Impressions from Nintendo at E3 2012

I’m going to keep this brief for now, but I think there’s a lot to talk about from Nintendo’s showings this year; both because of what Nintendo revealed and what Nintendo did not reveal. Nintendo held two separate conferences this year (one for WiiU and a second for Nintendo 3DS) and my first reaction to both was disappointment. I am disappointed that the games I most wanted to see are not at the show, and Nintendo made some strange decisions of which games to feature at their events. Some of the most exciting and interesting game announcements have been made after the press conferences through interviews. Specifically, I felt that Project P-100 for WiiU and Fire Emblem: Awakening for Nintendo 3DS should have been featured at the press events.

However, once the dust settled, my reaction to Nintendo’s game lineup changed for the better. I’m not extremely excited about what was shown this year, but I am satisfied. I’m satisfied with the WiiU’s launch lineup and the capabilities of the platform itself. I am satisfied with the holiday lineup for Nintendo 3DS as well, but I am still not convinced that I need to rush out and buy one.

In particular, I am very pleased to see Pikmin 3 finally revealed. I have never been a huge fan of the original games, but the announcement has renewed by interest in the series enough that I plan to play through Pikmin 1 and Pikmin 2 soon.

The other highlight of Nintendo’s lineup is Nintendo Land. When the game was first announced, I was not interested and simply wished that Nintendo had devoted that stage time to something focused more on “core gamers”; something like The Legend of Zelda. However, when I saw the games being played and began reading impressions from people playing the demos my interest grew. For the first time, I am excited about a mini-game collection being released and, as long as Nintendo doesn’t choose to sell the game separately for $50, I plan to purchase it.

It’s Time for Pokémon to Change

Growing up, I spent as much time playing Pokémon as anyone else. In 1998, Pokémon was a great new idea, and the game deserved the acclaim it received. I’ve continued to play the Pokémon games since that time (though I have not played the latest games: Pokémon Black and White), and I have enjoyed each one. However, beginning with Pokémon Sapphire, the game design began to feel old.

It’s natural for games within the same series to play similarly, but those series still change over time. While there have been some changes made to the Pokémon series, most notably the inclusion of online battles and trading, the games have otherwise stayed the same. Eventually, all major video game series need an overhaul, and I think it’s Pokemon’s turn. Continue reading

The Future of Control in Handheld Legend of Zelda Games

It is no secret that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword introduced a brand new control scheme for The Legend of Zelda. The advanced sword controls allow you to swing the sword in any direction, the enemies have also been updated so that they must be attacked a certain way to be defeated. The result is a Legend of Zelda game that plays differently from all of the others, and I consider it to be a great evolution for the series’ control.

So, after playing through Skyward Sword I was pleased that Eiji Aonuma had already made it clear that they intend to continue using this updated style of control in future console Legend of Zelda games.

But what about handheld titles?

Continue reading this article at Zelda Universe

The Future of Control in Handheld Legend of Zelda Games

Nintendo and Dual Analog

The recent leak showing a second analog stick for the Nintendo 3DS raises a lot of new questions about the future of the platform. The addition of the second analog stick opens the door for new types of games (that were previously unavailable due to there only being one analog stick), but it could also alienate early-adopters who do not purchase the add-on (or the redesign we all know is coming soon). Continue reading

Playing Luigi’s Mansion Ten Years Later

One of the biggest surprises at Nintendo’s E3 press conference this year was the announcement of a sequel to the Nintendo Gamecube launch title Luigi’s Mansion. Even though the game was well received, it has become forgotten over the past ten years.

I’ve owned a Gamecube since 2002. My first game was Super Smash Bros. Melee and I’ve played (and own) most of the major Nintendo releases for the platform. I’ve enjoyed The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Super Mario Sunshine, and Metroid Prime, but before this week I had never really played Luigi’s Mansion. After Nintendo announced Luigi’s Mansion 2, I decided it was time to finally give the game a chance. Continue reading