in the future. With the game launching in about a month with the classic 150 available at launch, Nintendo seems to want to capitalize on nostalgia and the franchise's twentieth anniversary to appeal to current players and lapsed fans alike.
A complete surprise during the second day of Treehouse Live, Nintendo gives us a brand new RPG franchise for the Nintendo 3DS. Developed at Greezo, the team behind The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D and Legend of Legacy. An action RPG with some inspiration take from other Nintendo franchises and even offers up some puzzle solving. Ever Oasis is set in an Egyptian inspired world and is coming from an incredible pedigree. The game's director, Koichi Ishii become known as the director of the first three Final Fantasy titles and Square's Mana series. With this kind of history and the storied legacy of RPGs on the Nintendo DS family of systems, gives me high hopes for Ever Oasis.
Dragon Quest VII
Finally seeing this game with English text is something that I wanted far more than I could have ever realized. Seeing the updates made since the original PlayStation version was fantastic. With each character having multiple models based on their current class, and even the monster classes returning from the PlayStation game, I could not be more excited about this title. It looks great and getting an updated version with, likely, a superior localization to its PlayStation counterpart is a dream come true. I can only hope that this game does well when its released later this year so that we can see Dragon Quest XI make its way to English-speaking audiences whenever it finally sees a release.
A surprise indie entry into our list, Runbow on the Wii U looks platform. An endless runner with a color based theme, platforms will disappear depending on the background color, and if you can't see them, they aren't there. Runbow was a big deal at last year's Nindie event at PAX. Runbow received a huge push from Nintendo due to its fun and addictive gameplay, and I look forward to seeing how the game will transition to the New 3DS.