Alex Phillimore: (alex.phillimore-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2014-06-13 06:39:48
Nintendo's 2014 E3
E3 is one of my favourite times of the year. There is something really special about a four-day event that is all about video games and their makers. E3 provides a platform for developers to talk passionately about their games during demos which can last for hours; and, more importantly, it serves as the perfect place for game reveals, which come thick and fast and accommodate gamers of all varieties.
I'm not ashamed to say that this year, Nintendo won it for me (in comparison to last year where they didn't do a whole lot for anyone, much less themselves). E3 2014 for Nintendo demonstrated a collection of games, almost all of which I will be picking up. Whether it's big-hitters like the adorable Yoshi's Wooly World, the gorgeous new The Legend of Zelda and teases of an upcoming Star Fox game; a plethora of third party titles such as Fantasy Life, Bayonetta 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles X; and smaller new IPs such as Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Code Name: Steam, Nintendo has served up a platter of games I will undoubtedly be experiencing over the coming months and years.
Let's not forget some of the other upcoming Nintendo games announced or given further information during this year's E3: Mario Maker will hit a target audience interested in building custom Mario levels and some of the examples show it to be a versatile tool; the Sonic Boom titles for Wii U and 3DS might be better than the last few games in the series with a new team in charge; Art Academy on the Wii U will allow budding artists to share their creations over Miiverse; Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is a bouncy plasticine spiritual successor to Power Paintbrush on the DS; Final Fantasy Explorers will add frantic multiplayer action to the 3DS; Monster Hunter 4 will undoubtedly dominate its cult following around release time; and the amiibo product has a lot of potential for being multi-game physical DLC that could be a fun and evolving property.Then there's Project Guard and the hilarious-looking Project Giant Robot, both of which look incredibly Japanese in all of the right ways.
The game I am most looking forward to, however, is one that was announced at E3 this year as a new property that makes me realise exactly why I love Nintendo as a developer. Splatoon is a competitive 8-player online shooting game, which, if it was on any other system, would likely look like a cross between Battlefield, Call of Duty or Titanfall, complete with the same graphics pushing for realism. Instead, Splatoon is a colourful and vibrant game that looks highly original - spraying paint to coat environments is the name of the game and there are plenty of cool tactical elements involved, such as the ability to dive into paint as a squid-like creature to avoid detection - but only for a limited amount of time.
Splatoon is the game I'm most excited by from E3 2014 because it has everything I like in a game - a fun and original concept, a quirky style and it doesn't strive for realism. At this stage I'm quite bored of games that try and simulate real life - while technically impressive, I find that they often lack character and feel very samey (after all, real life is a fairly boring place to be). Video games have limitless potential, so I always enjoy it when games come out with a fresh art design and lore - it actually makes you want to find out more about the world in which you're playing. It is a huge boon for Nintendo that their latest first-party IP is another original, cute, amusing and interesting title - and one I can't wait to get my hands on. In the meantime I'll be hitting up some of the other games listed above - an assortment of old and new gems that make me excited for the future of Nintendo.