You, Me, and E3 Day 1: U Got Me Interested…
Well, Ramon left the tripod in the GotGameMobile, but that gives me a little time to talk about the Nintendo Press Conference, titled “Nintendo All-Access @ E3 2012.” Right now, the access has been minimal. Flashes on screens and only a little bit of gameplay. However, Nintendo promises to have a lot of hands-on interaction on the floor, so there will be more to come.
Unashamedly I am a Nintendo fanboy, and I have been since the original NES. But I say this from an objective viewpoint: Anyone who attended the conference should be throwing their money and credit cards at their nearest Nintendo representative because from what we’ve seen, everything the Wii wasn’t, the Wii U will be.
Everyone at least likes the Wii. Even if you’re a hardcore gamer, you like some things out of the Wii gallery, like maybe Mario Party or Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There’s something that grabs your attention, but nothing big and mind-blowing.
Today though, Nintendo presented some of its first- and third-party Wii U titles, and in it, the hardcore gamer will be pleased. They introduced Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition via Gotham City’s Princess of Psychosis, Harley Quinn. The port will feature Wii U-specific features, such as the very cool Remote-Controlled Batarang, which players will fire via the Wii U Gamepad and then control via the motion sensory integrated within the Gamepad. The only confirmed characters right now are Catwoman and Harley Quinn, but it can be presumed many of the other continuity characters in other ports of Arkham City will be there as well.
Also introduced, albeit briefly, for the Wii U were Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and confirmation that there will be a port of Mass Effect 3. Introduced yesterday but expounded upon to day was Ubisoft’s horror game ZombiU. Although the name lacks, the gameplay was shown in relation to the Wii U Gamepad, which not only includes an active subscreen but also door code hacking, motion-controlled evasive maneuvers, and a sniper sight for sweet undead head shots.
Lego City, surprisingly enough, looks megafun. It’s a crimefighting game set in the world of Lego. Only a few brief scenes were shown, but already it showcased the humor that other Lego-branded games have shown in the past.
Shigeru Miyamoto kicked off his showcase by saying hello to his little friends, the Pikmin. I’m not a huge fan of the Pikmin series, but if you are, Pikmin 3 looks like it’s going to be pretty damn spectacular. The Gamepad touchscreen will have access to the level maps, making more strategic decisions possible.
Of course, what’s Nintendo without Mario? He’s got three new rendezvous coming up: New Super Mario Bros. U showed us a little bit of level play, including Mario’s new Flying Squirrel Suit and Yoshis that blow bubbles, and New Super Mario Bros. 2, where Mario was going after gold, gold, gold! Gold Koopa shells, gold fire flowers, and the like. NSMB2 will be on the 3DS, as will Paper Mario: Sticker Star.
Nintendo tried not to alienate the base by introducing Wii Fit U, Sing, and Just Dance 4. Ironically though, I think Wii Fit U and Just Dance 4 might tank on the Nintendo console, as Microsoft’s just-announced Nike Plus Kinect Fitness and the Kinect-controlled ports of Just Dance 4 and Dance Central 3 will blow the Wii U’s offerings out of the water.
The capstone was what Nintendo plans to use as its Wii U launch title, Nintendoland. In it, your Mii will visit twelve attractions, don a costume, and become players in that respective attraction’s universe. The attractions are based on Nintendo’s franchises, including five playable here at E3, featuring the universes of The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion, Donkey Kong Country, and Takamura (which I am unfamiliar with). Mainly it’s designed to be a learning tool for using the Wii U Gamepad, but it could be really fun too!
And all the stuff that they showed clips of that I didn’t mention: Scribblenauts Unlimited, Darksiders II, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Trine 2: Director’s Cut, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (finally!), all for the Wii U. For the 3DS: a new Castlevania, Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, and Kingdom Hearts 3D.
The actual event was kinda bland. Heavily scripted, stiff, clunky… I couldn’t wait to leave. Also, they kept teasing to more info at their website, which was annoying when I am actually here and want to see things. But one thing was for sure: I couldn’t wait to leave, but I wanted to imprint my credit card on the way out.
I think a lot of the ill will towards the Wii U at this point is due to the disappointment of their closing the conference with what appears to just be the console’s Wii Sports. Had they even shown a teaser of Super Smash Bros. or another one of their standard franchises, the reaction would have been much different.
I’m very excited for the console and can’t wait to get another whack at Pikmin. The conference only showed a few games that I’ll end up buying, but those were all launch window titles and that’s standard protocol for new hardware. Down the road, I have no doubt that it will be home to many must-have titles.
NintendoLand looks like the “Wii Sports” of the Wii U. I tried to get someone to slip and confirm it was the bundle title, but no one would. Honestly, as a standalone I wouldn’t buy it. But if it’s part of the bundle, everyone is going to be sorry they talked bad on it, because there were truly a lot of fun games in it. “Donkey Kong’s Crash Course” was particularly addicting!
As much I would love to hate on it…I don’t think I can. The Wii U definitely did surprise me on how fun and addicting the games can be and I certainly enjoyed the demonstration of ZombieU.
Definitely enjoyed the Nintendo booth tour as well. Didn’t get to play Nintendoland myself but looked fun. Personally really dug ZombieU, New Super Mario Bros. U, Ninja Gaiden 3 and Pikmin 3.
I loved the Nintendo booth tour for another reason….*wink*