E3 2018 Highlights

I was away travelling during E3 week this year and thus was only able to follow it secondhand. I’m busy processing my trip (and frankly wishing I was still on it) and getting over yet another horrific summer cold, but here are a few thoughts on the stuff that jumped out at me from what I caught of this year’s expo. As usual, I’m focusing on Bethesda and Nintendo as I’m no longer passionate enough about the industry on the whole to expend the time, space and effort it would take to follow all the other companies.
It was a somewhat quiet year for Bethesda and Nintendo, with not a lot of new announcements and much spotlighting of games that had been announced prior to E3, *leaked* prior to E3 or that had been open secrets that were all but confirmed already. Which is fine by me frankly: After a massively successful launch and a year of doing nothing by skyrocketing in popularity, the Switch has made it a *very* expensive few months for me (at last count the system has *over 700 games* already! I don’t own all of them, but enough that I feel it) and I have other things I need to spend my time and money on other than video games. So, I actually really appreciate the breather. But even so, there was some exciting stuff.

I suppose I should lead with the big news right off the bat, even though none of this is really “news”. The talk of the show was *of course* Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch. Indeed, Nintendo were so confident in it being the showstopper they basically didn’t talk about anything else, and bloody Smash took up over a half an hour of Nintendo’s presentation. And, much to my chagrin, they were probably right. That the Switch is getting a Super Smash Bros. should be a surprise to absolutely no-one, especially as it was announced in a Direct back in April. Slightly more interestingly is the notion that Ultimate is going to live up to its name and include basically everyone and everything that has ever been in a Smash Bros. game before, and that this may well be the final game in the series. To this end, the developers have made a point to include fan “requested” (read “demanded”) characters like Daisy and Ridley. So, if you every wanted to play as a space dragon unimaginatively named after a film director who directed the film his series is openly ripping off and who is most famous for being a woman’s primary abuser in a story all about abusing her and triggering her post-traumatic stress disorder, now’s your chance!
If I sound cynical and negative about this game, well, it’s because I am. I’m sure Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be a great game and I do plan to get it at some point, but I am beyond sick of this series and its fandom. I have very fond and tender memories of the original Super Smash Bros.

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