Wii who? Wii U!
Are you enjoying our week of devoted E3 coverage? We may not actually be there in the room to actually report live, but we did do some camping out to catch the live streams. Ironically enough, Nintendo’s was the only conference I didn’t get to see as it aired due to having class at the time. And yet here I am, ready to talk about what Nintendo brought to the table for this year’s E3. They really stole the show last year, so let’s see how this year compares.
The President of Nintendo America, Reggie Fils-Aime, is the first to grace the stage to talk about some new titles for the 3DS. It’s essentially the same bright-eyed racing experience offered by all the Mario Kart games thus far, except in 3D. The extent of new features seems to be in the maps and some more vehicle customization. Also, hanggliders and underwater modes. If you’re a diehard Mario Kart fan, you can pick it up this holiday season.
Starfox 64: 3D
Tired of go-karts? Want something more lofty? No problem. You can fly around in Fox’s arwing by either tilting the 3DS itself or using buttons. Personally, I have nothing but horrible experiences trying to get anything to move by tilting things, so I’m grateful they let you use button controls. To add to the gimmicks, when you play against friends you can see your friend’s face. Because I just love staring at my friend’s face intently the entire time I’m playing a game. If you want to be a douche and do a victory dance every time you win, you can get it in stores by September.
Super Mario 3D
“Mario sells, therefore..we made a Mario game for the 3DS!” Sad, but true. With the looks of a simplified Super Mario Galaxy, it seems like the 3DS will be getting a nice, solid platformer for its repertoire. Nintendo made this “from scratch” so it’s not another rehash either. It looks vivid, fun and just the right levels of challenging. TANUKI SUIT? I’m in.
Kid Icarus Uprising
I had caught wind about this game a while back and was pretty much sold on the name alone. Now that there’s a trailer to go by as well, I’m doubly interested. It seems to be a solid mix of fast-paced aerial shooting and a more traditional RPG type of roaming around and hacking things into pieces. The boss battles also look impressive, having Icarus utilize both long and short range attacks to get the job done. No button mashing here, the combat system seems to be pretty polished. It’d better be if they’re basing multiplayer around beating the crap out of each other. You have the choice of 3V3 battles and even using those augmented reality cards to fight. It’s coming out this year, and I don’t know about you, but I’ll probably be snatching this one up.
Luigi’s Mansion 2
Wow, Luigi’s Mansion. Can’t say I played it when it was on the Gamecube but, well, here’s a sequel! You play as Mario’s more timid brother as he wanders through a mansion (and apparently crypts) in order to suck up ghosts into his vacuum. It looks a bit cute for a haunted mansion, and seems more like a giant treasure hunt of running around madly to ‘find dat ghost.’ Sorry Luigi, but your brother really outshines you yet again.
3RD PARTY 3DS GAMES
And now for the non-Nintendo companies to let loose a torrent of games into the market. Most of them seem to be “meh” excuses to exploit the 3D ability, but if you sift through them, there are a few gems. I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Cave Story before it was announced for 3DS, so that’s one to looks out for. There’s also Tekken, by why get that when you can get Street Fighter x Tekken for the Vita?
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Resident Evil: Revelations
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Ace Combat 3D
Pac-Man and Galaga Dimensions
Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D
Cave Story 3D
Last night they added an e-shop to find game information, screenshots, and even find game demos and trailers. In other words, it’s like the internet on your 3DS. Wow, I’m speechless. The real announcement is the fact they’re bringing back a bunch of old games now in THREE GLORIOUS DIMENSIONS. They’re giving out coupons for Excitebike for free. What else to expect? A free 3D Pokedex that can be completed by scanning AR markers, streetpass, or filching them from your friends. So you can go on a trip alone and only take pictures of yourself and your Pikachu if you so please.
Now that game companies are allergic to just calling their second iterations “PSP2” or “Xbox2” or “Wii2”, we’re stuck with the name of “Wii U” for Nintendo’s new console. Thanks Nintendo. Thanks. After a slew of U-NIQUE puns, they show us the controller which is essentially an etch-a-sketch with more buttons. The weirdness of this new, strange hybrid aside, it seems to have some genuinely useful functions. I’ll hold back on my opinion for now, but you really need to see this thing in action to get how the controller works with the TV. It’s pretty trippy.
1. if your roommate hogs the TV, you can continue to be antisocial and play your game on the controller
2. It doubles as a tablet for drawing
3. You can play minigames just on the controller with friends
4. It works as a motion controller when held up to the TV.
5. Can make video calls on controller
6. Can transfer stuff from controller to TV
7.Backwards compatible with Wii games
8.Can use wii remotes too. Depending on which controller you use, the vantage points during the game will be differents (birds eye vs first person)
To build hype, a Super Smash Bros game for both the 3DS and the Wii U is announced, earning quite a lot of “woots” from the audience. Don’t ask how, but the 3DS and the Wii U will somehow interact. Sadly, they can’t explain much more about the actual game quite yet, but they do announce a bunch of other Wii U games to bait you into buying it. Even EA is hopping on the Nintendo bandwagon and starting to make controller-waggling sports games for them!
New Super Mario Bros Mii
Lego City (for 3DS as well)
Darksiders 2 (at launch!)
Batman Arkham City
Aliens Colonial Marines
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online
Metro Last Light
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
Nintendo Conference Run-down:
Nintendo had quite a solid conference this year, especially with their announcement of Wii U. We didn’t see a lot of gameplay or actual hands-on action, but they did had a lot of shiny, tempting announcements and game reveals. Starting with the 3DS game announcements, they finally seem to be releasing actually decent games for the system. My poor 3DS has been collecting dust for some time now, waiting for Nintendo to finally release the games I’ve been waiting for. I’m surprised it’s taking this long to pump out some good games…Why make us wait?
At this rate the Vita looks like it might be fierce competition for Nintendo’s handheld system. It doesn’t have “3D” tacked onto every game title for one thing, as if the fact the system was called 3DS wasn’t enough of a hint that THE GAMES WILL BE IN THREE DIMENSIONS. Nonetheless, my bitterness will probably recceed once I get my hands on Cave Story, Kid Icarus and Super Mario 3D. That and the Professor Layton x Phoenix Wright game or the Bit.Trip Saga game which should also be on their way, despite not being shown at this year’s E3. Trust me, I am EXCITED for these games!
Now the Wii U. I am torn. On one hand, it has improved graphics from the regular wii and a lineup of some great games. Nintendo loves the innovative route and they hit some high notes with the whole “you can play even when your mom wants to watch basketball for 5 hours straight” innovation. I don’t know about you, but this is a big problem in my life. The controller could be a curse or a blessing. I can see some genuinely unique gameplay sprouting from this technology, but I can also see how having two screens is going to be…weird.
As much as I want Nintendo to succeed, I feel some apprehension from seeing the demo. With this new controller, there are now more motion-sensitive gimmicks than ever. I’m not saying they’re not COOL, but they’re cool only in the way that icing on a cake is cool. It makes the cake taste better, but by itself, you can only eat a few bites. I’m afraid game developers will focus a game just on using these freaky controller mechanics, as opposed to making a good game.
I think this will end up like the wii for me. I never liked the wii controller, and I’m not going to like this one either. It’ll be like toting around an iPad taped to a clipboard taped to a small ball of lead. I won’t really like the motion controls, but I will play for the badass line-up of games. I really wish Nintendo would just make a normal system so that I could enjoy a decent game without waving around some piece of plastic like a lunatic.
Did Nintendo 1-up the competition?
I’d have to say Sony and Nintendo are almost tied, with poor Microsoft leaving with its tail between its legs. If forced to choose a winner, I’d go with Sony at the moment. While the Vita instantly looked great, the Wii U has me cautiously curious as opposed to really excited. I must say, Nintendo really pulled out trump cards left and right with all these game releases though. Quantity and quality is the way to go.