Nintendo E3 Round up: Star Fox Zero, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes and Super Mario Maker
Nintendo kicked off their Nintendo Digital Event in a way only Nintendo could get away with, muppet-like puppets of Nintendo CEO Satoru Iawta, President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime, and Nintendo developer and Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto. What was shown was a collection of previously unreleased titles and giving previously announced titles release dates. Everything that was shown can be found right here in our E3 news roundup.
Star Fox Zero
The beginning of the stream saw Iwata, Reggie and Miyamoto turning into Peppy Hare, Falco Lombadi and Fox McCloud, respectively. Thankfully, no one turned into Slippy Toad. This led into the first title, Star Fox Zero, which was teased at last year’s E3. Gameplay was shown with the flying Arwing, delivering a cinematic third person on the television, with a first-person view through the cockpit. Arwings this time can transform from the space fighter to a robotic walker, and includes other vehicles, including the tank-inspired Landmaster and a drone-looking Gyrowing, with the ability to send out a robot on a rope to explore. Miyamoto then talked about the history of Star Fox, such as inspiration drawing from the 1965 television show Thunderbirds, with cinematic elements and drama, Miyamoto’s childhood cartoon drawings with a humanised fox as a main character, and the original concept of an Arwing transforming into a walking robot was an idea in Star Fox 2, but Star Fox 2 was never released. The ‘Zero’ in the title comes from the idea that this game isn’t a sequel or a remake, and looks like a fox’s tail to Miyamoto when drawn with a calligraphy brush. Star Fox Zero will be released in the fourth quarter of 2015.
After Star Fox Zero, Reggie took centre stage and talked about how the opening with the Nintendo staff represented a theme; transformation, with Nintendo taking on theme parks with Universal Studios, mobile games, and the next Nintendo hardware of the codenamed NX, and transformation of gameplay, with the example of Mario transforming the 2D platforming genre with the 1985 NES title Super Mario Bros. and the 3D adventure genre with the 1996 Nintendo 64 title Super Mario 64.
Reggie then seguewayed into the transformation of amiibo. The upcoming Skylanders SuperChargers will feature two guest stars inspired from Nintendo; Turbo Charge Donkey Kong with the Barrel Blaster car, and Hammer Slam Bowser with the Clown Cruiser plane. These figures, when the base is twisted, can turn from Skylander to amiibo and be used in all Donkey Kong amiibo compatible games. Skylanders SuperChargers will be available on the 24th of September on the Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, as well as the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Wii U Starter Park comes with Turbo Charge Donkey Kong and Barrel Blaster, while the Wii Starter Pack comes with Hammer Slam Bowser and the Cloud Cruiser.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
Next was The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. Drawing on the art style of the year 3DS title The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and the gameplay of the 2004 GameCube title The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Tri Force Heroes focuses on co-operative gameplay between three Links in a world of fashion, where the resident king requires help, so citizens of the kingdom all think that they’re the hero. Unlike Four Swords Adventures’ somewhat party-like appearance’s focus on competing for the most rupees, Tri Force Heroes takes a more serious co-operative stance. Players can hoist each other on their shoulders to create a totem. Originally four players were tried out, but that was too tall, so three players are used. The game can be played with a single player, with the other Links being dolls that can be controlled at any time, local multiplayer, or online multiplayer. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes will be released in the fourth quarter of 2015 exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.
Hyrule Warriors: Legends
Another Zelda title coming out soon is Hyrule Warriors: Legends, a 3DS version of the 2014 Wii U title Hyrule Warriors. The original gameplay is mixed up a bit with the ability to switch been characters fighting in the level on the fly. Described as a re-imagining of the previous game, Hyrule Warriors: Legends features all of the previously added downloadable content characters, plus the 2002 GameCube title The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker characters pirate Tetra and the King of Hyrule, Daphnes Nohasen Hyrule, also known as the King of Red Lions. Hyrule Warriors: Legends will be released in the first quarter of 2016 exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
A Metroid Prime 3DS spinoff was also announced, titled Metroid Prime: Federation Force. The game features four player co-op locally or online, where players wear a mech suit to clear out bases and complete missions. In terms of multiplayer, the three versus three multiplayer Metroid Prime: Blast Ball is available, where each team tries to shoot a ball into an ever-closing goal. Metroid Prime: Federation Force will be released in 2016 exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.
Fire Emblem Fates
Further English information regarding the latest Fire Emblem titles, Fire Emblem Fates, was shown in a new trailer. Players will have to make a choice and choose between two warring sides as they taken on the role of the main character for the first time in the Fire Emblem series. Fire Emblem Fates will be released in 2016 exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.
Genei Ibun Roku #FE
More information was also given for the Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei title. A new trailer in this Digital Event for this title was given full of Tokyo, j-pop and a tale of two worlds fighting infused with Fire Emblem elements, along with the working title Genei Ibun Roku #FE. The game will release exclusively for the Wii U in 2016.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
A new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X was next. Released in april in Japan, Xenoblade Chronicles X features a war between humans and aliens, an unknown planet. Players will be able to wear giant mech suits called ‘Skells’ that can transform from a fighter to a motorbike to traverse the alien countryside. Xenoblade Chronicles X will be released in December 2015.
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
More Animal Crossing information was then delivered, first focusing on Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, which stars you working at the tanooki Tom Nook’s Nook’s Homes. Here, you help animals move in and decorate the inside and outside of their homes. Animals can move in with their decorating requests with the help of Animal Crossing amiibo cards. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, Animal Crossing amiibo cards, and a Nintendo NFC Reader/Writer accessory to read and write amiibo details for Nintendo 3DS console that don’t have amiibo reading or writing capabilities will all be available on the 3rd of October, with a bundle featuring the game, the NFC Reader/Writer, and one amiibo card to also be available.
Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival
A new Wii U Animal Crossing title is also coming with Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival. Much like the amiibo Party mode in the 2015 title Mario Party 10, Animal Crossing amiibo based on characters Isabelle, K.K. Slider, Tom Nook, and Mable will be released that can be used in a more traditional board game for the Wii U that seeks to see which Animal Crossing character is the happiest through collecting Happy Points. Players can play the Turnip market with the buying and selling of Turnips for the ingame currency, bells. The board stays the same, but spaces can change at the drop of a hat. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival will release in the fourth quarter of this year exclusively for the Wii U as bundle with two Animal Crossing amiibo and three amiibo cards.
The big Nintendo 3DS Japan hit Yo-Kai Watch also received a new trailer in English. Using a special Yo-Kai watch, players can find mythical and mischievous creatures hidden in the real world, befriend them, and put them into a team to battle against other Yo-Kai. Yo-Kai Watch will release exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS in 2016.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros.
A new Mario RPG was next to be announced. Not a Paper Mario RPG or a Mario & Luigi RPG, but a combination of both; Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. Paper Mario enters the Mario & Luigi RPG world, bringing with him Paper Peach and Paper Bowser for a number of wacky and wild situations. The power of Paper Mario lends his skills to the bros. in battle, and to solve the mysterious of both of their universes. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. will be released in autumn 2016.
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
Mario sports fans will be comforted to now that they weren’t forgotten this E3 with the announcement Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. Set in the Mushroom Kingdom, up to four players can duke it out to see who has the best swing. Changes to the Mario Tennis formula aim to get those once out of reach shots with Jump Shots and Giant Mushrooms to make players larger than life. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash will be released in the fourth quarter of 2015 exclusively for the Wii U.
Super Mario Maker
The last game to be looked at Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event was Super Mario Maker. The inspiration behind the game, the tool used to construct Mario levels, was expanded and turned into something that everyone can enjoy. In the old documents used for Super Mario Bros., a level depicting Mario flying on a cloud firing fireballs was found, and could not be implemented due to limitations, but with Super Mario Maker, these limitations no longer exist. amiibo functionality was also detailed, with amiibo unlocking a retro outfit of that character to play around with when a Mystery Mushroom is acquired. Super Mario Maker will be released on the 12th of September exclusively for the Wii U, and will come with a hardcover art book with sample level designs.
In addition, two special Mario amiibo will be released, that when tapped in spawn a Big Mushroom for Mario, which as well as allowing Mario to grow big also allow you to break blocks from any direction and add a screen filter resembling a cathode ray tube television screen. In addition to the regular release, a limited edition Super Mario Maker bundle will be available and includes the game, art book, and a Mario (Classic Colours) amiibo from the Mario 30th Anniversary Collection. Mario (Classic Colours) amiibo and Mario (Modern Colours) amiibo will be able to be purchased on their own during Summer 2015.
The Digital Event concluded with a collection of Mario video fan creations for Mario’s 30th anniversary. Reggie announced the “Let’s Super Mario” website (www.LetsSuperMario.com), asking for video tributes for the series based on the famed Italian plumber we all know and love, with a chance to be shared by Nintendo. The tributes can range from song, dance, or even recreations of favourite moments. As for the ad revenue for these videos, Nintendo said they would donate all of this revenue to Operation Smile, a charity that aims to heal children’s smiles affected from cleft lip and cleft palate. More information about Operation Smile can be found at www.operationsmile.org.