What time is it?! Time for Nintendo’s E3 2012 showcase featuring Pikmin 3, some Wii U info, and Mario games up the wazoo.
The last of the big three industry totem poles, Nintendo, came to the stage of their E3 press conference with tons of news to get through, but only an hour and change do so. From games that we knew were coming a mile way, the latest on the Wii U, and a smidge sampling 3DS games, it was a cramp presentation all the way through.
Strangely enough though, it didn’t really feel like it. I kinda came away from watching Nintendo’s presentation like I was watching a movie on a cable channel. Not an amazing movie by any stretch, its got some cool parts to it, but you can leave the room to make a sandwich and not feel like you’ve missed something important.
That’s how I felt about Nintendo’s press event at E3, honestly. Fun, but not exactly a knock-out either. But hey, what I think it isn’t remotely important right now, so lets get down with this run-through of their keynote.
Miyamoto walks on stage to talk Pikmin 3
We begin with an adorable show-opening moment, a video of Shigeru Miyamoto, the mind behind Mario and Link, in his dressing room preparing for E3 as a bunch of tiny cute Pikmin mess with his belongings and such – oh, what many a creepy Nintendo fanboy would give to be in such a position.
After a brief segment of playfulness – including Pikmin being superimposed over shots of the audience – Miyamoto was on stage giving an insightful demo for Pikmin 3 (using a black Wii U Gamepad by the way). The focus, as expected, was primarily on how the game would use Wii U’s second handheld screen. And before you complain, there’s a Wii Remote with Nunchuk control option, too.
Reggie Explains It All
President of Nintendo America, Reggie Fils-Aime spent the next part of the event to dig deep into what I’m sure was on the minds of gamers everywhere, the Wii U. Sadly, no info on price or release date for the console slated to hit sometime in the Holiday season, but Reggie did confirm some things about the Wii U that were passed around as speculation.
Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon Video will all be streaming services coming to the Wii U, so good news for gamers who prefer their electronics to be multi-taskers, and the Wii U hardware will support two separate Wiipads.
There was also some time spent during Reggie’s intro for the Wii U going over what was already discussed on Sunday’s pre-E3 Nintendo Direct. A video explaining the many features of the Wii U Gamepad, and then a fuller explanation of their Miiverse social network – items I’ve already gone over before and are better worth skipping in order to talk about…
New Super Mario Bros. U
No, not, New Super Mario Bros. 2; that’s coming up a little later. New Super Mario Bros. U! Plugging a load of asynchronous play, allowing users to share scores and level progression with friends and family, NSMBU (that acronym is a mouthful) is a brand new 2D Mario launch title with a fresh batch of power-ups. You know, Mario sure does love to wear hats with animal ears… I’m just sayin’!
It’s also a Mario game in high-def, which really should be made into a bigger deal. Just look at those beautiful backgrounds; they look amazing!
Batman: Arkham City “Armored Edition” and Scribblenauts Unlimited
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment brought two games with them to Nintendo’s presser, a Wii U Gamepad-enchanced version of one of the best games from 2011, Batman: Arkham City “Armored Edition,” and Scirbblenauts Unlimited. The later, headed to the Wii U and 3DS, continues the adventures of scribbling mastermind Maxwell, but this go-around with huge side-scrolling open worlds to explore and pretty high-definition hand-drawn animation.
Personally, Scirbblenauts Unlimited was my “most want” from this particular E3 event, and I can’t wait to see more of it at a later date.
Here’s the E3 2012 trailer for Batman: Arkham City “Armored Edition” by the way. Its got some cool things going on too.
Third-Party Wii U game montage GO!!!
*You saw that right. Bioware’s Mass Effect 3 is coming to the Wii U so you can complain about its ending on another platform.
Wii Fit U and Sing
Self-explanatory games are pretty self-explanatory. The next semi-evolutionary step in the heavy-selling fitness game, Wii Fit U (no, sir, the only person fitting me, is me), and Sing (not the final title) a karaoke game that uses the Wii U Gamepad as a lyric-sheet so players can face their friends along with their shame.
New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
While Nintendo held off addressing the road map for its 3DS until Wednesday night, where online they would be holding a side-event targeting upcoming games for their portable, they did manage to fit in three titles at their presser, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.
The first, New Super Mario Bros. 2, is all about the gold. Gold coins that is. It appears much of the gameplay is centered on Mario fetching as many as he can, which only brings up a worrying thought that Mario is in desperate need for money. *Sigh* I told him betting on the ponies was a bad idea…
Oh, fun fact: NSMB2 will be Nintendo’s first simultaneous retail/digital launch for any major Mario title when it releases this August 19.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star’s aesthetic was built for the idea of 3D. Pardon the cheesy descriptor, but it’s simply eye-popping, and will be even more so when it hits the 3DS. The game play also has some “pop” to it too, with the sticker mechanic, which lets Mario peel stickers he finds around him, like a shoe sticker, and use them in battle as attack commands. It’s a pretty neat and charming idea.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon coming to the 3DS this Holiday season (Paper Mario too), a.k.a. the game that was Luigi’s Mansion 2. But never you mind the name change, because it’s still all about the ghost-capturing.
Lego City Undercover
Grand Theft Auto meets Legos? Yeah, that sound about as close of a description for Lego City Undercover for the Wii U (there’s a 3DS version on its way as well). Open-world cops and robbers, plus the creativity to build whatever you want using those colorful plastic blocks. You’ll also be able to use the Wii U GamePad to scan areas for clues and solve crimes.
Ubisoft’s Just Dance 4 and ZombiU… also Zombie Reggie
The cash cow dance series will also be a launch title for the Nintendo Wii U. Just Dance 4 likely means a flashier game, and for the most part that’s what it looked like during its stage presentation. There’s some interesting Wii U Gamepad integration though, but what I really want to get to is ZombiU. First, here’s a trailer for Just Dance 4.
Finally! An original I.P. for once! ZombiU. I was getting scared those things didn’t exist anymore. Sure, it might be another zombie game, but I like that its got some creative (albeit gimmicky) chops to it. The Wii U Gamepad displays a cool inventory box, and when you need a bit of levity from all that zombie-apocalypse-doom-and-gloom, there’s this…
ZOMBIE REGGIE! ME HUNGRY!
Keep calm everyon, its just a camera filter that ZombiU uses to turn your friends faces into zombies. Though I must say, Reggie makes for one mean-scary living dead. Whoa boy… gives me the willies.
Picture it. All the classic gaming hallmarks belonging to everything Nintendo has been loved and known for, but in a virtual theme park that is spectacular in grandeur and hosts a mall of attractions using iconic characters like Zelda or Donkey Kong. That, in a brief summary, is NintendoLand, a Wii U launch game unveiled at the very end of Nintendo’s E3 event.
Digging at little deeper at NintendoLand’s core set-up though, the game is actually a veiled attempt at teaching the many different uses of the Wii U’s tablet-controller through a set of 12 mini-games. Nothing wrong about that at all. Especially, when it comes dressed in such a great Nintendo-lovers package. In fact, I wish a marvelous place like this was the real McCoy; heck, I’d live there year-round!
There you have it folks, Nintendo E3 2012. Don’t forget to read our reviews of Microsoft’s and Sony’s press events from the beginning of the week to get caught up with the latest news from the gaming industry’s leading trade show.