ByAlex Ziebart, writer at

We could debate all day about which presentation "won" this year, but watching 's offerings always feels like a homecoming of sorts. Some of Nintendo's most beloved properties have been around for 30 years. Gamers young and old have grown up with Nintendo mascots.

During Nintendo conferences, the nostalgia center of the brain goes into overdrive, flooding us with warm tinglies and fond memories. Few other entertainment companies have such an effect on so many. Seeing a new Mario, Yoshi, or Kirby game on screen is like going to Disneyland and giving Mickey Mouse a hug.

Wholesome Fun

E3 tends to be overwhelmed with glitz and glitter, with every studio doing their very best to hype up their intended audience. Nintendo, however, is consistently willing to dial it back. Nothing expressed Nintendo's notion of wholesome, for-all-ages fun better than the new Yoshi title.

In the main Super Mario franchise, Yoshi is best known as Mario's expendable steed; Mario will happily throw him into a bottomless pit if it means Mario reaches the other side of a chasm. The Yoshi spinoff franchise, though, is a wondrous thing. With every release, Nintendo reimagines Yoshi's childlike arts-and-crafts aesthetic. I'm a thirty-year-old man and watching Yoshi push around a giraffe made of bottle caps and toilet paper rolls makes me feel like I'm in kindergarten all over again.

As this trailer played at Nintendo's presentation, I saw someone call it the most innocent game they'd ever seen. I'm inclined to agree.

So Many Familiar Faces

Nintendo's conference offered footage of the new Super Mario Odyssey and teased both a new Metroid Prime and a full Pokémon RPG for the Switch. Mascots from other companies have even been integrated into the lineup, instilling those titles with the same sense of nostalgia. Mario's old rival Sonic now shares the stage with Mario thanks to games like Sonic Forces, and Ubisoft's Rabbids are along for the ride via Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

Shout out to the next Kirby title, though. The trailer begins as a parody of pretty much every action trailer in the history of ever, but nope. No blood and guts here. It's just Kirby, one of the most adorable heroes of all time.

The debate around the winners and losers of E3 can all get a bit silly, but one thing is certain: Nintendo will always be there to help us rediscover our childhood.


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