E3 2012 : Nintendo Conference Comments Off
It was plenty clear that the big N’s focus this year would be primarily on their holiday 2012 system launch the Wii U
Coming off of last years E3, Nintendo decided there was way too much to only have a 1 hour conference for everything they had to show. To fix this issue they had a Pre-E3 video conference that showed off the social aspects that the Wii U can provide for the gamer. At this conference they introduced the new Wii U Pro Controller.
The big conference happened on Tuesday June 5th at 9am PST. This conference was used to highlight the software that is being planned for release with the Wii U as well as other important details regarding the system As such, a third conference was announced to happen later on June 6th at 6 pm PST
The Tuesday conference started off with an elated Shigeru Miyamoto. Which is great, because most game creators seem like stone statues on the E3 stage. Shigeru shows that passion helps to fuel great IPs. This years conference started with the announcement and showing of Pikmin 3, in time for the series’ 10 year anniversary. Shigeru showed the audience that there were pikmin everywhere.
He then showed off the new Pikmin 3 game’s mechanics, and how the Gamepad would be used in the game. He also announced it as a launch title.
The game looks like it will be some fun. I’ve never been huge into the Pikmin titles but I think I may give this one a go. Shigeru then game up the stage so that the Regginator could take over.
Reggie then began to give off information on the Wii U that wasn’t presented during the Pre-3 video. The Wii U’s “tablet controller” has officially been dubbed the “Gamepad” referencing back to the old NES days. Reggie then stated that just like the NES, the Wii U can support 2 gamepads per system. I will admit that after hearing that there was only 1 to be supported per system, that I was disappointed, and then let out an audible cheer when Reggie confirmed the 2nd controller support.
Reggie provided more information on the Wii U, stating that the console and peripherals will be available in black and in white(like Pokemon?)
The Wii U info was pretty scarce from then on. Choosing to spend less time on the system specs, and more on the upcoming titles. New Super Mario Bros U was announced. It was already expected, as Nintendo earlier had stated that there was a secondary side scrolling Mario aside from the previously announced New Super Mario Bros 2 for the 3DS.
The biggest change from previous New Super Mario Bros games is the bat
man suit power-up and the use of the gamepad. There can be 4 simultaneous players controlling the in game characters. But the gamepad player controls the environment through what has been dubbed as “boost mode”. The gamepad user can effect the game play by placing item blocks and plant life in specific areas of the game. This can be used to help your party or… to ensure they fail.
Once the Mario title was finished, Reggie was interrupted by the ever lovely Harley Quinn. Who announced Martin Tremblay of Warner Bros Games. Who then announced Sefton Hill who then announced Batman: Arkham City : Armored Edition. Who then announced… Well it was announced that, aside from being a port of the Original Arkham City title, that Batman was suited with an armored suit that would allow him to charge up his attacks for maximum damage when needed. The added controls for the Wii U version seem to be implemented to the point of not being a hindrance on game play.
Reggie let people know that the Wii U is great for imaginations. This prompted the reveal of Scribblenauts Unlimited, where not only can you place anything your mind can think of to write down, but anything that you can think of to put together on the gamepad screen.
Then the focus was shifted to a montage video… Well not exactly. 3RD party developers were showcased in a quick video that let the audience know what to expect in the future so… yeah. montage video. Standouts in the video included Mass Effect 3, Aliens:Colonial Marines and Tekken Tag Tournament 2, which had Mario Mushrooms that allowed the combatants to grow large or shrink. My first thought was “Tekken characters in Smash Bros?”
Once the package video was shown, Reggie gets back to talking about great gaming genres. Two he believes were greatly influenced by the Wii were Fitness and Music. He stated that the Wii Fitness and Wii Fitness Plus titles are examples of how lucrative the genres can be. He then let the crowd know his body was ready for Wii Fitness U
He states that the music genre has truly come into it’s own since it’s inception. I was pretty excited until the game revealed was Sing. This to me made me feel like the attention to core gamers had been dropped. While I know that some people will enjoy Sing, for me I really wasn’t interested. And I love music and rhythm games! Sing showed off a karaoke setting where the player uses the gamepad as the lyric sheet, so that the player can face the audience while playing.
Next the love was needed to be shown. In Scott Moffitt’s exact words, “Where’s the love?” He was talking about the need to address the handheld audience they had been developing for years and most recently with the 3DS (more of this Sony). Scott announced a handful of titles that should all be out this year for the 3DS. First New Super Mario Bros 2, Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Luigi’s Mansion. Each of them looks to be great ( as most Mario titles do) The next games announced are all 3rd party titles, but I admit each and every 3DS game shown during this conference has a definite purchase from me. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, Castlevania: Mirror of Fate, Epic Mickey and Scribblenauts Unlimited (which I’ll get for the Wii U)
The biggest surprise for me in this conference was how good LEGO City Undercover looked. When announced last year I didn’t care for it at all. I wouldn’t have given it the time of day. From watching the footage at this conference, it looks like LEGO decided to take Grand Theft Auto, and craft it into something less worthy of discretionary warnings, and adding in fun looking platforming elements.
Reggie stated there were more titles to be announced soon since there wasn’t enough time to properly showcase each. Ubisoft, the “winners of E3″ were then announced to come on stage. Xavier Pox of Ubisoft then came out and put Reggie to the test. Just Dance 4 was shown off as real life dancers came on stage ( I said real dancers, not Usher) and danced while Reggie played the “puppet master.” I really wish he was playing the Metallic epic, but the puppet master position in Just Dance seems a bit fun. The gamepad player essentially controls the dance moves that the dancers have to hit to pass the songs.
Xavier then showed what most will consider the best launch title for the Wii U. Zombi U. Zombi U takes a realistic approach to a zombie apocalypse. You play as a single character, and after one instance of damage, your character dies and becomes a zombie. This character then strolls around the world as you play as another randomly generated survivor. The game utilizes the gamepad in numerous ways.
It definitely seems like it’s going to be a good title, but then again, it could turn into the Wii U’s answer to Red Steel. Reggie didn’t even seem like he wanted to keep going with the conference.
Ubisoft was finally able to announce more titles like Assassins Creed III, Rabbids Land, Rayman Legends, and Avengers: Battle for Earth.
To end the conference, Reggie unveiled what could be one of the greatest things ever if implemented properly. Nintendoland. This software collect 12 different Nintendo IP’s, and turns them all into a collection of attractions in a virtual amusement park. These contain mini-games that can be played by local and network gamers. So far, Donkey Kong, Mario, Animal Crossing, Zelda and Luigi’s Mansion have been shown, but from the symbols over the attractions, Metriod can almost certainly be counted in!
It isn’t certain yet, but hopefully the NintendoLand software is packed in with the console and not a separate title.
Overall, the presentation by Nintendo left a lot to be desired. There was no exact launch date or price for the Wii U, but did fill in some important information that the gaming community has been worried about since the Wii U announcement. Look forward to the next few months when some more launch details will be announced (We want a price and date Nintendo!) .
Check back later for coverage on the 3DS presentation.