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E3: Nintendo hypes change
Jun 17, 2015
By John Powell - G4 Canada
Borrowing a page from those robots in disguise, Nintendo is all about transformation at E3 this year.
From the morphing Arwing in Starfox Zero to Yoshi becoming a bundle of plushy goodness, Nintendo is adding some twists to their familiar and successful properties.
"The secret to the longevity of Nintendo franchises is transformation. We never let them stand still. There always has to be something new, something compelling," said Reggie Fils-Aimé, Nintendo of America's President and COO.
Although combining the best elements of all the previous iterations, Starfox Zero will be taking advantage of the Wii U functionality. Players be able to use their TVs to support the cinematic view and the gyro system on their Wii U game pads to operate and fly Starfox's Arwing ship with a view from inside the cockpit.
"By using the two screens, you can see yourself flying on the TV while shooting down at the enemies below you in the cockpit view on the gamepad. You can be really immersed in the experience," said legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto of Starfox Zero.
"We would like people to play as if they are flying a real plane. It is really exciting."
The Arwing itself will be able to transform into a giant mechanical walker and a tank-like vehicle throughout the game. Starfox Zero will be available this holiday season.
No Nintendo announcement of course would be complete without some Mario news and with the 30th Anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. series upon us, Nintendo is encouraging fans to celebrate.
With the release of Super Mario Maker on September 11th, players will become creators designing their own levels to share with others around the world. With the game comes a 100 page book detailing the functionality and the possibilities. A special giant-sized ammibo will also be available adding a Big Mushroom power-up to your course, permitting Mario to become huge and destroy blocks like a boss.
Nintendo is also urging Mario fans to visit LetsSuperMario.com to upload their quirky and fun Mario tribute videos. Nintendo will donate of any of the ad revenue generated from the videos to Operation Smile (http://www.operationsmile.org), a charity dedicated to healing the smiles of children suffering from cleft lips and palates.
Mario will also be returning in two new games: Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for the Wii U this holiday season and scheduled for spring 2016 is Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam for the 3DS. Paper Jam has Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario combining their might to put their collective universes right.
That kooky, lovable dinosaur Yoshi is getting a makeover as well. He is being reenvisioned as a plush toy made of yarn in Yoshi's Woolly World on the Wii U. In a world made of fabric, felt and yarn, Yoshi produces balls of yawn instead of eggs, which can be used to snare enemies, enhance platforms or create objects. Yoshi can also turn into a motorcycle, a mole and an airplane.
Adding another dimension to the game are yarn amiibos (sold separately) which permit Yoshi to morph into other characters like Mario and let players control two Yoshis at the same time.
Nintendo's Emi Watanabe, a developer who worked on Yoshi's Woolly World, created prototypes at home out of yarn and thread.
"When I brought them back to the office, the smiles on the faces of my colleagues really struck me. There was this proposal made at Nintendo for a game like this, maybe a plushy amiibo would be more fun to have because it goes well with the vibe of the game," Watanabe recalled.
The cherished Metroid series is returning but maybe not as fans remember it. Made for the Nintendo 3Ds, Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a co-op FPS in the Metroid Prime setting but without the ever-popular Samus Aran. Instead, up to four players in Samus inspired mech suits can band together to clear bases and complete objectives. Also included is Blast Ball mode which has two teams of three trying to score goals on their rivals. Metroid Prime: Federation Force will be released in 2016.
Zelda and Fire Emblem are also returning to the 3DS as well. Like Federation Force, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes has three players joining forces to explore and clear out dungeons, solve riddles. There is a fashion element to the game which features unique costumes each containing different powers, such as launching bombs. The players can also stand on each other to reach troublesome areas or fight foes. Tri Force Heroes will be released this fall.
Fire Emblem Fates asks players to make a choice: to remain loyal to blood relatives or the family that raised them instead. To be released in 2016, the game features enhanced 3D graphics and some intricate cut-scenes.
Other titles that were announced:
Skylanders SuperChargers: Both Donkey Kong and Bowser guest star in the next Skylanders game complete with their own vehicles and move sets. The Turbo Charge Donkey Kong and Hammer Slam Bowser Skylanders SuperCharger characters also work as amiibo in compatible Nintendo games, so players can store their save data in both modes with a simple twist of the figure's base. September 20 is the launch date.
Just Dance 2016: Launching October 20, 2015, on both Wii and Wii U, the game features tracks from artists like Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor and Lady Gaga. This year, the free Just Dance Controller app enables Wii U players to use their smartphones to play.
Xenoblade Chronicles X: Amid an intergalactic war between aliens and human survivors, players fight for survival while exploring the massive expanses of an unknown planet. The game launches December 4.
Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival: Animal Crossing amiibo figures and cards get their own party game. Scheduled to launch during the 2015 holiday season, Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival will launch as a bundle that includes the game, two amiibo figures and three amiibo cards.
Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon: The player transforms into one of 20 Pokémon as he or she sets out on an adventure in a world inhabited solely by the 720 discovered Pokémon, including Legendary and Mythical Pokémon. The game is scheduled to launch during the 2015 holiday season.
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer: Players design interiors and exteriors of homes for hundreds of animal characters, and can even design a garden. They can choose where to place the home, and then pick out a house style and colours for the roof, door and fence before getting to work on the interior. Tapping compatible amiibo character cards brings favourite Animal Crossing characters with their separate personalities and design requests into the game, which launches with a complimentary amiibo card on September 25.
Yo-Kai Watch: The popular Japanese game comes to North America. Players explore using their Yo-kai Watch to find Yo-kai creatures then befriend them and turn them into a team to battle other Yo-kai. The game is scheduled to launch during the 2015 holiday season.
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