Sony’s E3 2015 press conference from Monday night was a difficult act to follow, but it fell to Nintendo to do exactly that. Taking their usual Nintendo approach, there was no stage, nor was there an audience; just Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America Reggie Files-Aime, and Lead Game Designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Also, they were puppets. The puppets were meant to represent transformation, and that’s exactly what Nintendo showed. While they stuck with their quirky humour, there was a sense that something was different There was a stronger emphasis on games that core gamers would play, but there was also a bit of something for everyone.
The show started with a look at Star Fox Zero featuring dual screen gameplay. On your TV, you’re presented a third-person view of your ship, while on your Wii U game pad, a first-person view of the cockpit. The first-person mode is how you would target enemies, while the third-person mode gives you a sense of your surroundings. The gamepad features also include gyro controls with the intent of simulating actual flight controls. In addition, there are new and different vehicle types: The Land Master, which is like a car or truck, a walker, and the Gyro Wing, similar to a helicopter.
While Star Fox was the star of this show, there was a noticeable void left by an absence of The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U, but Hyrule was still represented at this E3 with an all-new Zelda title for the 3DS. This time around, it will feature 3-player co-op with a “totem” ability that lets players stack on top of each other. Things are all about fashion this time around, as it takes a page out of Mario’s book by allowing players to buy different suits, each with different powers and abilities. Titled The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes, it will be available in fall 2015.
That was just a taste of what Nintendo had planned for us this year, though. As Nintendo’s consoles don’t have as much third-party support as others, this conference was filled with exclusives, including Metroid Prime: Federation Force for the 3DS available in 2016, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival for the Wii U and Animal Crossing Happy Home designer for the 3DS. We were given a glimpse of Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam, a cross-over of the Mario and Luigi series and the Paper Mario series available in 2015 on the 3DS. We were also treated to the new Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for the Wii U, Amiibo compatibility for the next Skylanders game, and a closer look at Mario Maker.
Games were front and centre at this year’s Digital Event from Nintendo. While it was impossible to trump Sony’s conference from the night before, Nintendo did a great job of showing off what is in store for their show. E3 2015 was all about transformation for the Big N, and they put their best foot forward towards winning back the consumers.