Taking the road less traveled, Nintendo decided to stream their game announcements directly to fans this E3. Rather than try to compete directly for E3 conference presence with the likes of Sony and Microsoft, the idea behind the stream was to allow Nintendo to focus on their core audience, those who wanted more Zelda, Mario, Luigi, Pikman and other memorable Nintendo mainstays.
Being in the unique position of having a stronger and more venerable roster of exclusive characters, Nintendo chose to capitalize on the momentum and give the fans exactly what they wanted: more adventures with their favorite cast of characters. Here’s a list of ten of the the most memorable announcements from Nintendo’s Nintendo Direct E3 2013 live stream.
1. Mario and Friends Return To Their Platforming Roots
A 3D linear platform, Super Mario World 3D draws inspiration from its Nintendo 3DS counterpart Super Mario Land 3DS. The game allows four players to play cooperatively as the four unequivocal good guys of the Mario universe: Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad. Similar to the classic Super Mario Bros. 2, each character has a unique play-style: Peach has an ability that allows her to float in mid-air for a limited time, Luigi has a longer and higher jump and Toad is a bit more agile with a lighter weight. And Mario; well, he’s still the same fat old plumber we’ve come to know and love.
Expect Super Mario World 3D to drop for the Wii U in December 2013, just in time for the holiday season.
2. Mario Cast Takes An 8th Lap Around the Mario Kart Circuit
A venerable cartoon racing franchise has spawned countless knockoffs throughout the year that pale in comparison to the original, the Mario Kart racing franchise is back as Mario allies and enemies alike rev up their racing carts again for another lap around the track. Mario Kart 8 changes things up by taking a cue from Nintendo’s other major racing franchise F-Zero by adding anti-gravity to all of the games courses, creating a much wackier gameplay experience. Along with a comprehensive twelve player online mode, Mario Kart 8 hopes to reinvigorate the franchise for both the old and new generation of Nintendo fans.
Expect a tentative Spring 2014 release for the Wii U.
3. Two Legend of Zelda Games Received Updated Trailers
Not to be outdone, Link revisits a classic quest in the timeless Zelda adventure Wind Waker, which receives a subtle but refined HD remake for the Wii U from its Gamecube roots. Additionally, Link also embarks on a new quest in the 3DS title The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, a sequel to the age-old A Link to the Past.
Expect a October 2013 release date for the Wind Waker HD remake with a still tentative date for A Link Between Two Worlds.
4. Monolith Soft’s RPG Was Given A New Trailer
Purchased by Nintendo in 2007, acclaimed Japanese developer Monolith Soft has several new titles in the works for various Nintendo platforms, beginning with a vast action RPG called X. No information is available on the Wii U exclusive, other than that the title is being directed by Xenoblade Chronicles director Tetsuya Takahashi.
Expect further information in the months to come.
5. A New Yoshi’s Island (NEW!) Was Revealed
Reuniting the classic team-up of Yoshi and Mario’s younger counterpart Baby Mario, who despite popular belief is not Mario’s son, Yoshi’s New Island retains the same mechanics as previous entries in the franchise but also adds new abilities such as a colossal Mega Egg. Additionally, the game utilizes the Nintendo 3DS’ gyro sensor to aim Yoshi’s eggs and uncover hidden areas.
Expect a tentative 2014 release date.
6. A Fresh Trailer for New Super Luigi U Popped Up
A new trailer for New Super Luigi U shows off the taller, darker and more handsome brother of the Mario Bros duo in action. With a set time limit on New Super Mario U’s stages, the game seems to offer more a large set of challenges for any Nintendo die hard.
Expect a download date of June 20th in North America and Europe for Wii U, and a retail date in August.
7. Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Showed Off Some New Footage
Mario and Luigi team up once again as the dynamic duo attempt to rescue Princess Peach in the depths of Luigi’s dreams. New franchise villain Antasma (who’s a ghostly bat king, by the way) sets the conflict as the brothers hop between the dream world and world of Mushroom Kingdom, solving puzzles and battling foes along the way.
Expect a July 12th Japanese and August 11th North American release date for the Nintendo 3DS.
8. Bayonetta 2 Gameplay Was Finally Shown
While Nintendo is keeping details under wraps, they have at least shown off some gratuitous gameplay from Platinum Games’ over the top Bayonetta 2. Not much is else is known, but at least the gameplay looks solid and reminiscent of its predecessor.
Expect more information in the months to come.
9. A New Trailer for Pikmin 3 Debuted
The quirky franchise returns, with Captain Olimar at the helm, again controlling the Pikmin as he attempts to get out of dangerous and potentially life threatening situations. With an emphasis on an interactive co-op mode, Pikmin 3 definitely looks like a game not to be missed.
10. A New Wonderful 101 Gameplay Trailer Was Shown
Another title from developer Platinum Games, Wonderful 101 is a new series that allows players to control various super heroes to fight off alien invaders in a fun, creative and inventive way. The game was originally meant to be a Wii U launch title, but unfortunately missed the boat due to a lengthy development cycle.
Expect a September 15th North American release date, an August 23rd European release date, and an August 24th Japanese release date.