Nintendo is well known for having E3 conferences that can both awesome.. and also quite silly at times. As we all know, Nintendo has a focus on a more casual market, and many of their first party titles tend to be less hardcore, and more for a younger audience. Not that this really matters, I don’t think anyone is too old to enjoy some Super Mario or Pikmin.
Speaking of which…
After an adorable intro by Mr. Miyamoto, the first trailer showcased by Nintendo was Pikmin 3, which looked impressive to say the least. The ability to switch between leaders, and a more tactical approach is a good addition to the series, and a well thought out progression. Miyamoto then calls out Reggie to introduce the rest of the show, starting with the Wii U. While I would have liked a bit more information, the Wii U presentation was decent enough, with a quick overview of some of the main features, and a deeper look at the main WiiU pad. The most prominent announcement is that the Wii U will support TWO controllers, which is awesome.
The next major addition was the Miiverse, which is essentially an enhanced social platform for the Wii U. This was a good move by Nintendo, since the original Wii was extremely lacking from a social perspective, and the Miiverse actually looked kind of cool. After Miiverse was a quick look at the new Super Mario Bros. for the Wii U, which looked good, albeit not groundbreaking in any way.
After the Super Mario presentation was a look at third party titles on the Wii U, which included Batman: Arkham City, Mass Effect, and Ninja Gaiden 3. All of the third party titles looked crisp, and some of the updated controls (most notably Batman), looked awesome with the use of the Wii U controller.
Of course, Wii Fit was a huge seller for the Wii, so it makes sense they would talk about how it would work on the new system. To be honest, my knowledge is a bit lacking when it comes to fitness games, but Wii Fit U actually looked decent, especially for a more casual non-gamer audience. The next title, Sing, was, well, a singing game for the Wii U, which I found to be irritating, but I could see the appeal for young girls or whatever. The trailer made it hard to really tell how the game worked as well.
Now, on to the Nintendo 3DS! The first major trailer was for Super Mario Bros. 2, which looked pretty good, although maybe my opinion is bias since I thought Mario on the original gameboy looked great as well. The next trailer, Paper Mario: Sticker Star looked like a nice sequel in the Paper Mario series, which has gotten increasingly popular these last few years. While I appreciate all the Mario titles, it would have been really nice to see Donkey Kong or Zelda, but it seems they will be making us wait a bit longer for more info on those titles. Luigi’s Mansion was the next title announces for 3DS, which was decent, but a bit underwhelming compared to the other titles in the lineup, although the multiplayer looked pretty fun.
Lego City Undercover actually kind of blew me away by how cool it looked. It was ridiculously silly, but for some reason I really wanted to play it, especially since the game boasts a much more open world feel to the Lego universe. Let’s be honest though, the Lego games are just plain awesome. The next major trailer in the lineup was for ZombiU, which is the title I am personally most excited about. The use of the controller in the game seemed natural, not forced, and the gameplay looks pretty addictive, although it’s pretty early to tell.
The last big trailer presented was for Nintendoland, which is essentially a giant interactive theme park for your Mii’s. The game allows you to play minigames based on larger series such as Zelda and Animal Crossing, and interact with other Miis in the process. Not quite sure about this one, although if pulled off correctly, it would be a huge win for Nintendo.
Overall, not a bad conference, although in my opinion (and the opinion of most people), it was definitely a bit short, and lacking a few titles. It would have been nice to see a first party title that really showed off what the Wii U could do, but it seems like we will have to wait for that one as well. Still, not bad overall, but seemed a bit watered down compared to last year.