With Sony absent, and Microsoft's next step in the Xbox lineage, Project Scarlett, announcing only two exclusives in a pre-convention press conference, E3 was wide open for Nintendo to steal the spotlight. Here are the highlights of Nintendo's smashing success at E3 2019.
The Legend of Zelda Triple Threat
Nintendo announced not one, not two, but THREE new games in the Legend of Zelda franchise at E3. In the final moments of the Nintendo E3 press conference preceding the expo, Nintendo announced that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would be getting a sequel.
The currently unnamed sequel, dubbed temporarily by fans as BotW2, shows Link and Zelda discovering an aura of darkness that looks to be emitting itself from an undead creature that resembles Ganon. Zelda's proficiency in adventuring and combat has a large portion of the fanbase thinking that she may be a playable character in exchange for Link for the first time in the series' history.
This will be the first sequel of a major Zelda title since The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask built on the canon of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time nearly two decades ago. Fans have already drawn comparison in darkness between BotW2 and Majora's Mask, but The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma told IGN the open-world sequel is 'a little darker' than Majora's Mask. The release date for the sequel to Breath of the Wild is currently unknown.
Link's Awakening, released in 1993, was the first handheld title in the Zelda franchise. At E3 2019, Nintendo announced the title would be remade with a full visual update for the Nintendo Switch.
The game's original elements and top-down gameplay will remain Nintendo sported live gameplay demos of the remake at E3 2019, with lines to give the facelifted title a try with waits up to four hours. Link's Awakening will be available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch September 20, 2019.
Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer was announced and released on June 13th, 2019 on the final day of E3. The game, which was available to demo post-release, combines traditional Zelda mechanics with roguelike-style gameplay elements. While Nintendo published the game outside of Japan, Cadence of Hyrule is technically the first true Zelda spinoff. The rhythm-based game, developed by Brace Yourself Games, features a plethora of audible melodies from the Zelda mythos.
While the game may initiall look like a Zelda-themed NecroDancer re-skin, the roguelike elements ambitiously craft a unique experience that retains the magic of the Zelda series in an entirely new context. For those who aren't much for the rhythm-based aspects of the game, there is an option that only allows enemies to move when you move so you can move through the game similar to other classic Zelda titles.
Luigi's Mansion 3
After a nearly two hour line, Bellhops dressed in pink greet you and lead you through a dark, spooky corridor. Creepy music and ghoulish cackles swirl around you as you step into a massive hall, adorned with mystical cauldrons, gargoyles, and an onimous foyer. Ghosts creep the walls as you are led to your station to get your hands on the most recent iteration of Nintendo's spookiest creation. Welcome to Luigi's Mansion 3.
Luigi's Mansion 3 take most of its core aspects from the original Nintendo Gamecube launch title, while also borrowing some elements from Luigi's Mansion 2. A ghostly four-legged companion named Polterpup shows you the ropes of the game and acts as a confidant, occasionally passing on information regarding new encounters. The star of the show, of course, is Googi.
Luigi's green, slimy doppleganger can be summoned as a second body of sorts. Luigi can transfer his consciousness into Gooigi to get through dangerous terrain, such as spikes that would turn Luigi's mortal coil into a pincushion. In addition, Luigi can swap his consciousness in and out of Gooigi while retaining actions, allowing him to utilize both vessels — and vacuums — simultaneously to prevail in situations requiring a helping hand.
Luigi's Mansion 3 will be available in October 2019, hopefully in time for Halloween.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Nintendo confirmed that Animal Crossing would be coming to the Switch in 2019. At E3 2019, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was revealed.
The game has been delayed until 2020, but after the community response to Pokemon: Sword & Shield nixing the National Dex, allowing a game to be fully ready may be the best call.
Staying true to the name, previous villages from other Animal Crossing games will not be part of New Horizons. Staying true to the name, only Tom Nook will be returning along with the primary game elements that made Animal Crossing a generational hit.
New elements and features include four-player, same-console co-op, as well as accurate seasonal changes for the southern hemisphere to properly emulate climate variance. Rivers can now be pole-vaulted, and each player's life goals and accompishments can be kept track of in their Nookphone, which includes a camera, apps, and a tracking system not unlike AIRMILES. Up to eight players can share an island on Animal Crossing: New Horizons for more interaction than ever before.
Fighter Pass brings new (old) friends to SSBU
Holders of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter Pass were treated to a sneak peak of the next two DLC characters in Nintendo's flagship fighting game. Dragon Quest XI's Hero and Rare Mascot Banjo Kazooie will be joining Persona 5's Joker as Fighter Pass DLC characters.
Dragon Quest XI's Hero will feature Hero models from other Dragon Quest titles in the form of various skins, similar to Link's Dark Link skin variant. Banjo-Kazooie's participation in Smash Ultimate will be the Bear and Bird duo's first Nintendo appearence since the eponymous game's sequel Banjo-Tooie, which was released for the Nintendo 64 in 2000.
While not much is known about the two characters' movesets or specifics, the eclectic group of Fighter Pass DLC characters gives fans from multiple backgrounds something to be excited about. The only thing more anticipated than further information on the new smashers is what two characters will round out the final spots of the Fighter Pass DLC.
What was your favorite aspect of Nintendo's E3 2019? Let us know in the comments!