Nintendo broadcasted their 3DS game lineup for 2012 Wednesday at their hour-long E3 3DS Software Showcase. Below are the highlights.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate
Trevor Belmont is back and he has magic abilities, but don’t think he can’t battle with the best of them. In this version you can grab and block enemies by using the L and R buttons, but those moves can be used for bigger combos and counter attacks. Another new feature is secondary weapons. There’s a Boomerang shaped like a large shuriken for example, that can be attached to enemies and causes damage over a stretch of time, then returns to Belmont to use again. The Boomerang can be charged up for a super attack. Also a big part of Mirror of Fate is platforming utilizing double-jumps and whip-swinging. Watching the gameplay and the “2.5 D” perspectives in combination with the traditional side-scrolling, what little was shown of Mirror of Fate, reminded me of a poor-man’s, PG version of God of War at least on an action and button-mashing level.
It’s an interesting evolution when you consider that Castlevania is one of the earliest side-scrollers in an environment full of dungeons and supernatural creatures. They’re obviously trying to compete with GoW and utilize the strengths of the 3DS hardware. Now, is this the game that will satisfy longtime fans of the franchise? Probably not purists heavily invested in the story, especially after seeing Belmont with the Combat Cross. But if it’s an upper level action game you seek for your 3DS, then look for Mirror of Fate this fall.
New Super Mario Brothers 2
The game play was demonstrated for the latest Mario game for the 3DS which will be available via download or retail at release. There are lots of new power-ups and returning ones including the racoon tail, so flying returns to SMB2. One really cool power -up is the golden fire flower which turns Mario into the goose that lays golden coins. Get a load of the E3 Trailer below.
Everything he shoots at becomes golden coins but your lives drop to one in this mode. The game can be played as a single campaign or in co-op but with two players you have the choice to play cooperatively or competitively. Co-op players who lag behind re-appear in a bubble until the faster player slows down just like in past games.
Paper Mario: Sticker Stars
Getting the most demo time was the latest Paper Mario title, Sticker Stars. Whereas SMB2 is all about coins, this game is all about grabbing stickers, solving puzzles with stickers, unlocking important parts of the game, sticker management, and converting real life items into stickers to be used in key parts of the game to move the story forward. One example shown was collecting an oscillating fan, taking it to a town where it can be converted into a sticker. Later in the demo, Mario comes across a windmill but there is no wind. Applying the sticker moves the blades of the windmill uncovering a door to enter through. There are battle screens, and lots of RPG elements but the player must be thinking in terms of stickers. Look for Sticker Stars this holiday season with a trailer in the eShop today.
Other Featured Titles
- Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (AKA a cuter, more cuddly Ghostbusters) will be out in the fall via retail and 3DS eshop.
- Scribblenauts returns to Nintendo and for the first time, on the 3DS with Scibblenaughts Unlimited (pictured above) and works with StreetPass to encourage exploration.
- Kingdom Hearts storms back on July 31 with Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (pictured below) and there are plenty of surprising Disney cameos including the cast of Tron Legacy (!). AR Cards and Circle Pad Pro will be supported. Look for a demo soon at the eShop.
- Like the Wii U, Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion will utilize the top and bottom screens. Players will get to encounter Disney characters, paint and draw in one screen and use it in the other.
Third Party Titles coming to the 3DS in 2012
- Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes – demo available now.
- Transformers Prime
- Rabbids Rumble
- Heroes of Ruin (Square Enix)
- Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2
- Pokedex 3D PRo
- It’s been a year since the Nintendo 3DS eShop opened and the average user of the eShop has bought an average of 4.7 games, and is forming a bridge between packaged games and downloads.
- 70% of 3DS owners used their 3DS to connect to the Internet.
- Threediots is a 3D web series that will debut on Nintendo Video. It’s… well, you can can watch it now. Not exactly the biggest selling point for 3D entertainment, but hey, at least they’re trying.
It wasn’t the press conference to shatter the earth, but then again, it’s been that kind of E3 for Nintendo in general. Even Nintendo of America COO and President, Reggie Fils-Aime didn’t appear to be convinced that it was GREAT presentation in an awkward exchange with Scott Moffett, VP of Sales and Marketing at the end.
There is definitely a feeling after all of the Nintendo presentations that “all hands were on deck” to make sure the Wii U was good to go, as far as the hardware is concerned. Game development though (outside of Ubisoft’s mighty efforts) for both the Wii U and 3DS were sorely lacking the big trailer or demo where you knew consoles were going to fly because of said game. Castlevania looked entertaining but traditionalists aren’t sold. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the golden goose that keeps laying eggs, and now they’re not even trying to hide that fact, and there’s still a lack of mature games to make serious gamers turn their heads.
What do you think about the game lineup for the Nintendo 3DS? Do you buy you games at the retail level or on downloads? Are you going to buy any of the games mentioned above? Share your thoughts below.