E3, the games industry's largest conference, is due to start this week. We're expecting big announcements from all the console manufacturers, plus the major third parties (Activision, EA, Ubisoft, etc). Last year was awesome as the next-gen consoles were announced. But going into this year's gig, we haven't really had many next-gen exclusives, with most new titles still being released on the previous generation's hardware.
That of course is with the exception of Nintendo. The media narrative is that Nintendo have had an awful first year and are doomed to oblivion. I bought a Wii U at Christmas last year when there was an Amazon Lightning Deal. So far I've been really pleased with the console. It's primary use has been as a Netflix device, but now that I own Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8, that's going to change! I've also got Lego City Undercover and Zombi-U to play. The lineup is actually pretty strong compared to the other consoles. I'm hoping that sales will pick up now Mario Kart is out. The "Luigi Death Stare" meme seems to be doing wonders for their marketing too. I'm actually really pleased with how wonderful of a console the Wii U is. Nintendo Land and Wii Play U demonstrate some interesting mechanics using both the new gamepad and your standard Wii controller. I'm hoping that, with time, some of these ideas are fleshed into full games. The fidelity of the graphics are amazing, too, especially in Mario Kart.
I didn't buy into the Xbox or Playstation this generation and I don't intend to. Last year I invested in a gaming PC, which is still very much capable of handling whatever's thrown at it. So for this reason, I'll focus on the top 5 things that I want to see from the Nintendo side of thigns at this year's E3:
Nintendo's take on Minecraft
Sandbox games are all the rage at the moment, thanks to Minecraft. I'd love for a Nintendo take on this idea. Animal Crossing's out so I wouldn't expect to see a new release there, but potentially something to do with creating levels from the SNES Super Mario World? It's one of my all-time favourite games, and already heavily-modded on the 'net.
My foray into the Metroid universe started late, basically with Fusion (GameBoy Advance). I loved it, bought Zero Mission (a GameBoy remake of the original) and then Prime on the Gamecube, which is probably my highlight of the series. I couldn't really get into its two sequels and eventually got rid of them. My Wii U has a Virtual Console version of Super Metroid (SNES) waiting to be played, once I have some free time.
It would be fantastic to see more Metroid games, either 3DS or Wii U - I don't care!
Pets for your Mii
Seriously, Nintendo, just do it. You can have this idea for free. Providing you don't call them 'pii's, because that will be stupid.
Majora's Mask 3D
Ocarina of Time is one of my favourite games of all time. Seriously, it's that good. But I always liked its brother, Majora's Mask, more. It's just so dark and it's soundtrack is... haunting. I have it for the GameCube as part of the Master Collection disc that came with the Wind Waker. Incidentally I also have the Wind Waker HD remake and A Link to the Past sitting on my Wii U waiting to be played. If they announced Majora's Mask on the 3DS it would be an instant purchase!
I'm going to have to thank my friend Will for pitching this idea, but OH GOD YES. Hyrule Online, Nintendo's MMORPG. Shut up and take my money, my life, take everything. This would ruin me and I'd enjoy every minute of it.
I expect the hit to miss ratio here to be pretty poor. In fact, 0 out of 5. Nintendo will most likely announce GameCube games on the Virtual Console and lead with Super Smash Brothers. Oh well, only a few more days to go!