I generally stay glued to one screen or another for the entirety of E3, absorbing all the news and surprise reveals with wonder and snark in equal measure. This year, however, a mix of work and family obligations made that impossible.
As such, I instead digested things after the fact, slowly and more deliberately—at my own pace.
Of particular interest to me were Nintendo’s offerings. Going into the show, the Big N had already been on the receiving end of some serious gamer derision regarding plans to focus this year’s presentation exclusively on the upcoming entry in the Legend of Zelda series.
However, Nintendo quickly reversed this decision—and, let’s be honest, I think we all saw that coming—promising to showcase Pokémon Sun and Moon and the upcoming AR title for mobile phones, Pokémon GO, along with other notable titles.
After painstakingly surveying Nintendo’s E3 output—all of which is available via the official YouTube channel—I picked the following moments as the company’s best of show.
10. BOXBOY is Back
Located amongst all the candy-colored pomp and circumstance of the Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3 2016 coverage was a look at a rather unassuming upcoming sequel to a true 3DS gem. With simplistic visuals that belie its perfectly polished puzzling, BOXBOXBOY looks to be just as fun and satisfying as last year’s original BOXBOY. Best of all, this quirky Hal Laboratory-helmed downloadable will be hitting the eShop this very month.
09. An Epic eShop Sale
And speaking of the eShop, Nintendo paired last week’s E3 coverage with an equally enticing sale on many great digital releases. Prices were slashed up to 40% off, with My Nintendo members receiving an additional 10% discount.
08. The Waluigi amiibo That Haunts Our Dreams
Obviously, the amiibo line continues to be a boon for Nintendo, especially here in the States where the Wii U never quite gelled with many mainstream gamers. Thus, it was unsurprising that E3 saw the reveal of a number of new figures. And among them, surely none received a stronger fan response than Wario’s second banana and Luigi’s polar opposite, Waluigi. Look upon him and tremble!
07. Rip Van Linkle
A sleeping Link awakening to a new epic adventure isn’t exactly an oddity; in fact, it’s long been a recurring motif in Legend of Zelda titles. Still, despite its dazzling art direction, massive open world, and wealth of promised gameplay options, the thing that struck me most about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gameplay reveal was the haunting, mysterious voice commanding Link to open his eyes as he lay half-submerged in some manner of retro-tech suspended animation chamber.
06. An Unexpected Oasis
Nintendo’s E3 reveals weren’t all about sequels. In fact, a brand new IP, Ever Oasis, was introduced in what was easily one of my favorite moments. Whimsical, charming, and atmospheric, it promises to be another unforgettable 3DS experience.
05. Yo-kai Watch 2 Kicks it Old School
Despite it’s uncomfortably close proximity to the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon, Yo-kai Watch 2 is already a highly anticipated release in my house. Arriving this time in two forms, Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls, this sequel will take players back in time to discover new Yo-kai as well as the origin of the titular Yo-kai Watch.
04. An April Fools’ Prank Becomes Reality
Okay, technically this Nintendo moment isn’t really even from Nintendo, but I am psyched about it anyway. Remember that April Fools’ gag from Hyperkin about an add-on that would turn your phone into a Game Boy? Well, who’s laughing now?!
03. Visit Scenic Alola
There is literally nothing I don’t love about the upcoming core Pokémon titles. From the new starters to the lankier look of its trainers, I am ’bout it! But what I really love? The lush island environments of the Alola region.
02. Miyamoto Spills the Beans on Pokémon GO
Across a nearly 45-minute long Q&A with the developers of the upcoming AR mobile phone title Pokémon GO, a wealth of information was shared—especially for those of us not lucky enough to be part of the current North American field test. But the biggest reveal came not from Niantic or even from The Pokémon Company International but from Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto. It was Miyamoto who, when pressed, let slip that the Pokémon GO Plus accessory should be available by the end of July—implying that the game itself will be as well.
01. A Tasteful Tribute
Observant fans likely noticed that members of the Nintendo team wore matching rainbow ribbons in remembrance of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, but what you may have missed was Reggie Fils-Aimé’s pre-kick-off message concerning both that tragedy and the earlier death of Christina Grimmie, the young singer from The Voice who, it turns out, was scheduled to visit the Nintendo booth at E3 2016. It was a brief but tasteful sentiment that acknowledged the dark cloud that was hanging above even this joyous, fun-filled event.