Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze (Nintendo Switch) Review https://www.gameskinny.com/nv22b/donkey-kong-tropical-freeze-nintendo-switch-review https://www.gameskinny.com/nv22b/donkey-kong-tropical-freeze-nintendo-switch-review Thu, 10 May 2018 12:44:14 -0400 Joseph Ocasio

With his birthday ruined and his home being invaded by evil penguins and other denizens of the Arctic, Donkey Kong and friends must put a stop to them by jumping and stomping their way through dozens of levels.

If that sounds familiar, then you were one of the few people who played the 2015 platforming hit, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze on the Nintendo Wii U. The excellent 2.5D platformer joins the likes of Bayonetta 2 and Mario Kart 8 in being brought over to the Switch. Just like those titles, the Switch version of Tropical Freeze includes some minor additions, and it's still a great game that's worth being played and added to your Switch collection. 

If you've played any 2D platformer, you know what to expect with Tropical Freeze. The jumping and climbing is all here, as well as some other staples of the Donkey Kong Country games, like controlling a rhino and riding in a mine cart. The excellent level design the series is know for is at the forefront. The first world does a good job of easing you in to the mechanics of Tropical Freeze, while each level continually expands upon the various gimmicks that have been shown off in new and exciting ways. You'll be visiting places like beaches, underwater worlds, snowy mountains, and more throughout your adventure, and you'll constantly be surprised by what the game has in store for you. You might think this would all be overwhelming, but the tight controls are the glue that holds everything together, so you don't have anyone but yourself to blame if you miss a jump.

Speaking of missing jumps, be prepared for a lot of challenge in Tropical Freeze. Despite the family-friendly look, the game will have you on the edge of your seat one moment, relaxing another, and even pulling your hair out -- sometimes in that order. Luckily, the levels and sense of pacing never feel unfair or cheap, save for a few small instances where the game could have done a better job of explaining how to get past a certain section (and some late-game rocket levels).

DK also has his pals Diddy, Trixie, and Cranky by his side to aid him. Diddy and Trixie can allow DK to reach further spaces, while Cranky can use his cane like a pogo stick, similar to Scrooge McDuck in Duck Tales. The switch between Diddy/Trixie and Cranky can be jarring, seeing as how differently they play, but you'll get used to it.

In terms of new content, the biggest new feature is a mode called Funky Mode, in which you can choose to take control of Donkey Kong's pal Funky Kong. He can jump further and hover for a bit, making him much easier to control, as well as take more damage. Along with the newest Kong, Funky Mode allows DK and pals to take an extra hit each, and hearts and lives are handed out more frequently to take some of the pressure off during some of the game's more challenging sections (similar to what was done in the 3DS version of Donkey Kong Country Returns). It can be a little too forgiving in some sections (particularly in boss battles), but that doesn't mean it takes away all of the game's difficulty; it just makes things more bearable.

Other than the new mode, the big upgrade is the jump from 720p to 1080p when playing in docked mode (handheld is still 720p). It's a much cleaner-looking game, but you probably won't notice it unless you're doing a side-by-side comparison. It's still a great-looking game, with the same great environmental art design (especially in levels that are shrouded by darkness) and texture shading, running at a silky-smooth 60fps. The music is equally pleasing, with series composer David Wise returning to score the game, with mixes of old, classic tunes and new songs that will probably become classics.

It's easy to recommend Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze if you missed out on it the first time around. It's a challenging game that rarely feels unfair, and it features the same wonderful level design and variety that's made the series so iconic. The new Funky Mode is a great addition that makes an already accessible game even more so, without sacrificing much of the challenge. There's not that much for returning players, but it's still the same great game that's worth going ape over.

]]>
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Swings Onto the Nintendo Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/tj38z/donkey-kong-country-tropical-freeze-swings-onto-the-nintendo-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/tj38z/donkey-kong-country-tropical-freeze-swings-onto-the-nintendo-switch Thu, 11 Jan 2018 09:43:58 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Announced today during a mini Nintendo Direct, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a port of the exclusive Wii U platformer that originally released in 2014. Scoring an 83 on Metacritic, it's one of the highest-rated Donkey Kong games of all time -- predominantly because of its challenging design and engaging boss battles. Set to release on May 4 for the Switch, Tropical Freeze will mark Donkey Kong's debut on the system.

The sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns sees the return of Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, Cranky Kong, and Funky Kong, as well as a new beginner-friendly mode. This mode will feature Funky Kong and allegedly better help newcomers acclimate to Tropical Freeze's gameplay. From the Direct trailer, it appears Funky can perform unique moves, such as double jumps, hovers, infinite rolls, and infinite underwater corkscrews. Nintendo says that even spikes can't stop Funky once he starts surfing. 

For those that want to revisit the challenging modes that made Tropical Freeze a hit, they can still do so, playing either mode in two-player co-op. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news on Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze on the Nintendo Switch as it develops. 

]]>
5 games/series to celebrate the year of the Monkey this Chinese New Year https://www.gameskinny.com/j2kcj/5-gamesseries-to-celebrate-the-year-of-the-monkey-this-chinese-new-year https://www.gameskinny.com/j2kcj/5-gamesseries-to-celebrate-the-year-of-the-monkey-this-chinese-new-year Thu, 04 Feb 2016 04:26:15 -0500 Tobbpitt

Did you know 2016 is the Year of the Monkey on the lunar calendar? If you're not lucky enough to find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a Chinese New Year party, you probably won't have much reason to care that Chinese New Year is coming up on February 8th. 

You may not be celebrating directly, but some games can get you in one the monkey action this year. Monkeys and apes have been prevalent as main characters and enemies in video games since Donkey Kong's rise in arcades in the early 1980s. If you want to give the Year of the Monkey the attention it deserves, this is the right way to do it. Sort of.

So what game is the first one to grace our list? With so many options out there, it could be anything -- but it's not. It's..

The Monkey Island series

Perhaps one of the first series any long-time gamer thinks of when someone says "monkey" is the classic LucasArts adventure series, Monkey Island. I mean, what else could it be? Adventure games that are more limited on their monkey usage, obviously.

Guybrush Threepwood's first attempt at piratedom and clash against the nefarious LeChuck arrived on limited gaming platforms and PCs in 1990 and spawned four sequels, the last of which saw its release in 2009 after being developed by (the now well-known) Telltale Games.

The Monkey Island games aren't known by fans of the genre to be the toughest point-and-click adventure games out there, but they do still pack a hefty mental challenge for all skill levels, and the humor and charm of the series is still renowned today.

The original The Secret of Monkey Island is still a great starting point, and the 2009 re-release with optional updated visuals and music is available for iOS, PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 for cheap. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge got the same treatment. The third game, The Curse of Monkey Island, wasn't so lucky.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

A game many Wii U owners regard as one of the best games on the console has so easily found its way onto this list that it's a bit sickening. Apes as protagonists and tight, difficult gameplay in this day and age? Come on, man. That's not what modern gaming is about. 

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze isn't what you'd expect from a big game released today, but it is a faithful and gorgeous throwback to Donkey Kong Country on the Super Nintendo, and a more than worthy sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii.

The game more than fits the Year of the Monkey bill, but it's tough as nails. Gamers with low-to-no patience need not apply to Donkey Kong's most recent platforming adventure. Those who can withstand the challenge have what is definitely one of the best Nintendo platformers released in years ahead of them.

Bloons TD5

I defy you to find a series more monkey-packed than the Bloons TD games. This well-known tower defense title has been knocking around on browsers since 2007, and it first found its way to mobile devices with Bloons TD4 in 2010.

Bloons TD5 is the most fleshed-out addition to the series. While Bloons TD Battles and Bloons Cities are booming on browsers and mobile, TD5 is the the biggest in terms of sheer content, and is generally a more varied experience than Battles and Cities.

You've got monkeys in airplanes, monkeys with corrosive glue guns, ninja monkeys, monkey banana farms -- there are just a ton of monkeys in TD5, and each one has a use for one playstyle or another. There's a reason this is regarded as one of the best tower defense games out there, and it's not just because of the monkeys. 

Temple Run 1 & 2

Like it or not, Temple Run and its sequel are some of the most popular games ever made, thanks to their dominance on mobile devices. There's something to be said about the simple fun endless runners provide, that much is for sure.

If you've never played Temple Run, you wouldn't know that the "big bads" in the games are evil demon monkeys hungry for the flesh of the player. These carnivorous antagonists (who definitely look more like apes than monkeys) are a constant threat in the Temple Run games, and are always on the heels of an unlucky player.

These are certainly the most intimidating monkeys on this list, and I would definitely not want to run into one in a back alley. You get a look at these guys enough while playing the game that it's impossible not to include the Temple Run series in our Year of the Monkey game list.

Ape Escape trilogy

What!? You forgot about SCE Japan Studio's monkey-catching action-adventure games? Oh, the humanity! You need to remember the Ape Escape series, stat. Otherwise I'm just going to feel disappointed.

The first Ape Escape was the first game to require the use of analog sticks on the PlayStation, and it set the stage for some unique gameplay and controls that not many other games have decided to imitate. And man, there are a ton of monkeys to capture.

The original trilogy is the best of what Ape Escape has to offer in English, with the sequels improving upon the original formula. Further entries to the series are either Japan-only or spin-offs which don't really live up to the monkey-catching hype. And it is pretty hype.

The entire Ape Escape trilogy encompassing the first three games can be found on the PlayStation Network today, but if you're a physical copy junkie you can pick up the first entry on the PlayStation or PSP, and Ape Escape 2 and 3 on the PlayStation 2. There really is no better game series to celebrate the Year of the Monkey with. 

What are you favorite monkey related games? Let us know down in the comments!

]]>
Donkey Kong Knock Out eShop Deal https://www.gameskinny.com/eis6o/donkey-kong-knock-out-eshop-deal https://www.gameskinny.com/eis6o/donkey-kong-knock-out-eshop-deal Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:22:07 -0500 TumsST

What goes better than Donkey Kong and a banana from his horde? The answer is a simple one, Donkey Kong Country games and the eShop/Virtual Console service, that's what! The Nintendo eShop is running a DK "Knock-Out" offer where certain Donkey Kong games will be part of a sale that allows you do get Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze at a 30% discount as well as Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D at the same discounted price.

Make sure you have your Wii U/3DS linked with your Nintendo Network ID because if you don't, you won't be eligible for the discounted price. The Donkey Kong Country games are some of the best games on the Super Nintendo and the Game Boy system and these games belong on the eShop Virtual Console service. This DK knock-out deal is for a limited time and goes from February 26th until March 3rd so make sure you Banana-slamma over to the eShop to buy these great games.

The Donkey Kong Country games that are a part of this deal are: DKC, DKC2: Diddy's Kong-quest, DKC3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble( SNES) and Donkey Kong Land 1,2, and 3.( Game Boy)

]]>
The Top 10 Games on the Wii U So Far... and What is Coming https://www.gameskinny.com/r4vhq/the-top-10-games-on-the-wii-u-so-far-and-what-is-coming https://www.gameskinny.com/r4vhq/the-top-10-games-on-the-wii-u-so-far-and-what-is-coming Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:44:11 -0400 NorthwestGamer

To this date, the Wii U has not exactly had a successful run, and there is no obvious reason for it. The console has some great games, the gamepad, and it is not too expensive.

This might have something to do with it being targeted at casual gamers and not offering huge improvements over the Wii; most casual gamers are okay with settling for the Wii for cheaper. It also might be that fact that most gamers buy just one console, the largest audience right now is in first-person shooters, so most people lean towards Xbox or PlayStation.

Many of you might not know it, but there has never been a better time to buy a Wii U. The big question right now is "Will Mario Kart 8 save the Wii U?" and, if not Mario Kart 8, then "Will the new Super Smash Bros. save the Wii U?"

While this might seem far-fetched, many people, including myself, will be buying a Wii U just for those games. In fact, I have already preordered Mario Kart 8, and I have not bought my Wii U yet... I should probably get on that.

Top 10 Games on the Wii U

Anyways, for all of those people who are about to enter the Miiverse with a brand new Wii U, you may want to know what other games you have been missing out on. So, without further ado, I bring you the top 10 games that are out for the Wii U.

10) LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

LEGO Marvel Superheroes

This will not be a new game for those coming from other consoles, but LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is one of the best installments in the LEGO series to date. Released on a total of 9 platforms, the Wii U version of this game was in no way a cheap port and, being a family-friendly game, I am not surprised.

That is what the Wii U is all about, being able to take a game and have a large group of people, of all ages, have a great time. The LEGO series has always fit that theme perfectly, providing great cooperative and single-player gameplay. With around 150 player-controllable super heroes from such a fantastic lineup, it is hard to resist the pull of Lego Marvel Super Heroes.

Even though it is such a cross-platform series, I would say the Lego games are most significant on the Wii U because it matches the audience perfectly. The Wii U is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, just like the Lego games.

9) Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

While Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has been a fairly popular game in North America and other areas of the world, nothing comes close to measuring up to the astounding popularity the franchise has received for the Japanese version.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is an action-roleplaying game available on both the Wii U and the 3DS, with the option to transfer your save data back and forth between the two versions. The versions are generally similar, with the main differences being the improved graphics and online capabilities of the Wii U version.

This game has had a huge impact on RPG gamers for the Wii U. Nintendo already has games like Zelda to bring in RPG lovers, but a game like Monster Hunter brings in that crowd that favors the action-RPGs.

8) Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition

Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition

"Its a bird! It's a plane! It's su- ... oh wait." 

Batman's Arkham series has been a hit since the beginning. While Arkham Origins may not have had the success of its predecessors, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were undeniably great, and Arkham Knight looks like it will return to being that way. 

Generally, Arkham City is considered the best game in the series and Wii U fans rejoiced when the Dark Knight came riding on over to the platform. This version of the game also comes packaged with a Battle Armored Tech mode, all the content of the original, and more bonuses.

This installment in the Arkham games made a big impact to Wii U gamers because it was the first of the series to make it to a Nintendo console after it predecessor, Arkham Asylum, excluded Nintendo.

7) CastleStorm

CastleStorm

CastleStorm has released for a multitude of platforms; however, for whatever reason, it has had the best reception on the Wii U. The game is a side-scrolling tower defense game that released for the Xbox 360 first and was then ported to different platforms throughout 2013.

This game does have quite a few kinks, but the overall gameplay makes it so that you can still have a great time with this game. This game is similar to a lot of flash games online, but just taken into more depth and developed as a full, paid game.

Just like Lego Marvel Super Heroes, CastleStorm is more significant on the Wii U that any other console because it is a casual game on a console that caters to casual gamers.

6) Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is another game that got a rerelease for the Wii U and, like Arkham City, they didn't screw it up (unlike Deus Ex: The Fall). The Director's Cut version that was made for the Wii U is the same version that was released for PC.

Human Revolution was, in almost every way, a complete success and is one of the few games of its kind available for the Wii U. For this reason, it is one of the top games to check out for the Wii U. It may be more designed for the other consoles, but Deus Ex is just as good on the Wii U and does not have much competition on the console.

5) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Tropical Freeze just released less than 2 months ago and has been a huge success. It is the newest installment in the Donkey Kong Country games and, as always, Nintendo has done a wonderful job. 

Beautifully presented for the first time in HD, thanks to the Wii U, Tropical Freeze will be a blast for Donkey Kong veterans and newcomers alike. If there is any place that Nintendo never disappoints, its in their platformers, and this game is no exception.

Along with other Nintendo classics, such as the Mario games or Zelda games, Donkey Kong has always come stomping in with his own successful game every generation. From the original, Donkey Kong, to this famous series, Donkey Kong Country, there was definitely a very positive impact made by Tropical Freeze's release.

4) Pikmin 3

Pikmin 3

For some reason, I have always felt like Pikmin has been the forgotten series and I have no idea why. They are spectacular games, but they always seem to be one of the series that people haven't heard from. Too often do I hear, "oh hey, that's the guy from Super Smash Bros.!"

Don't get me wrong, Super Smash Bros. is a great series, but how have people not seen Olamar, or at least the Pikmin, before? For those of you who are big Super Smash Bros. fans and enjoyed throwing Pikmin, try the actual Pikmin games, you will enjoy throwing Pikmin even more.

In the past, Pikmin has not has as much of an impact as I would hope for, so hopefully this Wii U installment will turn the tables. It is certainly deserving of some attention.

3) Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends

I don't know if I'm the only one, but, when I saw a Rayman game for the first time, I could not believe it was successful. I don't know why, but for some reason the whole style and idea seemed like something that wouldn't work to me.

Wow, did those developers prove me wrong. This game was designed so well, they managed to take an idea that most companies would butcher and turn it into a work of art. The gameplay, the style, the environment, everything about this game is beautiful and should be on everybody's list.

2) The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

Wind Waker HD

There is not much to say about this game other than "they didn't screw it up." The original Wind Waker  was a beautiful game. It may not have been on the same level as its predecessor, Ocarina of Time, but that doesn't change the pure quality of Wind Waker.

Too often do these HD or anniversary remakes get rushed, but Nintendo is not a company known for mistakes like this. Whether you have played the original or not, Wind Waker is a work of art for anybody who has any interest in action RPGs.

Just like Ocarina of Time 3D was for the 3DS, this game is a huge milestone for the Wii U. One thing gamers love is the games that they grew up on, and beautiful HD remakes, such as this, can really put those memories into a whole new light.

1) Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World

Nintendo never ceases to amaze me with how they keep on delivering with the Mario games. A fat, Italian plumber with no in-depth universe and a very basic plot that never gets old. Somehow, they keep doing it.

Not only do they keep making great games of their classic style, this time New Super Mario Bros. U, but they keep introducing new series' that are great. For the Wii it was Super Mario Galaxy, one of the best games of the console. This time, it's Super Mario 3D World.

Not only has Nintendo delivered a great new Wii U game, but they also have brought a 3DS counterpart that is just as good, Super Mario 3D Land. If there is any game, currently available, that you buy the Wii U for, then it should be this game.

I don't know what they have planned next, but I do know that, for now, this could be regarded as the defining game of the Wii U. With no prequels, this truly shows that, this many years later, Nintendo still has many aces up its sleeve.

Big Upcoming Titles

Along with the stellar lineup that the Wii U already has, several big new titles will be arriving soon. The future of the Wii U sure looks bright, let's hope that these games can bring a little more popularity to Nintendo's home console.

Mario Kart 8 - May 30, 2014

I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but I believe that this game will take Super Mario 3D World's #1 spot after it releases. This may be an exaggeration, it would not be easy to dethrone Super Mario 3D World, but let's keep in mind that Mario Kart is always one of the, if not the biggest game of each Nintendo console.

Mario Kart 7 was, in my opinion, a better installment than both of the last-generation Mario Kart games, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart DS. Some new, game-changing features, such as kart customization, bring the series to a new era and Mario Kart 8 will follow that trend.

This game is likely to be the most significant Wii U release to date. The Mario Kart series has been a staple series for Nintendo with, in my opinion, not a single bad game. Get your karts ready and expect a lot from this new racer.

Super Smash Bros. (Wii U) - Q4 2014

It's Super Smash Bros., need I say more?

Okay, maybe some of you would like to hear more. This generation, for the first time ever, Super Smash Bros. will be coming to both the console and the handheld. Currently the title for both of them is just Super Smash Bros., with no announced subtitle. I assume at some point a subtitle will be added, but it could be like the new Tomb Raider or Thief.

The 3DS version of the game will be releasing this summer and the Wii U version will be releasing this winter. Both versions host the same character line-up, and it is an impressive lineup. New details are coming out all the time, so keep up to date!

Similarly to Mario KartSuper Smash Bros. has had a flawless record. The series has not run as long as the Mario Kart series, but with the series finally crossing to DS we might be able to expect some extra work put into this fighter.

Watch Dogs - Q4 2014

As some of you may know, Watch Dogs is releasing next month; however, it will be having a delayed release date for the Wii U (well, more delayed, seeing how the original release was delayed, too). 

Most people's first reaction to a game like Watch Dogs is, "it's like Grand Theft Auto." People did the same thing with Sleeping Dogs and I understand it. While there are other successful games of the genre, Grand Theft Auto does have quite the oligopoly.

Regardless, Watch Dogs is in many ways not like Grand Theft Auto. The main subject of this game is the hacking, which enables Aiden Pearce, our protagonist, to tap into different devices. This includes pedestrians' cellular devices.

So what make Watch Dogs stand out from some of the GTA competitors? A lot of these games fail to have the same attention to detail that Rockstar provides. From what we have seen so far, Ubisoft's Chicago is going to be one of the most detailed, content-heavy open-world games in the genre. Also, do not forget that Grand Theft Auto, and most of its competitors, are not on the Wii U. Ubisoft has gone the extra mile and taken the monopoly of the genre for Wii U.

Hyrule Warriors - 2014

This game could go one of two ways. It is a spinoff of the Legend of Zelda series that features a hack 'n' slash, dungeon-crawler style gameplay. I have only seen a limited amount of gameplay, but think Kingdoms of Amalur with a lot more funding. 

The reason I say this game could go two ways is basically just that it's a spinoff. There have been a lot of really good spinoffs, but there have been about 5 bad ones for every good one; however, having said that, Nintendo has a good track record with spinoffs and not butchering a series. You could pretty much say every Mario series is a spinoff of the original game. Look at Mario KartMario PartyMario GolfMario Tennis, and many others.

The last big spin-off in the Zelda series would probably be Four Swords, which just recently was offered free on 3DS. Bringing the Zelda universe to a new genre could bring in a whole new audience to the Wii U.

Bayonetta 2 - TBA

If the Mario Kart and Zelda games aren't the kind that pull you to Nintendo's consoles, then you might be interested in Bayonetta 2. The original Bayonetta released to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but not the Wii. Now, the tables have turned and Bayonetta 2 will be available exclusively on the Wii U.

For many Bayonetta fans, this might be the final push you need to go out and buy a new Wii U. The game will still be developed by Platinum Games, but this time Nintendo will take over publishing duties. Sega is still part of the process, but they have been labeled as the "advisor."

This game has the potential to make a huge impact on the Wii U. By making that transition from an Xbox and PS3 game to a Wii U exclusive could bring its audience with it. Who knows how many die hard fans will be buying Wii Us when this game releases.

Conclusion

Okay, so the Wii U has not had the best sales record, and there is no guarantee that it will improve; however, I feel, and really hope, that it will. With the library of great titles constantly expanding how can people continue to resist? I will be heading out any day to grab my Wii U in time for Mario Kart 8, are you with me?

]]>
Do The Events of E3 2013 Still Matter Today? https://www.gameskinny.com/uzjt7/do-the-events-of-e3-2013-still-matter-today https://www.gameskinny.com/uzjt7/do-the-events-of-e3-2013-still-matter-today Sat, 15 Feb 2014 20:22:11 -0500 Connor Van Ligten

With 2014 settling in and the Console Wars heating up, E3 2013 already seems so far away. Compared to the mostly boring E3 2012, this most recent E3 was one to remember for the ages, for so many reasons. At this E3 a large number of shocking, unexpected, and titanically idiotic events occurred. However, three stand out, and in this article, take a short trip in the TARDIS to last June, watch these events, and then think for a moment about their importance today.

1. Microsoft Takes a Major Stumble with the Xbox One and gives Sony an Advantage in the Console Wars.

Then: Not only was the Xbox One's May reveal abysmal, its display at E3 was no better.

With restrictions on used games, daily online-check ins, launch availability in about 13 regions, mandatory Kinect, and a steep $500 dollar price tag, there seemed to be absolutely no redeeming qualities to the new console. Even the games weren't warmly received, with Titanfall the only game universally acclaimed and highly anticipated.

To make matters worse, Sony jumped for the opportunity to gain a leg up and revealed that the PlayStation 4 had no restrictions on used games, no mandatory internet, and would launch in 30 or so regions with a $400 dollar price tag. Microsoft seemed doomed as a company, and only Nintendo had it worse (we'll get to that later).

Now: Microsoft shocked the gaming industry with its unexpected "180" and initiated one of the most incredible company turnarounds in gaming history.

Nearly a week after E3, Microsoft reversed many of their unpopular policies. The Xbox One required no internet connection besides a day-one patch and could play used games. Later on, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One did not require Kinect to function and would ship with a headset. Two of the console's critically mixed important launch games, Dead Rising 3 and Ryse, were shown at later trade-shows in a much more appealing format.

As of this writing, Titanfall is currently in beta, and has been critically acclaimed by gamers and the industry alike. Good news for Microsoft, because Titanfall will likely result in a significant console sales boost. While it's true that the PlayStation 4 is selling more units in more countries, it can't be denied how incredible it was for Microsoft to listen to feedback, regain equal ground with Sony, and have a very successful launch for the Xbox One.

We All Cried With Joy During This Moment

2. Dead Franchises Make Unexpected Returns and Games are Brought Out of Development Hell.

Then: Gamers were shocked multiple times at E3 by returns of games and franchises thought to be long gone.

Sony was met with thunderous applause during their press conference as trailers of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, now Final Fantasy XV, and Kingdom Hearts III were shown, ending years of rumors and doubt, proving these games were actually in development. EA also pulled two major shockers, by revealing that Mirror's Edge was getting a sequel and a new Stars Wars Battlefront was in the works, to be developed by DICE. These reveals were met with extremely positive reactions, especially Battlefront.

Now: We've haven't had much information Post-E3 about these games.

What we now and have seen are a short gameplay demo for Kingdom Hearts a much-needed reassurance from Square Enix that yes, development on FFXV is going along nicely, Mirror's Edge 1's writer isn't returning for the sequel, and that no Star Wars games from EA will be released before 2015. It's great news that our prayers for these games have been answered, but many gamers are still left with empty hearts. There are still a major number of games that are in development hell or are waiting to be made, such as Rainbow Six: Patriots, Half-Life 3, Shenmue 3, a 2D Metroid, Doom 4, a new Sam and Max, and many others.

While it's nice for dead games to be resurrected, some should be left unfinished. For example, the XCOM FPS which turned into a somewhat tactical 3rd person shooter was only decent, Overstrike looked promising but became Fuse which ended up being mediocre, and then there's Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines - which will not be discussed. Just remember, don't set the bar too high and keep your expectations realistic.

3: Nintendo Continues To Dig Its Corporate Grave.

Then: If Microsoft's E3 was a disaster, then Nintendo's E3 was an apocalyptic level event of terrible.

Nintendo did not open their press conference to the public, which made many uneasy. During their "private screening," they once again failed to make a case for the Wii-U, which was selling horribly and already losing faint third-party support. But Nintendo knows how to make games well, and Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, a new Donkey Kong Country, and the highly anticipated next Smash Bros were acknowledged as great titles. However, despite the high-quality material Nintendo continues to pour out, they have not succeeded in convincing non-hardcores to buy a Wii U.

Nintendo also promised a big surprise at the end of the show. It could've been a new 2D Metroid, Star Fox, or F-Zero, it was a screen of Nintendo characters playing (read: failing) Wii Fit, which at first was a major disappointment on the level of Wii Music's embarrassing reveal years ago. Until the clip regressed into the realization that Smash Bros. is back, and the heated playground arguments of "no, Mario is better than Link" are going to resume. This was one of the only bright spots in an E3 for Nintendo that only seemed to worsen their status.

Now: 2013 was a year for Nintendo that replicates the "is the glass half full or half empty" test.

One way of looking at it is that Nintendo made some of their best games in company history, with Fire Emblem, Pokemon X and Y, Super Mario 3D World, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds all being high-quality titles. The other way of looking at it is that Nintendo's financial standing took a major hit, with the Wii U quickly losing what minimal steam it had sales-wise. Although the 3DS did receive a minor sales boost and certified handheld survival for a couple more years, it pales in comparison to the iPhone's popularity.

Simply put, Nintendo keeps releasing amazing titles, but the Wii U has failed to hit the gold mine in terms of consumer appeal that the Wii hit with the casual crowd (which is ironic considering the Wii U is already putting out better games than the Wii did). If Nintendo wants to stay competitive, they need to play their best cards and devise a better marketing strategy in order to state their case for the Wii U and the 3DS among these new consoles that are more powerful and are selling more units. If Nintendo can't accomplish this, then the company that single-handedly saved the gaming industry and initiated its renaissance may end up collapsing under the boot of Sony, Microsoft, and the revived PC.

It's February as I am writing this, and next-gen is only becoming more exciting.

So much happened at E3, and while you could spend an entire plane flight analyzing major events (as I did), remember that these events are the past. Much has changed since those days in June, and it's anyone's guess what could happen next. It doesn't matter whether you own an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, or don't own a next-gen console at all, the future of the gaming is mysterious, and maybe a bit scary, but that's a good thing, and we should look towards the horizon with eager eyes and high hopes. Until we realize that we're playing DayZ and we get killed by a bandit.

Thanks for reading my article. If you have any feedback, or would like to share a then-and-now story from E3 that I didn't mention, please let me know in the comments.

]]>
Innovation Isn't Dead: Why Nintendo Will Lead the Upcoming Generation of Games https://www.gameskinny.com/ufnm6/innovation-isnt-dead-why-nintendo-will-lead-the-upcoming-generation-of-games https://www.gameskinny.com/ufnm6/innovation-isnt-dead-why-nintendo-will-lead-the-upcoming-generation-of-games Sun, 09 Feb 2014 12:33:11 -0500 TumsST

With the upcoming swoon of games that will be coming out in 2014, the question that comes to everyone's mind is:

"Is any of this actually going to be new?"

Yes, and I think that whatever's new and next will come from to the Big N.

You heard me right:

Nintendo will lead innovation for the next generation of games

Xbox and Sony go for sales, but with every new console Nintendo goes for innovation and new ideas. The Wii U was meant to do that, and I think the newest batch of games (which begins with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze) will start to rebuild their foundation. The E3 demo of DKC:TF looked great. Nintendo has always tried to go that extra mile in terms of new ideas.

Innovation will be core to Mario Kart 8 and the 2 upcoming editions of the Smash Brothers series

Nintendo is still thinking outside the box

Using what Mario Kart 7 did so well as a stepping stone, Mario Kart 8 will be able to transition into the Wii U racing era smoothly. If it isn't the flying and aqua racing from MK7, it's the zero gravity upside down driving. How can you not mention the touch screen car horn? Mario Kart 8 might not be the same innovation level that was seen from the Wii version to MK7, but it will absolutely show that Nintendo is still thinking outside the box.

In terms of the Smash Brothers franchise, the idea of two different games being created at the same time is another way that Nintendo is going that extra mile. It would be nice to see Squirtle make another appearance in the games, but I can understand if the Pokémon Trainer is a no-show. Also, with everything that goes into a new Smash Bros game, innovation is indeed the best way to describe it. The music, the new stages for battles, and the new characters add to the build up and fun of what characters make the cut and who gets left out.

In the old days of Nintendo, innovation would just be the assumed way Nintendo was going to go

You can see how things have changed just in the timeframe of the Wii U. Look at the start of the system and you see games like ZombiU and NintendoLand. The system didn't do so great at the start, thus you don't see Nintendo taking too many chances (but you do see them greenlighting Mario games and Zelda remakes).

This is make or break time for Nintendo

When you look back at the Gamecube era with games like Luigi's Mansion and Billy Hatcher, it's clear that innovation was once at the forefront of Nintendo. Nintendo needs to go back to this level of uniqueness if they are going to show the world why they still belong beside Sony and Microsoft. Innovation needs to be front and center if they're going to turn things around - and I see them doing just that!

 

]]>
Can't Compete, Won't Compete: Failing at Being Mainstream is What Nintendo Do Best https://www.gameskinny.com/64ysm/cant-compete-wont-compete-failing-at-being-mainstream-is-what-nintendo-do-best https://www.gameskinny.com/64ysm/cant-compete-wont-compete-failing-at-being-mainstream-is-what-nintendo-do-best Thu, 10 Oct 2013 14:40:42 -0400 Destrolyn.Bechgeddig

Earlier this week, an exclusive industry symposium, B Dash Camp, took place in Osaka, Japan. Its aim was for affiliates and invitees of B Dash Ventures to come and have an opporutnity to learn about breaking into Japanese and global markets, whilst also having a place to springboard business ideas with a whole host of industry professionals at their disposal.

One of the much anticipated talks was by current Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata. With the recent passing of Nintendo founder, Hiroshi Yamauchi, and with Sony and Microsoft's next generation consoles being the talk of Holiday market domination, all eyes are on Nintendo to see what their next move is.

Embracing a Legacy of Bold Creativity

Iwata doesn't seem to concerned that upcoming competitor's hardware completely outstrips that of its current console, the Wii U. Instead, Iwata insists that becoming an outlier that depends on creativity rather than brawn is the key to Nintendo's success. After all, Nintendo first started out as a card game company before it moved into video games.

"Opening the first door is when things are most interesting" - Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo

Their recent successes have relied on doing something that no one else is doing, even if initially they're met with ridicule.

"Will America accept cute monsters? 'No', they said. Some people even recommended we make Pikachu more muscular. If we followed their advice, Pokemon would never have been the success that it was. Brain Training software became a hit in Japan, and I proposed that we sell it globally. Even as I said that as President, no one listened."

"It’s often called the ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’: looking for something that no one else is working on. When we created the DS, people said it was strange to have a dual display. People said elderly people don’t play games, but they did. Opening the first door is when things are most interesting."

Staying Put, But Moving On?

Overall, Iwata's pride in how well Nintendo have been able to make a success from thinking outside the box has led to its current sense of resilience. When directly questioned about why Nintendo are refusing to move into the mobile market, creating games only for its own systems, Iwata made clear that there were no intentions to do so.

"If you do the same thing as others, it will wear you out. Nintendo is not good at competing, so we always have to challenge [the status quo] by making something new, rather than competing in an existing market." - Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo 
But Iwata was able to punctuate his stubbornness with eloquence.

"If you do the same thing as others, it will wear you out. Nintendo is not good at competing, so we always have to challenge [the status quo] by making something new, rather than competing in an existing market." 

It seems so topsy-turvy that the company that trailblazed bringing video games into ordinary homes, the key-stone of what is now a thriving multi-billion dollar entertainment industry, has resorted to being the underdog. But if you think about it hard enough, even when being instrumental in creating what is now the modern gaming market, they have always been innovators that have flown in the face of normality.

But many have been unsure about Nintendo's future, especially given a rather muted presence at Eurogamer Expo 2013, with it really only pushing the HD remastering of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and its usual rehashes of staple brands, such as Donkey Kong Country.

But Iwata's talk is one of surprising and tenacious inspiration, and hopefully means that there'll soon be something off the wall enough to bring a sense of excitement back to this aging giant of gaming.

B Dash Camp took place in Osaka, Japan October 5th - 6th 2013. Huge thanks to Rick Martin at The Bridge, who initially covered and translated the session and provided the quotes and images we use.

]]>
Sonic Sprints onto Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS Roster https://www.gameskinny.com/qlq9s/sonic-sprints-onto-super-smash-bros-wii-u-and-3ds-roster https://www.gameskinny.com/qlq9s/sonic-sprints-onto-super-smash-bros-wii-u-and-3ds-roster Tue, 01 Oct 2013 10:49:04 -0400 Max Jay

During today's Nintendo Direct it was announced that Sonic the Hedgehog would once again be appearing in a Super Smash Bros. game.

The Blue Blur will be joining th Blue Bomber (that's Mega Man, guys) as the second third-party member of the upcoming game's roster. Sonic was also one of the guests in Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii - begging the question: Will some of the other third-party all-stars will show their faces once again?

**Smug jerk. Get a job, you hooligan!**

No release date was given for the hotly anticipated Smash Bros. sequel, but the roster continues to expand. The game is expected to release for the Wii U and 3DS in 2014.

For a gallery of Sonic in Super Smash Bros. Wii U click here.

The Nintendo Direct also had some more information about Pikmin 3 DLC, the delay of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and the announcement of a new Kirby game coming to the 3DS in 2014.

What character would you love to see show up in a Smash Bros. battle? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe I'll let you beat me in Brawl, and just when you fall into a false sense of security I'll absolutely crush you (because I'm awesome at that game)!

]]>
Wii U Drops to $299 on September 20 https://www.gameskinny.com/pw1j0/wii-u-drops-to-299-on-september-20 https://www.gameskinny.com/pw1j0/wii-u-drops-to-299-on-september-20 Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:20:14 -0400 Synzer

Nintendo of America tweeted recently that the Wii U Deluxe suggested retail price will be lowered to $299, from the original $349, on September 20 of this year. In addition, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD will be launching earlier, also on September 20. To top it all off, there will be a bundle of the Wii U and the Wind Waker on the same day for only $299!

Let the Wind take you

If you don't have a Wii U yet and was thinking about getting one, this is the time to do it. This deal is fantastic, as you are basically getting the game for free. Legend of Zelda has always been a popular series and The Wind Waker is a personal favorite of mine. It was originally released on the Gamecube and has a unique art style compared to the rest of the series. The improved graphics and extra features make this one an obvious choice in my book.

Trust me. You want this.

Nintendo's not done yet 

This news, plus other big titles still on the horizon, including Super Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical freeze, gives you plenty to get excited about. It seems Nintendo still wants to compete, and what better way than to lower the price of a console and have good deals? Plus, there are still classics on the virtual console that may be hard to get anywhere else, such as my personal favorite, Earthbound. What do you think about this news and does it entice you to think about picking up a Wii U? Tell us in the comments section below.

]]>
Who Killed the Wii U (Hint: It Was Nintendo) https://www.gameskinny.com/scrj4/who-killed-the-wii-u-hint-it-was-nintendo https://www.gameskinny.com/scrj4/who-killed-the-wii-u-hint-it-was-nintendo Wed, 14 Aug 2013 12:53:53 -0400 Max Jay

The Wii U was announced during Nintendo’s E3 2011 press conference. I vividly remember watching the conference, with dumbfounded slackened jaw, thinking:

“This is the worst reveal ever.”

That is what killed the Wii U - that and the continually poor support for the already dated console.

**Look what you did! LOOK AT IT!**

It was dead before it even began, and the poor jaded Nintendo fans of the world (myself included) are continually left to pick up the shattered pieces of our childhood as Reggie Fils-Aime River-dances on them as stacks of Wii cash simultaneously dribble out of his causal blazer. What was the first issue though? Was it the fact that the Wii U was just embracing the prospect of HD, making it a generation behind? Or maybe it was the lackluster lineup of games. No.

It was the reveal of that god-forsaken controller.

When Nintendo infamously unveiled the new system, they decided all they needed to do was show the nifty new iPad-esque controller. What a marvelous idea Nintendo! Let’s explore how that pre-E3 business meeting went.

**"How much money do I have? More than you, bitch!"**

FADE IN

Several Nintendo executives sit around a table, smoking illegal Cuban cigars and making fun of orphans. Enter Reggie Fils-Aime (super rich, hates kids, great hair).

REGGIE

So gentlemen: It’s time to reveal the Wii U!

EXECUTIVE 1

Yes, but let’s highlight the nifty iPad we have for a controller.

REGGIE

Great idea bro! But lets make sure to be really confusing about it.

EXECUTIVE 2

Absolutely, there’s no way we would want the general consumer to understand that this is a new console, we want them to think it’s just a new controller for the Wii!

REGGIE

That goes without saying, Executive 2. So we’ll just say in passing that it’s a new system rather than showing a prototype box or anything that really convinces anyone that were doing something new.

EXECUTIVE 1

Right! Then, we’ll show almost no games except for some weird bird demo that may or may not be pre-rendered while claiming that it’ll be more powerful than the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

REGGIE

Truly inspired Executive 1! Then, to just make everyone’s inner children writhe in excruciating pain; let’s show a really cool demo for a Zelda game in HD, and then never announce it ever. EVER. 

The three CACKLE loudly as they dance around the table made of endangered Redwoods and perform weird Satanist rituals.

FADE OUT

**Charts - doesn't bode well.**

Wow - truly riveting stuff.

In reality it was likely nothing like that (who knows though – it could have been). Nintendo was trying to capture an audience that had long abandoned them: The “Core.” But rather than showing a piece of hardware, they showed a controller and gave us a handful of empty promises. Instead of inspiring the confidence they so needed, it alienated and confused their casual market while simultaneously frustrating their long-time hardcore fans.

The Nintendo hardcore haven’t seen a true Mario game, or a Zelda game (yeah we have The Windwaker HD but that’s not a new game) and we all know those are the big sellers. Meanwhile the casual market isn't willing to shell out the money for a new system when they don't really understand what it does differently. The only thing Nintendo has really done at this point is finally open the door on the new Smash Bros. game and say some cool stuff is coming. Now, I'd bet my firstborn that Nintendo will see a sales spike following the release of Smash, but it won’t be nearly enough to boost the company to its former glory.

**That landfill is entirely full of extra Wii U's and old copies of that ET Atari game.**

Nintendo has let its fans flounder in a way – waiting with bated breath for an actual announcement that never really happened. Instead of delivering when they had the chance, they skipped this year’s E3 entirely and allowed EVERYONE to have their full attention on the true next-generation of consoles - which has since taken over the internet. Sure, Nintendo has announced their presence at Gamescom, but have they fallen too far into obscurity to reclaim a considerable margin of the market?

Probably.

Nintendo let themselves slip behind the industry in terms of technology and design. They are just discovering the wonders of HD, they have almost no third party support due to their poor sales and dated infrastructure and they have no viable online presence to speak of**. Nintendo has always said they won’t allow the industry to dictate what they are to focus on, but that’s how it works. It may be annoying that some of the same games come out every year, and every first-person shooter plays almost exactly the same as the last, but that is where we are right now. We can only hope that the upcoming changes in the generation open up new possibilities - but that's an article for another day.

**One of four isn't bad - it's downright terrible.**

Even so, there is something to be said for the company refusing to participate in the industry antics. I think a lot of gamers respect it (I sure as hell do), and would gladly buy a system had there been anything to draw them in. Unfortunately Nintendo is leaving their adoring fans with nothing to look forward too aside from a new Smash and a Mario Kart game (which is beautiful, but essentially the same as every other Mario Kart game). We don’t see a cool new Metroid game, and they have Retro Studios (creators of the visionary Metroid Prime series) working on the same Donkey Kong game over and over. It’s a fumbling attempt to sell units but looks to the gaming majority like absolutely nothing.

In all honesty I do see value in the system, but it needs first and third party support to really help it grow. I’ll even probably pick it up to play the new Smash, seeing as it is one of my favorite series of all time, but that’ll probably be all I do with it until some better exclusives come out.

**"Hope." - President Barak Obama. "Change." - President Optimus Prime (circa 2028)**

With any luck Nintendo will bring a doubly intense showing at Gamescom and hopefully start putting some Band-Aids (or their adhesive bandages of choice) on the festering, open wounds they’ve made for themselves. You can bet your favorite piece of gaming memorabilia that I’ll have some predictions within the next week or so after some more information comes out. But until then check out my PlayStation Vita predictions for Gamescom right here.

Do you think Nintendo will be able to pull out of their never ending pre-launch funk, or are they forever damned to reside within the margins of the industry? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe I’ll absolutely demolish you in the new Smash when it comes out - providing the online play isn’t slow and glitchy of course!

 

**Can anyone explain to me how Nintendo's online friend code thing works? I have legitimately no idea.

]]>
Great Gameplay Returns in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze https://www.gameskinny.com/5m85u/great-gameplay-returns-in-donkey-kong-country-tropical-freeze https://www.gameskinny.com/5m85u/great-gameplay-returns-in-donkey-kong-country-tropical-freeze Mon, 17 Jun 2013 06:17:27 -0400 Joseph Rowe

I have been a fan of the Donkey Kong Country series since I first received a copy of the game for Easter 1995. When Returns came out, I picked up a Wii to play it. I felt the purchase was worth every penny. Now that Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is on its way, I've gotta get my hands on a Wii U.

I got to play a demo of the game last week and I am pleased to say that Tropical Freeze will bring the same awesome gameplay that Returns did with an extra bit of flair.

If you have been following the game at all, you'll know that the enemies in this game are arctic theme and are trying to freeze Donkey Kong's jungles. The enemy designs in this game are amazingly cute. My favorite was the boss you can fight in the demo: a seal with a viking helmet. Too adorable.

I got to play a mine cart level and a barrel level. Both were well designed and seemed like they were solidly designed. The mine cart level wasn't as difficult as some of them have been in the past, but the barrel level was a bit harder. Both of them were fun.

What excites me the most about Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is that players can choose which character they want to be. So far, it's Donkey Kong, Diddy, and Dixie. However, a fourth playable character will later be announced: I am hoping it's Funky Kong.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze will be coming out this year in November for the Nintendo Wii U. That means I have a few months left to get one in my house. This game combined with the new Sonic, Mario Kart, and Mario Land have me more than sold on the console.

]]>
Reilly's Nintendo Experience https://www.gameskinny.com/n3lkl/reillys-nintendo-experience https://www.gameskinny.com/n3lkl/reillys-nintendo-experience Fri, 14 Jun 2013 00:42:23 -0400 Reilly C.

The Nintendo Event, for those that don't know, is an event set up by Nintendo to show off four games not yet released but were demoed at E3.  This is to give the public a small taste of an E3 they may not be able to attend.  The games they had out were Mario Cart 8, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World and I was interested in seeing Wind Waker HD.  But when I got there, the whole situation soured like old milk.

Here is a quick summery of my 2 hours spent there:

I stood in a line, watched some kids enjoy playing with a Kinect, chatted with people, stared at other games and had an employee tell me I was not going to get to play the game because everyone's turn was taking so long and that I should come on another day.

Wait, what?

Despite me needing to actually work this whole event into a my schedule a few weeks in advance, I was mad that there was not more thought put into the idea that maybe people would be psyched to play unreleased Nintendo games.  How hard is it for a company like Nintendo to have enough pull to get four monitors to play four different games?  I mean, they most likely could have just asked and gotten at least one other TV in the game section.

I know Nintendo owes me nothing and they are doing this to be nice but it just felt really unorganized and as though they had no idea how to respond to a large influx of people showing up.

There was a glimmer of fun through the black void of this never moving line.  I got to talk to two rather rad guys in line about E3!  Yup, my enjoyment came from ranting with two other guys about Xbox One verses the PS4, what games got them hyped, Nintendo and more.  Smart guys with great opinions and I really enjoyed that time.

Like I said, after a while I just called quits and left to get some frozen yogurt with everyone.  I had moved maybe 20 feet in my two hours in line.  I was not getting to play anything that day, I accepted that fact, and I stopped caring.

It is sad I could not play anything that day and even worst is that it was a waste of time.  I could have been watching E3 and writing articles but I wanted to get something special by going to this event!

Hopefully this is not the same for everyone else attending the event.  Let me know if you had fun or what you might have played.

Bonus Picture: My wife and friend having fun in line.

 

]]>
Nintendo (In)Direct https://www.gameskinny.com/nj8ah/nintendo-indirect https://www.gameskinny.com/nj8ah/nintendo-indirect Wed, 12 Jun 2013 20:01:32 -0400 Max Jay

Unlike past E3 events, Nintendo decided to opt out of having a big press conference this year. In lieu of that, they did one of their Nintendo Direct videos to show off some of the big guns they have coming for the next year. 

Unfortunately, I don’t think their plan worked. Nintendo didn’t really have anything to show, and sadly, the once-upon-a-time giant of the video game industry has been completely left out of third party plans. Yet even with the somewhat flaccid presentation, Nintendo managed to get me and some other long time fans excited about what they have to offer.

(Sort of)

(Mis)Direct(ion)

Games like Wind Waker HD and Super Smash Bros. are totally worth the price of the box to a lot of fans. Showing gameplay and trailers for these was the smartest thing Nintendo could have done. But still, we didn’t see a new Zelda for the Wii U (though A Link Between Worlds seems amazing), and being that something is most definitely in development it would have been a huge vote of confidence just to see a teaser.

Yes, I know a new Mario was shown. I loved 3D Land and have the utmost confidence in EAD Tokyo, but I would have much rather seen a new Mario game more in the style of Galaxy but with some next gen twists.Could you imagine a Mario game with an expansive city-like overworld? I love the classic overworld for previous Mario games, but Nintendo has been playing it safe for too long and the industry is largely dependent on innovation.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Nintendo as a company: Their games are always great (except you, Metroid: Other M) and they’re great to play with family, or even in groups at parties. I must have spent 200 hours playing Smash Bros. Brawl in college and I directly attribute it to some less that great test scores in my sophomore year. But it goes to show you that Smash and Mario Kart 8 the only game for the Wii U that I was really excited about: They’re the only games that change.

Mario still jumps, Donkey Kong still runs and Wii Fit still makes lazy people feel like they are losing weight without helping them lose weight.

Variety is the spice of life Nintendo, we need more! Sure, Skyward Sword changed things up a bit, but I see to remember Miyamoto saying something about “drastically changing up the Zelda formula” in the past, and I didn’t really see that in Skyward Sword. Honestly the only game they featured during Nintendo Direct that seemed to truly be evolving was Pokémon X and Y. (Pun most definitely intended.)

This is the grossest three-way ever.

Best Buy Bonanza

In addition to their Nintendo Direct video, Nintendo had demos around the country where lay-people that couldn’t go to E3 had a chance to play four of their upcoming games; The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8. I dragged myself away from the E3 coverage to head to a Best Buy that I wish were closer to check them out.

You all look the same to me...

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

The game is aptly cartoony, brightly colored and all around good looking. I wish someone could tell me why we need it. We had this game on the SNES in 1994, then several sequels, two of which was released within the few years.

They added some little quirks and tried to make it more co-op friendly, but as fun as it looks, it was the same game we’ve seen. There’s no reason Retro, the masters behind the visionary Metroid: Prime series, should be forced to pump out Donkey Kong game after Donkey Kong game.

Seriously amazing guys. Really.

Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart stole the show. I can’t express well enough how smooth and beautiful this game is to the point where I will buy a Wii U just to play it.

While the new vertical riding doesn’t change the game, it provides a degree of excitement to the formula that is a welcome addition to the world of Mario Kart. The switch to HD and pumping the refresh rate up to 60fps literally made the game more fun. Out of all four of the games there it was the only one to drop my jaw (I’ll get to Wind Waker, calm down).

Meow?

Super Mario 3D Word

While I saw the two games above, this is the only one I actually got to get my hands on.

It’s an interesting blend of Super Mario 3D Land and New Super Mario Bros. U. The new cat suit is kind of adorable and adds some depth to the pacing of the game by giving you a melee attack other than jumping on dudes, unfortunately there were no other power-ups in the demo for me to get my weird gloved hands on.

One thing that bothered me in the multi-player was how far the camera panned out; it made it difficult to keep track of your character and legitimately distracted me from the game. I'd imagine that when playing single player the camera will pull in and probably feel a little more personal. At the end of the demo though, like Donkey Kong, the biggest problem with this is we’ve played this game; it was called Super Mario 3D Land and it came out a while ago.

The best things in life are Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

Criminal is what this is. No one at the event signed up to play Zelda. It was easily the most interesting game there (except for maybe Mario Kart, with which I fell in love). Shame on you, America. Shame on you.

Nintendo is an amazing company with a rich history of innovation and industry dominance. I can’t pinpoint a time where both of those principles fell by the wayside for the big N, but it’s certainly happening. It’s so rare to find Nintendo pushing any boundary, and their commitment to making the Wii a standard definition console has put the Wii U a generation behind in terms of power.

I find myself longing for a world where Nintendo is a third party developer and I can boot up my Xbox or PlayStation to play the newest Zelda title that doesn’t make me feel like I’m a 4-year-old playing with letter blocks.

What did you think about Nintendo’s E3 showing? Were you disappointed or was Smash Bros. alone enough to blow your mind? More importantly: How did you like my Nintendo Direct puns? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe I’ll hand feed you grapes like those fat Roman dudes in old cartoons.

]]>