One of the most anticipated presentations at every E3 is the annual Nintendo E3 Direct. It is here that major titles like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Mario Odyssey, Star Fox Zero and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have been showcased in the past. This year, Nintendo is scheduled to have tons of heavy-hitting information that is sure to leave fans satisfied. But what else could show up? Well, we think we have an idea…
Animal Crossing is a Nintendo franchise that is long overdue for a main series entry. The last time a mainline Animal Crossing title was released was 2013’s New Leaf. Typically, a new title is released for every console and handheld, but the series mysteriously skipped the Nintendo Wii U. As a result, fans have not had a console entry to this franchise for nearly 11 years. Thankfully, Nintendo announced that the next version of the game would be coming to Nintendo Switch in 2019. But it’s been 2019 for six months, and we have not heard a word. I am sure that fans are dying to see what Nintendo has in store for this series at E3, and we will continue to pray that the game does not get pushed into 2020.
Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield
While Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield just received a large information dump during last week’s Pokemon Direct, it is still likely that the game will be appearing at E3, considering that it is one of the games playable on the show floor. While it would be nice to get new information in the Nintendo Direct, it is more likely that new information will pop-up during the Nintendo Treehouse Live footage or the show floor demos. Either way, we should be getting at least some answers to our questions from the Pokemon Direct when we see a playable version of these titles on Tuesday.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Luigi’s Mansion 3 was one of the big surprise announcements that came out of the September 2018 Nintendo Direct and we know next to nothing about it. All we currently know about the game is that it is slated for release later this year and that Luigi will have new abilities like the plunger launcher and a Poltergust jump. Nintendo has recently confirmed the Luigi’s Mansion 3 will be playable at E3 2019, so it goes without saying that there will be a blowout of information about the game during the Nintendo Direct. Hopefully we get some of our key questions answered. Who is developing the game? When is it coming out? Is the structure like the original game or Dark Moon? Are portrait ghosts back? Will Luigi have the ability to call out for his brother? Luigi’s Mansion 3 is one of our most anticipated games so regardless of what gets announced, the short glimpse that we have already seen of the game checks a lot of boxes and any further updates we get will be icing on the cake.
Smash Bros Ultimate DLC
If there is one thing we are guaranteed to get announced at E3 it is the next new fighter or fighters coming to Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Director Masahiro Sakurai appeared at the Smash Bros 3v3 World Championship via a prerecorded message and confirmed that Smash Bros DLC will appear during Tuesday’s Direct. Sakurai stated earlier in Famitsu magazine that the team had been working on Joker, Figher 2 and Fighter 3 at the same time so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that we get 2 character reveals at E3. A very credible ResetEra administrator who leaked Ridley last E3, came out and said that Banjo and Kazooie will be announced as a DLC fighter. Many other “leakers” have suggested that Erdrick from Dragon Quest or the Marine from DOOM are also going to be included down the road. It would be insane if Nintendo revealed Banjo, Erdrick or Doom Marine at Microsoft, Square-Enix or Bethesda’s respective conference because no game can generate hype like Smash. Hopefully Nintendo will shadow drop the Smash Bros content after Tuesday’s Direct as a cool way to kick off the E3 festivities and for the love of God… please let the rumours be true and let it be Banjo and Kazooie. For more on who we think could be dropping as the next DLC fighter, check out our article on the topic.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem is a series that has a very interesting history with Nintendo. It started out as a Japan-exclusive tactical role playing game that was never truly considered for introduction to the Western market. However, after Masahiro Sakurai decided to include series protagonists Marth and Roy into Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Western market began to become interested in the series, and the rest is history. Since then, Fire Emblem has become one of the most popular and beloved series in Nintendo’s arsenal of First-Party series, and fans have been looking forward to the series’ debut on the Nintendo Switch for years. Fire Emblem: Three Houses will be the first console Fire Emblem title since 2007’s Radiant Dawn, and from the looks of it, Nintendo will be pulling all the stops to make this the biggest, most impressive game in the entire series. With the July release date fast-approaching, there is no doubt that Nintendo will talk about this title during their E3 conference, perhaps to reveal a few last-minute surprises before the game hits shelves on July 26.
Metroid Prime Trilogy
Now its time for the obligatory Metroid Prime Trilogy discussion. So many industry insiders say this game exists but Nintendo is probably holding it back for a release closer to Metroid Prime 4. The least we can expect Metroid Prime Trilogy to be is a port of the Wii version but in 1080p and with a locked in stable frame rate. The developers would have to add the option to play Metroid Prime 3: Corruption without motion controls when playing in handheld mode or on a TV with a pro controller. Now it would be really cool if Nintendo gave the trilogy the Wind Waker and Twiight Princess HD treatment but this would seem like a long shot. All 3 games in the Metroid Prime Trilogy are excellent and the ability to play these amazing games on the go is already more than enough to justify the hypothetical third purchase of the collection.
Pikmin 4 is a game that has been both confirmed and rumoured for years. Back in 2015, series creator Shigeru Miyamoto told Eurogamer that the next game in the series was “close to completion,” and fans were speculating that Pikmin 4 would be unveiled for the Wii U shortly after. However, nothing ever came of it. Later, in 2017, Nintendo unveiled Hey! Pikmin, a 2D-platforming spin-off title exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS, but Miyamoto still went on record stating that the next main series game was being worked on. So where is Pikmin 4? Is it stuck in development hell? Considering Nintendo’s track record with the series: likely not. Pikmin 3 went through a similarly long and confusing development cycle, and yet, the game eventually released to launch with the Wii U. I have no doubt that Pikmin 4 is in a similar situation, and that when the time is right, Miyamoto will finally let us take a look at what he’s been developing for the last five years, and perhaps that unveiling with happen at this year’s E3.
I cant believe it is 2019 and we still do not know what Retro Studios next game is. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze went gold in late 2013 so it has been almost 6 years since one of Nintendo’s most talented studios has shipped a new game. Rumors of a Diddy Kong Racing-like adventure racing game developed by Retro called “Starfox Grand Prix” began to swirl around the time of E3 last year but nothing came of it. Many very credible industry leakers said the leak was legit and assume Nintendo held off because the game was not ready to show. This past January Retro got assigned to restart development on the highly anticipated Metroid Prime 4 which will not come out anytime soon. Long time Nintendo of America President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime retired this past April and he tweeted a picture of his retirement gift from Retro Studios. Included was a picture of Reggie alongside Samus, a Metroid, DK, Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong and a weird obstructed robot-like hand in the bottom left corner. Is this a character from Retro’s new game? Only time will tell because it would really suck if such a high profile developer like Retro Studios had whatever game they were working before Metroid Prime 4 cancelled.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Considering that Nintendo has already announced that this game will be playable on the show floor, there is no doubt that The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will be featured during their E3 Nintendo Direct. Link’s Awakening is a full HD remake of the 1993 classic, utilizing a cute chibi art style that brings the original designs for the characters to life. For those of you who have never played Link’s Awakening, this will be a fun and bizarre journey. Unlike other Zelda titles, Link’s Awakening does not take place in the Land of Hyrule, and instead sees series protagonist Link washing up ashore the mysterious Koholint Island. Through his trials to awaken the mighty Wind Fish, Link encounters some of the most outlandish and quirky characters that have ever appeared in the series. Whether you are a Zelda fan or not, this game is definitely worth checking out when it hits store shelves later this year.
Now this is a title I really hope shows up in Nintendo’s E3 Presentation. Bayonetta 3 was announced at the 2017 Game Awards nearly a year and a half ago, and since then, we have seen and heard absolutely nothing. People were certain the game would show up at E3 2018, but when it was a no-show there, fans were desperate for an official unveiling at this year’s Game Awards. However, Nintendo chose to use that time to spotlight their first Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC fighter instead, and Bayonetta 3 was left without any new information. Series creator Hideki Kamiya sparked hope on May 12th when he tweeted out that Bayonetta 3 news would be be coming the following week, but fans were once again left hanging when nothing was announced. I can only hope that the reason Kamiya did not show off any new Bayonetta 3 information was because PlatinumGames and Nintendo decided to hold the official gameplay reveal for the Nintendo E3 2019 Direct. So hopefully when we open our streaming devices on Tuesday morning, we get to see Bayonetta’s stylish new moves and hairstyle in the brand new trailer for Bayonetta 3.
Mario & Luigi
This prediction may come as a surprise to some of you as the Mario & Luigi role-playing game series has typically been exclusive to handhelds, but let me explain to you my framework of thinking. Back before the Nintendo Switch was revealed, Nintendo merged their console and handheld divisions, preparing for the console-handheld hybrid of the Nintendo Switch to hit shelves. The last new entry in the series, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, was released in 2015, with AlphaDream only releasing remakes of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story in the last few years. Considering these games only required graphical updates, it is highly likely that it did not require AlphaDream’s full development team to create these remakes, which would suggest that the bulk of the team was working on another project. To further support this, AlphaDream began recruiting graphic designers for Nintendo Switch and Smartphone projects last year, suggesting that they were ready to make the jump to an HD platform. On their own, perhaps each of these pieces of information might mean nothing, but together, they form a larger picture that may heavily suggest that a brand new, fully high definition entry in the Mario & Luigi franchise is in development for the Nintendo Switch. It would be the perfect time to show a game like this, and it could potentially cement some of Switch’s lineup for the first half of next year.
Hopefully when the 40-minute Direct concludes on Tuesday morning, we will all be left satisfied. Nintendo rarely disappoints, and I am sure that they will have some big surprises up their sleeve.
This article was written in collaboration with the Role-Playing Gamer, Giuliano.