By David Rawlings / January 24th, 2013
My opinions are my own and not reflective of those of Oprainfall.
Last night was a very special one for me. I was lying in bed, staring into the eyes of the Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata, listening to his soft voice and thinking about our future together – and after 30 minutes I was a changed man.
You see, I am currently living in South Korea and yesterday’s Nintendo Direct was streamed at 11pm, Korean time. I was in bed, laptop on my knees and a cup of tea in my hand. I was preparing myself for what had been rumoured as being a very ‘special’ Nintendo Direct, although I can’t say I was too excited for it – given my recent woes with Nintendo – but how wrong would I be? Well, turns out, very wrong.
Nobody Likes Waffles
Previous Nintendo Directs have never really impressed me all that much. Sure, a couple of ‘interesting’ announcements may have been made in the past, but the majority of them always seem to be filled with some head-honcho at Nintendo waffling on about a game we already know about. Yes, its always nice to get more information on a title, but to spend 10-15 minutes talking about how to play a 2D Mario game seems rather unnecessary. And it seemed this was the case with the first 15 minutes of yesterday’s Direct.
The Miiverse was the subject of ‘waffling’ this time around. President Iwata spent a good amount talking about something we already knew about. Some little updates were announced here and there, but overall it looked like Nintendo were sticking by their safety guns, as usual. With only 15 minutes left of the presentation, I was resigned to the fact that we wouldn’t be shown anything worthwhile, and it would probably be best if I switched off and tried to get an early night. But I didn’t switch off, something inside me was telling me to stick it out.
Iwata promised he would be announcing NEW games, and by jove he did! Firstly, let’s start off with the games that I don’t care about – Wii Fit U and Wii U Party: you know them, you’ve seen them before, they both have extra bells and whistles, I care not for them, no need to say anymore.
Alongside the announcement that a new 3D Mario, Mario Kart and Smash Bros will all be playable at E3 2013, came the reveal of the Wii U’s worst-kept secret: Yoshi Land (name subject to change). It looked very much like Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but also looked insanely twee in HD. Not too sure how I feel about it, but it could be fun.
A brand new trailer for Platinum Games’ The Wonderful 101 was released, which made me more excited for the game then I could ever be, followed by a developer’s diary of the Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2, which looked to be shaping up rather nicely.
At this rate, I was thinking that as far as Nintendo Direct’s go, this one has not been so bad, but I clearly wasn’t prepared for what was to come.
The first surprise came with announcement of a crossover game between Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei. I’ve never even played an SMT title before, but anything with Fire Emblem gets my cockles rocking; whilst the trailer didn’t show any gameplay it was just a great feeling to know that the Wii U is getting a new Fire Emblem game, of sorts. Because I do love me some Fire Emblem.
The second metaphorical slap-in-the-face-of-joy came from the reveal that not only will there be a brand new Zelda title for the Wii U, which isn’t surprising at all, but that Wind Waker will be re-released in glorious high definition. Unfortunately no videos were shown, but the still images left me giggling like a schoolgirl who had just been invited to a Justin Bieber Smartie Party.
And if all that wasn’t enough, for my beating heart, along came the final reveal. This:
*Tears of joy*
Monolith’s new game looks very much like Xenoblade Chronicles, so for the meantime I shall refer to it as Xenoblade 2. But HOLY CRAP, whilst we knew Monolith was working on a title for the Wii U, I don’t think anyone expected to be blown away by this! Simply amazing.
I’ve been a little harsh on Nintendo these last few months. E3 2012 was beyond disappointing; it was the year for Nintendo to impress everyone, but they failed on so many accounts. However, the last 15 minutes of this presentation was everything E3 2011 and 2012 should’ve been. I didn’t care about the WiiU in 2011, I didn’t care for the Wii U after the abysmal E3 2012. But now, I want to buy a Wii U. I have honestly not been this excited for gaming, in general, since E3 2006, but oddly it’s been worth it.
Thank you Nintendo. I’m sorry for my momentary blip of faith in you and whilst I’m sure you will deliver at E3 2013, please look to the fan reaction of yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, before you think about showcasing Nintendo Land 2 on stage this year… just save that for the show floor. Cheers.
So how was the presentation for you? Were you satisfied, shocked or left deflated by it? Let me know in the comments below.
Bayonetta 2Fire EmblemMarioMario KartMonolith SoftNintendoNintendo DirectPlatinum GamesShin Megami TenseiSuper Smash Bros.The Legend of ZeldaThe Wonderful 101Wind WakerXenoblade Chronicles