by Josh Hamel
Nintendo was the last, and arguably most anticipated, of the big three publishers to present at E3 2015. With a new console on the way, did they manage to live up to fan expectations? See what we thought of Nintendo’s big E3 push.
The presentation began with a bit of humor and an introduction to Pikmin 3. What could be better. Miyamoto is always a fan favorite at the conference and Pikmin looked really great on the Wii U. Ironically though, as Pikmin moves into HD finally, the game had less color than other entries in the series, with a more concentration of brown. Hopefully this only pertains to the demo shown, but either way, it will be nice to finally see it in a higher resolution.
The presentation then moved to the Wii U system itself. Nintendo already described the Wii U GamePad a little at it’s pre-E3 Nintendo Direct show. I’m fine with more clarification, but mentioning face buttons and other basic features seemed to slow down the pace.
Super Mario Bros. U brought the excitement level right back up again. The game looked beautiful on the Wii U, especially the “Starry Night”-like stage shown briefly in the demo. Really looking forward to seeing more of what Nintendo has planned for level design with more power under the hood.
The Scribblenauts announcement was also a good one. That series will make good use of the Wii U’s touch screen and 5th Cell is a great studio.
I’m troubled by Nintendo’s reliance on year old titles to sell their system, though. Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition may have been enough to see a system if the game was coming out this year when the system launches, but not after a year on the market. The same goes for Mass Effect 3 and many other titles shown during the presentation. It’s not like they didn’t have titles to show. Epic Mickey 2 and an apparent Platinum Games developed title were both absent from the show.
How will consumers react when they see full-priced Wii U games next to the same titles for other systems that are half that?
I think the system will also be plagued by gimmicks shoved into games to make use of the controller early on in the system’s lifecycle. For every title that uses it affectively, there will be more that will incorporate elements just because that are a nuisance.
Though its not my kind of game, I have to admit that if anything sells the Wii U other than Mario, it will be Sing. Not a lot of prestige comes with it, but sales are likely if Ubisoft can deliver on the concept.
The 3DS continues to look healthy with the addition of a new Mario, Paper Mario and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. I’m interested to see what else they add to that with their next Nintendo Direct on Wednesday.
Lego City and ZombiU look like they could be great titles, as well. I’m a bit worried ZombiU will be one of those games that shoehorns in Wii U mechanics just because the developers feel they need to.
The close to Nintendo’s presentation was a bit disappointing with NintendoLand. It really just looks like another minigame collection that is trying to match up to Wii Sports’ success.
Bonus points are awarded, however, for Reggie’s “I feel like a purple Pikmin,” and “My body was ready,” lines.
I don’t know if my expectations were just too high for Nintendo’s E3 presentation, but I came away feeling it was weak. There were some solid titles shown, but it lacked a signature, blockbuster announcement you want with a new console incoming.