It should be easy, this one. Nintendo should have E3 in the bag. They've managed to cock up the last two years, but surely, surely now is the time for a resurgent Ninty to take E3 by storm once more. We believe in you, Nintendo!
Listen up Nintendo. People are talking about you now -- both regarding Mario Kart 8 and Tomodachi Life for all manner of reasons -- so it's time to make full advantage of the most attention you've enjoyed in years.
Take a deep breath. Relax. You can record most of it in advance. I'll talk you through it.
Start slow, make us beg for it. The 3DS doesn't need much airtime; as the best console on the market right now it'll take care of itself. The Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire remake and handful of franchise games will suffice (Bravely Second, please) -- frankly most of us are still far too busy replaying Bravely Default and New Leaf to worry about any new stuff! And Inazuma Eleven GO and Etrian Odyssey Untold and Tomodachi Life and Kirby Triple Deluxe and... where was I?
Ah yes. We all know that the 3DS is fantastic, so get down to business on the Wii U front. Remind us that Mario Kart 8 exists, not to mention the free game promotion. Show us more about Hyrule Warriors. We're all hyped for Bayonetta 2 - more of that, please, even though the entire fanbase has already pre-ordered or flamed themselves silly. Show us plenty of indie/boutique titles and presumably some more HD revamps since Wind Waker did so well. Paper Mario and Skies Of Arcadia might be a good place to start. And to be perfectly honest, a few major third-party games might help to ease a few of your most vocal detractors.
It'll be tempting to dwell on Super Smash Bros, but don't. You've already showed us a huge amount about it, so keep things short and sweet rather than getting bogged down -- the less time Reggie has to embarrass himself the better. Just reveal a couple of characters and let the live championship final do the talking. Likewise, any Quality Of Life stuff will need a press conference as only gamers will be watching the stream.
So then, without further ado, roll out the new games hard and fast with plenty of gameplay footage and helpful narration. We need new Zelda, end of. A major Metroid and/or StarFox reveal would also go down smooth, whether on Wii U or 3DS. We need to see Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei in action. A big new franchise from Shigsy might be nice. Preferably followed by a new Mario title designed specifically around the Wii U GamePad's second screen, partly to show off the peripheral's worth for third-party devs.
And finally seal the deal with X, which has been rumoured to be 'XenoMech Saga' if recent uncorroborated and potentially scurrilous reports are to be believed. Xenoblade Chronicles was one of the best games of the last generation (it's up there with Skyrim and Fallout 3) despite the Wii hardware, and Monolith Soft are exceptional at what they do. Give them centre stage, show us the open-world action and mech combat. Give us a good long languishing look. Give me a look. I'm so ready.
We're all rooting for you, Ninty. I've given you all the advice I can... but will you follow it?
Anticipated Highlight – X.
Mario Kart 8 is doing its very best to prove me wrong. It's upped Wii U sales enormously, and by all accounts is one of the very finest instalments in the series to date. In delivering an essential title just before E3, and marketing the shit out of it, Nintendo have finally, finally given themselves some positive momentum going into convention season for the first time since the name "Wii U" escaped their offices.
The question is, do they have the announcements to capitalise on that?
Collect the best of Mario into one multi-disc (probably) bundle, add in some HD textures, and deliver the Ultimate Mario Wii U Bundle this Christmas. I'm talking Bros., Land, 64, Sunshine, Galaxy, and maybe even throwing in 3D World. That'd get my attention.
Frankly, though, it'll take nothing less than a modern Nintendo classic -- we're talking Mario, Zelda, or Metroid. Any one (or more) will do. The Wii U is yet to see a game that truly defines it, and this must be the time that it emerges. We'll see Bayonetta 2 and X again (this time hopefully with solid release dates), and Smash Bros. will feature heavily too. The 3DS will probably get some wildly adventurous, cross-studio titles announced, a big Pokemon trailer, and possibly another limited edition XL version.
But after a shaky start, the handheld is doing just fine, and this year's show needs to be fully focused on the Wii U. Nintendo will deal with the games they announced two years ago and are still yet to emerge, but there'll be some new blood in there as well. Personally, I want nothing less than a Wii U Pokemon title to release alongside Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, but I'll settle for that new IP Miyamoto is working on, and some more Fatal Frame news please Ninty.
Anticipated Highlight – Playing Nintendo Direct drinking bingo, doing a shot every time Iwata says "Please understand!", and being hammered after ten minutes.
I really wish I had the enthusiasm for Nintendo that Matt and Jon contain, but it’s really had to state what I would be excited to see. I’ve never been a fan of the Zelda series, or the Metroid games for that matter, which means we would have to see something truly ground-breaking from them to spark my interest. The same feeling goes towards Mario, who absolutely needs to show us something new and exciting like he did with Mario 64 and Galaxy.
But that said, it will be good to see how X is coming along, and Bayonetta 2 could do with a release date this side of the new year. The one game I do hope gets revealed – as it will seriously make me want to buy a Wii U – is a new Fire Emblem game for Ninty’s main console. Provided top notch visuals with the strategy action & dynamic relationships, and I think they would be onto a winner.
And that’s pretty much all I have to say about Nintendo. I still haven’t forgiven them for burning me with the promise of the Wii. Also, Reggie’s “zombie-cam” thing from a few years ago.
Anticipated Highlight – In an attempt to cost cuts even further, Iwata downgrades the digital presentation from a poorly lit office to a rustic shed, before the Reggie-bot burst through the door and attempts to murder him. It turns out that this is the premise for a new game – Reggiepocalypse – a survival horror title where the only way to halt his advance is to throw French food at him.