E3 2009: Nintendo Press Conference Post-Game Report
Oohhh-kay. That went relatively well, wouldn't you say? Nintendo's E3 2009 presentation wasn't just all about smiles this time around. They did try to be harder-hitting, and we gotta give them props for that. Overall, it was... alright. About one or two items only that got us kinda raising our voices a decibel higher in excitement.
Here's what we saw:
1)Super Mario Bros. Wii
Nintendo obviously wanted to start off with a bang. And what better way to do this than to confirm the last-minute rumor on their longest gaming character resident, Mario? Yep, the rumors have been confirmed.
There will be a Mario game for the Wii, albeit with some confuzzling specs. The graphics are in 3D, but essentially, it is still the same 2D, side-scrolling game. The biggest selling point is the fact that it features a simultaneous four-player coop.
Cammie Dunaway presented this, and it was kinda odd hearing her get caught in the confusion trap herself, initially saying that it was gonna be in 4D. Whoa. Anyhow, classics are always welcome in newer generation consoles. Provides for that good ol' trip down memory lane. Although at this point, I will have to ask: isn't Mario retiring any time soon? Or any time... at all?
2) Wii Fit Plus
Wii Fit Plus is offering six new strengths and yoga activities, mix and matchable ones, too. Plus 15 new balance games. Plus a new calorie-tracker.
A game with a calorie-counter! Ohs noes! But it's all about fitness (and fun).
3) Wii Motion Plus
A lot of effort was definitely put into this presentation, understandably so given that Nintendo surely wouldn't want people to look at it as "just another add-on". To better show how it works, games supporting this peripheral was brought out to the stage as well, starting off with an introduction by Wii Sports Resort. And then several other games came out, kicking off with a skydiving game featuring avatars. And then some.
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10
- Grand Slam Tennis
- Virtua Tennis, etc
It looks pretty intuitive. The basketball game sample between Bill Trinen and Reggie Fils-Aime did a pretty good job of showing the sensitivity of the WMP. The archery game sample was also looking impressive. Interesting use of nunchuk and Wiimote, too. Plus, I appreciate how it doesn't look all sissy-like at all.
4) Final Fantasy Crystal Bearers
The intro was a bit misleading as Reggie said they have a "new RPG" for the Wii that's coming. This made us sit right up. And then Square Enix was mentioned. Our eyes narrow down to slits... how new is "new" exactly? "An exclusive open world adventure built for the Wii," so said he.
And then there it was. A short trailer for Final Fantasy Crystal Bearers.
No, that's not new.
5) Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
A new short trailer for the DS Kingdom Hearts title. Coming in September.
Again, not new.
6) Bowser's Inside Story
A new Mario and Luigi game, but with a twist. This time, the plumber brothers go inside Bowser to check out his "internal pipes". A gameplay trailer was shown as well. Also for the DS. Coming out this Fall.
The gameplay trailer it showed reminded me of Dr. Mario. Don't ask why, I don't know as well. Maybe because it's got Mario in it? The concept doesn't sit that well with me, however. There's just something... odd... and wrong... about Mario and Luigi checking out Bowser's "internal pipes".
7)DS Third-Party Games
Developers are discovering more things to do with the new hardware of the DS, and Cammie came back onstage to showcase more of these titles. The biggest of which would have to be the GBA-original Golden Sun.
The Golden Sun DS announcement was what made Karl, specifically, jump out of his seat. I sense a happy fanboy here.
8) DSi Facebook Integration:
Looks like everyone really wants to be on Facebook now.
There is no escaping Facebook.
8) Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
It was just mentioned in passing along with DSiWare.
It was just mentioned in passing along with DSiWare.
9) Wii Vitality Sensor
No less than Nintendo's big man, Satoru Iwata, came to the forefront to introduce this game item game. The build-up was soooo big, he actually started out with how Nintendo's population is divided accordingly into three section: those who play, those who say they won't, and those who say they might.
And then he went on to the stats:
There even was a special mention for Mario Kart Wii for being that game to attempt to cater to all populations. By this time, you'd think this was really gonna be something really big. And then --
- 25 million people playing handhelds/ consoles games
- 149 million say they might be interested in getting involved
- 2:1 waiting to go play
It's the Wii Vitality Sensor. Basically, just put your finger on the add-on peripheral and it will read your pulse from there. It's sorta like your digital doctor as it will tell you the "inner workings of your body". It will also supposedly help you attain greater relaxation, although that point wasn't really established and expounded upon well.
Probably the only WTF moment in Nintendo's presentation last year. Come on, guys. You call your President onstage to make him deliver this?
Unless I am missing some goldmine of information regarding how much of a breakthrough this is, I'm gonna have to say I'm not getting it. There seems to be this utter disconnect at the path the build-up followed, to their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
10) Super Mario Galaxy 2
This sequel for the smash hit Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii is looking smart in 3D. The video showed Mario going into various worlds, and the graphics do look nice and crisp.
Is nice and all, but again, isn't Mario set to retire yet?
11) Third Party Titles
Again a lot of building up before the actual good. And because people want more, Nintendo is giving us more third party titles with harder edge. For example, The Conduit, Resident Evil: Dark Side Chronicles, and Dead Space Extraction.
Nice, nice. But, I don't quite understand. I thought their whole point was to create surprises. These third party titles they mentioned are nothing new. We've known they were coming to the Wii for a while now.
Regardless, though. Still pretty exciting titles.
12) Metroid: Other M
From Team Ninja, a new title for the Wii. And guess what, they made sure it was gonna get the M rating, you know, to deliver that "hard edge" that Nintendo's promising us folks now.
This one stirred up quite a lot of excitement for various reasons. One, It's a new Metroid title - and rightfully so. Two, It's from Itagaki-less Team Ninja, and three, the Wii folks are for some reason highly excitable when talks of a game getting the M rating surfaces.
I'd have to say this year was more polished - and shall I say less embarrassing - for Nintendo than last year. Everyone had their pieces down pat, and you can tell for the most part that they really tried to up the ante this year. They weren't necessarily all smiles, but they were definitely in on the game.
Announcements that made us sit up and listen extra hard would be:
4 out of a possible 5 stars.
- Wii Motion Plus
- Golden Sun DS
- Metroid: Other M
- The two new Mario offerings
http://feeds2.feedburner.com/~ff/qj/wii?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds2.feedburner.com/~ff/qj/wii?d=dnMXMwOfBR0 http://feeds2.feedburner.com/~ff/qj/wii?d=7Q72WNTAKBA