Nintendo E3 Recap: Zelda, Pokemon Go and RPGs abound
Although a few fans may have held out hope that Nintendo would discuss its next hardware installment, codename Nintendo NX, attendees at this year’s E3 event were met with a wide-array of new titles for the Wii U and the 3DS. During Nintendo’s Treehouse: Live at E3 broadcast today, the company previewed a new game in the Mario Party series, an original action-adventure RPG IP for Nintendo 3DS, a sequel to Nintendo eShop hit BOXBOY! and the surprise launch of Rhythm Heaven Megamix.
As for the new games, there were quite a few standouts this year. Below are a few of main-events from the night (as detailed by Nintendo), though the real centerpiece of the event was the new Zelda game.
Pokémon GO Plus: The Pokémon GO Plus accessory can connect via Bluetooth Low Energy technology with any smartphone that has the Pokémon GO application installed, and provides an easy and convenient way to catch Pokémon and collect items (accessory must be in proximity of smartphone). Once the accessory is synced with a smartphone, Pokémon GO Plus notifies the player about events in the game, such as the appearance of a Pokémon nearby, using an LED display and vibration. Players can catch Pokémon or collect items by pressing the button on the Pokémon GO Plus without looking at their smartphone. Pokémon GO Plus will launch in late July in North America, and is currently available for pre-order at select retailers at a suggested price of $34.99.
Ever Oasis: This action-adventure RPG for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems contains puzzle-filled dungeons, real-time battles, exploration and treasure hunting. Players use the oasis as their base, which they can expand as they play, and gain affinity with characters called Seedlings, who are themed after plant seeds, as well as a variety of other unique characters who live in the desert. Players can freely form strategic parties with any of their allied characters, using allies’ weapons and skills to battle enemies and solve dungeon puzzles. Ever Oasis is scheduled to launch in 2017.
Mario Party Star Rush: This new Mario Party game for Nintendo 3DS takes the fan-favorite series in new directions to make it more fast-paced and portable friendly. The main mode, “Toad Scramble,” uses a new open style of map that allows up to four players to move around freely instead of traditional linear space movements. Also, because the four players roll dice at the same time, players no longer have to wait for others to finish their turns. Players pick different-colored Toad characters to navigate the game map, and familiar characters from the Super Mario series are scattered all over the map. As players encounter these characters, they will help the player throughout the game.
Mario Party Star Rush launches on Nov. 4, alongside new amiibo figures in the Super Mario series (sold separately). The lineup includes Daisy, Waluigi and Boo, who make their amiibo figure debut, and the Boo figure even glows in the dark! New Wario, Rosalina, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong figures will also launch. Each of these figures will be compatible with Mario Party Star Rush. The game is also available for pre-order from popular retailers like here Amazon.com.
Paper Mario Color Splash: In this new Paper Mario game, the story begins as Mario and friends arrive on Prism Island and need to solve the mystery surrounding Toad characters that have lost their color. Mario and his new partner Huey join forces to learn more about what is happening on Prism Island, and also to collect missing Paint Stars.
In a first for the series, The Koopalings make their Paper Mario debut in the game, and players can use the Wii U GamePad controller to “cut” sections of the landscape to help Mario solve puzzles. The game launches Oct. 7 and is available for pre-order here on Amazon.com.
Rhythm Heaven Megamix: The game offers more than 100 rhythm games, 30 of which are new to the series. An additional 70 have been selected from previous games in the series, including the original Game Boy Advance title, which was never released in North America. The game also features a continuous story for the first time in the history of the series. Players view the action on the top screen, and on the bottom screen they will receive feedback on how well they are matching the beat of the music as they play. The game also offers StreetPass features and a multiplayer mode for up to four players. This Nintendo eShop exclusive game launches … right now! Go find it, as well as two new Nintendo 3DS themes and a free demo in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS.
BOXBOXBOY!: This sequel to the acclaimed BOXBOY! game for Nintendo 3DS features the ability to create two sets of boxes, which means players will be challenged by new kinds of puzzles. The game picks up right where the original left off, but can be enjoyed even by people who missed the first one. The Nintendo eShop exclusive game launches June 30. To celebrate the upcoming launch, the original game is available at a discounted price in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. Between now and June 21 at 8:59 a.m. PT, the original game will be available for $2.99, a 40 percent savings off the regular price, with My Nintendo members getting an additional 10 percent off the discounted price. More details on this special sale price are available at e3.nintendo.com. June 30 can’t come soon enough? The game is available for pre-purchase now.
YO-KAI WATCH 2: Bony Spirits and YO-KAI WATCH 2: Fleshy Souls: The next big entries in the YO-KAI WATCH series for Nintendo 3DS arrive on Sept. 30. Players will embark on a new adventure across Springdale and through time, with more than 350 new and returning Yo-kai to discover and befriend—each with a unique look, personality and Soultimate Move. Teaming up with the heroic cat Hovernyan, players will travel back in time to 60 years ago and witness the origin of the Yo-kai Watch. Up to four players with their own systems and games can team up in an action-packed co-op mode to earn rewards that can be used in the single-player adventure. The official page for the games has been setup on Amazon.com, with more information to follow.
Monster Hunter Generations: Starting June 30, a special demo will be available for all prospective hunters to download on Nintendo eShop. This special demo features single-player gameplay in addition to local and online co-op. Select ambassadors will receive two early access codes for the special demo before it’s made available to everyone. Additionally, those with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate save data on their systems will receive a bonus item pack that includes an exclusive Felyne armor set, potions, in-game money and more to help dive right into the hunt. The game is available via Amazon.com.
DRAGON QUEST VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past: This Nintendo 3DS remake of the classic turn-based game involves a young boy who sets off with his friends on a journey to restore the world to its former glory and save the present by mending lands that were sealed in the past. In addition to updated graphics and an entirely new localization, the game does away with random enemy encounters to bring the player deeper into the game world. Players can also collect and share Traveler’s Tablets via the StreetPass feature, granting access to special dungeons offering unique rewards. The game launches Sept. 16 and is available for pre-order here on Amazon.com.
LEGEND OF ZELDA BREATH OF THE WILD: The game will release in 2017, and Nintendo gave the world its first look at the immense, living and breathing world of the Wii U version of the game at E3 today. Nintendo teased the game stating, “The game challenges and surprises players at every turn, while giving them incredible freedom to explore the massive world found in this open-air adventure.”
“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild breaks boundaries for the franchise and for games as a whole,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “Where you go, how you get there, the order in which you do it, and the items, weapons and approaches used to solve puzzles and defeat enemies are all up to you.”
During a Nintendo Treehouse: Live demo, Nintendo showed that heroic Link needs to be resourceful as he explores his environment. It’s important for players to become familiar with their surroundings so they can find weapons or collect them from defeated enemies. Food helps Link sustain his hearts and can give him a temporary boost or ability that will sustain him.
The game breaks with some conventions from the series. For example, many of the minor enemies are no longer scattered randomly around the world, as many now live together in colonies. Link can climb towers and massive structures to get a bearing on his surroundings. He can even reach the top of mountains, infact any mountain he can see, he can climb. Link can paraglide to lower areas or even use his shield to slide down a mountain. Link will travel across fields, through forests and to mountain peaks.
The game’s wild world surrounds Link, and he must pay attention to changes in climate, as a shift in weather or temperature can affect the environment and his ability to survive in it. A sudden downpour might douse a roaring campfire or a lightning storm might be attracted to Link’s metallic weapons. Players might need to bundle up with warmer clothes or change into something better suited to the desert heat.
More than 100 Shrines of Trials dot the landscape, waiting for players to discover and explore them in any order they want. As players work their way through the traps and puzzles inside, they’ll earn special items and other rewards that will help them on their adventure. Puzzles in the game often have multiple answers, and secrets can be found everywhere. Exploration and discovery are a huge part of the fun.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is scheduled to launch simultaneously for both the Wii U console and Nintendo’s next system, code-named NX, in 2017.
The game also includes compatibility with amiibo, which are sold separately. Nintendo announced a new series of amiibo figures specific to the game that includes Link with a bow (“Archer”), Link on horseback (“Rider”), and a “Guardian” that is the first amiibo with flexible parts.
The existing Wolf Link amiibo works with the game as well: When players tap a Wolf Link amiibo to the Wii U GamePad controller, Wolf Link will attack enemies on his own and help players to hunt. He has three hearts, unless players carry over save data from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. Wolf Link disappears when his hearts run out.
Fans of the franchise can pre-order The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on authorized retailers like Amazon.com