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Random thoughts and news in the world of video games.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Nintendo plays it safe during E3 Nintendo Direct

It was going to be hard topping Sony's press conference where they showed off the new console, put Microsoft in the burn clinic, and announced a $399 price tag for the PS4 to the cheers of many. Nintendo decided not to waste money this year putting out a big fancy presser of their own, opting for the cheaper and successful Nintendo Directs they've done lately. It was short and straight to the point: Showing off games. And while there weren't many surprises, at least we have a glimpse at what the struggling Wii U's future will be. Finally, the games are coming.

The revived Bayonetta 2 got some love with the heroine in a new hairstyle and still kicking butt. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was officially announced, and looks to play very similar to Donkey Kong Country Returns, which recently received a 3DS version. Dixie Kong is also a character, which is nice.

Mario Kart 8 looks very cool with motorcycles and karts, and traveling along walls. This will be a hot seller for sure, along with Super Mario 3D World, which was revealed for the first time. It's inspired by the amazing 3DS game Super Mario 3D Land, and will feature 4-player co-op with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad, and a new cat-suit power-up where you can climb up walls. I was hoping the new 3D Mario game would have been more open like Super Mario 64, but I'll take it anyway.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD was also shown. It looks really nice, but I'm having trouble noticing the graphical updates from the GameCube version -- that one already looked good because of the cel-shaded graphics. I've also had my eye on Wonderful 101, which features up to five players in co-op mode. Art Academy is also being worked on. Wii Party U is releasing in October and Wii Fit U in the winter. Third-party games and the Wii U eShop were showcased, too.

From Monolith Soft was a trailer for X, which just looks awesome with its graphics and open world mecha. The finale was the expected Smash Bros trailer for the Wii U and 3DS, with both versions coming out in 2014. Revealed characters include The Villager from Animal Crossing, the Wii Fit Trainer and ... Mega Man! It looks awesome and the wait will be painful.

For the 3DS, Pokemon X/Y will be releasing in October. It includes new fairy type Pokemon, and this game will sell millions for sure. Other than that, there was no mention of a price cut to help boost Wii U sales. I'm totally expecting one now that the PS4 is $399. There is no way Nintendo can keep the Wii U premium at $350 after that announcement. Some time in the future, don't be surprised to see a cut to $300 for premium or maybe even lower.

Nintendo's put a lot of focus on the 3DS lately and has righted that ship. Now it's time to put Wii U in the spotlight. It needs it very, very badly.


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