Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nintendo's Conference... holy crap!

You know after yesterday's conference there were a lot of concerns I had. The Vitality sensor knockoff  Ubisoft had shown, and the large push for both competing companies to go the route of reaching for the expanded audience. Nintendo surely would have been backed into a proverbial corner, you would think.

You thought wrong.

Nintendo pretty much unloaded a lot of core games and a few expanded titles, while making the competition seem almost irrelevant. Now I'm not going to go all Nintendo Fanboy on you guys, because that would pretty much destroy any credibility I seemed to gain at this point, but holy crap.

  • Donkey Kong Country Returns 
  • Kirby EpicYarn (Epic Thread would of been so much "win")
  • GoldenEye 007
  • Zelda: Skyward Sword 
  • The 3DS reveal and Kid Icarus launch title.
To top it off the 3DS is playable at the end of the conference along with Skyward Sword., which is cell shaded, but in a way that's more colorful than it's previous games. Zelda SS seems to be a bit buggy, but that could be due to interference, and it seems to bring in the same gameplay that's being shown in Wii Sports Resort. There was also a larger emphasis on combat in this one rather than on puzzle based gameplay.

of course Wii Party was shown, with a heavy emphasis on social gaming and bridging the expanded market into the core demographic. It looks like a game that my wife would play along with some of our family and friends. It doesn't really look like it's doing much more than any other party game at the moment, but I guess only time will tell. Besides a lot of gamers misjudged NSMBW when it was shown last year and that game caught fire almost instantly.

Kirby Epic thread sounds like something you would see on a message board, but really this looks so interesting, that my fingers are begging to play it. It feels like that google chrome commercial where the internet was being knitted and unraveled to display youtube.

Another surprise was the reveal that Retro was actually doing Donkey Kong. In fact it was a full on donkey Kong country game that looks pretty close to the old SNES games. Definitely want to play that as well. Nintendo seems to be capitalizing on the fact that no one is going to compete with them on the platforming front, and trying to bring platforming back in a big way. I'm all for this.

Another Metroid trailer was shown, which was pretty cool. I always tend to have mixed feelings about Other M. The biggest thing for me was the reveal of the 3DS which is a shiny mess of white hot cool. the control setup looks natural. with the analog being above the directional pad, there's a slick looking 3D slider that controls the level of 3D used in the game, as well as an awesome revelation that Project Sora was actually a launch title for the 3DS which was revealed to be Kid Icarus.  At this point everyone lost it. This was followed up with a really hilarious commercial of Iwata, Reggie and Miyamoto getting wrecked by the 3DS and 3D versions of Bowser. There was even an Arwing, which makes us wonder if Star Fox will be shown for the 3DS?

In addition to the 3D capibilities there's some really interesting things too like Wifi with no fee, and features that could only be referred to as 3DS connect 24. The games featured on 3DS will run quietly in the background to allow a more seamless experience with little wifi surprises that you'll receive even when the handheld is closed. It's even featured as a 3D digital camera, via the two camera lenses on it's outer casing. Of course there were things promised with the Wii that weren't implemented fully yet, but still hearing it now still gives that "kid on Christmas" feeling that I had back in '04.

To end the conference hundreds of booth girls flooded the theater with 3DS's tethered to their persons. They were planning to let everyone in the audience try the 3DS for themselves, while those who couldn't play it at the moment can play Skyward Sword  via displays placed at the front of the stage.

As people have said before, Sony and MS have gone the "casual" route, and Nintendo decided to bait and switch and appeal to the core. This is going to set the tone for the remainder of this console generation and many more to come.

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