E3 has come around again and with it, a slew of titles and systems and announcements and the hype trains have been going full speed in plenty of directions. The biggest surprise for me was how much hype came from Nintendo’s announcements. With two days down and one to go, Nintendo hasn’t only announced games and projects in its current franchises but also managed to shut up those that criticise it for not delivering new ideas.
In terms of new IPs, there are, at least, two new ones: Splatoon and Code Name: Steam. The first a multiplayer team based domination shooter, where you splatter ink to expand your territory. What makes it terribly fun is that characters are “Inklings,” squid-people, and can transform in Mario-style squids aka Bloopers, to hide in the ink or travel at high speeds. It’s a show of colors and mayhem that hooked me in instantly, even if it’s not my usual type of game.
We still don’t know much about Code Name: Steam, but what we do know is the ‘Steam’ in the title is for a secret organization formed by Abraham Lincoln, it’s a strategy game, steampunk and you’re fighting Lovecraftian aliens. It’s an intriguingly weird concept, but that just makes me want to know more. The fact it’s being developed by the same team behind Fire Emblem just adds to the hype.
I finally got to see more of Xenoblade Chronicles X and I liked everything I saw and I want more! Same with every other game Nintendo showed, from the Kirby game to the adorable and extremely cute Yoshi game coming. Captain Toad intrigued me with its mix of puzzling and action, and it’s a game I’m getting as soon as it releases. I was glad to see the Pokemon remakes had the X/Y visual style and graphics.
The little I saw of the new Zelda left me speechless. First it’s an open world Zelda, which is awesome (and made everyone joke about Elder Scrolls VI: Hyrule), the design is gorgeous and lastly everything they showed was using the game’s engine instead of pre-rendered CG. If the game looks that good, I can’t wait to lose myself in Hyrule! And as far as Link goes, I loved the design…and no, it’s not a girl.
Smash Bros. fever went into overdrive with not only release dates and the Pac-Man and Palutena announcements, but also with the extremely fun Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament. Aside from the competition itself, the fact Reggie promised to come back and kick ass was probably my favourite moment. Of course, the Mega Man Final Smash was AMAZING!
Speaking of Reggie, both his Robot Chicken animation intro and the ‘fight’ against Iwata were excellent. The former was Nintendo poking fun at itself and the industry and even its fans, and the latter was the perfect way to announce Mii fighters for Smash.
The one thing I’m not convinced about is the Amiibo thing, Nintendo’s own Skylanders. So far it seems too money-grabby for my tastes, but I’ll wait and see what it’s all about!
Nintendo is doing what it always does: deliver. They didn’t have a big conference and instead focused on a digital event. The Nintendo Treehouse live-stream is a brilliant idea and they’ve been highlighting their new projects and going as in-depth as they want. It’s here that Miyamoto announced the new Star Fox and we got to see more of Xenoblade Chronicles X.
The games they showed also remind us of some of what makes Nintendo so good for the industry. If you look at most of the games shown during the other conferences, they are all “death, murder, mayhem.” We need Nintendo’s charm, their ability to give us fantastic gameplay and challenge and action while still being cheerful and colorful. As games tend to go more and more towards the dreary side, we need that innocence only Nintendo can deliver.
Now more than ever I’m fighting the urge of buying a WiiU. It doesn’t make much sense for me to get one right now (in terms of personal economy)…but dammit Nintendo, you’re making this difficult now!
I leave you now with the full Digital Event: