Wednesday morning, Nintendo aired their Digital Presentation online for the world to see. Despite being quite short it was reasonably packed with games both new and old, leaving many viewers excited for the next year of gaming with the Wii U.
The Nintendo E3 Intro!?
Right away Nintendo set itself apart from the competition. Sony and Microsoft were all business suits and professionalism with the occasional buzz word that teens may or may not be using in an attempt to sound hip. Meanwhile Nintendo opened, of all the things in the world, a sketch done by the creators of Robot Chicken which ended up mocking both themselves and gamers who complain about ‘another Mario game LOL’.
If that wasn’t strange enough, it is immediately followed by Satoru Iwata and Reggie Fils-Aime fighting as though they were in an episode of Dragon Ball Z. It was quite the sight!
Smash Bros: New Characters
While the fight was incredible to watch, the reason it happened was to showcase the new Mii fighters that will be present in Smash Brother. They revealed that the Mii fighters will come in three varieties: Brawlers using hand to hand combat similar to Street Fighter characters; Sword Fighters using a style somewhere between Marth and Link; and Gunners using a variety of long-range weaponry similar to Samus and Zero-suit Samus.
Not only can you create Miis to fight in these styles, each style has customizable special moves you can cater to your own liking for a total of 12 special attacks per Mii class.
Other characters were also announced at E3 for us to look forward to. At the end of the presentation, Palutena from Kid Icarus: Uprising was also presented as a new fighter, using magical moves similar to Zelda. Meanwhile at a separate round table discussion, Pacman was the final character reveal of E3. He appears to use arcade themed attacks including summoning ships from Galaga and ghosts from… well Pacman. They both look like fun and interesting additions and were probably better received than the WiiFit trainer last year.
Finally a release for the 3DS version of Smash Brothers was revealed. It will be available on October 3rd of this year, though this may only be the American release date.
During the Smash Bros presentation, they also discussed their new line of toys similar to the Skylanders or Disney Infinity figurines, called Amiibos. As you might expect, they use Near Field Communication (NFC) to interact with digital information inside the figurine.
The Amiibo figurines will be made available and compatible with the Wii U release of Smash Brothers and will be compatible with other games including Mario Kart 8.
We can expect more information in the coming months but we at least know you can use the Amiibos to bring in an NPC to Smash Brothers which you can fight or use as a comrade in battle. They will also get stronger the more you use them. Nintendo plans to have an Amiibo for all playable characters in Smash Brothers, so I look forward to picking up a Marth figurine for myself.
Yoshi’s Woolly World
Next, they had the developers of Yoshi’s Woolly World speak about the new Yoshi game currently in development. They discussed how rather than focusing on survival challenges like a Mario platformer, Yoshi’s Woolly World will be concentrate on exploring the 2D levels in fun and creative ways.
They have fully embraced the wool concept so enemies unravel as you eat them, coloured eggs made from wool will knit themselves into platforms and pipes. The game even incorporates co-op play, allowing one Yoshi to eat the other, and launch them onto distant platforms in woollen egg form. This stunning looking game will be available in 2015.
The Legend of Zelda & Hyrule Warriors
Fans were then treated to a sneak peek at the Legend of Zelda for Wii U currently being developed under Eiji Aonuma. He explains his intent to recapture the open world, non-linear experience of the original Legend of Zelda on the NES, rather than the more linear style of the Zelda games since The Ocarina of Time.
The footage we saw showed a massive field with mountains in the distance we will be able to explore from any direction, all of which looks glorious in full colour HD with the green field and beautiful blue sky.
As well as this snippet, we got a closer look at Hyrule Warriors which is being developed by the Dynasty Warriors team. Apart from showing Zelda, Impa and Midna as playable characters besides Link, we also learned that is will include two-player local co-op and utilise both the TV and the Wii U gamepad to avoid split-screen.
We can expect Hyrule Warriors to hit shelves September 26, 2014.
Bayonetta 2 & Mario Maker
Bayonetta 2 got a new action packed trailer displaying incredibly hectic battles with giant monsters, looking incredibly detailed and colourful the whole way through. But the most pleasantly surprising part of the trailer was the fact that Bayonetta 2 will come packed with Bayonetta 1 as well as Peach, Link and Samus themed outfits to wear during the game. The two games will be available in October, 2014.
However, in 2015 gamers will finally be able to create their own custom 2D platforming stages in Mario Maker. Again this was only briefly shown, but we know that you’ll be able to do fun things like stacking enemies on top of each other or launch them around the stage with spring jumps. Not only that, but the stages that are created can be played in either classic NES style graphics or the New Super Mario Bros series aesthetic.
Splatoon came as a bit of a surprise since there has never been a mention of a third-person multiplayer shooting game being developed for the Wii U. The major difference is in the nature of the combat. Rather than having team death matches, the goal of every match is not to kill the other team but to use the ink from your weaponry to paint as much of the map as possible and expand your territory.
As you might expect from a game about ink and painting, the colours are extremely vibrant with fluorescent greens, pink, oranges and more against a sterile backdrop to contrast against. It looks incredible in HD.
For the actual gameplay, matches have a total of 8 players per game and are 4 on 4 battles. The most important difference besides having to paint the stage to win, is how the paint will be utilised. Players can transform into squids to travel quickly through their own territories, perform long jumps, swim up walls to reach new areas and ambush opponents by hiding in the paint. But you can only fire ink to kill your enemies or paint the stage in human form so players will be shifting between the two forms regularly.
Add to the mix a range of ink based weapons and power ups like grenades and airstrikes, and Splatoon will no doubt be a fun and unique addition to the team based shooting genre. We can expect Splatoon in 2015.
Nintendo E3 2014 In Brief:
All the titles discussed above had a lot of time during the conference but the following games only received brief mentions so here is a quick run down.
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker: To be released during the 2014 holiday, Captain Toad is a stand-alone 3D puzzle exploration game based on the Captain Toad stages from Mario 3D World. This title seems to ramp up the difficulty with usable power-ups, trickier puzzles and more aggressive enemies.
Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire: The 3DS remake of the original GBA games, this will include newer features such as mega-evolutions from Pokemon X and Y. The release date will be November 21st.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: A Kirby game for the Wii U announced for 2015 will see our spherical pink friend literally roll around clay stages as a clay ball.
Xenoblade Chronicles X: This Monolith soft JRPG seems to be a sequel to the much celebrated Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii. Once more, very little has been shown about this game but we can be 100% sure it has a sci-fi setting and that’s about it.
And that’s it for the Nintendo E3 Digital Event! A lot of exciting news which is only spoiled slightly by the fact most of what’s coming is scheduled for 2015.