Nintendo Switch exclusives we expect to see at E3 2019


Call me crazy, but I believe the rumors that they'll show the next Smash DLC character and that the sun is hot

E3 is nearly upon us again and a lot has changed since 2018, but one thing remains the same: the internet’s unquenching thirst for Nintendo Directs. I revel in this season of speculation and anticipation, so much that last year I wrote a piece discussing which Switch exclusives we are most likely to see at the show. During the previous E3's Direct and Treehouse Live stream, Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Yoshi’s Crafted World were shown in greater depth. The upcoming Fire Emblem was revealed as Fire Emblem Three Houses, and we’ve continued to learn more about it leading up to its release this July.

The other games I expected to see were absent at the time, but the mainline Pokémon entries teased two years ago have finally been revealed as Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. If Nintendo is going to market them anything like Sun and Moon, we’ll see a small but steady trickle of info throughout the rest of 2019, probably starting this E3. And Bayonetta 3… well, we heard a tiny and vague update from Platinum, so we know it's coming sooner or later.

Even with these games on the horizon, we’ve seen many more Switch games revealed, many of which we still know very little about. Heck, I would have included Super Mario Maker 2 on here as well if not for its exclusive last-minute Direct! Like last year, I expect that not all of these games will be shown off at Nintendo’s presentation, nor do I think they will all meet their planned 2019 releases. But news is what E3 is for, isn't it? So let’s run down the new list…

Town (working title)

Game Freak’s non-Pokémon games tend to get little buildup before release, but that’s all the more reason why I hope to see more out of this one in the near future. Originally revealed during the September 2018 Nintendo Direct, this turn-based RPG has a battle system with several unusual mechanics on display, but it's unclear how these ideas fit together.

We also don't know whether the mystery surrounding the titular town is meant to be an intriguing plot element in its own right or whether this story is simply a vehicle for gameplay like most of Game Freak’s games. Personally, I usually want RPGs to be great games first and great stories second. I don’t expect this battle system to be anything more complex than, say, Pokémon, but all of my unanswered questions about its interface are like an unexplored ocean of possibilities to me. I hope this E3 will chart a path on that ocean, even if it’s a much simpler system than I first thought it might be.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (working title)

As part of that same Direct, Luigi’s Mansion 3 was confirmed last September. I’m digging the new "mansion," as the haunted hotel invokes Scooby-Doo vibes that fit Luigi’s Mansion’s style of horror parody. I’m also curious how Luigi’s new plunger-gun could meaningfully change up the gameplay, as the little footage of it we’ve seen doesn’t demonstrate how it could be more effective than just immediately capturing ghosts.

It’s easy to imagine how this sequel to a simple but beloved spin-off will play out on a surface level. But I still have a lot of questions, largely because Dark Moon left me satisfied yet underwhelmed. I’m pining for a return to the original game’s exploration-heavy and secret-solving style rather than the episodic progression of Dark Moon, and it seems it’s more likely to lean towards the former...but you know what they say about counting your chickens before they hatch. They become ghost chickens.

Geez, this metaphor got dark fast.

Animal Crossing (a lot of these games have a working title, including this one)

It’s in pretty much the same situation that Super Smash Bros was in last year, excluding the fact that this Direct’s announcement didn’t mention any particular games. But with 2019 ending in half a year, the fact that we still know nothing about this game, and the Animal Crossing base’s insatiable hunger for more mortgage payments, it sounds like a gimme. Next!

Astral Chain

We haven’t seen more footage of Platinum's new IP since February 2019, but that Direct did give us a solid idea of what to expect out of Astral Chain. It’s more of the spectacle-fighting action that Platinum specializes in, but this time you have a Stand. You can choose between a male or female protagonist. There’s some sort of government conspiracy that threatens to condemn the world, just like real life. The Stand becomes a police dog that gives you piggyback rides at your command. You can pick up cans located 8 feet away from trash bins and then throw them into said trash bins.

It’s weird that we know much more about Astral Chain than Bayonetta 3 after all this time, but Astral Chain left a great first impression! The first trailer was meaty enough I would think it’s the last game on this list that needs another one, but that trailer also dropped an August 30th release date. It’d be strange to ignore it during the biggest press event two months before then. Maybe it will just be delegated to a Nintendo Treehouse Live stream slot, but that would be a great way to show off its technical combat in depth.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake

To be honest, there’s probably not a lot of new stuff to learn about Link’s Awakening on Switch. By all current indications it’s a faithful remake of the Game Boy classic with a gorgeous new claymation-like art style, but mostly identical gameplay. Still, Nintendo’s previous Zelda remakes polished out rough edges and streamlined prior inconveniences. There’s probably something new to show off about this one, especially considering the massive leap in technology between the sprite-based original and 3D modeled remake. While it may or may not be big enough of an addition to be a part of this year’s E3, I would be delighted to see more of these new models in motion.

Shin Megami Tensei V

Shin Megami Tensei V is the odd one out from this pack because we still don’t know when it’s supposed to release and it was revealed in 2017, but…that’s the thing with this one. We haven’t seen anything of it since 2017, which gave us two rather vague teaser trailers confirming very little other than the franchise’s staple post-apocalyptic premise and demonic foes. Development only really kicked into gear at around February 2018, so I understand keeping things under wraps for the past year, but 2019 is almost halfway over. I’d be cool with waiting longer if it needs more time, but as far as we know, the time feels right for a big infodump on new gameplay mechanics and story details.

Like last year, the Switch has a waiting list of long-awaited sequels (and also some new IPs) that we’re going to have to learn something about soon, even if that something is a delay. I had thought Metroid Prime 4 would be one of those lucky games last year, but it turned out that the project struggled so much that we never saw another peep out of it until Retro Studio took over at the start of this year. Prime 4 went back to the drawing board so recently that I don’t even expect it to reappear with a tiny teaser yet. But the Switch already has so many great games that I would prefer these new games to get the time they need to reach the same standard of quality. That’s always better than…the alternative…

Nintendo will have a lot of eyes on them this E3 in between its massive roster of upcoming games and one of their biggest competitors sitting out from conferences. I joke about the internet never being satisfied with Directs, but personally, I consider any Direct that gets me seriously interested in a single game to be worth my time. And with a large mix of high-profile and niche games in the Switch’s pipeline, not counting new surprises, I expect this year’s E3 to have something for everyone even if half of these games are absent. Again.

What I hope to see most are Town and Astral Chain, mainly because I’m always curious to learn more about fresh IPs. And then Hollow Knight: Silksong squirms on top of them both because of my shameless favoritism towards our arthropod overlords. Silksong’s technically cheating as it’s not a Switch exclusive, but I’d expect it to have a spot in the Direct’s inevitable Nindies block like Hollow Knight did the year before. What games are you expecting to learn more about this E3’s Direct?

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Chris Hovermale
Chris Hovermale   gamer profile

I'm a former Contributor who goes by the screen name Cedi or CediFonei on most corners of the internet! Not quite obligatory disclosure; I backed Chris Niosi's TOME RPG on Kickstarter. I really w... more + disclosures



Filed under... #Destructoid Originals #E3 #Listmania! #Nintendo #Nintendo Direct #Nintendo Switch #Top Stories



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