With last year’s lackluster reception to their press conference, Nintendo desperately needs to regain its momentum and re-establish itself as a force to be reckoned with. This year’s conference was all about the games and showing everyone just how imaginative Nintendo games can be. Fun is the keyword for this conference as new, creative games seek to redeem Nintendo in the eyes of consumers.
The show begins with a Robot Chicken-esque opening with Reggie Fils-Aime President and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America entering the front of the screen. He proceeds to poke fun at the way previous E3’s have gone for the company. A tongue-in-cheek joke about the “debut” of another Mario game is made. Suddenly, the screen turns to black and smoke envelops the screen as a cut to a fast paced fight against Reggie and Satoru Iwata, CEO of Nintendo America, commences. The struggle looks like a love child of Scott Pilgrim and Dragonball Z. The fight then enters another direction as they turn into Mii’s and begin the fight again ,with an appearance by Mario. The stunning fight concludes with Mario and Iwata coming out on top. All of this craziness was for a new look at Super Smash Bros.
The screen cuts to Masahiro Sakurai from Sora LTD, director of Smash Bros, as he introduces a brand new feature to the game. the ability to play as Mii’s! A quick game play snip-bit is shown that highlights the transition of the Mii’s from cute after thought to full-fledged warriors. Mii’s come in 3 varieties, Mii brawler who fight with their fists and are both fast and powerful, gunners have a hand cannon that resembles Megaman’s buster gun, and are quintessential keep-away fighters, finally, the sword fighters have reach on their side and are rush type characters that put the pressure on opponents. Each has the ability to choose four special moves from twelve options allowing for variety among the three different types of fighters. With this new feature players can create any character they wish, now anyone can enter the fray. Sakurai then proceeds to talk about the fast approaching release date of the 3DS version of the game and introduces brand new game modes. Some are mini-games while others feel reminiscent towards the subspace emissary of Brawl. The video closes with a release date of October 3rd this year for 3DS and a tease of holiday 2014 for Wii U.
Reggie comes back on-screen to introduce Amiibo. These toys are in the same vein as Skylanders and Disney Infinity, of course exclusive to Nintendo Wii U. Each figure’s base has a special chip that once activated by touching the gamepad, brings them to life in compatible games and downloads the info to your Wii U and also allows Nintendo to send new information back to the figure. Super Smash Bros will be the first to introduce this new system with Mario Kart 8 to be compatible at a later date.
Reggie then moves to talk about faith in Nintendo fans and the quality of games put out by the company and introduces the showcase of new games from Nintendo. First up is a scene that looks like something out of travel channel where two men are inspecting different stands of yarn. They are Takashi Tezuka of Nintendo and Etsunobu Ebisu of the Good-Feel Co, responsible for Kirby’s Epic Yarn. They are here to introduce us to Yoshi’s Woolly World a new game that takes inspiration from Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Players can unravel and create yarn constructions to solve various obstacles in the game. In addition to this you can also use Yoshi’s tongue and high jumps to navigate and explore the different areas available in the game. Yoshi himself is made of yarn, so the player can transform into various shapes accomplish different tasks adding a new dimension to gameplay. There is also a co-op mode where players can play as two Yoshi’s and work together and can launch each other like cannonballs as a form of attack. The developers talk about wanting to create a home-made feel to the game and it shows with vibrant colors and knitted textures showing the game’s homey feeling. The reveal ends with a release date of 2015.
Up next is Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker, an action platformer for the Wii U staring Toad himself. The game looks to challenge players with its interesting gamepad based puzzles. In addition to this, players can manipulate the camera angle and engage with the environment to collect gems and stars. A brief trailer is shown that culminates in Toad going up against a fire breathing dragon. Look forward to this game this holiday season.
Another Claymation skit leads us to the announcement we have all been waiting for, the new Legend of Zelda on Wii U! Eiji Aonuma, director of the Legend of Zelda, talks to us about how this new title will “revisit the conventions of the series”. We are then treated to a presentation of the game on screen. A beautiful image is displayed as our hero Link is shown on horseback overlooking Hyrule field. Immediately, we see the serene beauty of the game as the lighting and new graphic capabilities that the Wii U offers allows us to experience the series like never before. It appears that open roaming and a vast world is the focus of this new title as players can now explore dungeons in a nonlinear fashion allowing players to experience the game in any order they choose. The action then moves to a chase where our hero is galloping through the forest trying to avoid deadly lasers from this enemy that resembles the Omni Droid from the Incredibles. The kinetic chase reaches its end at a board walk where Link leaps off his worse and shoots an arrow that transformers into a laser-screen fades to white with a release date of 2015.
We are then treated with a trailer of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Various aspects of the game are shown including mega evolutions of the 3 starting Pokemon. In addition to this new primal forms of Groudon (Pokemon Omega Ruby) and Kyogre (Pokemon Alpha Sapphire) make their debut as well. The game is expected to be released on November 21st this year.
The conference continues with a trailer for Bayonetta 2. True to the series, the gameplay looks fast and stylish as you slash your past enemies in deadly fashion. In a surprise move the game will ship with the first game included. Bayonetta can where various Nintendo themed costumes. Some of her hair-based attacks will include Nintendo-themed variations. She’ll be able to summon Bowser’s foot through a portal, for example. The game is expected to come out October of this year.
The action moves to Hisashi Koinuma, of Koei games, as he introduces us to Hyrule Warriors, a Dynasty Warriors type game set in the Zelda universe. Gameplay is shown on screen along with playable characters Link, Impa, Midna from Twilight Princess, and Princess Zelda herself. The chaos on screen is complimented by each character having their own unique moveset and special moves reminiscent of Musuo moves from Warriors titles. Action is explosive as your army led by the character of your choices hacks and slashes their way to victory on the battlefield. Things heat up as different bosses from the series’ history appear to give the player an extra challenge. The video finishes with a release date of September 26th this year.
Next a trailer for Kirby and The Rainbow Curse is shown with a release date of 2015 for Wii U. After that, an intense trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X is shown with a release date of 2015. With that a title that shows much promise is introduced the game is Mario Maker. This unique entry in the series allows players to make their own custom Mario levels. The game has the look of the original on the NES but can opt for a more modern style. Players have many tools at their disposal and can place pipes, blocks, enemies and all manner of Mario items inside their levels. The possibilities and challenges are endless as this anticipated title hits stores in 2015.
Finally, we are treated with an in-depth first look at Splatoon a team based third person shooter for the Wii U. Up to eight players can participate in 4vs4 battles where you control Inklings, who have the ability to change between human and squid forms. In human form, Inklings are able to shoot colored ink across the game environment, with the player’s goal being to have the most territory inked in their team’s color before the match ends. They can also move about in squid-form through the various color trails that are left behind. The object of the match being to have the most territory inked in their team’s color before the match ends. Players can also keep track of territory by checking the gamepad as the battle is shown in real time on the pad. The game seeks to accommodate all kinds of strategies for different types of players, whether you want to rush the enemy and gain as much territory as possible or if you take a relaxed approach and catch the enemy off-guard to impede on their progress. The demonstration of the game ends with a trailer showing a release date of 2015.
After all the excitement dies down, Reggie wraps up the conference with a trailer of the new Smash Bros. It begins with an anime type trailer depicting a heated battle between Link and Pitt. Just as things are heating up the action is then interrupted by newcomer Lady Palutena. The rest of the trailer shows off game play as the goddess enters the fray and promises to be a welcome addition to the series. With that Nintendo’s conference comes to a close.
Nintendo’s conference is definitely a step up from last year as they exhibit a cool confidence in their products. Focusing on their triple A releases, the company is demonstrating a fun,energetic atmosphere that players of all ages can enjoy, true to the company’s reputation. The highlight of the conference is without a doubt the conformation of the new Zelda title. It promises to blend old and new elements together in an adventure so grand and unlike anything fans have experienced before. With this conference over with, Nintendo is promising great things on the horizon.