A General Thing About ‘Nintendo’s Digital Event’ at E3
The Electronic Entertainment Expo has come, and once again I find myself unable to attend. Since I’m not exactly a hardcore gamer (a fact evidenced by my utter lack of posts on anything game related until this point), this isn’t too big of a bummer. And yet, as one of the five people on planet Earth who owns a Wii U, Nintendo’s newest look at their upcoming games for the system was quite enticing. And so here I go, attempting to lay out my thoughts on what’s new, and by extension why I think Nintendo is winning the current stretch of the console race from a quality standpoint.
Because I can.
Smash Bros. News:
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m a massive fan of the Super Smash Brothers franchise, and getting consistent updates on the fourth installment of Nintendo’s Mascot Fighter over the past several months has been a real treat.
Like most, I get particularly hyped over the announcement of new playable characters. This time around we have a pair of fighters who people have theorized would be part of the fray for some time now, that being the Mii and Kid Icarus’ Lady Palutena.
I have to admit I couldn’t foresee how either of these characters would play, and I especially empathize with Masahiro Sakurai’s inability to see Miis “punching and kicking.” With that said, both of these characters appear to have very impressive move sets, and I surprisingly find myself looking forward to playing as both of them.
With this, Disney Infinity, and the Skylander’s franchise, it seems that Nintendo is totally sold on the idea of toys implemented amongst video games. Able to transplant character data to and from the U’s gamepad, the Amiibo seems very much like an interesting idea that someone like me won’t ever actually take advantage of.
Yoshi’s Wooly World:
The Yoshi franchises entry into a craft-centered world similar to that Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Yoshi’s Wooly World is the featured game I find most visually appealing. The yarn aesthetic looks more interesting and well done than it did in its Kirby equivalent, and the game looks like it will be as much adorable and simple fun as any under the Yoshi name.
Little gameplay tidbits like the use of a fellow player as a projectile, or thrown eggs leaving cloud trails that can then be walked across make for inventive mechanics that seem very fun to play around with.
Captain Toad, Treasure Tracker:
This game is the one I find most interesting concept-wise. Being a spinoff of the Mario Galaxy games, ‘Captain Toad’ is a 3D Puzzle game, and the first to star the eponymous mushroom man. I’ve always felt that Toad deserved a game to himself, if for no other reason than to validate his character beyond a fill-in for whatever empty slot happens to be open in a Mario-centered game. That, and despite the smaller scale, the game looks just as good (if not maybe better) than it’s source games.
Although it incorporates certain gameplay elements from previous Mario games, it seems nice to have an installment in the franchise that’s so distinct from the now standard platforming, kart racing, and party games.
Legend of Zelda Wii U:
There unfortunately isn’t that much to say about the latest Zelda game. We still don’t have any gameplay footage, and the focus of this section of the video is all about aesthetics.
On that note, the environment is downright GORGEOUS , but the character models seem a mite off-putting to me. Things look a bit too shiny and cluttered, and it actually hurts my eyes a bit to see Link and his seemingly mechanical adversary in action.
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire:
Their also isn’t much of substance to say about the latest entries in the Pokemon franchise. These updated versions of the franchise’ third generation have yet to display any features unique from Pokemon X and Y, but it’s still nice just to have them.
I’m a bit of a rarity amongst Pokemon fans, in that Gen 3 is by far my personal favorite. I found the region of Hoenn to be the most varied and fun to explore, and experiencing it in 3D just feels right.
Here we have a point of some interest. ‘Bayonetta’ was a generally well-liked game that was unique for being a new IP from Nintendo. Gamers have been asking for and theorizing over a sequel since soon after the release of the first.
I say all of this from secondhand experience of course, as I never actually played the original ‘Bayonetta’. The combat didn’t exactly appeal to me, and outside of the semi-notorious fanservice I didn’t see anything of interest about the game.
This trailer didn’t exactly do anything to sway me, and I suppose this series just isn’t my style. The somewhat corny dialogue and delivery of our main character didn’t exactly help. My sentiments aside, I know quite a few whole be rabidly excited for this one.
And now we at last have a Zelda game with some content to talk about. Being a semi-crossover with third party franchise ‘Dynasty Warriors’, this game stands out by being primarily combat focused and featuring multiple playable characters.
Not only does Zelda herself get to join in the fun, but fan-favorites Impa and Midna also make appearances.
The fact that Multiplayer makes use of the gamepad to avoid having a split-screen makes for a fun idea. I personally tend to find split-screen multiplayer a bit disorienting, so having two players share the screen is a good idea in my book.
Since I find the combat in Zelda games (with a few exceptions) to be one of its consistently weaker aspects, having a game with the Zelda characters that’s focused heavily on fighting is mighty appealing.
Xenoblade Chronicles X:
I’m… really not sure what to think of this one. From what I could tell, it was all cutscenes with no gameplay footage. This is apparently yet another installment in a franchise that I know/care nothing about. Much like ‘Bayonetta’, nothing about this one particularly appeals to me.
It looks nice…mostly. The character models really creep me out, particularly in the face department. They look look those cheap plastic toys you had as a kid with barely any nose. I surprisingly couldn’t find an accurate picture of that, so just take my word for it.
This one is one of those ideas that’s interesting, but not filled with any ideas that I can really go in depth about. Or make vaguely humorous tangent about. Wait, did that count?
‘Mario Maker’ involves creating custom Mario staged, which can then be played out in either original 8-bit, or the modern ‘New Super Mario’ aesthetic.
It looks like a decent toy to mess around with, but I don’t see it being much more than that.
This is a game where you play as a Speedy Melty band of Squid Children. That… is weird. Weird to the point that I bloody love it. Weird to the point that I want to keep it on a leash and pet it for hours. Maybe weird enough to cover it in peanut butter. But peanut butter and paint don’t mix, so that’d be gross.
I was talking about a game, right?
Specifically, Splatoon involves groups of four going up against each other in an attempt to take over each other’s territory with paint guns. Traveling through turf that’s painted over causes one to slow down, but thankfully in one is able to travel swiftly through their own turf by turning into a squid and swimming around.
The developers mention that gameplay came first in the making of this new IP, and it really shows. Things like using the paint to scale walls and such make the concept seem creative on the level of something like Portal, and I see this game getting quite a lot of love.
Overall, I’m VERY pleasantly surprised with Nintendo’s upcoming lineup. Every single game on display looks incredible in terms of visuals, especially in high definition. The amount of experimentation and creativity on display here makes me happy for Nintendo, a company that has been constantly dismissed in recent years for following formula too often.
Almost every game here makes me want to rush out and buy it on release day. Of course I wont be able to do this, and odds are it’ll be a long while before I get my hands on even half of them.
With that said, this event makes every moment seem like it’ll be worth it.