E3 2016 Predictions and Preview: Nintendo

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Games Nintendo Super Mario Pokémon

Our preview coverage of first parties at E3 2016 concludes with Nintendo. The Big N has already said a lot about what they wouldn’t be showing at E3 this year, namely their upcoming new hardware system codenamed the NX. However, they haven’t said much about what they would be showing, other than the new Zelda game, which they have announced will be the only playable game in their booth on the show floor. Here are some of our predictions and previews of other games we think Nintendo will showcase during their official Treehouse Live video broadcast starting at 9:30 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, June 14, and 10 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, June 15.

Details on Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem Mobile

Matthew Allen, Executive Games Editor

Nintendo has already announced that both Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem will be coming to mobile sometime this fall. They promised that these would be “pure game applications” with “more prominent game elements” compared to the social experiment that is Miitomo. They even offered details on what these two games could look like in a recent financial report:

“As for the former app, while making it more accessible in comparison to the Fire Emblem games for Nintendo’s dedicated gaming systems, Nintendo aims to offer the great value of a role-playing strategy game. Nintendo will design the latter game so that it will be connected with the world of Animal Crossing for dedicated gaming systems. By playing both Animal Crossing games, users will find increased enjoyment.”

I’m anxious to see what they feel would make Fire Emblem more accessible compared to its handheld brethren. Hopefully this doesn’t mean dumbing down any of the deep systems or complex combat the series is known for. We should get a better understanding of what they mean via a demonstration during their official stream Tuesday.

As for Animal Crossing, this sounds very much like the mobile version will be a companion app to existing games, but hopefully it will stand on its own. Since New Leaf came out over three years ago, it would be a surprise if that was the title they were referring to in regards to “connecting with the world of Animal Crossing for dedicated gaming systems.” Let’s hope that means there is a surprise new dedicated gaming system title on the way and that they weren’t referring to Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival or *shudder* Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer.

Nintendo Teases Mario on Mobile

Brett Bates, Staff Writer

Sure, Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem will be fun on mobile, but it’s time for Nintendo to deliver on what people have really wanted ever since they announced they were developing for smartphones: Mario. I don’t expect him to be shoehorned into an endless runner or a one-button platformer (that’s too lazy for Nintendo), but I do think we’ll see Mario in some form on a mobile screen during the press conference. I just hope it’s a full-featured game and not…whatever Miitomo is.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U / NX

Kim Deuel, Staff Contributor

The latest game in the Zelda franchise was originally announced on Jan. 23, 2013 for the Wii U, and players got to see the first footage the following year. The game has been delayed twice and is currently slated for an early 2017 released on both the Wii U and the new Nintendo NX. Nintendo has stated that they intend to show the game at E3 during Tuesday’s Treehouse Live presentation, starting with an in-depth look and continuing with a livestream of gameplay. Whether this will be shown on the Wii U, or the upcoming NX platform is unknown.

Matt Hadick, Staff Contributor

I know Kim has already talked about it, but I’d be remiss not to spend my Nintendo prediction geeking out about the new Legend of Zelda. It’s the only game Nintendo will be showcasing on the show floor, and while that normally might frustrate me a bit, it’s freakin’ Zelda, so I couldn’t be more excited. What Nintendo has shown us so far has been interesting, but it really hasn’t revealed too much about what gamers can expect from Link’s latest adventure. A demo with Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma at the controls demonstrated the game’s massive scale, while a short in-engine cutscene revealed the game’s pseudo-steampunk aesthetic. I can’t wait to learn more about how it plays by finally get my hands on the game.

Paper Mario: Color Splash

Matthew Allen, Executive Games Editor


When Paper Mario: Color Splash was officially revealed during the Nintendo Direct presentation in March, fans of the series were immediately wary of what they saw. The game appeared to borrow much more from the more action-oriented gameplay of Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the 3DS in lieu of the more traditional RPG elements from the previous four entries in the series. They even went so far as to start a Change.org petition calling for the game’s cancellation. Let’s hope Nintendo makes things right at E3, and that the series is returning to its roots, retaining the RPG progression system and unique combat that set it apart from the more traditional Mario action titles.

Pokémon GO

Doug Trein, Staff Contributor

Pokémon GO is the highly anticipated free mobile game from Nintendo that utilizes real-world geography for Pokémon catching. Players must move about the globe to catch Pokémon and battle other trainers. The game is being developed by the creators of the Ingress augmented reality game, and Pokémon GO borrows many elements from that game. A few weeks ago, Nintendo opened up a beta field test in the North America region. Now with that milestone passed, and a 2016 release likely, Nintendo’s press conference will most likely reveal the official release date for the app during E3. So far, the app has only been seen behind closed doors, but attendees might be able to see the game in action, or at the very least we will get to see a demo during the Treehouse Live events throughout the week.

Pokémon Sun and Moon

Kim Deuel, Staff Contributor

Pokémon Sun and Moon are two upcoming RPG games in the Pokémon franchise scheduled to be released Nov. 18, 2016 on the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo recently announced the three new starter Pokémon (as detailed here): Rowlet, a grass-and-flying type owl; the water type, Popplio; and the fire kitten, Litten. Last week we wrote about the two new Legendary Pokémon, Solgaleo and Lunala. They are both psychic-types and are featured on the box art of the games. Solgaleo has a Full Metal Body ability and a new move called Sunsteel Strike, while Lunala has a Shadow Shield ability and a new move called Moongeist Beam. We can’t wait for Nintendo to show both games in action.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Jorge Albor, Games Editor

Shin Megami Tensei fans rejoiced when Nintendo revealed last year that they would be bringing a Persona and Fire Emblem crossover game to the U.S. this year. The latest trailer looks as over-the-top as you might expect, with colorful characters that include some favorites from the Fire Emblem franchise. Mirage Sessions is scheduled for release late June, and we can expect to see at least one more trailer and hopefully a gameplay demonstration during the Treehouse Live presentation for this wacky genre love letter from Japan.

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