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The Ultimate Nintendo at E3 2013 Rundown!


(Deep breath) Mmmmm, do you smell that? That lovely scent in the air? It smells game news. Beautiful, sweet, video game news from the years biggest event when it comes to news. That’s right. It’s E3 time. The time of year where my brain and heart are simultaneously set aflame with anticipation and excitement. It’s the lightning strike event that gathers up the grand majority of the worlds top tier developers, puts them together in a single building, and let’s them all loose to show off each of their current and future offerings. It’s a wonderful time of year, one I look forward to more than any other. And this year especially will be very exciting.

This years E3 will undoubtedly be the biggest one in years. Even though NIntendo’s newest console has already been out for 7 months this will be the first E3 to feature a new lineup of entries in classic franchises, all sprinkled with HD glory and polish. With so much in the development pipeline for the Wii U and 3DS both it’s going to be quite difficult to nail down exactly what Nintendo will focus on during their unorthodox presentation this year. That’s right, NIntendo will not be doing a live presentation this year, instead opting for a canned one in the form of an early morning Nintendo Direct. While a certain special something is most certainly lost without a live performance from Nintendo’s top execs and developers, there will no doubt still be a slew of new information. And who knows, this new method could allow for a more focussed presentation that gives a lot more information than we’re used to. And don’t forget that Nintendo traditionally unveils news throughout the week of E3, so stay tuned for updates on everything they’re doing this year throughout the E3 conference.

But without further ado, here’s a breakdown of what I think will be shown and discussed throughout the week, as well as few things I would personally like to see, with special attention on tuesday’s Nintendo Direct, broken down by franchise.

Starting with Nintendo’s lead mascot seems like the obvious, predictable choice. So let’s do that! Actually, we’re starting here first because we have more information about our favorite hat wearing plumber and his brother than we do anything else. The first Mario game I’m quite certain will receive attention during the Nintendo Direct is the new 3D Mario game from the makers of both Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 as well as Super Mario 3D land. We don’t know much about this title specifically and haven’t heard anything about it since it was announced during a Nintendo Direct in January, but it’s a fair bet that we’ll hear more about it since these types of Mario games have traditionally received plenty of attention at conferences of this nature.

Since it’s the Year of Luigi you can expect to at least hear a mention of New Super Luigi U at the conference as well, despite its release just 9 days later on June 20th. It’s also likely this will be one of the titles on offer at demo kiosks at select Best Buy locations both during and after the event.

We know Mario Kart for the Wii U will also be shown during the conference, confirmed by NIntendo on Twitter. If it’s anything like the Wii version from 2008 you can expect motion controlled driving with the Gamepad or, similar to New Super Mario Bros. U, Wii remotes you can connect to your Wii U console for multiplayer purposes. Online multiplayer will have to be a must and there are sure to be interesting mechanics, or perhaps tracks, designed around using the Gamepad specifically when playing alone or online. We know next to nothing about Mario Kart U so this section of the Nintendo Direct ought to be interesting.

There’s a whole slew of 3DS Mario titles coming out this summer as well, including Mario & Luigi Dream Team, Mario Golf World Tour, and the new Mario Party for the 3DS. Since Dream Team already has a release date of August 11th for this year I don’t expect they’ll spend much time on it and instead give more detail on the other Mario 3DS titles. I’m especially excited for news about Mario Party on the 3DS as it looks like a completely different take on the franchise, focusing on faster games and more unique game boards. The mini games also looked pretty exciting when they were shown back in April during Nintendo Direct.

Phew, that’s a lot of information on just one franchise. I did say it was the one we knew the most about, so rest won’t be as overwhelming. Next up is....

It’s been a while since we last a game entirely focussed around Yoshi so it’s nice to see the Mario’s green dinosaur pal get some attention. This franchise’s re-entry into the market is reminiscent of Nintendo’s return to the Kirby franchise in 2010 with Kirby’s Epic Yarn. So why not have the same developers tackle Yoshi, right? Hahaha...But seriously, the folks at Good Feel that were behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn are again bringing their soft and cuddly spin to a classic Nintendo franchise in the form of...well we don’t know what to call it other than Yoshi Wii U. But it sure does look nice. I loved Kirby’s Epic Yarn on the Wii so I’m excited to see what a similar take could mean for Yoshi, as long as it doesn’t retread the same ground. However, this title may not be far enough along in development for a playable demo. If it’s shown I would imagine it being in a soft focus.

But I have to imagine more people are excited for the 3DS Yoshi title in development: Yoshi’s Island 3DS. Now (raising shields), I’ve never played the original Yoshi’s Island. I know, I know, please, just let me, please, augghh, stoooppppp.

(cough, cough) As I was saying, I’ve never played the original Yoshi’s Island but I’m quite aware that it’s heralded as one of the best games on the Super Nintendo and I’m sure Nintendo will want to remind us of that if they talk about Yoshi’s Island 3D during the Nintendo Direct, which seems likely considering the history of the original and their current strategy with the 3DS. By strategy I mean “RELEASE ALL THE GAMES”. I’d expect to see it quite prominently featured during the 3DS section of Nintendo Direct.

No doubt Nintendo is aware of the excitement surrounding the first appearance of a traditional Pokemon title on the 3DS. It’s confirmed to be at E3 and will even have its own dedicated developer roundtable Tuesday evening. That roundtable won’t be streamed to non-attendees, unfortunately, but there will be plenty of coverage of that roundtable and Pokemon’s other appearances at the show, to be sure.

Pikmin 3, a title that has many Wii U owners buzzing, was originally set to launch during the launch window of Nintendo’s latest hardware offering. But, as you can plainly see, that has not been the case. The game suffered a delay in April for unspecified reasons and was pushed to August 4th of this year. It seems highly likely that Nintendo will want to reassure Wii U owners, as well as potential ones, that the anticipated sequel will indeed release this summer so expect to see at the very least a confirmation of it. It’s also likely it will be playable on the floor, perhaps highlighting the new Pink, Winged Pikmin discussed during the April Nintendo Direct.

Super. Smash. BROTHERS!
Oh man guys....Just oh man. The new Super Smash Brothers set to come to the Wii U AND the 3DS is confirmed for appearance at E3. But more than that is that we will for sure be seeing a new trailer for it during the Nintendo Direct. In order to speed up development time, the team at Nintendo partnered with Namco Bandai. This could mean a lot of different things. In the last Super Smash Brothers installment we got our first glimpse of third party characters appearing in had up until that point been a strictly Nintendo lineup, featuring both Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake from Sega and Konami respectively. Now, with Namco in the mix, we might see some more characters added to the roster from their publisher pool as well as others if a deal can be struck. Fans have been clamoring for Mega Man to make an appearance in the franchise for years as well as several others. The involvement of Namco has led others to speculate that Pac-Man would be included, but personally I’d prefer Dig Dug purely out of the fear of seeing anthropomorphic Pac-Man mixed in with the other characters on the roster.

It’s also important to note that the game has only been in development since last year, so don’t expect too much content outside of the trailer. Additional details pertaining to levels, characters, and cross-console functionality may be revealed but I think this will be more of a reveal than a full on demonstration.

Platinum Games!
I KNOW IT”S NOT A FRANCHISE SHUT UP. Let’s brake from first parties for a moment and talk about Platinum Games. I love them so, so much I can’t even tell you. Since they’re next two release are Wii U exclusive I figured they needed a little attention in this article as well.

First up is The Wonderful 101. The game is set to release on September 15th in North America will probably be featured on the show floor as well as given a short mention during Nintendo Direct. The Wonderful 101 has been featured prominently with the Wii U since last year’s event and I see no reason for that to stop, especially since they’ll more than likely be talking about Platinum’s other project....

Bayonetta! If you know me you know I love Bayonetta. It’s a game I consider to be one of the best of the generation and I’ve poured hours into it. So it makes sense I’d be bursting at the seems for Bayonetta 2, a Wii U exclusive being published by Nintendo. It’s been a while since we last heard any news from Platinum about this hotly anticipated release and I’m dying to know more. If I had to guess I’d say we’ll see a release window for early next year, similar to the original’s release in January of 2010 in North America. JP Kellams, Creative Producer at Platinum Games, teased on twitter “In E3 news, if you are a PG fan next week is going to be awesome” on June 7th. Since Bayonetta 2 is being published by Nintendo you can expect to see it featured prominently at E3, and hopefully during the direct and on the show floor. Platinum Games’ last release was Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and HOLY !#$% IT’S AWESOME. Ya know, just sayin’.

Game & Wario, the latest entry in Wario’s wacky series of mini and micro games that offer quick and intense fun is due out on June 23rd in North America so expect it to be on the show floor at least. As you might have guessed so by now, games that are coming out soon or have release dates set don’t rank high on my “Will be featured” list. This because Nintendo usually sums all that information up at some point during their conferences in order to spend more time on the news and announcements. So, as with other games in similar situations, it will most likely be mentioned but not prominently featured.

You came to this article for Zelda info, didn’t you? Don’t lie, I can tell. That’s why I put it close to the end. Well, you’re in luck. There are 3, count em’, 3 Zelda titles to keep an eye out for during this year’s E3, which might be the biggest showing for the franchise in E3 history, at least in terms of spectrum.

First up is Wind Waker HD. I remember when Wind Waker HD was announced I was sitting in bed checking up on all the announcements that were made during that month’s Nintendo Direct. When my phone refreshed the webpage revealing a screenshot of Link and Tetra standing together in glorious HD I screamed and dropped my phone. I love Wind Waker, it’s one of the best games on the Gamecube and hands down one of the best Zelda games to date. And now it’s headed to the Wii U. But make no mistake, this is not the same game simply upscaled and re-packaged, no sir. This version of the 2003 classic will feature entirely reworked graphics and a new lighting engine, making it shine even more beautifully. It’s also said that certain elements of the game have been enhanced, but what those elements are we don’t know. Since this game is set for release for sometime later this year (as well as the fact it’s Zelda) it will undoubtedly make an appearance both during the Nintendo Direct and on the show floor. In an early E3 tease, Nintendo released silhouettes of characters from games that will be featured during E3 which included, Mario (see the Mario section of this article), Luigi riding Yoshi (Super Luigi U), various Pkimin (Pikmin 3), and Toon Link (Wind Waker HD), as well as a couple others. This would seem to confirm what I’ve already said and I’m quite excited to see what the game will look like in motion.

Next is the surprising sequel to A Link to the Past also coming for the 3DS later this year. I’m not sure anyone saw this coming, really. Mr. Miyamoto himself has spoken before about wanting to make a sequel to the 1991 classic but it always felt like it wouldn’t happen. From what has been revealed so far, in terms of aesthetics, the game looks very similar to its 16 bit older brother despite being in 3D. The game makes use of the same art style and the same world, but no details as to what that means have been given. For the purposes of a demo back in April, the Lumberjack area of the Lost Woods in from the original Link to the Past seems to have been recreated entirely in the new 3D title. Whether or not the rest of Hyrule will be recreated in this way is uncertain as this area may have been built as a demonstration. What’s more is that a dungeon was show to press during a demonstration that also happened to be very similar to the Tower of Hera from the original, even going so far as to include Moldorm, the tower’s boss, at the end. We’ve also been told that the game will take advantage of “height” in order to make use of the 3DS hardware. As players of the original are no doubt aware, during the fight with Moldorm he can knock you off his platform and down into a previous level of the dungeon. This was used as an example of how height might be used as Link fell to the lower floor of the dungeon without the use of a transition screen. Anew ability was also shown, this one allowing link to transform himself into a sort of hieroglyphic depiction of himself and traverse walls and even fit through small spaces like window bars. Expect to see more of A Link to the Past 2 during the Nintendo Direct and perhaps on the show floor.

As a side note, if you haven’t purchased a 3DS or XL yet and can wait just a bit longer I’d bet money that a special edition XL will be released alongside A Link to the Past 2. It may even be talked about at this E3! Keep an eye out and hold out if you can.

Finally there’s the new, untitled, and in-progress Zelda title for the Wii U. This is exciting as it will be the first new Zelda game designed from the ground up for the Wii U as well as the first one natively built in HD. As of right now the only details we know are that the team currently at work on it are experimenting with established Zelda mechanics. This includes adding a non-linear element to the game, allowing players to complete temples in different orders. There was also mention of interaction with other players in some way. It was not made clear if this meant multiplayer, co-op, or something asynchronous but the thought was put forward. I find it hard to believe it won’t be mentioned in some way during the Nintendo Direct presentation, but I would expect the focus to be more on the 3DS Link to the Past sequel and WInd Waker HD since those are confirmed for this year. Expect perhaps a few new details or a logo since gameplay not be far enough along to be demonstrated. Then again, considering release time tables for the other Zelda titles, we may see something a bit more revealing. This is the title I’m the least sure about since they haven’t given much information on the development process in quite some time. Nonetheless, get excited as it will most certainly be there in some capacity!

As of right now, nothing has been announced about F-Zero. But I’m gonna take a shot in the dark and say Retro Studios is working on a game for this franchise. They’ve tackled Metroid and Donkey Kong, and Mario Kart already so it’s hard for me to side with everyone and say they’ll be doing Metroid again on the Wii U. F-Zero was represented in Nintendo Land, the game that came with every Wii U Deluxe set, and I think that was for a reason. It’s just a guess, but it’s one I’ve heard other people speak to as well.

As I said I don’t think Retro will be working on a new Metroid title. In fact, I think Nintendo has its hands full with so much else we might not even see a Metroid game in the works. We shall see, we shall see.

Star Fox!
I’d love a new Star Fox game. The remake of the N64 classic for 3DS, Starfox 64 3D, was enough to remind me how much fun that franchise can be and the Wii U could be a great home for it. But as I said with Metorid, there’s a lot of other stuff going on this year so the Starfox team may have to continue waiting before we see them again.

Alrighty then, now that we’ve covered lots of different and prominent Nintendo franchises, let’s dig into the 3rd party stuff! They’ll all be listed under this header so just continue down the line for all the possible ones relating to Nintendo.

Sonic the Lost World was recently revealed and is a Wii and 3DS exclusive, meaning you can probably expect to see them hanging around Nintendo’s booth this year as well as featured during the part of the Nintendo Direct detailing upcoming game for the Wii U.

Hometown Story!
To be honest I don’t know much about this game other than it’s being developed by Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada and will release on the 3DS. Harvest Moon was a prominent franchise on the Nintendo Gamcube so it makes sense that the next game from the man that create it could be featured by Nintendo specifically. Still, considering the rest of Nintendo’s line up I’m not confident it will appear during the Nintendo Direct. Look for it on the show floor as well as perhaps in the news later on during E3.

Monolith’s X!
Revealed at the end of this January’s Nintendo Direct, whatever project X(eno) is it’s looking mighty fine. Huge environments, huge monsters, huge mechs, huge swords! If it is indeed another entry into the Xenoblade franchise, and I mean come on, there will be plenty of people curious about what’s next for this title after the critical and fan success of the 2012 entry on Wii. Project Rainfall ftw!

Shin Megami Tensei IV!
Almost 10 years have passed since the last entry in the Shin Megami Tensei was released, and news of the 4th entry was swiftly followed up with a release date of July 16th here in North America. With such an impending release and 3DS exclusivity it will no doubt be shown in some capacity with Nintendo, especially when you consider...

Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem!
Set for release on the Wii U, this crossover title is being developed together by Intelligent Systems (Fire Emblem: Awakening) and Atus. Not much information is know about this title other than that it is in development for the Wii U and who’s doing the developing. Don’t expect to see this on the show floor but it will more than likely get a mention on the coat tails of Shin Megami Tensei IV.

And finally Project X Zone!
Another game slated for release shortly after E3, Project X Zone hits on June 25th. The strategy RPG is a crazy collaboration featuring characters from 29 different series’ and mixes up the tile based gameplay by adding in stylish combo based combat during engagements. If anything it looks really, really cool. Sprites of Street Fighter’s Chun Li and Darkstalkers’ Morrigan fighting together and calling in Space Channel 5’s Ulala for an assist? WHAT!? Look for it on the show floor as well as in the roundup of 3DS games during the Nintendo Direct.

Phew! Now THAT’s a lot of information. 3,568 words of information. There are some smaller games I’m not mentioning, sure but for the most part this is what you can expect to see from Nintendo during E3 with a little bit of predictions mixed in. New information on these games and many more will be abundant in the coming days so get excited! It’s gonna be nuts!