Nintendo have once again eschewed the traditional press conference this year, opting to speak to the consumer directly with a special E3 Digital Event. There were a lot of great games shown here and a few surprises, so here’s a summary (and the whole thing to watch at the bottom of the page) in case you missed it.
Super Smash Bros. For Wii U/3DS
A new fighter was announced for both of this year’s Smash games: The Mii Fighter. This looks to be the best implementation of Miis yet. You’ll be able to choose from three templates – swordfighter, brawler, and gunner – and customise your Mii from there with four special moves from a selection of twelve. You can use any Mii that you make, examples shown being Abraham Lincoln, Elijah Wood, and Ice T.
A trailer was shown for the 3DS version which included the Smash Run mode, a five minute race through a map populated by enemies that will drop power-ups to boost your chosen characters attributes, ending in a match between you and four other characters – be they players or AI. There is also a difficulty slider that appears to be the same as that of Kid Icarus: Uprising’s risk/reward gambling system. A Smash Bros. staple also returns in collectible trophies. This version was given the release date of the third of October, while Super Smash Bros. For Wii U is still in the vague Holiday window.
At the end of the digital event, an anime segment that broke the heart of many fans of both anime and Smash Bros. announced Lady Palutena from Kid Icarus: Uprising as a playable character.
No doubt inspired by Skylanders and Disney Infinity, Nintendo are releasing figures that interact with their games titled Amiibo. Mii? Amigo? …Amoeba? A Mario figure was shown and its implementation within Smash Bros. explained: Figures will have a memory chip embedded within them that will summon an AI-controlled Mario into the game that will develop his own unique stats and moves the more he is summoned. This is stored on the chip, so you’ll be able to take your own unique Mario to other Wii U systems. Mario Kart 8 will also have Amiibo implemented.
Yoshi’s Wooly World
Yoshi returns to home consoles with a new aesthetic: a wooly world similar to that seen in Kirby’s Epic Yarn. The development team views it as a new type of game, though it still features the egg-tossing platforming seen in Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story, though mercifully without the escorting of a crying Baby Mario. There’s no time limit to each level so that players have the opportunity to explore the world a little more, one populated by a bunch of classic Mario enemies such as Piranha Plants, Koopa Troopas, and Shy Guys, all of which look fantastic in the yarn aesthetic. In a first for Yoshi games, there’ll be a co-operative component in which one Yoshi can eat the other, then throw him like an egg.
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
Remember the fantastic puzzle mini-games from Super Mario 3D World that had Captain Toad traverse a small Rubik’s Cube-like level to track down treasure? They’ve been elaborated upon and given their own game, now featuring boss battles and a host of new level designs including the classic haunted mansion from Mario games. There’s only a small wait for this one as it’s scheduled for Holiday 2014.
The Legend of Zelda
Eiji Aonuma showed up to speak about the new Zelda game for Wii U, discussing how the focus of the game was to go back to its roots and create a vast and connected world that is open to be freely explored, cutting through boundaries wherever the player likes. He showed a small glimpse of the world, given a new visual look that seems to be a middle-ground between Wind Waker and Skyward Sword. A short trailer was then shown, with Link (?) under attack from a laser-firing large mechanical spider-like enemy. Link (?) pulled an arrow that had a blue, hologram-like head, potentially hinting at the sci-fi elements that Zelda fans have been clamouring for of late.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Hoenn is back, and the short trailer shown here makes apparent that the Mega Evolution from X and Y will be coming with it. Mega Sceptile, Mega Swampert, and Mega Blaziken were all shown, as well as some mysterious new Primal forms for Groudon and Kyogre.
Bayonetta is going to hell! This trailer showed the game’s new setting off, with Bayonetta headed to the underworld to rescue Jeanne. The original Bayonetta will also be included with this sequel, featuring Peach, Samus, and Link costumes for our heroine that add a bunch of new elements to the game.
The development team spoke about how Nintendo allowed them to do whatever they wanted with the Zelda world, and that it gave them a chance to bring in larger enemies than usual in fun ways. There’s also a multiplayer mode and new characters were shown: Zelda, Impa, and Midna will all be playable in Hyrule Warriors. Aonuma seemed really impressed with the implementation of these characters and the creative offensive capabilities given to them by the development team. This game is launching pretty soon, with a release date of 26th of September.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
With Yoshi using the yarn aesthetic, Kirby needs a new one! This Kirby features an incredible claymation style that really looks like you might be watching an episode of Wallace and Gromit. The game will actually make use of the gamepad, players drawing rainbow paths through the world for Kirby to traverse. A few forms were also shown: Submarine, rocket, and tank.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Monolithsoft’s X is finally given a name, and this trailer gives a little backstory to it with a lost Earth, aliens, and mechs forming the stage for this JRPG. No gameplay was shown, just story segments that show the fate of humanity hanging in the balance.
This Wii U game will allow players to create levels in the Super Mario Bros. engine using all of the classic elements that we’ve come to know over the last twenty years, as well as a few quirky takes on them such as a skinny mushroom. You’ll also be able to switch to the New Super Mario Bros. U visuals.
Nintendo’s take on the multiplayer shooter, this third person game has teams of four go head-to-head in an urban setting as they fight for control with ink! The goal of the game is to cover more of the map with ink than the other team, and you can turn into a squid and swim through this ink for greater mobility, opening up a new level of strategy in terms of map control and how to utilise it. You can also use the ink and squid form in a variety of ways, using it to either rush forward into enemy territory or to hide and wait for a wayward enemy to appear.
The gamepad will feature a real-time map that gives you insight into where ink has been spread and the location of your team, who you can instantly jump to. There also seems to be a variety of weapons including one that fires a whirlwind of ink and a grenade.