E3 2014: Nintendo reveals new Legend of Zelda and ‘Amiibo’ toy line
Nintendo unveils a strong lineup at E3 in an attempt to boost sales of Wii U console
With Mario Kart 8 seeing an upsurge in sales of the struggling Wii U, Nintendo’s video stream entailing their E3 lineup may have been their most crucial yet. If Nintendo could reveal a strong lineup of games, more may be tempted to buy into Nintendo’s quirky console.
The stream started with Super Smash Bros., revealing that you can use your Mii character in the cartoon brawler. They did this in a way only Nintendo would, with a video of their two top executives, Satoru Iwata and Reggie Fils-Aime, fighting. Iwata won the match with a torpedo headbutt. Of course.
Fils-Aime then detailed ‘Amiibo’, Nintendo’s toy line that interacts with Wii U games, trading information between the console and action figures of Nintendo’s famous characters. Super Smash Bros. will be the first Wii U game to interact with Amiibo, powering up your characters.
Fils-Aime then handed over to Nintendo’s developers, first detailing Yoshi’s Wooly World for Wii U, a follow up to the delightful Kirby’s Epic Yarn, a platformer scheduled for 2015 based in a handcrafted material world. This was followed by Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, a full game based on the excellent puzzle platform levels in Super Mario 3D World. Captain Toad will be out before Christmas.
Then came the announcement most were expecting and hoping for: a new Legend of Zelda for Wii U. Eiji Aonuma, the director of the series, announced that the new Zelda would be more open-world. It looked exceedingly pretty, though this was just a tease for a game that isn’t released until 2015. Later there was a more extended look at another game set in the Zelda universe, Hyrule Warriors, a pure action game from the creators of the successful Dynasty Warriors series.
A teaser for a new Pokemon on 3DS was followed by a look at Platinum Games’ bonkers brawler Bayonetta 2. It was revealed that the game would include the original Bayonetta on the same disc. Many critics (including this one) feel that Bayonetta is the best example of its genre in over a decade. It’s an unusual game for Nintendo to be publishing, but is a notable example of diversifying the Wii U’s lineup. As is Xenoblade Chronicles X, an open-world JRPG featuring giant mechs.
Mario Maker was next, which allows you to build your own 2D Super Mario Bros. levels in either 8-bit or contemporary style. This was followed by new IP Splatoon, a multiplayer game which has you playing a coloured squid who can, for example, spray ink up walls and then swim up the side. The squid can also transform into a human armed with an ink cannon to fight your opponents, forming your own paths with your clouded ink and blocking off your foes. It looked a very clever twist on the online shooter, though it was another game scheduled for 2015. Nintendo’s lineup looks strong, but a lot of games seem to be missing this Christmas, which could be crucial.
Nintendo ended the stream with an image of Shigeru Miyamoto promising more games for the Wii U that use the Wii U Gamepad. On the screen looked to be a blurry image of the much requested Starfox. It was a cheeky end, but perhaps an unwise one, Nintendo needs all the games it can get to boost sales of Wii U, though Nintendo did suggest we may find out more throughout the week. This E3 stream served up a fine selection, one more could tip it into excellence.