What Just Happened? Nintendo almost literally phones in E3
Sony hit a home run with their E3 presentation, while Microsoft dropped the ball and enraged gaming fans everywhere.
What did Nintendo do?
Well, in classic Nintendo fashion, they did the exact opposite and skipped a live stage show in favour of the latest Nintendo Direct pre-recorded video chock full of game announcements and updates that will delight fans of Nintendo’s stable of characters. Solid, and guaranteed to please, the presentation featured Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Kirby and many more, but definitely aimed well below Sony and Microsoft.
The big news of the day seems to sit somewhere between Cat Suit Mario in the new Super Mario 3D Worlds and Mega Man appearing in the next Super Smash Bros. But perhaps most importantly? The Wii U is finally getting more good games. Granted most of them are going to be Nintendo’s own titles, but if you bought a Wii U and didn’t expect to play a lot Nintendo titles, I’m not sure what you were thinking!
Also worth noting is that of the three big shows, Nintendo’s was definitely the most family friendly (perhaps more appropriately, the ONLY one with even a hint of family friendliness)., and that bodes well for Wii U and 3DS owners this year.
You can check out all the videos and screenshots on Nintendo’s official E3 page, and look below for a summary of all the games announced today.
Wii U Games
Super Mario 3D World: For the first time ever, Nintendo has created a four-player Mario game set in a 3D world. The game, developed by the same team that created Super Mario 3D Land for Nintendo 3DS and the Super Mario Galaxy games for Wii, lets up to four players play as Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad. Each character has his or her own unique characteristics, and people can play cooperatively or competitively. The new cat transformation turns characters into adorable felines that can scratch enemies and even scamper up the flagpole at the end of levels. Clear warp pipes add some new puzzle elements to game play. The game is scheduled to launch this December.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: The first Wii U installment in the franchise comes from Retro Studios. The side-scrolling platformer has beautiful HD graphics that show fine details, such as Donkey Kong’s fur. Dixie Kong joins the adventure, which features the Kongs swimming underwater and moving from the foreground to the background. This time, the camera changes perspective on certain levels to enhance the sense of motion and to deliver new experiences. The game is scheduled to launch this November.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD: The classic Nintendo GameCube game has been enhanced with beautiful HD 1080p graphics. In one change from the original, the Tingle Tuner has been replaced by the Tingle Bottle, which uses the Wii U GamePad controller to post comments about the game to Miiverse. Comments from players wash up on the shores of beaches in the game. Players also have the option to sail faster than they did in the original version. The game is scheduled to launch this October.
Mario Kart 8: The newest installment of the gold-standard racing game introduces an anti-gravity feature that has karts racing up walls and clinging to inverted tracks. Elements from previous Mario Kart games have made their return, including gliders and motorbikes. The game will support online multiplayer and will have deep integration with Miiverse. The game is scheduled to launch in spring of 2014.
The Wonderful 101: This PlatinumGames original launches Sept. 15. Players take on the role of Wonder-Red, leader of a group of superheroes. Individually they are overpowered by invaders from space. But by working together, they can transform into a fist or blade and unleash massive attacks on their enemy. The polished, over-the-top look and music evoke classic superhero comics and cartoons.
Bayonetta 2: Developed by PlatinumGames, the game’s title character has had a makeover that gives her a new hairstyle and costume. Her climactic abilities are more powerful and the action is as intense as ever. The game is scheduled to launch in 2014.
A brand-new title developed by MONOLITH SOFTWARE INC.: Monolith Soft, the creative force behind The Xenoblade Chronicles, is creating an open world for players to explore. Players can ride human-shaped robots at certain points in the game, or use the robots to battle enemies in the sky. The game is scheduled to launch in 2014.
Wii Party U: Enjoy board games and mini-games on the TV, play familiar tabletop games using the Wii U GamePad controller or transform your living room into a game show floor. No matter what kind of party you’re throwing, Wii Party U offers something for everyone. The game is scheduled to launch this October.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: The highly anticipated new entry in Nintendo’s popular fighting franchise will arrive for Wii U in 2014.
Wii Fit U: Although this game was previously announced to launch in spring or summer this year, it is now scheduled to launch this December.
Pikmin 3: This game is in a genre all its own. Players take command of three explorers and a legion of adorable Pikmin in a fight for survival. By employing the unique abilities of these tiny Pikmin creatures, players will solve puzzles, battle dangerous predators and recover food needed to save the explorers’ depleted home planet. The game launches Aug. 4.
New Super Luigi U: Luigi takes centre stage in his first starring role in a platform adventure. Players can show off their skills as Luigi, complete with his trademark high jump and unique slide, as they experience more than 80 new courses set in the world of New Super Mario Bros. U. For people who already own New Super Mario Bros. U, the new Luigi content launches as downloadable content in the Nintendo eShop on June 20. A stand-alone retail version of the game that does not require the original launches Aug. 25.
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games: The game includes a variety of events from the Winter Games, including bobsleigh, skiing, figure skating pairs and snowboard slopestyle – which will make its Olympic Gamesdebut in Sochi, Russia. Different events might use the Wii Remote Plus controller, Wii U GamePad controller or both. In addition to realistic events, the game also includes Dream Events set in the worlds of Sonic and Mario that let players perform moves not possible in real life. Launch details and timing will be announced at a later date.
Pokémon X and Pokémon Y: The first games in the core Pokémon series to appear on Nintendo 3DS launch worldwide on Oct. 12. The games introduce an 18th Pokémon type: Fairy-type Pokémon, and have an upgraded graphical look that is an artistic pinnacle for the franchise. A new feature called Pokémon-Amie lets players create a deeper connection with their Pokémon. Trainers can pet them, feed them and play mini-games with them, which makes their Pokémon more effective in battles.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS: The hand-held counterpart to the Wii U version will also arrive in 2014.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: This game takes place after the events of and in the same world asThe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Link can now become a drawing to move along walls. This opens up ways to explore and puzzle elements that give Link access to locations he could not otherwise reach. The game is scheduled to launch this holiday season.
Yoshi’s New Island: The third game in the series offers classic Yoshi abilities while introducing new ones, such as giant Mega Eggs that Yoshi can use to mow down obstacles. The game features different worlds in a variety of art styles, including oil, watercolor and pastels. The game is scheduled to launch this holiday season.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team: Mario and Luigi embark on the adventure of their dreams in a hilarious action RPG that combines action in both the real world and inside Luigi’s dreams. The game launches Aug. 11.