Hello fellow Cubed3 visitor, and thanks for popping in to what amounts to being my first Staff Blog in quite a while. Chances are you'll be waking up to read this after having seen Nintendo's E3 press conference yesterday afternoon (or whatever time it would have been in your area), and I'd like to use this space to post down the wide range of thoughts I have on it in a place where it won't get lost in the hubbub of forum posts.
Zombie Reggie was fucking awesome.
Let's address the elephant in the room first. Yes, Nintendo's hour and a half was hugely disappointing. A large number of us tuned in to see the last major games developer yet to create masterpieces in High Definition finally cross that threshold, and to return to a number of franchises that would benefit hugely from the resolution boost and Gamepad features. That didn't exactly happen.
You won't hear me diss Pikmin 3; it isn't my type of game personally, but I know a damned good one when I see it, and 3 looks set to continue the quality that the first two games set in stone. New Super Mario Bros U, whilst unfortunately continuing the saturated feel that 2D Mario games seem to be getting in recent years, nonetheless has a fantastic Art style and a strong pedigree to follow, so chances are it will be brilliant too.
Lego City is highly intriguing, more so if it is completely exclusive to Nintendo hardware, though my personal belief is that Online and Multiplayer support will make or brake this one.
NintendoLand is...well, I'm not too sure what to make of it. On the surface, it appears to be a way to introduce those who don't have gaming as a regular activity into key Nintendo Franchises that the big N can build a bigger fanbase from, and in a manner familiar to Wii Sports. This game has the biggest chance of being a pack-in title or pre-installed game, but I don't know enough about it to form an impression as of yet. The demonstration time for a couple of the minigames was far too long, definitely.
I think what struck me most about this conference was the sheer amount of time Nintendo gave to 3rd Parties, and their speakers. Ubisoft I was surprised with the most, as few will forget the shitstains they piled upon the Wii in its early years, but for the Wii U launch we have a good number of games that might turn out quite decent. Rayman Legends is a given (I have doubts about its exclusiveness, but following Origins is assuring), ZombiU brings some new ideas and could fulfil the potential that Red Steel 1 never did, and Assassin's Creed 3 speaks for itself.
Scribblenauts Unlimited we pretty much all saw coming, and with luck should be a worthy game like its predecessors. Batman Arkham City, despite being a year old now, provides some interesting GamePad ideas, and as long as the Game of the Year extra content is included, will easily be one of the best launch games, period.
And then we had that reel of other 3rd Party games, like Aliens Colonial Marines, and Mass Effect 3 that admittedly surprised me, but that was all that really did.
For the past year we've heard talk of Nintendo building relations with 3rd Parties, and tailoring the console architecture around their needs, and I believe the conference to be the accumulation of that process. True, nearly all of the games shown by other developers are older and have been out on other hardware for a while, but the fact Nintendo would take time to showcase them and not their own work, when that's pretty much how its been for god knows how many years, speaks volumes.
You won't hear me defending the conference as a whole; none of it was as cringeworthy as the 2008 fiasco, and the promising Pikmin start led to an event that didn't deserve fireworks as the finisher, but I can see where Nintendo were going with what they were showing, even if it were done in the most boring way possible. However, when you look back at all the games that were shown, and realise that all of them are for the Wii U's Launch window, there definitely won't be a repeat of the 3DS's lack of compelling software debut. Nintendo really needed to show a number of their franchises for beyond that window, to ensure people that the Wii U has a bright future, and they fumbled it completely.
Though I definitely don't see anything wrong here, heh.
Speaking of which, we have one more major event later, the 3DS software showcase which may redeem Nintendo's E3 showing in the eyes of many, so we'll see on that one. Just wanted to post this lot up beforehand, especially considering it was all swirling around my mind all night.