Published on May 21st, 2013 | by David Arce1
Nintendo Direct: E3 appetizers and Sonic the Hedgehog
The largest (although not necessarily the most interesting) gaming trade show of the year, E3, is only a few weeks away. The be-all and end-all of announcement locations. Nevertheless, Nintendo Direct rolls ever onward, and this Friday’s video presentation was again filled with magic from the Japanese giant. I didn’t expect much, personally; some new details about already existing games, and maybe some new eShop games. Instead, Nintendo announced a surprising partnership to go with a few games andsome information that pretty much sold me on the Wii U.
Sonic games have had a partial resurgence of late. The daytime levels of Sonic Unleashed were the first sign that Sonic Team finally figured out how to make a fun 3D Sonic game again. Sonic Colors took that foundation and added power ups. Sonic Generations then completely refined things while adding a better sense of speed and great level design. This is why the announcement of Sonic: Lost World for the Wii U has me all hot and bothered. Of course, all we have to go on is a piece of gorgeous concept art — shown below — but I’m happy to assume that it will be some form of 3D Sonic game and that Tails will have a bigger impact on the gameplay. The lack of Tails in recent Sonic games has been something of a concern, since he is a very agile, technical character to play as when done correctly.
The news that Sega and Nintendo partnered up to bring three Sonic games exclusively to Nintendo platforms certainly surprised me, though one could have spotted the signs. Sonic has seen a few of his games appear exclusively on the Wii and DS already, and Sonic games tend to sell better on Nintendo platforms due to their platformer-friendly environment. Sonic games on the Wii U and 3DS makes perfect sense from a business perspective, and we can only hope the quality matches the expectations.
All the new details for upcoming games on the Wii U have helped me confirm my decision to buy one at the end of the year. The New Super Luigi U DLC for New Super Mario Bros U will be getting its own standalone retail release on August 25th, about a month after the release of the digital version. Those copies will no doubt become collector’s items thanks to a limited copy run. Nintendo also showcased more details on Pikmin 3 and the extensive use of the GamePad on it. It also has a new release date of August 4th. Hideki Kamiya and Platinum’s latest title, The Wonderful 101 — in which many tiny people band together to save the world from monsters — will be releasing on September 15th. Kamiya recently tweeted about the game, stating that it isn’t very long because he was so focused on making it fun. We’ll see about that, Mr. Kamiya!
This last bit of news doesn’t seem all that big on the surface. Nintendo have announced a partnership with Best Buy to bring demos usually only shown on the trade show floor to select Best Buy locations. This is great for people like me who have no access to E3, either through a lack of tickets or simply bing in an inconvenient location. It’s definitely an encouraging bit of news that I hope Sony and Microsoft copies.
So this Nintendo Direct wasn’t a huge, heavy-hitting event, but Nintendo will be holding another Direct right before E3. That’s where we can expect they’ll unload all their huge announcements. A new Kirby game, please?