With Nintendo’s E3 presentation behind us, it’s fair to say that it was an impressive showcase for the forthcoming Wii U. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Amie came on stage and said that for Nintendo, this E3 was “all about the games” and for the next 90 minutes, that’s what we got. So look after the break and we’ll share the highlights of Nintendo’s E3 briefing
First up we got a taste of one of the launch titles for the Wii U and a game that many have been looking forward to – Pikmin 3. Introduced by Nintendo luminary Shigeru Miyamoto, we were shown the new advanced controls using the newly redesigned Wii U Gamepad. The screen on the new controller allows you to see the map, scroll the camera, and even place Pikmin; and while you can use a Wiimote to control the action, you can use the Gamepad to control everything if you wish. One player can now control up to 4 leaders at once to solve puzzles and complete tasks. As someone who adored the original Pikmin on the Gamecube, this is something that has really interested me in the Wii U.
Next up we got a walkthrough of the revamped Wii U Gamepad. Now I could explain everything that was said, how all of the buttons have been repositioned, the improved analog sticks, the NFC properties–but instead, you’d be better served by my directing you to the video below.
We were then treated to a look at another launch title – New Super Mario Bros U. Essentially a sequel to the excellent New Super Mario Bros Wii, it offers more 4 player 2D platforming fun–and the single player version can now be played on the TV or directly on the Wii U Gamepad. They also showed off the new Boost Mode that allows one player with the Gamepad to place blocks for the other Wiimote players.
Next, we were treated to details on a couple of third party ports for the console, and first up was the Wii U version of one of last year’s best games – Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition. This is a new build of the hit game with brand new integration for the gamepad screen. Now you can set explosives on the touchscreen, guide batarangs, move the camera in detective mode, and even activate Batman’s new B.A.T. combat mode–all from the Wii U Gamepad. For an in-depth look at the new features in Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, have a look at the video below.
Finally, there was a quick look at some of the upcoming titles for the 3DS. First up was New Super Mario Bros 2, which this time appears to be focusing on gold. There are gold shells, gold mushrooms, gold coins everywhere, and the welcome return of the flying racoon suit. There was more Mario love in the form of Paper Mario Sticker Star, the next in the popular Mario RPG series, that allows Paper Mario to use stickers he finds in the game world as attack items in combat. Also there was a highlight for Luigi too with the confirmation of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, the long awaited sequel to the Gamecube’s Luigi’s Mansion, bringing back its ghost-hunting gameplay later this year on 3DS.
There were a few other highpoints – Ubisoft’s ZombiU game showed off some innovative use of the Gamepad screen for interaction in a first person shooter, Lego City Undercover showed off what looked like a really fun open world cop game that seems much more involved than previous Lego titles, and Nintendo showed off Wii Fit U, detailing how the Wii Fit Balance Board will work with the Wii U both on the TV, and independently with the Gamepad.
All in all, Nintendo’s presentation was enjoyable with a heavy emphasis on why people are interested in E3 – Games. It’s why we all have these systems; and it’s nice to see Nintendo remember that while Microsoft and Sony continue to push their media developments. It’s also made me a lot more interested in the Wii U and the things developers will be able to do with it’s unique control system.