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E3 2012: Nintendo E3 Conference Recap

by on June 5, 2012

Nintendo Logo BannerNintendo has just finished its annual E3 shindig in Los Angeles, and with this year being all about the Wii U for Nintendo, event goers had some lofty expectations. What did Nintendo reveal? What new games did we see? Step inside and take a look.

Coverage kicked off with a video of Mr. Miyamato getting ready for the show, being followed by a heard of Pikmin. When he emerged in the theatre, everyone was waiting for him to reveal details of Pikmin 3, and he promptly obliged. Before that, though, we got a speech about how games consoles have always had to be connected to a TV, Wii U will change this. The first screen people go to when they enter the living room, Nintendo want it to be Wii U.

Pikmin 3, then, this is a game that people in the theatre got excited about. Mr. Miyamato explained that the new higher resolution that the Wii U offers means we can have a better point of view when playing Pikmin 3 when compared to previous iterations, with the motion plus controller letting you control your Pikmin intuitively. You can also use the Wii U pad to affect strategy, pick Pikmin leaders and achieve goals. Nintendo wanted to make Pikmin show the world how good deeper games can be, so says Mr. Miyamato.

Reggie Filse-Aimme replaces Shigsy on stage and starts by telling us that the Wii U will offer entertainment options similar to those seen on other platforms; Netflix, Hulu+, Amazon Video, that sort of thing. He tried to play these down as being nothing special, and moved back onto talking games.

Reggie announces that the Wii U will support two different Wii U gamepads simultaneously, which has been the subject of much chit chat over the last few months. Just the one gamepad would have been a bit of a let-down, so confirmation of supporting 2 is a big plus.

Next up we got a look at the Wii U home screen. On it we could see lots of Miis running around. Reggie details the sort of things you can get up on this “social hub”, text messages, doodling, sharing game images, etc. You will be able to access the Miiverse from tablets and smartphones in the future, although no details of this functionality were given.

The first game Reggie talked about was one we had seen before, New Super Mario Bros.U. We saw how the Miiverse is integrated into the game to make it a more social experience. A brief clip of gameplay was shown, with the most interesting part being the new Boost Mode in which the player with the Wii U gamepad can place blocks or items in the level as the other players progress. This feature alone could make for some interesting speed running videos in the future!

Batman: Arkham City was next, Harley Quinn introduces Martin Tremblay from Warner Bros. interactive; more specifically Batman: Arkham City – Armoured Edition as it will be known on Wii U. The new BAT mode, activated from the gamepad, can use the gamepad to access inventory and remote control the batterang, which looked like great fun. “The most immersive batman experience has arrived” said Martin Trembly, further showing that Warner Bros. Interactive seem to be really getting on board with Nintendo and the Wii U. They announce Scribblenauts Unlimited and tout the ability to “create anything, bring it to life and share your creations”. Looks like the ideal game to release for a console with a controller like the Wii U’s. Scribblenauts Unlimited will feature a campaign mode for the first time.

Reggie introduces a montage of 3rd party games coming to Wii U with Mass Effect 3, TANK TANK TANK, Tekken, Trine 2, Ninja Gaiden 3 and Aliens: Colonial Marines all getting an airing. Some games you’ve played before, and some you may not have.

Reggie is a good lad and pre warns us that they are going to talk about Music and Fitness. We get our first look at Wii Fit U, which features new ways to play, new challenges and new routines. We didn’t really see anything that utilises the new controller fully, it was mostly used to provide an alternate point of view.

They talked about  a singing game next, with the working title SiNG. It looked like fun if this is your sort of thing. The singer holds the gamepad and the lyrics come up on the screen, allowing you to face your friends rather than the TV.

Scott Moffitt emerges to present to us some 3DS news. He’s bald, nervous and short on time so he’s only showing us three games (there will be a an hour long presentation of other games tomorrow on Nintendo’s E3 portal).

The first of the three 3DS games we look at is New Super Mario Bros 2. Not a lot I can say about this one really as Mr. Moffitt moved on pretty quickly. He did say something about collecting loads of coins though; has he never played a Mario game before?

Next up was Paper Mario Sticker Star, an intriguing looking title that sees a return to Mario’s adorable paper universe. The world is plastered with cute looking stickers, which you can peel off and use as your battle commands in battle, as well as using them to navigate the environment and complete tasks.

Last up was the one 3DS title we all want to get our hands on (probably); Luigi’s Mansion 2. Multiple mansions, new puzzles and a heavier emphasis on ghost catching. Graphically Luigi’s Mansion 2 is looking fairly impressive, Mr.Moffitt tells us we can get our Luigi fix “this holiday season”.

Reggie returns to turn the emphasis back onto the Wii U, and gets straight back to business by talking about LEGO City: Undercover, a game that looks like a GTA game made of LEGO bricks. Players can use the gamepad to solve crime, scan through walls and look at maps. The trailer shown has the expected LEGO cheese element, which was good to see. Reggie tells us that a separate LEGO City: Undercover game is being developed for Nintendo 3DS.

Ubisoft are next up to show some Nintendo love, and the guy that they chose to send to E3, Yves Guillimont, has forgotten how to speak. Reggie and Yves stand there staring at each other for a few moments, like broken robots. Eventually some games are shown, the first of which was Just Dance 4. Totally worth the wait and the awkward exchange. Some dancing happens and it’s on to the next game.

ZombiU (there were far to many games with the letter U stapled on the end for my liking) looks like an intriguing title. The gameplay video shows off how the gamepad will be used in game. The game itself looks like a Left4Dead style game, with the pad being used for scanning, shaking off zombies and as a sniper scope, which looks seriously cool. Holding the gamepad up to the TV and using it as a sniper scope is a simple idea, but one that could be a lot of fun.

Ubisoft show a montage of other games they have coming to Wii U; Assassin’s Creed III, Rabbids Land, Your Shape Evolved (a fitness game), Rayman Legends, Avengers: Battle for Earth and Sports Connection all featured.

Nintendo’s last announcement came in the form of Nintendo Land. A game designed to show off the Wii U’s abilities much in the same way that Wii Sports did when the Wii was launched 6 years ago. Nintendo land is a game based around a theme park, called Nintendo Land, and features several Nintendo franchises you will be familiar with that have been put into what can only be described as mini games. Donkey Kong, Zelda and Luigi all get a look in, and do many more besides. We got a look at Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, which was essentially the maze game shown at E3 last year.

Nintendo Land will be launched with the Wii U “this holiday season”.

And that was that, folks. Anything in there that really excites you? Were you expecting something different from Nintendo this year? Or are you not bothered by the Wii U at all? Let us know in the comments section below, and stay tuned to GodisaGeek as our people on the E3 show floor will be taking a look at many of the games talked about above.