When Nintendo stopped doing the live conferences, I was worried they would lose a lot of the charm. Those first few years I was happy to see they didn’t. Sure we didn’t have the silliness of 2008’s Wii Music presentation, but we did get the hand puppet skits of 2015. Like last year, they announced ahead of time what game they would focus on, and things felt buttoned up.
The showcase opened with a stylized mech action game titled Demon X Machina. All I got from the trailer was that it had a cool style. Nintendo is continuing to be embrace DLC with the Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country expansion. More story and adventure for fans of the game is great. They gave us another look at the Let’s Go! Pokemon games coming soon. Though that pitch seemed more about trying to sell the pokeball controllers more than anything about the game. And they didn’t even hint at the bigger Pokemon game to get the base excited!
The only thing that surprised me in here was Super Mario Party. I really liked those games when I was younger, despite the bullshit that they can be. I’m not going to stand here and say those games are completely random, they aren’t, but it sure can just fuck you at the end sometimes. The last couple games changed the format from a board-game style of the originals to some weird shared car adventure thing. What they showed here looked like a return to form, with the addition of mini-games to showcase the new hardware functionalities. Considering how lackluster 1-2-Switch was, I would bet this ends up being the better choice for that.
The big focus was the new Smash game. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will feature every single character from the previous titles as well as a few new ones. That is a disgustingly huge roster. The dive they took into this game was perhaps a bit deeper than I needed, going through all the characters and saying something they changed. My main take away was that this looks a lot like Smash 4 with a big ass balance patch. The biggest changes seemed to be around defensive mechanics to make repetitive dodges lose effectiveness. Additionally, and this has me both excited and worried, is the return of directional air-dodging. They must know the question this put on everyone’s mind, and they didn’t show it!
IS WAVE-DASHING BACK?!?