Nintendo’s E3 show this year was probably one of the flattest we’ve ever seen, which was a surprise considering this was their year to shine with the Wii U coming out soon. We expected tons of third party releases that actually made use of the hardware in new and unique ways, but maybe that was wishful thinking. I guess developers are going to have to reacquaint themselves with Nintendo after years of ignoring them. Here are the most notable previews we saw at this year’s Nintendo keynote.
They did demo the Wii U of course, but failed to show anything we didn’t already know about it aside from the fact that it can seemingly be used as a universal tv remote. It’s a very capable controller with tons of potential, but they’ve failed to mention just how long the battery life will last so far.
We saw a revamped version of Batman Arkham City dubbed “Armored Edition” that utilizes the Wii U controller in less than practical ways that you’ll likely never make use of unless you have to. Despite the pointless controls, it did show that the Wii U was indeed capable of rendering a game like Arkham City and there was seemingly no indication that the Wii U version had been watered down graphically in any way.
Next we got a look at Scribblenaughts Unlimited; a welcome title for fans of the series. It’s the first Scribblenaughts game to come to a full size console so it will be interesting to see what this new sequel can do with more screen space.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 is making it’s debut, but frankly it looks like the easiest Super Mario game ever made. Perhaps a better title would be ‘Super Mario: Coinaholic’.
ZombiU seems more like a tech demo for the Wii U than an actual game, and the thought of waving around a big Wii U controller to do certain actions doesn’t really sound all that appealing or smart. I mean, this has got to be one of the most expensive controllers ever made right? I don’t like the thought of it flying out of my hands and embedding itself in my friends big screen. What, are they gonna add wrist straps to this later on too? The demo itself seems fairly scripted so it’s hard to evaluate much about the game from it.
And as what is probably the first cross-platform title to be released on PC, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo for the first time in a while, Aliens: Colonial Marines was showcased with some developer commentary and a dose of forced enthusiasm. Whoever they picked to demo it is probably the worst shot in history. The game itself seems like a toss up between cool innovative features and a generic, linear, scripted shooter with a fetish for the color brown.
And as what might be one of the best announcements they made this year but also the one they paid the least attention to, the Wii U will have a pro controller for gamers who prefer a more traditional design or for developers who don’t have any use for the tablet’s touch screen. It looks like a near perfect combination of a 360 controller combined with the Playstation Dualshock, and that is great news for fans of franchises such as Super Smash Bros. as well as core gamers in general who don’t care for the new tablet control scheme. This was a great move on Nintendo’s part.