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Empire at E3: The Nintendo Round-up

Posted on Friday June 18, 2010, 15:20 by Ali Plumb in Infinite Lives
Empire at E3: The Nintendo Round-up

If there’s such a thing as a company ‘winning’ E3, then Nintendo has done it this year. Not only have they revealed the most fascinating and spectacular bit of kit in the form of the 3DS, but they’ve also unearthed a number of exciting new titles too.

Sure, they’re old characters, but with Nintendo’s back catalogue of iconic animals, plumbers, and floppy hat-wearing elfy-looking fellas, why bother making new ones? Wait, don’t answer that one.

And though there’s also Goldeneye’s ‘reboot’ and Epic Mickey to look forward to too, we have and/or will be covering those in more detail elsewhere, so for now we’re just going to casually mention them in passing. There, done.

So here are three other big games to look forward to from Nintendo’s stable, and further proof that despite the onslaught of newer, flashier motion-sensing doohickies such as Kinect and Play, you should probably get yourself a Wii by now, if only for nostalgia’s sake.

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

First of all, you’re going to need Wii Motion Plus for this, which has eradicated the aimless flailing often exhibited by frustrated players of Twilight Princess. Second of all, yes, it does look like the same game you’ve been playing again and again for years, but if it was any other way you’d be distraught, so it’s definitely a good thing in its own Zelda-y way.

By Wii standards, the graphics are good, and again by Wii standards, the controls seem slicker and more polished, with in-game menus easier and more natural, as seen in the new weapon-picking radial option (commonplace elsewhere, but still, a move in the right direction).

Expect old classics like bombs, bows and slingshots to make a welcome return, as well as being able to fire lightning from your sword. Fanboys, mop your brows now, because there’s also some newcomers in the form of a ‘flying beetle’ – essentially a remote spying device that can also pick up items as you guide it about the place – and a whip, allowing for tidy eradication of grass patches and the like, as well as the neat disposal of weaker enemies.

Story-wise, we have precious little, but expect Link doing Link’s thing. As concerns the graphics, there’s an arty oil painting finish, which you can see more of in the trailer here. We’ve also been told that’s slated for a 2011 release, so try not to get too excited, lest the sheer number of months before the next dose of Zelda overwhelms you entirely, as it has us. Sigh.

Donkey Kong Country Returns

The rumours are true, the big ol’ ape is back, and by golly he wants his bananas. It looks to be a love letter to the old side-scrolling DKs, and you can expect Diddy to of course make an appearance, alongside floating cannon barrels, dangling vines and runaway mine carts – nothing revolutionary, sure, but exciting nontheless. See more on the topic in the trailer, here.

It’s refreshing in its old-schoolness, and exciting in that the success of similar side-scroller new Super Mario Bros has been translated into the leafy jungle of Kong. It’s an ‘about time too’ situation, with the joy of Nintendo finally playing some attention away from the kids and their parents market and more towards indulging fanboys. Always goes down well at E3, that.

Kirby's Epic Yarn

A Kirby game on the Wii has been a long time coming, and here it is, the puffy pink fella floating back into our lives this autumn, but with a look like you’d never expect. The theme is… sewing. Knitting. Tailoring in general. So Kirbs is all stitchy, and so are his enemies, and the world the surrounds him, allowing for some nifty little playing mechanics such as drawing objects closer to him by ‘tightening’ the background nearer by yanking a button.

It’s a little like Paper Mario with its unusual style, but Kirby’s look seems to pull it off. He turns into a spaceship (of course) and even inhabits a thready robot too, from the the looks of the trailer. The strong-based grappling ability is also an intriguing touch, but it’s the look of the thing that gets us interested most. Great to see Nintendo not afraid to change things up a bit with the old guys, to be honest.

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