E3 2010: Nintendo Press Conference data-splode

After a string of mediocre E3 showings, expectations for Nintendo's presentation this year was tepid. But in a year dominated by motion control, fitness and dancing games, Nintendo has managed to come out with the most gold for hardcore gamers. After opening up strong with the new Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Nintendo revealed new games for Kirby, Donkey Kong, and Kid Icarus in addition to officially revealing the 3DS.

• Wii Zelda is finally more than a single piece of concept art. We've got a title (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword) and a vague release date (2011), but more importantly, we saw a ton of gameplay. Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto burst through a screen on stage, then grabbed the Wii controls to demonstrate how Skyward Sword takes full advantage of motion-sensitivity.

The remote is now your sword and the Nunchuk is now your shield. Or, with a button press, your bow and arrow. Or several other things, like rolling bombs and flying beetles. The controls follow your movements "1:1" according to Nintendo, but the live demo revealed a few hiccups that have us slightly worried. Oh, and the graphics? Somewhere between the realism of Twilight Princess and the cel-shading of Wind Waker.

• Everyone expected a new Zelda, but a new Donkey Kong Country, too?! The current title is pretty straightforward – "Donkey Kong Country Returns " – and the gameplay footage appeared as close to the original SNES games as any fan could hope. This isn't some 3D rework, but a classic 2D side-scroller with modern 3D depth. For example, an octopus boss in the background layer had tentacles that were attacking Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong in the middle layer, with battle effects and more tentacles stretching into the foreground layer. And the music, at least in the conference trailer, was heart-achingly familiar.

• A new Zelda, a new Donkey Kong Country… and a new Kirby?! Releasing this fall, Kirby's Epic Yarn could be the cutest thing we've ever seen, and quite possibly one of the best-looking games we'll see at this year's E3. Our puffy pink friend is now more of an outlined shape than a full sprite, and his entire world appears ripped straight off the page of a colorful children's book… or your mom's scrapbooking box. Kirby swings yarn out of his body like a whip, grabbing items, flinging enemies and swinging across levels. And he can re-form his loose thread shape into all sorts of fun-looking vehicles – we saw a car, a spaceship, a surfboard, a dolphin and a giant, screen-filling tank.

• A new Zelda, a new Donkey Kong Country, a new Kirby… and a new GoldenEye?!? Well, actually, this surprise had already been rumored to death, but Nintendo showed a full trailer of GoldenEye 007 at the conference, with scenes of Bond (now Daniel Craig instead of Pierce Brosnan) sniping, riding shotgun in a jeep, throwing dudes off cliffs and surprising one unlucky enemy in a toilet stall. The multiplayer's what matters, though, right? There'll be split-screen and online, eight classic character models such as Jaws and Oddball and 16 "special" game modes, including Paintball. The new GoldenEye is exclusively for Wii and arrives on shelves "This Holiday."

• Other Wii titles announced and/or discussed during the Nintendo E3 conference: Disney Epic Mickey (with improved graphics and 2D side-scrolling sections that recreate cartoons like Steamboat Willie), Mario Sports Mix (coming in 2011 and just what you'd expect, now with volleyball, hockey and dodgeball), Just Dance 2 (eight-player Dance Crew face-offs!!!) and, last but definitely least, Wii Party (13 party game modes and 70 minigames, like "Board Game Island," "Balance Boat" and something involving donkeys and chickens... we really don't care to know.)


E3 E3 2010

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  • secretsearcher - June 21, 2010 2:35 a.m.

    Looks like I have to get a 3DS...finally have something to ask for on my birthday :) and OH MY FREAKING GOSH A NEW GOLDEN SUN?!?!? My happy sensor just EXPLODED ^_^
  • Antja - June 17, 2010 6:01 p.m.

    I like the new Donkey Kong but that is the only game thats appealing to me. Nintendo has failed me a long time ago ever since they started caring more about casuals than their loyal fanbase with this kiddie game bullshit.
  • KHfan - June 16, 2010 10:34 p.m.

    the graphics for zelda look so shit, why do they have to make it so cartoonish!?
  • thephntm - June 16, 2010 6:44 p.m.

    I'm not a fanboy, but I used to be, and I think I'll be a fanboy again soon.
  • GameManiac - June 16, 2010 5:30 p.m.

    This is a Nintendo E3 conference dream come true! The 3DS lives up to my expectations and predictions. Brand new games announced as well (I knew they'd do something with Kid Icarus), such as new Mario, Zelda, Star Fox, DK, Kirby. I love Nintendo! My only complaints: 1. No Black/White info (but that's what is for). 2. How much will the 3DS cost (perhaps $250?). At least I'll be ble to afford it. Nintendo has officially stolen the show, I just wished I could've seen it...
  • FinderKeeper - June 16, 2010 12:35 p.m.

    Seems like the Nintendo handheld is the real story, and the Wii is just along for the ride. I wonder when Nintendo will actually put out a console with current-gen graphics, though? :-p
  • philipshaw - June 16, 2010 10:19 a.m.

    This was the Nintendo confernce at E3 for 2 years, so many great games that I can't pick which one I'm excited for the most. MGS3 on 3DS will be so great
  • And_ROOS - June 16, 2010 10:01 a.m.

    To the user asking about Star Fox, Star Fox 64 will be brought to the 3ds with alot of tweaks, as will Ocarina Of Time. Cant wait!
  • super0sonic - June 16, 2010 7:30 a.m.

    Oh God Donkey Kong Country! Kid Icarus!! Kirby!!!!!! And the 3DS might really work!!!!
  • mysterioso - June 16, 2010 5:38 a.m.

    I would be content with just the Goldeneye remake but all this is nuts! P.S. It's not "oddball", it's "Oddjob"
  • Limbo - June 16, 2010 5:13 a.m.

    Nintendo just mopped the floor with Microsoft. They brought back old series that tons of people loved and gave us exactly what we wanted. AND THERE'S WII PARTY!!
  • DrillurSimpson - June 16, 2010 4:05 a.m.

    Wow, I loved the first Golden Sun! The second one sucked shit, but yeah 3d is good, right? I mean 3d, not 3d models but the kind that give u headaches. ...that doesn't work either. Fuck. Wait is it 3d and 3d? Both kinds of 3d? If so then take away what I said
  • WaffleLeech - June 16, 2010 2:22 a.m.

    My wallet just shit itself.
  • Snoochie - June 16, 2010 2:13 a.m.

    good job with E3 coverage so far! keep it up guys!
  • tichtat - June 16, 2010 1:39 a.m.

    Wait. A Kingdom Hearts game and a saints row game? Awesome.
  • tichtat - June 16, 2010 1:36 a.m.

    I might stop being disappointed in nintendo.
  • BigTuna - June 16, 2010 1:32 a.m.

    I am seriously surprised at the reaction all of you are having to this press conference. Not to be a pessimist or nay-sayer, but I haven't been convinced that Nintendo is "back" yet. Maybe I've just been let down by the Wii one too many times but I didn't see anything spectacular. I absolutely hate the art style of the new Zelda game. Nintendo needs to pick a style, not try to drift between cell-shading and realism, because the result is seriously ugly. I'm sure the gameplay mechanics will be solid but the whole series has lost its charm for me. I don't think I'll be picking this one up. The only thing that really intrigued me was the new Kirby game. I absolutely love the Kirby games, with my favorite being the one on the N64 (can't remember the title). The game seems very stylized and I love the charm of the graphics. Probably the best showing of this years E3, but that ain't sayin' much.
  • SamuraiGuy7 - June 16, 2010 12:52 a.m.

    wow. just wow. nintendo is finally back! i can't wait to hear more about all these big games (definitely not just dance 2). It is really good to see another golden sun!
  • docBass06 - June 16, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    where do i start. I've loved videogames since I was a kid. Had a nintendo up until the ggamecube, and then they lost me. To be honest, this whole E3 was a disappointment from the big three. I know you guys have tons of sentimental memories, but I can't deal with nintendo anymore. It really amazes me how so many adults still love what they put out. I need story, I need graphics, I need adult topics. These are things Nintendo doesn't do well. It may have been a good showing for them, but this year like most years, they had nothing for me. Its amazing how nostalgia is driving purchases for bad and very underwhelming games. Best thing I've seen so far? Dead Space 2
  • twewy13 - June 16, 2010 12:31 a.m.

    haha, i love nintendo, kid icarus...brilliant