New Software Revealed
For the second year in a row, Nintendo eschewed a formal stage presentation at E3 in favor of an online video that showcased their upcoming software lineup. After a heated face-off between Reggie and Iwata, the video kicked off with a few fresh updates for Super Smash Bros. The Wii U version of the game will feature three varieties of user-created Mii fighters: brawlers, sword fighters, and gunners; each of these classes have their own unique moves and abilities. Sakurai also mentioned that the 3DS version of the game is nearly complete, and he briefly showed the varying games modes that the game will include. Also discussed was the new “Amiibo” system that uses the NFC technology in the GamePad to transfer data to and from a chip in special figurines. Amiibo characters in Smash Bros. will be able to participate in battles and grow their abilities, and the Amiibo system will be extended to other Nintendo games like Mario Kart 8.
The video then turned its focus to Nintendo’s development teams to emphasize their role in the company’s operations. First up was Takashi Tezuka and Good-Feel, and they gave us a good, long look at Yoshi’s Woolly World. The developers emphasized how to uniquely employ the yarn concept, and they believe that these yarn mechanics support as much exploration as players are game for. Also discussed was a two-player cooperative mode that allows players to use each other as weapons and tools for exploration. Following that was a brief look at a heavily-expanded version of the Captain Toad mini-games from Super Mario 3D World, and this expansion will take the form of its own standalone game. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will launch this holiday season.
Up next was Zelda. Series producer Eiji Aonuma discussed the challenge of creating a vast, impressive world as console hardware improved, and he used this as a segue to premiere footage of the next game in the series. The explosive footage showed a colorful, cel-shaded look that stands in stark contrast to the Zelda tech demo we saw a new years back. The as-of-now untitled Zelda game for Wii U will be released in 2015. Also shown was a new trailer for the upcoming 3DS remakes of Ruby and Sapphire.
We received another look at Platinum Games’ long-awaited Bayonetta 2; it was revealed that the game will feature Nintendo-themed outfits and will include the original Bayonetta in the box when it ships in October. Additionally, Hyrule Warriors was discussed, and the developers commented on how the more frantic and chaotic pace of the game differs from the gameplay we’ve come to expect from the Zelda series. A two-player mode that uses both the GamePad and the TV independently was discussed, as was the ability to play as multiple different characters from the series.
A flurry of new games were then announced in rapid succession. The first of these was Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, a Wii U title that plays much like Canvas Curse did insofar as Kirby is once again a helpless ball that you must guide around the screen. However, the new game features new power-ups for Kirby, such as Tank and Submarine. A new Xenoblade Chronicles game was also announced, and it will arrive in 2015. The rumored Mario Maker, a 2D Mario level creator, was confirmed with the ability to use graphic sets from multiple games in the series; it too will launch in 2015.
The video then focused heavily on Splatoon, a new eight-player online multiplayer game that features players using paintball guns to paint an arena to see which team can control more of the space. Players will get a birds-eye view of the arena via the GamePad and be able to transform into a squid for faster movement under certain circumstances. Splatoon will arrive in 2015. The video then wrapped up with the announcement of Kid Icarus‘s Palutena as a playable character in Smash Bros. Miyamoto also appeared to inform us that the unique games he has been working on will be revealed later on at E3, and it appears that the company is saving its moonshot titles for that event. He was playing a game as he said this, and although it was blurred out, it looked suspiciously like the Wii U Star Fox title that was leaked earlier today.
So, there you have it. Nintendo has revealed most of their new titles, and that ends our look at E3’s biggest press conferences. What did you think of Nintendo’s E3 video? Are you excited about what the company has in the pipeline, or were you expecting more?