Nintendo is starting off the E3 race this year in last place. They have sold the least consoles, their console is the weakest feature-wise, and no matter how many times they put out enjoyable triple-A games, they just can’t seem to find traction with the gaming community. However, this year is the year that they might turn it all around. This year, they are hoping that Smash Bros.--a casual and hardcore sensation alike--will move the Wii U into homes everywhere. Will that, and their already strong handheld presence with the 3DS, allow them to get back into this race? Let’s see what they have to offer us this year.
• The Comedy Shorts
Reggie fighting Satoru Iwata? Robot Chicken style intro? Mega 64? Sure this has nothing to do with any actual game, but it shows that Nintendo is able to not take themselves too seriously. Heck, they even acknowledged that we wanted Mother 3. Speaking of not taking themselves seriously…
• Super Smash Bros.
So the first Super Smash Bros. announcement we got appeared to be the ability to play as Miis in the game. In particular, Reggie and Satoru played with their Mii’s which seemed to have their own custom move list. There appears to be a sword Mii move list, a gun Mii move list, and a brawler Mii move list, and you can attach them to any Mii on your console. They can also choose from 4 special moves from 12 different options, customizing them to your preferences. Though this probably means you can’t use them in a tournament setting.
In addition to the Mii’s--which essentially means three completely new characters are being entered into the game--it appears as if Smash Bros. will utilize a brand new NFC functionality with Nintendo figures. By placing a figure near the Wii U gamepad, users will be able to call characters into the battle. However, it’s still unclear how this functionality will work. These new figures are called Amiibo and they function a lot like Skylanders and Disney Infinity. However, Nintendo amiibo figures can be used in a variety of different Nintendo games.
A lot of time was devoted to Smash Bros. The 3DS version was showcased in a very long video, showing off new gambling modes, trophies, mini games, bosses, even graphical options that allow you to remove that 3DS border. The 3DS version will launch on October 3rd, 2014, which is a bit of a delay, and the Wii U version will come out in the 2014 holiday season.
Oh, and there was one more Smash teaser before the show ended. Palutena, the goddess from Kid Icarus, is joining the battle. She is very much a zoning character. She has the ability to fire a variety of projectiles and control her staff remotely. She hits like a truck, but her mobility is very limited.
• Yoshi’s Woolly World
It’s kind of like a sequel to Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It’s very much a Yoshi game, involving egg flinging, yarn bundles, and more. It looks like these new cloth based side games are now going to be their own franchise. Yoshi’s Woolly World doesn’t appear to have a life meter. Once again it appears as if this game doesn’t have a traditional life bar. It’s simply a game where you can explore and have fun in a yarn based Yoshi game, that plays a lot like the traditional Yoshi’s Island.
• Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker
It looks like Captain Toad is getting his own game. It’s a lot less of a platformer and a lot more of a strategy game, based on the Captain Toad levels of Super Mario 3D World. Toad moves slow but can utilize a variety of weapons and items with the Wii U gamepad.
• The Legend of Zelda
Well, it’s a new Zelda game. How could we not love it? Aside from being absolutely beautiful, it’s an open world game! Supposedly, all the loading boundaries of the game have been removed. This allows players to enter any dungeon, any area, any place in the game from any direction. Want to walk to the far off mountains? You can! Blow up a hole in the side of a dungeon wall? You can! They are trying to recreate the feeling of the first Zelda, where you were basically able to go wherever you wanted on whatever screen, if you could find a way there. Then Link fought a giant octopus robot with steampunk exploding arrows while wearing an Assassin’s Creed cloak… color us interested.
• Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
It’s our old-school Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire redone in the Pokémon X and Y engine, what’s not to love!?
• Bayonetta 2
Now this is a game that much of the hardcore community has been waiting for. The trailer shows Bayonetta fighting demons in hell… you know, for the kids. The action looks as awesome as ever. Bayonetta now has freeze guns in her hair, flamethrowers in her shoes, portal spells, magic wings, and more. It looks like more of the old-school Bayonetta action, and what’s even better is that Bayonetta 2 comes complete with a remixed version of Bayonetta 1!
• Hyrule Warriors
You have probably already heard of this game, a Zelda themed Dynasty Warriors game. The E3 trailer revealed that Link, Zelda, Midna, Impa, Sheik, and more will all be playable in the game. The gameplay will be primarily Dynasty Warriors style, putting you up against an opposing army.
• Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Yep, you heard us. A brand new Canvas Curse game is coming out. This time, however, the game is entirely made out of clay. However, the gameplay is exactly like the Canvas Curse game we all loved on the 3DS and it’s coming to the Wii U!
• Xenoblade Chronicles X
A brand new RPG being made by Monolith Soft, this epic takes place in the far reaches of space. It involves pilots who ride giant mechs who are fighting against an alien scourge that is looking to wipe out the human race, called the Growth. It appears to take place before Xenoblade, and heck we will take any new installment of the Xeno series at this point.
• Mario Maker
Interested in making your own 2D style Mario courses? Well now you can. This brand new game allows you to design your own custom Mario levels however you like, complete with a variety of power-ups. Now we have a Nintendo sponsored tool to make all those super hard Mario hacks we keep seeing. It’s a socially powered game, so you will be able to create and share your Mario levels with a vast network of fans.
Senior Contributing Writer