What do U want to play?
With E3 2014's Nintendo Direct press conference in the bag, it's safe to say that this may be one of the best E3s ever. That's because, like Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo had an amazingly strong showing of games, with all the franchises you know and love. We expected to be impressed by new Smash Bros. additions, Bayonetta 2, and Xenoblade Chronicles--but we were equally delighted by the new Wii U Zelda, Mario Maker, and Yoshi's Woolly World.
Want to know exactly what went down during this Nintendo Direct, and what it means in the overall Nintendo picture? We've got you covered. Here's a recap of everything shown during the E3 2014 Nintendo Direct, it's very own kind of press conference.
Mii Fighters enter the Smash Bros. arena
Nintendo began with an outstanding, choreographed rendition of a real-life Smash Bros. fight between Satoru Iwata and Reggie Fils-Aime before revealing some exciting new details about the new title in the series. The two biggest announcements: you can play as your Mii in Super Smash Bros. Wii U, and the game will support the long-rumored NFC figurines.
As for the Mii fighters, they will funnel into three different classes, each with 12 specials to mix and match. With these customization tools, your Mii will be able to fight differently from any other; so this won't be a throw-away feature. They closed out with some footage of some 3DS-exclus
Amiibo, Nintendo's NFC figure line, will debut this Hoiday season
Super Smash Bros. Wii U is getting NFC figure support called Amiibo. The figures work much like the Skylanders figures and their games. They scan into the Wii U through the Gamepad and will interact with compatible titles. Characters used in the battle will save states and develop its own attributes and skills.
Not only will the new figures work with the new Smash Bros., Amiibo is said to work with games like Mario Kart 8, Mario Party 10, Captain Toad, and other unannounced titles in the near future. It's still uncertain what the characters will actually do for your gameplay, but judging by the design of the Mario figure they showed on Nintendo Direct, the new figures definitely look to be high quality and are extremely detailed. We can't wait to start collecting them.
Yoshi's Wooly World unraveling on Wii U
Good-Feel wasn't tasked with creating a direct successor to Kirby's Epic Yarn when making Yoshi's Wolly World; they had to create a bit more depth due to the HD nature of the Wii U console. To that end, there's a bit more versatility to the fabric of the game; batches of yarn will form and break apart (particularly eggs, which are now represented by balls of yarn).
Without a time limit that Mario games impose, Good Feel is focusing on making the game about exploration. There will also be a two-player mode wherein one player can swallow the second Yoshi to use as an impromptu weapon or to reach secret areas. Expect to explore it yourself sometime next year.
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker gives Toad his own spin-off
In a surprise announcement, Nintendo showed off the first footage of Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, a Super Mario 3D World spinoff starring Toad. It was only a brief trailer, but it looks to be those Captain Toad puzzle-action stages from 3D World extrapolated into a full game.
Again, we got very little footage, but it looks like you'll get the same environmental variety and imagination you expect from 3D World, along with some colorful and gargantuan boss characters. Look for the game on Wii U this holiday.
The Legend of Zelda on Wii U takes on an epic scale
Holy frijoles! You're not going to believe it, but Nintendo announced the next full The Legend of Zelda Wii U title. The game is coming in 2015, it looks beautiful in all its cel-shaded glory, and it is completely open world.
Eiji Aonuma revealed that the developers wanted to go back to the series original concept of entering an open world and attacking you objectives from the direction you feel is best. No more predetermined paths.
Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire updates getting more new evolutions
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were already announced, bringing the X and Y advancements to the GBA classics. Of course, you're getting more than a 3D upgrade and poke-voices added to the decade-old 2D originals. You can likely expect to create your hero from scratch as X and Y allowed when it released late last year.
While we didn't spot any new Pokemon in particular, we'll at least see new forms of familiar creatures, as X and Y's mega-evolution seemed to make new versions of Ruby and Sapphire's Groudon and Kyogre.
Bayonetta 2 to include the first Bayonetta remastered for Wii U
Nintendo and Platinum finally decided to placate Bayonetta fans with new footage of Bayonetta 2, and it looks appropriately bonkers. It was a brief gameplay trailer, but we got a couple of huge new details about the project. For starters, we finally got a firm release window of October 2014; and on top of that, Bayonetta 2 will include an updated port of the original game with some Nintendo fan service. We saw the heroine rocking a Link outfit, complete with Master Sword, as well as Samus's iconic armor.
Also, you know, Bayonetta apparently has wings and can fly now, and she'll fight acid-trip bosses in luminous cityscapes and hellish hell levels. And that new haircut is still in effect. And it's Bayonetta 2.
Hyrule Warriors lets you play as Midna, Princess Zelda (with multiplayer)
Nintendo showed another glimpse of the action heavy Zelda title, Hyrule Warriors. Most notibly from the gameplay shown was the new playable characters like: Zelda, Midna, Impa, and Link. Each has their own unique move sets to take on the Ganon's armies.
The game was announced to have release date of September 26 this year. So, be ready to grab your sword and shield and take on the series classic bosses and minions with some insane looking special moves.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse gameplay shown
Not to be outdone by Yoshi's yarn-based adventure, Kirby is setting out to prove his transformative abilities can reign supreme in 2015 with a new art form. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse seems to be implementing a clay-based visual style to mix with the pink puffball's yarn-focused repertoire, making for a pretty unique follow-up to the Nintendo DS Canvas Curse.
It seems as though Rainbow Curse will share Canvas' method of controlling Kirby (touch-screen only) as you guide the cute mascot in various forms, including a submarine, rocket, and tank. As per Kirby tradition, though, there was far too much to take in with such a quick trailer, so we hope some hands-on time will allow us to better understand the many colors of this rainbow.
Xenoblade Chronicles X shows mech wars
Among the hot-and-heavy reveals at Nintendo's show was a new trailer for Monolith Soft's sci-fi RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X, formerly known simply as X. We saw some new story details, with what looks to be a tyrannical dictator antagonist, and spaceships, and lots of long-winded dialogue.
The most important detail from the trailer was the confirmation that the sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles will in fact be coming to America. Look for the game on Wii U in 2015.
Mario Maker lets you create levels block by block
Nintendo kicked off another trailer that was just a high rez version of the classic 8-bit Mario Bros.--which looked totally amazing in of itself, but then the screen paused and a hand made edits to the level. Mario Maker allows you to play and create your own 2D Mario game in the classic 8-bit graphics and the 2.5D New Super Mario visuals.
Mario Maker will be coming out for the Wii U and uses the console's Gamepad.The player was shown dropping down blocks, adjusting the size of piranha plant pipes, and adding bouncy springs to the level to allow Mario to reach the top of the flag pole.
Splatoon is definitely the first-ever squid-ink arena shooter
If Nintendo's going to make a competitive online shooter, then darn it, they're going to do it their own way. Splatoon is an original game coming to Wii U where teams of four human-squid hybrids face off to cover the majority of the map with their squad's color.
As a human, you'll be able to cover the map with your color, but a match can't be won with one species, as people will trudge slowly through enemy ink. A squid can dive into their team's ink to cover large distances in short amounts of time. Regardless of what species you're playing as, you'll be able to keep an eye on the map and the paint progress via the Wii U Gamepad. While lagging behind a teammate is a commonplace problem in traditional shooters, the Gamepad offers a pretty simple, yet innovative solution; just tap on a teammate, and you'll blast across the map to meet them. We saw a few other weapons at play (a roller, and some sort of triangle mine), so we still have much to learn before Splattoon splatters on our Wii Us in 2015.
Palutena confirmed for Smash Bros.
To close out their E4 show, Nintendo gave a quick anime teaser, showcasing Link engaging in combat with Pit, with Palutena quickly intervening to shake things up. It turned out the video was simply a reveal of Palutena's inclusion in the new Super Smash Bros. roster.
Nintendo showed off some footage of what Palutena will look like in-game, and she looks like she'll fit in nicely. She had a screen-filling super which prompted her to shout "mega laser!", which sounds appropriate for the context. One GamesRadar editor (who shall remain anonymous) remarked that she "looks OP." The trailer closed out with some more anime footage with Dark Pit, potentially hinting at a new skin for Pit--or a whole new character.
Miyamoto was totally playing Star Fox Wii U
Last but not least, Shigeru Miyamoto made the final appearance right at the end of the E3 2014 Nintendo Direct. He didn't make any specific announcements about any other games that Nintendo is working on, but he was playing a game on the Wii U which had a blurred out screen in the video.
Turns out, we know exactly what that game is. And that game is definitely a new Star Fox. Want all of the details on Fox McCloud's upcoming adventure? GamesRadar's own Henry Gilbert saw the game on the show floor. Check out our Star Fox Wii U preview coverage by clicking on the link.
Oh, and there's a ton more Amiibo figurines!
Tbought that Mario was the only Amiibo shown? Think again! Shortly after the Nintendo Direct, Bill Trinen showed off the full suite of Amiibos for Super Smash Bros., and also teased which games will support the figures in the future (for the full list, see our previous Amiibo slide).
And yes, you and everyone you know will likely be buying them all. There's just no getting around that fact.
Mario Party 10 is all about Bowser
Mentioned only in Nintendo's after-show recap with no footage, Mario Party 10's announcement was a bit of an after-thought. It was briefly discussed by the after-show's hosts, and all we saw was a logo, but we did get one important detail about the new title: It will support Amiibo, Nintendo's NFC figurine initiative.
After that quick mention, Nintendo wound up posting a proper trailer to its YouTube channel. As you might expect: It looks a lot like Mario Party. But does look quite nice in HD, and the Wii U Gamepad should enable some interesting new features. Look for Mario Party 10 sometime in 2015.
Live and Direct
That does it for this year's Nintendo Direct--now it's time to get some hands-on at the E3 2014 show floor. Tune back to GamesRadar.com for a host of in-depth coverage; until then, tell us in the comments below which Nintendo announcement brightened your world (and frightened your wallet)!