This past week was E3! While this year was much different than past events, there’s still lots of news to share, including exciting retro gaming-related surprises. Let’s jump in!
Judging from my Twitter feed, its pretty evident that Nintendo “won” E3 in many gamers’ hearts — especially Metroid fans — with their shocking announcement of Metroid Dread for the Switch. Dread — which is in fact Metroid 5, the direct sequel to Metroid Fusion — is an all-new 2D sidescrolling adventure which pits Samus against predatory mechs called E.M.M.I. which stalk her throughout the game. Yes, this is the same Metroid Dread that was rumored to be in covert development around 15 years ago, in the Nintendo DS era. That rumor practically turned into an urban legend, if not a complete joke — and now, in 2021, we find out that it was actually true, and we are finally going to be playing Metroid Dread on October 8 of THIS YEAR!
Legend of Zelda Game & Watch
Nintendo also surprised us with a follow-up to last year’s Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch revival, a Legend of Zelda G&W containing the original NES classic, Zelda II: Adventure of Link, LoZ: Link’s Awakening, and a new Zelda-themed version of the old G&W game, Vermin. The “watch” part of this Zelda Game & Watch is also interactive. (Personal thought — if Nintendo continues along these lines, might a Metroid Game & Watch be in the not-to-distant future?)
Cave shmups on Switch
Another welcome addition to the Switch library is the announcement of three classic Cave arcade shootemups: Mushihimesama (available now), Espgaluda II, and Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu! I highly encourage shmup fans to buy these to help encourage more Cave releases outside of Japan!
Limited Run Games
Limited Run had a huge list of releases, some of the most notable to retro enthusiasts being the Contra Anniversary Collection, River City Girls 1, 2, and Zero, Castlevania Requiem (collection of Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night), Zombies Ate My Neighbors, and Axiom Verge 2. But possibly the most shocking of all was the announcement of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood for the TurboCD! Yes, after all these years, the TurboGrafx-16/TurboDuo is finally getting that “lost” Castlevania game in a licensed North American physical edition!
The latest wave of small-scale home-use arcade games from A1up included X-Men, TMNT: Turtles in Time, Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga Class of 1981, and Street Fighter II Champion Edition (in a “big blue” cabinet design).
Valis 35th Anniversary Revival Project
Hinted at a few months ago, it would appear that Yuko and the gang are making a cautious return to modern consoles with releases (although I’m not sure in what capacity, if they’re just ports or remakes or what) of Valis 1-3 on Switch. As of right now, the only information we have is from the Japanese-only Twitter account, which may not have had any “official” connection with E3, but was revealed this week nevertheless. Hoping more information is released soon, like the inclusion of Valis 4, and possibly a new game.
It’s still coming! Intellivision’s video presentation was sort of a rehash of things we’ve already learned from their previous updates, but they did show footage of more games. There was no mention if they are still on track for their projected release date of 10/10/2021, so I’m assuming no news is good news.
Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster
Final Fantasy I through VI are getting “pixel remasters,” whatever that means, and will be available on Steam and mobile platforms. I can guess what they’re talking about, but it’s probably better if we just wait and see.
Dragon Quest III and XII
Also not part of E3, but announced just a couple weeks ago as part of Square Enix’s Dragon Quest 35th Anniversary livestream, is an “HD2D” remake of Dragon Quest III and the next main chapter in the series, Dragon Quest XII. While only an animated logo was shown for DQ12, it’s apparent that this installment will be “darker” than the usually cheerful and lighthearted atmosphere the series is known for.
I’m still collecting information, so look for updates to this post in the coming days if more announcements crop up!