Find out what Nintendo had in store for this year’s E3 2014.
If there’s one thing to appluade Nintendo for this year, it’s sticking to something and making it work. Last year’s E3 2013-timed Nintendo Direct felt ill equipped to face the loud, “event of the forever” banging of the drums from their competitors, both of which had the excitement of new consoles as the anchors to their media showings.
Never the ones to panic and change direction on a dime, Nintendo kept to their unique, Nintendo Direct-styled “digital event” format this year. Albeit much better honed this time around, and majorly focused on the one thing that still keeps the company a widely important figure among the industry and to their fans – their games.
Speaking of which, here’s the rundown of what was shown during Tuesday’s flood of Nintendo E3 news:
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U & 3DS
Leading off Nintendo’s day was the cornerstone of their fall line up, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. The brawler now sees the likes of Kid Icarus’s godly advisor, Palutena, and Namco’s famous pellet-munching mascot, Pac-Man, making their first ever Super Smash Bros. debuts, in a roster that’s already bursting at the seams with big-name characters.
Nintendo has yet to give a release date for either versions of Super Smash Bros., but it is expected to launch on 3DS first, possibly early fall, and then on Wii U around the holiday season.
After giving the heads up months before that they were entering the interactive toy arena, Nintendo finally revealed Amiibo, the company’s own line collectable figurines centered around their own brands – Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, etc. – that can communicate with certain games, the first of which will be Super Smash Bros.
Support for Amiibo will be worked into future Nintendo titles, and also some previously release stuff like Mario Kart 8.
Yoshi’s Wooly World
Once conceptually titled as Yarn Yoshi, Yoshi’s Wooly World is a future 2015 Wii U title from Japanese studio Good-Feel, known of course for a similar fabric-based take on a long-running Nintendo staple, i.e. Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Who I’m guessing have now appointed themselves as the company that makes really cute-n-cuddly games?
If so, they sit on top alone as the king of adorable mountain with Epic Yarn, and now Wooly World, which has bunch of couch co-op play elements planned for it’s far-off release.
Zelda Wii U
How do you bring a collective Nintendo fanbase to its knees? By showing the next game in The Legend of Zelda series, of course. And Nintendo did just that on Tuesday, with long-time Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma detailing his plans for the next game. Mr. Aonuma described that the next Zelda game – being developed on the Wii U – should be much larger in scope due to better hardware resources, basically an open-world where players will be able to climb the same mountains they see off in the distance.
At the end of his short presentation, a snippet of gameplay was shown featuring a horse-riding Link about to do battle with a nasty-looking monster. Savor this piece of footage while you can, because we likely won’t be seeing more of the game until next year.
Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Coming this fall for the Nintendo 3DS are remakes of Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, which both debuted on the Game Boy Advance in 2003. In 2014, they’ll both be using Pokémon X & Y’s engine for their foundation, giving the Hoenn region a lovely 3D facelift.
In October, the much anticipated sequel to one of Platinum Games most beloved action games, Bayonetta 2, finally sees its release on the Wii U. It’s been a long wait for the game, but to make up for it, Platinum is also offering the first Bayonetta with every physical copy of the game. Platinum promises that this version will be the definitive one, complete with some cute Nintendo-themed touches like a wearable Samus suit for Bayonetta.
September 30 sees the peculiar release of Hyrule Warriors, a co-production between Nintendo and Koei-Tecmo, makers of the hack-n-slash Dynasty Warriors series. Taking the former’s repetitious “defeat massive hoards of enemies in a single arena” play-style, the Wii U title allows players to control Link, Princess Zelda, Impa, and more, to fight against the forces of darkness. Wave, after wave, after wave of them.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Kirby is Nintendo’s gaming chameleon, who can easily transition to-and-fro from one type of game to the next. And one such instance was for one of the best games on the Nintendo DS, Kirby’s Canvas Curse, which used a stylus to control the pink cutie through levels and fend off enemies.
Nintendo is returning to that same idea with Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, which also focuses on using the touchscreen of the Wii U GamePad to manipulate Kirby in a variety of ways. With an adorable clay-like graphics that you might find in a little kid’s school project, it’s shame the game won’t be ready until 2015.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Tons more footage of Monolith Soft’s action role-playing game Xenoblade Chronicles X that is still being planned for a 2015 release on the Wii U. In this latest trailer: large worlds to explore, awesome-looking mechs, and more awesome-looking mechs. Oh, and a story premise that looks as Anime (in a good way) as they come.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
The brilliance of Nintendo is them being able to take a single portion from one game – and from a great game no less – and turn it into fuller experience by itself. That’s exactly the case with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for the Wii U, where the star-hunting puzzles in Super Mario 3D World are being splintered off in their own cool thing.
Nintendo says that Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker should be out soon.
Taking the cue from the level-editing homebrew scene, Mario Maker lets players build their own Super Mario Bros. levels, along with choice of either classic 8-bit/modern Super Mario Bros. graphics. Using the Wii U GamePad, creative-types can arrange platforms, pipes, and enemies to design the wildest of stages to delight (or torture) their friends.
Squid-girls shooting paint splatters sounds like an idea only Nintendo could come up with. It’s a wacky premise for a team-based multiplayer shooter, for sure, but as they tend to do, Nintendo seems to find ways to put a new spin on a conventional genre. Splatoon is targeting a Wii U release for sometime in 2015.
Starfox Wii U
Nintendo only talked briefly about their plans for the next Starfox game, simply alluding that it will take great advantage of the Wii U’s GamePad.
Nintendo eShop – E3 2014 Highlights
It’s time to see what new games will be coming to the eShop later this year. The video below features the likes of Shovel Knight, Moon Chronicles (ep. 2), and more.
A new role-playing game from, Level-5, makers of Ni no Kuni and Professor Layton series.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong Wii U
The puzzle series where you control a miniature toy army of Marios to defeat Donkey Kong is making the leap from the 3DS to the Wii U.
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Two of the best crime solvers the 3DS has ever seen are joining forces in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. This will be the first time North America 3DS owners will be able to play this time-spanning caper that will surely test wits with its clever puzzles and necessary deduction skills.
Pokémon Art Academy
Nintendo is adding some Pokémon love into the the 3DS drawing series. The app teaches users to draw the likes of Pikachu and pals in a simple fashion; you can even take pictures using the 3DS’s camera and turn them into masterpieces.
Art Academy Wii U
The popular drawing series on the 3DS is coming to the Wii U with Miiverse integration so that skillful artists can share their works.
Mario Party 10
The tenth installment of the Nintendo-fied board-game series is giving the menace of The Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser, a larger role (as if he weren’t large enough, am I right?). Check out this latest trailer for the upcoming Wii U title to see what hijinks are in store for you and your friends.
Code Name: STEAM
Separated from all the news that came on Tuesday, Nintendo planned a press-only event on Wednesday to announce a new 3DS game, Code Name: STEAM. It’s being made by studio Intelligent Systems – creators of the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series – and is a 3D strategy-role-playing game that lifts its steampunk-looking graphical style from the Silver Age era of comics.
Nintendo says that Code Name: Steam will launch sometime next year.