Nintendo was the last of the “Big 3” to roll out their E3 conference and decided to go with another Digital Event similar to last year. A lot was shown off including new reveals, updates on existing titles and and an emphasis on “transformation”. So what did Nintendo show off? Let’s recap!
Star Fox Zero
Wasting no time, Nintendo went right into their biggest title for this year in Star Fox. Now named Star Fox Zero, the franchise seems to be going to it’s roots in terms of gameplay. No adventure style game here, as Team Star Fox will be taking to the skies in new versions of the classic Arwing. The Arwing can now transform at the press of a button into various forms including a walker and a helicopter. Taking inspiration from the unreleased Star Fox 2 from the SNES, Nintendo teamed up with Platinum Games to bring Star Fox Zero to the Wii U. Zero uses the Wii U GamePad as a cockpit view to aim more accurately but the game can be played normally with the thumbsticks and on the television. Star Fox Zero is set to release Holiday 2015.
Amiibo made it’s debut at last year’s E3 and it had a sizable presence this year as well. Vicarious Visions (developers of the Skylanders franchise) teamed up with Nintendo to bring Donkey Kong and Bowser into the world of Skylanders: Superchargers. These figures are exclusive to the Wii U version as well as have the ability to switch from Skylander mode into amiibo mode for use in other games. Other amiibo were shown off as well including a line of Animal Crossing amiibo and a new Mario 30th anniversary 8-bit amiibo.
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda made two appearances this year but in a completely different way than you’d expect. The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes is a new game for the 3DS that focuses on multiplayer cooperation to complete challenges and dungeons. Similar to the Four Swords line of games, Triforce Heroes is a 3 player co-op adventure that’s designed around helping eachother solve puzzles and defeat bosses. New to the series is the ability to dress up in different outfits that give special abilities. For example, dressing up in a Samurai costume to get an upgraded Spin Attack. Triforce Heroes arrives on 3DS in Fall of 2015.
Zelda wasn’t finished. Hyrule Warriors is being “re-imagined” on 3DS under the name Hyrule Warriors Legends. Legends will include all the DLC from the Wii U version, as well as characters and missions from The Wind Waker including Tetra and the King of Red Lions. If you purchase the 3DS version, you can transfer characters to the Wii U version and vice versa. Hyrule Warriors Legends will release 1st Quarter of 2016.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
In a move no one honestly saw coming, Nintendo announced a new Metroid title….sort of. Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a departure from the norm of the series, allowing for 4 bounty hunters to go on missions and defeat enemies. Included is a mini-game known as Blast Ball, where two teams of three face off in an arena-style match trying to get a ball into the opposing teams goal. The whole package is focused on multiplayer and has a more stylized art style than the previous Metroid Prime titles. Metroid Prime: Federation Force will release for 3DS in 2016.
The newest installment of the popular Strategy RPG Fire Emblem is coming stateside under the name Fire Emblem Fates. The english translation looks to be well underway as this trailer shows off the Nohr and Hoshido battling it out. Fire Emblem Fates releases on 3DS in 2016.
Fire Emblem Fates was accomanpied by another trailer for the crossover title Shin Megami Tensi X Fire Emblem, now renamed to Genei Ibun Roku. This new trailer, while in Japanese, gave us insight into the characters the game will have as well as showing the game will be fully developed by Atlus. Genei Ibun Roku will release in 2016 for Wii U.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
The sequel to the acclaimed Wii JRPG, Xenoblade Chronicles X was given a new trialer and, finally, a release date in North America. The flashy trailer showed off combat, cutscences and set up the story for players. You can explore the world of Mira on December 4th 2015 only on Wii U.
Animal Crossing was well represented this time around from Nintendo. We got another trailer for the newest 3DS game, Happy Home Designer. In this title, players build homes and decorate them to impress villagers who are scanned in through amiibo cards. The formula seems to be expanded upon, as the trailer shows off building schools and decorating them as well. Happy Home Designer will release on September 25, 2015 on the 3DS.
Not far behind was Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival. In a bizarre move, Animal Crossing now gets it’s own Mario Party styled game. Scanning one of the new Animal Crossing amiibos puts that character in the game and allows you to play as them. You roll dice, move spaces, collect bells and land on spaces that effect your character, similar to The Game of Life. Just like the main series, special characters can visit the town and effect how the game is played. The emphasis on amiibo is interesting as it is the first game where the figures apear to be essential to play it. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival releases on Wii U Holiday of 2015.
Last but not least, the famous plumber himself, Mario. Mario was, as expected, well represented in the Digital Event. One of the more interesting announcements was a crossover between his two RPG titles, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. Paper Jam combines the playstyles and aesthetics of both the Paper Mario series and the Mario & Luigi series. The humor, super moves and sticker collecting from Sticker Star all seem to present in this newest crossover for Mario and company. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam will release on 3DS in 2016.
In between trailers and developer stories, Nintendo announced the first Mario Sports title for the Wii U. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is the newest installment in the Mario Tennis line and brings with it gorgous visuals. As always, powerups will play a role in your tennis action, as the Mega Mushroom from New Super Mario Bros. makes an appearance. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash will serve up the fun Holiday 2015.
To end the Digital Event, Nintendo went old school with Mario Maker. Now renamed to Super Mario Maker, a new trailer showcased what’s possible with this new game and level editor. Players can craft entire Mario adventures and share them online globally. Tapping different amiibos into the game will grant players the ability to play with classic Nintendo characters like Link from The Legend of Zelda. A special 8-bit Mario will be released as well which will grant make Mario huge when scanned in. Mario’s turning 30 and Super Mario Maker is a great way to celebrate his legacy. Super Mario Maker will be launching on September 11th, 2015 on Wii U.
Nintendo Treehouse Live
Like last year, Nintendo streamed gameplay of most, if not all, of the games announced and will continue to for the rest of E3. From Star Fox to Metroid Prime: Federation Force, the Treehouse showcased the new games in the best way possible, directly to the fans. To watch more and keep up with all the titles announced, head on over to Nintendo’s YouTube channel for the remainder of E3.
That was it for Nintendo on Day 1 or E3. A lot announced for the end of 2015 and early 2016 and a lot to be excited for. What was your favorite part of Nintendo’s Digital Event? Let us know @RestartReplay !
Videos and images sourced from Nintendo
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