The Nintendo conference began with an intro featuring Mr. Miyamoto in his dressing room, with some familiar little creatures running around in the racks- PIKMIN! Mr. Miyamoto took to the stage and we got a close look at the Pikmin, and their new game, Pikmin 3 which will be coming to the Wii U. It seems like it will be a far more satisfying experience than has been offered for Pikmin thus far, with better camera viewing angles and a constant mini-map display on the Wii U Controller display.
Next up was a welcome announcement that has been mysteriously absent thus far. Mario comes to Wii U (obviously). Highlights are a new interactive level selection screen on which your friends can leave comments on individual levels, a new form for the beloved Tanuki suit, which looks an awful lot like a Sugar Glider/Flying Squirrel, and various actions made possible through the utilization of multi-colored baby Yoshis.
Following that, Reggie was kicked off the stage by a familiar face- Harley Quinn, introducing Batman Arkham City Armored Edition. The player inventory will be utilized on-screen via the Wii U Controller and various new combat styles are achievable through the new controller’s capabilities.
The next familiar face presented to us was Maxwell, our friend from the ingenious imagination game, Scribblenauts. The explorer will be coming to Wii U in the title Scribblenauts Unlimited. Other highlighted games include Mass Effect 3, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Trine 2: Director’s Cut, Ninja Gaiden: Razor’s Edge, and Aliens: Colonial Marines.
The next thing to be announced was Wii Fit U, making fitness even more accessible and convenient through the utilization of your entertainment center and Wii U Controller’s off-television display. All functions of Wii Fit U can be viewed on the Wii U Controller, and the activities are selected via the use of the controller’s touch screen.
Next came a karaoke game with the working title “Sing”. With the use of the innovative Wii U Controller, the first console-based karaoke game to make it possible for you to comfortably face the crowd you are singing to comes to Wii U. You plug the microphone into the Wii U and face your audience while holding the Wii U controller, which displays the lyrics to your songs on-screen.
Just as I was beginning to think “Wait a minute, what about Nintendo’s other new console, the 3DS?” the floor was briefly given over to showcase some upcoming 3DS titles. The first one announced was NEW Super Mario Brothers 2, which is a lot like NEW Super Mario Brothers, but for some reason features a plethora of gold- both the coins and the palette.
Finally, some information on the game that I have been most anticipating for the 3DS- Paper Mario! The Paper Mario title coming to the 3DS bears the subtitle “Sticker Star”. In it, there are stickers scattered throughout the world, both in treasure boxes and hidden within the scenery. You add them to your inventory and use them as attacks in battle, and as items.
Reggie kicked Scott back off the stage after just a few moments and suddenly we were back to viewing new Wii U titles. Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon was unveiled, along with Lego City, Just Dance 4, and an extremely impressive-looking Zombie game called Zombi U, in which we will use the Wii U Controller as our toolkit to crack codes on keypads as well as for a super-scope to hone in on targets.
Also showcased were short clips of Sports Connection, The Avengers: Battle for Earth, Rabbids Land, Rayman Legends, Assasin’s Creed 3 and YourShape Fitness Evolved 2013.
Katsuya Eguchi was invited out onstage to teach us about some of the highlights of a new concept referred to as NintendoLand. It is a vast amusement park in which there are 12 adventures to choose from, each based on a well-loved Nintendo franchise. The one that they spoke most about was Luigi’s Ghost Mansion. It showcased the capabilities of the Wii U Controller well by showing that one player with a Wii U controller could interact with four players wielding WiiMotes in an innovative new way. The Wii U controller allowed the player acting as the ghost to remain hidden and chase through the hallways after the 4 other players as they searched for him. This “Asymmetrical Play” evokes many possibilities and opportunities that show promise if game developers will take advantage of it.