After last year’s casual outing at E3 where hardcore fans were pushed aside to make room for Wii Fit moms, Nintendo had a lot of work to do to make things up to those who felt let down previously. As usual things had been very quiet right up until their conference so no one really knew for sure what was going to be shown and which audiences Nintendo were going to ponder to.
Thankfully right from the start Nintendo’s very own milf mistress Cammie Dunaway took to the stage and announced New Super Mario Bros., a spiritual sequel to the hit DS title. No one ever complains when Nintendo reveal a new 2D side scroller and this time up to four players can all play cooperatively at once on the same Wii (controlling Mario, Luigi and two toad brothers) with a zooming camera system which works in a similar manner to that seen in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, I can’t see this not being top selling hit later this year.
Cammie then went on to introduce us to Wii Fit Plus which is pretty much a standalone update disc which brings more activities and mini games along with more accurate weight monitoring statistics (such as calorie counting). Wii Fit plus arrives bundled with the Balance Board for new buyers but those who have already purchased the original Wii Fit will be able to purchase the disc on its own for a substantial saving (in money and white plastic). I’d be interested in playing some of the new games but I don’t think Wii Fit Plus is an essential purchase for me but I’m sure it will earn even more money for Nintendo.
Then it was Reggie’s turn to take the stage and he showed us more of the upcoming Wii Sports Resort and the new Wii Motion Plus accessory. Aside from revealing some of the new games and showing some live demo’s (which did look pretty good) we didn’t learn too much new but seeing as the Wii Sports Resort release date is July 26th we don’t have long to wait. Reggie then briefly mentioned other upcoming Wii Motion Plus games including; Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger Woods from EA, Virtua Tennis 2009 from Sega and Red Steel 2 from Ubisoft. A few more trailers were shown; Final Fantasy The Crystal Bearers an exclusive Wii title following in the footsteps of Crystal Chronicles on the GameCube. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days looked like a nice DS title for fans of the unusual RPG beat ‘em up starring Disney and Square Enix characters. Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story is another cute DS title which see’s our hero’s shrunk to a teensy size and then swallowed by King Bowser. Then another surprise announcement, classic RPG franchise Golden Sun is returning to DS very soon for a full 3D adventure.
Cammie returned to speak about DSi, she said something about it selling bucket loads and that every staff member at Nintendo has houses made of solid gold. No I jest really but to be honest we all know the DS and Wii are unstoppable sellers so we don’t need to be told how well they’re flying off the shelves. DS Trailers for COP (a GTA China Wars clone) and Women’s Murder Club (an interactive women’s novel) were then revealed along with Nintendo DSi Ware exclusive title Mario vs Donkey Kong 3 mini’s march again. Mario vs Donkey Kong 3 costs just 800 Nintendo points and is released next week, a top bargain for a first party title with custom level creation and online sharing. She then went onto explain basic details about DSi Facebook photo sharing, mentioned Zelda Spirit Tracks and all new Wario Ware DIY which features and extensive mini game building kit to design your own micro games to share with your friends.
Head of Nintendo Japan Satoru Iwata then arrived on stage to talk about the diversity of gamers, non gamers and those middling in between. Skipping past those details we then found out about the Wii Vitality Sensor; a glorified pulse rate detector. This idea isn’t that new to video games and I don’t really see a need for Nintendo to sell us another accessory which will hardly be supported or used in games aside from one original application. Luckily before the crowd turned into a baying mob Iwata presented Super Mario Galaxy 2, the first sequel to a 3D Mario Game ever, the video looked pretty good albeit quite similar looking to the original. Pleasant new surprises were rideable Yoshi’s, new abilities like a Drill Suit which let Mario burrow into the ground and most importantly; busier looking planets to explore.
Aside from some more trailers for upcoming games like Sega’s The Conduit the final big announcement was a brand new Metroid Game being made by Nintendo in conjunction with Team Ninja. Metroid Other M appears in an intriguing new semi 2D action game which looks to tell the story behind our beloved bounty hunter Samus Aran, it was difficult to gather much more about the game apart from it having stunning graphics and lots of action on screen at once – oh and Samus as a little girl, cute.
And that was it, an eye opening show from Nintendo with lots of key new titles. Sadly no mention of Pikmin or Zelda Wii until afterwards when Miyamoto said they were being worked on but not ready for us to see yet, we may have to wait until the next E3, Pax or GDC to find out more about those.