Gut Reactions: Nintendo E3 Press Conference
The GameSpot editors chime in on the new Zelda, the 3DS, and more from Nintendo's E3 press conference.
Day one of E3 has officially started, and Nintendo kicked it off with a bang. Not only did we finally get to see the successor to the Nintendo DS in the Nintendo 3DS, but we got a glimpse of a brand new Legend of Zelda, a new Donkey Kong Country, and a new Kirby adventure. We also witnessed the grand return of Pit from Kid Icarus--just to name a few. How did it all go down with the GameSpot editorial team? Read on to find out.
Tom Mc Shea, Associate EditorMy gut reaction to Nintendo? Holy crap! It was like Nintendo looked into my mind and designed a show around my favorite things. Epic Mickey was the standout game for me. Yeah, from a gameplay perspective, it looks like an ordinary platformer. But the fact that you can alter the story, environment, and even the characters around you by the choices you make sounds incredible, and the artistic design was eye catching. And then there's Kirby's Epic Yarn (what an awesome name!), which just looked incredible and amazingly fun as well. As a longtime Donkey Kong Country fan, I was pumped to see another 2D iteration (made by Retro!) with the awesome music from the SNES classic.
And then there's The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. What can I say? I love the art, the controls look smooth (as long as there isn't interference), and the combat actually looks challenging and fun. I'm curious how the overworld and dungeon design will be, but I cannot wait until next year when this finally comes out.
The only negative is that they didn't show off many 3DS games, but the revival of Kid Icarus: Uprising looks fast and fun, so I'm really interested to see what's coming in the future. It's funny how negative I was when they announced the system, but now that it's a reality, I just want to play it.
Sophia Tong, Associate EditorNintendo always has something I want. I just didn't think that it would have so many games I'd be looking forward to. I mean, sure, they're revisiting old franchises, but I absolutely loved Donkey Kong Country, and remember the day I got it for Christmas and played nonstop until the new year.
Kirby's always been as cute as can be, but now that the whole game is taking on that handmade LittleBigPlanet art style, I cannot wait to play the game for myself. I've always been into arts and crafts, so seeing the game come to life on a canvas is like mixing two of my favorite hobbies together.
There are so many great things to take away from the conference, such as The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Goldeneye 007…but one thing's for sure: I want a 3DS and I want Metal Gear Solid in 3D.
Shaun McInnis, Associate EditorI'm still kind of startled by how much I enjoyed the Nintendo press conference. I've been pretty down on it over the past couple years, only recently dusting off my Wii after a long hibernation to play the stellar Super Mario Galaxy 2. (Figuratively, of course--it was boxed up in the closet free from dust.) But I'll admit, this was my favorite press conference of the show by a pretty sizable margin. The new Zelda game that uses MotionPlus really shows what an advantage Nintendo has over Move and Kinect with its ability to attach beloved franchises to new technologies. Kirby's Epic Yarn reminds me of Kirby: Canvas Curse--my favorite DS game--in all the right ways. Add to that Donkey Kong Country Returns, the exhaustive list of
Justin Calvert, Senior EditorI haven't played many Nintendo games in recent months, but after this year's E3 press conference (and given that I still have a sealed copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2 waiting for me at home), I think that's going to change going forward. There were so many things that impressed me at Nintendo this morning; I'm not even sure where to start. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Epic Mickey both looked like a lot of fun, and for the first time ever, I am legitimately excited for Kirby's Epic Yarn. I also can't wait to get my hands on that new version of Goldeneye 007.
I think perhaps what impressed me most about the Nintendo press conference, though, is the remarkable restraint that company shows even when unveiling a huge new game or a new piece of hardware, like today's 3DS. Nintendo doesn't need a fancy light show, it doesn't need celebrities, and it doesn't need to give attendees free hardware to guarantee applause at the end. Nintendo once again let its games do the talking, and at least from where I'm sitting, it had a lot of good things to say about the upcoming year.
Randolph Ramsay, Editor | GameSpot AUNintendo, I've missed you. Your last few E3 press conferences have been pretty hit and miss when it came to content that I actually cared about, but this year, nearly everything you showed had my geek juices bubbling. Kid Icarus: Uprising on the 3DS looked awesome, Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii will surely suck days out of my life, and Epic Mickey is looking better every time I see it. And what about Kirby's Epic Yarn? I've been hoping for the little pink ball of awesome to get his own full-fledged game on the Wii, and it's great that Nintendo is giving him the chance he deserves. The only slightly sour note could be the motion controls in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I'll have to reserve judgement until I get hands-on, but some of the Wii Sports-like controls worry me a little bit. But if anyone can make these types of motion controls work in an epic 15-hour-plus experience, it's Nintendo. Hopefully.
Brian Ekberg, Senior EditorIf that wasn't a home run, then Nintendo's E3 2010 press conference was definitely a triple with men in scoring position. For as many games that Nintendo showed today that hold absolutely zero interest for me, there's one or more that I can't wait to get my hands on. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, and Epic Mickey all look amazing (that Steamboat Willie level had me grinning with glee). And Kirby's Epic Yarn has perhaps become my most anticipated game of this show, which amazes me, considering I've never played a Kirby game before for any considerable length of time.
If the Nintendo press conference had ended with Donkey Kong Country Returns, I'd have still thought it was a great show. That they saved the best for last--the impressive unveiling of the Nintendo 3DS--put this over the top for me. Having stood in the snaking line for a long time in order to stand next to the pretty lady holding the pretty handheld system, I can say it was absolutely worth it. The top-screen 3D effect just simply works just as promised: no glasses required. The demo didn't feature actual gameplay (instead, it focused on still or lightly animated pictures), so I'm curious as to how games (and movies) will look in action. Nonetheless, Nintendo achieved exactly what you'd hope for with an E3 press conference: It made me want more.
Giancarlo Varanini, Editor-at-LargeOutside of announcing a Wii HD (probably never going to happen, folks), Nintendo had the best E3 press conference you could hope for if you're a Nintendo fan. Still, what struck me the most about the whole thing was the fact that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword wasn't even the most noteworthy thing there. That's not because it wasn't impressive in some aspects--I definitely like the visual style since it's almost a mixture of light cel-shading from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker combined with the more realistic look from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. But since the presentation was mostly focused on controls (that we've known about) and not the overarching aspects of the game, the demo itself just wasn't all that exciting.
That being said, Nintendo countered with some really nice surprises that appeal directly to those who worry that Nintendo's abandoning its roots. Kirby's Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country Returns are both platformers, and they're both spectacular for different reasons. I love the visual style for Kirby (despite being worried that it almost looked too similar to the horrible
Guy Cocker, Editor | GameSpot UKNintendo definitely had an impressive E3 2010 showing. The Zelda demo may have been mired by technical issues, but the company soon hit back with a procession of AAA content. Wii games Epic Mickey, Goldeneye 007, and Donkey Kong Country Returns all struck a chord with the core audience, while Kirby's Epic Yarn was a quirky but charming concept.
But it was the Nintendo 3DS that everyone was waiting for, and Nintendo didn't disappoint. The hardware looked familiar but new, with impressive technology, such as the ability to take 3D photos. The demo of Kid Icarus: Uprising showed off great graphics, but it was the long list of publishing partners that really sealed the deal for me. DJ Hero 3D, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Resident Evil Revelations, Batman, Assassin's Creed Lost Legacy, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle, Ridge Racer, and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D - The Naked Sample games are all coming for the system--a formidable list of games that mean the console will be a day-one purchase for many.
In short, Nintendo just put its E3 booth at the top of most GameSpot editors' "must-visit" list.
Jane Douglas, Section Editor | GameSpot UKA real crowd-pleaser from Nintendo. It will have a won a lot of goodwill back from those "core" gamers who've been feeling left out by the emphasis on the casual. Wii Party was completely overshadowed by Goldeneye 007 for the Wii, which looked impressive, and homecomings for Donkey Kong and Kirby. Kirby's Epic Yarn was really charming, so I can't wait to see more of that. And then the 3DS was as strong a finish as Nintendo could have hoped for, with that lineup of third parties on board to make 3DS titles (Resident Evil! Metal Gear Solid! Saints Row?!) and Kid Icarus looking spectacular. Even the two camera lenses on the lid for taking 3D photos is neat extra. The Nintendo booth is going to be swamped.
Andrew Park, Managing EditorI was both impressed and surprised by what I figured, going in, would be the most predictable press conference at the show. Nintendo had some very, very promising-looking games for both the Wii and DS. I didn't get to try the 3DS myself, so I'm still on the fence there, and while Zelda and Metroid didn't make a great showing, Kirby's Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country Returns both looked terrific. I have to also say that it's really weird to watch a 2010 video game press conference where the most exciting games are, of all things, 2D side-scrollers. I'm also just really happy to see Kirby back in the saddle as the hero of his own game. That guy's great.
Kevin VanOrd, EditorNintendo didn't get off to the best start. Perhaps there was indeed lots of wireless interference, but regardless, I came away from the Zelda demonstration wondering: "Where's the fun?" Well, Nintendo did indeed bring the fun, and it overcame its iffy beginning by delivering one surprise after another, to the point where I was giddy with excitement, wondering what might be coming next. Consider this: The GoldenEye remake could have been a headliner, but instead, even that game was overshadowed by Kid Icarus: Uprising, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, and what could be a legitimate contender for my personal game of the show, Epic Mickey. As Tom Mc Shea is fond of pointing out to me, "It's Warren Spector!" Well, I am convinced Spector's still got the magic touch. Epic Mickey looks fun, it looks inventive, and it looks beautiful. More licensed games should take these kinds of chances.
Everything else was icing on the icing. I am not fully convinced yet that the 3DS will be amazing, but a number of important franchises will be landing on it. (Metal Gear, Ridge Racer, and… Saints Row: Drive-By?) Nevertheless, Nintendo had passion for what it presented and showed us what's most important: games. Good games. Games that matter. Games that look fun. That's the kind of press conference I can get behind. Score: 9.0. (Superb.)
Laura Parker, Features Editor | GameSpot AUUnlike other publishers that shall remain unnamed (rhymes with "Schmicrosoft") Nintendo really delivered this E3. No controller-free gimmicks, no wise-cracking celebrities, no remakes of 1980's handheld infrared-emitting targeting devices. Just a good old press conference (you know, like in the old days?) where people talked about video games. And pretty good ones at that. I think this was one of Nintendo's best E3 lineups, starting with the long-awaited new Zelda game for the Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I was impressed with how the game controls on the Wii: Nintendo hasn't gone too crazy with the motion controls, allowing players to use both the nunchuk and Wii Remote with the Wii MotionPlus and making the whole thing actually look cool by assigning a sword and shield to the controllers, among other commands.
I was also impressed that Nintendo stuck to its guns and echoed last year's E3 press conference company line, which Miyamoto proclaimed to be something along the lines of the essence of good game design is a game that can be played by everyone. This tied in with a whole bunch of casual titles (Mario Sports Mix, Wii Party) and eventually led up to the most exciting announcements of the entire day: Donkey Kong Country Returns and an OMG totally cute Kirby game that involves yarn. Only Nintendo could pull that off, by the way, and by the looks of the trailer, it has well and truly surpassed itself in the cute-and-innovative-gameplay department.
I also look forward to Miyamoto and Iwata jumping out of my 3DS sometime in the future, as per the closing demo.
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