Yesterday the E3 festivities started off. Today they got interesting.Minor news about the Kinect and the new 360 was revealed and a bunch of (frankly) boring information from Ubisoft left me wondering where Beyond Good and Evil was focused on yesterday. Perhaps the biggest piece of information for me was the announcement of a real Rayman game. Today Nintendo pulled out all of the stops. A quick rundown of what was announced includes details on the 3DS, an official announcement of a new Zelda game, GoldenEye on the Wii, Golden Sun, Donkey Kong, Kid Icarus, Kirby, Nintendogs, and Pilotwings.
Focusing on these details we’ve got the 3DS first and foremost. Seen above, the 3DS isn’t entirely different from what we’re used to. Same buttons, a D-pad, two screens, clam shell design. Now obvious the big addition is the 3D. From what I’ve read it’s very touchy at this point, screwing up the effect if you’re too close or two far from the screen, which can be modified by a depth slider.
Select and start are built into the bottom screen and there’s a new analog stick there for whatever reason. What is interesting is the widescreen up top, a new gyroscope inside, two cameras on the back for 3D pictures and all of the functionality of the DSi. With this 3D screen you’ll also be able to play a collection of other 3D Hollywood movies, probably making the 3DS a lot of people’s first 3D device. There’s a lot here, and it looks promising, but we have no price or release date.
Perhaps the biggest announcement today was the new Zelda game entitled The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. This is the first Zelda game designed exclusively for the Wii and they have, a bit annoyingly, chosen to utilize Wii MotionPlus for it. Sword position and swinging are all down to your position of the wii remote and it’s movement. The graphics are standard affair from Twilight Princess.
To be completely honest, it looks horribly disappointing. The increased focus on the Wii MotionPlus means that this game is subject to the same annoying follies that most of the Wii launch titles had. Miyamoto’s demo was torturous to watch, and the controls seemed like they had problems. I can only hope this comes down to the game still needing work and Miyamoto not being the gamer we expect him to be. In either case, expect the game to come out on the Wii later next year.
Golden Sun for the DS was announced last year with no other information brought up since then. Today the title for the landmark GBA RPG series was revealed with some gameplay attached. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is expected to be released later this year during the holiday season, and it will feature DS controls and much of what we’ve come to expect from the series.
Perhaps most excitingly was new information on Epic Mickey, the Warren Spector designed Mickey game inspired by lost and forgotten Disney properties. Not a great deal was showed off, but we got a greater grasp of what the game looks like and what Warren Spector offers the game. The game seems to have a focus on a moral system of sorts, where you can either create to progress through the game, or remove. The graphics look stunning, and the darker feel for the game really makes me excited to see where this game goes. We’ll see just how great it is when it comes out September 16th.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn was another huge announcement featuring a classic character. Rather than the game focusing on inhaling and changing from what Kirby swallows it focuses on a new mechanic focused around, as you might have guessed, yarn. Everything has a knitted feel to it, with nearly every element being yarn related. The game looks beyond adorable and appears to have co-op. It’ll be released later this year on the Wii.
Donkey Kong Country Returns is another reinvention of the classic franchise by the same company that created Metroid Prime, Retro Studios. This game is nostalgia in it’s finest, featuring the same classic side scrolling mechanics we all know and love from the series’ first collection of adventures. It’ll be released for the Wii this holiday.
What I have hoped for to be announced for years to come finally has, and will be a release title for the 3DS. Kid Icarus Uprising brings back a lesser known NES franchise that found a second life as a playable character in Super Smash Brothers Brawl and the announcement literally brought a tear to my eyes. The visuals we were shown are stunning, giving us an idea just how powerful the 3DS is. The gameplay seems very different from it’s NES roots, with some emphasis on shooting, but the announcement of this was so surprising and such a relief that I’m willing to give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt.
A few other announcements was the release date of Metroid: Other M for the Wii August 31st, Nintendogs game for the 3DS that includes cats, and a new Goldeneye 007 for the Wii that David has already touched on in the Youtube Channel.
It’s pretty safe to say that Nintendo has blown it’s competitor’s out of the water with the announcements with it’s nostalgia focused line up of great looking games. All three of the companies have a lot to offer, but Nintendo is definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with.
UPDATE: Got more information leaking out about the 3DS and it’s games. There’s word of a few remakes coming out on the 3DS, and not just Nintendo ones. StarFox 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Dead or Alive 3D, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Super Street Fighter IV 3D, Resident Evil 3D just to name a few. These don’t seem to be gimped out version of the real things. The visuals we’re seeing are really impressive, like at least Wii quality if not better.