Philip Tang ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Writer
Instead of holding an onstage conference, like Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo opted for a succinct, one-hour broadcast via their website. This morning at 10 a.m. ET, Nintendo broadcasted an E3 edition of Nintendo Direct hosted by company president and CEO Satoru Iwata. It revealed the latest news about the company’s biggest upcoming offerings ranging from the release date of the newest Pokemon games to the reveal of the highly anticipated return of Super Smash Bros., plus its surprising new challenger.
Pokemon X and Y were confirmed for a worldwide release on October 12, 2013. A few new details were also unveiled, such as how the game will feature a new type for the first time since Steel and Dark were introduced in Gold and Silver. The new type is Fairy, and the only thing we know is that it has the advantage over Dragon. Jigglypuff, Marill, Gardevoir and new Eevee evolution, Sylveon, were four confirmed Fairy types. Fairy Wind and Moonblast were the two new Fairy moves shown off, but considering the name of the latter, it’s surprising Clefairy wasn’t mentioned under this type. Finally, another new feature is Pokemon-Amie (French for friend) involves using the touch screen to pet and feed your Pokemon.
Next, Iwata introduced Super Mario 3D World, a new Mario title heading to the Wii U in December 2013. It features a new power-up, the cat suit. It allows Mario to climb walls, scratch enemies, slide and even climb to the top of the flags at the end of levels for the free 1-up. Next was Mario Kart 8, featuring the ability to turn your cart into a hovercraft by flipping the wheels horizontally. Players can also employ kites during big jumps. It’s also available in December 2013 for the Wii U.
Nintendo was taken aback, in a good way, by how well the Miiverse drawing application was received. To support these activities, Iwata announced that a new Art Academy was in development. To facilitate those that love drawing, certain assets from the game like colored pencils will be pulled and released earlier as a standalone tool this summer.
Wii Party U, which will feature 80 new minigames, and WiiFit U were both delayed to October and December of this year, respectively. Iwata cites the desire to give the developers more time to add features as the cause for the delays. For the Nintendo E-Shop, Iwata announced that a variety of indie games and old classics, like a remastered version of Ducktales, would be on the way. Afterwards, a trailer played for the HD rerelease of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, to be released in October 2013 for Wii U. Following that was a brand new game announcement for The Wonderful 101, to be released on Sept. 15 2013. It features 5 person multiplayer where players control a group of small characters capable of morphing together into weapons to fight larger enemies.
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze for Wii U will come out in November 2013, and features familiar 2D platforming with a new twist in dynamic camera angles. Dixie Kong, from the old classic Donkey Kong Country 2, returns as a playable character. Of course, the game is in HD, and Iwata emphasizes how you can even see the strands of fur on Donkey Kong glow under the sun!
Bayonetta 2, out some time 2014 for Wii U, receives a feature trailer. Her new look is revealed—short hair and blue pistols as opposed to red. Some actual gameplay is aired as well, and the ensuing chaos showed that the Wii U’s hardware is no slouch.
Monolith Soft, who created the renowned Xenogears and, more recently, Xenoblade Chronicles had their new game unveiled. Although unnamed as of yet, a big red “X” splashed across the screen, indicating the new game will somehow relate to their past JRPGs. The game features a large-scale open world filled with dinosaurs. There are on-foot sections to the game, but what’s more noticeable is, of course, the fact that you can pilot a giant robot, fly around in it and fight bad guys in the sky. A great JRPG would be a welcome addition to the Wii U catalogue. Like Bayonetta 2, the only time frame given was 2014.
Last, but not least, was the reveal of Super Smash Bros. It’s going to be available on both Wii U and 3DS in 2014. Like Snake and Sonic in Brawl, this edition of Smash Bros. features a new guest challenger: Capcom’s Blue Bomber, Mega Man. He can call upon the weapons from various bosses in the series, such as Metalman’s Metal Blade and Leafman’s Leaf Shield. The most important question, though, is where’s Captain Falcon?
Check out the Gamespot website for a complete list of third party games coming to the Nintendo Wii U in 2013 and 2014 http://www.gamespot.com/wii-u/index.html