Nintendo’s E3 2012 press conference came as no surprise: it was all about the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing in some cases, but for those expecting one big bucket of surprises, they would be sadly mistaken.
Now off the top was a cutesy cinematic introduction by Shigeru Miyamoto, aka. the Pikmin Master, as he helped to introduce the latest Pikmin title, Pikmin 3. A stunning improvement from its predecessors, Pikmin 3 utilizes to its full capacity the screen-controller of the Wii U and show a world map as well as optional top-down view of the game, while the Wii nunchuks and remote can be used for controlling as well.
The game introduces four new characters in a 4-player co-operative game. Sadly, Captain Olimar is not present in the video footage, but it is hinted by Miyamoto that the four new characters may be descendants/children of Olimar, which wouldn’t be surprising seeing as how we haven’t seen a new Pikmin title since 2004. A new type of Pikmin class was introduced known as the “rock type”, which can help to break down walls and is used for combat purposes.
Once Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime took to the stage, he began to break down the Wii U and explain how exactly it was going to work, including mention of the console being able to utilize two gamepads, and mentioning how the Wii U will revolutionize players’ living rooms.
Reggie introduced New Super Mario Bros. U, a new title in the Mario universe and the sequel to the console version of New Super Mario Bros., and will contain a wide range of online capabilities tied to the game, including leaving messages, and scores.
Warner Bros. took to the stage to announce Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition and Scribblenauts Unlimited, the first being a new version built specifically to showcase the Wii U game pad’s unique abilities, and the latter is a new installment to the already popular Scribblenauts franchise, allowing for sharing creations with friends over multiple game pads.
A montage came next, showing off games to be expected on the Wii U, including Mass Effect 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. Wii Fit U was briefly showcased while a new working title singing game, simply dubbed “Sing”, graced the stage with endless possibility.
Switching over to the Nintendo 3DS, new titles expected for the 3DS come from the popular Mario bros., including New Super Mario Bros. 2, a new game in itself dedicated highly to the collection of gold coins in high capacity, Paper Mario Sticker Star, bringing you back into the flat, yet still 3D environment of Paper Mario as he collects stickers to use in gaining classic weapons such as the hammer and boot ability. And finally, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, which is the successor to the 2001 Gamecube classic, Luigi’s Mansion. A handheld trio that’s sure to promise unique, yet familiar gameplay on the 3DS handheld.
Finally to round out the show was three new titles, and one that had already been seen previously at Ubisoft’s conference. The first was LEGO City Undercover, an open-world LEGO title where you work as a cop to solve crimes and bring criminals to justice. It brings LEGO City to life in a way never seen before.
Zombi U finally gets a quick gameplay demo, and believe me, I was quite intrigued. The game is considered a remake of Ubisoft’s first commerical game, Zombi, back in 1986, but with the Wii U’s game pad, hopes to deliver an edge-of-your-seat experience like never before. Including hacking doors with the game pad, aiming down the barrel of a sniper, scanning areas, and shaking off zombie attacks. Yesterday’s trailer from Ubisoft made me compare Zombi U to an experience like that of Dead Island, and it showed in its emotional, still-motion trailer.
Finally, NintendoLand graced the floor. Seen as a spiritual successor to Wii Sports (but not really, because they’re nothing alike), Reggie convinced audiences that NintendoLand will help players to understand the Wii U and how it performs, much like how players immediately understood how the Nintendo Wii worked upon debut through games like Wii Sports Tennis and Bowling, which still hold up to much of an extent today. NintendoLand hopes to provide fun, exciting mini-games from the likes of Mario, Metroid, Animal Crossing, Wii Sports, Legend of Zelda and Luigi’s Mansion, the latter which was demoed on stage. NintendoLand is a bright, colorful and unique experience that will ship opening day alongside the Wii U.
So even though there were no huge surprises like Ubisoft and Sony provided with their press conferences, Nintendo did what they do best, providing new titles to the core fans, and promoting that there will be something out there for everyone. My hopes lie on the Wii U, and I hope that when it drops this holiday, that it will hold up and be as responsive as it appears to seem.