Hey all, Cronus here once again bringing you a taste of what’s been happening at the biggest gaming event of the year. Now unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know what’s been revealed at E3, but for those of you who don’t… well, I’ll forgive you. This time.
But enough of that, on to Nintendo’s press conference. If anything interests you, click the appropriate picture for a trailer or the conference video of it.
We kick off the conference with a little speech by our favourite Reggie Fils-Amie, leading up to a general statement: “It’s all about the experience.” Queue a trailer of The Legend of Zelda – Skyward Sword. This is immediately followed up by a full gameplay exposition of the game hosted by none other than Shigeru Miyamoto himself. After a video intro by Miyamoto followed up by some scripted floundering of the new Wii-Motion Plus controls by his translator on-stage, Miyamoto decides to explain the controls himself and pops onto the stage from behind the screen.
Now first thing’s first, people who saw the conference will note that Miyamoto was having trouble with the controls himself. The point to take home here is that the Wii-Motion Plus controls were experiencing the same kind of interference that they were plagued with last year at E3’s unveiling of the product, and anyone who has used the product themselves can attest that it is actually fairly accurate to movement controls, so it’s something that can be forgiven.
The demo itself consisted of an exposition of several of Link’s items and their enhanced methods of usage thanks to Wii-Motion Plus: blowing bombs, firing a bow with two-hands, whipping a whip, flying around a beetle claw-thing… oh and some new battle mechanics for certain enemies: slashing along the direction of a Deku-baba’s open mouth (some can be open vertically now), dizzying eye-doors by swinging your sword around in a circle before stabbing it, and raising your shield with the nunchuck and bouncing deku nuts back at Deku-scrubs. Although there were no real story details given at all, the game and it’s many new mechanics look promising. For those who are curious for more, click here for the extended gameplay trailer. Look for the full title in 2011.
Next up on the list are a number of new sports titles coming up for the Wii: Madden NFL 11, PES:2011, MLB2K11, and a new NBA Live are used as mentions to Mario Sports Mix, yet another Mario sports game just with more than one sport. One’s shown in the trailer at the conference include Volleyball, Hockey, Dodgeball and Basketball. We end off with a quick “Coming 2011” screen, and move on to some boasting about the Wii’s latest successes in the market before previewing Wii Party. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a Mario Party-esque game with the Mii art-style which uses Mii’s online as the player base for the games.
Next comes a trailer for Just Dance 2 (boasting an up to 8-player count) coming out this fall, followed up immediately by more information and a full trailer for Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for the DS. The game itself looks to use more 3D than it’s GBA predecessors, but seems to play more or less the same. If you’re looking for new gameplay mechanics, don’t expect too much right now, but for those who want it for the story, it’s pretty much a done deal. As far as we know the story takes place several years after the first two games, as demonstrated by the new main character who’s been confirmed to be Issac, our original silent hero’s son. The trailer shows some story tidbits like how the Golden Sun ended up not fixing the world’s problems and now the kids have to defeat the new baddies, whoever they are. New summons were seen, and the graphics look nice considering the capabilities of the DS and the game’s art style. Look for it come Christmas-time.
Reggie comes back on stage. Talks a bit about GS’s release during the holiday. and says the following:
“And while Golden Sun brings back a lot of golden memories, for its legion of fans ‘golden’ has an entirely different meaning.” Footage of gamer study groups are shown, and then it’s revealed to us.
What was probably the greatest console shooter of all time is coming back. Activision is picking up Rare’s old gem and is giving it the next-gen, Wii-exclusive treatment. Now for those who want to know, the Bond shown in the game is not Pierce Brosnan, but Daniel Craig. Some of you will not like this, but it’s a confirmed deal so suck it up. The game itself looks great and the trailer showed many iconic points of the original title mostly focused around the Dam mission of the first level. 16 player online is confirmed on the Wii with several gameplay modes available and 8 classic Bond characters to play as (Oddjob, Jaws and Scaramanga are shown in the trailer, and Bond may or maynot be included as one of the 8). It looks like GoldenEye 007 will be one of those “let’s be excited and worried all at once” titles that we should be seeing during the holidays.
Next up on our conference list is Disney’s Epic Mickey. A long awaited title for some, Epic Mickey is shown using a very creative gameplay mechanic. By using ‘paint’ and ‘paint thinner’ Mickey is able to create and erase almost any element in the world at will: allies, enemies, obstacles, platforms, plants, walls and even the ground. If this wasn’t interactive enough, this mechanic can be used in a system akin to the morality meter in inFamous, characters will treat you differently and will tell you different things depending on how you play. The game has “quest areas” where Mickey talks with characters and learns about his objectives, “action zones” where missions can be completed and where most of the gameplay takes place, and “travel zones” that connect the different ‘worlds’ and play as side-scrolling, platforming segments. It looks creative and interesting, but seems to be a story heavy game based entirely within the world that is Disney. For those interested in it here’s the gameplay demo shown at the conference. Watch for it near Christmas.
Reggie then announces Kirby – Epic Yarn. Now being an established series, Kirby’s general gameplay need not be mentioned. It’s more of the same but with an added twist, the world is made of yarn. Now the most basic observation is that they made everyone’s cuddly, pink puffball even cuter. The second is that previously established game mechanics are adapted for a felt-world, like Kirby moving beneath the cloth that forms a wall when you’re behind it and defeated enemies falling apart into pieces of yarn instead of ‘poof’ing out of existence. The third is the inclusion of new game mechanics that can only exist in such a felt world, some of them shown in the trailer include the manipulation of the yarn that makes the world, to pull the fabric together and close gaps, manipulating zippers to peel away walls, wrapping around buttons attached to other things to get pulled around in levels. The felt-world idea is creative, feels intuitive, and looks absolutely adorable. Kirby fans should check it out this fall.
Reggie then talks about Dragon Quest IX for the DS. I’m not going to go into all that much because Dragon Quest is a niche and you DQ-players know it. It’s more of the same, and DQ9, which has been out in Japan for quite some time now, has been examined for all it’s worth. Mentioning its North American release day of July 11th, we move right along into Metroid: Other M.
I’ll admit it, I’m a Metroid fan. I played the three Prime games and got the Trilogy, I played the original, Fusion, Zero Mission, Prime Hunters, and even Prime Pinball. This is something I’ve been excited about for a while now, but many fans disliked the Prime series all together. Metroid – Other M is the culmination product of the classic Metroid series and the Prime series by Retro Studios. Team Ninja has promised a game that looks good, plays well, and is true to the classics. Some of you are worried, as am I. However, the trailer shown this year makes Metroid look better than ever. There’s not much to say, so I’ll let you watch the trailer, get it when it comes out on August 31st, and decide for yourselves. Now having given Metroid over to Team Ninja, Retro Studios was given a new project, and like me I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how well they’ve done with it. The game looks like the Super Nintendo originals with those polished Wii graphics, and plays just like the old games too. There really isn’t much to say, because the trailer really speaks for itself. Welcome back to the jungle.
Now, there was more to the Nintendo Conference, but I’ll be covering that in a separate post that’ll be up soon. Look forward to it.