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Nintendo’s First Party Offerings at E3

/ Jun 12th, 2013 No Comments

Nintendo's E3 Lineup

Nintendo announced they have a wealth of new games coming up during a new Nintendo Direct conference, including Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World. The majority of the titles announced during the presentation were first party Wii U games along with Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101 from PlatinumGames and an unnamed Monolith Soft project.

Wii U

Of course the big game everyone has been waiting for is the new Super Smash Bros. In addition to the expected Wii U version, there will be a 3DS version as well. Of the returning characters, only the obvious ones such as Link, Mario, Kirby, Pikachu, etc… have been confirmed. Three new challengers have been announced: Mega Man, The Villager from Animal Crossing, and the Wii Fit trainer. Mega Man’s inclusion is the biggest bit of news and should make long-time fans happy, The Villager was not totally unexpected, but the Wii Fit trainer was quite a big shock. At the very least, she should offer some interesting new fighting mechanics. Release: 2014

Attempting to merge the successful formulas of Super Mario 64 and New Super Mario Bros. U, Super Mario 3D World is a four-player Mario game set in a 3D world with both cooperative and competitive gameplay. Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad are all playable and each have their own gameplay style. Release: December 2013

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is an HD Donkey Kong game developed by Retro Studios that follows the classic side-scrolling Donkey Kong formula and adds in a bit of the layered backgrounds that players can shift between that were widely represented in Sony’s Little Big Planet games. Release: November 2013

For The Legend of Zelda: The WindWaker HD, two new bits of information were revealed. The Tingle Tuner from the original will be replaced by the Tingle Bottle, which works with the system’s GamePad to let players post comments to Miiverse, which will wash up on the shores of beaches in the game. Also, an option to sail faster than in the original game will be available. Release: October 2013

Mario Kart 8‘s big new feature is anti-gravity that allows karts to race on walls and ceilings. Gliders and motorbikes from earlier games will return. Online multiplayer is supported along with “deep integration” with Miiverse. Release: Spring 2014

Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8

The Wonderful 101 is an original third party game and a throwback to classic Silver Age comic books with the characteristic PlatinumGames stylish extravagance. Wonder-Red and a group of superheroes work together to transform into giants weapons to defeat an alien invasion. Release: September 15th 2013

Also by PlatinumGames, Bayonetta 2 promises even more powerful cinematic abilities and action while also supporting multiplayer. Bayonetta herself has also gotten a new look. Release: 2014

The developer behind the acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles, Monolith Soft, has a brand-new unnamed game in development with an open world that involves riding human-shaped robots and using them to fight in the skies. Release: 2014

In the more casual gaming department, Nintendo has Wii Party U, which lets players play classic tabletop board games, mini-games, and game show games; as well as Wii Fit U, which has had its release date pushed back. Release for Party U: October 2013, Release for Wii Fit U: December 2013

Pikmin 3 will appropriately have three playable explorers along with the obligatory legions of Pikmin attempting to recover supplies to save the explorers’ home planet while having to solve Pikmin-style puzzles along the way. Release: August 4th 2013

Luigi is finally getting his own platforming game in the form of New Super Luigi U. Players play as Luigi with his signature moves on 80-something new courses. This game is launching as a stand-alone title later, but is available earlier as downloadable content for people that already own New Super Mario Bros U. DLC Version Release: June 20th 2013, Stand-alone Version: August 25th 2013

Mario and Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is set in the upcoming Russian Winter Games and will offer all the highlights of the Winter Game events such as bobsleigh, skiing, figure skating pairs and snowboard slopestyle. There will also be new Dream Events content that lets Mario and Sonic do more impossible and unrealistic moves within their own universes. Release: TBA

Nintendo 3DS at E3 2013

On the 3DS, the main star remains Pokemon X/Y. Nintendo finally announced a new type for the games, Fairy, which will be super-effective against Dragon-types. The previously revealed Eeveelution Sylveon is a pure Fairy-type and existing Pokemon Marill, Jigglypuff, and Gardevoir will acquire it as a secondary type. There are unconfirmed rumors that Fairy will be weak to Poison-type, which would be a step towards making it viable again in the Steel-dominated metagame. There is also a new feature called Pokemon-Amie that lets players play mini-games to increase their Pokemon’s attachment to them and effectiveness in battle. Release: October 12th 2013

The big surprise for the 3DS is The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, not so much because players are getting a new Zelda game, but because it is a sequel to the much-beloved A Link to the Past taking place in the same world and continuity. The main feature is Link’s ability to turn himself into a drawing to move along walls. Release: Holiday 2013

The Yoshi’s Island series is finally receiving a new installment in the form of Yoshi’s New Island. All the classic Yoshi abilities are back along with new ones such as Mega Eggs to plow through obstacles. In keeping with the Yoshi’s Island tradition of non-standard art, the different worlds of the game will feature unique art styles such as oil, watercolor, and pastels. Release: Holiday 2013

Lastly, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is a new action RPG that looks to continue the Paper Mario and Mario RPG traditions. The action will take place both in the real world and in Luigi’s dreams. Release: August 11th 2013

Nintendo has really pulled out all of their first party and exclusive material for E3. The roster is quite extensive even without getting into the multiplatform third-party offerings. If these titles can deliver on the quality and Nintendo can keep up this level of development for the Wii U’s life-cycle, they may be an unexpectedly strong contender in this console generation, especially with the ongoing backlash against the Xbox One.

 

Ethan Smith

Ethan Smith

A perpetual over-thinker, Ethan Smith spends all of his free time playing video games like an English professor reads books, writing a secret novel, and trying to actually finish a game of Medieval II: Total War.
Ethan Smith

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