E3 2002: Nintendo Press Conference

Nintendo showed Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mario Sunshine, and much more at today's pre-E3 press conference.

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Nintendo's pre-E3 press conference began with its pre-requisite display of numbers and facts. Nintendo stuck mostly to its lifetime figures, such as numbers of consoles and software sold since the days of the NES and so on. Nintendo displayed footage of several upcoming GameCube games, such as Metroid Prime, Resident Evil 0, and Eternal Darkness. Then Game Boy Advance footage was shown, such as Game & Watch Gallery 4, The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords, Golden Sun 2, Yoshi's Island, Disney's Magical Quest.

The company's recently revealed online plans were then revisited, with Nintendo confirming its hands-off approach with its third-parties. As revealed before, the company won't be collecting separate licensing fees for online games. Nintendo also confirmed that Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II, shipping this fall, will be the first online game for the GameCube.

The company then showed footage of its upcoming GBA Metroid game, titled Metroid Fusion. Unlike Metroid Prime, Fusion sticks to the standard 2D Metroid style found in the original game and Super Metroid for the SNES. Metroid Fusion appears to borrow heavily from Super Metroid, maintaining the same graphical style and special moves, such as the screen-clearing bomb blast.

Shigeru Miyamoto then took to the stage and provided a hands-on demonstration of Super Mario Sunshine. As previous footage implied, this 3D platform game is in the same vein as Super Mario 64, however Mario's water-filled backpack gives him a lot of additional moves, such as the ability to blast enemies with water, using water blasts to propel a floating leaf across a river, and use water jets to shoot into the air. Sunshine's world is filled with nasty sludge, which must be blasted away with water from Mario's pack.

After presenting a movie-style trailer for Legend of Zelda, Miyamoto provided a demonstration of the game. From what we were able to see, besides being able to utilize familiar older items such as grappling hook, you will also be able to pick up and utilize weapons from fallen enemies. The lighting effects in the demonstration were particularly noteworthy. The effect of Link's face being lit from below and the flame effects (in one case, a pulsing curtain of flame) were stunning. Miyamoto commented that Link will be able to pick up barrels and place them over his head to hide from enemies (similar to Solid Snake's use of the box in the Metal Gear Solid series) and said that the game will provide the player with "your very own cartoon [that] people can do whatever you want to [in]."

Miyamoto then went on to demonstrate the upcoming Legend of Zelda Game Boy Advance game, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. "The world's most compact network game," Legend of Zelda for the GBA utilizes the GBA link cable to allow four players to play at once. Like Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons for the Game Boy Advance, the game is being developed in conjunction with Capcom's Flagship studio, which is headed up by industry veteran Yoshiki Okamoto. Miyamoto invited Okamoto up on the stage to help demonstrate the game, along with the producers of the F-Zero and Star Fox titles that Nintendo is co-producing with Sega and Namco. The four showed how the players need to work together in the game to solve puzzles.

The producer of F-Zero stayed on stage after the Legend of Zelda GBA demonstration was over and a short video of F-Zero for the GameCube was shown. Much of the footage was from the game's introductory video, but it appeared to be sharp.

After that, Nintendo launched another video demonstration, showing footage of some of the "more than 150 games out for the GameCube by the end of the year." Games shown include Mario Sunshine, Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse, Animal Crossing, Mario Party 4, Wario World, 1080: White Storm, Star Fox Adventures, Legend of Zelda, Metroid Prime, Eternal Darkness, Resident Evil Zero, Dragon's Lair, X-Men: Next Dimension, Dr. Muto, BloodRayne, Knockout Kings 2003, Dave Mirra BMX XXX, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, UFC: Throwdown, Zoocube, Burnout 2, Die Hard: Vendetta, Turok:Evolution, and more.

During the brief question and answer session that took place afterwards, audience members asked Nintendo if it was true that Rare was going third-party and how Resident Evil Online is coming for the PlayStation 2 if the series is exclusive to Nintendo now. Nintendo representatives replied to the questions with the vague "At this point, it continues to be business as usual with Rare," and, "At this time we have no plans for a Resident Evil online game."

GameSpot will have more on Nintendo's GameCube and Game Boy Advance software line-up during our continuing coverage of the 2002 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

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