All aboard the Nintendo Hype Train! Non-stop service from here to Awesometown!
In all seriousness, Nintendo had a lot to prove going into E3 2014. 3DS has been doing very well, but the Wii U continues to struggle with a sparse library and dwindling 3rd party support. To combat this, Nintendo has deployed their most diverse E3 line up in a long time.
When the Wii U was first announced, one of the features that was revealed was the inclusion of NFC (Near Field Communication). The only real support the feature has had so far is the Pokémon Rumble U game, which at it’s best is a forgettable novelty in the Pokémon series. “amiibo” is the first real steps Nintendo has made in entering the ‘Toys to Life’ category. Releasing this holiday season alongside Super Smash Bros, these toys will be used in conjunction with a variety of Nintendo first party games and will save the data on the toys themselves, think Nintendo Skylanders. Nintendo has announced that these figures will be supported in Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10, Yoshi’s Woolly World and eventually The 3DS. How they will interact with each game remains unclear so stay tuned for more details.
The Legend of Zelda makes two appearances this year in the form of a Unnamed 2015 title and Hyrule Warriors. Zelda 2015 will be the next major entry into the series, Not much is known at this point, but the footage shown reveals a Hyrule that is bigger than we have ever seen. We also see the goat farmers and goats react predictably when a Gohma like creature attacks with lazers and tears through the environment. One other thing to note is that this Link is revealed not wearing the signature green and is much slimmer than previous entries.
Hyrule Warriors was first revealed late last year and is slated for a September 2014 release in North America and Europe and August in Japan. The game is a mashup of Dynasty Warrior and the Legend of Zelda using the characters from Nintendo in large scale battles like you might see in the Koei series. The latest trailer shows Princess Zelda and Midna from Twilight Princess as playable fighters, as well as some boss encounters.
Splatoon is easily the biggest and most refreshing surprise at E3 so far. Think deBlob meets Super Mario Sunshine, but as a multiplayer third person shooter. Your goal in this 4v4 game is to paint as much of the environment in your team color as possible. Your team’s paint offers a number of perks like increase travel speed hiding places and climbing up walls but enemy pain slows you down and breaks your momentum. Most surprising of all is that this is a completely new IP with a design that seems to be heavily inspired by western conventions for multiplayer.
Nintendo showed off a few other noteworthy new titles like Yoshi’s Woolly Adventure, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10, Mario Maker, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Xenoblade Chronicles X and some great 3DS titles. Overall, Nintendo came to impress and really brought their “A” game to this year’s E3 show.
It just might be time to have your body ready and cash in that ticket for the Nintendo Hype Train.