Nintendo invited those of us who couldn’t make it to LA to a Post E3 event in Utrecht, so we could still check out the E3 2019 demos. I was excited to get some hands-on time with these three marvellous upcoming games.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 sees Mario’s younger yet taller brother in a spooky new adventure, exploring a haunted hotel. Each floor of the hotel is said to have a different theme and in this E3 demo, we got to explore a medieval setting.
Throughout the demo, we got some refreshers on Luigi’s abilities from previous entries in the series; using your modified vacuum cleaner to suck in objects (and ghosts) or reverse the mechanic and blow wind/shoot objects away. The flashlight also makes a return, used to make ghosts visible, stun them or reveal hidden objects.
We also got to test a few new moves: Luigi can now shoot out a plunger with a rope attached to it, used in exploration to grab and pull objects or in combat to remove shields from some ghosts. There is now also a “panic” move that casts out a blast of wind to distance ghosts in case you get surrounded.
But perhaps the most important new asset to his skillsuit is the ability to summon Gooigi, a slimy doppleganger that can pass through gates, spikes and help you out whenever you need a second pair of hands (or vacuum sucking/blowing power). The demo did not explain how you get this ability though.
At the end of the demo, we got to fight a ghost king in a shiny suit of armour, applying the skills we’ve learned on the way there. Overall, it was a very fun demo and it showcased just how much fun the full game will be. I can’t wait to get back to the hotel and explore all the other floors!
The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening is a gloriously remastered version of the Game Boy classic. It was just last summer that I took the time to replay it on the old grey brick and now a shiny new edition is making its way to the Nintendo Switch. I couldn’t be happier!
The visual style is immediately striking: everything has a plasticky look as if you’re controlling a toy version of Link. It’s extremely fitting for a faux 2D Zelda game and even the motion blur/field of vision blur effect applied looks great. It’s kind of like that filter/lense trick people use to make pictures look like they are miniature toys.
This demo was a bit more open than the others and my 15 minute limit of playtime wasn’t enough to full explore everything. I spent most of my time trying to trade as many items as possible, because we all know Link’s Awakening is pretty much Bartering: The Game. Nevertheless, some of the iconic moments still struck home just like they did when playing the original game as a kid, during a warm 90’s summer.
Gameplay-wise there isn’t much I could tell you that you don’t already expect from a top-down Zelda game; you use your shield to block (though this button did move to the shoulder button, making it easier to press) and swing your sword. Holding your attack button powers it up and lets you do a circular attack to mow down enemies. Along the way you’ll get new items to progress further like a shovel or bombs, but I didn’t make it far enough to test these out.
It’s perhaps because I’m such a big fan of this title that I didn’t get to see a lot of it: I wanted to absorb as much as possible of every square inch and enjoyed every second of it.
I have a personal preference for this type of Zelda game and needless to say this will be a day one purchase for me. I’m sure I’ll be reviewing it!
Pokémon Sword & Shield is the latest entry in the massively popular Pokémon franchise. The power of this series is not to be underestimated, I’ve seen parents bonw with their children over it, total strangers becoming close friends and otherwise introverted people go out and mingle with the masses at Pokémon Go spawn locations.
So whenever a new games is announced, the world pays attention. We’ve been asking for a fully 3D Pokémon game since the days of the Nintendo 64 and outside of a few stadium entries we’ve always been left hungry. Last year’s Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee gave us a first glimpse at how great such a title could by, but we weren’t allowed to control the camera ourselves, we could only catch wild Pokémon instead of battling them and the world was a revisit of the original Gameboy titles.
Don’t get me wrong, the Let’s Go games were great by any measure, but Sword & Shield will be the first of its kind on the Nintendo Switch with an open world to explore, free camera controls in open areas and a chance to observe Pokémon in the wild, true to size.
Sadly the E3 demo didn’t showcase those things promised to us in the trailers, but they did allow us to experience the new battle interface with a lot of great improvements & features:
- you can easily see the types of opposing enemies to decide the correct attack against them
- the types of each attack are shown via a symbol & background colour
- attacks show if they will be super effective or not
- your own Pokémon’s moves are previewed when switching them out for others
The demo gave us a prebuilt team of Lvl 50 Pokémon:
And it put us at the entrance of the Water Gym. Just like in previous games you have to solve a puzzle to get to the gym leader, this time by activating valves so water coming from pipes would stop blocking your path. The camera inside gyms can’t be moved and from what I’ve heard the free camera movement will only be available in certain areas.
The gym leader battle happens in a giant collosseum, which is necessary as this is where we first get to see the Dynamax ability in action. Since the leader is using water Pokémon all my predecessors chose Grookey to battle with but I wanted to see the giant form of Corviknight instead and the giant swooping wings did not disappoint. I’m a big fan of this feature, even more so than the Z-move and Mega-evolutions because of how impressive they look.
Your moves also get the Dynamax treatment and suddenly deal a lot more damage and leave lasting effects on the battlefield. You only get to grow your Pokémon once per battle though, and switching them out reverses the effect so be sure to pick your Pokémon wisely in the full game. I’m pretty excited for these and I can’t wait untill they hit store shelves and I can start exploring the world and facing off against friends!