Nintendo Forgoes an Audience for a Digital Event
Nintendo decided to hold a Digital Event instead of a live Press Conference like its competitors Microsoft and Sony. It was an interesting strategy and...odd. The event kicked off with a rather ridiculous claymation scene, and more claymation scenes were interspersed throughout the event. I assume Nintendo thought they'd be funny, but they weren't. In any case, after the claymation, Reggie and Iwata appeared on screen in rather lame fight, but it led to a new announcement for Super Smash Bros. - support for Mii fighters. Anyone can bring in their Mii and choose between three archetypes: Mii Brawler, Mii Swordfighter, and Mii Gunner. Each Mii fighter can choose four special moves from among twelve options apiece. The Mii fighter support is pretty cool, but then what was announced next was anything but...
Nintendo's amiibo figurines can be used to bring "toys to life" in Super Smash Bros. by touching it to the Wii U GamePad. Super Smash Bros. will be the first game to support it, but it'll also be coming to other titles, such as Mario Kart 8 and Mario Party 10. Why is this a bad thing? Well, it was later unveiled that amiibos can level up to improve stats and customize moves, turning Super Smash Bros. into pay-to-win. In fact, one of the guys literally said, "you can use your leveled up amiibo to beat you friend you can never beat." Sigh. Hopefully there will at least be a way to lock it out of online multiplayer. A peripheral will eventually be sold to allow support on the 3DS as well, though no date or pricing were stated. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS arrives October 3, while the Wii U version is simply listed as Holiday 2014.
Next up was 2.5D platformer Yoshi's Wooly World coming to Wii U in 2015, a spiritual successor to Kirby's Epic Yarn. It features two-player co-op and rewards exploration, as there's no time limit to stages. After that was Captain Toad Treasure Tracker coming to Wii U Holiday 2014, which is basically the Captain Toad mini-game from Super Mario 3D World brought to life in a full game. Then came the announcement everyone was waiting for: a new Zelda game. Unfortunately, what was shown was rather disappointing. The new Zelda will be a true open-world game and we were greeted to a nice mountainous vista. But then all of a sudden it pulled a 180, introducing some alien lazer enemy before a rather cheesy chase scene, going from a realistic look back to the cartoony look - not exactly what Zelda fans were hoping for after last year's reveal.
Bayonetta 2 was next with a gameplay trailer and the announcement that the original Bayonetta will be included on disc when it releases for the Wii U in October. Hyrule Warriors was then shown, which is basically Dynasty Warriors reskinned for Zelda. Four playable characters were shown: Link, Zelda, Impa, and Midna. It arrives September 26. A gameplay trailer for Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was shown next, which is coming to Wii U in 2015. Then came another moment Nintendo fans were looking forward to: Monolith's X. As expected, it's part of the Xenoblade series, with its official name unveiled as Xenoblade Chronicles X, arriving in 2015. Mario Maker was then shown, which allows users to create custom 2D Mario courses using both the old school NES look or the newer look. As Nintendo's answer to Sony's LittleBigPlanet and Microsoft's Spark, it falls far short, but it should still be quite fun to create courses and challenge friends. It arrives in 2015.
Next up was the highlight of the event: finally a brand new IP for Nintendo, called Splatoon. Splatoon is a 4v4 online multiplayer third-person shooter where each team battles to claim turf with ink. As a human, you have an array of weapons at your disposal that disperse ink, from guns to grenades to rollers. At any time you can transform into a squid, which allows you to travel in your team's ink with super speed. The team with the most ink laid down at the end of a match is the winner and until time runs out, you can always overlay your own ink on top of the enemy's ink. If you try to walk in enemy ink, your movement is slowed, but if you're shot with ink, you die; don't try to use logic here. Splatoon will arrive in 2015 and looks like it could be quite a fun game and something quite different for Nintendo. Finally, Nintendo ended the main Digital Event with the reveal of Palutena (from Kid Icarus) coming to Super Smash Bros.
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Source: E3 2014