E3 2019: Hands-On Previews​ of the Biggest Games At Nintendo’s Booth

Although the company has opted out of hosting traditional E3 Press Conferences, instead choosing online format known as a Nintendo Direct to deliver all of its latest offerings, Nintendo still managed to steal the show this year. With heavy-hitting announcements like Banjo-Kazooie finally joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the reveal that a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is currently in development, there is definitely a lot of things to look forward to on Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Booth at E3 2019 featured separate play areas that housed demos for three of the most anticipated titles coming to Nintendo Switch this year: Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Each of the playable demos showcased roughly 15 minutes of gameplay with missions and levels from early sections of the game. I had the chance to go hands-on with all three of the demos and really enjoyed what I was playing.

Here’s what I found.

LUIGI’S MANSION 3

The third entry in the popular Luigi’s Mansion franchise brings the series back to what made the original title on Nintendo GameCube so successful. It ditches the individual missions which were introduced in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (Nintendo 3DS) and instead returns to the exploration of a single mansion – or in this case, a hotel. After receiving an invitation to stay at a luxurious hotel – Mario, Peach, and the Toads are kidnapped and it’s up to Luigi to save the day! The game features an upgraded Poltergust (G-00) courtesy of Professor E. Gadd that will allow Luigi to navigate the many floors of the hotel, combat the ghosts that cross his path, and solve puzzles along the way.

New abilities include:

  • SLAM – smack ghosts on the ground to weaken them quicker; can throw them into other ghosts as well to weaken multiple targets
  • SUCTION SHOT – fire a plunger onto an object and pull on the string to destroy objects and remove shields from ghosts
  • BURST – area attack that pushes ghosts backwards if you get overwhelmed; allows you to jump to avoid attacks

And for the first time in the series, players will be able to explore and play the game co-operatively with the addition of Gooigi – a gelatinous clone of Luigi that can be used to help solve puzzles around the hotel. He doesn’t take damage from spikes and can easily slip through metal bars to reach otherwise inaccessible areas – watch out for water! When playing in Single Player Mode, only one character can be controlled at a time; the other character falling asleep when inactive.

This section of the Nintendo Booth was decorated and arranged to look like the inside of a haunted hotel complete with Bell Hops, ghostly projection around the room, and you could even get your picture taken with the Night Manager. It really added to the entire experience and made for a great play session.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is scheduled to release sometime in 2019 – most likely between September and December – for Nintendo Switch.

Feel free to check this out, too: E3 2019 Preview: The Scope of Cyberpunk 2077 is Truly ‘Breathtaking’

Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield

The Galar Region came to life at the Nintendo Booth this year as players stepped into an actual Pokémon Stadium to go hands-on with Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield. The upcoming installments to the popular gaming franchise are making the leap to Nintendo Switch in a BIG way – Dynamax Pokémon have arrived! These moves are a brand new addition to the series that can be used during battles and transforms your Pokémon into gigantic versions of themselves. Once a Dynamax has been activated, the move set of your selected Pokémon will change for the duration of the move – expires in three turns.

The demo took place at the first Pokémon Gym, featured three battles, and required players to solve an area puzzle before being able to challenge Nessa, a Water-type Trainer and the leader of the Gym. Players had six Pokémon available to use during the battle, including the three starters – Sobble, Grookey, and Scorbunny with the opportunity to try Dynamax for the very first time; it’s really cool. Another new addition to the series is the ability to check out the type of your opponents’ Pokémon during the battle – only applies to the Pokémon that is currently on the battlefield.

The series feels right at home on Nintendo Switch; the graphics are stunning and the demo left me wanting to explore the Galar Region in its entirety – Team Sobble will wash away the competition!

Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield is scheduled to release on November 15th, 2019 for Nintendo Switch.

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: LINK’S AWAKENING

Originally released in August 1993 (North America) for the Nintendo Game Boy, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is getting the remastered treatment in the cutest possible way. This retelling of the classic title has been completely overhauled and utilizes an art style that resembles that of a children’s diorama, with the environments and characters having a plastic look and feel to them. The colours are very bright and vibrant – and look amazing on the Nintendo Switch console.

This, of course, is not the first time that Nintendo has put a creative spin on their properties and presented them in ways that have never been done before. Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Wooly World are perfect examples of Nintendo’s creative side and featured graphics, animations, and physics inspired by fabric and other common household crafting materials.

The demo took place at the very beginning of the game – Link waking up and setting out on his adventure. Players were tasked with collecting their first sword and shield, before making their way towards the first dungeon. I honestly spent the entire 15 minutes just wandering around, defeating enemies, and listening to the beautiful soundtrack – it’s quite relaxing and I can’t wait to sit down and continue the adventure later this year.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is scheduled to release on September 20th, 2019 for Nintendo Switch.

Another link, in case you’re interested: Animal Crossing: New Horizons Looks Like Wholesome Fun


You can find Chris on Twitter at @ChrisZaiser if you want to learn more about the games he played at E3 2019!

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