Nintendo 2014 Press Conference Impressions

Compared to Sony’s 2 hour behemoth of a conference, Nintendo instead ended the E3 conferences with the shortest presentation, only clocking in at a paltry 45 minutes. Worst is that they wasted a lot of this time with developers talking about stuff that isn’t exactly relevant or little sketches. Also, Nintendo went on to have special segments based on specific games they were making, and a Super Smash Brothers U tournament. So for clarity sake: I’m only here to talk about their actual press confrere (or as they called it: the Nintendo Digital Direct)

They started off with a little sketch that I can only assume was made by the Robot Chicken guys, as it’s made in the exact same style. After a few jokes (and a promise that they’ll announce no new Mario games during this) they move into Super Smash Brothers U/3DS. Here they announce that Miis will be playable characters, using this to jokingly announce Abraham Lincoln, Elijah Wood, and Ice-T as playable characters. Miis will have three different fighting styles based on either a sword, gun, or fists. We also get to see them put a Mario figurine on the Wii U’s game pad, and Mario suddenly joins the match. They used this to get into Amiibo, which seems to be similar to Skylanders in that you can buy Nintendo figures and use them to change around the games. They confirmed that the first game that will support it is Super Smash Brothers U, and that Mario Kart 8 will get support for it added later.

Next up we get to see the developers at Good-Feel talk about how why and how they picked yarn to use for Yoshi’s Wooly World. After a few minutes of this they went ahead and showed a trailer of it. Fans of Kirby’s Epic Yarn should be happy, as the game looks like a nice blend between that and the Yoshi’s Island games. Following that we got a trailer for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. This game looks to be a puzzle game that reuses assets from Super Mario 3D World. It seems like a puzzle game where Toad needs to navigate a small cube-like level to collect coins. Looks beautiful thanks to the Super Mario 3D World graphics, hopefully it’s fun to play as well.

Nintendo then moves onto The Legend of Zelda U. They take about 3 minutes to pretty much say that the game will be open world and that there will be a focus on exploration. We then get our first look at the game, which features someone (who was later confirmed to not be Link) riding on a horse before being attacked by a robotic enemy. Seems like we’re going to get a sci-fi game too, though likely lighter on the sci-fi elements. Still, looks very interesting. Can’t wait to see how that goes. After that we get two game trailers. The first is for Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. It looks like, well… more Pokemon. Not a bad thing, but not exactly something I’m looking forward to. The second trailer is for Bayonetta 2 It looks similar enough to the original, and that’s a good thing. While I’m still confused as to how it ended up a Wii U exclusive, the insane combat gameplay looks brilliant still. Better yet, anyone who buys Bayonetta 2 will get a copy of the original game packed in, which will also have a few extra added bonus.

Next up is Hyrule Warriors. Here we get Nintendo and Team Omega talking about how the game will be split screen and how they’re hoping that fans of Dynasty Warriors and The Legend of Zelda will come together and appreciate it. They also announce that Zelda, Impa, and Midna will be playable characters, and that anyone playing two players will each get their own screen as one gets the TV while the other gets the tablet. We then get two more trailers. The first is for Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, which looks like a sequel to the DS game Kirby: Canvas Curse. Instead of being a 2D platformer you’ll be guiding a constantly rolling Kirby by drawing paths for him. Then we got the sci-fi JRPG Xenoblade Chronicles X. If it’s anything like the last Monolith Soft game I played, Xenosaga, I can say that it’s something I’m genuinely excited for. I just hope it can manage to reach that lofty goal.

Nintendo then breaks their promise of no new Mario games by announcing Mario Maker. It basically looks like a level editor for 2D platforming Mario games, and allows you to create them in the style of either the original Mario Brothers, or in the more recent New Super Mario Brothers. If the online sharing works out then this could be a good idea. Nintendo then announced the only original IP of the conference, a multiplayer third person shooter named Splatoon. In this game two teams of four “fight” by splattering a map with ink. As long as you are in your own ink you can turn into a squid and move rapidly between points. Get stuck in enemy ink and you’re slowed to a crawl. The team with the most of the map covered wins. It really looks like an interesting concept and probably one of the better things to come out of the conference. Finally, Nintendo switched back to Super Smash Brothers U really quick to announce that Kid Icarus’ goddess of light Palutena will be in a playable character.

Ending the show we got a brief cameo from Miyamoto. All he does is say that he’s working on games that will use the Wii U’s gamepad in interesting ways. He’s also playing something that, while blurry, does look a lot like Star Fox. Maybe 2015 is the year of the fox?

Later Nintendo went on to show a few other things. These included a new 3DS strategy game called Project: S.T.E.A.M., that The Devil’s Third has become a Wii U exclusive, and that Mr. Game and Watch and Pac-Man have joined the Super Smash Brothers U/3DS roster. Sadly, their Digital Direct just fell flat. They wasted a lot of time talking about nothing, had some really awkward (and not really funny) Robot Chicken sketches, and mostly announcements anyone could have guessed. There was no real wow moments here, which is a shame. Hopefully they get a stronger, and longer, showing next time.

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