Nintendo opted again for a Digital Event to show off
future Wii U and 3DS titles at E3 2015. While the games look to be fun, it was
underwhelming since most of them we already knew about and some unannounced games
were more like spinoffs.
After a bizarre and humorous opening sequence where
Satoru Iwata, Shigeru Miyamoto and Reggie Fils-Aime were shown in puppet form,
Star Fox Zero for the Wii U was announced to the delight of many. The trailer
showed how the GamePad can be used to aim the Arwings during hectic battles,
and you'll be able to transform ship types with the touch of a button and walk
around on the surface. Fan favorite Platinum Games is working with Nintendo to
make it happen. It releases this holiday.
Sadly there was no mention of the epic Wii U Zelda title
we saw at last year's E3, but two new 3DS Zelda games were shown off with The
Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes and Hyrule Warriors Legends. Tri Force Heroes
features Four Swords-like gameplay (but with 3 players) where you can team up
with others online and make a totem pole of characters to solve puzzles and
defeat enemies. It releases this fall. Hyrule Warriors Legends introduces
characters from The Wind Waker including Tetra, King of Hyrule, and more, as
well as new story elements. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out on
the handheld. Unfortunately, it releases in the first quarter of 2016.
Nintendo is teaming up with Activision to put Donkey Kong
and Bowser in the Nintendo version of Skylanders SuperChargers, which releases
Sept. 20. What's neat is these figurines are both amiibo and Skylanders
compatible. So will the amiibo completionists take the costly plunge? The Wii U
starter pack costs $74.99 to get the Donkey Kong figure, and the Wii and 3DS
($64.99) starter packs come with Bowser. They will not be available separately.
Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer for the 3DS focuses
more on decorating and designing homes. It launches Sept. 25. The charming
Yoshi's Woolly World got more footage shown off and launches Oct. 16.
Other trailers included a new Metroid Prime for the
3DS...but it's actually a spinoff, which was a buzzkill. Metroid Prime:
Federation Force is cooperative multiplayer and includes the Blast Ball
mini-game that was announced during the Nintendo World Championships. Xenoblade
Chronicles X is coming Dec. 4, and we also saw Fire Emblem: Fates (2016) and
Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem (2016). Mario Tennis Ultra Smash is coming
Another Spring 2016 release is Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam
for the 3DS. This is a hybrid of Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi styles, both of
which I love, but it's so far, far away.
Besides Star Fox Zero, the highlight of the event was
Super Mario Maker, which we finally got a release date of Sept. 11. Nintendo
has been giving this game a major, major push, and it looks like it has a lot
going for it. I imagine there will be thousands of levels made from amateur
level designers around the world, and I can't wait to see what people think of.
Lastly, I hate to say this was the most disappointing
announcement, because I think the game will turn out fine, but Animal Crossing:
amiibo Festival is not the Animal Crossing any fan was expecting for the Wii U. Scheduled for release this holiday, it looks more like a
Mario Party-type game with lots of amiibo capabilities.
With the mobile push starting later this year, Nintendo
has assured us multiple times about their NX project and more info coming in 2016. That Animal Crossing
announcement, along with the rest of the Digital Event, kind of tells me that
new Nintendo hardware is coming out sooner than you think.