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Mario Maker Features for Wii U

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Nintendo had an interesting showing at this year's E3. While its video conference was arguably one of the highlights of the week, what it physically had on the showfloor wasn't as impactful. No Zelda, no Starfox, no R.C Pro AM... Much like the event itself, there was a very real disconnect between big game reveals and what was ready to be dished out to the public.

Nintendo, of course, still had a major presence in the LA Convention Centre. Here's a rundown on what we saw, how it played and if it made us feel like heroes...

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

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This is not a joke: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was the best game I saw while playing through Nintendo's offerings, and one of my favourite titles at E3.

An extension of the mini-game that featured in Super Mario 3D World, it's an incredibly stripped back experience: guide Toad to the end of the level, collecting items as you go and avoiding any oncoming obstacles. There's little more to it than that, but each course is so well designed and thought out it's hard not to enjoy Treasure Tracker's loving embrace, from both an aesthetic and challenge perspective.

As has happened on countless occasions, it's more evidence to remind you where the company shines. Few others could design something like this and make it so entertaining. Nintendo does it with ease.

Super Smash Bros. For Wii U

Super Smash Bros. screenshot

Before we get started, heed my words: Super Smash Bros. is a very good fighting game... if you can get along with it. I simply can't.

For one reason or another - namely that I'm stupid - the format just doesn't sit with me, and such thinking hasn't changed after going a few rounds with the Wii U version. It obviously builds on the blueprint that has been laid down by the series previously, tweaking without overreaching, revolutionising without butchering the format entirely. As it should be, this is being made for its fans.

That's not to say there aren't obvious positives to see. Visually it's taken a nice leap up from previous iterations and the roster - arguably the main appeal here - is growing bigger each and every month. With the likes of Mega Man, Wii Fit Trainer, Rosalina and Luma already making up the numbers, E3 also brought the announcement of Pac-Man… whose reveal got a pop worthy of Stone Cold Steve Austin circa 1999. Depressing…

Mario Maker

Mario Maker screenshot

An idea so simple you wonder why it's taken this long to come to fruition, Mario Maker is brilliant. Nothing more than a tool for you to create your own levels in the style of Nintendo's mascot - be that in an original or New Super Mario Bros. mould - there's something incredibly moorish about the whole concept.

This mainly stems from the fact you can make proceedings incredibly hard. Stacking goomba after goomba atop of each other before hurling a couple of hammer bros. in for good measure will test anyone, and not in a fair, or logical, sense. Being able to share these monstrosities is just another way to keep it relevant for a significant amount of time.

It's disgustingly accessible as well: levels can be created within minutes. It's unfortunate that at this time underground sections ('dunna dunna dunna… dunna dunna dunna…dunna dunna dunna… dunna dunna dunna... der der dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunklenmsdfndsfnkd dun dun dun...') can't be built, but hopefully that'll find its way across soon enough.

Kirby And The Rainbow Curse

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A sequel to the very good Canvas Curse on DS, Rainbow Curse picks up exactly where that left off and carries on with the formula, almost verbatim. Thankfully that formula is very good and continues to be so on the Wii U. So little has changed, though - you draw platforms for Kirby to roll across - that it's almost too similar, but it remains a very pleasing spin on the platforming genre.

It looks nice as well, a theme Nintendo was dedicated to throughout the event. I assume E3 was the time Iwata and co. decided to flip off those who accused the Wii U of not being able to compete in the visual stakes.

Splatoon

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I have nothing against Splatoon. I think it's a pleasant idea, made all the better by Nintendo's insistence that it does things by its own rules. With that said, its take on the third-person shooter feels very lightweight at best.

With all the usual shooting rules in place - such as trying to wipe out your opponent - Nintendo has thrown territory-esque rules into the equation asking that as well as splattering enemies with your own ink, you use said ink to cover the map in goo. Whoever has coloured most of the map when the clock runs out wins.

There are some very nice ideas - reloading your weapon and achieving an element of stealth by hiding in your own ink, for example - and it's the definition of welcoming, and intentionally so. After a few rounds, however, I felt like the concept was starting to run a little thin - there was nothing here that enticed me to keep playing and any sense of progression I'd need to stay interested seemed absent. Admittedly it's still early days, and if Nintendo releases this as a cheap downloadable title then it's stock could rise.

The fact it has squids in it does not make it an instant classic, mind...

Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors screenshot

I love The Legend Of Zelda. I do not love Dynasty Warriors. I certainly respect the latter and understand why it has managed to obtain the following and success it has, but mashing 'X' till the end of time is not really my cup of tea. I don't much like tea either…

So, simply applying a Zelda skin to that experience isn't enough to all of a sudden make me think everything is going to be alright in the world. The way it's been applied here is certainly decent, and how items - such as bombs - have been worked in will please anyone affiliated with Nintendo's second biggest franchise.

If you're not up for linear slaughter, or RSI, though, this won't drastically alter your feelings. It's nice that it exists, even nicer that it means, in some sense, the Wii U finally has a unique Zelda title. But it's not Zelda. Nor will it ever be.

Yoshi's Woolly World

Yoshi's Woolly World screenshot

There is one standout feature to Yoshi's Woolly World and it's one that many have stopped associating with Nintendo over the last few years: it's one of the best-looking games I've seen in some time. Mostly down to art direction and textures, of all things, Woolly World is so damned nice to stare at you'll continually pick up on tiny touches Good-Feel have added in. It may not be as powerful as its rivals, but with the right team, the Wii U can easily compete.

Unfortunately, that's where the positives end. If you were a fan of Yoshi's New Island on the 3DS you're in luck, but if you happened to think that was one of the most boring games ever made - hello! - think again.

Clearly I'm not the target audience for this, but the foundations are so straight-laced and by the numbers proceedings become dull within seconds. It's like going for a lazy drive on a Sunday… but that drive lasts for 8 hours. And Yoshi is in the passenger seat*.

*That would be a better game…

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15 Comments

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CharleSketch's Avatar

CharleSketch@ grovberg

Well, if you consider they only had one map and one type of weapon for the Splatoon demo, someone's sure to feel bored after just playing with that. I'm almost sure the final product will have much more content to keep one interested and playing with different things.

P.S. I meant to reply to Gramartron, woops.
Posted 19:10 on 20 June 2014
Ephidel's Avatar

Ephidel

I think that a little bit more attention should've been paid to games like Xenoblade Chronicles X. It's a Third Party glimmer of hope that gets ignored way too often.

Furthermore, given how Monster Hunter Tri did, Monster Hunter 4 will be an obvious 3DS success, and given how 3DS games from Capcom seem to get ported on to home consoles occasionally, I wouldn't be surprised to see it on the Wii U at some point.

But yeah, people ignore those things. No idea why.
Posted 18:55 on 20 June 2014
Woodfella's Avatar

Woodfella@ SimonMiller

You ran around the show floor, bumping in to people, did some push ups then carried on running. Then you gave a guy an award for "best use if Kevin Spacey" remind me who the fool is Miller?
Posted 15:21 on 20 June 2014
grovberg's Avatar

grovberg

Nice roundup, thanks Miller.

I have to wonder how much the general sense of dissatisfaction with recent E3s in general comes down to us all just being old and the medium maturing. I mean I absolutely get where Simon is coming from feeling just kind of...well...bored with a lot of games these days. Even the good ones. I'm there too. The pace of innovation has been astounding over the last couple decades, but I really don't think it's even possible to keep up with the level of novelty we've become accustomed to, especially when so much of it was tied to graphical improvements and the ROI on that diminishes exponentially each generation.

Of course, there's an entire market out that where this isn't a problem. Everyone assumes the toys were the big draw (and they were a nice touch don't get me wrong), but a big part of why Skylanders was such a huge success it is that it was the first decent game meant to be played by a seven year old in a long time. Like comics before them, they struggled to be considered a reasonable thing for an adult to do, but in the process left the kids behind. It's shockingly difficult to find games that are accessible to that age group. It's not just about appropriate content themes either. NES games were hard in their own way, but they're still conceptually very simple—hard to beat the level but you had a pretty good idea of what button to push to make the bad buy blow up. Most modern games are the exact opposite of that.

I really think that's where Nintendo's niche in the market lives—making games for kids. A seven year old would love to just hit A 70 times and watch Link slash through a mob of monsters. We did when we were seven. The mistake with the Wii U at introduction I think was trying to chase after the older market again with things like Watch Dogs and Batman. The more Nintendo carves their own path and makes a console for kids, the more likely it is that every reasonably affluent parent will buy one for their kids, they way they do now with the (3/2)DS.

Of course the challenge is that kids don't go to E3 or write about video games on the internet. So the question is whether they can get that message out to those parents.
Posted 15:01 on 20 June 2014
Grammartron's Avatar

Grammartron

Shame so many first-party Ninty titles seem to fall under the 'fun for 10 minutes' banner these days - aside from the big three or four franchises it all seems very disposable. Guess they rely on the local co-op angle to provide longevity, but if the hardware isn't selling well then that's a wobbly pillar to be leaning on.

I loved the first showing of Splatoon, struck me as a stroke of genius in fact, but everything I'bve heard from people that have played it suggests it's firmly in this camp. Booooo.
Posted 09:52 on 20 June 2014
SimonMiller's Avatar

SimonMiller@ Woodfella

I agree, but people love that 'win' word. If anyone won E3, it was Bratt... for being a fool.
Posted 20:45 on 19 June 2014
SimonMiller's Avatar

SimonMiller@ thebomb

Just giving an honest opinion on what I saw, dude. Unfortunately when we have appointments at things like E3 we have limited time so we can't play everything - Nintendo had a load of games so we had to pick and choose. I could've played Mario Party 10 for around 5 minutes, but what's the point? It's a game that needs time, and more importantly, friends.

In regards to Zelda not being shown, I mentioned that all publishers followed suit in the first paragraph. A lack of reveals on the showfloor was the problem with this year's E3.

This is just a round-up of what I saw on Nintendo's booth and what I thought. It would be easy to just heap praise on them all without thinking, but where's the sense in that? Better to be honest, balanced, and let the games develop, and hopefully, prove me wrong. I'll be first to raise my hand.
Posted 20:45 on 19 June 2014
Woodfella's Avatar

Woodfella

I think for people who like dynasty warriors HW is really exciting. It looks to be the best dynasty warriors game. Lots o cool special moves and features. AND LINK IS WEARING A SCARF. I WANT IT
Posted 19:51 on 19 June 2014
Woodfella's Avatar

Woodfella

The debbate over who "won" E3 is pointless.

Nice round up though Miller.
Posted 19:47 on 19 June 2014
Nxs's Avatar

Nxs@ cubical

Most, if not all games N showed, are not coming til '15 or beyond. Cutting the price of the Wii U now, or three months from now would make a huge impact. A price drop along with MK would give me and other people reason to go get it now instead of waiting til next year.

N is in bad shape and it needs to do something to drum up business. Short of releasing those games this year or adding a buttload of VC games quickly, a price cut is the only thing that is going to do it.

Sell more systems, more games will come. Just ask Ubisoft. :D
Posted 19:47 on 19 June 2014
stealth's Avatar

stealth

Nintendo easily won E3.
Posted 19:14 on 19 June 2014
cubical's Avatar

cubical@ Nxs

WiiU doesn't need a price drop, it just needs to dish those games out.
Also companies will never reveal planned price drops up until they're about to do it.
Because if u tell the public the cost will go down in say, 3 months, every consumer will just stop buying the system awaiting until the price drop hits
Posted 18:28 on 19 June 2014
skidoosh's Avatar

skidoosh

Good reading thanks, Milldog! Or should I say Sceptical Snake!!!!!

Don't know how you win E3, but here's to a hopefully better future for the Wii U! I'll have one in the house by xmas!
Posted 18:24 on 19 June 2014
thebomb's Avatar

thebomb

So you give a negative overview to 2 of these titles because you just don't like the genre, and on one of them because it doesn't offer a sense of progression or anything enticing when it's a showfloor demo for a game to be released next year? Nice. I believe Project Guard and Project Giant Robot were on the showfloor as well. No comments on those? Mario Party 10? No? Bayoneta 2? I'm aware you checked it last year but surely you'd try it again to see if there's been any changes since then, right? No? Ok.

Also, I hate to say it so bluntly, but if anyone expected Zelda for Wii U or Starfox to have playable demos, they're dumb. They only showed a cinematic trailer for Zelda, no hints at the gameplay at all, of course it wouldn't be on the showfloor. And Starfox was announced casually by Miyamoto before the event, and in the few instances it was shown in pictures it was as basic as it can be. It's still very early in development, it makes absolutely no sense to expect a demo of this as well.

I'm expecting another article where you comment about how there was no Halo or Uncharted 4 demos either. Surely that's also a disconnection between their big reveals and what was announced.
Posted 18:02 on 19 June 2014
Nxs's Avatar

Nxs

Not entirely sure I'd say Nintendo 'won' as that is a matter of conjecture. However, I would say they did a damn good job! Zelda, SSB and Splatoon were just great. They one thing they could have done to win though was announce a price drop. If that would have happened, pretty sure people would have went batcrap crazy and they would 'won'. (Although, I still think No Man's Sky was the best)

:D
Posted 17:34 on 19 June 2014

Game Stats

Release Date: 01/01/2015
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Unknown
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 9,598 95
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