The Nintendo E3 Press Conference may be over, but that doesn’t mean the excitement has waned. From the get go, Nintendo blew us away. Reggie Fils-Amie came out to debut a new Zelda game, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and it got fans really excited.
We were originally led to believe that a man named Bill would be the one doing the live demo, since Shigeru Miyamoto, a mad genius, seemed like he was being video conferenced in. Turns out Miyamoto-san would be the one playing Skyward Sword, and also discussing how it works. Bill remained there, as translator, and the fun began.
The live demo consisted of us getting a tutorial on the controls, the new items, and how we can interact with the environment. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be a must-have game for the Wii console. Unfortunately it isn’t slated to launch until 2011, but more details will be leaked out in the months to come.
Following the excitement over Zelda, Reggie came back onto the stage to announce a new Wii Sports title: Mario Sports Mix. Like Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Mario Sports Mix won’t hit store shelves until 2011, but we saw Mario and friends competing in different arenas this time around. From what I was able to see, I caught volleyball, hockey, field hockey, basketball, and maybe water polo. Everything seemed to go by so quickly, it was difficult to catch it all. Obviously other sports titles like Madden and MLB are coming to the Wii, but a nice surprise was the classic NBA Jam. For E3 attendees, a live demo will be available on the floor.
For those out there who thought the Wii was losing it’s steam, Reggie presented us with some impressive stats. Last December, the Wii set record sales. He also informed us on how “more games have been sold for the Wii in the 43 months since launch in any other platform ever, in the same launch period.” Wii owners were also found to play their console more than other owners, and as for other game sales, Mario Kart on the Wii has sold more than 22 million copies worldwide. The New Super Mario Bros. game has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide. Those are some incredible numbers.
Fans of Mario Party will be interested in the new Wii Party game. In Wii Party, fans can have fun with their Mii’s, participating in multiplayer, and having the ability to choose from 13 different party modes. Board Game Island, which features over 70 different mini games, and Balance Boat were a couple modes presented to us. House Party mode is one the entire family can play together. Wii Party will be available for this holiday season.
On the subject of dancing games, Reggie announced the sequel to the popular Wii dance game, Just Dance by Ubisoft. In Just Dance 2, players will have 40 tracks to jam to. They can also engaged in dancing duets, get their cardio in with the Just Sweat mode, and have dance crew face offs with up to 8 players. Just Dance 2 is slated to launch Fall 2010.
RPG fans rejoiced when details and a trailer for Golden Sun: Dark Dawn were given. I’m a fan of the Golden Sun series, and played the GBA one for countless hours. From what I saw, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn on the DS will be incredible. My only wish is that they made a Golden Sun for the Wii, but who knows. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn will be out in time for the holiday season.
Now, what happened after the Golden Sun section was so incredible. In a trailer, they showed a panel of young gamers, and a man who was asking them about GoldenEye 007. You know, the awesomely popular N64 game? Well, good news my friends – in November of this year, we will be gifted a brand new GoldenEye 007 exclusive for the Nintendo Wii. It will feature split-screen gameplay, multiplayer (yes!), 8 classic characters like Oddjob and Jaws, and 16 special game modes like paintball and melee only. Unfortunately Rare won’t be the ones giving us this gem, but I think we can trust Activision to deliver.
On a nostalgia high, Warren Spector and Adam Creighton graced the stage to give us another Wii exclusive, Disney Epic Mickey. The game, which honors the past 80 years of Disney creativity, was given no release date, but a live demo was nice. In Venture Land you can talk with other characters and purchase items. You can also get quests there and visit memorable places like the Tiki Room and Swiss Family Robinson areas from Disney Land. The Waste Land is full of forgotten things, but they just talked to us about that.
In Disney Epic Mikey, the two ‘weapons’ you have are paint and thinner. With the thinner you can erase people, buildings, objects… just about anything. With the paint you can bring it all back or create new things in the world. How you use the two affects everything in the Epic Mickey world. It will affect how characters interact with you, what they talk to you about, how their stories will end, and more. In the game you can expect adventure, platform, and RPG elements throughout, and we even saw a place known as Travel Zone. In Travel Zone, we saw a black and white level, with Mickey in color, and everything was based off of the popular cartoon Steamboat Willie. In Travel Zone, other popular cartoons will be levels as well, so you get something new each time. Disney Epic Mickey was very impressive, on every level, and I feel confident in saying that children and adults will find the game irresistible.
Following Mickey, another familiar face was shown – Kirby. Can you believe it’s been 7 years since Kirby has had it’s own console game? Neither can I! In Kirby’s Epic Yarn (I know, something about Epic Mickey and Epic Yarn back to back in the presentation seemed odd to me as well) you really get to interact with the enviroment. The trailer, to me, felt like this awesome, new Paper Mario game but with Kirby as the main character. The art style was fresh, the gameplay looked really fun, and you won’t have to wait long to play it. Kirby’s Epic Yarn will be out this Fall.
Another thing that got RPG fans excited was the announcement that Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies would be released in North America, finally. For a long time it was only available in Japan, received great reviews, and from what we were told today, it sounds rather impressive. Players will get to go on 120 mini-quests, participate in several Wi-Fi exclusive mini-quests, slay over 300 monsters, obtain 900 items to customize your character, have fun with an infinite number of randomly generated treasure maps, and be able to link up to 3 additional friends so you can quest together. By putting your DS in ‘tag-mode’ the game will automatically seek out people to play with, and add new maps for your character all while you are away from your DS. In 26 days, July 11th, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies drops so start saving your hard earned cash now.
Metroid: Other M was shown, and that will be released on August 31st. Metroid: Other M looks very nice. You will get some classic Metroid game play mixed in with Metroid Prime-esque moments. Being able to switch from FPS to third person is a nice combination, and I’m sure fans of the franchise will dig the new features. Samus will still be able to roll up into a ball and do everything we’ve become familiar with. I’m a huge Metroid Prime fan so I’m glad they kept those elements in.
Bringing the nostalgia back, we were shown Donkey Kong Country Returns, for the Wii. Developed by Retro Studios, Donkey Kong Country Returns brings us back to the 2D days of when DK and Diddy Kong were side-scrolling, platforming maniacs. Donkey Kong Country Returns will be out for this holiday season, and I need to get a copy. No joke. It looks that epic.
After all that DK goodness, we were shown the new Nintendo 3DS. I have to admit, it looks rather impressive and boasts some nice features. Satoru Iwata, Global President of Nintendo, gave us the rundown on the newest addition to the handheld family. I won’t go into too many details because we have an actual post going fully into the 3DS, but just know that there will be an analog stick, in addition to the D-Pad, you won’t need to wear glasses for the 3D to work, and you will be capable of watching 3D movies on the Nintendo 3DS.
Some of you might remember the name Project Sora. It was announced back in like January of 2009. Kingdom Hearts fans might have thought it was a new game in the works, but holy Hell, what they showed today was so much more. I was so overwhelmed with joy that I got teary eyed. Kid. Fucking. Icarus. Yeah I said it. KID ICARUS! As a child I loved the Kid Icarus game, so when I saw him, I couldn’t help but get amazing flashbacks. A Nintendo 3DS exclusive, Kid Icarus: Uprising looks absolutely gorgeous. I’m so excited about this game, I can’t even compose a proper sentence. All I know is that I want it, and I hope I get it. It’s Kid Icarus!
Nintendo has partnered up with E3 to create an E3 network for those who were unable to attend. If you check out their page, you can gather information on the event, get behind the scene looks, screenshots, trailers, and more.