Impressions on Nintendo’s E3 2014 Digital Event

I only ever watch Nintendo’s E3 presentations, because aside from maybe one or two specific games, I generally don’t give a flying fig about the other guys’ stuff. I always enjoy Nintendo’s shows, but to be quite frank, this year’s has got me the most excited I’ve been in a good long while. Let’s go over it point-by-point.

Oh, and here’s an embed of the full presentation, if you feel so inclined to watch it for yourself. I’ve embedded a few choice trailers later on, too.

The Presentation

The opening and a few little skits in between game-related segments were all done up Robot Chicken-style. And I don’t mean in a style reminiscent of Robot Chicken. I mean that I wouldn’t be surprised if Seth Green and company actually had a hand in creating the animated scenes. It was a dead-on likeness, and the skits used pretty much the exact same type of humour that the show is known for, albeit a little softer to keep it family-friendly.

While the internet seems to have mixed feelings about it, I personally loved it. It was much more interesting than just having Reggie and whoever else up on stage bleating about business strategy or whatever. Reggie’s part was actually pretty short, too, and his animated double stepped aside less than halfway through the show to let the games and their developers do the talking.

Super Smash Bros

The first game up was Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U. It still doesn’t have a real title, and at this point I don’t think it ever will. Whatever. That’s hardly important.

What matter is that Miis have been revealed to join the fight, and they look awesome. There are three types of Miis to choose from: Brawlers, who are bare-handed; Swordfighters, who obviously carry a sword; and Gunners, who have a really cool gun-arm. Not only can you import your Miis into the game, but you can also dress them up in a variety of hats and different costumes. Oh, and they look like they’ll be a lot of fun to play as, too.

Masahiro Sakurai talked about the game for a bit, and then showed a very quick montage of clips, which I’m sure held plenty of new info, but I haven’t gone over it to pick it apart yet. It really doesn’t matter. It’s Smash Bros. The only thing that disappoints me is that the “summer” release date of the 3DS version is October 3rd. In what crazy fantasy world is that considered summer?

At the end of the show, Palutena from the Kid Icarus franchise was also confirmed as a new fighter, with a very anime intro video. I’m not totally sold on her yet, but hey, the more the merrier, right? Her trailer also suggested that Dark Pit will be in the game in some capacity. Whether he shows up as a playable character or just an assist trophy, we don’t yet know.

It wasn’t a part of the big presentation, but a Pac-Man intro trailer showed up overnight. I’m still in a little disbelief, but really, it makes perfect sense. You’ve got Mario, Mega Man, and Sonic all in the same game already. Pac-Man fits right in there with the big names of classic gaming. Of course, Bandai-Namco is also helping develop the games, so… Pac-Man seems like he’ll be a fun fighter to use. If nothing else, he’ll be fun to watch, with all his wacky moves and goofy sound effects. His trailer also confirmed Mr. Game & Watch’s return, which is just gravy at this point.

Amiibo

Nintendo’s entry into the world of selling plastic figures as add-ons to your video games. At first they seem like an evil scheme to bilk you out of even more money, but unlike Skylanders and Disney Infinity, they don’t seem to be necessary to enjoy the full content of the games they link to. Well, not for Smash Bros, anyway.

While Nintendo has plans to launch Amiibos for a handful of different games, they only showed what the figures will do in Smash. There, they will simply contain AI fighters that you can swipe into your game. These fighters will level-up and adjust their playstyles over time, which seems like a really cool feature. I might pick up one or two because they look neat. I’m just relieved that they’re an entirely optional thing.

 Yoshi’s Woolly World

I’ve been waiting for more news on this one very patiently, and the wait finally paid off! There was a pretty big feature on the game and how it was conceived, which was a pretty interesting segment. I loved Kirby’s Epic Yarn to death, and I could not be more thrilled that Yoshi is getting a similar treatment.

The thing is that Kirby’s Epic Yarn was a pretty huge deviation from the normal Kirby formula. It was an entirely unique game with a beautiful visual style. Yoshi is even prettier, but seems to be hewing pretty close to the Yoshi’s Island style of gameplay that we’re very familiar with. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because Yoshi’s New Island turned out pretty darn well on that front. I would like to see Woolly World go in a different direction, but I’ll just have to put my faith in Tezuka.

I also really want a crochet Yoshi now.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

After playing Super Mario 3D World, I found that I wanted an entire game based on the Captain Toad stages really badly. I even made a Miiverse post or two to that effect.

Not once did I ever think that Nintendo would actually make that game.

But there it is, in all its glory. You know what? Not once have I ever thought that I’d be drooling over a game starring Toad, either. But here we are. I often don’t care about Nintendo’s weird little spin-off games, but the Captain toad levels in 3D World were just so much fun that this is going to be an absolute Day One purchase. I’m still not clear on whether it’s going to be a full retail release or a smaller eShop game, but either way, “Holiday 2014” can’t come fast enough.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U

It’s not even far enough into development to have a real name yet, but God damn did the teaser look gorgeous. And it’s in-engine, too! I love the idea of making the world more open so that you can tackle challenges in whichever way you like.

What’s most immediately interesting though, is that Aonuma suggested that the character in the teaser may not be Link. After seeing it, I immediately turned to the wife and asked “Is Link a girl this time?” The character is considerably more feminine than Link has ever been. It’d be quite a neat twist if Link were a girl this time. Or if Zelda turned out to be the hero!

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Remakes of the third generation Pokémon games. There isn’t really a lot to say about them yet, but I think I’m probably quite a bit more excited about these than most. Sapphire Version was my re-introduction to Pokémon after several years of having let the series pass me by, and I hold it quite dear to my heart because of that. Most people just seem to think that Gen III was trash though. Nuts to those guys. Gen III gave us Blaziken and Walrein and Altaria. I really like Gen III, is what I’m saying.

Also, Mega Swampert is a totally boss, Hulked-out monster. I love it!

Bayonetta 2

I had no interest in Bayonetta 2 at all until yesterday. I’ll admit that I was forcing myself to be indifferent to it because I didn’t play the first game at all. I still didn’t much care for it until they showed that the first game would be packaged in with retail copies, and that you can dress up Bayonetta as Princess Peach, Link, and Samus.

Two games for the price of one? Fun, sexy cosplay times?

This is why I only care about Nintendo’s presentations. They know how to push my buttons.

Hyrule Warriors

I’ve never played a game in the Dynasty Warriors series, and I plan to keep it that way. However, I will buy pretty much anything relating to Zelda, so I’ve been watchign this one with a keen eye. And a much keener eye now that Zelda has been confirmed to be a playable character. I honestly don’t know if I’d rather play as her or Impa, who is a major badass here. Honestly, Link just looks so plain and boring in comparison.

It might not be a big problem when the final product arrives though, as Aonuma said that the game will have tons of characters to choose from. There are four revealed now, and I’m pretty excited about what they’re still hiding up their sleeve.

Not having ever played a Warriors game of any description before, I also get the nice bonus of this being a totally new style of gameplay for me. Running around a battlefield, chopping hundreds of monsters to bits? Taking on huge Zelda bosses in a more fast-paced environment? Playing co-op with the wife? Yes, yes, and yes! Sign me up already!

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Kirby: Canvas Curse remains one of my most beloved games on the original DS, and I nearly blew a gasket when I saw that there’s going to be a Wii U sequel.

That same gasket then succeeded in blowing when I realized that the graphics are all done in an adorable claymation style.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

I don’t much care for how gosh-darned anime it looks, but if it’s as engrossing to play as the first Xenoblade Chronicles, I’ll gladly plug another 150 hours into this one. And the Nopon are back, so hooray!

Ugh, but seriously. It’s so freaking anime. Gross.

And I hope the final title is something a little less… dumb.

Mario Maker

It’s exactly what it sounds like. A Nintendo-sanctioned program that lets you build, share, and play your very own Mario levels. It’s really nice to see an official version after the various illegitimate PC editors, but it’s kinda sad that it only includes assets from Super Mario Bros and New Super Mario Bros. So none of the more interesting stuff. Oh well. I’m sure that assets from other games will become paid DLC, and I’m sure that I’ll be more than willing to fork over that cash when the time comes.

Splatoon

A wholly new game for Wii U, and a team-based online (third-person) shooter at that! It’s a goofy paintball game though, so it’s kid-friendly, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be any less fun. No, in fact, this is the first shooter in years that has my full attention.

The gimmick here is that you can cover the arena in you team’s colour of paint, and your avatar can turn into a squid to swim through and hide in that paint. It looks like there’s a certain level of strategy involved, and that just swimming and bouncing around the stages will be a whole lot of fun. Honestly, I think I could actually spend as much time playing this as I did Unreal Tournament. And let me tell you, I played a lot of Unreal Tournament back in the day. I think it probably still holds the record for PC game that I’ve put the most time into.


All of that was enough to take in, but there were plenty of other games that didn’t make the cut and were only seen on the show floor. Everything on 3DS that isn’t Pokémon, for example. Also a new Star Fox game and a couple new projects that Miyamoto is working on.

Immediate buzz is that Nintendo won E3 this year, and if I had seen anything from any of the competition, I’d be able to agree. If nothing else, the Wii U has a friggin’ excellent bunch of software in the pipe. Hopefully that’s what it needs to turn its lagging sales around. Mario Kart 8 was a massive shot in the arm, and a showing like this can only make things better.

Yeah, so. 2015 is going to be a pretty expensive year. If you start to see me hanging out on the streets in the seedier parts of town late at night, it’s probably because I need to bring in some extra income so that I can buy all these darned video games.


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