Nintendo Direct: E3 Edition Recap
Nintendo’s E3 direct show was full of mixed details and announcements. On the one hand, they brought a lot of games, all of which looked great and very fun to play. On the other hand, the announcements were all plagued with a lack of release dates. While I can see why Nintendo were eager to release details of the games they are developing and publishing, I fear that the Wii U still won’t be picking up in sales until Christmas at the earliest. Then again, this kind of thing very rarely bothers Nintendo, who always seem to manage to carve out a niche no matter what the competition is like (it also helps when you have billions in the bank in spending cash from Wii sales). But anyway, the big contenders this year were clearly Microsoft and Sony, and I think I can speak for many Nintendo fans when I say that what they showed looked fantastic.
Now let us move away from the boring business talk and get right to the games!
Pokemon X and Y
There wasn’t much announced today, besides the inclusion of a new fairy type. This is a move that makes sense for the series. Many Pokemon were of the fairy type in terms of breeding/egg groups, but were only classed as being of ‘normal’ type when considering battle classification. Hopefully this will add some new elements to the series’ tournament system. Check out the new footage in the trailer below.
Super Mario 3D World
This one was a little bit of a disappointment for me. 3D Mario games have an incredible track record when it comes to innovation, style and substance, with games like Super Mario 64, Sunshine and Galaxy being on many top ten lists (of all time). So imagine the surprise when the game ended up looking exactly like the recent 3DS outing 'Super Mario 3D Land', but with multiplayer and a new cat suit that, quite frankly, looked completely broken. Odds are the game won't have the branching objectives and detailed worlds of past games, and will likely be a completely linear affair, which is a damn shame.
We finally got to see some new gameplay for Bayonetta 2, and it looks just as good as the original. Featuring huge set pieces, massive fights and fast paced action, this one is sure to please those that aren't annoyed about it being Nintendo exclusive. Also, dat new haircut!
Monolith Soft's 'X'
Though it doesn't have a name yet, one could quite easily assume it will have the prefix 'Xeno' in the title. The game looks fantastic, with a full scale open world, mech-like transformer mobile thingies, and some giant enemies to fight. It looks like a spiritual successor to Xenoblade, which is all I really need to say!
Art Academy U
A minor reveal for this entry in the long running and highly popular artist software series from Nintendo. This one was created in responses to the huge amount of drawing in Miiverse that are posted in every discussion system everywhere. Hopefully this will help free things up a little and allow for actual discussion to take place.Unfortunately, there is no video available for this title, but you get the idea.
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8 was one of the standout titles of the conference to me. It looks just as good as many other Mario Kart games, except it now has a new anti-gravity mechanic to play around with. Players are able to drive up walls, along ceilings, and over special zero-g tracks. It may not sound like much, but in a game like Mario Kart, little things like this can bring a whole new world of difference, just from the prospects of kart and track balancing alone. This is one to watch out for.
Wind Waker U
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker first released 10 years ago last month to mixed reviews. On the one hand, gamers praised its gameplay, longevity, and, well, how fun it was overall. On the other hand, many hated the cel shaded look of Link, which was a stark contrast to what was shown off at the E3 a year prior to the game's announcement. One could argue that, after the game had been allowed to settle down, many were drawn in and captivated by it, and any problems were very easily forgotten by most. It's now ten years on, and Nintendo seem to be hoping for a better reaction to the game this time around, especially when considering how popular it has become over the years.
It isn't only the graphics that have been updated in this remake, whole new gameplay systems have been introduced, featuring a cool new 'message in a bottle' mechanic, that allows you to send a message out to sea, where it is updated to the Miiverse. This is kind of an in game version of the FAQ community that Nintendo stated they wanted when they released the system, and it looks like it could be good fun.
Wind Waker U is due this October.
Alongside these games, many other third party titles were announced and expanded upon, including The Wonderful 101, by Bayonetta 2 director Hideki Kamiya.
And a whole slew of third party/indie titles were shown for the first time in a single reel.
All in all, it was a great 40 minutes for Nintendo, who managed to fit quite a lot of games into the slot. The lack of any good release dates other than Holiday 2013, and 2014, was rather disappointing, though. Nintendo needed to take the market this Christmas, before the other two show up and steal any thunder they could muster. What they do have, though, is both a Zelda remake, and a brand new Mario 3D game, both of which are very possible system sellers for many. This could go any which way right now, and only time will tell if their laid back strategy will help them in the long run.