Catch up on News and Gameplay You Missed From Nintendo’s Digital E3 2014 Press Conference
Nintendo is finally learning to tap into its audience's interests, and it's awesome.
Nintendo still hasn’t won me over on the Wii U or even proved to me they’ve got bigger, better games coming than Microsoft and Sony, but their press conference was easily the most fun to watch. We got battling Nintendo execs, lots of games that deviate from the “dude with a gun and some photorealistic graphics” genre, and plenty of Smash Bros. and Zelda news.
They kicked off with some Robot Chicken-style animation and completely embraced their fans’ love of ridiculousness and memes. For a company that often seems out of touch with what its customers want from a technical perspective, Nintendo certainly understands our personalities.
Reggie shot lasers out of his eyes, battled Iwata to show off Miis in Smash Bros., and got a death stare from Luigi. It was all pretty perfect.
Oh, and did I mention Miis in Smash Bros.!?
There are three different templates your Mii can use for its moveset: sword fighters reminiscent of Link, gunners with arm cannons that are similar to Samus and Mega Man, and brawlers who fight empty-handed like Little Mac. Each Mii has 12 special move options to pick from for individuality, which could be an asset in battle if your opponent can’t remember what moves to expect from your Mii.
This is how Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai has decided to allow players to bring any character they want into the game. It’s not a fully featured character creation tool, but it’s a solid customization feature that will probably extend the game’s replay value even further than before.
As you can see in the video, they also announced that Smash Bros. will use their new NFC figurines, called Amiibo. (Reggie Fils-Amiibo?) So, if you were hoping Nintendo had learned its lesson about dropping weird “ii” naming conventions from Wii U confusion, I feel your pain. The figurines allow you to use Smash Bros. characters that can be modified and leveled up.
The 3DS Smash Bros. game is almost done, but it has to be delayed from its summer timeframe to October 3, 2014. According to Sakurai, the game is basically done, and this is for bug testing purposes only, since the game is so huge. He also previously tweeted in Japanese asking anyone who notices bugs during today’s tournament of the Wii U version to forgive him. The Wii U edition is still slated for a holiday 2014 release.
They also debuted Palutena from Kid Icarus as a new playable fighter with an awesome anime-style trailer.
It wasn’t mentioned during the press conference, but Polygon is reporting that the Wii U gamecube controller adapter will retail for $19.99; the Smash Bros. emblem clad controller that we saw with it will be available for $29.99,. Those’ll also be available in a $99.99 bundle with Smash Bros. Wii U when it comes out for the holidays.
They also showed off a spiritual sequel to Kirby’s Epic Yarn with Yoshi’s Wooly World. I don’t personally care for the yarn gimmick any more than I did in Epic Yarn, but it looks like a solid game if that doesn’t bother you:
Also in cute Mario spinoffs, they’ve got Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for you, which has Toad doing what U.S. Super Mario Bros. 2 taught me Toad does best: digging. Although, we’ve got some dissent on Team Geekosystem about whether or not Toad is awesome (he is).
— Dan Van Winkle (@Dan_Van_Winkle) June 10, 2014
— Sam Maggs (@SamMaggs) June 10, 2014
— Geekosystem (@Geekosystem) June 10, 2014
— Sam Maggs (@SamMaggs) June 10, 2014
Then, we got the “megaton” announcement everyone knew was coming: Zelda on Wii U. The game is keeping the halfway-cartoony look of Skyward Sword, but it’s been expanded to a fully open world. So, it’s like Skyrim Sword or Grand Theft Epona, and it’s coming in 2015.
Director Eiji Aonuma explained that until now, Zelda games have always had to break up their worlds into smaller chunks, but in this game, everything is interconnected, which makes adds a fresh element to the traditional puzzle-solving aspects.
Then, they got my hopes up with an epic Pokémon build up, but it turned out to be a new trailer for the Ruby and Sapphire remakes, which will features mega evolutions. They look great, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen in Pokémon before. We also got a look at Bayonetta 2, which is coming to Wii U in October and contains the original Bayonetta and some Nintendo-inspired character costumes.
Hyrule Warriors was there, too, in all its outdated crossover glory. I’m sure someone will enjoy the game, and Zelda, Midna, and Impa are all playable, so it’s got plenty of female characters, but I’m not exactly psyched about a Zelda-themed spinoff of a game franchise that’s already been milked dry.
Kirby: Canvas Curse is getting a Wii U sequel in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse on the Wii U.
After that, Nintendo treated everyone to a look at Xenoblade Chronicles X, which everyone thought was Metroid for about 5 seconds and then got horribly disappointed, but it looks promising nonetheless.
Then, they officially unveiled Mario Maker! It’s a game that lets you build your own 8-bit Mario levels as everyone assumed from some covert E3 pictures that made the rounds a few days ago, and it looks like you can switch them back and forth between 8-bit graphics and New Super Mario Bros.-style graphics at the press of a button.
Next they showed Splatoon, which has you playing as a squid that can turn into a human and shoot ink from a super soaker, because when Nintendo does a multiplayer online battle arena shooter, it has to be something weird that you’ve never seen before.
They finished with the Palutena in Smash Bros. announcement and some kind of Dark Pit tease, and the whole show wrapped up in under an hour. At the end of the day, I still don’t think I’m getting a Wii U until it becomes significantly cheaper, but Nintendo’s was easily the most fun briefing to watch.
Things moved along quickly and had a lot more personality and less awkward jokes that nobody laughed at and pauses where no one clapped. Well played, Nintendo. Well played.