Mario, Yoshi, Kirby, and Squids oh my!
Before E3 started, Nintendo needed to make a splash to show consumers they’re ready to come out of their funk. They showed they still know how to bring it and an argument could be made that Nintendo “Won” E3 with what they brought to L.A. this year. Enough of that small talk, lets get right into what you’re here for, games!
First up for the Big N was Yarn Yoshi, now being called Yoshi’s Woolly World. This game was mentioned awhile back and it was treated like Nintendo forgot about it. It was shown off in the Nintendo Digital Event as well as how one designs a yarn-centric video game. The controls are easy to learn but they felt a little clunky. You play the demo with another person, since the game is 2 player compatible, but I found myself eating him when I was just trying to maneuver around. The layout of the controls could be a little better. It feels a lot like Kirby’s Epic Yarn in design and how some of the enemy interactions are treated, comically. It plays like Yoshi’s Island in terms of jumps and TONS of secrets. Nintendo should sell those Yarn Yoshi’s at the Nintendo store or put them on Club Nintendo!
Mario Party is making a comeback to the home consoles in Mario Party 10 but there’s a little twist. The Game Pad is Bowser and he is like a game master to foil the other 4 players. It’s like the Bowser mini games from past Mario Parties but all the time. The controls are simple but that’s the norm in Mario Party games but the controls vary between mini games. Some of the games are easier than others. The toughest mini game I felt was the one that was like “Hot Rope Jump” from Mario Party 1. The Game Pad player tilts the Pad in any direction and the players try to jump over it. I found that to be easier said than done as that was my toughest mini game.
Also revealed from Nintendo was Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for Wii U. This is just like the Captain Toad levels in Super Mario 3D World except that the puzzles will be tougher and some will be much longer. You can use the Game Pad to aim and throw things, like Super Mario 2 veggies. You would think the camera would get in the way since the game relies heavily on the camera but it really doesn’t. The Dragon level that was playable and the mine car level really show off how great a game Captain Toad can be.
Nintendo wanted to leave their comfort zone with their franchises and go into different areas( maybe just a little) and they did just that with one of their babies, The Legend of Zelda. They took the Zelda franchise and paired it with Dynasty Warriors, the hack and slash button masher, and got Hyrule Warriors. The finished product is something at you first you don’t think you want to play but after playing it, you want more. The controls are pretty simple except for the items being the shoulder buttons on the Game Pad are a little clunky. Since it’s a Zelda game, the items should be one of the main A,B,X,Y buttons but this doesn’t take away from the game. The attack combo system felt natural, switching between rapidly hitting A and then B to do multiple attacks. The demo did show what could be a major flaw for Hyrule Warriors is the repetition factor. This is what Dynasty Warriors flat out is and you need to consider that going in.
You can’t have an E3 with Yoshi being cute without having Kirby make an appearance. Kirby fans rejoice in the fact that Kirby will make multiple appearances at E3, Smash Bros and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. The game plays just like Canvas Curse, the game where Kirby is trapped in a ball shape and you have to use the stylus to get him around. Same deal this time around where you draw in the Game Pad to move Kirby up and around and you tap Kirby to move him as well.
Nintendo did show off a new property at E3 this year, Splatoon, and buzz from the show floor is positive, myself included. You play as squids that can change between human form and squid form as they try to cover as much land with their ink as possible. Teams of four squid-people play against another group of squidlings in this “capture the flag” like game for Wii U. The game will have online multiplayer and just like most games like this, strategy is key. You can travel faster in your ink as well as throw ink grenades to cover the land as well as take out the other squids. You’ll need to know when to fight and when to flee. The Gyro sensors control the aiming and that is the only thing that takes a little getting used to. It was a little tough at first but there is a minor tutorial on how to aim, by shooting balloons.
Nintendo goes to the bank every time when it comes to nostalgia. They’re doing it with the GameCube controller being useable for Smash Bros and they’re doing it with Mario Maker, the game that lets you make your own Super Mario levels. It reminded me a lot of Mario Paint with the way the menu works. All you do is use the stylus to move the building blocks of a Mario level and those are question blocks, red ground blocks, Goombas, you know the stuff. After you’re done, you can play the level and test it out, just to see if it’s actually playable and beatable!