E3 2018: Nintendo’s five biggest announcements

Nintendo gave players a closer look at Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch on June 12. — Bloomberg

Nintendo gave players a closer look at Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch on June 12. — Bloomberg

LOS ANGELES: Nintendo held its E3 press conference on June 12 at 9am PT. While the company spent most of the Nintendo Direct briefing showing off its new Super Smash Bros. title, as expected, there were still a few surprises. 

Here are the five biggest stories of the show. 

1. Every single Smash character is coming back. 

Nintendo gave players a closer look at Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch on June 12. The game was first announced back in March with a teaser revealing that characters from Splatoon, such as the Squid Sisters, would be included in the new Smash title. 

Although the selection of fighters you start with may be small, the game will feature the biggest unlockable roster in the history of the series, bringing back every single character who’s ever been included in a previous Smash Bros. game. 

The game’s progression system is streamlined so that you’ll always feel like you’ve just unlocked a new character, Nintendo says. Stages will include the Spirit Train from Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Moray Towers from Splatoon, and Great Plateau Tower from Breath of the Wild. It’ll also have an eight-player multiplayer mode. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is slated for release on Dec 7. 

2. Mario Party is coming to Switch. 

The original Mario Party mode will be included, along with new features such as “character dice blocks, a party system, and new boards to explore”, according to the game’s official website. 

“With new modes and new mini-games coupled with original board gameplay, the party starts anywhere, anytime, and with all kinds of players,” the website says. “The original board game style has been kicked up a notch with deeper strategic elements, like specific Dice Blocks for each character.” 

Super Mario Party will include 80 new mini-games that will implement the Joy-Con controllers in different ways. The game will support up to four players. 

The release date is set for Oct 5. 

3. Got a Switch? You can drop into Fortnite Battle Royale right now. 

Fortnite releases on Nintendo Switch on June 12, Nintendo confirmed at E3. The game will be available to download at 10 a.m. PT. 

“On Nintendo Switch, Fortnite Battle Royale is the same game you know from PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and mobile,” Epic Games said in a release. “Same gameplay, same map, same content, same weekly updates. With Switch, you can squad up with your friends in the same room or around the world, and even play on the go.” At present, Epic says there are no plans to bring the original “Save the World” PvE component of Fortnite to Switch. 

4. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is getting an expansion. 

Titled Torna: The Golden Country, the new story DLC will focus on the Aegis Malos and Jin, two central characters in Xenoblade 2. Players will get to uncover Jin’s full history and witness the fall of his homeland, Torna, which existed 500 years before the events of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The expansion launches on Sept 14 for expansion pass owners. 

5. A new mainline Fire Emblem game is coming to Switch. 

“A brand-new Fire Emblem game with a new story and characters is coming to Nintendo Switch,” Nintendo said on its website. “The Fire Emblem: Three Houses game takes place on Fodlan, where the Church of Seiros exercises great power over the land and its people. This turn-based tactical RPG will put new strategic twists on battling, with formations of troops supporting individual units on the battlefield.” 

Three Houses is the first mainline Fire Emblem title to hit the Switch. The previous Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Warriors, was a hack-and-slash RPG developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja; it was released for the Switch and New Nintendo 3DS handheld system in 2017. 

The 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo takes place this week, from June 12 to June 14, at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Twitch’s official coverage of the event began in earnest Sunday afternoon. — Reuters