Friday, 13 June 2014

Nintendo @ E3 2014

Missed the Nintendo E3 event? Want to check out the highlights without watching the whole thing? Don't worry, CeX has you covered!

E3 2012 was Nintendo's last time hosting a live press conference. Since then they have merely showed pre-recorded events online in place for the more traditional E3 show. I have to admit, it does kind of ruin the joy of E3, as most of its charm is down to the fact that it's live and happening right in front of you. Regardless of what format they're approaching, this was Nintendo's chance to tell you why you need a Wii U. Amid dismal sales and an increasing amount of developers no longer supporting it, the Wii U needs something special Here's the rundown...

Super Smash Bros. (Wii U, 3DS)

The long awaited footage of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS was revealed, but, personally, it was both good and bad. Firstly, the gameplay looks perfect. Originating from back in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, Super Smash Bros. pitted players against each other using their favourite Nintendo characters. From Link, Zelda, Mario, Bowser and Captain Falcon, the first entry in the series is still considered a true masterpiece. However, while the latest game in the series looks to retain its gameplay excellence, the new addition of the “Amiibo” system has me a little worried. In short, Amiibo works exactly like the tech used that transports characters into the Skylanders videogame series. Upon buying a small character toy and scanning its base into the Wii U, all of your character stats will be saved to that specific figure. So if you're going to your friends house for some Super Smash Bros. action, just scan your Mario Amiibo into his Wii U and BAM!, your unique Mario is in his game. The idea is nice, and though it does serve a neat little purpose, I worry about how much Nintendo will milk it. Still though, bring on Super Smash Bros! Kirby has been looking for an ass kicking for a while now!

The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

The big news from Nintendo's E3 show was the return of The Legend of Zelda. However, the biggest noticeable difference with this new entry into the beloved franchise is the fact that it is open-world. Yes, The Legend of Zelda is going open-world, folks. Beyond that details are largely unknown, though Nintendo has recently said something rather interesting about the individual seen in the trailer. We of course only assume it is Link, but that may not be the case. When asked why Link looks so different in this incarnation, producer Eiji Aonuma stated, "No one explicitly said that that was Link". The plot thickens. Regardless, the sheer idea of an open-world Zelda title is enough for me to not regret buying a Wii U in the first place. Excellent.

Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)

After being quite a big fan of Xenoblade on the Wii, I was quite looking forward to seeing more of its direct sequel, Xenoblade Chronicles X. However, my hopes were shattered when Nintendo unleashed a tacky, crappy anime trailer instead of showing anything of the actual game itself. I was gutted, but after looking for gameplay after the event ended, I was floored by how good gameplay looked. Why is it that the Wii U, the least powerful console of this generation, has some of the best looking graphics? Why Nintendo didn't show some of this delicious gameplay during their event is beyond me, but what's clear is that, proper Nintendo promotion or not, I'll be all over this come 2015.

Mario Maker (Wii U)

This game might just be perfect for the Wii Pad. Mario Maker essentially lets you edit or create your own Mario levels, which you can instantly stop, pause and play at the touch of a screen. It's a neat little idea that will serve the Wii U's unique tech quite well, but I do wonder if it has a market outside of the hardcore Nintendo fans though. I mean, everyone loves Mario, but not everyone wants to painstakingly move blocks and Koopa shells across a 6-inch screen with a stylus. 

Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)

One reason why I love Japanese game developers is because someone out there sat down and thought, “Lets make a game where everything is made of wool”. The concept is simple yet absurd, but the sheer idea that someone chose to do that is just, well, lovely! The gameplay from E3 of Yoshi's Woolly World looked quite similar to its predecessor, Kirby's Epic Yarn, but what's interesting is that the woolly world can be bent, pushed and altered during gameplay. This potentially opens up a whole slew of new gameplay possibilities, and this is exactly the kind of innovation the Wii U desperately needs. 

Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)

Amid the consoles initial reveal, Nintendo blew gamers away when they announced that Bayonetta 2 was a Wii U exclusive. Now it's time to see some of the gameplay, and it's certainly shaping up quite nicely. Once again putting you in the role of the sexy, deadly and agile Bayonetta, Nintendo are hoping to bring its rather large cult following over to the Wii U. Disappointingly though, series designer Hideki Kamiya is no longer the guy in charge on Bayonetta 2, but hopefully Platinum Games can pull it together without his involvement him. 

Overall Nintendo's E3 appearance, though lacking in any kind of a physical presence may have been successful trying to woo gamers into a buying a Wii U. Showcasing some pretty fresh and interesting titles, Nintendo's financial woes just may be behind them.

I'd give it a B+

Denis Murphy

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