Nintendo at E3 2015: Star Fox, Mario Tennis and cooperative handheld gaming
As always, Nintendo's E3 showing was a little different from what we saw from both Sony and Microsoft. Taking a light-hearted approach to the whole thing, the company announced a handful of new titles, and revealed a couple of key release dates. Read on for the biggest game announcements from the E3 Nintendo Direct broadcast.
Given the ongoing success of the platform, Nintendo tends to pay a lot more attention to its 3DS handheld than, say, Sony does to the PS Vita. As such, a large part of the company's event was dedicated to portable games.
First up is The Legend of the Zelda: Triforce Heroes – a co-op multiplayer title that tasks players with working together to solve puzzles. While it focuses more on cooperation than previous multiplayer entries in the series, it can still be played single-player, with the user being helped out by a pair of doll-like characters.
Following a recently-leaked trailer, the confirmation that last year's Wii U Dynasty Warriors/Legend of Zelda crossover title Hyrule Warriors will be making its way to the 3DS in the first quarter of 2016, came as little surprise. The new version of the game, known as Hyrule Warriors Legends, won't be a direct port of the console title (presumably because of technical constraints), but will instead be a reimagining of the Wii U hack-and-slash game.
The other big 3DS reveal came in the form of Metroid Prime: Federation Force, another cooperative multiplayer game. We don't have a whole lot of details on the title just yet, but we do know that it will feature four player missions in the Metroid Prime universe, as well as a 3v3 sci-fi sports battle mode called Blast Ball.
Having announced earlier this year that we won't be seeing the hotly-anticipated (and still unnamed) Legend of Zelda Wii U title until 2016, Nintendo had a lot of work to do to keep up (and hopefully increase) gamer interest in its current home console system.
Well, it made a number of significant steps in the right direction. Release dates were announced for both RPG title Xenoblade Chronicles X (December 4) and the innovative Mario Maker (September) – a game that allows users to create their own side scrolling levels and share them with friends.
More interested in new game announcements? Nintendo has you covered there as well, outing Mario Tennis: Ultra Slam for Christmas 2015 and the Mario Party-esque Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival. As its name suggests, the latter title requires each player to have a physical Amiibo figure to play, and features mini-game mechanics.
Perhaps the biggest new game announcement from Nintendo was Star Fox Zero. Developed in partnership with Platinum Games, the title features classic space shooter combat, provides a dual-screen experience (TV and gamepad), and allows players to transform their Arwing spacecraft into a walker at the press of a button.
Of course, the company was also keen to highlight a more imminent Wii U title – Yoshi's Wooly World. The game features stylized graphics and classic side-scrolling gameplay. It's due out next week, on June 26.
So those are out picks of the biggest and best announcements from Nintendo, but what didn't we see during the broadcast? Well, the company's highly-anticipated move into mobile games was absent, as was the recently-announced new console hardware, codenamed NX. However, both of those items did get a mention, and it was confirmed that we'll hear more about the latter in 2016.
For more Nintendo E3 news, you can check out the full video of the broadcast below.