Nintendo's E3 2010 Overview
After a disappointing day one of E3, it's up to the industries most stalwart developer to make a splash. They certainly always have the chance to get people talking. The sheer amount of legendary characters at their disposal is mind boggling. However, as we've seen in previous years, their newfound success has made them more and more reluctant to showcase them. They certainly went for a paradigm shift today and actually delivered a conference that was more in line with the leader in hardware and software sales.
I have to admit, I wasn't expecting this to be the first game out of the game for Nintendo, but it was certainly a welcome surprise. The first look at the game was just as exciting as you'd think, because let's face it, everyone loves Zelda. The art style appears to be a mix of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. In short, it was the realistic looking character design drenched in the colorful and eye-appealing look of TWW. Miyamoto touted the new form of control, featuring a MotionPlus sword and a Nunchuk controlled shield. Unfortunately, when he actually came out to demo it, it worked rather pitifully. He attempted to blame it on wireless interference, and since it's Miyamoto, I'll buy that excuse. Regardless of how it performed under pressure, the game looked great. As long as that control scheme works (and you KNOW that Nintendo isn't going to rush out one of their most beloved franchises if it doesn't), this is going to be another great addition for an already storied franchise. I'm giving this a grade of Z for mother fucking Zelda.
This title also looked like it had some promise as it returns to another tried and true formula. Mario Sports Mix is basically Wii Sports with a Mario cast. The games featured were Volleyball, Ice Hockey, Dodgeball, and Basketball. Assuming all of these translate the over the top fun of previous titles into their respective sports, this one is sure to be a 'slam dunk' when it's released in 2011. The only disappointing thing is that there was no mention of any online play, which would certainly be a huge letdown.
Of course it wouldn't be a Nintendo conference without plenty of dick-measuring. Reggie laid down the law with plenty of statistics about how popular the Wii was and all other sorts of nonsense. Finally, the oft-rumored Wii Party was unveiled in a very short trailer. First impressions made it seem like a Mario Party clone without the fun. However, the board game is just one aspect of it as this seems to be another collection of party games aimed at the casual fan. Nothing inherently wrong with this title's debut, it's just that it's not my cup of tea.
Honestly, I've never played either of these games. I'm fairly certain that they're both RPGs and that Dragon Quest is insanely popular in Japan. What they showed looked neat, so I'll give this a B.
An announcement that lost some thunder after it leaked out last night, this is one of those pleasant surprises that were fun to watch. Activision, current holders of the James Bond license, have created an entirely new Goldeneye game exclusively for the Wii. The brief trailer that was shown flashed by a lot of familiar gameplay and a lot of familiar locales. With the promise of online multiplayer, this is certainly a title to look forward to when it launches this Holiday.
Another announcement that was rumored to absolute death was that of a new Kirby game. Well, sure enough, it exists and it has taken the art style in a totally new direction. Kirby, enemies, and a lot of the world are now shown by yarn outlines. It looked quite bizarre, but was a refreshing change of pace for the franchise. The new gameplay mechanics shown off looked interesting and this is without a doubt a nice debut for the Puffball on the Wii.
Warren Spector's title has finally been shown the light of day and it lived up to the hype that was surrounding it. The game looked great for a Wii title and the "Paint/Thin" mechanic seemed to work well. The art style captures that Disney cartoon feel and the game already looked quite polished. Whether you're a fan of Disney or platforming, this should be a game that is on your radar when it's released later this year.
Retro Studios, the studio behind all three Metroid Prime games, wanted something different apparently, and they got it when Nintendo gave them the reigns to the Donkey Kong franchise. This game looked awesome as it appears to be a direct sequel to the SNES classic Donkey Kong Country games. It looked like it played tight and fast like the previous ones, and it's nice to see a bonafide 2D title shown at the show.
Apart from Zelda information, this was the game I was most looking forward to. Its presence wasn't that spectacular though. I was hoping since we're only two and a half months from there would be some live gameplay or something to that nature, but it was just another trailer. However, this trailer showed almost exclusively gameplay and it all looked very slick. It seems to integrate first person segments with third person action and appeared to be ripe with the exploration that has made the series so popular. I would've liked to see more, but with the game releasing on August 31st, this will be enough to satiate anyone's need.
Ah, so Nintendo's new handheld is finally revealed. All the leaked specs we heard about appeared to come true and then some. Featuring a bevy of new features, the one that they're most excited about is the top screens ability to render 3D images without the use of glasses or any other aids. The machine itself was shown off as were many of the capabilities it supported. The ability to take 3D pictures and video with the help of its two camera lenses was certainly impressive, as was its improved connectivity.
Of course, I'm still more interested about the games. President Iwata presented details about the teased "Project Sora" and how it was intended to be a large project for the 3DS. This was revealed to be the new Kid Icarus game that was teased for so often. If the trailer is truly indicative of the final product and the launch capabilities of Nintendo's new platform, then color me extremely impressed. The graphics looked to be on par with the Gamecube and the game appeared to run very smoothly. Of course, not much can be known from a trailer such as this, but it certainly gets you excited.
After the Kid Icarus unveiling, Nintendo talked about their desire to achieve tons of third-party support for the 3DS, and had a video detailing all of the developers and their future plans. Franchises such as Metal Gear Solid, Professor Layton, and Resident Evil were just among a few that were showcased. Unfortunately though, no release dates nor prices were revealed for anything, be it the console itself or the software.
I put a lot of stock into Nintendo's presser after yesterday, and I wasn't disappointed. I hate to see the Zelda demo perform so rocky, but these things are to be expected. Nintendo took the Microsoft approach this time around and made this event all about the games, and they certainly had the ammo to keep firing. Almost everything they showed piqued your interest and it makes you feel like Nintendo is going to simply coast through complete dominance this generation. A pleasant surprise for me was the 3DS. I'm admittedly not the world's biggest hand held fan, and even when I take the plunge, I don't believe I've ever done so at launch. However, if all the promises they made today ring true, it'll be hard for anyone to resist that nifty of a package.
Want some more E3? Check out some of our previous articles detailing some of the great past moments and some present day disappointments. Also, don't forget to check out all of our E3 hubabaloo in the forums! Check out the Microsoft and Sony Press Conferences as well.