E3 2018 - Nintendo and Square Enix Reveals

June 13, 2018

After Sony's conference which was big on gameplay but short on new titles, Square Enix and Nintendo both had the opportunity to showcase some of the games we already knew about, as well as announce new titles that they'd kept under lock and key. Things didn't really go that way for either party, however, resulting in what could only be described as a wash-out for both publishers. Still, the highlights are below and there are definitely a few releases you'll want to keep your eye on.

Square Enix

Shadow of the Tomb Raider - PS4, Xbox One, PC

With "one of the biggest hubs ever created in a Tomb Raider game" it seems like Lara will have her work cut out navigating this third instalment of the rebooted series. The trailer showcased a lot of stealth elements, including a pretty nifty tree takedown which used an enemy as a counterweight. For those of you who thought that Rise of the Tomb Raider was a little bloated, the developer's comments are unlikely to have assuaged your fears about the sequel, and it appears that slam-bang action outside of set pieces has been sidelined in favour of sneaking around. And of course, lots of swimming. Still, the release on September 14th, 2018 means that it won't be long before we get to try it ourselves.

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The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit - PS4, Xbox One, PC

This is a nice treat from Dontnod, who said that this standalone and free episode will sit between the first two seasons of Life is Strange. Your choices will also follow into the new game which Square Enix are publishing. It'll be available for download on June 26, 2018.

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Babylon's Fall - PS4, PC

A new title from PlatinumGames which teased lots, but didn't provide any idea of story or genre. We'd guess at action given the studio's pedigree, but hopefully it won't go the same way as the ill-fated Scalebound. More to come in 2019.

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The Quiet Man - PS4, PC

The very definition of a teaser, this one is about a deaf guy who beats people up. We have no idea why, there's no release date and we will have to wait for further information in August.

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Fire Emblem Three Houses - Switch

A new Fire Emblem game? Yes please! The turn-based RPG has enjoyed great success in the west thanks to Awakening and this new entry — the first on the Switch — promises to bring more strategic goodness to portable play. It's scheduled for Spring 2019.

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Super Mario Party - Switch

On October 5th, 2018 the Mario Party series will be heading to the Switch. It looks like multiple combinations of screen positioning will allow for dynamic game scenarios, which is pretty awesome. Traditional party games on the TV are present and correct too, so it looks like this may be another incremental improvement on the popular franchise.

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Fortnite - Switch

It was promised, but now it's here. Fortnite — the battle royale game which has been making significant gains on PUBG in the arena — has another home. What, you want to play it now? Well, you can. It was released yesterday. Go forth and destroy!

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Hollow Knight - Switch

Another release which hit Nintendo's eStore yesterday, the popular platformer is well-suited for portable play.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Switch

Finally, a title deserving of the "Ultimate" descriptor in its title. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn't just promise the introduction of Metroid's Ridley, eight-player battles, Amiibos, GameCube controller compatibility and data transfer options from previous games. No, it also includes every fighter from the history of the franchise. Wow. The crossover here certainly lives up to Nintendo's claim of being the biggest in gaming history. And if that sounds like a great Christmas present, the release date makes it even more so: December 7th, 2018. The video is long, so strap in.

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Otherwise, we got an announcement of DLC for Xenogears 2, an expansion for Splatoon 2 along with some more Amiibo, annoucements for Overcooked 2, Killer Queen Black and DragonBall FighterZ, and a variety of ports and eShop additions in the following trailer:

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We don't think it's harsh to say that we expected more from both Square Enix and Nintendo. There was no mention of any of the upcoming Square Enix titles we were looking forward to seeing. Where was the Final Fantasy VII Remake? Or Kingdom Hearts 3? Or the much-teased Avengers project? The publisher had the chance to properly go to town at the conference, but the actual outcome was more like a quiet night in with a mug of Horlicks and a bunch of TV repeats.

Nintendo didn't do much better: while it was nice to see another Smash Bros. game (and we're unsure where the franchise can go after this one), we hoped for more than just additions to existing franchises. In comparison, Microsoft's conference appeared to be jam-packed full of great titles, even if most of them weren't exclusives. Alongside Sony — whose admittedly great gameplay demos deserve applause —the big names let themselves down this year with a lacklustre showing, and Phil Spencer will doubtlessly be rubbing his hands at how the event went in Microsoft's favour.

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Outer Wilds is a meditative, slow, but ultimately rewarding sci-fi extravaganza that everyone looking for an adventure should play — but be prepared for some frustration and repetition.
Rob Kershaw

I've been gaming since the days of the Amstrad. Huge RPG fan. Planescape: Torment tops my list, but if a game tells a good story, I'm interested. Absolutely not a fanboy of any specific console or PC - the proof is in the gaming pudding. Also, I like cake.