Nintendo Conference Recap - E3 2013
A wealth of new games revealed at the Direct event
Nintendo has had a rough year, a lackluster launch of the Wii U which was only further hindered by a drought of games, starting at the beginning of the year and still going strong. Aside from a trickle of titles, the Wii U has been largely games-less and it doesn’t look like things are going to get better in the near future.
The Nintendo Direct event began with Satoru Iwata showing new footage for Pokemon X&Y. Featuring a new Fairy type of Pokemon, the first alphabetical entries into the Pocket Monster franchise includes new a evolution for Eevee and the new Pokemon, Noivern and Vivillon. While the Wii U may be lacking for titles, the Nintendo 3DS continues to be a handheld powerhouse and Pokemon X&Y is not the only popular title coming to the 3DS, but more on that later.
Next on the docket was Super Mario 3D World, coming to the Wii U December of 2013. The latest release from EAD Tokyo allows for four-player simultaneous cooperative play with the selection of Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach. Each of the playable characters have their own unique ability, for instance Peach can float briefly in the air, Toad is faster, and Luigi can jump higher. The game also has a new costume for players, Cat Mario, who can pounce on enemies.
Continuing to drop big names for the Wii U, Iwata announced the first trailer for Mario Kart 8. The footage showed much of the same for the beloved Nintendo kart racing franchise, with the addition of new environments that allow the racers to defy gravity, zipping up and down walls, even hanging upside down. Iwata also promised a deeper online multiplayer mode. While Mario Kart 8 has been a long awaited addition to the Wii U, fans of the series will have to wait just a bit longer as the game is set for release in the Spring of 2014.
Delays have long plagued the Wii U lineup. In a nice PR move, Iwata thanked the Nintendo fans for their patience as Nintendo continues to work on many of their highly anticipated projects. This apology came after Wii Party U and Wii Fit U were both delayed until the end of 2013 and winter of 2013, respectively.
Iwata continued the conference expressing Nintendo’s pleasant surprise as the Miiverse has given birth to a new medium for fan art to be expressed and shared. This use of the Miiverse was a source of inspiration for Nintendo’s new entry into the Art Academy series. While the game is still in development without a release date, part of the game’s tool set will be made available to the Miiverse this summer, including pastels and color pencils.
Nintendo also continued to address the industry scepticism about the platform’s third party support, showing a sizzle reel of games set to launch from third party developers this year. This list included Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, a director’s cut of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Disney Infinity, Just Dance 2014, Rayman Legends, Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure, Shin Megami Tensei IV, Skylanders Swap Force, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Sonic the Lost World.
Nintendo also showed a comparable sizzle reel for their eShop which included Ballpoint Universe, Ducktales: Remastered, Dungeons and Drangons: Chronicles of Mystara, Mutant Mudds Deluxe, Oddworld: New N’ Tasty, Shovel Knight, and Spin the Bottle: Bumpie’s Party. Nintendo seems to hope that both sizzle reels show a commitment to bringing games to their languishing console.
Another release for this fall is the HD remake of Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. Redesigned to take advantage of 1080p and utilizing new shaders for better expression, Nintendo believes Wind Waker was an ideal game to be given an HD facelift. The game also has redesigned Wind Waker’s Tingle features and connectivity to the Gameboy Advanced. Players will be able to send messages through the Miiverse and receive replies through in-game bottles that float ashore.
Nintendo moved on to talk about the first of two releases from Platinum Games called The Wonderful 101, due for release September 15th, 2013. In the game, players battle large enemies by using a heroic ability called Unite Morph, which morphs dozens of heroes together using the Wii U gamepad. The game will support multiplayer for up to five, allowing a handful of friends to work together.
A new side scrolling Donkey Kong adventure was next, in which Donkey Kong must save his island from a horde of invading Vikings. To do this, he must travel to five other islands. The game adds a new layer to the side scrolling nature of the previous Donkey Kong titles by adding different camera angles. The game is developed by the veterans at Retro Studios who developed Donkey Kong Country Returns and the Metroid Prime series, it is due out later this year.
Platinum Games then dropped its new trailer for their second game, Bayonetta 2. One of the new features, specifically addressed by Iwata, was the witch’s new haircut, a sort of pixie style. Aside from the makeover the game looked like more of the same Bayonetta, exactly what fans of the series have been hoping for. Unfortunately the wait for Bayonetta 2 will continue into 2014.
The penultimate announcement of the Nintendo Direct was for a new title called X, developed by Monolith Soft. The developers of the Xeno series are hard at work on an open-world to seamlessly explore. Aside from mech suits and third-person world traversal, not much was revealed about the upcoming title.
Last, but certainly not least, was the exciting announcement trailer for Super Smash Brothers, coming to the Wii U and the 3DS in 2014. The game looks to return all of the favorite characters and maintain the feel of previous entries, however the addition of Mega Man to the roster of combatants is very welcomed news.
With that, Iwata thanked his online audience and wrapped the show. While failing to surprise their viewers, Nintendo delivered the promise of continued support for the Wii U, specifically at the start of next year. Nintendo fans just need to hold out a little bit longer.
We will be continuing coverage of E3 here on New Game Network, with feet on the ground and eyes on the internet. Continue to check back for more news from the biggest event in interactive entertainment.