It’s that time of the year again and now it’s Nintendo's turn to wow the crowds. The Nintendo show opens with Miyamoto and he gets a warm welcome as expected. On stage the audience can see a black version of the Wii U console and the black console is featured throughout the presentation as opposed to the white console.
Not wasting any time he begins to talk about a new title for Nintendo’s new console, the Wii U. The new title in question is Pikmin 3. The next title in the Pikmin series. The last Pikmin outing was on the Gamecube so with the Wii U incoming, its time to visit the Pikmin’s again! Miyamoto shows us some gameplay whilst talking about different ways to play. The Wii U’s enhanced graphics are quite impressive and really make the world of the Pikmin look quite pretty. The Wii U game pad gives the player a map overview allowing the player to be a lot more tactical with their units and leaders. The game can also be played with Wiimotes alone or in conjunction with the new Wii U gamepad. With this Miyamoto waves goodbye and leaves.
Next up its time for more of a focus on the Wii U. We’re told that the Wii U will feature third party content from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video and Youtube and will allow the use of 2 Wii U gamepads at the same time, as well as a number of Wiimotes. We are then introduced to a more in-depth look at the Miiverse. This will allow players to communicate with each other using messages but also drawings and handwritten messages, much like Nintendo Letterbox here in the UK (or Swapnote everywhere else)
Next up on the stage is New Super Mario Bros. U. The game features the familiar 3D side scrolling that all Mario fans know and love, but on the new Wii U console. From the footage we can see that it also features 4-player co-op, as well as a fifth player on the Wii U gamepad. The gamepad player takes up more of a support role and is able to drop helpful blocks in the path of the team in order to help them through the level. This is called “Asymmetric gaming”.
Next in the spotlight is WB Games with Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition. The innovative controller gives players a new way to play the game we all know and love. Such as controlling the remote controlled batarang with the gamepads accelerometer. The game will also feature armoured Batman and Armored Cat woman which are exclusive to the Wii U version of the game.
Scribblenauts Unlimited is on stage next with its latest instalment on the Wii U. The game will allow players to create objects, which can later be called on and shared with friends. The example shown is a dog with wheels for legs called “Auto Dog”. The game also features a free roam quest rather than the short challenges from previous games. Scribblenauts unlimited will also go into the story of Maxwell, the game series protagonist. From the footage we can see co-op and multiplayer gameplay will also play a big part in this title.
We were then treated to a montage of third party games which will be on the Wii U. The game trailers featured in the montage were:
· Darksiders 2
· Mass Effect 3
· Tank! Tank! Tank!
· Tekken Tag Tournament 2
· Trine 2: Directors cut
· Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors edge
· Aliens: Colonial Marines
Now it’s back to first party games of the Wii U and we’re introduced to Wii Fit U. The newest Wii Fit game will not only use the balance board from the previous game but also the new Wii U gamepad. It will feature new workouts, new minigames and promises to make the player have more fun and sweat more than its predecessor.
Keeping in line with the interactive theme of Wii Fit U its time for the next game simply titled Sing. This plays like most singing games except it uses the Wii U gamepad as well. From the footage we can see the gamepad will have the lyrics to songs displayed allowing the player to face their friends rather than the television. It also allows the players friends to dance along while the player sings to the song. An interesting take on the singing game genre.
Now to take the focus away from the Wii U for a few minutes and onto Nintendo’s handheld console, the 3DS. Although the 3DS segment will be brief. We are told that the handheld will get its own hour showing on the 6th, rather than feature in the main presentation. We are shown a few snippets of some upcoming games such as New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario Sticker Star and Luigi’s mansion. All available later on this year.
We are then shown a montage of trailers to show what third party titles are forthcoming for the 3DS. The games included were:
· Castlevania: Lords of shadow: Mirror of fate
· Epic Mickey: The power of two
· Scribblenauts Unlimited
· Kingdom Hearts: Drop Distance 3D
Now it’s back to the Wii U’s upcoming titles with Lego City Undercover. The game will feature an open world city for players to explore. It will also allow the player to don disguises and gain different abilities throughout the game and seems to have the loveable humour that most Lego games feature.
Now its time for the hardcore games, ZombiU. The game is said to be challenging and uses a “one bite, you die mechanic.” The Wii U gamepad features heavily and allows you to access your inventory, hack doors and look down the sights of your gun all on the gamepad’s touchscreen.
We are then treated to a quick montage of games that Ubisoft have in development for the Wii U console. The games featured were:
· Assassins Creed 3
· Rabbids Land
· Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
· Rayman Legends
· Sports Connection
· Avengers: Battle for Earth
Finally to wrap up the show we are given a look at NintendoLand for the Wii U. This game is said to help you understand the Wii U console like Wii Tennis helped you understand the Wii. The game is set in a theme park, which features most of the Nintendo Franchises such as Zelda, Luigi’s Mansion and Mario. This will also work in conjunction with the Miiverse and allow friends to connect in game. The game is wrapped up by confirming it will be available on launch, along with the Wii U.
Overall I feel that this conference didn’t really deliver the excitement that past years have and was very much based on the upcoming Wii U rather than the existing 3DS. Although lots of new games were shown I wouldn’t say that any of them seem to bring anything new to the player. Mario games look and play like Mario games always have and most of its game catalogue seem to be more for the younger children rather than the older gamer. That said, the Wii U console and controller does look interesting and has a lot of potential to be more than a touch screen inventory as was seen in most of the presentations.