E3 – Breaking Down the Nintendo Press Conference

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When Nintendo announced that they wouldn’t have a live E3 press conference for the second year running (in the wake of learning of the Wii U’s dismal sales numbers) , people were quick to interpret it as another shaky step for Nintendo down the slippery slope towards financial ruin. And so it was that people waited for the E3 Nintendo Direct. Some gleefully anticipated Nintendo’s demise, while others held on to hope that their favorite developer and publisher could turn things around. Regardless of where you stood with your feelings toward Nintendo, when June 10th finally arrived everyone was more than a little pleasantly surprised.

marioInstead of a down-trodden Nintendo, we were reacquainted with a confident, clever, creative Nintendo that many had believed was lost to time. Nintendo’s  event was concise, full of new games (many of which are playable this year) and surprisingly pleasant to watch. It’s not even a stretch to say that they beat Microsoft and Sony’s presentations. Nintendo is a step ahead in leaving behind the stiff, sometimes difficult to watch live pressers. Having to wait while a scared looking CEO sweats and gestures awkwardly at you before you can see the next trailer or preview is a little tiresome, and it’s getting old — and let’s not forget the alienating business school buzz words and pandering, as well. While the Nintendo conference wasn’t without an embarrassing moment or two, on the whole it was quite enjoyable. For many, the Nintendo Direct event got people truly excited about video games again.

splatoonNintendo introduced a bunch of new Wii U exclusive games, and while many are still early in development, they look great. Sure, Nintendo is infamous for using the same IPs and characters over and over, but when presented in new, creative ways, you’ve got a solid foundation for fantastic games.

Not only is this a company that has the ability to produce interesting video games, they do it in a way that doesn’t exclude potential fans. While the other press events were full of stoic white dudes as per usual, Nintendo shows us characters that anyone can relate to (well, mostly ’cause they’re not human but STILL). The new and improved, more androgynous Link in the upcoming Wii U Zelda caught a lot of interest, and word that Nintendo is interested in what fans think of this change is promising. Splatoon, arriving in 2015, is a multiplayer shooter with kick-ass squid girls! Not only that, Splatoon is a non-violent shooter. If this game succeeds, it could show the video game industry that there are different, fresh ways to make games, rather than the usual formula of mowing through guts and gore.

zeldawiiuIn a surprise twist, Nintendo “won” E3 this year, at least in my opinion. In terms of creative, diverse, colorful and purely fun games, Nintendo delivered. As a bonus, we’ll finally get the chance to play some long-awaited third party games caught in localization limbo that are finally reaching Western shores. Oh, and Bayonetta 2! And Pokémon! It looks like Nintendo will be ending the year on a positive note, with exciting things planned for the year ahead.

Here’s a rundown of everything covered during the Nintendo live event:

  • Nintendo explained that Miis will have a chance to enter the battle in Super Smash Bros. Wii.
  • We got a first look at Yoshi’s Wooly World and it’s adorable.
  • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, sequel to Kirby’s Canvas Curse, is coming to Wii U in 2015.
  • Speaking of adorable, Toad: Treasure Tracker was announced for Wii U.
  • The Legend of Zelda for Wii U was revealed. Instead of the usual Zelda formula, we’re looking at a sweeping open world game.
  • Hyrule Warriors received a release date, and new playable characters were announced!
  • Does the thought of an open world Zelda game not leave you feeling all tingly and excited? Then perhaps the confirmation of Mario Maker will!
  • We were treated to trailers for the Wii U and 3DS versions of Sonic Boom.
  • Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham looks to be as funny and charming as any Lego game that came before it in this new trailer.
  • It’s been a long time coming, but Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is finally coming westward at the end of this month. Maybe this English language trailer can abate some of your excitement until then.
  • Mario Party 10 was also announced. This time you can control Bowser, just in case previous versions of Mario Party have failed to ruin your friendships.
  • JRPG fans rejoice, for Xenoblade Chronicles X is getting an English language release!
  • As many predicted, Nintendo unveiled their own line of NFC figurines, Amiibo.
  • Nintendo managed to surprise us all with the announcement of Splatoon, a multiplayer shooter in which you lob ink at your enemies.
  • In true, over the top, Bayonetta fashion, we got a new trailer for Bayonetta 2
  • Star Fox is making a comeback on the Wii U!
  • We got a very brief view into the newly 3D rendered world of Hoenn and a release date for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
  • A new action game from the director of Ninja Gaiden titled Devil’s Third will be making its debut on Wii U.
  • Fantasy Life, Level 5′s action RPG/life sim is coming to the U.S. at long last.
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Jessica is an English teacher in Japan by way of Pennsylvania.  Apart from games she loves naps, cake, and climbing mountains.