Yes, those are two previews up at the top. Why not? With a decaying console generation, dwindling publisher stocks, and game enthusiasts pining for the future, it seems like a perfect time for an E3 preview preview. And as the name implies, I will be making predictions for game features, release dates, and other surprises. Those playing at home can keep track of what is posted here today and compare it to reality in the coming months. But until then, join me as I roll out the non-slip floor mat in anticipation of the red carpet.
Level 1-1: Nintendo
Nintendo went into last year’s E3 with momentum and the element of surprise in their favor, only to squander it with lackluster ports and Nintendo Land. This year, The Big N will have to deliver what fans of their brand have come to expect—Mario, Zelda, the usual suspects. We were treated recently to a Nintendo Direct announcement featuring progress reports for such projects in the hope of proving that Wii-U is more than a just a couple of misspelled pronouns. So what will we get?
Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
It looks like they are giving it a complete graphics overhaul instead of simply an HD facelift. The new look has only been available in screenshots, but much like its original release, it’s already drawing ire. Will they botch this again? Probably not, as Nintendo is the master of selling you the same game multiple times and the Ocarina of Time 3DS re-release was handled with reverence. The designers of Wind Waker have stated that there were entire dungeons cut from the final product. It would be a great move if Nintendo released those “Lost Dungeons” as part of the HD remake, if not initially then perhaps as DLC. Unfortunately, the assets for these levels may not exist in a completed state and would require developers to recall their motivation while making a dungeon from 2003. The Wind Waker HD remake has been announced for fall in North America. I would suspect a mid-October release only because it would be lost with actual new games flooding the highly contested November space. Oh, and nothing regarding the next Wii-U Zelda installment will be shown.
We also caught a glimpse of a game from the “Xeno” franchise from Monolith Soft. Why they wouldn’t simply come out and call it Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is interesting. The trailer ends with a not-so-subtle red “X” scrawled across the screen. This may signal a spin-off title with very little to do with the Xenoblade cast and storyline, which leads me to the online factor. I know the internet scares the shit out of Nintendo, but it’s a necessary progression if they want to wrap up all the cash flow a Monster Hunter-like game can generate. It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged MMO, but the game must be online and allow for parties to form in a lobby. This “Xeno” game has also been in development since 2010! Three years is a long time, especially with the financial backing of Nintendo, to fill a genre gap that the company needs to address. Look for it in November.
Super Smash Bros. Race War
Okay, so it probably won’t escalate into a race war, but the next Smash Bros. will be a huge battle that will include a small militia of Namco Bandai characters. Look for Pac-Man, Klonoa, Dig-Dug, and (fingers crossed) Soul Caliber’s Mitsurugi to make the cut. The game will also have integration with a 3DS counterpart (character customization a la Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii-U Edition?).There has been zero news of the Tekken X Street Fighter game that was supposed to be developed in tandem with Capcom’s Street Fighter X Tekken. The silence only bolsters the likelihood of Namco Bandai developers focusing their attention to Smash Bros. for a late-November 2013 release.
And the rest…
Yoshi’s Yarn- Summer 2013
A real Mario game-Summer 2014
The Wonderful 101-Spring 2013
Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei-Winter 2014
Mario Kart 9-Fall 2014
Bayonetta 2-Fall 2014
COMING UP NEXT TIME: Sony’s Playstation 4 and the Vita Make Out!