E3 2012 Mania!: Nintendo’s Press Conference Round Up

Nintendo brings their Nintendo Power to the E3 stage!

This is the second big E3 event we’ve seen from the Big N (the first was Sunday, when they talked about the Wii U’s capabilities). We were promised that the focus of this press event will be on the games coming out for Wii U. So what did they show?

SURPRISE! (Okay, not Quite)

We love Nintendo’s legendary designer, Shigeru Miyamoto. His enthusiasm is infectious and he’s simply adorable. It’s always a treat to see him take the stage at any event; that big, child-like smile on his face. Ya can’t help but smile along with him as he describes his latest project.

Miyamoto-san takes the stage, but it seems he didn’t come alone. Pikmin are attacking the audience (okay, not really). But that was his cue to start talking about the long-awaited sequel to Pikmin 2Pikmin 3!

It looks so nice! The way those lil’ Pikmin scurry about reminds me of ants. And like lil’ ants, they gather resources to help you survive the wilderness. You can use the Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuck or the Wii U GamePad control the lil’ guys, though you’ll probably want to use the GamePad more because of the handy touch screen.

E32012 - Pikmin 3

Use the GamePad's touch screen to command your Pikmin with ease.

You can make time and resource management easier by using the Wii U GamePad to touch the various places in the map and assign tasks to groups of Pikmin. Or better yet, you can tell your buddies to tell the Pikmin what to do. This time around, there are four leaders who can command a group of Pikmin to do what’s needed. You can switch between each leader using the touch screen and get an update on how they’re doing.

There are various modes of play, like a time trial mode which you can record and watch the replay later. A lil’ friendly competition never hurt anybody.

After the glorious return of Pikmin, the “Regginator”, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, appeared to speak his gospel. Besides going over everything that happened during the Sunday Nintendo Direct event (which you can read about here), he mentions that Wii U will support two GamePads. Lots of folks were wondering if it would or not, so it’s nice that we got some actual confirmation.

Next, we’re shown Super Mario Bros. U. Mario looks great in HD, I must say, and the stages (well, what we’ve seen) look incredible. You can play with four people, and there’s a Boost Mode, where one person (using the GamePad) can place blocks along the way to help the rest of you get the end of stages faster (helpful for you speed runners out there).

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So many coins! And look at the size of that Koopa Troopa! And those Goombas!

Like what we saw in Sunday’s event, the game will have Miiverse interaction where your friends can leave comments, brag about their accomplishments, and all that good social stuff. Plus, other players can come in and play too, much like the other New Super Mario Bros. games

It was great seeing Pikmin 3 and New Super Mario Bros. U. My problem is that we already knew that we would see them a few weeks ago, so they weren’t the fan-girly squee fest that I thought they would be (almost! But not quite).


How ‘Bout That Third Party Support?

There weren’t many third party reps rockin’ the stage this time around. A lot of the games we saw weren’t new games necessarily; rather, they were games many of us already played on previous consoles, except they were re-tooled to take advantage of the Wii U’s features. For example, Batman: Arkham City is coming to Wii U as Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition. It looks great and has new features, like the B.A.T mode, which gathers energy over time and will dole out more damage once it reaches maximum capacity. The GamePad is used for easy access to all of Batman’s gadgets, and used for other features.

Scribblenauts: Unlimited… I never played any of the previous Scribblenauts games, but I like the idea of being able to draw something to get yourself out of a sticky situation. It looks kinda cute.

It wouldn’t be a conference without video montages, and Nintendo gave us one of future third-party games, including:

  • Darksiders II
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Tank! Tank! Tank!
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Trine 2: Director’s Cut
  • Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge
  • Aliens Colonial Marines

A lot of them have already been out a while; I don’t know how keen people would be to play them again so soon with everything else that’s coming out.

We know that the Wii U will support all of the Wii’s peripherals, and one Wii gadget that took off like gangbusters was the Wii Balance Board. The Wii Fit bundle, which came with a copy of Wii Fit and a Balance Board, was one of the hardest things to find. No really, every store was sold out for weeks. I got one, but I had to buy two games with it (ugh). Anyhoo, Nintendo’s giving the Balance Board new life with Wii Fit U. Not only does it have more activities for you to do, it looks like it has a pedometer looking peripheral that logs your activities outside the game. You can then sync it with your Wii Fit U profile and it count towards your daily Wii U routine. How nifty is that? The Touch Pad can also display the exercises, which will free up the TV some.

Then there’s this karaoke game, SiNG. It displays the song lyrics on the GamePad while you sing into mic. Thing is, the lyrics are on the actual TV screen, too, so why use the GamePad?


3DS News?

Though we were told that there will be news about games for the Nintendo 3DS, it’s not here. They had another conference that was all about new 3DS games (post coming soon!). But that didn’t stop them from giving us a peak anyway. They decided to throw us a bone and showed New Super Mario Bros. 2.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 has a huge emphasis on coin collecting. Everything you touch spits out money. I wish I can do that in real life, really.

Paper Mario Sticker Star still has that shoebox diorama feel to it, but they added something cool: stickers! You pull stickers off the background and other places, and those stickers become your battle commands. Can’t wait to learn more!

They also show Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Luigi has to explore new mansions, has a variety of different missions to accomplish, and a bunch of new ghosts that require specific strategies in order to catch ’em.

Very brief, but that’s all they gave us, really 😕 Can’t show all their cards, yea?

That’s Enough Of 3DS. What Else?

Back to Wii U, a new Lego game is shown called Lego City: Undercover. You go around fighting crime and defending the denizens of Lego City, ’cause you’re a hero and that’s what heroes do. Like other Lego games, you have a variety of different missions to do, can switch to different Lego people with different abilities (which they cleverly call “Disguises”), and have that distinct humour that only they can do (oh, those Lego in-jokes!)

Ubisoft strikes again! God, they’re everywhere! It’s like they’re the Illuminati! Anyhoo,  the Wii U version of Just Dance 4 gives one player the opportunity to choose the dance moves players have to do in the routines, so you can be a huge jerk and choose moves that are near impossible to do.

Next up is the game Ubi showed at their conference, ZombiU. They showed a video highlighting some of the ways the Wii U GamePad could be used: you can shake it to get Zombies off of you, access your inventory quickly in real time, act as a scanner to find zombies, use it as a sniper scope to take out zombies with your gun, and tons of other ways. This actually looks kinda fun.

E32012 - ZombiU

Use Sonar to detect where those zombies are coming from to avoid getting attacked.

Nintendo decided to end their conference with their new mini-game collection, Nintendo Land.  Nintendo Land gathers all Nintendo’s popular titles into a theme park. Your Mii changes costume depending on the game, and you play the game as your Mii. In the on-stage demo, they played a game based on Luigi’s Mansion, where three Miis are running around a maze, while a fourth player plays as a ghost. You have to find a way out before the ghost catches you. If all the players are caught, the ghost wins. The game will come packaged with Wii U, and will show off some of the Miiverse’s capabilities.


Final Thoughts and Minee’s Hit List

Overall (and this pains me to say), Nintendo’s conference didn’t blow my mind. As I mentioned earlier, their two biggest games were already known well in advanced, so there were no surprises from them, really. While it’s good to see that there is support from third parties, it would’ve been nice to see more from them instead of the two minutes they spent with the third party games they did show on the stage.

They did spend quite a lot of time touting Nintendo Land, and as much as I understand them wanting to show off as much of the Wii U’s capabilities as possible, in the end, I think they would’ve been better served showing off other games more (like many of the third party games that were on that video montage).

Oh well.


Nintendo E3 2012 Press Conference


What games from Nintendo caught your interest at their press conference? Sound off in the Comments Section!