As Sony and Microsoft try to win a giant tug’o’war for most earth shattering new console line up Nintendo does its own thing, as usual. Not overly concerned with graphics or TV recording, Nintendo delivers what it always does, more Nintendo games.
Nintendo kicked off its video presentation by showing off fan favourite Pokémon X and Pokémon Y on 3DS and announcing it would be getting a worldwide release of October 12. Gameplay looks exciting and fresh even though it keeps to the traditional style of gameplay. A new Pokémon type will be introduced, called Fairy, which are effective against Dragons.
Sticking to its strengths, Nintendo continued strongly with powerhouse franchises and two new platformers, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Super Mario 3D World. Donkey Kong doesn’t feel all that different from the previous versions, but looks sleek and fun. The focus has shifted to Arctic creatures invading Donkey Kong’s turf and he has team up with Diddy and Dixie Kong (obviously) to get rid of this new menace.
Super Mario 3D World actually managed to excite me with its impressive graphics. Its multiplayer friendly gameplay allows each character unique abilities. Peach can float and Toad runs faster than the others. The game also features a new power up, called the Cat Suit, allowing Mario to climb walls and slash at his enemies with deadly claws.
Next up was the announcement of Mario Kart 8. Again, no major surprises but as always with the latest Nintendo titles, it does look undeniably fun. Mario Kart 8 now has anti-gravity tracks offering awesome looking short cuts and track designs. It will also add the gliders from Mario Kart 7 as well as the underwater areas and motorbikes as seen in Mario Kart 3.
Nintendo is still aiming to appeal to the casual gamer with Wii Fit U and Wii Party U however both titles are facing delays with Wii Party U aiming for October and Wii Fit U slotted for some time in December.
The Nintendo Conference talked a little about Art Academy, a tool for Wii U users to draw, available already. A special cut down version will be available soon (Summer) but the full software will offer much more intricate picture making as well as lessons for those who are interested in expanding their artistic abilities.
Next up was third party support. Nintendo ran a montage video showing off a bunch of titles including Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate (3DS), Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut, Disney Infinity, Just Dance 2014, Rayman Legends, Scribblenauts Unmasked: a DC Comics Adventure, Disney Planes, Shin Megami Tensei IV, Skylanders SWAP Force, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Sonic Lost World and Watch Dogs.
After catching our breath it detailed upcoming hits on the Nintendo E-Shop. Surprisingly, there were quite a few must buy titles. Highlights were Cloudberry Kingdom, DuckTales: Remastered (fuck yes!), Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara, Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty and A World of Keflings.
However, Nintendo’s biggest announcement was showing off the new Super Smash Bros. for both Wii U and 3DS, which introduces Capcom’s Mega Man to the fray. It looks as addictive as the previous versions and has a lot of focus on tailored the experience to the system you are playing it on. The 3DS game has a level of cel-shading to the characters to help visibility and the camera is pulled back to make fights more simple to navigate. Levels on each version are also split up with the 3DS version showcasing arenas based on games like Nintendogs or Legend of Zelda: Windwaker as opposed to the Wii U’s focus on the console’s franchises.
Overall Nintendo managed a relatively impressive line up, considering the console is offering less abilities than either of its competitors. Nintendo remains strongly focused on releasing fun games opposed to ground-breaking technology. For some this may not be enough to compare to the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, however gamers such as myself who already own a Wii U may feel the first beats of life left in this odd and often dysfunctional unit. My Wii U may finally get a dust off if these titles can live up to the hype around them.
What did you guys think? Are you a Wii U owner? Would you invest in one after E3?
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