You’re probably tired of E3 coverage by now, and believe us, so are we. But it’s been a week since Nintendo’s Direct, and now that the dust has settled, it’s time for us to pick our actual favourites rather than just following our adrenaline-fuelled gut feelings.
Of course, this year was a little strange. In past years, we might have flown off to LA to get our mitts on these games in a loud, sweaty conference centre, which often ends up affecting how we feel about the games. There’s nothing like the excitement of being given a one-on-one with the lead developer as they finally show their game to the world, after all — and it’s hard to replicate that sitting on your sofa at home.
Then again, E3 has a dress code, and we doubt they would have let us play the next Mario game in our pyjamas, so the all-digital conference is a welcome reprieve from having to put clothes on. Ugh.
Anyway, without further ado, here are the winners for us from 2021’s E3!
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is a very welcome sequel and looks fantastic. I’m also excited about Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, its art style is awesome. One of the most entertaining streams, meanwhile, was Limited Run Games, which actually made me laugh out loud multiple times. The ‘reveal’ of River City Girls 2 and ‘Zero‘ was funny in the sense we couldn’t even tell if it was a reveal. That was a fun moment to share with everyone in the live blog.
I know it’s the most predictable one to choose, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Metroid Dread not only had me the most excited during the Direct itself, but is also the one E3 reveal that I’ve not been able to stop thinking about ever since. Seriously, just inject it into my veins.
Elsewhere, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope looks absolutely lovely (even if it was kinda spoiled a few hours before Ubisoft’s show), and I was really glad to see that a Zelda Game & Watch is on the way because I seem to enjoy nothing more than buying expensive collector’s items that sit on my shelf and don’t get used.
Surprise — it’s Metroid!
I mean, I’d love to be a unique snowflake here, but it’s got to be Metroid Dread. To see the series finally get some real love was a treat, and everything I’ve seen so far indicates it’s going to be something a bit special. Fingers crossed!
Other than that (and the fresh glimpse we got of Breath of the Wild 2), it was Advance Wars and WarioWare that stood out most for me. I’m intrigued to see how Koei Tecmo bring Maiden of Black Water over to Switch sans the Wii U Gamepad mechanics, but the return of Wario and an Intelligent Systems tactics game that doesn’t involve swords, lances and wyverns had me grinning from ear to ear while watching the Direct stream. Good show all round.
Obviously my real favourite of the show was the fantastic tease of Breath of the Wild 2, but I’m going to pretend it wasn’t so I can seem interesting and cool.
I have to say, I’m not much of a retro gamer, and my terrible secret is that I’ve never played a Metroid, so there were a few games that passed me by during the show — but as a sucker for narrative adventures and visual novels, I was VERY excited to see Danganronpa coming to the Switch. I bought a Vita to play Danganronpa! It was great!
Likewise, I’m glad to get a release date for Life Is Strange Remastered, and a release window for True Colors, and there were quite a few games in the Wholesome Direct that piqued my interest, too. But would it be cheating if I said Elden Ring was a highlight, since I highly doubt it’s coming to Switch? Whatever, it’s got a horse. A horse!!!
Yeah, I’m like everyone else – for me Metroid Dread was the standout of the show. I still consider Metroid Fusion on the GBA to be my favourite 2D Metroid game, and probably favourite Metroid game in general of all-time, and well… you can probably understand why I’m so excited about MercurySteam’s upcoming release. It doesn’t get much more exciting than being chased around by something you can’t actually defeat – at least right away.
Probably the other major highlight of Nintendo’s E3 Direct for me this year was the return of Advance Wars. Like many others, I’ve also been wondering why Nintendo hasn’t revived the original GBA titles sooner. I’ll admit, I wasn’t a big fan of the art style initially, but it’s quickly growing on me. And with WayForward working closely with Nintendo and Intelligent Systems – I’m confident it’s going to be great fun.
Every year we go into E3 expecting the biggest and craziest game reveals imaginable. We make predictions and just have fun speculating about what could be on the horizon. So the announcements that usually get me hyped are the games that no one was expecting, which made the Advance Wars reveal one of the most exciting announcements!
The series hasn’t seen the light of day in over 13 years and at this point, I thought it was long dead and buried. Now I’ve never been the most die-hard fan of the series, I enjoyed the pummeling it gave me as a kid and I’m a sucker for tactical RPGs, but what this reveal has done for me as a whole is just give me hope. Hope that we’ll see more classic franchises revisited by the Big N. Maybe a 2D-3D remake of Golden Sun or a new, traditional Chibi Robo isn’t such a big ask anymore? Plus, if Metroid Dread can get regurgitated into a tangible game after all these years, maybe your favorite game can come back in some shape or form too.
But enough about us! We’ve already asked you your general thoughts, and we’ve told you ours, too — but now we want to know specifics. Whether you enjoyed the conference as a whole or not, you must have been excited for something, so, go on: tell us about your favourite thing from E3 2021.