E3 2014: Highlights From Day 2

If you were wondering where the well planned out media conferences were on Day 2 of E3; there weren’t any. Day 2 of E3 is a much more ‘go around and test games’/’here’s some random new thing’ sort of day. That being said, there were some new reveals as well as a stellar Nintendo video presentation that gave us a slew of new things to get excited for. There were even some hilarious Robot-Chicken style clips to start the day off. So let’s recount the best of Day 2 and hopefully get something more structured in Day 3.

Nintendo Press Conference:

 Over the eyars Nintendo has become the console for original characters and exclusive content. In many way, they are everything Xbox wants to be, but never will. With decades of popular characters behind them, Nintendo’s press conference not only showed old brands are alive and well in this new era; but also introduced a bunch of new properties that demonstrate the same uniqueness and creativity that we fell in love with all those years ago.

  • Super Smash Bros:

It’s not a Nintendo conference without Super Smash news. What started as an original idea – ‘let’s take all our most popular characters and have them beat the stuffing out of each other’ – has become a staple of the brand and bring more fans and characters to the series with each installment.

Its as close as you can get to fighting your friends . . . without fighting your friends

Its as close as you can get to fighting your friends . . . without fighting your friends

This time around, Super Smash Bros. will be available for both the console Wii U and the handheld 3DS. Super Smash Bros has never been available on handheld before so many are wondering how this could work – as is Nintendo. As such, Nintendo has pushed back the release date of the 3DS version till October 3rd so it can go through extensive testing so that gamers have the best experience possible. The Wii U version is still set to be released Holiday 2014.

Overall this dual platform availability is a great move by Nintendo. Some fans of the N64, GameCube, etc versions might not have a Wii U or be interested in getting on. By making it available for 3DS as well, they give their fans a whole new way to get involved, which in the end means a lot more than restricting how they interact with their favorite content – *cough* Xbox. There is even a new

Aside from the dual platform compatibility, Smash also introduced the incorporation of Mii Fighters. A Mii is the personal avatar you create with your Nintendo account; and Super Smash Bros allows you to transform yours into one of three classes: ‘Mii Brawler, Mii Swordfighters, and Mii Gunners. You’ll also be able to fight as special celebrity Mii’s such as Ice-T or Elijah Wood; but I’m more excited about turning myself into a Mii Fighter.

Beyond the different technical aspects and updates to play, the final piece of news directly about Super Smash Bros was an anime style reveal of Lady Palutena from the Kid Icarus series joining Super Smash Bros. Personally, I never played the series so I didn’t know who this goddess was. That being said, I did really enjoy the anime style trailer of Link battling Pit; and thoroughly hope we see more anime Smash battles soon – or at least Anime Nintendo.

  • New Additions to Classics (Pokemon, Zelda, Mario, etc):

 As I said, Nintendo loves their time-tested lead characters, so you can bet there would be some new additions to those franchises. We finally got a working trailer for Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Rubyyou can read more about these Pokemon remakes here. We also saw the trailer for the adorable Wii U title Yoshi’s Wooly World, which seems to follow the same idea of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. The game seriously looks amazing, but then again so does the new Legend of Zelda. With amazing graphics and a slightly different Link, this game looks stunning from just a simple teaser. We didn’t get to see much, but what we did see showcases a lot of elements Zelda fans have been hoping for – ie: a huge explorable world and open-ended quest options.

The world in the new Legend of Zelda game is completely explorable. Even those mountains in the background - if you ride for long enough

The world in the new Legend of Zelda game is completely explorable. Even those mountains in the background – if you ride for long enough

Nintendo also introduced another Zelda-ish game in the form of Hyrule Warriors, which is a cross over of Zelda and the hack-and-slash Dynasty Warriors franchise. How fans will react to this crossover is unclear yet. The Dynasty Warriors crossovers have usually gotten low scores to them purely being … well … hack-and-slash; although Nintendo promises this crossover will take the best of both series. Thus far Link, Princess Zelda, Impa and Midna have been confirmed as characters, but more are sure to come.

Though one of the most retro/modern inspiring games Nintendo debuted is Mario Maker where – you guessed it – you can make your own Mario game. From block and pipe placements to the choice of modern or 8-bit format, you can seriously send Mario on whatever adventure you want.

  • New Ventures (Splatoon and Amiibo):

Nintendo might reply on their time-proven methods of success, but they’re not above trying new things. One such new idea is a game called Splatoon where you play a squid person who – not making that up. Basically, you and your team must run over the map covering everything you see in ink. Whoever controls the most ink-covered parts of the map wins. Though the ink is a lot more than just a color match.

You can also fire on your opponents and take them out; but the ink is really the center of the game as you can morph into a squid and rush forward under your own ink. Just don’t hit enemy ink, because as much as your ink speeds you up; enemy ink will bring you to a near crawl – making you an easy target. Whether you and your team decide to rush quickly behind enemy lines or lie in wait under your ink to catch the enemy by surprise, the choice is yours in this surprisingly fun and original game.

Its like Paintball on steroids

Its like Paintball on steroids

Nintendo is also reaching past their games into figures/data storage. Their latest project is called Amiibo and seems similar to Disney Infinity and Skylanders toys; but these actually allow you to save character skills from games onto them. So imagine dominating the new Super Smash Bros with Mario and then attaching your Amiibo to the 3DS. You’ll save all of your Mario’s records and styles onto that Amiibo, which you can then bring to a friends house and summon up your Mario as either your character or a teammate.

Amiibo’s will apparently have more use outside of Super Smash Bros. though what that will be isn’t clear yet. Mario Kart 8 is obviously another option; but we’ll have to see how this plays out. I personally never saw the allure of Disney Infinity or Skylanders, so this idea is most likely lost on me. Though I do give props to Nintendo for expanding into this field – it does fit their demographic.

Miscellaneous:

  •  FF7 G-Bike for iOS:

It might not be the Final Fantasy VII remake everyone ahs been hoping for, but Square Enix revealed their new iOS game which allows players to experience the G-Bike mini game from Gold Saucer in the palm of their hands. As Cloud Strife, you will ride on your motorcycle to level up and take out familiar enemies from the FF VII game. Behemoth and Guard Scorpion can be seen in the trailer. Who else will appear we’ll have to see.

Though to be honest, I’d much rather see a full Final Fantasy VII remake or something completely new for the series. If you remember Dirge of Cerberus, the G-Ending for that hinted that there is still one final story to tell in the Final Fantasy 7 universe . . . so where is it?

  • DragonBall Xenoverse

One final thing of note was a new fighting game called Dragonball Xenoverse. Now I know what you’re going to say. “Really, another Dragonball fighting game where I have to play through the entire story for the 17th time just to play as the character I want?” Well . . . yes. Sorry, I feel the same way. I get they’re trying to make the game more realistic and 3D, but the more they strive to do that, the less like the show it looks. Either way, the thing to note about this trailer was the appearance of a completely new character.

This new character begs many questions. Will this game have a new original story or will he be the first step in expanding the DragonBall Universe? There’s been talk that then original team will bring DragonBall Z back if the new film is successful and fans want it. Considering how disappointing DragonBall GT was, I think fans could use some newness . . . but only if its good. Please, no continuing for the sake of continuing.

E3 is dying down, but it’s not over yet. There’s still time for some big revels. Personally, I’m hoping Ubisoft unveils some information about Assassins Creed: Comet. Either way, check back in tomorrow for the Highlights of Day 3 . . . which might not be much.

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