Mario And Yoshi And Zelda! Oh My!
Well, they did exactly what I said they’d do. Nintendo waited for the right time to strike with the Wii U, and right as our backs were turned… BOOM! They pounced on us.
After Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2012, Nintendo didn’t give its fans much to look forward to with its Wii U showcase. It focused mainly on launch games, of which maybe two of them fully utilized the capabilities of the Wii U’s game pad. Much of the press came out of the briefing disappointed by the lineup and Nintendo’s choice of games to showcase. Around the time E3 was taking place, I was talking to a friend. I told him that Nintendo’s going to come out with a bunch of titles that’ll blow everyone away in 2013. Well, that day has surely come.
On January 23, 2013 Nintendo Direct released a broadcast that contained quite a few exciting messages. This 30-minute broadcast is a video of Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata highlighting some new features coming to the Wii U, as well as information on some new games coming out. Heck, they even threw in a few trailers for good measure.
First, I’ll talk about the software updates for the Wii U. Mr. Iwata talks about the Miiverse and its many features, such as Nintendo TVii, the screenshot and hand-drawing functions. The only new thing featured for the Miiverse is a new video function, allowing people to share videos of gameplay while they share their own experiences. But the newest and most prominent announcement about software is the inclusion of Virtual Console on the Wii U. Nintendo is bringing NES and SNES games to the Wii U via Virtual console with extra features, such as being able to share experiences through Miiverse and saving progress. In addition to the arrival of the Virtual Console, Nintendo is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the NES by adding a 30-day discount on several NES games such as Earthbound, Super Metroid, and Yoshi. All these discounted games will be sold for 30 cents.
Now comes the part that you’ve all been waiting for: The original games. Nintendo Direct made several huge announcements in this video. They provided special inside looks at Bayonetta 2 and the Wonderful 101, two of the Wii U’s biggest exclusives. It gave a few looks at a new Wii Party game. They also featured hints at a new Mario Kart game in the works, as well as a main series 3D Mario game, both by the developers of Super Mario Galaxy. Iwata mentioned that these will be playable at E3 2013. Also at E3, screenshots of the new Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U will be revealed. Before you let out your girlish squeals of excitement, let me talk about Zelda.
Mr. Iwata also features Zelda series producer and director Eiji Aonuma to make a few statements. He says that the Zelda Team is working on a new game for the Zelda series. He says that this game is going to try to, “reinvent all of the conventions of Zelda.” He mentions things such as playing by yourself, linear design and other things as part of Zelda’s formula. Zelda Team plans to take this new game and redefine the Zelda experience. This is pretty huge, that means we could see a true sandbox, multiplayer Zelda game within the next year or two. But wait, there’s more!
In my opinion, the biggest announcement of the broadcast was the revealing of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Remake. The art style looks very much like the Zelda minigame on Nintendo Land, as opposed to the cel-shaded graphics featured in the original Wind Waker. Zelda Team chose to remake this game after the E3 2012 Zelda HD featurette to show off the Wii U’s HD capabilities. Mr. Iwata also goes to mention that the overall game experience of the game will receive a ‘tune-up’.
This update was pretty huge. Bayonetta 2, a new Zelda, Wind Waker HD, new Mario, Smash Bros., all of these anticipated titles will be hitting the Wii U in 2013-14. The broadcast also mentions a few other titles such as a new Yoshi game developed by the makers of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, a Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem crossover by Atlus, and a new game by Monolith that looks very much like a Monster Hunter game.
Nintendo Direct came out to tell everyone one thing: The Wii U is back in business.
Image Credit: Nintendo