Friday, 25 June 2010

Nintendo E3 Press Event 2010

Hello and welcome to my write up of the 2nd press event held this year at E3 Los Angeles. Nintendo have always been known to step on stage and raise the bar year after year with great content and new innovations. Last year however, they lacked the spark that they are usually known for, showing off nothing of major interest and having the Wiimotion Plus as their highlight of the event. Well this year Nintendo have come back strong with plenty of exciting titles and an unveiling of a brand new handheld console!

The conference began with the face of Nintendo’s publicity campaign Reggie, hitting the stage. After a quick introduction depicting that Nintendo have the ability to mix technology and game design perfectly to offer an ultimate experience, the first game demo was launched.

What a great demo to open with as well, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Shigeru Miyamoto demoed the game and showed off the new controls with the Wiimote accompanied by the Wiimotion Plus being your sword, and the Nunchuck being your Shield. Using a translator, Miyamoto explained the various different ways of slicing and attacking depending on how you move your Wiimote but while demonstrating there was significant lag and Link was not doing what Miyamoto wanted him to do. He then proceeded to show off some items from the game including the bomb, slingshot, the bow and arrow, the beetle scout and the whip. During the demonstration of the bow the Wiimote literally went mental and Miyamoto could not use it, blaming it on wireless interference. The game itself is designed using cell shading much like The Windwaker however, it is much less cartoon like and Link does look fairly serious. The demo concluded with reassurance that the demo on the show floor ran without any problems or lag and that the game was set for release sometime next year. I was not impressed personally, but being a Zelda game there’s no doubt it will make fans proud of the series, of course all the demonstrational problems sure didn’t help the preview of the game.

Next to be revealed was the very much-anticipated NBA Jam for the Wii. There was no demo or game play footage which is a shame but I recall having an incredible time growing up with the arcade basketball sim and cannot wait to see this hit the shelves.

The next demo fortunately had a game-play video, Mario Sports Mix. Think of all the sport themed Mario games you have seen and this simply incorporates lots of sports and events he has not yet participated in including Volleyball, Ice Hockey, Dodgeball and so forth. Another party game to add to the Wii catalogue, joyous.

Reggie then proceeded to throw some numbers at the audience and to prove the Wii haters wrong. He went on to suggest that those who thought Wii momentum would fall and that Wii owners would stop buying games were completely wrong, using Mario Kart’s 22 million copies and Super Mario Bros’ 14 million copies sold as prime examples of the Wii’s powerful market presence. This, Reggie claimed, was thanks to bridge games such as the former 2 that bring people into the gaming world and Nintendo are going to continue bringing more people to Nintendo with the addition of another bridge title, Wii Party. Wii Party is shown to introduce 13 different party game modes including such events as Board Game Island, Balance Boat and House Party games, the names are fairly self explanatory. This on top of 70 different mini games could see this being a fun filled package for the family.

Next to be shown off was Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2. To be honest after seeing yesterday’s presentation of Dance Central from Harmonix for the Xbox 360, this just looked like a joke, no one wants to dance with a Wiimote in his or her hand.

The next game however, is a very big deal and received plenty of applause and a rapture of noise. Golden Sun Dark Dawn was confirmed to arrive this holiday season for the DS and the trailer showed off lots of action and giant creatures that will make this role-play adventure another instant classic. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of playing a past Golden Sun adventure on a Nintendo hand-held, you have missed out if you are a fan of Final Fantasy, Dragonquest and games of that nature.

Kicking it old school was definitely going to be a theme for Nintendo this press event and what better way to touch our nostalgia by confirming a re-release for what is arguably the best first-person shooter of all time, Goldeneye. Indeed the Nintendo Wii is going to see a remake this holiday season of the influential and action packed adventure. The trailer showed off in typical fashion, lots of explosions and gunplay, I was not happy however; to see that Daniel Craig was playing James Bond, this is Goldeneye, why on earth is it not Pierce Brosnan? That aside, this was certainly a welcome addition to the catalogue of announced games.

Continuing to go back in time to the roots of our entertainment, Disney’s Epic Mickey was next to be demoed to the audience. The game-play showed Mickey venture across different landscape from the Disney world resembling Kingdom Hearts somewhat. The innovative game mechanic here was paint and thinner, allowing Mickey to create and interact with the environment and characters, but also erase those said things. The developers went on to suggest that players could dynamically change the game world to save it. Play style matters. How each characters story ends and who will offer their help and services to you. They stated it is a crafted and unique experience.

The next familiar face from Nintendo to get a makeover was Kirby in his brand new journey Epic Yarn. The entire look resembles yarn but from the demo we could gather that this will allow Kirby to be even more flexible and really allow players to have a brand new experience with the lovable pink ball.

Reggie moved swiftly on to announce that Dragonquest 9 was finally going to see an American and European release date on July the 11th. This series simply goes from strength to strength and this DS title will definitely be one to look out for.

Another highlight title from Nintendo’s arsenal was presented next. Team Ninja’s Metroid Another M was presented in trailer form and showed Samus in her new 3rd person perspective. It was emphasized that isolation and exploration that made the series so incredible have not been lost in the transition to Samus’ new adventure.

The last of the retro games to be unveiled was none other than Donkey Kong, a nice surprise in the event. Donkey Kong Country Returns will be hitting the Nintendo Wii this holiday.

As Reggie returned to the stage there was a sense that something big was going to be announced next. He emphasized that 3D entertainment is an exciting prospect for video gaming, one that Nintendo have grasped with both arms. With that, the Nintendo 3DS was unveiled by President Iwata. Looking much like the Nintendo DS but with subtle changes, the 3DS looked very impressive. It included an analogue stick for better control, a depth slider to either maximize the 3D depth perception, or remove it completely, motion and gyro sensors, a camera on the inside and two cameras on the outside to allow the capture of 3D photographs and will also be able to view 3D movies. Most importantly, you will NOT need glasses to view the 3D; it is all viewed just with the naked eye. Unfortunately because of this, it was impossible to demonstrate the 3D capabilities of the console on the huge screen to those of us watching over the internet, rather Nintendo got around a hundred beautiful ladies to go into the audience with 3DS’s attached to them and allow everyone in the audience to see it for themselves. I am assured that it really is a surreal sight and was backed up various game designers as they voiced their opinions about the new technology and what they could potentially do with it.

From this point, developers and companies were mentioned who would be involved with the console’s launch and what games we can expect in the future. Kid Icarus Uprising was the first game to be shown off and while we obviously cannot see the 3D, the graphics have to be acknowledged that they are almost as good as the Playstation 2, that is one incredible processor in there. Iwata then proceeded to confirm that a 3D version of Nintendogs and Cats was in development by Miyamoto. Most exciting however, was hearing Kojima discuss the possibility of a Metal Gear Solid game for the 3DS, Square Enix giving the Kingdom Hearts franchise a run on the console and Capcom also developing a brand new Resident Evil for the machine.

On that note, the audience began getting out of their seats to try the 3DS and the press event ended, closing off Nintendo’s next step into the future of gaming.

Igor Kharin

CeX UK Contributor

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