I need to get this off my chest to start with... Anyone who has read these sort of articles over the past nine or so years will know how I have a penchant for the odd free nibble and tipple, and Nintendo has never disappointed. This year? Tea, coffee, orange juice...and nothing else. Not even a measly biscuit or rottle o' reer *hic* However, as someone said to me, "Today is about products, not produce!" *sigh* Games and games alone it was then. Finally meeting the woman deemed as 'the replacement for Rob Saunders" for the first time, my key question to the amicable Jo Bartlett was where best to start. NintendoLand. Good suggestion! After all, opinion was split on this after being shown on stage at E3. The result was a highly shocking one. Okay, it is not quite as intuitive as Wii Sports and its resort-based successor, but it certainly proved to be a superb example of how Nintendo is hoping to bring a whole new dynamic to multiplayer gaming, whilst also bringing lots of far service to the table for consumption. More details will be discussed in the hands-on report, but tilting the GamePad to guide a cart along a tumultuous Donkey Kong stage and taking control of multiple guards using both analogue sticks on the GamePad in the Animal Crossing game were definite raucous highlights.
There were some regrets that there was nothing in the Wii slate, with Rhythm Heaven and Project Zero 2 absent, and no sign of the inevitable localised Inazuma Eleven Strikers and Kirby Anniversary disc. However, as with E3, the focus was meant to be Wii U only, with even Nintendo 3DS having four games on show: New Super Mario Bros. 2, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Dawn, and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate. Where were Heroes of Ruin and Theatrhythm? Sadly Nintendo has picked up the former and sent it to die at retail, but let us hope the same does not happen with the amazing latter title!
Anyway, Wii U focus, yes. Wii Fit U was a brilliant extension of the previous two fitness fun titles, New Super Mario Bros. U was far improved over its DS and Wii counterparts, whilst Pikmin 3 was not shown in as much detail as hoped but still shined as a great progression from the first two releases. Game & Wario ditches the microgame approach of yesteryear, but is nonetheless still highly addictive and as wacky as ever, and then there were the third party offerings.
Ninja Gaiden 3, Batman: Arkham City, the stunning Rayman Legends, the delectable Trine 2: Director's Cut, and the quirky Scribblenauts Unlimited. Oh, and Zombi U, a game Nintendo is touting as exclusive whilst Ubisoft tells all and sundry it will likely be brought to iOS devices as well in the future. The Resident Evil wannabe has a lot left to prove, but turned out a solid performance that mixed in elements of realism into the mix for good measure. Could it be Ubisoft's answer to Red Steel at the Wii launch? Possibly, but the controls certainly need tweaking to make for a smooth fear-filled experience.
Cubed3 staff is at Nintendo's event all week, so hands-on will be flowing from all corners. Sit back and enjoy the upcoming coverage!