This was probably one of the most important E3s in recent history for Nintendo. It's a pivotal moment that could decide the fate of the Wii U, and by extension, the company. As I mentioned earlier, I've been on the fence about purchasing a Wii U and E3 was Nintendo's chance to woo me and other gamers. So let's see how they fared.
Here's the video in case you missed it or want a recap:
Smash Bros.: Nintendo's decision to lead with Smash signalled their intent. I wouldn't mind if they spent the entire event talking about Smash because it's my favorite franchise. Though, on the flip side, I wouldn't mind if they omitted it from the presentation and used the opportunity to showcase newer titles because we know quite a bit about Smash already and it'll be coming out later this year. They could probably dedicate another Nintendo Direct to show it more in depth.
The addition of Miis is quite exciting. Anything that adds more diversity to the cast is welcome. I'd rather see them occupy a character slot than to have clones. I also love the ability to customize them and choose their special attacks. The Palutena reveal was pretty amazing too. I'm not even much of a Kid Icarus fan but she seems like a really fun character with a varied arsenal of moves. That animated opening itself was drool-worthy. I'd watch the hell out out of a plot-less Smash anime if it featured more of that animation.
The montage of features shown off for the 3DS version was reassuring. I thought they might have to sacrifice a lot of the extra modes just to fit the game on to the handheld, but it seems like it's going to be quite a robust experience. Although, I was a bit disappointed by the October release date. I thought it was supposed to be coming out in summer.
Hype level: at maximum hype
Amiibo: We've known that Nintendo would be doing their own Skylanders-esque NFC figurines and seeing their implementation was mildly interesting. If they had these when I was a kid, my compulsive nature would've gone crazy over them, but I'm too old for them now (though not old enough for Gundam kits). I don't think Smash was the most convincing demo for the technology: it came across as bit gimmicky. I like the idea of being able to store your personalized information in them when taking them over to a friend's place. I can absolutely see the utility of them for games like CoD, where you have your own stats and personalized stuff. I'll admit, though, the quality of the figurines looked great. If I had to pick one, I'd definitely go for Samus.
Hype level: meh
Yoshi's Wooly World: Wow! All that yarn! It's like a cat's wet dream. I love the heart-warming visuals and they had some interesting ways of utilizing the concept. If I was looking for a casual platformer, I might pick it up.
Hype level: not sure
Captain Toad: Finally a game that features Toad in a more prominent role. I'm so happy for him. The levels made the game seem like a lovechild of Fez and Super Mario Galaxy, which is never a bad thing. I'd be more inclined to pick this up than Yoshi's Wooly World, but I'd reserve further judgment till the game's released.
Hype level: mildly hyped
HD Zelda: Nintendo brought out the big guns. Given how the Wii U has fared, it seemed inevitable that they would give everybody a glimpse into the next Zelda title whose existence was confirmed last year. They certainly didn't disappoint. Though we only got a short peek into it, the visuals looked brilliant and the concept of a truly open-world Zelda is certainly exciting. If Aounuma finally has the technology to realize his vision of Zelda, then this could definitely be the shot in the arm that the Wii U needs.
Hype level: Hypesville population +1
Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire: Last year, I had the $30 eShop credit for buying Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei IV and used it to purchase Pokemon X. I ran out of stuff to play and my nostalgia filled memories reminded me of the hours I'd sunk into Pokemon. I lost interest half way through the game and the moment of realization finally dawned on me: I've outgrown Pokemon. It's funny because when I was a 9 year old playing Red, I wished that there was a way for PvP battles that didn't require cables. It's finally possible to battle somebody half the world away at 3 in the morning but I just don't care for putting all that time and effort anymore.
Ruby and Sapphire were the gen where I started to slowly lose interest in the franchise. The addition of mega evolutions alters the experience fundamentally, but this update doesn't rekindle any interest in me. People who have fonder memories of this gen will have a completely different take on it.
Hype level: will resist
Bayonetta 2: Some new footage was briefly shown off and if I were to buy a Wii U, I'd definitely end up picking this up, partly as an act of solidarity towards the devs. I never played the first one, so the announcement that Bayonetta 2 would include the original was a pleasant surprise.
Hype level: definite purchase
Hyrule Warriors: I've been mildly intrigued by the Dynasty Warriors mainly because of its co-op experience, but I've never purchased any of the titles since I've heard they can be dreadfully monotonous. Using Zelda might indeed turn out to be a great way of introducing new players to the franchise. Hopefully, the variety of characters, each with their own playing style, will keep things fresh.
Hype level: will wait on reviews
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: Kirby Super Star on the SNES was one of my favorite games as a kid thanks to the co-op, but Kirby's been a franchise that I've lost interest in over the years. There were some interesting new mechanics that were showed off along with the use of the gamepad. However, I don't really think I'm the target market for the game.
Hype level: let's see where it goes
Xenoblade Chronicles X: The trailer was pretty frenetic and didn't really do a great job of explaining what was going on, but if it's a JRPG, then I'm on-board. It looked pretty and anything with mechs and space combat has my attention.
Hype level: already on-board the hype train
Mario Maker: If you've ever wanted to design your own Mario level, then this title's for you. I've never really wanted to do that.
Hype level: I'll pass
Splatoon: The answer to the question, "What would an arena-based shooter look like if Nintendo made one?" I rolled my eyes when I first saw it because it seemed like Nintendo pandering to kids with the aesthetic sensibilities. However, by the end of trailer, I was intrigued and more than a bit excited. I ended up laughing at the thought that EA's attempt to diversify this year's offering of Battlefield was to do the same shit they do every title but repackage it as cops and robbers; Activision didn't even bother. Nintendo once again affirms that while everybody else zigs, they zag. Splatoon really has some innovative concepts if you can ignore the cartoon-y visuals. There's some great strategic possibilities and variety offered by the ability to stealth and move around the paint as a squid. My only concern would be getting CoD players to take it seriously and give it a try.
Hype level: you have my attention, Nintendo
Star Fox: Star Fox really wasn't showed off properly, but it was there. It's tough to offer any thoughts on it other than, "OMG HD STAR FOX!!!" Still, I'm glad Nintendo teased it. It's been far too long since Star Fox was last on a console, but I'm more than happy to welcome its return, especially with Miyamoto at the helm. Star Fox 64 3D reminded me just how short SF64 was (it honestly felt a lot longer when I was 8), so I'm a bit cautious about how the new title will play out. I'm hoping they add more depth and replayability to it, like customizing your Arwing or unlockables. There also needs a to be an online multiplayer mode that isn't tacked on just for the sake of being there.
Hype level: reserved
Writing all this down has given me a better understanding of my opinion on the Wii U. I was excited throughout the presentation, but now that I've been able to process my emotions and the information, I'm a bit more guarded. I was hoping to hear more about Fire Emblem x SMT and other core titles, but I'm aware that they can't pander to everybody's wishes. Overall, I think they did a solid job of giving a glimpse into the Wii U's future, though they could have used a few more high-profile third party games. It seems like the Wii U will really hit its stride next year.