I know this is going up a little bit late, but I’d like to share some of my impressions about Nintendo’s 3DS Showcase at this year’s E3 event in Los Angeles. A little bit of time has passed, and now that the dust has started to settle, it is a perfect time to take a moment to reflect on some of the announcements that stood out the most to me. These are just some very quick impressions and comments, but feel free to leave some feedback, and tell me what you think about the following 3DS games from E3 2012:
- Fire Emblem: Awakening
The 3DS installment of the popular strategy-RPG franchise is finally coming to America; unfortunately Nintendo waited until after E3 to say anything about it. There were gamers who wanted to see “new” 3DS games that Nintendo promised at this year’s E3, and Fire Emblem: Awakening would have been really nice to see. For now, I’m still in the dark about most of the details regarding the game – all I can see is that the graphics look fantastic, and should really shine with the 3D effects. Will we see multiplayer features or StreetPass functions?
- Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Nintendo revealed some details about the sequel to the Gamecube cult classic, Luigi’s Mansion – first, the official subtitle, “Dark Moon”. There was some gameplay footage shown during the 3DS Showcase, all of which looked amazing – I was particularly intrigued to hear that Luigi’s ghost-hunting exploits will now include multiple mansions, with more of a mission-based game design. I can’t wait to see how this one uses the 3DS to give Luigi the proper game he’s always deserved – Nintendo confirmed a holiday 2012 release during its E3 press conference.
- Scribblenauts Unlimited
I was never the biggest Scribblenauts fan, but I thought the concept was interesting – Super Scribblenauts improved on the ideas, and now it appears that Scribblenauts Ultimate has taken Max’s adventure and transformed it into something even bigger. It will be interesting to see if the 3DS and Wii U versions of Scribblenauts Ultimate have any sort of special connectivity – the console version was also announced for simultaneous release later this year.
- Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion
I never played the original Epic Mickey, or even Castle of Illusion, the Sega Genesis game that this 3DS title is based on. Regardless, Nintendo brought out Warren Spector during the 3DS Showcase, and that was a big deal: the legendary gaming icon broke down a lot of details about the 2D side-scroller, explaining how it sets itself apart from Epic Mickey 2: Power of Two. Both Power of Illusion and Power of Two are set for a November launch.
- Paper Mario: Sticker Star
If there is one game that looks like it should use the 3D effects of the handheld very well, it’s the forthcoming installment of Paper Mario – which was officially dubbed “Sticker Star” during Nintendo’s E3 press conference. The sticker concept was later explained during the 3DS Showcase. Basically, players acquire a variety of stickers throughout the game; some can be used for special attacks in battle, and some can be used to trigger events that transform the environments, which look like cardboard cut-outs. Paper Mario: Sticker Star was also confirmed for a holiday 2012 release, though Nintendo provided no further specifics.
- Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance is very close to its North American release date (July 31), but seeing the trailer at E3 made the wait even more excruciating. There wasn’t much information that you would consider “new”, but nonetheless this Square-Enix action/RPG will inevitably go down as one of the biggest 3DS releases in 2012.
- New Super Mario Bros. 2
Before E3, I really didn’t care much about New Super Mario Bros. 2 – I had already accepted that I will probably end up buying it, but only because it felt more like an obligation, and because Mario games so rarely disappoint. Still, there was something missing, and I wanted to know more about the game. After the 3DS Showcase, things changed: Nintendo detailed the new features of the upcoming side-scroller, including the incredibly competitive Coin Rush mode (compatible with StreetPass!) and the co-op features (local only, but hopefully we’ll see Download Play). There was a trailer released on eShop after the E3 Showcase, and it gave me a better glimpse of the game – the graphics look nice, and I’m suddenly a lot more excited for the August 19 release. The only question that remains – should I purchase a retail copy, or download the game on the eShop?
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate
If there is any third-party franchise that has consistently impressed on Nintendo handhelds, it is Castlevania. Konami’s classic series enjoyed some great installments on the Game Boy Advance and the original DS; it was only a matter of time before the first 3DS entry was revealed. This actually happened just a few days before E3, but Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, the sequel to 2010’s Lords of Shadow, was formally announced and thoroughly demoed during the 3DS Showcase. I was thrilled to see some gameplay footage; the combination of 2D platforming and the 3D combat from Lords of Shadow looked like a great mix. I was impressed by the quality of the graphics, which use a cel-shading technique along with the art direction from its predecessor. I liked Lords of Shadow quite a bit, and though I’d still like to see a “traditional” Castlevania at some point, I ended up being more excited about this one than any of the first-party 3DS games that were featured during the Showcase.
I will be putting up more substantial posts about all of these games soon, so check 3DStination over the weekend for more details and in-depth analysis as well as opinions about these upcoming Nintendo 3DS games.