Nintendo isn't waiting until the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) to tease gamers with upcoming titles for its fledgling Wii U console. In the latest Nintendo Direct video, the company showcased titles that it hopes will appeal to gamers of every stripe. It also spilled the beans on its plans for the Virtual Console service, its online store that offers downloadable retro game titles.
The Legend of Zelda on Wii U
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Eiji Aonuma, the director of several Zelda titles, admits that it may take longer than expected to complete the next game in the franchise. He says that Nintendo is rethinking the series' conventions, such as limiting players to complete dungeons in a specific order, and playing alone. This seems to suggest the new Zelda game will feature an open world with non-linear progression, and perhaps some online or asynchronous play features made possible by the Wii U's new controller.
To tide fans over, Nintendo will release an HD version of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, which was originally released a decade ago on the Gamecube. This HD remastering was shown only in stills, but is already dividing fans on its new look. It almost seems as though Nintendo's developers are a bit too enamored with the new graphic filters and other effects made possible by their new HD console, sacrificing some of the flavor that led to the Wind Waker being nick-named "Celda" – for its cel-shaded aesthetic.
X – Monolith Soft's new RPGLast year finally saw the release of Monolith Soft's epic role-playing game, Xenoblade Chronicles, in North America. Apparently the company has been busy, because Nintendo is now ready to show off a Wii U project code-named "X" that looks like a direct sequel. The exciting HD visuals and new features – being able to walk up and get into a giant robot and fly around the massive landscapes – is generating a lot of buzz on gaming forums. Hopefully Nintendo of America won't be so hesitant in publishing this one, and it will get a timely worldwide release. Check out the trailer below.
Mario's dinosaur sidekick is returning to a home console for the first time in 15 years (the last game was 1998's Yoshi's Story on the Nintendo 64). Developed by the same team responsible for the delightful Kirby's Epic Yarn, this one features an arts-and-crafts aesthetic and child-friendly game play. The game's direction seems a bit unclear, as there are also still screen shots showing a 2.5D perspective.
Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101
While it wasn't shown on video, Nintendo has published some new images of Pikmin 3, which can be viewed in the image gallery. For those who haven't played the earlier titles, Pikmin are little plant-like creatures that make up your army in a real-time strategy/exploration game. In previous games, the object was to recover the parts of your crashed spaceship or collect rare treasures while fighting off hordes of indigenous creatures. The game is slated for release later this year.
Platinum Games isn't ready to show Bayonetta 2, but it did release a new trailer for the upcoming Wonderful 101. This game appears to combine elements of Capcom's Viewtiful Joe (developed by Platinum Games' higher-ups before they formed their own studio) and Nintendo's Pikmin series. You'll combine the strengths of 100 superheroes (who look like they came from Disney Pixar's The Incredibles) to take down humongous evil villains.
Wii U Virtual Console woesNintendo's download service hasn't made a smooth transition from the Wii to the Wii U, and that's putting things mildly. Gamers can only access their previously downloaded games by first going into the Wii mode, and (for reasons as yet unexplained) they can't be played on the tablet controller's screen.
Nintendo has announced that players will have to cough up more money to play their Virtual Console library that way – US$1 for original Nintendo games and $1.50 for Super Nintendo games (with other platforms still unannounced). This ridiculous scheme is being implemented because Nintendo has yet to administer a proper account system that would allow players to register ownership across all devices.
Currently, any games you download to the Wii, Wii U, or 3DS systems are tied to that specific device. You can move your games via SD card from the Wii to Wii U, but if your console is stolen, damaged, or lost you have to wrestle with Nintendo customer service to regain them. One gamer has complained that Nintendo forced him to provide a police report before they would reinstate his downloads. This smacks of poor planning, and does little to instill confidence for future downloads, which will include GameBoy Advance software.
Future collaborationsNintendo seems intent on working with third party developers on new titles, teasing a new crossover between Atlus' Shin-Megami Tensei (Devil Summoner) series and its own Fire Emblem series. The two games share some superficial similarities, but Devil Summoner places an emphasis on raising and mixing an army of monsters while Fire Emblem is a much more traditional strategy role-playing game.
Nintendo is also working with Namco Bandai on the new Super Smash Bros. title. That game, along with new installments in the Mario Kart and Mario Party franchises will be shown at E3 later this year.
You can watch the whole presentation at the link below.
Source: Nintendo DirectView gallery - 37 images