Nintendo’s Digital Event — aside from the muppet Reggie Fils-Aime — unfortunately paled in comparison to E3’s current list of reveals. In a world where a Shenmue sequel’s announced and Final Fantasy VII is being remade, you best bring your A-game, and Nintendo’s came across as somewhat lacklustre in comparison, relying largely on reshowing known upcoming titles and some side-diversions for well-known franchises. Wanted a new Metroid Prime? Well, you’re getting it. Sort of. But let’s take it from the top with what is new.
The show opened with the world premiere of Star Fox Zero, being designed by Platinum Games. Instead of a sequel or a remake, Star Fox Zero seems to be an amalgamation of ideas and discarded mechanics from past and unreleased Star Fox titles. Players will have the ability, for example, to use a land-walker which was billed to be used in Star Fox 2, which never saw the light of day. The game is set for release in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Wii U continues to get some love with the announcement of Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash and Super Mario Maker. Super Mario Maker seems particularly interesting, given that it will allow you to switch between four distinct Mario-styles, from the early 8- and 16-bit Super Mario Bros through to the more modern New Super Mario Bros U.
Nintendo 3DS gets some Zelda love with two new titles for the hand-held platform. The first, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, sees a return of the co-operative Zelda experience from The Four Swords. You’ll be able to stack yourself with your friends using the Totem mechanic, and according to producer Hiromasa Shikata, you’ll be able to fashion several types of clothing which will give you unique boosts and abilities for challenging the various dungeons in the game. For those without 3Ds friends, the single-player includes two AI-controlled dolls, so you’ll still be able to enjoy the game when it releases.
Hyrule Warriors Legends is also coming to the 3DS, a port of the Wii U title Hyrule Warriors, with new characters from Wind Waker, such as pirate captain Tetra and some new features such as instantaneous character switching. It’ll also include all of the DLC characters from the Wii U version, so that’s a nice touch.
The 3DS is getting a Metroid Prime game. Or, rather, you’re getting a game set in the Metroid Prime universe. Metroid Prime: Federation Hunters is a 4-player co-operative shooter where you work with other players to complete missions, or participate in 3v3 Blast Ball matches, which is a sort of blood-free Speedball’esque sport where you’ll need to shoot a ball into your opponent’s goals.
By far the most interesting title for the 3DS was Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, which sees the RPG worlds of the Paper Mario and the Mario & Luigi series fuse together with some interesting gameplay trickery between the two- and three-dimensional characters.
Animal Crossing got a double dose of newness, with the first being a new 3DS title, Happy Home Designer. Happy Home Designer sees you joining the Nook’s Homes company, allowing you to customise your citizen’s homes from the ground up based on their desired traits. In addition, you’ll be able to customise your Animal Crossing character more distinctly, with new customization options including different skin tones, which I believe is a first for the series.
Animal Crossing also gets an Amiibo makeover with Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, which looks like a party game in the style of the Mario Party series. Amiibo Festival will be released with a series of Animal Crossing Amiibo figures for those looking to expand their collection.
Speaking of Amiibos, Nintendo has also collaborated with the Skylander’s team on the upcoming Skylanders: Supercharger game to introduce two Amiibo cross Skylander figurines. The figurines – Bowser and Donkey Kong – come with an adjustable base that allows you too switch between the different model modes depending on which game you’re using it for. Obviously, these characters are exclusive to the Wii U system version of the game.
Those are the stand-out announcements, but there’s a wealth of new videos for titles like Fire Emblem Fates, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, Yoshi’s Wooly World and more over at the official YouTube channel if you’re hankering for some more. I’ve also included the full event video below if you’re interested in checking out the wacky Muppet high jinks interspersed throughout.