Welcome to our third installment of our Nintendo E3 sum-up. So far we’ve talked about several major games including Star Fox Zero, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Yoshi’s Woolly World, and Super Mario Maker. Now, I want to focus on a few more games plus one interesting aspect of Nintendo’s digital presentation.
Many people have been dreaming of a new F-Zero for years. Sure, the GameCube had a decent game and we all remember and love the SNES version but with today’s graphics and updated controls, why don’t we have another F-Zero? Nintendo slightly answered this by adding a new F-Zero themed stage to Mario Kart 8 but let’s face it; that’s not enough. Well, Nintendo still doesn’t have public plans for a new installment BUT there’s hope in FAST Racing Neo from Shin’en, which appears to be the spiritual successor. This game, which has amazing graphics by the way, lets you pick from various “Anti-gravity vehicles”, it includes motion control options, off-TV play (which is a feature I am always interested in), and up to four players. The game is set for a 2015 release and is definitely on my list of games to pick up this year.
Now this is something more familiar because if Nintendo loves anything at all, it’s using the Mario characters in as many games as possible. And so, Mario and his friends (as well as enemies) return to battle it out on the tennis court. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is the seventh official incarnation of the game, though the GameCube version was ported to Wii and released again. In fact, it might be the only franchise that owes some gratitude to the Virtual Boy console. Don’t you all remember playing Mario Tennis at Blockbuster? All those orange\red lines floating in blackness. Good times. Anyway, I digress. This holiday season, Nintendo is bringing the franchise back with 4-player local play, some new characters who’ve never been on the court before, plus a new “Mega Battle” feature that leverages the Mega Mushroom.
Last and absolutely not least, is SteamWorld Heist from Image & Form International AB. I’m just going to say it: I love these guys! Their game, SteamWorld Dig, is addictive and fun. I own it on Wii U, 3DS, and PC. If you haven’t played, pick up the 3DS version. It’s my favorite for many reasons. Image & Form returns to the SteamWorld universe with a turned-based strategy adventure action game set out in space. It is not a sequel to SteamWorld Dig but it is similar in style and tone. This game is set to release on 3DS this Fall as a single-player game leveraging the handheld console’s touchscreen interface and similar use of the dual-screen design, keeping maps and inventory on the lower screen with the action on the top. The game uses a skill-based combat system and works as a platformer, though turn-based. I can’t wait to continue to dive in the universe they’ve created.
Alright, so we’ve talked about some games and I will be provided a “final thoughts”, if you will, in part 4 of this series, but now I’d like to talk about how Nintendo started everything this year at E3. Sure, you want to start off strong, so they began with Star Fox Zero. Great choice. How did they introduce this game? With big lights, action, and spaceships? No. How about with nostalgia, catchy phrases, and throwbacks to the original? Not really, no. Oh… so what did they do? Well, they used puppets. That’s right, Nintendo’s big three, Satoru Iwata, Reggie Fils-Aime, and Shigeru Miyamoto got each other together and hit the stage in complete puppet… no, Muppet form! They weren’t just any puppets. Nintendo worked with the Jim Henson Company to make Muppets of themselves! What’s more, their Muppet-selves turned into Star Fox characters during the little segment. I’ve got to say, it was something I never expected to see. It was fun, lighthearted, and just bright. Video games can take a dark and serious tone. I think Star Wars: Battlefront, Batman: Arkham Knight, Call of Duty, and Halo have really shown that. I, for one, appreciate Nintendo’s unique and positive attempt at introducing a classic franchise.
Well, that’s all for today. Stop by for my final thoughts on Nintendo’s E3 performance in Part 4 of this series later this weekend.
Before you go, comment below and let me know what you think of these games or anything about Nintendo at all! I’d love to talk with you.