Video Games

E3 2009 Coverage – Nintendo

SuperMarioGalaxy As the market leader, what does the folks over at the Mushroom Kingdom have in store for the masses? Nintendo walked into E3 with lots of questions being asked and left there conference answering all of them and then some. They really knocked this one out of the park in a sense with the fact that they stuck with the games and excitement, rather then tell us there sales numbers. Which is why bothered me about Nintendo in recent years when it comes to E3 or the Tokyo Game Show, the constant need to tell me how much they sold. I don’t care for pie charts, pie is awesome, but i don’t need to see numbers, i want to see great software. And like Microsoft, Nintendo delivered on so many levels.

They kicked things off with the one, the only: Mario. What a great way to start things off, they show a trailer of what is out and what is being talked about, and then they dive right into the future. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a clone of the Zelda Four Swords spin off games in a sense, instead of wielding swords and shields, you are running around working cooperatively. You and up to 3 friends can work together playing through classic levels as well as new levels all in the same 3D engine that was used in the Classic New Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS. This game is not a sequel to that, this is something entirely new all together.

Mr. Miyamoto has been trying to find new ways to adapt Mario to new forms of gaming. First it was Super Mario Bros. then Super Mario Bros. 3 and then Super Mario World. Each platform game redefined the way 2D platform gaming should be played. Then along came Nintendo 64, how would Mario be introduced to this new medium of gaming? Super Mario 64 was the answer. This game became the most successful 3D platformer EVER, and spawned hundreds of clones including Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, it even showed rival Sonic The Hedgehog how to do 3D. Mario has done it all, so how do we break the fourth wall. This game is the answer, so claims Nintendo.

Here’s Reggie: http://i44.tinypic.com/v665jk.jpg

Here’s Cammie: http://i43.tinypic.com/t87kv6.jpg

Its a great concept at its core, but once again, will Nintendo take the leap and let people play this online? All they talked about was working with friends near by and nothing of those overseas. It would make the game that much more enjoyable thats for sure. The way it works is simple, Mario, Luigi, and two Toads will play through the entire game. Each working together to complete goals and reach higher areas of the game. All the while, utilizing new items such as the Penguin Suit and the Propeller Suit. Its stressed that you should work together rather then against each other, although they haven’t said there is no competitive play in this game. New Super Mario Bros.

Wii will hit store shelves this Fall. It looks like a bit combo of Super Mario Bros. 2 & 3 along with New Super Mario Bros. Looks very addicting and promising, hopefully online is included. Another big announcement was Wii Fit Plus. The heavily rumored game featuring the same mechanics as the first game but with new exercise routines, new mini games, new stat tracking via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. You can also run through obstacle courses as well as go into the locker room and customize your character. You can also set a personal timer to training activities that you wish to work out on. This increases the workout routines dramatically as well as makes it more flexible and easier to manage rather then just going for a few minutes or so, you can pace yourself that much better. Wii Fit Plus will ship with the Wii Balance Board and as a stand alone product later this fall. This is going to be another mega hit for Nintendo and I’m completely sure it will be all over the news just like its counterpart.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii: http://i44.tinypic.com/20pvgw5.jpg

Working Together: http://i43.tinypic.com/df7w2o.jpg

The announcements only got bigger from there, the theme of the show for Nintendo was “Everyone’s Game” and they really had a strong showing backing that theme. They had games for the hardcore such as the Mario game they opened the show with but a bigger announcement followed later on in the press conference: Nintendo & Team Ninja Present…Metroid Other M!! This is a megaton of epic proportions considering there hasn’t been a traditional console metroid since the SNES. And the fact that Nintendo is working on this game with the folks who make Ninja Gaiden shows they have all the intentions of making a mega hit.

This game got a HUGE pop, it was the biggest pop of the show for Nintendo. The game showcases both first person shooting and third person gameplay. Classic Metroid to say the least, i had no idea this one was coming. I was blown away by the trailer which i though for sure was a Star Fox game considering the space elements. But once i saw Zero Suit Samus, thats when i knew.

Nintendo is really going all out with there classic characters by revitalizing them with newer, more cutting edge games. Little is known about the new Metroid other then it will launch in 2010. Its a Wii game that will sell units easily no question, only question is will it be a Spring Sensation or a Summer Blockbuster? We’ll see in time I assume. Nintendo also announced a slew of Nintendo DS titles as well as a release window for Mario & Luigi RPG 3! This game will be renamed Mario & Luigi: Bowsers Inside Story and it will hit store shelves this Fall.

Almost a full year after it’s Japanese release, this hotly anticipated RPG will feature the gameplay engine, humor, graphics and additive nature the first two game had. You are also going to be getting, at long last, Golden Sun DS! This has been a game i have been eager for since Golden Sun: The Lost Age for Gameboy Advance. FInally a fully 3D Golden Sun, this RPG has a huge fanbase. I remember seeing the first gam and right away i knew Nintendo had a hit on there hands. Why the long delay for the new game I’m not so sure but all i do know is that this RPG on DS has a shot at being bigger then the upcoming Final Fantasy games on the DS. It’s that popular. This is a game you will have to wait for folks, 2010 is the tentative release window.

Metroid: Other M: http://i43.tinypic.com/2ajakp3.jpg

In Game Metroid: http://i43.tinypic.com/2l8g1va.jpg

Mario & Luigi RPG 3: http://i40.tinypic.com/nmz4o2.jpg

Another big announcement was Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Mini’s March Again. This was quite the surprise since i wasn’t expecting Nintendo to continue this series for a bit since the second game has been a huge success for user created content on the DS. You can play the game alone to complete it, but if you really want to get the most of out this game, its the level editor that the bulk of this game lives in. You can upload these levels online and share them world wide for free.

Here’s the kicker, this new game will be DSiWare and be available for all to download, no hard copy required, just have some DSi Points and download it and poof, its yours. Here’s the best part: Its Available Monday June 8th, 2009!! It’s as if your shot in the back by Buford Tannen…Thats This Monday!! That was an awesome announcement. I wish more companies would do this, Microsoft and Sony did it with beta’s and demo’s last year. Nintendo released a full game rather then release a demo or beta. Points for Nintendo. Mario dominated there show, as he should, however there were others there this year that shock up the crowd. Final Fantasy was no exception.

The Crystal Bearers will hit the Wii later this year and it will continue the Crystal Chronicles story line even further. But how is this for a megaton: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for Nintendo DS WILL launch in America September 29th, 2009. The game will feature full motion video as well as the gameplay from this legendary franchise. The voice over work will be included as well. The game just launched in Japan last week. Nintendo also showed off there newest accessories for the Wii. The Wii Motion Plus adapter allows for more accurate controls as it was shown with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010 and Wii Sports Resort. Both games will be packed with this device when they ship. Wii Sports Resort will hit store shelves July 28th, 2009 and Tiger will be released June 8th, 2009.

Mario Vs Donkey Kong…Next Week It Continues: http://i43.tinypic.com/2qrls.jpg

Take A Vacation In The Resort: http://i42.tinypic.com/4twvaq.jpg

Or A Jog In Wii Fit Plus Obstacle Courses: http://i42.tinypic.com/4twvaq.jpg

The other accessory shown off was the Wii Vitality Sensor. A device that measures your pulse and heart rate to determine your mood and the way your react in certain situations in game play. Nothing more was said about the device other then it has been developed to ease the tension in your life. The device plugs into your Wii Remote and slides onto your finger. Rumors will be abound about the nature of this device but one thing is for sure…it was the weirdest moment I have seen at E3 in recent memory.

Ubisoft showed off there newest project for the DS, COP: You Are The Recruit. You use the touch screen to play this game much like how you did with GTA Chinatown Wars since this game will be a mix of that and Driver since there is a mixture of both driving and on foot missions. No release date has been scheduled for this one but given the popularity of the PSP hit Pursuit Force, i like the chances this game has for success. Another feature announced for the DSi this time around is the introduction of FlipNote Studio. This application is DSiWare only and it will allow you to create, edit, view, and share your content online. It will utilize the touch screen, camera, and microphone to the fullest as it will launch for the Nintendo DSi this Summer. This application should have a role in this next announcement made for the DSi once again, and it concerns the DSi Camera.

Nintendo has announced that the DSi will fully integrate Facebook into its DSi Camera’s options. You can take pictures, modify, and then upload them to your Facebook Profile as well as view pictures of your friends. This feature will launch this Fall, how it will be installed thats another story.

COPS…Filmed On Location With The Men And Woman Of DS: http://i44.tinypic.com/o8e7v4.jpg

Nintendo showed off more about The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks although they only talked about it. As the game will launch Holiday 2009, the only information about this game available is that it will continue to be the cartoon Link, your method of transportation will be via Train and you will have a new sidekick, a Phantom. This character can control the shadow monsters. Nintendo did not drop a megaton related to Zelda, but they did with Mario once again.

Nintendo has officially announced the first direct sequel to a Mario game with Super Mario Galaxy 2!! Nintendo showed so much of the game’s engine and it showed something missing from Mario games of recent memory: Mario & Yoshi working together. Rather then those spin off’s Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Island DS, its Super Mario reborn with the announcement of this game. Another returning factor into this game is Bee Mario and the Star Launchers from Mario Galaxy.

The black-holes and the Battle Ships also return as well as Bowser. Storyline is unknown at this time, but the core game remains. It looks like Nintendo has learned from there mistakes from the first game also since i did not see the Star Bits. Lots of different worlds are here to explore as you will continue your quest in outer space. Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be available this Holiday Season, Blast Off!!

Super Mario Galaxy 2: http://i44.tinypic.com/qq1vgk.jpg

Mario & Yoshi Once Again: http://i40.tinypic.com/2ijkuw9.jpg

All Aboard!!!: http://i40.tinypic.com/16jkfgo.jpg

In the end, Nintendo showed me a lot and left me with questions at the same time. Why no strong online game presence? Why no news about a new online friends list system. It seems like Nintendo only cares for Online in the sense of commerce rather then for online gaming. I was very excited with this Press Conference, it was a great showing from Nintendo. Lots of good product demo’s and lots of genuine acting here, they were not trying to be excited in a fake sense much like Cammie was last year. It was serious business this year, with the occasional bad joke. Nintendo has shown me a lot, hopefully they can continue this momentum as both Microsoft and Sony have really increased there chances at overtaking them.

Hits:

-New Metroid From Team Ninja & Nintendo

-New Super Mario Bros. Wii Continues The Classic Series With A New Look

-Super Mario Galaxy 2!!

-Facebook Is Coming To The Nintendo DSi

-Lots Of Strong Third Party Support

-Presenters Knew The Product This Time Around

-Nintendo Is Getting More Mature With There Games

-Newly Announced DSiWare Game Available A Week After Unveiling

-Golden Sun DS Finally Is Announced

-Expanding There Audience With Edger Games With Famous Nintendo Characters

Misses:

-No New Earthbound

-No Major Wii Shop Channel Announcements

-No Online Gaming Related Announcements Outside Of Content And Sales FIgures

-No Smash Bros. DS

-Where Was Miyamoto?

-Nothing Concrete About The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

-Nintendo Exec’s Failed At Being Funny

-Lots Of Mario, Least Of Any Other Nintendo Character

-Still Marketing To A Certain Group Of Gamer And Not The Entire Gaming World
——————————–
Official Score:

Nintendo E3 2009: B
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To Get More Information About EVERY Game Shown, Click Here: http://e3.nintendo.com/index.html

To Watch The Nintendo Press Conference, Click Here: http://e3.nintendo.com/webcast/

I would like to thank Engadget, Joysitq, Kotaku, Gamespot, Microsoft. Nintendo, and Sony for hosting these events on there respected sites and for sharing these images with the gaming community. All the shots shown here are from each of these sites.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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