Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jun 212014
 

Did you think Nintendo’s role in this little overview of E3 was over? Of course not!

Microsoft
EA
Ubisoft
Sony
Nintendo
More From Nintendo
Conclusion

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney

If Nintendo hadn’t already won, this would have done it.
In fact, yes. Nintendo won twice this year.

I’ll be honest, even though E3 runs for three days, four if you count the first day of press conferences, for me it tends to fade away after the first two. Sure, after all the press conferences are finished, games are being shown on the floor and streamed for those of us at home, but it just isn’t as exciting as the initial rush of game announcements.

Nintendo held my attention until E3 was over.

But let’s go back to the second day we covered, when Nintendo held its digital event. It also announced some games that weren’t mentioned there, like a new Star Fox game for Wii U (along with a tower defense game and a robot fighting game that may or may not be somehow linked to Star Fox, maybe), a mature title called Devil’s Third, and Mario Party 10. I’d been feeling nostalgic for the Mario Party series ever since I watched GameInformer’s replay of Mario Party 2, my old favorite. Mario Party 10 looks great because it has a mode where the player with the GamePad gets to play as Bowser versus the other 4 players. On the other hand, I haven’t seen if the regular, classic gameplay mode lets the characters move individually, or if they’re all trapped moving together in a car. I don’t get the appeal of the car when they don’t have a common enemy.

Two games previously released only in Japan were also announced for localization. (No, not that game, the write-in/call-in campaign is still on for July 1.) One was Fantasy Life, which is an RPG (good) co-developed by 1-UP Studio (good) and Level-5 (awesome), with music by Nobuo Uematsu (YES YES YES).

I’ve had my eye on Fantasy Life ever since I first heard about it. Now that it’s being localized, I already pre-ordered it–though not as quickly as I preordered Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

This crossover, which I mentioned briefly in my spoiler-free review of Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, would have been at the top of my list for localization requests if not for three things:

  1. It was already confirmed for localization and released in Europe, although the North American version kept a vague release window of “early 2014.”
  2. I want Investigations 2 even more.
  3. The crossover’s localization was in Level-5’s hands, and I trust them more than I trust Capcom.

Anyway… this crossover between two of the greatest video game series ever is going to hit North American on August 29! Yeah! I know what I’ll be playing between bouts of grad school work!

(I’d like to take this opportunity to express my personal hope that Level-5’s love of sword fight scenes will lead to a sequel with a duel between a certain sword-wielding prosecutor and a certain sword-wielding, cloak-wearing, masked master of disguise.)

Ahem.

You know, it’s funny–some fans criticize Nintendo’s E3 show for focusing too much on the Wii U at E3, and not enough on the 3DS. I loved the Wii U selection, but so far I’ve preordered three 3DS games and no Wii U games. The 3DS came out of this E3 just fine…

Anyway, I spent the rest of June 10, 11, and 12 tuning into Nintendo Treehouse every now and then to see what they were streaming. This isn’t the first time Nintendo has done this–I know Nintendo Treehouse was around last E3, but I also remember tuning in and getting bored. Not so this year! While I didn’t watch every game, since I had things to do and they didn’t all interest me, I saw a lot of great stuff. For example, I watched some gameplay of Fantasy Life that confirmed my intent to buy it. I also caught a few snippets of Xenoblade Chronicles X, although not as much as I would have liked to see. I checked out a Bayonetta 2 battle, watch Zelda destroy enemies in Hyrule Warriors, and fell further in love with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

Don’t think Nintendo was done with game announcements, either. While there weren’t as many new games announced as an erroneous schedule led me to believe, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. was announced for the 3DS in a special un-streamed event. It’s a turn-based strategy game by Intelligent Systems, set in an alternate history (Abraham Lincoln vs. aliens) where the Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace (S.T.E.A.M.–they worked hard on that one) fights…uh… the alien menace. I’d be interested enough just for the sheer weirdness of that premise, but then they mentioned that the alien designs drew inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft. All right, count me in! This is much better than what people thought S.T.E.A.M. was going to be, a first-person shooter by Miyamoto. I’ll take this game over that any day!

I’m going out of order, but I also watched the Super Smash Bros. 4 tournament, which was fun, even if I had to take breaks to do work.

Really, all I can say is… keep it up, Nintendo! People are saying Nintendo should go back to a traditional stage show at E3, but if this is what a digital event can do, I say keep going. Nintendo came in swinging this year, with new IPs, tons of great games, and enough content to make sure I tuned in every day.

Even without a Majora’s Mask remake and the localization of Gyakuten Kenji 2, there was enough to satisfy me. In fact, there was so much, I probably forgot some games, so feel free to post in the comments with, “Why didn’t you talk about such-and-such,” and I’ll get back to you.


And so, E3 2014 came to an end. My final rankings? Nintendo was in the lead by a huge margin, followed by Sony, followed by a much-improved Microsoft, followed by Ubisoft, with poor EA bringing up the rear. I’ve pre-ordered three games and have a huge list of titles to wait for.

I’ll be trying the Super Smash Bros. series and rejoicing over Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright. My gaming backlog has no hope. This was a fantastic E3–not just for Nintendo, but for everyone (except EA and, for me, Ubisoft). I had a great time. What surprises will next year’s hold?

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  4 Responses to “E3 2014 Part 5: Nintendo Keeps It Alive”

  1. “On the other hand, I haven’t seen if the regular, classic gameplay mode lets the characters move individually, or if they’re all trapped moving together in a car. I don’t get the appeal of the car when they don’t have a common enemy.”

    The classic gameplay mode comes back. They just didn’t show it, but they said it’s there.

    They do have a common enemy: King Dad.

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