The World of Nintendo got a little bit bigger today as gaming’s most nostalgic company announced a bevvy of new titles for both of their hardware platform. Nintendo are not taking this console generation fight sitting down, and the Japanese developer came out in full force during their 50-minute, nontraditional E3 presentation this morning, which showcased a host of games, some already announced, some only alluded to, and some completely new. Here’s the rundown of the basics if you happened to miss their showcase early this morning.
Super Mario 3D World
The Wii U follow up to the 3DS’ “Super Mario 3D Land,” “Super Mario 3D World” sports four-player multiplayer, and features Princess Peach as a playable character. The game looks and feels like its 3DS predecessor, but with new obstacles and items, including an all-new cat suit, “3D World” looks to take Mario’s 3D adventures to a whole new realm. Check out our hands-on impressions with the game.
Everyone’s favorite hairy witch is back, and coincidentally, she’s shown up with a new cropped top. Bayonetta, the sexy witch, that stirred up a bit of trouble back in 2010 with her over-the-top hack-n-slasher returns for yet another ridiculous adventure from the twisted minds at Platinum Games. This time around gaming’s tallest brunette beauty has some additional attacks to compliment her “Scarborough Fair” pistols, expanding her arsenal to include whips and swords. While a game like this would traditionally fall outside of the traditional safe-zone for Nintendo, this game appears to be one of the fruits of their partnership with Sega, something that should bring a smile to mature Wii U owners. This sequel doesn’t appear to have missed a beat as Bayonetta will be going up against both angels and demons this time around, making her second adventure instantly more intriguing than her first.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
While the second half of the name may be a bit of an oxymoron, “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze” is the follow up to the 2010 surprise Wii (and eventual 3DS) title, “Donkey Kong Country Returns.” Returning to the very capable hands of Retro Studios, “Tropical Freeze” follows the exploits of Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, and returning favorite Dixie Kong, as they try and save an island paradise from hordes of invading animal Vikings. From penguins to walruses, the enemies in this game are a departure from the traditional foes for the series. Added to the mix are all new gameplay mechanics like swimming and enemy tossing, just to keep things fresh. The revival of the classic SNES series continues this holiday season, as “Tropical Freeze” will be warming the winter months when it hits stores this November.
“Pikmin 3,” a game that was once hoped to be a Wii U launch title has now fallen well outside of its intended release window, but it seems that that has only helped the game grow. While plenty of details about the game have already trickled out over the years, with the most recent announcements including winged Pikmin and three separate protagonists, there may have not been a whole lot to show off as part of today’s Nintendo Direct, but both the mission mode and bingo battle have been brought front and center for this year’s E3. The modes showcase near-final versions of the single and multiplayer options, that prove that this release is the most robust Pikmin game ever to hit store shelves. Fans of the series, or anyone looking for a new Wii U game, should be on the lookout for “Pikmin 3” when it makes its way to your local game store on August 4.
Anyone that has followed Nintendo’s announcements closes should have seen this one coming, but earlier today “Mario Kart 8” was confirmed in grand fashion on this morning’s Nintendo Direct. Racing your friends as members of the Mushroom Kingdom has been barrels of fun dating back to the SNES release back in 1992, but “Mario Kart 8” is looking to take the franchise to new heights, literally. While different entries into the franchise have tweaked the “Mario Kart” formula by sending Mario and his friends underwater and gliding high into the sky, “Mario Kart 8” removes the need for gravity. That’s right, whether you’re racing around the franchise’s signature ridiculous tracks with Mario, Luigi, Toad, or (the returning) Toadette, or Waluigi, most courses will incorporate segments where you’re driving up walls, or even going completely upside down. While it may not change up the gameplay too much, it definitely offers a new spin on this classic franchise.
Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)
Nintendo possibly saved the best for last -- after all Smash Bros. could be considered a show stopper by many and the Big N had plenty of other fantastic games to announce (see all of the above awesomeness) before moving on to the demos. Showing a rather lengthy video featuring the top tier franchise mascots gearing up and then brutally beating the snot out of each other, Nintendo answered everyone's prayers. Among those -- finally introducing a brawler that every 80's kid has wanted since they debuted SMS on the 64. That's right, the Blue Bomber himself is finally giving what-for to classic heroes and villains complete with all his signature moves and weapons! And Rush! And a remixed Wily 2 Theme!
Yesterday, Microsoft and Sony finally made their next generation plans clear to the gaming public, and today Nintendo made it clear that they weren’t going down without a fight. The thing that has always kept this company alive has been quality software, running on their hardware, and, once again, they have proved that while their competition may be going for flash, Nintendo still has some tricks up their sleeves. After announcing one of the most aggressive release schedules in gaming history, Nintendo is looking to keep their fans investing in their games on a near month-to-month basis for the foreseeable future. Say what you will about the Wii U’s sales right now, but the slate of killer games that were showcased earlier today are bound to move some consoles when all is said and done. If nothing else, Nintendo has proven that they are resilient, and can stand on the backs of their software, and today was a shining example of just how resilient they can be.