Take your time, this E3 2013 edition of Nintendo Direct comes with big names and big games.
If Nintendo didn’t make it quite clear that their E3 2013 involvement would be “playing it safe” – separating themselves from the hype of their competitors by not holding a big-stage presser – their line up of Tuesday morning’s offerings really nails it home.
The company is doubling down on established IPs – your Marios, Zeldas, what have you – to help insure that the Wii U can hold on in the midsts of new consoles arriving in holiday season. Definitely smart business moves considering the profit returns those games make.
But it comes with a slight cost though. Excitement. And I don’t mean the excitement of playing the games below that are sure to be awesome experiences. I mean the excitement of something unexpected. Something more than just another Mario game, albeit with a tasty new filling.
Actually, someone on my Twitter feed had a perfect analogy about Nintendo’s current state that I though really said it best: “a great restaurant with a solid menu you’ve been going to for years, but they never have any specials.”
For better or worse, Nintendo is going down this path, filling their coffers with the annual release of the next Mario game and focusing on the most passionate of Nintendo enthusiasts. Either way, let hope that it’s enough to keep their struggling Wii U platform afloat.
So, what’s on the menu for 2013 and beyond?
Super Mario 3D World Arrives December 2013 for Wii U
Its been years since Mario broke the plains of 2D, but coming this December, he and his mushroom kingdom compadres, will be finally breaking into the third dimension with Super Mario 3D World, a game that looks to follow in the steps of the popular 3D Land on the 3DS.
Like that game and many before it in this modern Mario era, power-ups will be a huge gameplay element. And with 3D Land introducing the Raccoon suit, the costume of choice this time is the adorable cat power-up, which dresses up the pesky plumber as a yellow feline.
Multiplayer also seems to be important draw for Super Mario 3D World, as the same zany multiplayer from New Super Mario Bros. Wii U finds it way into this December release.
Wii U Party & The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD in October
Mario-flavored party games and high definition remasters for classic GameCube titles fill up the release schedule for this October, as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Wii U Party drop in the same month.
The former seems like your yearly mini-game fiesta with Mario and friends that has users play along using the Wii U’s tablet touchpad, so no much to explain there.
And as for the latter, it’s The Wind Waker in 1080p. If you haven’t played this marvelous-looking Zelda game – with added Miiverse functionality – by now, then this little title will certainly be the perfect place to start.
Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze coming in November
VIDEO TO ADD [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DueE8vJXpo8]
Reportedly, Retro Studios chose to return to the Donkey Kong series over working on a new Metroid entry, citing unfinished business as the key reason why.
Well, we’ll see in November how many bananas are left in the creative tank for the Austin, Texas based team with Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze. Hopefully, the gameplay in this game is “cool.” (sorry, couldn’t resist.)
Mario Kart 8 & Super Smash Bros. hitting 2014
VIDEO TO ADD [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA6CAgv6p6g]
You would think by now that Nintendo would ditch the naming convention for their popular Mario Kart series, but like I mentioned at the top, the company is standing firm in all they do, So here we are with Mario Kart 8 coming to the Wii U next year.
Meanwhile, Super Smash Bros. (also a 2014 release) finally shows up to the party. Promised since the launch of the Wii U itself, the insane character brawler will come to both the aforementioned console and the 3DS with a line-up of characters that should leave every fanboy on the face of the earth happy (maybe).
New characters making the Smash Bros. vast roster along with the likes Mario, Pikachu, and the typical combatants include the Villager from Animal Crossing and Capcom’s Mega Man.
Monolith Soft’s X coming to Wii U in 2014, Bayonetta 2 features two-player mode
VIDEO TO ADD [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APWTJMyM4qg]
A seamless open world awaits players in X, the next Wii U exclusive game from Monolith Soft the makers of Xenosaga and Xenoblade Chronicles. Whether this game is a sequel to any of those game is still unknown, but at least the above trailer looks damn pretty.
Also looking pretty is Bayonetta 2 from Platinum Games. No release date has been announced yet, but we do get see a new hairdo for leading lady Bayonetta (I like it) and the reveal of a two-player mode for this future Wii U release.
Nintendo 3DS News: Pokemon X/Y in October, New footage of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Yoshi’s New Island
VIDEO TO ADD [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmywDbnC5oc]
This Nintendo Direct wasn’t totally Wii U focused, the 3Ds had its time to shine with the release for Pokemon X/Y coming October 12 – get ready to collect them all again folks. Also, more footage from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (notice the name change) and a look at Yoshi’s New Island. Both sequels to solid hits on the Super Nintendo.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Yoshi’s New Island
That does it for this special E3 2013 Nintendo Direct. It’ll be interesting to see how fan fair the company gets from outsourcing its presentation into the livestream form. Reaction seems to be split, but when it comes to Nintendo when is it never split.
It’s E3 2013 week if you haven’t heard by now (seriously, how could you forget if you’re not a gamer), so please stay tuned for more news from Los Angeles about the Xbox One, the PlayStation 4, and the latest announced games.