Nintendo went out all-guns blazing at E3 this year, with no less than 4 separate direct ways of connecting with their fans. First came the Wii U hardware and features focus which they delivered via a Nintendo Direct briefing. Then came the E3 conference event itself, topped off by a developers round-table discussion and a 3DS specific software focus, which is what we are letting you know all about now.
Although sadly no big new announcements were made regarding new titles (still hoping for that Metroid first person game guys – you know it would rock in 3D!), Nintendo did show off a lot about the games we know are coming our way before the holidays and also revealed a few new details on those top titles, so here is what we learned.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate was only known about shortly before E3, so it is impressive that the game looks so complete. Due out this Fall, the game seems to mix up the modern graphic style of the Lords of Shadow game (and its sequel) with 16 bit classic platforming and whip action along with a healthy dose of Symphony of the Night style exploration, which could make for a fantastic experience. The 3D effect should suit the 2.5d side scrolling backgrounds well and the game as a whole does look very impressive.
Luigi’s Mansion on the 3DS now has a subtitle, Dark Moon, and again what was shown looked very playable and fun. Launching this holiday, it should be an improvement on the great but short Gamecube original, not the least being the introduction of 3 separate mansions which should extend game length. Nintendo promises puzzles as well as different tactics needed to take down certain ghosts in what looks like the focus of their 3DS line-up over Christmas.
Another Nintendo title given a new subtitle is Paper Mario: Sticker Star. The games gimmick revolves around collecting stickers of certain items (for example a bridge) and then using them to solve puzzles within the game. Some stickers can also be used to form your attack moves in a nice original move that should see players spend a lot of time on their 3DS console come the end of the year.
Disney Epic Mickey – Power of Illusion is another ridiculously long game title, but one that also seems influenced by the best of 16 bit gaming, in this case Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse. Visiting various Disney worlds the platformer looks wonderful in a retro way and should be right at home on the handheld. One to watch out for when it launches later in the year.
Scribblenauts Unlimited was only announced during E3, and sees an improvement on the DS and Wii original, with many new words and phrases that can be used to solve puzzles and a more vibrant graphical look that should shine in 3D.
New Super Mario Bros 2 will center around the portly plumbers love of the gold stuff, by which of course I mean the coins he is always so keen to collect 100 of. In this game due out on August 19th coin collection is taken to extreme levels and Nintendo promise a coin rush competitive mode and co-op multiplayer but sadly not online.
Finally for the mini-conference, Nintendo shared a more detailed look at Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance which is easily my most anticipated handheld game this year. Showing a scene from the Disney world themed around The Three Musketeers, the game will launch on July 31st and utilizes Street Pass and AR cards.
Despite the lack of exciting new announcements, Nintendo certainly has a solid offering for their handheld for the remainder of 2012 and seems to have the better of the Vita at this stage. It will be interesting to see what 2013 offers however as so far we don’t actually know any of Nintendo’s plans for the new year, You can bet a certain elf in a green costume and a lady in red (well OK, orange!) wont be too far away.