E3 Nintendo Review: Not a Smash-ing Time

Craig looks back on Nintendo’s Smash Dir … err … E3 Direct, with our E3 Nintendo review.

Nintendo prefaced their presence at E3 this year by insisting that the focus would be solely on Switch games coming out in 2018. Despite this, many expected – myself included – for there to be a tease or two towards the future of the Switch. We knew that Smash would play a big part in the Direct, but probably not for it to dominate as much as it did.

In reality, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a known quantity and has been for some time, we all knew what was coming. It’s evolved over the years but at its core, it’s not changed a great deal to the majority outside of the hardcore Smash community; a statement that’s not meant to be a knock against the series (because it’s truly fantastic) but a realisation that it hasn’t needed to.

Including every single Smash character in Ultimate is a really big deal and Nintendo was right to shout about it during their direct but a lack of anything else of substance really let the show down.

The caveat to all of this is, of course, Nintendo’s unpredictability when it comes to new information via future Directs. There’s no discernable pattern, Nintendo tends to unleash a steady flow of information when they feel they’re ready to and in a way it wouldn’t be surprising to see a bunch of services and games announced and explored a month or two down the line.

If you’re enamoured with Smash, then it was a great show, if you’re not though, then there was little else to pick over. Fire Emblem’s delay to 2019 was a disappointment but expected, the immediate release of Hollow Knight and Fortnite was also welcome (and in the latter’s case, expected), while Super Mario Party and Overcooked 2 are nice additions to the console while we wait for Smash’s release on December 7th.

The Switch feels like it’s in an awkward place right now though. The online service launches in a little over two months with retro games also coming as part of the package, there’s still no discernible information regarding either, and there’s no major title for the service to launch with. Many speculated that Smash would be the title that would launch the online service in September but that theory was put to bed with it’s recently announced date. Online services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and even a standard web browser are still absent, with no details on any, a whole year after the Switch’s release.

Big titles like Metroid Prime 4, Animal Crossing and even the Pokemon Let’s Go games were either complete no shows, or, in the case of Pokemon, skinny on the details.

Nintendo was never going to top a stellar first year that brought brand new Zelda and Mario titles within months of the console launching; having some sort of plan for the foreseeable future and into 2019 would’ve helped ease some concerns though.

The concerns for the future of the Switch should be small though. We already know that 2019 will bring with it a fully-fledged Pokemon game, Fire Emblem Three Houses and (hopefully) Metroid Prime 4. It’s just a shame that when Nintendo had the world’s eyes on them, they decided to drown them with Smash.

Have you enjoyed this content? If you’d like to help us to make more, please consider donating to Pause Resume to help us cover the costs of running a website dedicated to video games without intrusive advertisements.