The fondest E3 Memories of Vooks

by Luke HendersonMay 18, 2018

With E3 now less than a month away, we thought it would be interesting to get into our way back machine, or memories, if you prefer and think about some of the best surprises and biggest shocks from Nintendo at the show. These may not be the same moments that you thought were something special, so be sure to sound off in the comments about your favourite Nintendo E3 moment or their most shocking.

Kicking things off with the most recent surprise, not only did Nintendo announce, during their E3 2017 Presentation, that were we getting a new game in the Metroid Prime series, after it ended and Treehouse Live took over, we got another one.

Metroid is a series that many people adore, but it has not gotten a lot of love from Nintendo of late; while we did get the 2016 release of Metroid Prime: Federation Force, many fans were upset at the lack of Samus and more. Even prior to that, the 2010 release of Metroid: Other M was met with a lot of complaints, due to how they handled the usually stoic Samus Aran, and while the gameplay was okay, it just never resonated with fans of the series.

So with the announcement of two new games, it perked people right up and then, given that Metroid: Samus Returns also released that same year and was an incredible experience, the expectations for Prime 4 are now even higher.


Given how big E3 can be, it’s impressive when you think of the number of surprises that happen at the show. Now, sometimes they can be leaked ahead of time, but there are usually one or two surprises. Companies developed a routine with their press conferences, where they would end the show with one more thing and in 2012, the last time Nintendo hosted a traditional style event, they did just that.

However, it was a joke, plain and simple; the one more thing was not a game announcement or any form of hardware, it was a digital firework show. Nintendo ended their last large scale E3 press conference with digital fireworks from NintendoLand and people stayed in their seats, thinking there had to be more to it, but there was not.

It’s okay to end your press event on a low note, but promising one more thing and then delivering that, it just soured people right away, and given how it was the first public presentation of the Wii U and its games, that was not a good thing. Of course, it also did not help set people thinking good things about the Wii U as well.

Now, if you thought Nintendo could not get their ending right, you only need to think back to 2004, when Nintendo announced one more thing, only to then blow the doors off the room with the debut of The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess.

With Reggie asking people step into one more world, thoughts were running at full throttle and the build-up was immense before we got our first look at Link riding on Epona across a field. The trailer then sped through a lot of environments, Link fighting many enemies, some puzzle solving and more, it was one incredible moment and if you watch the YouTube videos of the event, the crowd there loved it as well, but the ending was the best.

Shigeru Miyamoto took to the stage, complete with a Master Sword and Hylian Shield, before doing some moves with them. Sure, that part was completely campy, but with how hyped the room was, that entrance just sent people into the stratosphere, proving Nintendo could actually end a press conference right.

It was also in 2004 that we got our first look at Resident Evil 4, at least as we know it now, but when Reggie introduced it, fans had no idea. Not only was the music so different from anything we had seen from the series before, there was nothing in it, that anyone could say was Resident Evil.

Prior to this unveiling, we had gotten a super creepy trailer for the game and it felt a lot like the other games in the series, there is even demo footage of the old build as well, but with this version, it was so new, people could not make up their minds until it was released, on weather this was a good or dreadful thing. Of course, we now know that it was a very good thing, seeing as the game has been released on every gaming platform, except Switch, since then and yes that does include mobile devices.

When games have such a dramatic shift, we can never truly understand just how it will change the game and Capcom and Nintendo clearly believed that it would do well, giving it an opening slot in their presentation. The reaction proved it was a worthy inclusion.


It seems that Nintendo 2004 was one of the years that Nintendo knocked it out of the ballpark, or the Los Angeles Convention Centre, because it was also the first time that we got our eyes on the Nintendo DS.

Nintendo promised that developers would have new tools to work with and new ways to express their imaginations and they were right, some of the early games on the DS was so beyond crazy, finding a game that just played normally was a challenge. It was promised that not only would the DS change Nintendo, but the industry and you know what? They were right, because if you recall, it was announced years before the release of the iPhone, so if you wanted touchscreen gaming, you had to go with Nintendo.

Of course, what they showed at E3 was what we got at launch, but Nintendo was always evolving and before long we got the Nintendo DS Lite, a much-refined version, but that opening presentation not only whetted appetites, it also showed off Mario 64 portable for the first time and if that was not enough, a 3D Metroid game that could be taken anywhere. The presentation led to an experience that really was transformative.


The toys-to-life wave picked up almost everyone that it passed, all the platforms had Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and Lego Dimensions and while they were all great experiences, they were limited to that game/series. Nintendo envisioned something more, figures that would work across a number of games and in 2014 we were given the amiibo.

amiibo were figures of Nintendo characters that would work in a number of games, with each game finding their own unique use for them, but by far the largest use of them was in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS, letting you save your fighter data to take it to a friend’s house, if you desired. They were not just limited to Smash, you could also use them in Mario Kart 8, unlocking themed outfits for your Mii racer. As the years have moved on, we have seen less of them release, but there was no doubting the craze that Nintendo kicked off in E3 2014.

Nintendo was thought to be crazy at the time though, because the craze was already waning at that time, but as always, they march to their own beat and amiibo are something that appears to be here to stay.

Retro was an unknown studio before the release of Metroid Prime and when it was announced that an American studio was making a Metroid game, people freaked out. Fast forward to E3 2010 and with their track record proven, they surprised everyone with the news they were bringing back Donkey Kong Country.

When Returns was announced, people were happy that the classic series, initially crafted by the then Nintendo-backed Rare, but they were also concerned; could this Texas-based developer recapture the joy of the series? The reactions of the crowd when it was debuted were nothing too special, given some of the reactions in the past, but people were excited none the less. Hands-on reports from the show that year had the public wanting more.

With Tropical Freeze, Retro perfected and expanded upon that winning formula, but who could have foreseen that they would get two franchises back on track? One can only hope they are working on something even cooler now.


So those are just a few of our Nintendo E3 memories, but what about you? Do you have any memories of Nintendo at E3 that you want to share?


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About The Author
Luke Henderson
So, I have been gaming since controllers only had two buttons and because I wanted to, I started my own site. Now of course, you can find me writing for Vooks as well
  • Aaron
    May 18, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Very fun read, can’t wait for E3 baby!

    May 19, 2018 at 8:30 am

    E3 04 is still the greatest E3 of them all, I don’t think it will ever be beaten. I happened to buy a DVD set of the show in the following months, I can’t recall it was purposely because I knew there were so many good games, but it was and still is mindblowing to see just how many stellar titles debuted that year.

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