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Alex’s Take: Nintendo E3 2014

 With so many safe games being released by Nintendo recently and their company teetering on the Wii U with the 3DS barely keeping them afloat, there must have been a lot of pressure for Nintendo. This was the event I looked forward to the most. I’ve always enjoyed their characters and most of their games, even though I’ll admit that they’ve made some mistakes recently. Nintendo has a chance to make a comeback, but they’ve got to be careful with their games. Super Smash Bros. 4 looks like it will be Nintendo’s saving grace.

Nothing says childhood like putting toys together in a battle arena; that’s exactly what Smash Bros. is all about. Recently, Nintendo leaked that they are releasing toys with chips in their bases to be used in the game, much like Skylanders and Disney Infinity. These toys were shown in a hilarious video as Miyamoto pulls out a sweet-looking Mario figure to help him in his fight. It was also said that four other games would also be compatible with the figures: Mario Kart 8, Mario Party 10, Captain Toad, and Yoshi’s Wooly World. These toys could be the edge Nintendo needs to come out on top, especially during this holiday season.

While I could say just how excited I am to play the new Zelda or Pokemon, I’m choosing to highlight one of the more interesting games coming soon. Because every game company needs a multiplayer shooter, Nintendo stepped up to the plate to reveal Splatoon. Splatoon, at a glance, looks like a child’s Team Fortress 2; however, the more it was discussed, the more unique it revealed itself to be. In the game, players play as squid people who use ink guns to cover a map with their color. The team with the highest percentage of the map covered wins. Things get even more complex as players can transform into squids to move quicker on their color or hide from enemies beneath their ink. The ink can also be used to defend, as members of the opposite team can cut off a route, slowing down enemies tremendously. The sheer strategy and whimsy of Splatoon is staggering. I’ve never been more excited about something brand new from Nintendo. Now if only Nintendo would release a PC client so I can continue yelling obscenities at cartoons on my monitor.

Even though Splatoon was the most unique game, several of Nintendo’s characters received new games in unique ways. Yoshi’s Wooly World depicts the little green dinosaur as a crochet plush. The game comes from the same people behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but this time everything seems more round and tangible. Speaking of Kirby, a sequel to Kirby: Canvas Curse will be released as Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. This game uses the path mechanic of the DS game, but this time the game is made out of clay. The effect is ridiculously cute. Even Mario received an interesting title, less in art direction and more in utility. Mario Maker allows players to create a custom Super Mario Bros. level, complete with the original sprites and music. However, it’s more than just that. With a touch of a button the graphics change to the New Super Mario Bros. Wii U game style. Mario hackers make enough evil levels as it is. Imagine the chaos they could spread with this.

Overall, Nintendo’s press event was fun and showed off the innovation they’re famous for. Choosing to take a more direct route, they showed off their games in a digital broadcast without an audience. Their videos were expertly designed and showed the attention to detail that Nintendo has. Each game was shown in its best light and was discussed by the people behind them with super relevant backgrounds. Unfortunately, this expert delivery was lost as soon as the Nintendo Treehouse began after the broadcast.

There’s nothing more painful than watching television hosts struggle on a live show. The two people chosen for the event were awkward and seemed really uncomfortable. It was a terrible contrast to the previous video mastery. There were a few funny moments though, especially when they started discussing Mario Party 10. Apparently, the player with the Wii U Gamepad will be able to play as Bowser and be a big jerk to the other players. The male host responded with, “I’m sure I’ll be at the receiving end of your jerkiness.” Honestly, I tuned out when they said that the Treehouse was going to last over 20 hours. I couldn’t take it anymore, but even with that blunder, Nintendo’s event was still exciting and a blast to watch.

Nintendo brought a level of wonder and humor to E3 that other developers didn’t have. Robot Chicken actually helped open the digital event, in which Nintendo made fun of themselves. I thought I was going to die of laughter when the man yelled, “Come on Nintendo! Where’s Mother 3?” Almost every gamer has grown up alongside Mario and his crew, making him special and relatable. The developers of these games have fun and enjoy their jobs. They want to bring that fun and joy to their audience, even if that means making Yoshi out of  yarn or Kirby out of clay. No other video games capture this magic, which is why gamers of all ages love Nintendo.