Monday, 22 June 2015

E3 2015 Roundup: Nintendo

Right then, so I'm going to try to be a bit more on time this year in terms of the E3 posts. In this post, I shall be rounding up Nintendo's E3 conference and will include information on all of the games, amiibo and any other bits of news I can gather from the conference. Of course, spoilers will ensue. Enjoy.

Right then, so Nintendo started out strong with a cool take on the Muppets in which Iwata, Reggie and Miyamoto were Muppet-fied. Hilarity ensued with Iwata taking the mick out of his 'Directly to you' quotes; Reggie taking the mick out of his 'My body is ready' quotes (his 'puppet body is ready' now) as well as continuing on his training theme from the E3 trailer and Miyamoto... coming out of a Mario pipe... Yeah. I kind of wish they had kept the introductions going and perhaps introduced Mario as a Godfather type leader of Nintendo or something...

Instead, Miyamoto turned into Fox Mcloud, Iwata turned into Peppy Hare and Reggie turned into Falco Lombardi (okay, now I'm thankful that they didn't bring in another person or we may have had to experience a Muppet-fied Slippy Toad, *shivers*). Then we barrel-rolled into a Star Fox Zero (for that is what Starfox U is now known as) trailer. And what a trailer it was...

Star Fox Zero: it looks beautiful, to start with. With sweeping vista's and huge planets this game really does look good... and did he just go into cockpit view with the gamepad?! Why yes, yes he did. Well done Nintendo, it only took you two years but you've finally done something that the Gamepad was made for. Surely there can't be any more surprises... and, did that Arwing just transform into a duck-like walker?! Seamlessly? Not only that but you can still control the Landmaster and a new drone-like vehicle called the Gyrocopter (which can be used to send out little walkers a-la Lego games. And can be used as a camera, thanks to the Gamepad). Well, I can officially say that that was a pretty great trailer and one that got me excited for this year's E3 (and a Starfox game!). And, with the release date (of Holidays 2015) showing across the screen, I didn't even see a mention of Slippy!
We then get a Developer's Story from Mr. Miyamoto himself in which we learn that, he likes shrines (ones with arches are the best); he used to watch Thunderbirds as a child (which is where the cinematic elements of Starfox come from); that Slippy is in the game (*sigh*); that the idea for anthropomorphic animals being the stars of Starfox came from comic that he used to draw, that Nintendo's logic hasn't failed since their infamous 'Real horses don't run into trees comment' as Miyamoto says that, 'If there's an arch, you want to go under it' before deciding, oh, I know, let's make that a main gameplay element! Thank you Nintendo. We also find out that you can use the Gamepad's gyro to control the vehicles as well as to see through your cockpit and shoot; that the transformations came from the extra buttons on the Gamepad (as well as from the, sadly dead, Starfox 2) formed by using only one button to shoot (the other buttons are also used to perform tricks such as U-Turns). Finally, we learn why it's called Starfox Zero - answer, the Kanji character looks cool and resembles a fox tale. Well, what else do you need? (Oh, and it's not a sequel or a remake so Zero makes sense, I suppose).

We then bare witness to where all the amiibo have gone: to make Nintendo's fancy headings of course! Reggie then talks about how Nintendo are all about transformation... hmm, maybe in  some areas but other, uh, not so much (although he makes a good point on how Nintendo are now in the theme park business as well as making mobile games and then he mentions the NX and... says that he'll be mentioning it in the 2016 E3). Next, he goes and gives Mario an ego boost (as it's his 30th anniversary) and mentions how he will be playing (and of course beating) our Super Mario Maker Levels (more on that later). And now it's amiibo time!

Skylander's Super Chargers: Skylander's Super Chargers will contain vehicles for the first time in the series history (and excessively better graphics). And some special guests: Turbo Charged Donkey Kong and his vehicle, the Barrel Blaster, and Hammer Slam Bowser and his vehicle, the Clown Cruiser. That's right, Nintendo's entering Skylanders. And it looks amazing. With their own upgrade trees and moves look back over the character's extensive history, they look really fun to play as. And, with the flick of a switch, they act as amiibo.

Then the Muppet-fied Nintendo executives start to dance. Because, why not.

Next up, is a Mario level in which Mario turns into Link, thereby introducing the next game: the Legend of Zelda Triforce Heroes. This game appears to be a continuation of the Four Swords (but with three players, apparently) multiplayer series with the Link Between Worlds graphical style but with a greater focus on co-operative (rather than vs) gameplay. You can activate 'Totem Time' in order to form a totem by standing on you friend's heads (in the game, not in real life) which lets you fight and solve puzzles from different heights. In addition, you can wear different outfits that change your abilities and range from a Samurai to a Big Bomb to Princess Zelda (we always knew...). And, if you don't have any friends, the game replaces your friend's Links with paper dolls (creepy). The story involves a kingdom full of 'fashion savvy' people (if you say so, Nintendo). Each player is claiming to be the hero that will save the kingdom from disaster (but aren't they all Link?) and so the game begins. Release date: holidays 2015.

Hyrule Warriors Legends: a re-imagining of the Wii U game (Hyrule Warriors) on the 3DS. This game contains all of the DLC characters, two more characters (Tetra and the King of the Red Lions) and some new stages from Wind Waker as well as the ability to switch characters, mid-battle (which would be very helpful). Release date: 1st quarter 2016.

Metroid Prime Federation Force: four player co-op missions set in the Metroid Prime universe in which you play as characters that would look more at home in Transformers or Halo. Also includes, Metroid Prime Blast Ball which is a 3 on 3 sci-fi football match. Don't get me wrong, the game looks quite good but there is definitely a way to fix it. Metroid Prime Federation Force. There we go. Fixed. Release date: 2016.

Mario then turns into Marth and we get a video on the new Fire Emblem game. Fire Emblem Fates (cool name): wow. That looks cool - both graphically and gameplay-wise as well as the story (providing the two story mechanic works like it should). Release date: 2016.

Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem: this definately looks more like a Shin Megami Tensei game than a Fire Emblem one. I mean it has Chrom in it (I think) but it definitely appears to be very one sided. Looks good. though. Release date: 2016.

And, now, Iwata is looking at some bananas... again, before introducing, not Donkey Kong, but Xenoblade Chronicles X (even though it's already out in Japan. Bring it over here!). Three words can describe this game: big, bold and brilliant. Release date: 4th December, 2015.

And now, Mario's Isabelle and, so, it's Animal Crossing's time to 'shine'.

Animal Crossing: Happy Homes Designer: this actually looks pretty good as it appears to use one of the best parts of Animal Crossing (the designing of your home) without the limiting factor of having to buy the furniture. And you can design the outside of the homes as well! And, if you use the new Animal Crossing amiibo cards, then the characters will... follow you around? Yeah, I'm not really sure what they do. Release date: 25th September 2015.

Animal Crossing amiibo Festival: that's right, there are now Animal Crossing amiibo of characters such as Isabelle, KK Slider and Tom Nook! And, it's not a new Animal Crossing Wii U game, oh no, it's a Mario Party rip-off where amiibo are required! I'm sorry, besides the amiibo and music, I can't even pretend to be excited for this one. Release date: holidays 2015.

And, now Mario's Yoshi - maybe we can finally see how he likes being dropped off a cliff so as to get an extra jump!

Yoshi's Wooly World: well, this game is just adorable. It also turns out that the Yarn Yoshi amiibo were originally made 'just for fun' by Emi Watanabe as she's 'not a programmer or an artist' (are you sure about that?). The developers liked her prototypes so much that they decided to make more, and, so the Yarn Yoshi amiibo were born. The game appears to be a completionist and a casual's dream depending on whether you can be bothered to try to 100% it or not. And for those of us with friends that want to play (or even less likely, a Yarn Yoshi amiibo) there is a co-op element where you can eat your friend to turn them into a ball of wool. Furthermore, if you use, say, a Mario amiibo, then Yoshi's design turns into Mario. There is also a dog that you can ride (will Yoshi throw him off a cliff?) which was kept as it looks cute (their words, not mine. I agree, though). He's also helpful as he's impervious to spikes and barks when an important item is nearby. Release date: 16th October 2015 (North America) - Europe get it on June 26th.

More dancing from the Nintendo executives.

Yo-ai Watch: the graphics make it look like you are in an anime and the gameplay makes that anime look like Pokémon. What's not to love? There's also a cool looking mechanic, in which you can swap your Yo-Kai seamlessly during battle, using the Yo-Kai Watch. Release date: holidays 2015 (again).

Mario is now Luigi. Hmm.

Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam: that's right, the worlds of Mario and Luigi and Paper Mario collide. Hilarity ensues. With game mechanics from both games fitting really well together, I think this could really work. As long as they fix some of Paper Mario Sticker Star's faults, that is (bring back experience points!). There does appear to be some ingenious uses of Paper Mechanics (technical term), though, such as the ability to glide and make vehicles such as the Papercraft Mario (but where's Paper Luigi?!) All in all, I'm interested to see how this one turns out. Release Date: spring 2016.

Mario Tennis Ultra Smash: superb Mario Kart-esque graphics with grass mark effects! *swoon*. Oh, and you can turn giant with a Mega Mushroom! (how much this will help you is debatable). Release date: holidays 2015.

Super Mario Maker: turns out that Super Mario Maker is based directly off of Nintendo's in-house level design system. We also get a look at how the original Mario games were designed - with graph paper! It turns out that one of the original concepts of Mario was to have him in land, air and sea (and now space, apparently). You can now ride in clouds and put Goombas underwater in Super Mario Maker (you know, if you're cruel). Mario can even turn into the various amiibo characters (known as costume Mario) using compatible amiibo and a mystery mushroom - hence the video's of him transforming throughout the conference. But what happens when you use a Mario amiibo? There are also two 8-bit Mario amiibo being released (one old and one modern) which can be used to make Mario huge. And they look really, really, cool. In addition, the game comes with a booklet that shows you ideas on how to make levels and includes lots of sample courses. We also learn that Miyamoto generally starts by making a course that he wants to play which usually turns out to be a 2-1 or 2-2 world. And then the devs try to make it a little easier (into a 1-1 level). He then goes onto explain the genius, hidden, tutorial of the original 1-1 course. Release date: 11th September, 2015.

Finally, Reggie goes on about the Let's Super Mario campaign in which we are all invited to send videos of us being Mario, directly, to Nintendo, for a chance to win some surprises in accordance with the 30th Anniversary Mario celebrations that are going on at the moment.

Well that's all on Nintendo's 2015 E3 press conference which, while wasn't as good as last years, wasn't too bad. Sony and Microsoft next!

Goodbye for now, Harry

No comments:

Post a Comment