Our fearless leader Kieran was invited by the big N to visit their UK head office in Windsor and spend the afternoon witnessing first hand what Nintendo has got to offer in the coming months and beyond. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be due to other commitments. It would have been a shame to miss out on such a rare opportunity but due to the ever growing family at Nintendad we were able to send our very own Brett Hill to represent us.
After the tank was filled, snacks were packed and a Spotify playlist created containing hits commonly found on a Tony Hawk’s pro skater soundtrack, it was time to hit the road. There was plenty of time to spare until a wrong turn was taken adding an unnecessary 20 miles to the journey. With 5 minutes to spare the iconic double red doors were in sight. Being a fan of Nintendo since the family owned a NES with Super Mario 3 and Double Dragon 2 this was definitely a poignant moment.
With the number of games on offer and only 3 hours to cram it all in we were asked to sit down at a station and jump straight into the playable demo of Pokemon Sword and Shield. There was a brief description of what we were going to expect from the latest offerings from Game Freak and then was left to our own devices. The demo consisted of taking on a water-themed gym with Nessa being the leader, we were given a party of 6 Pokemon with 3 of them being the new starters; Grookey, Sobble and Scorbunny to battle with.
Once everyone had destroyed the leader by using the new Dynamax battle technique and received their first Galar region gym badge it was time to sit around the centre table and watch a presentation of the highly anticipated title Astral Chain from Platinum Games, a brand new IP for Nintendo. The fictional city of Ark looks impressive and with the combination of high octane hack and slash battles familiar with titles like Bayonetta to the more relaxed investigative, crime-solving mechanic, this is definitely a title to look out for.
Next up was everyone’s favourite clumsy plumber, the overshadowed sibling to Mario, A legend in his own right back in his own adventure. We have Luigi’s Mansion 3. It has been 17 long years since we could play a new Luigi’s Mansion on a home console. It’s pretty hard to fathom that the 1st game in the series was released way back in 2002. With the new attack moves of slam and burst, the gameplay feels fresh, more refined and a massive improvement but it still has the charm and charisma we fell in love with in the previous titles in the series. Luigi’s Mansion 3 also sees the return of Gooigi who was first introduced in the 3DS remake of the first game. You can use Gooigi to solve puzzles and 2 player co-op.
It was great to see that Link’s Awakening was also playable, even though it was a 15 minute timed demo. The island of Koholint was free to explore and do what you please. It was definitely a great talking point after we had finished, finding out what people had discovered and where they traveled to in the short time we had with Link was entertaining. Even though the game is a remake of the original 8-bit Gameboy adventure released 26 years ago and that it has had a complete graphical overhaul it still felt familiar. It was strange knowing where places were and where to find certain items.
We were grouped into parties of 4 and given pro controllers for the next demo. It was Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order’s turn to showcase what it had to offer. It was interesting to see what Team Ninja was bringing to the table with the 3rd installment being a Switch exclusive. The roster was huge, covering most of the Marvel universe from the Avenger’s to X-men but the only thing that mattered was Star-Lord being a playable character. The camera angles were mainly aerial view with the gameplay being your typical hack and slash. With 4 players on the screen, it got a bit confusing and overcrowded in parts but was still a lot of fun.
Other playable games were Mario & Sonic at the Olympics 2020, Hollow Knight Silk Song and New Super Lucky’s Tale. Interestingly Wolfenstein: Youngblood was installed on the console but we were unable to play it due to there not being a representative from Bethesda being present.
All in all, it was an amazing afternoon and a huge thank you to Nintendo UK for your hospitality and for inviting Nintendad into your home. A day that will not be forgotten anytime soon.