E3 2014: Nintendo shows Amiibo, Smash, Xenoblade

June 10, 2014


Nintendo capped off the big pre-E3 briefings with its “digital event,” revealing its Amiibo NFC figures, sharing new Zelda and Smash Bros. information and showing a lot of trailers for in-development Wii U games.

The Mii Fighter was revealed as a new Smash Bros. character, with a trailer showing off Reggie and Iwata using different movesets. You can make Miis into Brawlers, Swordfighters and Gunners, with each having different strengths and weaknesses, and special moves are chosen from a set of options. Also revealed for the new games’ roster: Palutena, the Kid Icarus goddess, with her staff and shield.

The 3DS version of the game will have a suite of modes, including minigames and a mode where one can bet in-game earnings on the outcome of a match. The character roster will remain the same between the two versions, including the newly-announced Miis. The 3DS game releases October 3, and the Wii U one will follow sometime this holiday.

Smash Bros. for Wii U will be the first title to use NFC technology through a series of long-rumored figures called Amiibo. Character data can be used to do things like saving stats and fighting styles, as well as other things in future Nintendo releases like Mario Party 10. Amiibo support will also be patched into Mario Kart 8.

The new entry in the Legend of Zelda series, coming in 2015, will have a renewed focus on open-world gameplay and discovery inspired by the original 2D games. Pathfinding and mystery will take precedence over linearity. A new overworld enemy that fires lasers was shown chasing Link across Hyrule Field.

Yoshi’s Wooly World, a spiritual sequel to Kirby’s Epic Yarn and previously known as “Yarn Yoshi,” is releasing in early 2015, and we got a closer look at the gameplay. The game uses knitted materials but retains the Yoshi egg-throwing mechanics in various ways. It also features a two-player cooperative mode, in which one player can make another Yoshi into an egg and throw them to complete tasks and reach new platforms.


Other news from the event:

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a spin-off of the popular minigame from Super Mario 3D World that focuses on the fixed-perspective puzzle platforming of the first game. It’s slated for a holiday release on Wii U.

Monolith’s follow-up to Xenoblade Chronicles, Simply called Xenoblade Chronicles X, was given a better look, with a story trailer setting up the game’s world and conflict. This mech-focused game follows the survivors of an intergalactic war.

During the IGN post-show, Tomonobu Itagaki joined the panel to announce that Devil’s Third, from his Valhalla Game Studios and in development for three years, will be a Wii U exclusive. It appears to be a hyper-violent third/first-person action title doused in Itagaki’s trademark style. A multiplayer trailer was shown, revealing character customization, map creation, silly minigames and team-based competition. The environments also appear to be partially destructible.

We also got our first look at what Shigeru Miyamoto has been working on: GamePad-focused Wii U experiences, including a new tilt-controlled Star Fox experience, “Project Giant Robot” and “Project Guard.” Not much else was shared about these projects.

In Splatoon, a new team-based arena battle IP from Nintendo based on paintball, the players are able to transform into squids and back to humans in the interests of offense and mobility. Players will work to spray paint to obtain more territory for their team. The game will release in 2015 for the Wii U.

Bayonetta 2 made an appearance, showing off some short combat segments, and Nintendo-themed costumes like Peach and Samus. The release will also include the first Bayonetta game as a bonus.

Hyrule Warriors was detailed in a new trailer. It showed off some of the game’s bosses, and a two-player mode that does not use split-screen. In addition to the previously-announced Impa, the roster will also include Zelda, Midna and Wolf Link. The game appears to fall in line with the core Dynasty Warriors titles with an emphasis on coming to the aid of your fellows in the midst of battle.

Mario Maker, a 2015 Wii U release, was shown, touting the game’s level editor. The game features both original Super Mario Bros. and modern Wii U visual styles, and the player can make changes to a level while it is being played.

A new Kirby: Canvas Curse was shown for Wii U, Kirby: Rainbow Curse, using the GamePad for control and a clay art style.

Announcements after the show included the localization of Fantasy Life, a 3DS title from Level-5 (out in October), as well as Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Wii U) and Mario Party 10 (Wii U). The company plans on making more announcements throughout the week, including a new showcase 3DS game on Wednesday night.

Lucas White and Chris Dominowski contributed to this report.