Nintendo decided to go the comedic route for this year’s E3. First, they recruited Mega64 to make their Pre-E3 trailer. Then they opened their E3 Nintendo Direct with scenes created by the staff of Robot Chicken talking about what isn’t showing up. And then they cut to Reggie Fils-Amie and Satoru Iwata squaring off like an old kung fu movie.
The humor is all well and good, but E3 is about the games, so what did Nintendo bring to the table there?
Super Smash Bros.
The battle between two of the most recognizable faces in Nintendo lead to a Super Smash Bros. trailer with both of their Miis battling. Gamers can play using their own Miis in the new iteration of Nintendo’s brawler and can take on three archetypes: swordfighters, gunners and brawlers. Players can also choose a set of four special moves from 12 possible choices to help customize their characters. The move sets look very similar to characters already in the game, but the customization of the specials could help shake things up a bit. Both the 3DS version (releasing October 3rd) and the WiiU version (Holiday 2014) will feature new mods as well as old standards like Home Run Derby, Coin Collecting games and the Trophy Room.
Smash Bros. also afforded the first glimpse at a new IP when Iwata put a Mario figure on the Wii U gamepad. Suddenly Mario appeared in the game and took down Reggie. The new figures are called Amiibo. They are similar to Disney Infinity or Skylanders figures in that they are placed on the Wii U gamepad for compatible games, and the character is added to the game you’re playing. However, figures update as you play so they evolve as you play over time, and this information is saved back on the figure itself. Smash Wii U will be the first Amiibo-compatible game.
After Reggie reminisced about Super Mario World for a bit and how games are meant to be fun, he handed things off to the developers. First up were Takashi Tezuka and Etsunobu Ebisu to talk about Yoshi Wooly World. While developed by Good Feel, it’s not a “sequel” to Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but draws inspiration from it. They said that the game won’t have a time limit, allowing for more exploration. It will also have a two-player mode where players can toss each other around to get to certain areas. Overall, the game looks very cute like Kirby with some minor differences.
Toad gets a game
We were then treated to a brief glimpse of Toad with a miner’s lamp in a 3D environment solving puzzles and exploring. The game is called Captain Toad Treasure Tracker and looks like it’s based on the puzzle levels of 3D world. The game is set for a release during the 2014 holiday season.
Zelda on WiiU
Eiji Aomura then talked about how the Zelda series has evolved, and how 3D worlds changed things and kept the world from being completely open and connected. He then showed off the world of Zelda on the WiiU, a beautiful, open-world landscape where “travel is a puzzle in and of itself.” He also said that it may be less linear than previous Zelda titles as well, and we will see for ourselves when it releases next year.
Two quick trailers
Nintendo then rattled off a couple quick trailers. The first was for the Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire remakes for Pokémon. The titles will be getting a graphical update and will feature Mega Evolutions, added in the latest generation of games. Then we were treated to a glimpse of Bayonetta 2, which had some less than stellar video quality at times, but looks like it captures the essence of the first game. The trailer also showed the protagonist in costumes of several Nintendo characters including Samus, Link and Peach. A glimpse of the box art at the end of the trailer indicated that Bayonetta 2 might also include the first game, as well.
Hisashi Koinuma, Yosuke Hayashi and Eiji Aonuma then talked about Hyrule Warriors, a product of the combined efforts of Nintendo and Tecmo Koei. It’s basically Link in a Dynasty Warriors style game and features characters from a number of Zelda games including Impa, Midna, and, of course, Zelda. Hyrule Warriors has a September 26th release on Wii U.
Three more trailers
Three more quick trailers were next. First was Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, a Wii U game in the vein of Kirby Canvas Curse from the DS. Guide Kirby around levels, drawing on the game pad to create platforms for him. Kirby also takes on some different forms in this one including a tank and rocket. Up next was “X” from MonolithSoft, which turned out to be a sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles. The trailer showed a number of large space vessels battling it out and some rather angsty dialogue. Changing things up a bit, the third trailer is for a game called Mario Maker, which will allow you to make custom Mario courses. The trailer showed both old-school and Wii U graphics. We will likely hear more about all of these before their 2015 releases.
Then we got our last major announcement of the Nintendo Direct: Splatoon–a 4 v 4 online shooter with a twist. Your goal in the game is to cover as much of the map in your team’s ink as you can. Characters can take the form of people, which allow them to shoot ink from what look like Super Soakers or turn into squids, which allow for quick movement through the ink-soaked ground. The WiiU gamepad can be used to see how much of the map is covered, where your teammates are and you can even jump to another teammate’s location. The game features an array of painting weapons including guns, rockets, grenades and paint rollers.
Nintendo then closed with one last Smash Bros. teaser of Zelda and Pit fighting as Palutena from Kid Icarus looked on from above. Palutena then takes the field herself to fight, followed by a snippet of Dark Pit at the end.
Right after the conference wrapped up, a segment called “Nintendo Minute” came on to add more info. First came more info about Amiibo. In Smash Bros., Amiibo fight automatically, either vs other Amiibo, against human players, or as a teammate in team play. They level up increasing attack, defense, speed, etc. and have customizable special moves. There are plans to incorporate Amiibo into other games as well including Mario Kart 8, Yoshi Wooly World, and Mario Party 10. Also, a peripheral for Amiibo on 3DS is coming next year.
Two 3DS release dates
Two 3DS games also got release dates: Fantasy Life from Level-5 will come out October 24th. It is an RPG where you can save the world or take on normal part-time jobs, making it sound like something in the Rune Factory vein. We also finally got a release date for Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, which will make its way to North America on August 29th.
We were then greeted with a montage of eShop games including Thorium Wars, Chariot, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, Swords and Soldiers 2, Shovel Knight, Stealth Inc. 2, 6180 the Moon, Pier Solar and the Great Architects, Tappingo 2, WoahDave!, Nihilumbra, Gunman Clive 2, Tengami, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, Wooden Sen’SeY, Siesta Fiesta, Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal World Dual Carnival, Blast ’em Bunnies, Chromophore: The Two Brothers, Citizens of Earth, Teslagrad, and Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition. They also announce a 30% off sale on a number of games from now until June 16th.
The final note was about Mario Party 10: Bowser will be the star of the game. It sounds like it will have a 1 vs. 4 format, where the gamepad will control Bowser with four players try to compete against him.
That does it for Nintendo’s E3 announcements at this point, but they will be having several other short snippets throughout the week on their Twitch channel, so check back here at The G.A.M.E.S. Blog for more information as it becomes available. And let us know what you’re most excited about down in the comments!
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