Without a new system to reveal, Nintendo went straight for what gamers care most about: new goddamn games. This morning the Wii U-maker broadcast a new Nintendo Direct, revealing lots of new games that longtime Nintendo fans are going to lose their marbles over. Let’s get right to it.
Super Mario 3D World – December 2013
This is a direct descendent of the 3DS’s Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS, only for the Wii U, and with four-player co-op play in a 3D-style game. It offers up your choice of four playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach, each with their own abilities just like they had in Super Mario 2 for the NES way back in the day.
Here’s what Satoru Iwata himself had to say about the new game:
“As you can see, for the first time in a 3D Mario game, we are offering a multiplayer mode for up to four players. The playable characters are Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach.
Each character has their own unique abilities. Peach for example can hover in mid-air, and toad can run faster than the others. They all have unique personalities that will be familiar to those who have played Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES. Multiplayer mode is as cooperative or competitive as you choose to make it. So you can enjoy this new 3D Mario adventure in a different way every time you play.
There is also an outstanding new power up in the game, which is featured in the game’s logo. It’s Cat Mario. Cat Mario can perform new actions, like climbing up walls, and scratching enemies with his claws. The new 3D Mario game, Super Mario 3D World, is coming out in December.”
And Cat Mario seems pretty cool…but also more like a furry than ever before. Bleh.
Mario Kart 8 – Spring 2014
This one looked pretty amazing. It had crazy upside-down tracks, hover-vehicles, hang-gliders, motorcycles…everything. Plus, the game promises to have online multiplayer, which is huge for a game like Mario Kart.
“Mario Kart 8 will offer the best collection of online multiplayer modes that the series has seen yet. This time it’s not just racing with other players, but also sharing the fun of Mario Kart with others worldwide with Miiverse.”
It seems pretty likely, though, that it won’t feature in-game chat, which is a bummer. But that said, I suppose that’s what cell phones are for. Sad face. Anyway, this one comes out for the Wii U next spring.
Wii Party U and Wii Fit U – Delayed to Fall 2013
If you were hoping for these games to drop this summer, you’re going to be disappointed. Iwata said that the developers needed to take more time to add features and make sure that they work well…so Wii Party U and Wii Fit U have been delayed to October and December, respectively. That doesn’t make me sad, though…because I don’t care about those games. At all. But that’s just me…
Pokemon X and Y – October 12, 2013
We got a firm release date for the new Pokemon jams on the 3DS, as you can see. Plus, tons of new interactivity possibilities. If you’re into the Poke-stuff, you’ve got to be pleased about that. It’s the first bit of the broadcast above, so make sure you scope out all the ins and outs of the new games.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD - October 2013
No specific release date on this one, but the broadcast showed off some new high definition video of this remake, and it looks pretty damn sweet. It’s headed for an October release, so we’ll get a chance to play one of the best Zelda titles soon. Instead of the “Tingle Tuner,” which connected the Game Boy Advance to the GameCube way back in the day, there’s the “Tingle Bottle,” which will, according to Nintendo, allow gamers to “use the Wii U GamePad controller to post comments about the game to Miiverse. Comments from players wash up on the shores of beaches in the game.” Not bad…
Super Smash Bros. – 2014
This looked pretty awesome—fans of the series should get hella excited, as Nintendo will be releasing versions of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and the 3DS. N word yet on what—if any—cross-platform interaction there might be. Though, considering that this is Nintendo, I’d be super surprised if there wasn’t any kind of connectivity between the two versions. There’s got to be, right?
As for the game itself, there are at least two new, never-before-seen characters joining the fray: the villager from Animal Crossing and Mega Man from, well, uh, Mega Man. Unlike Fat Mega Man from Street Fighter X Tekken last year, this is straight-up classic Mega Man, complete with enemy weapon abilities. Looks super solid. Coming sometime in 2014…I’m guessing, holiday time, but hopefully it’ll hit shelves sooner than that.
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze – November 2013
Here’s another installment in the Donkey Kong Country series, this one coming out for the Wii U, but staying as a 2D platformer with 3D-modeled characters. It’s in high-definition, which is nice, and features up to two-player cooperative play. Donkey Kong is the standard main character, but the second player can choose either Diddy Kong or Dixie Kong, both of whom have different in-game abilities. So that’s kinda cool, right? This one’s headed for the Wii U in November of this year.
Platinum Games – Bayonetta 2 and Wonderful 101
Nintendo’s big get for the Wii U are exclusive titles from Platinum Games, Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101. Both look pretty awesome, and they’ll be coming out in 2014 and September 15, 2013, respectively. Apparently Wonderful 101 will offer up to five-player cooperative play…though I suspect we won’t really totally understand how that game will work until we get some hands-on time.
Mysterious Game from Monolith Soft – 2014
From the developer of the Xenoblade games, Monolith Soft, we got another look at this new mechs’n’monsters title that we only know now as “X.” Here’s Iwata laying down the skinny, all without revealing the game’s actual name:
“In this new game, being developed by Mr. Tetsua Takahashi’s team at Monolith Soft, the goal is to create a large scale open world that players can explore seamlessly.
We hope that this video you have just seen has given you a taste of the wide open adventure that the game is looking to deliver. By the way, the player will ride the human shaped robot that appears in the trailer at certain points in the game. They will even fly in the air and battle enemies.”
Coming sometime in 2014…maybe we’ll even know what the hell it’s called before then!
There were plenty other titles briefly shown as coming from third-party developers, like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Warner Bros. Interactive’s Arkham City Origins, Square Enix’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution Wii U port, Disney Infinity, Skylanders: SWAP Force, Rayman Legends (with a September 3 release date)…just lots and lots of games. Take a look at the video above for the full scoop.
I’m actually fairly excited by Nintendo’s first-party games, and, well, now I don’t regret having a Wii U so much. I’m basically locked into getting the new Mario titles. Between Nintendo’s games and Sony’s PS4, it looks like Microsoft is going to have a lot of work to do to get people excited. We won’t know for sure how well everyone’s going to do until everything comes out, but E3’s shaping up to be kind of exciting.
Hopefully our E3 correspondents will be back on the blog with hands-on impressions from Nintendo’s demo area.
What’s got you most stoked?