Round Table: Conference Thoughts

As the dust settles on Nintendo’s E3 press conference, the staff collect their thoughts.

By Katharine Byrne. Posted 06/06/2012 09:00 4 Comments     ShareThis

E3 2012 Conference Thoughts Masthead

We all had our own dream of what could have happened yesterday. We’d been feverishly predicting the likes of F-Zero, Zelda, and a Star Fox-Metroid crossover for weeks, but how did yesterday compare? Were we wowed by Nintendo Land? Did we care that Retro were a complete no-show? Read on as the staff share their reactions.

The Good:

Mel Turnquist

I’m keeping it brief mostly because I only caught half of the conference (wrenched my back this morning, slept it off later than expected). But basically, I’m pretty pumped up for the Wii U. I’m glad to see Ubisoft so into it. I’m probably one of the few people in the world who doesn’t get the whole zombie obsession so the ZombiU probably wouldn’t appeal to me. Assassin’s Creed III looks pretty spiffy, though why a Civil War setting? Nintendo Land looks like it’s gonna be fun, but there jury is still out on that one for sure. I got to say that the MiiVerse is probably what I think will be the best part.

Also, Wii Fit U is gonna include a pedometer. Well, looks like I have no choice but to get this. Pikmin 3 looks pretty awesome and the addition of the Rock Pikmin sounds mighty promising. I think I need to wait and see with the 3DS to form an opinion of if Nintendo succeeded or failed miserably. They seemed to be kind of middling for the most part right now.

Dustin Grissom

Nintendo had me in the palm of their hand, I was ready to be fully engaged in my purchase for Wii U, and, in the beginning, everything was going as I had hoped. Pikmin 3 looks marvelous (although I wish it was a surprise, rather than having Miyamoto already confirm that it was going to be at the conference…), and New Super Mario Bros. U looks good as well. I’m already impressed by MiiVerse and the controller, so all that Nintendo needed to do was bring on the games, which, in retrospect, they did fairly well on. Scribblenauts Unlimited and Lego City Undercover both looks surprisingly awesome (seriously, that Lego game looks sweet!), and I’m pretty stoked for ZombiU and Nintendo’s lineup of 3DS games.

Towards the end of the conference, I was starting to get anxious for the unraveling of Retro Studios’ next project, will it be a new Metroid? Starfox? F-Zero? Zelda? What could it possibly be!? Instead, causing what I assumed to be a small intermission between the previous announcement and the upcoming super-mega-awesome reveal, Nintendo announced Nintendo Land, which, honestly, I’m excited for and will pick up the day I get my Wii U. Still, Nintendo Land is great and all, but that’s not what I’m here for, so when Reggie began a sentence with words similar to “but, before we go, let us all take one final look at…”, I leaned forward in my chair in excitement, this was it, the super-mega-awesome reveal I had been waiting for! To my despair, Reggie continued the sentence to what I can only recall to being something similar to this “…a stupid, worthless fake display of fireworks, see ya guys later!”. No!!! What a terrible ending! Nevertheless, the show wasn’t all bad, and I cannot wait to hear more about the Wii U and what Nintendo has in store for us.

Kyle England

Nintendo really did have a decent conference. Most of the press conference showcased actual video games instead of home media or mobile services, and neither Usher nor Flo Rida was anywhere to be seen. But I just can’t help but feel a little let down. Maybe it’s my own fault for thinking Nintendo was going to tease something new besides Nintendo Land.

In a post-conference interview, Reggie said that Nintendo only wanted to showcase games that were going to be available at the launch and/or launch window of Wii U. I understand where Nintendo is coming from by not showing us stuff that is 3 years away from release, but when you’re launching a new console, getting us excited for the future is critical! The least Ninty could have done was tease the Retro project, whatever it is. Sure, we might get some juicy reveals as we get closer to the launch of Wii U and I hope we do. But E3 is the best time to reveal that kind of stuff! Nintendo was poised to dominate E3, and while the conference was not bad, it could have been… more.

And another thing: I’m a lifelong Super Mario fan, but Nintendo really needs to cut back on the amount of Mario games they push at once. If New Super Mario Bros. U comes out this year, that means we’ll have FOUR Mario titles by the end of 2012. It’s a little crazy to have both New Super Mario Bros. 2 and U launching so closely.

But I mostly loved the show, I really did! Pikmin 3 was great! Miyamoto’s entrance was quite adorable with the Pikmin, and it reminded me of the opening of a stand-up comedy special. It’s about time we got to play with the Pikmin again, and the HD footage looks positively gorgeous. I’m also glad that we got a firm release date and final name for Paper Mario: Sticker Star. I really dig the Wii U console too. It looks so nice and clean, and the new controller is just sexy.

And of course as always, Reggie is too cool. Here’s some of my favorite choice quotes from the Regginator:

“I feel just like a purple Pikmin!”
“I like French food!”
“Even though I was focused on beating Mr. Miyamoto, I heard some of you laughing. Don’t try to deny it; I heard you. Yes, my body was ready.”

Pierre Bienaimé

I’m rather pleased at Nintendo’s presentation as a whole. Nintendo Land, the apparent successor to Wii Sports and Wii Play, shows off the GamePad in attractive ways, all while keeping to Nintendo history a bit more faithfully than the Mii-centric offerings of those two games. If this generation is anything to go by, Nintendo Land might be the strongest (and least “feels-like-improvisation”) experience on the console.

But of course, I hope it doesn’t. Creators outside of Nintendo need to take up the baton. We’ve known of Ubisoft’s close backing of Wii U for some time now, and the dev’s ZombiU looks perfectly monstrous. Just as Sony had me gaping at their extremely promising, mature single-player games, Nintendo here answered with thunder of their own. ZombiU‘s slightly rounded photorealism and kick-ass use of the GamePad seems a winning formula. I love how smoothly the perspective shifts from the first to third person. And I can anticipate the jitters arising from feeling as if two eyes aren’t enough–any attention spent on one screen leaves the other ripe with potential threats (see scanner). At best, many of ZombiU‘s moments will be predicated on this organic type of challenge. It’s not your character who’s too slow or tunnel-visioned. It’s you.

Let’s turn the page with Pikmin 3. How I’ve missed this franchise. So jocund, so unique, so full of the feeling that one is building something worthwhile. More than anywhere else, Nintendo’s reasoned leap to HD is welcome here. A view of the earth from so close should shine thanks to it. Apparent support for up to three off-world protagonists only sweetens the deal.

Though I do hope that the game feels complete when played alone–a hope that extends to Super Mario Bros. U. It’s in HD, great. It supports five-player wackiness, great. But I want something extraordinary even when it’s only Mario on screen, something wrought out of the pride that Nintendo in many ways pioneered the side-scroller. A lot of that is going to depend on the mechanics, and a lot of it is going to depend on the degree of difficulty. But most if it will depend on the game’s developers not seeing the game as a five-player frenzy by default.

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4 Responses to “Round Table: Conference Thoughts”

  • 156 points
    Linkrevenge says...

    Yeah, it could so be better with Retro Studios chiming in with a new game. I heard a bit about ZombiU on spike e3 coverage and is more interesting then you think it is.

    • 576 points
      MegabusterLegends3 says...

      Well, at least we can look at it this way. If this E3 didn’t have Retro, you can be sure that they WILL be at the next E3. And by next E3, we can be sure to see the next 3D Mario game, at least, if not new entries in some other franchises. By then we will probably see a bit more support from third parties as well. Hopefully, once the Wii U has had its launch Window, the next E3 will be Nintendo’s true hard-core first party showcase. Still, I can’t help but feel like Nintendo still hasn’t quite dipped their toes into the HD era quite yet. Pikmin looks, beautiful, as does Nintendo Land, but at the same time, these games lack the scope and cinematic quality we were hoping to see in Retro’s new game. Pikmin and Nintendo land, in terms of processing power, probably could have been done on the Wii, and the same goes for NSMB U and Wii U Fit. (I understand that the controller makes a difference, but I’m taking that out of the equation). We were hoping for a Mario, or a Zelda, or a Star Fox, that would have the scope of Uncharted or Skyrim and give something for Sony and Microsoft Elitists to chew on. I was hoping this conference would prove the other fanboys wrong. Really, all Nintendo seemed to deliver First Party-wise outside of Pikmin 3(a known quantity) for the Wii U (and 3DS as well) was Mario (NSMB U and 2, Paper Mario, Luigi’s Mansion) and Minigame collections (Wii Fit U, Game and Wario, NintendoLand). ZombiU has promise, but an ancient Amiga game from Ubisoft’s primitive past doesn’t have the same pull at a Conference like E3 as Lara Croft or Naughty Dog. And the demo wasn’t quite as impressive as Watch Dogs or Splinter Cell, either. ZombiU should have been a highlight, but maybe not a main attraction.

  • 201 points
    NintendoDad says...

    Truthfully, content wise they have plenty of games coming out. They just delivered the info horribly. If they had just ran through the order of games shown backwards, it would have made a big difference. Start with Nintendo Land (and geez, cut out about 10 minutes of the explanation…it’s a bunch of fun mini-games, we get it), go to your games you feel you have to talk about (Sing, Wii FitU), go to your third parties, and then finish with Mario and Pikmin 3. Nintendo Land just left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. They tried to force it way too much. If they would have announced it as a pack in, maybe we wouldn’t have been too skeptical.

    But anyway, after the disappointment of the conference, I went about making a list of games releasing between now and launch window for the WiiU for the Wii (I’m still looking forward to Epic Mickey 2 and The Last Story), 3DS, and WiiU. I have a list of 12 games I’m very interested in and that’s more than enough.

  • 393 points
    James Stank says...

    It’s been a while, but as per usual Lewis, I agree with you. Boy do I love a “next gen” (though Wii U is current gen) console launching with current gen games. I love how Nintendo showed off so many games coming to Wii U that are already out, and showed no killer app. They are so desperate that they are playing it safe and developing two 2D Mario games at the same time that still look just like the original “New” super mario bros. on DS. What’s so new about these anymore? It’s more of the same or stale now. No game made me say, “I have to buy a Wii U.” Then all the 3DS games at the 3DS show today we already knew about! How cool is that!? No surprises or announcements. I can’t just blame Nintendo as every show was pretty sad, but I think Nintendo has the most to lose. With the next-gen Square-Enix engine revealed, and Sony’s “We aren’t always first to the market, but we’re always the best” comment, it shows that Nintendo’s competition isn’t scared, and from what we’ve seen, why should they be? While it’s true we still don’t have specs, it seems doubtful that Wii U can run SE’s engine in full, though maybe a weaker version, and with games like Star Wars 1313 supposedly being developed for “next generation consoles” it seems like we are in for Wii all over again, and that is not a good thing.

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