Nintendo Wii and DS News
Nintendo had several first- and third-party game announcements for its home console:
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (TBD 2011). The new Wii Zelda has a name and footage to go with it. Skyward Sword is rendered in a “realistic cel-shaded style” in the vein of Red Steel 2 and makes extensive use of Wii MotionPlus. Nintendo’s demo showed off a few mechanics, including archery that borrows from Wii Sports Resort and swordplay that approaches 1:1 motion. The stage demo was marred by technical problems apparently unrelated to the game itself, so Nintendojo will report back later on with hands-on impressions.
Mario Sports Mix (no release date announced). The latest Mario Sports entry is a collection of sports, including volleyball, hockey, dodgeball, and basketball. As with other Mario sports titles, teams are comprised of an assortment of characters from across the Mario universe.
Wii Party (Holiday 2010). A casual Mii-based title that follows in the tradition of Wii Play and Wii Music, Wii Party appears to be a mini-game based local multiplayer title that incorporates Miis in a variety of family-style games. Players were shown passing a controller around and trying to be the first to pick up a controller.
GoldenEye 007 (Holiday 2010). Accidentally leaked by IGN yesterday, Nintendo today officially showed off the trailer for the re-imaging of the hit N64 shooter. Published by Activision, the game promises online and offline multiplayer and features Daniel Craig rather than Pierce Brosnan in the role of Bond. Other promised perks include a variety of multiplayer modes and the return of venerable villains, including Jaws and Scaramanga. The official site is live.
Disney’s Epic Mickey (no release date announced). Disney’s ambitious project got the royal treatment, as Warren Spector himself was on hand to narrate a gameplay session. Epic Mickey is an action / adventure / RPG where Mickey is in the Wasteland, an area where forgotten cartoon characters go. (Smee of Peter Pan was one of the characters shown.) According to Spector, the game uses paint and thinner to add to and erase what appears to be a beautiful, fully “destructible” and “constructable” environment. Spector said that player choices regarding quests and creating / destroying the world will impact Mickey’s relationships with other characters and even the game’s plotline.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Fall 2010). In what appears to be a whimsical take on the Kirby franchise, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a side-scrolling platformer that saw Kirby running through a world composed of cloth and thread. Kirby could be seen sucking out threads and manipulating the environment in ways vaguely reminiscent of Super Paper Mario.
Donkey Kong Country Returns (Holiday 2010). Nintendo today validated the rumors of Retro working on a Donkey Kong project, showing a trailer for a side-scrolling platformer that looked to be an update of the series. Donkey Kong (and sometimes Diddy) was shown jumping, rolling, swinging, and stomping across various jungle backgrounds.
Announcements related to DS were sparse, but Nintendo did showcase one major game:
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (Holiday 2010). Announced only briefly last year, the DS title got a full trailer this year. The game appears to play much like its predecessors, with some puzzle elements and turn-based gameplay. The plot is set some time after the two GBA games and apparently involves something going wrong with the Golden Sun.
Source: Nintendo Press Conference
The latter third of the press conference focused on the official unveiling of the new 3DS, and included both hardware and software news.
- The upper screen is larger than lower one, a 3.5” widescreen
- The upper screen can render in 3D without the need for glasses
- Only the lower screen is touch, as smearing and scratches would interfere with 3D experience
- The left side of the system has both a d-pad and what looks like an analog nub
- The right side of the system has the standard face buttons
- On the side of the handheld is a slider that can control the degree of 3D on the upper screen
- The front of the handheld has two cameras for taking 3D pictures.
- The hardware communicates with Nintendo and with other 3DSs even while off or while playing other games, allowing players to exchange new content or acquire DLC.
- There is no cost for the online service.
- The system features “hardware improvements” which make it more graphically powerful than the original DS. (More on this just below.)
Nintendo did show an extended trailer for one title: Kid Icarus Uprising. Formerly Project Sora, Kid Icarus Uprising is a third-person 3D action game that reprises Pit’s battle against the forces of darkness. The graphics were a clear step up from DS, approximating those found on Dreamcast or a lower-level GameCube title.
Nintendo also listed a legion of third-party franchises announced as being in development for 3DS. Here are a few of the more notable ones:
- DJ Hero
- Professor Layton
- Street Fighter IV
- Kingdom Hearts
- Saints Row
- Metal Gear Solid
- Ridge Racer
- Resident Evil
Source: Nintendo Press Conference