There are some really great things that came out of E3 this year. You could sit and watch 12 hours of video to catch everything that was revealed, but let me save you some time and possible aggravation.
I have suffered through a sometimes inept and mostly awkward presentation about something I actually care about. It was a rage inspiring experience that no one near a valuable electronic device should have to go through. Since I already have suffered, allow me to spare you.
I think the outstanding brand at E3 this year was Nintendo. I am not just saying this because I have a huge hard-on for Nintendo. I would be shamelessly biased, if they asked me to. Or if I thought they were looking… but alas, I am but one of many, many fans savoring delightful anticipation for the Nintendo software and hardware hitting stores Christmas 2012.
Nintendo has been keeping fans and media busy with tidbits of information for their upcoming releases. This only served to heighten the excitement for the huge information drop at E3. Nintendo really knows how to tease.
They made a pretty big fuss about Pikmin 3. I think it will be a fun, amped up Pikmin for all you Pikmin lovers out there. It’s also an easy enough pick-up-and-play family friendly title. They introduced a new kind of Pikmin to excite loyal fans, and fiddled around with cameras to improve game-play for frustrated ones. I wasn’t shocked by anything revolutionary but if you’re a Pikmin fan I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
There will, of course, be a New Super Mario Bros Wii U. Mario fans know what to expect based on the latest New Super Mario Bros Wii and DS, but I don’t think that makes us any less excited. Personally I’m beside myself. I am thrilled to see Yoshi – BABY Yoshi – in this version as well as a lot of little touches reminiscent of Super Mario Bros, and yes, Nintendo is playing on our nostalgia, they know their audience. They can have all of my money.
I believe they showed clips of over 20 Wii U games during their conference, and had dozens of others spread out over the floor at the event. The best thing about this is we can now see the diversity of the Wii U controller, the GamePad. I love how you can play Wii U without the TV by using the screen on the GamePad… but I don’t think I would be able to resist dual screen gaming. I have always loved games like Legend of Zelda: Four Swords which have a GBA/GameCube dual screen system, and of course the DS has already won the loyalty of millions of fans. Having what used to be start-button inventories at your fingertips (literally, with the GamePad touch screen) is absolutely ideal, and now you can enjoy your HD gaming without various bars and buttons cluttering up your television screen. Games can now look more like a movie. This is an important step in the right direction, made possible by the High-Def graphic capabilities of the new Wii U.
Gadget oriented games such as Batman: Arkham City and Watch Dogs (more on that later) will be hugely enhanced by the handheld device idea. The last generation of Wii was about bringing you bodily into the game, which was often more gimmicky than accurate; however with the GamePad they have opened up a fantastic reality. Oh no, the world does not pause while Batman looks at his Bat…device. We can see how this adds new possibilities for fun and challenge in less gimmicky titles.
One thing that popped up on my radar during the Nintendo conference was ZombiU. If you need any reason to let go of your concerns about the GamePad, all you need to do is travel through time and space to play this game at E3.
But seriously. (link rated M for violence and gore)
If you can’t watch that video, you’re missing out. Bookmark it for later, I can’t explain it well enough. It shows the best ways a game can utilize the GamePad that I’ve seen so far. My mind was a little blown. A zombie popping up while I scan the room though, thanks but no thanks! Being able to look behind you while you access the keypad… even HAVING to look behind you: Amazing. Sniping was really well done too, I would love to see a better gun attachment for the GamePad and a more advanced system using this idea for a first person shooter. I think these ideas were a better preview into what we are going to see over the next couple years…
In fact, the breaking news from Nintendo is that they have confirmed that two GamePads will be able to be used with a Wii U in a two player system. Until now, the various multiplayer games have used Wiimotes or other controllers. Also they finally demonstrated at E3 the 360 abilities of the GamePad. This means being able to physically turn around to look behind you. The possibilities, I’m sure, are endless. I know ZombieNinjaBot has already come up with a lot of first person shooter ideas using this function. *
The last couple things worth quickly drawing your attention to… Wii U Lego City. It looks like a fun open city kind of game that uses the GamePad in a kid-friendly way. I am really excited to see a big open world for kids to explore. Also Nintendo Land was a huge discussion point at E3, for all that it’s just the next Wii Sports, but of course I am gaga over anything with the traditional Nintendo titles. It includes 13 mini games, very similar to Mario Party games, based on various Nintendo icons such as Mario, Luigi’s mansion, Donkey Kong and my favourite hero of all time, Link. Could this be included with the system at release? How awesome would that be?
*ZombieNinjaBot: “Yer goddam right I have!”