E3 Day Three Round-up - Sponsored by Argos

Posted on 14 Jun 2017 Posted in  Games & Toys
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E3 Day Three Round-up

E3 Tuesday round-up: Mario, Pokemon and Zelda (again!) all set to wow on Nintendo Switch

On Sunday, Microsoft claimed its spoils. Monday was owned by Sony. But Tuesday at E3 – the biggest gaming show of the year – was all about Nintendo. Resurgent since the Pokemon Go craze of last summer and March release of its new Switch console, this was the Japanese publisher’s most anticipated conference in a decade, and it lived up to fan hopes. More Mario, more Zelda, more Pikachu, and more surprises to come: here’s your daily E3 update, most of it deservedly Nintendo-flavoured.

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It’s all Go again for Pokemon as Switch gets a new RPG

Love Switch? Love Pokemon? Welcome to the wedding of the century. After mobile phenomenon Pokemon Go swept the globe just under a year ago, a full-fat console follow-up became inevitable, and it’s now in the works at long-time Poke developer Game Freak. It’ll be an RPG, released in late 2018 (at the earliest), and… that’s where the facts end. Seriously: everything else surrounding the game is speculation right now. But at least we know it’s coming.

At present there are 802 characters in the Pokemon universe, giving Game Freak abundant choice for the new game’s cast. Originals such as Squirtle and Charizard are guaranteed to feature, but what’ll be especially intriguing is whether a huge poll carried out last year, in which more the 500,000 Japanese fans voted for their favourite character, sways the developer’s choice. Amazingly, Pikachu only finished fourth – beaten, in reverse order, by Mew (3rd place), Arceus (2nd) and Greninja (1st). Expect all those names to feature heavily when it’s eventually released.

Mario Odyssey blends the Super with the surreal

New Mario is… weird. But that’s by no means a criticism; the main man of Nintendo could do with a bit of freshening up, and upcoming Switch effort Mario Odyssey looks like a welcome break from tradition. It’s a madcap open-world exploration fest set in New Donk City – think about it – in which Mario can possess, and therefore transform into, other characters or objects. Such as a goomba, or T-Rex or, er, taxi cab.

The game revolves around Mario’s hat, AKA Cappy. As well as being your means of possessing other characters by bumping into them, it can be used as a weapon, and – here’s the cool part – motion-controlled via the Switch’s Joy Con. For instance, flick forward for a standard throw, or forward then left or right to add curve while Cappy sails through the air. Neat. Toys-to-life fans can also rejoice in the news that Mario Odyssey is getting a bespoke range of amiibo figures. If that’s your jam, then best start saving for its 27 October release date.

Rocket League lifts off on Switch before Christmas

Pokemon Go wasn’t the only surprise smash of 2016. On console, the sequel to a little-known 2009 game called Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars was wowing gamers in a similar vein. You know it better as Rocket League – and its unique mix of driving and football is set to hook a whole new audience when it motors onto Switch sometime between now and Christmas.

Exclusive content for the Switch edition includes Mario and Luigi caps to pimp out your vehicle with. Otherwise the Nintendo conversion will stay true to those on other formats, with one especially clever feature: cross-platform connectivity. So if you’re a Switch player but a friend has it on Xbox One, you can still face off with one another. The only exception, sadly, is PS4, which remains in its own Rocket League bubble. Sort it out, Sony…

Breath Of The Wild DLC might make you hyperventilate

Here’s an incredible stat for you: according to the website Metacritic, the average review score for Switch launch RPG Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is 9.7 out of 10. That’s a whole half point ahead of next best game Mario Kart 8, at 9.2. And so any new content for the console’s undisputed number one game was likely to generate major buzz. E3 didn’t disappoint that regard, as Nintendo confirmed two expansion packs headed to Switch soon.

Pack 1, named The Master Trials, includes a new Trial Of The Sword mode in which you fend off waves of enemies, a more difficult way of playing the man game called Master Mode, and new armours and costumes inspired by earlier games. It’s out on 30 June. Pack 2, the Champions Ballad, is expected just before Christmas and adds ‘champion’ characters Mipha, Urbosa, Daruk, and Revali. Just like Mario Odyssey, you’ll be able to buy these guys in amiboo form too. Giving you around six months to save up, or score a lottery win.

PES 2018 announcement includes a Bolt from the blue

Here’s something you never knew you wanted: Usain Bolt in a football game. Now here’s something you’re getting, even though you never knew you wanted it: Usain Bolt in a football game. Yes, the greatest sprinter of modern times – if not all time – is coming to PES 2018 as a bonus for anyone who pre-orders. He’ll be playable in MyClub mode, complete with authentic likeness, and – here’s where it gets interesting – sprint stats. Good luck defending against him in online matches.

Many argue that PES outplayed big rival FIFA last year, and Konami is looking to build on that success with a variety of new online options. For instance, you can play co-op matches in 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 configurations, with local support offered too – meaning its easy to team up with mates whether they’re on the sofa, or in Sofia. PES 2018 is out on 14 September, giving it a two-week head-start over a certain mega-money rival.

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About Ben Wilson...

Ben has been playing video games since the Amstrad CPC 464+ era, and writing about them for 16 years. He’s the longest-serving editor in Official PlayStation Magazine history, and these days splits his obsessive words across The Guardian, FourFourTwo and GamesRadar+, to name three.

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