Though the expectations for this year’s E3 keynote address from Nintendo were extremely high, the company did their best to meet all that gamers wanted from them. To find out if they succeeded or not, keep reading!
Nintendo opened their press conference with a long-awaited look at their new Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which features a Link reminiscent of the instruction book art in A Link to the Past and full motion controls. Though the controls will, naturally, be used for sword fighting, the implementation of the Wii Motion Plus will also make it easy to use all of Link’s items, as demonstrated by Miyamoto himself. Though the game does not appear to be a major departure from past Legend of Zelda games, Link’s new abilities, such as the ability to chop down entire trees, use a whip, and control flying beetles should keep it feeling new. The game is expected to be released sometime next year.
Once Zelda was introduced, the conference turned towards sports gaming, in the form of a new entry in the Mario Sports franchise called Mario Sports Mix. This included volleyball, hockey, and basketball, and will be available, once again, next year.
After Nintendo’s conference turned towards a defense of the Wii against the accusation that the system was simply for casual gaming, they displayed a new game featuring Miis titled Wii Party. Though the game looks extremely similar to Mario Party, the inclusion of Miis allows a new level of customization. The game will be available by the holiday season.
Nintendo then took the time to display some of their third-party titles, such as Just Dance 2 from Ubisoft, which will feature new play modes, before turning their attention towards Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. The new entry in the Golden Sun series for the DS will come out by the holiday season.
The next announcement on Nintendo’s table was a sequel to the classic N64 shooter Goldeneye 007 from Activision, due out in November. It will have 16 new game modes and 8 James Bond characters, including a James Bond redesigned to look like Daniel Craig.
Disney: Epic Mickey, from Disney Interactive Studios was the next game displayed. The third-party Wii exclusive features worlds based on Disney amusement park rides and has gamers painting and erasing the worlds that surround them in order to control the landscape. The way in which a player does this will affect how other characters in the game react to Mickey, making for a variety of unique experiences.
Nintendo’s next announcement was a new Kirby game for the Wii, Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It features a Kirby made of yarn unraveling other things made of yarn and crumpling paper backgrounds in order to cross pits. The 2-D platforming and unique art style will hit market this fall.
Dragon Quest IX for DS was also displayed at the keynote address, and will be comprised of over a hundred mini-quests, 900+ customization items, and full multiplayer on Wi-Fi, including modes that will allow the game to continue when the DS is shut off. It will be released on July 11th.
Metroid: Other M, which is due August 31st, was displayed again at this year’s E3, with video of some boss battles and platforming rather than cutscenes featured.
Once Metroid had been displayed, Nintendo showed a new 2D Donkey Kong plat former from Retro Studios, titled Donkey Kong Country Returns. Though it features 3D graphics, the gameplay looks very similar to the SNES prequels and will be in stores this holiday system.
After Nintendo had finished its parade of shiny new games, they made the first showing of their new portable console, the 3DS. While promising an easy and inexpensive alternative to the 3D games for competing home consoles, they displayed their machine, which, on the surface, does not look that much different from the standard DS, down to the dual-screen design. It does, however, have a joystick-esque “slide-pad” rather than a D-pad and a “depth slider” that allows you to either play games in full-3D or completely eliminate the 3D appearance of the games. The graphical capabilities of the machine have also been improved, and features two camera lenses so that games can take photographs in 3D. The system also allows communication between the system and the internet when it is powered-off, allowing for new content downloads. Though they have no specific plans as of yet, the ability to play 3D movies on the system was also mentioned. A new Kid Icarus game was announced for the system as well, in the form of Kid Icarus: Uprising. The 3D update of the Kid Icarus series sports impressive graphics and what seems to be quite a bit of aerial combat.
Nintendo’s final display of the address came in the form of a list of other games for the 3DS launch, including Nintendogs + Cats, and several third party titles, such as DJ Hero 3D, Professor Layton, Kingdom Hearts, Resident Evil, Ridge Racer, and Metal Gear Solid.. Though they closed the keynote by letting members of the audience play a 3DS tied to a model‘s belt, the 3DS will also be displayed on the show floor.
By Allison Bates
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