E3 2021: What’s Looking Good, Nintendo?

Even though it’s been a few days since E3 2021 actually wrapped up and our collective consciousness is rapidly moving away from the event itself, there’s still a lot to say about what we saw on display. Today’s subject is none other than the purveyors of the plumber, the masters of the mustache, Nintendo.

It sure feels like every year people have their long lists of Nintendo “dream announcements” that never actually get fulfilled, and this year didn’t do much to allay that perception. Notably Nintendo didn’t talk about their long rumored new Switch model, nor did they talk about long awaited games like Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime 4, or even games they announced last year such as Splatoon 3. Nintendo remains an enigma to me, but there was still some stuff they touched on that I’d love to highlight.

One thing I want to mention upfront is how weird it was to see literally nothing in the way of Animal Crossing: New Horizons content. I feel like the player base of that game, myself included, have been clamoring for something new or interesting to come along so that we can have a reason to return to our, undoubtedly overgrown islands. But it’s starting to feel more and more like Nintendo had no real plan in place for supporting Animal Crossing beyond its first year, so I hope y’all like Bunny Day, cause that’s all we’re gonna get apparently.


It has been way too long since we’ve gotten a proper Monkey Ball game, and while we’re not actually getting a new one, we are getting this pack of the first three console games in the series: Super Monkey Ball, Super Monkey Ball 2, and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe. Now I have very little experience with the series because I never actually owned a Gamecube, but Super Monkey Ball was definitely one of the few games I saw on that console that made me really want that little purple lunchbox with the terrible controller.

I’m glad to see Monkey Ball return in some fashion though. Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania comes out this year on October 5th and according to some retailers, the package is listed at $39.99 which is probably the most I’d consider paying for this collection if we’re being honest. I’m actually surprised it isn’t more, but considering it is a SEGA property maybe that’s why the price is more palatable. We literally saw Nintendo do this not too long ago with the Super Mario 3D All-Stars bundle, where they charged full price for a collection of ports of “classic” 3D Mario titles. Speaking of Nintendo severely overvaluing their products…


I really don’t actually give a damn about Mario Party or any of its many iterations, but Mario Party Superstars is probably the smartest move they could make with this miserable series. With remastered “classic” maps and mini-games, along with online play right out of the box, I think this is the way to properly capitalize on the misguided nostalgia people have for this series. Curiously however, there’s also online matchmaking which sounds like a good idea in theory, but man, I already don’t want to play Mario Party to begin with, but doing it with random strangers seems even worse somehow.

Incredibly, Nintendo is going to be charging the full sixty bucks for this one when it drops on October 29th of this year.


I’ve never been the biggest Metroid fan, but I’ve enjoyed a couple of the iterations that have come out over the years. I’ve never messed with the Prime trilogy, but I’ve dabbled with the original Metroid, Super Metroid and I think maybe I played a bit of Metroid Fusion, but I might just be imagining that last one. My point is that I’m way more onboard for a new 2D Metroid game than I am for Metroid Prime 4, a game that might never come out.

I suppose my biggest question is what genre of game we attribute Metroid Dread to, because it seems silly to classify a Metroid game as a Metroidvania, but like, it’s right there in the title. See these are the big questions I’m willing to waste a paragraph on as well as your precious attention span.

It has been a while though since I’ve actually strapped on my Varia suit and rolled up into a little bomb-dropping ball, but I think I can get my sea legs back in time for Metroid Dread‘s release later this year on October 8th. Damn Nintendo, you’re really stacking releases in October, huh?


Hell yes, now we’re talking. The last time I played a WarioWare game was when I was still in high school when the Wii was out there conquering the world, and WarioWare Smooth Moves had just come out. I don’t know if it was a good WarioWare game or not, but I do remember enjoying it quite thoroughly. It’s unfortunate though because the series mostly lived on handhelds, which is just not how I play video games. So the series mostly passed me by, but that dry spell ends this year.

I don’t know how I feel about the main conceit of controlling a little avatar that goes on screen and interacts with the micro-games using their unique abilities, but WarioWare was a series that always had a new hook from game to game, so I’m not surprised they went with a new gimmick this time around. It’s not surprising they went this angle however, considering they wanted to make a cooperative focused game that utilizes the unique aspects of the Nintendo Switch, namely, two people controlling the game simultaneously with a Joy-Con apiece. Hopefully it lives up to the legacy of the series, but we won’t know for sure until it drops later this year on September 9th.


I’ll admit that when Nintendo went to conclude their Direct by showing off Hyrule Warriors DLC, I turned the thing off entirely and moved on with my life. Little did I know, Link and his cool new hair were gonna be on display shortly after that deflating announcement. Now look, I loved the first Breath of the Wild, it was one of my favorite games of 2017 after all. I just hope that this sequel builds on the right aspects of its predecessor while ditching the shittier parts of the original. Namely, if they could maybe get rid of weapon degradation, that would just be so cool.

I know that weapon degradation is kind of a low-hanging fruit when it comes to criticism about Breath of the Wild, but in what I might consider the best Zelda game of all time, it really stuck out as an unnecessary pressure point. I’m not here to backseat develop, but that part of the game is what genuinely keeps me from wanting to revisit it.

While the trailer showed off some new powers, weapons and Link’s cool new hairdo, it was only a tease of what we might see later in the year or whenever they decide to show off more of the game. I personally would like to see a little more life out of the world this time around, like cities and such, along with some actual dungeons as opposed to the lackluster ones we saw in Breath of the Wild. Who knows what the final product will actually be like, but the fact that they’re building off of Breath of the Wild fills me with a lot of confidence that at the very least, I’ll get another game that’s at least as good as the original. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 will get a real name at some point that we’ll learn before it releases sometime in 2022.

I feel like every year the same conversation happens around the Nintendo Switch and its lineup. At the beginning of the year we lament the lack of confirmed releases for the holiday season, and then E3 happens and we all get put in our collective places. I’m pretty relieved that there wasn’t a new Switch model announced as well because Nintendo is terrible when it comes to utilizing their new hardware iterations, like that 3DS that came with the little nubbin’ second analog stick that I think like 2 games utilized. I also just don’t trust Nintendo to properly support two consoles at the same time, considering that even in 2021 we’re still out here using friend codes and trying to do voice chat in the most convoluted way possible.

But yeah, that’s what I saw from the Nintendo Direct that resonated with me in some fashion. I usually don’t have to worry too much about the quality of Nintendo games, but there’s always the chance that these games could turn out to be real stinkers. Here’s hoping that isn’t the case though.

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