In a year where Nintendo is not only longer the only next-gen kid on the block, and has been passed in console sales by the PlayStation 4, they would need a strong showing at E3 to get the system off the starting blocks. If any company is capable of doing it, it’s definitely Nintendo. The Nintendo 3DS is now in 30 million more households than it was at this time around 18 months ago, and that’s been backed by an extremely high quality of 1st party titles and 3rd party support.
While the WiiU hasn’t fared as well, certain cornerstones have helped them start to turn the corner. Mario Kart 8 itself has been selling consoles left and right, and the upcoming Smash Bros. this Holiday season could do the same.
But two games do not a console make, and Nintendo knew they’d have to step it up quite a bit this year. Did they rise to the challenge? You be the judge. Here’s some of what Nintendo showed off in their massive digital reveal today.
amiibo: Quite honestly, I’m not even sure what to call amiibo. Similar to games like Disney Infinity or Skylanders, these will be Nintendo character figurines that you touch to a base in order to “activate” them into various Nintendo titles that will support them in the future. It’s a neat little takeoff from the ordinary, and unlike the aforementioned games, you don’t need to buy a massive starter set. Your WiiU gamepad already has the functionality it needs to support amiibo.
Mario Maker: Have you ever seen videos of those ridiculous hacked Mario games people put online? Now those borderline masochistic level makers can bring their talents to Mario Maker! Mario Maker allows you to create your own environments and levels, and become your own personal Shigeru Miyamoto. Neatest of all is that you can swap between an 8 bit and modern look with a push of a button. Expect Mario Maker some time in 2015
Open World Zelda: At last! The Legend of Zelda WiiU title we’ve all been waiting for, and it’s going to be open world! This is a complete takeoff from previous series games, and is a pretty big gamble, but one Zelda fans have already taken to social media in hopes that it will pay off.
Hyrule Warriors: This is a combination Dynasty Warriors-inspired Zelda title that Nintendo had teased last Winter. I…still don’t know how I feel about that, but the E3 trailer helps ease that sting a bit. In fact, the game looks downright ridiculous, and for all the disdain I’ve had for the Dynasty Warriors franchise, I’m actually looking forward to getting my hands on this one. The over the top melee action actually works for the Zelda franchise, so this might be a good one afterall. Expect this one on September 26th
Star Fox (title in progress): This will be the first new original Star Fox game in nearly a decade. 20+ years (I really need to stop date referencing because now I feel old) after the original introduced the world to the Super FX Chip, Fox McCloud and friends are back for an all new intergalatic adventure. This, again, will be released in 2015 and in episodic form.
Yoshi’s Woolly World: Drawing inspiration from titles like Little Big Planet and the Yoshi’s Island games before it, Yoshi’s Woolly World re-animates the loveable green dino as though he were knitted, and puts him in a world of yarn for level after level of unraveling (pun intended) mayhem. You’ll also get access to a multiplayer mode. Release date for this one was uncertain.
Mario Party 10: Strangely, through all the games I played as a kid, it took until the first Mario Party for me to pull my first gaming all-nighter. Now we’re up to the 10th iteration. Gone are the scars on the palm of my hand from rotating the N64 joystick (I won that tug of war, but at what cost?) and ready am I for all new game board and mini-games. Mario Party 10 should be out some time in 2015 too.
Then some other notes from around the Nintendo World
- Super Smash Bros for WiiU will be out for the holidays. 3DS owners can expect it October 3rd.
- WiiU Smash Bros players can also look forward to adapters for Nintendo GameCube wired and Wavebird controllers in addition to the new WiiU Gamecube-style controllers previously announced
- A reminder that remakes of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire will be coming out in November. Nintendo also announced Pokemon Art Academy for the 3DS, which is exactly as it sounds.
- Kirby fans get “Kirby and the Rainbow Curse” for the WiiU in 2015
- WiiU owners can expect a new Mario vs. Donkey Kong title
- Curiously, a previously announced Metroid WiiU title was not showcased at all. A Metroid title is inevitable, but when it happens will be anybody’s guess at this point.
A Final note: While I wanted this to focus solely on Nintendo’s 1st party efforts, Ubisoft has confirmed Just Dance 2015 for the WiiU as well as Watch Dogs, which was previously speculated to have been shelved altogether.
2014 is a pretty big year for Nintendo, and 2015 is going to be just as big by the looks of it.
Time to Pre-Order some of these games? You bet! Pre-Order Now to Save up to 30% off before June 12th. Find out how.
Keep it locked on us this week. You can find all of the latest information about E3 and the latest discussion topics on gaming at Best Buy’s E3 page.