Nintendo is all about fun and this year’s digital event set that tone with the help of Robot Chicken shorts poking fun at the company’s perceived lack of new IP and led us into coverage of Smash Brothers. For the first time you’ll be able to use your Mii as a customizable fighter and choose from three classes: Brawler, Sword Fighter, and Gunner. We also learned that Smash Brothers will be coming to the 3DS.
Reggie Fils-Amie (President and COO, Nintendo of America) picked up after the video to announce Amiibo. An Amiibo is a Skylanders style NFC enabled toy that acts as a physical representation of the in game character, syncing data back and forth to your unique figure. He also mentioned functionality for Mario Kart 8 and, although it wasn’t mentioned, the potential for a Pokemon game is insane.
After the Amiibo announcement came a series of dev diaries introducing new games, the first of which was Yoshi’s Woolly World. A side scrolling platformer with co-op gameplay; this new Yoshi game has a style similar to Kirby’s Epic Yarn in so much as everything is made of yarn, but aside from that the world is much more detailed and three dimensional. The team even went as far as to make real world representations of their character model!
Next came 3D platformer Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker followed by what I believe is the biggest news of the day, a new Legend of Zelda game! A massively sprawling and visually stunning open world Hyrule will be the setting of this next installment of Zelda game. You’ll be able to approach an area from any other area, giving level design a whole new challenge.
Following the Zelda reveal came a Pokemon game for 3DS that finally looks like it was made this century! Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire both look like the actual show from which they were spawned. Unfortunately the trailer for Bayonetta 2 didn’t seem to show off any functionality that would justify it as a system exclusive, but it will be packaged with the original Bayonetta.
Hyrule Warriors seems to give us exactly what we would want from a Dynasty Warriors game set in the world of Hyrule. A new Kirby was showcased next, followed by a trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X. While I stand by the Zelda announcement as the biggest of the day, Mario Maker takes a close second. Imagine coming home every day to new Mario levels or being able to build them yourself!
And then there was Splatoon. What can I say about Splatoon other than “only Nintendo”. I can’t quite put my finger on the thing that gives this that feel. Maybe it’s the fact that you’re shooting water guns filled with ink or the fact that your characters are squid people that can be people to shoot and swim through their own ink as squids, but this is the type of new IP you can only get from Nintendo.
I respect Nintendo for not holding a traditional press conference. It gave them an opportunity to avoid any technical difficulties or slip ups and bring out exactly the news that they wanted in exactly the way they wanted. After day one, however, Nintendo’s digital event seemed a bit long winded. It felt like they were trying to fill time that would have been better spent showing off StarFox, which was confirmed in a press release after the show.