At E3 2014, Nintendo revealed all sorts of new games in a last ditch effort to save the already sinking Wii U. For the first time we were shown Captain Toad, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Mario Maker, and, of course, a little project called The Legend of Zelda. After all of those exciting projects were revealed, Nintendo said the presentation wasn’t over yet. I recall scooting to the very edge of my seat in anticipation for what was about to be revealed. New Animal Crossing? New Metroid? Another Smash character? Then, Nintendo announced that the show was closing with a brand new IP. My mind started to go a million miles a minute in one hundred different directions coming up with possibilities for a brand new Nintendo franchise.
That’s when orange ink flooded my screen. I watched a little squid splashing around the mess that had just appeared. That squid magically transformed into a kid (which now seems perfectly normal), and began shooting other squid kids.
As the trailer played on, I got increasingly frustrated. “A squid shooter? That’s the new IP? Pass.” The art style and characters didn’t appeal to me, the gameplay seemed one-note, and the song in the trailer was odd. For me, the event ended with an underwhelming, shallow new title I was likely to skip. As the video came to a close, I kept hoping there would be more. There wasn’t. I kept waiting for the iconic Smash logo to burst through the black screen in all of its fiery glory. It didn’t.
The negativity didn’t end there, unfortunately. Over the next three days at the Treehouse, it seemed Splatoon was the game shown every time I was able to tune in. I rolled my eyes each and every time I turned on the stream only to see the same annoying squids dominating the Treehouse time.
Then I played Splatoon.
The Global Testfire gave fans the opportunity to try Splatoon online a few weeks before release. I set my alarm clock to 3:50 a.m., to give myself ten minutes to shake off the weariness and prepare to try the new Nintendo IP for myself. Skepticism and all, I dove into my first turf war. Despite all the negative thoughts, all of the distaste I felt towards this game, I loved it. For the next hour I sampled all of the available weapons, eventually landing on the Splat Roller, the weapon I still main to this day.
After the testfire, I pre-ordered Splatoon and picked it up the day it launched. I can honestly admit now that Splatoon is one of my favorite Wii U games– heck, one of my favorite games of all time. With the sequel on the way, my interest has been reinvigorated and I’ve been splattin’ it up on the daily. Apparently, Splatoon was just one of those games I had to try for myself to fall in love with, and I’m so glad that I did.
Fast forward to 2017. At the Switch press conference, Nintendo revealed all sorts of new games in an effort to get the new console off to a strong start. We were shown Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors and, of course, a little project called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Remember when Nintendo said that thing was supposed to come out in 2015? Yeah, me too. Anyways, at the beginning of the show, Nintendo said a new game was heading to the Switch, featuring depth, challenge and replayability.
Then, two people appeared on my screen. Their normal, human arms were replaced with unique, spring-like arms. They started fighting, and the video soon transported us into the game world. This is when we were introduced to the next new IP from Nintendo: ARMS. As the trailer played on, I found myself in an extremely familiar state of mind. “A motion-control fighter? That’s the new IP? Pass.” Just like the Splatoon announcement, I found myself feeling very skeptical about this new concept.
The following morning, ARMS was the featured game on the first Nintendo Treehouse segment. I watched all of the gameplay and learned about the features, but I still didn’t feel sold on the concept. Thinking back, Splatoon took me completely by surprise; it had been a game I wasn’t sold on at first, but eventually became one of my favorite games of all time in a matter of months. Unlike the Splatoon reveal, where I felt nothing but skepticism, I have hope that my opinion of ARMS can be turned around. ARMS is a title that already has a very excited community surrounding it. In fact, it was on the fan ballot to be featured at EVO 2017. It looks like a game that plenty of people can get into, I just don’t currently feel like a part of the target audience.
It’s hard to adopt something new, especially from Nintendo. The company has been sticking to the same franchises for years and years, so it feels odd when Nintendo reveals something completely original and unfamiliar.
For now, this is where the ARMS story ends. I’m currently anticipating titles like Super Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild and, obviously, Splatoon 2. I’m not excited about ARMS, but I’m looking forward to Nintendo making me excited for ARMS. Splatoon was one of my least anticipated games at the time of its announcement, but I’ve since discovered for myself that it’s a wonderful game worth coming back to time and time again. How will Nintendo pull off the same magic trick with ARMS? I’m not sure right now. I’m excited to see more modes and varied stages though– and I can’t wait to try it all out myself. Maybe the new, accurate motion control from the Joy-Cons will feel oh-so-right in my hands. Maybe the characters will ooze personality and cement themselves in my heart. Splatoon had its storybook redemption tale; now it’s time to pass the ink and quill over to ARMS so it can write one of its own.Leave a Comment