Welcome to another edition of “The Casual Gaymer!” This is a bimonthly column from AiPT! Gaming in which I’ll share my thoughts, questions, and concerns about video games and the gaming industry as a queer person with limited free time. Missed the last edition where I had no choice but to stan Carly Rae Jepsen even harder after finding a Katamari song on her new album? I got everything you need!
This week, OH MY GOD IT’S E3 SEASON OH MY GOD! E3 is so much fun for me. Aside from Nintendo Directs, the E3 press conferences are the only vehicles for gaming news which manage to barrel through the walls of cynical thorns wrapped around my brain, crash into my limbic cortex, and explode into fireworks of serotonin and hype. I’m not positive about how cleanly that metaphor works w/r/t how chemicals travel in the brain or whatever. My degree is in English. However, I love E3. I love letting myself get excited about logos and trailers regardless of what those finished products end up looking when they come out five years after the fact. See? Cynical thorns. Regardless, with Sony dipping out of E3 proper and switching to Sony Direc– I mean, State of Play presentations, Nintendo’s annual presentation and Treehouse live stream have become the main event for my personal E3 enjoyment. So for the column this week, I’d like to share some items on my wishlist for Nintendo’s E3 announcements! I’ve split them into three sections because a lot of what I want, I shall not receive. I know this and am practicing expectation management. This is what being an adult looks like? Anyway, make it happen, Nintendo!
Put bells on it:
- Animal Crossing for Switch release date confirmed for November/December. This is much later than I’d like it to come out, but I don’t think they’d want it in the way of Fire Emblem this summer and their winter is looking pretty empty.
- Super Smash Bros. isn’t in their confirmed line-up of titles set to appear in the presentation, but I still think we’ll get a surprise character announcement for the next round of DLC for Ultimate. Since we got an unexpected third-party character in Joker for the first DLC pack, it’s hard to say if the next pick will also be third-party or not, but I’m thinking it might be a Nintendo original to change it up. Maybe (but hopefully not, imo) we’ll get the eighth(!) Fire Emblem character to tie into Three Houses.
- We’ll get a trailer for the Link’s Awakening, but I don’t think it’ll be super in-depth. This is a remake and since the appeal of the title is to see how they’ve re-imagined content players already know, I think they’ll only show us more hints and teasers of what’s to come.
- We’ll get a full trailer and overview for Luigi’s Mansion 3 which includes some sort of multiplayer angle coming off of the multiplayer mode added in the 3DS port of the first Luigi’s Mansion. Would love if they copied the Soulsborne system of leaving notes around the mansion(s) Luigi will explore for other players to find in their games. Precedent for this type of online communication can be found in the Wii U version of Zelda: Wind Waker where players could write messages in bottles which would float about the sea in other players’ games.
- Several trailers and overviews will include announcements of corresponding Amiibo. My guess is we’ll get figures for Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Luigi with Poltergust 3000, please!), the Link’s Awakening remaster, and Mario Maker 2. We’ll probably see some of these Amiibo in physical form during the Treehouse live stream following the presentation.
- On the subject of Amiibo, though there have been reports to the contrary, I’m holding out hope that Super Mario Maker 2 will have full Amiibo support with every Amiibo released thus far and some after the game’s release.
Not holding my breath, but within the realm of imagination:
- Give. Me. A. Splatoon Battle Royale! This would for sure be my entry into the battle royale genre both because of Splatoon‘s killer aesthetic and the assumed low barrier to entry Nintendo would bring. Here’s my pitch: each match starts with twenty teams of 4 for a total of 80 players. The focus is still on painting, but you have to find weapons which will of course be all the painting tools and paintball guns from the game. The team that paints most of the map wins–just like in the Splatoon games–so the longer your team survives, the more you can paint. It will have to require Nintendo Online, but it’ll be free to download with cosmetics in loot boxes which can be purchased with in-game currency or real world money. I know! Microtransactions? Yuck! But this is how Nintendo’s gonna profit off this. These cosmetics would be the kinds of clothes you get in the Splatoon games i.e. hats, shoes, shirts, etc., but will not provide the stat buffs. There will be a border around the play zone that continues to shrink the play space, but instead of Fortnite‘s storm, it will be a rising tide, because Inklings and water don’t mix. To make it a little more accessible, it’ll have a system like Apex Legends‘s respawn beacons to rez fallen teammates. Free idea here, Nintendo! Better yet, hire me!
- We’ll get a logo, but no trailer, for a new Mario Kart game for Switch.
- Please, please Nintendo, tell me the New Fire Emblem has dating options where you can romance your fellow professors, not your students. I know Fire Emblem is where we get all of Nintendo’s mainstream horny energy but please do not mess with those power dynamics THANK YOU. Oh, it’s in this category because if there are romance options, maybe we’ll get more queer options than Fates which had one per gender and neither of them were handled well.
- Persona 5: Scramble gets a western release date and is coming to Switch.
- Animal Crossing for Switch release date confirmed for this August, please! Pretty please? I need it.
- Alright, buckle up for this one. Fortnite: Battle Royale character added to Smash Bros. They’ll have various skin/costume options like the ones you can pay for in Fortnite to avoid stigma in the halls at school apparently? They’d have a moveset that focuses less on guns and more on things like the pickaxe, building a wall for defense, etc. Guns aren’t totally off the table though, with characters like Snake and Joker.
When hell freezes over:
- Animal Crossing for Switch takes gender expression a step further than New Leaf did and allows you to choose to be male, female, or nonbinary. I feel like Rover is progressive enough to ask your pronouns on that train in 2019. I actually think that, as with New Leaf, clothing will not locked to gender. I also think it will Include the choice of skin tone like in Happy Home Designer and Pocket Camp. What I think is more of a reach to hope for, is that the game will have even more options for hair and skin tone that reflects a broader range of ethnicity.
- Nintendo and Microsoft’s recent friendliness regarding cross-play in Fortnite culminates in the announcement of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie being ported to Switch! It will have a limited physical release showcased at the Limited Run conference June 10th that collects both on one cartridge. Banjo and Kazooie are also added to Smash with an appropriately themed stage and tons of Grant Kirkhope tracks and remixes. No games developed by Nintendo to appear on any Xbox because even in this list of impossibilities I refuse to get that crazy.
- Nintendo is apparently focusing on software only and has confirmed they won’t be talking new hardware, but you never know, maybe they’ll spring a portable only, cheaper version of the Switch on us. It’ll have a confusing name that doesn’t help distinguish the two machines without further explanation; i.e. New Switch or Switch Portable. You can expect it’ll be out in time for either Black Friday or Christmas and there will be a bundle available with Pokémon Sword/Shield. How much you wanna bet they don’t announce this at E3 like they said, but hit us with a Nintendo Direct about it in like, July?
- Persona 5: The Royale is coming to Switch and includes a queer romance option that somehow isn’t handled with the all the elegance and care of a ten-car pile up. One in which the responding emergency vehicles slip on banana peels à la Mario Kart and turn that ten-car crash into a baker’s dozen.