Round Table: Nintendo E3 Direct Reactions

What did the staff think of Tuesday’s broadcast?

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 06/15/2013 10:00 3 Comments     ShareThis

Robin Wilde

I think it was quite a wise idea for Nintendo to go last. I know we’re a partisan site but if you’ll allow me to stray for a minute, it was notable for being a successful E3 showing for every publisher. By going last, Nintendo had the advantage of riding a wave of goodwill from the other presentations while still offering up some surprises.

I will admit, like Katharine, that I was disappointed with the look of the new Mario game. I think what we expect from 3D Mario titles is a certain emphasis on world-building and some story, which I think was best exemplified by Super Mario Sunshine— which I happen to think is the best of the 3D Mario games. What we have here will not be a bad game (few Mario titles are) but it seems to be merely a higher-resolution version of what we saw with 3D Land. I will of course be buying it, but I also hold out some hope that if Wind Waker HD is a success, they’ll come round to remaking Sunshine with motion controls.

Speaking of Wind Waker HD, I think it’s interesting what they’re doing with the Tingle Tuner functionality and Miiverse, but I do wonder what will happen to the Tingle Tuner functions of old. I would have liked to see some 3DS connectivity or even the ability to use a second Gamepad, since that kind of asymmetric co-operative play is precisely the thing for which the Wii U is built. Graphically, it’s rather interesting. Lots of bloom can often spoil the look of a game but in this case I think it gives the whole thing a sort of macro lens appearance, which I suspect may be intentional on Nintendo’s part, especially since the models remind me quite a bit of papercraft dolls with the new engine.

Beyond graphics, I look forward to seeing the sailing speed raised, but to be honest I’m not sure it really addresses the issues many players had with the endgame Triforce hunt. While I actually loved that part of the game, and thought it really encouraged the player to go out and explore the vast world they’d created, I understand a lot of players disliked the fetch-quest nature of the task. Perhaps it would have been better for Nintendo to include the two cut dungeons (which they may well be doing, but as of yet we have no idea).

On a broader note, Nintendo’s style seems now to be asserting its dominance in terms of tried and tested first-party franchises. That will always win it some sales, and they seem to be constructing some sort of holding pattern of a decent stream of good first party games in anticipation of not winning the generation. I think it will succeed. Nintendo managed to make the GameCube very profitable, where Sony managed to wipe out all their PS2 profits within a couple of years of the disastrous PS3 launch, so I think the trick of pulling off large profits with relatively few resources is one in which Nintendo are well-versed and at which they’ll be successful once again.

X, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Mario Kart 8 would seem to have all their bases covered in terms of genres and I think with more announcements in future they may finally have mastered the art of not concentrating their games over too short a time period. Plus, hey, Super Smash Bros. looks fantastic! I’m definitely looking forward to playing as the Wii Fit Trainer.

Kevin Knezevic

I hate to sound like a Debbie Downer, especially because the Internet is filled with enough negativity as it is, but I wasn’t all that impressed with Nintendo’s showing this week. Maybe I set my expectations too high, but after the broadcast I was left feeling rather disappointed by the direction the company was taking, and worried about Wii U’s future given the apparent lack of confidence Nintendo seems to have in the system.

Like many others, I was crushed to find out that the “top secret” project that Retro has been working on was just another Donkey Kong Country, but the game I was most disappointed in (and, incidentally, the one I was most looking forward to seeing going into the presentation) was Super Mario 3D World. I really enjoyed the first Super Mario 3D Land for 3DS (it’s still one of my favorite games for the handheld), and I’m excited to see multiplayer elements finally make their way into a 3D Mario game, but I suppose I was just expecting something more from Mario’s Wii U debut, something with the grandeur and creativity of the Galaxy games. (Heck, I’d have even preferred a third Mario Galaxy over what Nintendo ended up revealing during its presentation.)

A lot of my disappointment has to do with the original title. Given the nature of the 3DS, 3D Land had to take a slightly different approach to level design and camera placement to better suit the platform, so it’s upsetting to see these same concessions work their way into the Wii U game despite it not sharing the same limitations. It makes me suspect the title began life as a 3DS project and was switched over to Wii U to rush a Mario game out for the holidays. Likewise, each of the three Mario games that preceded 3D World pushed the boundaries of the series in its own way, so to see Nintendo playing it safe with the first Wii U installment of its most prominent franchise is more than a little disheartening.

In fact, that was a recurring theme with Nintendo’s presentation. Each of the company’s big Wii U titles– Mario Kart 8 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze— looked hardly any different from their predecessors (though Mario Kart is quite stunning). Even Smash Bros., which I’m sure will be a lot of fun, is almost indistinguishable from Brawl if you look at it quickly. Only Monolith’s X (and, to a lesser extent, Pikmin 3) has the sort of bold vision you’d expect from a Nintendo game, and we didn’t even get any new information on the title.

It’s a shame to see Nintendo retreating into its comfort zone because of Wii U’s lagging sales, but I suppose the company has to do something to turn the system’s fortunes around, however conservative it might be. Maybe once sales pick up we’ll see a new 3D Mario game, one designed from the ground up for the platform. Until then, it looks like 3DS will be where the company focuses all of its creativity.

Now it’s your turn! What did you think of Nintendo’s E3 showing? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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3 Responses to “Round Table: Nintendo E3 Direct Reactions”

  • 393 points
    James Stank says...

    I think that, as Nintendo fans, we expect Nintendo to do things differently. We’ve heard of the “Nintendo difference,” and we’ve come to expect it. I’m sure that many of the games that were shown will be very good, but at the same time, there was a little too much familiarity. I was down on New Super Mario Bros. 2 when it released, because I wasn’t so sure that we needed another “New” Super Mario Bros. game instead of something really “new.” But that seems to be the theme lately, as Kevin said. Basically we got “New” ….Yoshi’s Island, DKC (I wanted MP4, but we all knew that would be too good to be true), SM3DW, MK8 and Smash Bros. I will be getting all of those at some point, but I too was hoping for Super Mario Universe, and I’m more than a little surprised that the praise and reception of the first two alone didn’t warrant an immediate sequel for Wii U in Nintendo’s eyes. I was also disappointed to hear that the Smash Bros. roster will be limited because of the low amount of space on a 3DS cartridge. I don’t understand this kind of thinking. Why limit the home console version because of the portable one? What about DLC and other things? Will that be limited too because of the 3DS space issue? It’s very similar to the 3D World issues, and it looking a little too much like 3D Land. I know Nintendo has more, and one day we might get that Super Mario Universe. But until then, we’ll have some great games to play.

  • 1244 points
    lukas85 says...

    i was super, SUPER disappointed by retro making anothe dck game, i really want metroid, and i’m still angry because of that decision, i understand it from a business point of view, but not artistically. a new metroid prime would have be the killer app that wiiU needed, truly disappointed really, anothe disappoint was mario 3d land, why scale down galaxy? why make a portable game for 4 people, i was expectig UNIVERSE!!!

    but not everything is bad, mario kart 8 looks AMAZING, smash looks great too with megaman in it, and X is probably the most beautiful game i’ve ever seen in my life, so overall it was a good e3 but not as good as it could be.

  • 1477 points
    penduin says...

    Some games look unconditionally awesome so far. X, Smash (Mega Man! Yesss!!), Mario Kart 8, both Zeldas… Others (Mario 3D World, DK Tropical Freeze) look fantastic too, even though they mean we’re not getting a new HD Mario Galaxy or Metroid (yet). Sonic Lost World and Deus Ex aren’t exactly substitutes, but they sure look to have enough wild HD visuals and clever gameplay to tide us over.

    Wonderful 101 keeps looking more polished and more appealing. And when Pikmin 3 and Rayman Legends come out in August and September, I’ll finally have the “launch” titles I bought my Wii U for! ;^)

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