By Anni Simpson on June 10, 2014 at 11:51am
Nintendo, the last of the three major console developers, takes the stage! To set the tone for 2015, they mock themselves with a "Robot Chicken" inspired introduction that takes pot shots at their own overuse of IPs (both Mario and Link were featured watching the performance), ending with Reggie getting beat up by all of the big names in the Nintendo universe.
"Oh great, another Mario game!"
"Super Smash Brothers" takes the stage. Mii characters are being introduced to "Smash." According to Masahiro Sakurai, director and producer of the "Smash Brothers" franchise, "Miis will be just as competitive as other characters." Miis can take the form of one of three fighter types: brawlers (fist, unarmed melee), sword fighters (weapon masters), and gunners (projectile and long-range fighters). The next "Smash Brothers" title will be available for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U consoles, the first "Smash" title for handheld.
"Every day I receive new requests for new characters to be added to the game ... You can fight. Anyone can fight. This is your chance to defeat Nintendo's greats." Masahiro Sakurai, "Smash Brothers" Director and Producer
Even though Sakurai warns players that the new "Smash Brothers" needs more work in QA for debugging and testing purposes, the new title looks incredibly polished, innovative, and just plain fun. Nintendo treated us to quick teases of the new characters, battle game play, and new options. However, we're promised even more "Smash Brothers" elements are still in the works.
Nintendo follows its intense "Smash" opening by highlighting new figurines called "amiibo," (similar to "Skylander" figurines) available on the Wii U console, which "opens the door for various new game play options." Your amiibo "literally gives you new ways to play" in "Super Smash Brothers" for Wii U, which can fight in the game, evolve as your progress, and carry stats and game play history. However, amiibo is being prepared for other titles including "Mario Kart 8." More details will follow the end of E3. Amiibos are coming to stores in time for Christmas.
Nintendo will launch amiibo with around 10 figures. More will be launched during the holiday season and throughout 2015. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be the first game to support amiibo. Other games that will support amiibo include Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10 and Yoshi’s Woolly World, with more to come. A new NFC reader/writer being designed for Nintendo 3DS is scheduled to launch in 2015.
Takashi Tezuka of Nintendo and Etsunobu Ebisu of Good-Feel take the stage to talk about "Yarn Yoshi."
With Yoshi games, they don't have any time limits. So you're able to freely explore the vast game world. You can make new discoveries. It's turning out to be an action game where you can have fun in a wide variety of games. Takashi Tezuka, Nintendo Video Game Designer
Eiji Aonuma, another Nintendo designer, follows to take about the development of "The Legend of Zelda" franchise and the difficulties of its evolution.
"We couldn't create such a wide world like this in the past ... You can enter any area from any direction, so the puzzle solving in this game begins as soon as the player begins thinking about where they want to go ... This is a clean break from "Zelda" games in the past." Eiji Aonuma, Supervisor and Designer for "The Legend of Zelda"
"The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Warriors" for the Wii U is stunning. As with "Smash," the graphics are beautiful and polished, Link's game play looks heroic and important. I'd be shocked if this wasn't another immediate smash (get it!?) hit for Nintendo. We can expect "The Legend of Zelda" for Wii U in 2015. However, we only got a tiny taste of what the game will look like. However, we can look forward to a lot of new playable character in the "Dynasty Warriors" series including Princess Zelda, as well as a two-player mode (finally!).
The next iteration of "Pokémon" will release in Nov. 2014. As with the previous release, we can expect two, competing titles.
Following the announcement of "Pokémon," players are treated to game play from the Nintendo release of "Bayonetta" and the protagonist's sarcastic, dry wit. The title has been released on the Xbox and PlayStation in the past, and we can expect "Bayonetta" for Wii U in Oct. 2014. However, the game does not look as entertaining or polished as Nintendo IPs, but it is a good sign of Nintendo's willingness to collaborate with third-party developers on an official level in the future.
We can also expect a sequel to "Bayonetta," exclusive to the Wii U console. This is exciting for Nintendo, as the original iteration released only on the Xbox 360 and PS3. While the game doesn't look as polished or as promising as the other games highlighted at E3 this year, it is a good sign of things to come from Nintendo and its willingness to collaborate with third parties on an official level. As expected, the protagonist is sarcastic and profane, a certified badass in this action title.
NIntendo then released a trailer for "Xenoblade Chronicles X," a subtitled, action RPG set in space. "Xenoblade Chronicles X" will debut for the Wii U in 2015.
Following a short break, Nintendo highlights "Splatoon," an eight-player shooter and the decision to add the squid as a controllable character. According to members of the team, the addition of the squid adds new elements and game play concepts to the game. You can shoot ink to expand your territory. On the Wii U, you can see an overhead view of the map using the gamepad. You can either hide in your ink or push forward, but the major element is the ink.
You can tell by glancing at the map what other players are up to and where they're headed. I think that adds a new strategy to a game like this. It spices it up a bit ... You're never playing in a vacuum. "Splatoon" Developers
And they're out! They invite players to join Nintendo for the "Super Smash Brothers" Invitational later today in Los Angeles.
They came in with a bang and out with a whimper, but it's hard not to be excited for "Smash" and "Zelda." Follow Player Theory for any future developments on these exciting games.
What's even more interesting, is what they didn't cover. As we were wrapping up our live blog we got some new press materials from Nintendo, and there are some good things to share.
Star Fox (working title) turns the Wii U GamePad into the view from the cockpit of Fox McCloud’s Arwing fighter. While the TV shows the perspective from behind the Arwing, players can also use the gyro sensors of the GamePad to intuitively and independently target enemies. Players can instantly switch between the Arwing and Landmaster tank with the press of a button, and the game also introduces a new helicopter-type vehicle. The game is scheduled for 2015.
Project Giant Robot lets players use the touch screen to build a giant robot. Once complete, the GamePad becomes a cockpit from which players control the robot as they try to knock opponents over. A unique combination of button and motion control adds leverage and momentum to their robotic punches. The game is scheduled for the first half of 2015.
In Project Guard the goal is to stop a robot invasion using a security system of 12 cameras as a last line of defense. Players mount a dozen security cameras around a perimeter before the invasion, and then monitor all 12 as the robot army invades. Cameras also can blast lasers, so players must look, search and shoot quickly if they want to survive the onslaught. The innovative use of the two-screen game play makes for a thrilling spectator experience, allowing anyone in the living room to join in on the fun as an additional set of eyes. The game is scheduled for 2015.
Sonic Boom (SEGA): The Sonic Boom franchise comes exclusively to Nintendo platforms this November with Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for Wii U and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for Nintendo 3DS. Both titles will feature the “blue blur” as you’ve never seen him before, as Sonic and his friends embark on two new adventures focused on action, exploration and teamwork.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Capcom): Launching exclusively on Nintendo 3DS in early 2015, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be the newest installment in the popular Monster Hunter series. Along with an expanded set of moves and two new weapon types, players will be able to join the hunt with friends over the Internet via Wi-Fi.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong (working title) (2015): The charming Mario vs. Donkey Kong puzzle series makes its way to Wii U. This HD entry takes full advantage of the touch screen on the GamePad controller as players guide the Minis (including Mini Luigi) to safety. The game also features a near-limitless puzzle-creation mode that allows fans to share puzzles and leave comments on Miiverse.
Mario Party 10 (2015): A Mario Party becomes a Bowser Party as the player with the GamePad becomes everyone’s fire-breathing nemesis. During “Bowser Party” mode, one player gets to be the fire-breathing Koopa King and wreak havoc during the mini-games, while other players try to dodge his attacks. Players can also enjoy classic Mario Party style game play as well.
Skylanders Trap Team (Activision): With Skylanders Trap Team, Portal Masters seek out and defeat the most wanted villains in all of Skylands, pulling them out of the game and into living rooms by capturing them in magical Traps, truly bringing Toys-To-Life™ and life-to-toys. Players can then send villains back into the game where they play as the villains to fight for good. The Wii U version will be playable at the Nintendo booth. Skylanders Trap Team will be available for the Wii U, Wii and Nintendo 3DS systems on Oct. 5 in North America.
Just Dance 2015 (Ubisoft): Just Dance 2015 is the latest in the world’s No. 1 dance game franchise and will be available worldwide in October 2014. Fans can dance along to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and “Summer” by Calvin Harris while using the fun interactive features like World Dance Floor, the online multiplayer feature and the new Community Remix feature that brings Just Dance fans into the actual game play.
Pokémon Art Academy (October 2014): In Pokémon Art Academy, players take on the role of a young aspiring artist who enrolls in the Pokémon Art Academy to learn how to draw Pokémon under the tutelage of Professor Andy. Through novice lessons, the players are taught the basics of art, from simple shapes to coloring, and are introduced to various tools and techniques they will use to create art.
Fantasy Life (October 2014): Players embark on the adventure of their dreams as they craft, cast, battle and role-play. The innovative Life system lets players change to one of 12 Life classes at virtually any time to access different abilities. The huge fantasy landscape is filled with surly dark paladins, slick pirate captains and others who share a taste for the unknown.
THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY CURTAIN CALL (Square Enix, Inc.): Combining hallmark FINAL FANTASY music with role-playing game (RPG) elements, the new THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY CURTAIN CALL will come to North America on Sept. 16, 2014, exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS system.
Affordable Space Adventures (KnapNok Games): The GamePad is your control panel in this exclusive 2D side-scrolling spaceship simulator that requires players to configure all the systems in order to fly around undetected on an alien planet.
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (DrinkBox Studios): The game is an action-platformer set in a magical Mexican-inspired world. The game features melee combat, a dimension-switching mechanic and cooperative same-screen multiplayer.
Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games): For Shovelry! Run, jump and dig in this lighthearted, classic adventure platformer. Launching June 26, Shovel Knight will include exclusive Miiverse functionality for Wii U, and the Nintendo 3DS version will feature an exclusive Battle Arena mode utilizing StreetPass.
Swords & Soldiers II (Ronimo Games BV): This Wii U exclusive side-scrolling strategy game, the sequel to the award-winning 2009 WiiWare game Swords & Soldiers, is set to launch this holiday season.
There were a ton of announcements that didn't make the cut, but we will have more information soon.