So Nintendo decided to do things a little different this year at E3 and, instead of going toe-to-toe with Microsoft and Sony with a flashy press conference, they decided to do a Nintendo Direct.
This was a good idea on Nintendo’s behalf as they had no chance going up against two new consoles being announced. But the question stands, did they do enough to stand out or did they get relegated to the second league with EA and Ubisoft?
Keeping their direct presentation down to a more brisk 40 minutes was a good idea from the company and in that time they did show off enough content coming to both the WiiU and the 3Ds. So what did they show?
Pokemon X and Y – This was the first game of the direct stream that they showed off and apart from the added addition of fairies to the series it looked like another Pokemon game, what was even more annoying though was that Nintendo have a Pokemon X and Y direct special stream planned so what was the point of starting with it?
Super Mario 3D World – Now I think everybody expected a new Mario game to be shown and it was slightly obvious that they would go back to the 3D land games instead of doing a brand new full adventure. The only few new additions added to the game was four player co-op or battle, depending on how you want to play it, and a new suit that turns Mario into a cat, enabling him to climb walls. The game didn’t look like anything new, however Mario games still provide some of the best platforming so this might continue the trend.
Mario Kart 8 – They stuck with the Mario theme showing of the next in the Mario Kart series; instead of giving it a subtitle they went with the straight forward number. They have taken the brilliant formula of previous Mario Kart games and added Gravity to the mix; now you’ll be able to drive upside down on tracks as well as the standard kart racing. Returning to the game once more are bikes from the last console Mario Kart, gliders from the recent 3DS game and underwater sections. It looks like a typical Mario Kart game and that can’t be a bad thing.
Super Smash Bros WiiU and 3DS – The final of the games to feature the Mario mascot and one that again everyone predicte. The Smash Bros series has always been known for its brilliant multi-player fighting and its hectic fun, this Smash Bros seems to be going for the same feel. We have the usual cast of Nintendo characters beating each other to a pulp with the added inclusion of Capcom’s Mega Man who seemed really overpowered. The only real surprise is that they are making one for the 3DS at the same time, it’s unknown whether both games will speak to each other but seeing as Nintendo love that kind of thing I don’t see why not.
Wind Waker HD – Rumours were circulating that they would announce, or at least show, a tech demo for a new Zelda game; instead what we got was the HD remake of The Wind Waker that we already knew was coming (they announced it back in January of this year). They have taken the brilliant Wind Waker from the Gamecube and given it a HD lick of paint. From what was shown of nothing big was added to it, all that was changed was the use of the Tingle tuner so that instead of you using a Gameboy Advance, like the original game, you can send your friends a message in a bottle to come and give you a hand. Personally, I was disappointed that they didn’t feature a brand new Zelda game but a HD remake of The Wind Waker is a good second best.
Bayonetta 2 – Back in January when Nintendo did their last big Direct stream they announced that Beyonetta 2 will be coming exclusively to the WiiU, this news shocked the gaming world as it’s not the kind of game you would expect Nintendo to snap up. What was shown though was just a brief glimpse of what we can expect. If you have played the original game then you know that it’s a hack and slash game, similar to Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden, however in this case you’re controlling a witch whose outfit is made from her hair. The good news for fans of the original is that nothing much has changed and it still has the over the top action set pieces that were scattered throughout the original game. The only downfall is that the game isn’t expected to come out until next year.
X (or new Xenoblade) – One of the only new games that were sowcased during the briefing (and one that looked like a cross between Monster Hunter and Final Fantasy), X is an RPG wherein you get to control huge mechs going up against giant dragons and monsters on a quest to save the world. Now, I know you might of heard the story a million times before however seeing as it was a new IP you can forgive them somewhat and what was shown looked quite impressive.
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze – The final game of note saw the big ape finally getting a console adventure game, it’s been a while since we have seen Donkey Kong leaving Mario behind and going it alone with his son, diddy, but Nintendo felt that it was about time he got a new adventure. As with other games on display, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze didn’t stray away for the adventure formula, but rather they gave it a nice 3D upgrade and made it much faster. The Donkey Kong Country games are a lot of fun and this looks to be following suit, big brash colours were on show and it ran at a nice smooth pace, whether this will shift WiiU consoles though remains to be seen.
Other Games – There were a few other games too, like the insane Pikmin esq, The Wonderful 101 with its over the top action strategy, a HD re-release for the first Abe game and a mini-game collection that Nintendo seem to think everybody will love. They also featured a sizzle reel that included Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, Batman Arkham Origins, Rayman Legends, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Sonic: Lost Worlds and the game that everybody has been drooling over: Watch Dogs.
Overall Thoughts: As I’ve said it was a smart move on Nintendo’s behalf to not have a press conference this year as they would have been lost in the crowd of people wanting to see what Sony and Microsoft had to offer, however what we got was a bit of a lackluster affair; yes we had the usual Nintendo characters, but nothing new fully impressed me. I was really hoping for Nintendo’s sake that they would suprise a lot of people and prove their critics wrong and show that they do deserve to be in the big three, that said, I think they might have proved their nay sayers right and they could be set for a SEGA style exit.