Reggie Fils-Aime at E3

At last week's E3 we had a chance to chat with the head of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime about a wide range of topics relating to the company. With the business out of the way in yesterday's post, today we're dig in to some of the lighter points: Nintendo's support of indie developers, the success of the 3DS, the surprising origins of "New Super Luigi U," and which character Reggie chooses in "Super Mario 3D World" (hint: it's not Mario).

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Super Mario 3D World

"Mario Kart 8" wasn't the only newly announced Mario game that Nintendo's longtime employee Hideki Konno had a hand in creating. Shown for the first time last week at E3, "Super Mario 3D World" also has the head of Nintendo's Software Development Group No 1's fingerprints on it, albeit they are quite faint.

With the reintroduction of Princess Peach as a playable character in a Mario game for the first time since "Super Mario Bros. 2" on the NES ("Super Princess Peach" aside), Nintendo dug deep into their archives to pull some game mechanics from one of Mr. Konno's first titles, "Doki Doki Panic." While some fans in the west may not be familiar with this game specifically, they are likely to be aware that it was the title that was ported for the U.S. release of "SMB 2." When the game jumped from the Famicom Disk System to the Nintendo Entertainment System, a host of changes were made; most importantly the family of characters in "Doki Doki Panic" were replaced with Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad, where each of them had their own special abilities. When Peach debuted in the new trailer for "Super Mario 3D World" her floating jump from "Mario 2" also returned, a mechanic that she inherited from Lina, one of the characters Mr. Konno knew well from "Doki Doki Panic."

While speaking with him last week about "Mario Kart 8," I took a short break to get his thoughts on his influence on another one of Nintendo's key holiday titles, even if it was a bit of a stretch.

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Reggie Fils-Aime

E3 has always been home to some of Nintendo's biggest announcements, and last week was no different… well, okay, it was a little different. Forgoing the traditional big press conference, Nintendo opted to deliver their E3 announcements online, via a Nintendo Direct live stream. Technical issues aside, the Direct broadcast showcased a handful of games, starring some of Nintendo's biggest names to the consumer for the first time. From the first gameplay for the all new "Super Mario 3D World," to the first trailer for "Super Smash Bros." for the 3DS and Wii U, Nintendo may not have gone as big as they usually do, but they still delivered in the way of content.

Late last week, we had a chance to sit down with Nintendo of America's President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime to recap their news, and discuss some of the company's biggest announcements. Read on to find out about Nintendo's plans for the Wii U, and for some insight into their unique take on this year's E3. Come back tomorrow for more from Reggie, on the 3DS, indie games, and his perspective on some of Nintendo's upcoming games.

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Mario Kart 8

One of Nintendo's big surprises at last week's E3 was the first playable demo of the next game in the "Mario Kart" franchise, "Mario Kart 8." The first (and likely only) entry on the Wii U has Mario and his friends defying gravity, as their karts can now travel anywhere the course takes them - even upside down. This new gameplay proves that there are still some new things left for a series that has been around for a couple decades.

Late last week, we had a chance to catch up with the man that has been working on the series since the first game, Hideki Konno, who is now serving as this game's Producer, as well as Kosuke Yabuki, "Mario Kart 8"'s Director, to ask them some questions about where the franchise has been, what it's like to work on such a cherished title, and where we can expect things to go from here.

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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.

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When Nintendo makes a promise, they generally tend to keep it. A few months ago( the team at Nintendo promised that there was a new 3D Super Mario game in development for the Wii U, and that it would be playable at this year’s E3, and they kept their word. However, Mario’s fans may not have guessed that they would be playing it before the end of the year. Announced this morning, as part of the pre-E3 Nintendo Direct presentation, “Super Mario 3D World” will be landing on the Wii U’s this November, and bringing some surprises along with it.  As the follow up to the wildly successful “Super Mario 3D Land” for the 3DS, “3D World” takes Mario’s famous 3D platforming to a whole new level, and brings back some old friends in the process.

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Spike E3

Spike TV is returning to E3 this year as the exclusive broadcast partner, and they have a huge line-up of gaming coverage slated over the course of the first two days of the show. From interviews with industry heavy-hitters like Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Amie and Shigeru Miyamoto, Peter Molyneux, and Microsoft’s Phil Spencer to exclusive game previews for hotly anticipated games like “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” “Killzone: Shadows Fall,” and “Assassins Creed IV.” Plus stick around for press conferences from Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, and Sony.

Hit the jump for the full schedule, and to watch the live stream, hosted by GTTV’s Geoff Keighley, starting today at noon.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Nintendo's "Animal Crossing" franchise has always been a bit of an anomaly for the game maker. For starters, it doesn’t star any kind of uniquely discernable character - while the townsfolk that you encounter throughout the game are unique, they aren't the central focus of the game. Secondly, the "Animal Crossing" games represent Nintendo's lone "open world" franchise. There is no discernable end to any of the games, and you can continue to play them until your little heart is content. These games have also been the forerunners for a lot of new ideas from the company, including concepts like the Virtual Console and Swapnote, that have eventually grown into much larger ideas on various of platforms. The latest entry into the series, "New Leaf" for the 3DS, does come with a host of similarities to its predecessors, but it also manages to move the franchise forward with some creative new ideas.

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Animal Crossing New Leaf

I have a bit of a confession to make: I have a little gaming addiction problem. I recently got over a long dependency on the horrible wonderful Nimble Bits' game "Tiny Tower" - something that was spurred on by Multiplayer's former Editor. Everyday I would open up "Tiny Tower" multiple times, and build another floor, try and get everyone their dream jobs, and then build another floor, until I ran out of things to do. That's right, I effectively beat "Tiny Tower" - that is, until they updated it.

A few days later I had "beaten" it again - until the next update. This happened more than a few times. I would keep going back every day to collect coins and Tower Bux to build more floors, until I topped out at 179 floors, and that's when I had to stop. Even as more floors became available, I had to give up - I kept going back, but had nothing to do.

So, what does this have to do with "Animal Crossing: New Leaf"? Nothing? Try everything.

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Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

To today's average gamer the name "Al Lowe" might not come with a lot of recognition. However, if you ask a fan of point-and-click adventures from the heyday of Sierra Online, Mr. Lowe is one of the most important designers in the history of gaming. The self-proclaimed "world's oldest game designer" is the man that created gaming's most lovable loser, Larry Laffer. The "Leisure Suit Larry" games may have a bit of a racy reputation, but these classic titles are also some of the most beloved titles of all time.

While the series may have taken a bit of a turn after it left Sierra's hands, vintage "Leisure Suit Larry" has been resurrected from the dead. Replay Games have pulled Al out of retirement and given him a chance to update his original games, and bring them to a whole new audience, on a host of different platforms. In the next few weeks Larry Laffer will be return in "Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded," a Kickstarter-funded, HD remake of the original game for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android platforms. To celebrate this momentous occasion we asked Al some burning questions about the franchise, the series' updates, and "Freddy Pharkas," and more. In return, the always-entertaining Mr. Lowe gave us answers about sex ed, "Monkey Island," and his account of what happened in "Leisure Suit Larry 4."


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