Nintendo were the final of the big three to do their conference, and rather than do a large stage production like Sony and Microsoft, they went with streaming a Nintendo Direct to showcase the upcoming line of games coming to the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Nintendo came out strong this year with a game heavy show, mostly Wii U titles, with a handful of 3DS games. Hopefully with the current trend of them doing things differently and having regular Directs, they will show us more of what the 3DS has to offer as the months go by. I'm going to list the games and details around them as they were announced so feel free to skip to the bits you're most interested in! There's a lot to go through from the 45 minute long E3 2013 Special Direct so let's start at the beginning.
Pokemon X and Y (3DS)
First out the gate was the heavily anticipated new title in the Pokemon franchise! First new information was that a new Pokemon type will be making an appearance, only the second time a new type has been added since the second generation of the Gold and Silver games on the original Gameboy. Fairy type is now added to the other 17 types, this will also fundamentally change some of the older Pokemon; it was also revealed that Fairy will be super effective against Dragon types. Also shown was Pokemon Amie, a sort of virtual pet sim where you can make your Pokemon happy by feeding them treats and giving them a belly rub. It was all hideously adorable and I can't wait to give my Pocket Monsters a little pat on the head every time they win a battle! Pokemon X and Y are set for a Worldwide release on October 12th 2013.
It's a bit odd that they would title a game as 3D World but then have it on the WiiU, seeing as they have a handheld that can actually display 3D images but I'll let it slide. The game takes a side on view and has you playing up to 4 players in a flashback to Super Mario Bros 2, where you can play as Mario, Luigi, Toad or Peach and they each have a special skill. Mario is the allrounder, Luigi jumps higher, Toad runs faster and Peach can float. Also featured was a new power up item that can turn you into a cat, with this suit you can run up walls and scratch at enemies using the Gamepad screen. Super Mario 3D World is due in December 2013.
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
Mario Kart 8 is bringing back the motorbikes from the Wii game as well as featuring the underwater and flying with gliders aspects from the recent Mario Kart 7 on 3DS. As well as this, karts can now also enter an anti gravity hover mode to drive up onto walls and ceilings, or just round huge twisting tracks similar to my favourite racer F-Zero or the types of levels you commonly see in a 3D Sonic Adventure game. Mario Kart 8 is coming Spring 2014.
Wii Party U and Wii U fit (Wii U)
Wii Party U is a board game with over 80 minigames to be played in local multiplayer modes supporting up to 5 players, similar to Mario Party only using your Mii's as playable characters. Also included is the feature to play 2 players each using half of a Gamepad in a mode called Table Top mode. Wii U Fit is the newest addition to the Wii Fit exercise games, not many details were shared on this as it has been hit with delays in order to make sure it comes out at a high quality. Wii Party U and Wii U Fit are due for a winter release in 2013.
Miiverse and Art Academy (Wii U)
After the massive amount of artwork that turned up on Miiverse, Nintendo decided to make a 3DS game available on Wii U. This title being Art Academy, a drawing application that uses the Gamepad screen like a canvas. Once you draw something using a vast amount of colours and different pencils or pastels, you can then save and share your artwork on the Art Academy Miiverse which vastly expands on the current limitations of the Miiverse sharing functionality. Art Academy will be available soon!
Third party titles and eShop releases
A short demonstration of what is to come in the following year on both WiiU and 3DS was played, but no information other than the games are coming were announced. These titles included:
- Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag
- Batman: Arkham Origins
- Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's cut
- Disney's Infinity, Just Dance 2014
- Rayman Legends
- Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comic Adventure
- Disney's Planes
- Shin Megami Tensei IV
- Skylanders Swap Force
- Splinter Cell Blacklist
- Sonic Lost Worlds
As for Wii U eShop titles, those were:
- Ballpoint Universe
- Cloudberry Kingdom
- Coaster Crazy Deluxe
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Mutant Mudds Deluxe
- Oddworld New & Tasty
- Scram Kitty & His On Rails Buddy
- Shovel Knight
- Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party
- A World of Keflings.
Wind Waker HD (Wii U)
The Wind Waker is one of the classic Zelda games from the Gamecube era. Nintendo have updated the visual aspects of the cel shaded original and look to re release the game in all its HD glory. The original feature in the game offered to you by Tingle, a strange man dressed in green who thinks he's a fairy has had to be changed due to the fact that there is no way to plug a GBA into the WiiU system, so this aspect has been changed to incorporate Miiverse. Rather than using the GBA screen to collect bonus items, you can now write notes and put them into bottles and throw them into the ocean, these will then wash up on other people shores where they can read your messages! It's a neat function that should bring Miiverse further into the game. Wind Waker is coming out in October 2013
Wonderful 101 (Wii U)
One of the more quirky games I've seen for the WiiU so far, Wonderful 101 has you playing as a dude who is tasked with saving all the peoples from being attacked by giant monsters. Using a feature called Unitemorph, you run around scooping up citizens and then using the gamepad you can "unite" the people you save and then "morph" them into weapons like giant hammers to bash enemies to death with. Wonderful 101 will be hitting shelves in Europe on August 23rd
Taking a leaf from the recent Donkey Kong Country game on 3DS, this Wii U game is played much like the classic games in 2D side scrolling action. Bringing 2 player functionality to the game as well as returning character Dixie Kong, you're tasked with battling through stages to defeat some Vikings who have tried to take over the lands. Also as the name implies, there is some freezing of the tropics with levels ranging from the typical jungle settings, to a more frosted over island. Using dynamic cameras, the action now swoops around the environments rather than being stuck in the one position. Donkey Kong is due later this year.
Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
The sequel to the cult classic, now an exclusive to the Wii U. It looks like the only thing to change is Bayonetta herself, new clothes and a new haircut, combat seems to have remained the same which is a huge plus as the core gameplay was one of the biggest draws of the original. Bayonetta 2 is slated for a 2014 release.
X (Wii U)
This game actually looks incredible so I'm just throwing that out there. X is not it's final title, in fact the title wasn't even announced, I'm just calling it that as at one point in the trailer a giant red X appeared on the screen. From the makers of Xenosaga on Wii, this game looks to be a vast open world game with some glorious looking environments and giant mechs. As well as being giant robots, these mechs can also shift shapes and become land or air vehicles. X is currently set for 2014.
Finally they showed the next Smash Brothers game, slated for release next year on both WiiU and 3DS. The Wii U version looks stunning and the 3DS version is taking a visually impressive cel shaded graphical style. As well as showing some of the original roster, we also got to see 2 new characters, a villager from Animal Crossing and Mega Man, both of them seem to be a good fit to the series, it's also awesome to see Mega Man reappear in any type of game after Capcom have seemingly been reluctant to give the Blue Bomber his own title. After the main conference was over, Nintendo also announced a third new player, the female Wii Fit coach which seems like an odd choice but the reveal shows that she has some great moves. I'll be writing up a separate article about the Smash Bros series so keep an eye out for that.
Overall I think Nintendo had a promising showing of games which I myself can't wait to get my hands on, but unfortunately most of them seem to be 2014 releases. Without some heavy hitting titles under their belt before the Xbone and PS4 hit the shelves, I'm not sure how well they'll do in the long run and with third party support already lacking, it could seriously damage sales on WiiU consoles.
So what are you most looking forward to from Nintendo? Let us know in the comments below or tweet me - @ChaosRiotZero