My hopes for Nintendo's 2021 E3

 From The Legend of Zelda, to Fire Emblem to, yes, even Smash.

After skipping 2020 for health reasons, E3 is back this year in a completely digital format. For Nintendo, whose live presence has been minimalistic for years now, it´s not that big of a change. They´re basically doing what they´ve been doing for the last few years. A 40 minute or so Direct presentation followed by a Livestream event, the treehouse.
As is a tradition within the Nintendo fan base let’s go over some of my hopes for this Direct. Go over some of the games I think we will see/learn more off as well as some that I don’t have any evidence to support whatsoever, but just want to have a chance to talk about.

 So without further ado, let’s dive in!

A Smash DLC Fighter reveal

Let’s start with what has a high chance to be the start of the Direct. The reveal of a new Smash DLC fighter. It’s how they’ve started the 2019 E3 direct as well as the February Direct, so why not again? Which character do I think it’ll be? Honestly, I don’t have a clue. I’m not that big of a Smash fan. I only ever play it when hanging out with friends. I include it more because it’s a relatively safe bet.

If I have to name a character though, I would go for Crash Bandicoot. I’ve never played a Crash game, but I feel that he would fit well with the current roster and Smash ad the type of characters that have made it before. I would prefer Spyro the Dragon over Crash myself but since Crash is the more popular character of the two (and not to mention has a still relatively new entry under its belt) he’s the more likely character.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Next up on the list is Xenoblade Chronicles 3. So, here´s the deal: we know that Monolith Soft has been working on a big project. Nothing has been announced (yet) but if you look at their movement it's clear that they’re working on something. The studio hasn’t had a big, brand-new project since Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and its’s expansion, Torna – The Golden Country from back in 2017/2018. They’ve been running support ever since. The only non-support project was Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition which itself is a remaster. Not a brand-new game and thus less of a chore to develop.

They must be working on something and helping out with the Breath of the Wild sequel can’t take up that man resources. I feel that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the safest bet. It's their only IP that has made an impact in the West and thus became their best-selling IP. Either that or a Switch port of Xenoblade Chronicles X. Monolith Soft themselves have made their reservations about potential port clear, however, so I think that’s not a likely option.

So, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 it is! It’ll most likely not be a direct successor which makes any predictions hard to make. As long as they keep the people living on Titans concept and the general gameplay alive though, I don’t have any problems with that!

A Fire Emblem remake

I feel that the Fire Emblem series is in a somewhat similar boat as Xenoblade. We haven’t seen a new entry in the series since Fire Emblem: Three Houses and its expansion Cindered Shadows from 2019. We haven’t heard anything from the franchise since then. I think a remake is more likely than a brand new game though. Why? Well, I just think the timing is right for it. Following up the best-selling game in the series, one that introduced the franchise to a large group of new players, with a classic game in the series with added polish with quality-of-life updates would hype up older fans while intrigue newer ones.

Which game would I want a remake of exactly? Well, I think that the 2 games most likely to get a remake under the ‘Echoes’ banner are The Binding Blade and The Blazing Blade. The Blazing Blade is the first game that made it to the West as just ‘Fire Emblem’. They could choose to be that game for that achievement alone and so a larger audience finally knows where all those Fire Emblem content in Smash comes from. The Binding Blade is what The Blazing Blade’s is a prequel to. Remastering that would finally bring it outside Japan and complete the duo, if you will.
And, if I may be so bold, they could even choose the remake both and release them as a one-two-punch. A man can dream, no?

Zelda: Skyward Sword HD & Breath of the Wild Sequel tease

I think that the Legend of Zelda’s presence during E3 will be limited. It’s the franchise’s 35th anniversary but I don’t think that Nintendo will dedicate an entire half of the Direct to Zelda like they did when Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was fully revealed. I feel it’s more likely that they wait until after Skyward Sword HD releases for the Switch to announce the celebration through a dedicated direct ala Mario 35th anniversary. You know, give that game some room to breathe before burying fans with other Zelda goodies. As Skyward Sword HD is coming out only a month I think that we’ll see Nintendo show it off in detail on the Treehouse Livestream.

However, I do think that the Breath of the Wild sequel will be teased. This game is, without a shred of doubt, the most anticipated Nintendo game at the moment. Back in the February Direct they smartly had Eiji Aonuma come out before the Skyward Sword HD announcement and say that the Breath of the Wild sequel wouldn’t currently be featured but would be shown later in the year. I think a full reveal would be better suited for that Zelda 35th anniversary but to not anger fans I do think we’ll see another small teaser. A new minute of vague footage, some concept art or perhaps even a full title reveal.

Rapid Fire round

Cramming every one of my hopes/speculations regarding what we could see during E3 while keeping the read time to around 5-6 minutes is difficult. So, to close things out here’s a rapid-fire round of some stuff that I do want to mention but don’t have space for to really dig deep into.

Rumours of a new Donkey Kong game developed by the Super Mario Odyssey Team has been going around lately. As it’s the characters 40-year-anniversary I can see something DK happening. Speaking of anniversaries, might we finally see more from Metroid Prime 4? Metroid is turning 35 this year, just like Zelda, so will they use this moment to lift the lid of the project? Reveal that heavily speculated and wanted Metroid Prime Trilogy remaster? A 2D Metroid? Let’s hope something Metroid at least!

What people have also been speculating on ever since the Splatoon 3 reveal, which I think we will see more of this E3, is Mario Kart 9. If Splatoon can two entries on Switch, why not Mario Kart? I highly doubt it since Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the Switch’s best-selling game and I don’t see a sequel on the platform doing well.

I already wrote a post about Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Pokémon Shining Pearl so you can check that one out if you wish. Pokémon Legends Arceus is also a Pokémon game I expect to see. Fans are still worried by that game’s graphical fidelity and framerate, especially now that its release date of January 2022 has been revealed. By simply showing people a second trailer with the improvements in these departments that no doubt have been should suffice to make people feel more confident about the game.

In terms of 3rd party stuff, I only have one game on my list: Square Enix’s Project: Triangle Strategy. I like tactical RPG’s but never played any beyond Fire Emblem. So learning that a game in the genre was on the horizon using Octopath Traveler’s (one of my favourite games) 2D-HD graphics was on the horizon I was one happy gamer! I enjoyed the Demo but it had problems so I hope that the game will pop up again at E3 and we see some of these addressed as well as learning a bit more about the game on the whole.


So those are some things I really wouldn’t mind seeing at Nintendo’s E3 this year. The Direct is 40 minutes long so there’s bound to be lots of goodies in it, more than I can talk about. I mean, I’ve only mentioned one 3rd party game, no indie titles and no Bayonetta 3!
Whatever Nintendo has in store for us this E3, I hope that at least some of the games I talked about will be included alongside some great surprises.
Let’s wait and see!