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E3 '12: Nintendo's 3DS Game Presentation

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Nintendo had so much to say at E3 this year that they couldn't squeeze it into one simple press conference. So they had a special video presentation, and two separate press presentations. They mentioned a few 3DS games at their main presentation at the Nokia Theater, but saved the rest for a separate 3DS presentation the following evening.

Unfortunately, there were no real surprises here — all the games mentioned had already been announced — but there was some new information scattered here and there (although with one major omission), so I've got the whole rundown for you on the next page...

The first game shown was Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate. After a very story-heavy trailer that was a bit lost on me because I'm not particularly well-versed in the Castlevaniaverse (it's part of the re-booted Belmont universe, apparently), they showed some actual gameplay footage that looked pretty sweet. It's a 2D platformer, but from the 2.5D angle, and in 3D, naturally. The whip covers some impressive area, but I don't quite understand how the boomerang secondary weapon can be a boomerang if its spikes stick into an enemy and cause damage over time. How is it a boomerang if it doesn't come back to you? There will be four playable characters, including the return of fan-favorite Alucard. It'll be out this fall.

Next up was Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. Just a trailer. (Available on the eShop if you're curious) I played it at last year's E3, and it looks just the same. Not sure why it's taken so long to come out. But it will finally be released this holiday season both in stores and as a digital download. This was followed by Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, which features the return of the old Castle of Illusion (remember that?). It's all straightforward 2D platforming as you explore the Wasteland for forgotten videogame characters this time around. You use the touch screen for the painting and thinning, of course.

I was seriously zoning out at this point, but they perked me back up with Paper Mario: Sticker Star. This game I'm seriously looking forward to. This time around, there are stickers hidden all over the environment (you also get them for winning battles and solving puzzles) that you use in the game, most importantly in battle. You use what they called "Paperization" to basically tilt the game world into a 2D picture that leans away from the screen, and you can see little squares where stickers should go. In the example they demonstrated, Mario helped plant flowers for Toad by taking the flower stickers from his inventory and placing them on the squares. When the world turned 3D again, the flowers grew, and you got more flower stickers for your trouble. Plus, a health bonus. You don't level up during battle by gaining experience this time around. No, you'll solve puzzles and people's problems, and they'll reward you with bonuses to your stats and abilities. There are also realistic 3D rendered items that are clearly out of place in the paper world. You collect these and then turn them into stickers so that you can solve puzzles. The example here was an oscillating fan that Mario had turned into a sticker so that he could place it next to a windmill, turning the blades to access a door. It's Paper Mario, so obviously it's super-cute and awesome. Super psyched on this one.

They showed a trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], which I've already written about for this site a few times. I played it at PAX East. No new information was given aside from the fact that there'll be a demo available in the eShop at some point before its release. Then they moved on to Scribblenauts Unlimited, which was mentioned at the main press event, but only as an aside to the Wii U version. Not much else was revealed here, aside from it looking like a straight port of the game instead of a separate side story. And StreetPass will somehow be used to trade ideas/solutions to puzzles. After that was a 3rd party montage that included brief clips of LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, Transformers Prime: The Game, Rabbids Rumble and Heroes of Ruin.

It was confirmed that if you play the DS games Pokémon Black & White 2 on your 3DS, there will be some special features, but they didn't reveal what they would actually be. Sigh. Then came some statistical spouting of eShop numbers to show how well it's doing. Of course, the apps that have been downloaded over a million times are the free ones like Netflix, Pokédex and Nintendo Video. Speaking of, there's a new series Treediots coming that looks just awful. Or hilariously awful on purpose. We'll have to wait and see, but the audience at the presentation could only muster up some polite nervous chuckling. Then he mentioned what we already knew about Pokémon Dream Radar and Pokédex 3D Pro coming to the eShop. But there will be demos coming of Spider-Man, Heroes of Ruin and Rhythm Thief. And a demo of LEGO Batman 2 is available now.

As I mentioned in the bit about Luigi's Mansion, Nintendo is now going to start releasing games digitally as well as in stores. Good thing standard SD cards are way cheaper than Sony's proprietary ones, so it won't cost you so much to upgrade for more space! The first game they're going to test the digital distribution waters with is New Super Mario Bros. 2. They also included this one yesterday, but mentioned a couple new features. First is competing against your friends using StreetPass. You beat a level and it goes into your "Coin Rush Bank," which will be traded with people so you can try to beat their scores. Second is the ability to play the entire single player game with a friend as Luigi. The camera stays with the bro in the lead, so you shouldn't lag behind. Also, because you can fly again, if you can't, you end up following behind your friend stuck in a bubble and being embarrassed. The only thing was they didn't mention if this was local multiplayer only or if it would work over the interwebs.

And that was it. No new games revealed, and only a smattering of new information about the games we already knew to expect. No solid release dates, either. But the most egregious oversight was the utter and complete lack of Animal Crossing 3DS news. No final title, no firm release date... nothing. In fact, after this presentation was over, Animal Crossing was actually trending worldwide on Twitter, so you know I'm not the only one being a crazy fan and complaining about this!

3 Comments

Branovices said:

I was waiting on only two bits of news from Nintendo: what the new 3DS Castlevania was like and when Animal Crossing 3DS was coming out. So... 1 out of 2 isn't bad but damnit, I bought my 3DS partially in anticipation of Animal Crossing which I was was expecting out way before now.

Mikey said:

New Super Mario Bros 2 looked awesome at first - then I saw the "we're lazy and don't feel like integrating characters you like" nameless Toads.

I seriously cannot believe that after all the shit they got last time, they make a sequel and still do not put actual characters in the 3rd and 4th player spots. Their whole "Peach's dress would be an issue" thing was such BS.

I really don't see why it would be so hard to add Peach, Daisy, Rosalina, or Toad (the actual Toad, not one of the nameless ones). Or, you know, some NEW characters? Maybe come up with a new Nintendo female character who doesn't wear a dress? I don't want to play as a Mii character! Pfft.

But yeah. I'll still end up buying it. *facepalm*

DanielBevis said:

Love NSAF. :D

The 3DS Conference, whilst better paced than the main Nintendo one, still was rather disappointing.

All games we already know about + a random, crap Nintendo Video promo. :|

The Paper Mario and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon portions were great, though [the guy explaining the former should've done the main bulk of Nintendo's main show as well - the other PR guys here looked real awkward to me]. :)

... Just absurd that they're both end of year titles [not summer ones] that will now get slaughtered by Pokemon BW2 in the Fall. :(

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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