Thursday, 2 June 2011

Feature: My Predictions of Nintendo's E3 2011 Conference and More!

The big day is almost upon us. Yup, there's exactly one week to go until E3 2011 kicks off with the yearly games conference from Nintendo, and I and many others can't wait. On June 7th, the big N will reveal a ton of games just as they do every year, but also a brand new home console for the first time since they revealed the Wii (or Revolution as it was known back then). So, I'll undoubtedly be writing a massive heap of posts about the event, and to kick-start those posts, I'll begin with the same Feature I did this time last year. Welcome to the 2011 edition of My Predictions of Nintendo's E3 Conference. In this Feature, I'll be revealing what I think Nintendo will be announcing at the conference and discussing what we already know about - Super Mario 3DS and Project Cafe, Nintendo's next system. This event only comes around once a year, so it's going to be special to say the least.

Not everything's about Nintendo's conference though. Third parties will also be showing off their new games, and rumours have suggested some pretty exciting stuff. The possibility of a sequel to The World Ends With You has me extremely excited, and if that rumour ain't true then I won't be too pleased with the guy who tweeted about it. More on that later though, as I'll be writing about my predictions of what 3rd party developers and publishers are going to announce at this year's biggest gaming event. And before anyone asks, I won't be writing about Sony and Microsoft's announcements. While I love a bit of Playstation action, this is a Nintendo-only Blog. Let me just say that I reckon they'll probably announce their next consoles too. Anyway, let's begin the Feature with my thoughts on Nintendo's next home console! Hopefully I'll get some of this stuff right, but only time will tell...

Nintendo's Next Console
Ah, I remember this time last year when I wrote about my thoughts on the 3DS. Nintendo released a press statement some months earlier, saying that they were working on a 3D handheld console... And nothing else. That left me guessing what the system would be like. I mentioned rumours that the 3DS would be close to the PS3 and Xbox 360 in terms of graphical power, and to my utmost stupidity, I didn't believe it in the slightest. Now look where we are. We have an awesome new handheld packed with features, amazing graphics and 3D effects and a massive amount of upcoming games. How wrong I was when I wrote the 2010 edition of this post. Unfortunately, I now have to be wrong again, as Nintendo's got their next home console in the works. A month or so ago, rumours started popping up about a new Nintendo system called Project Cafe. A ton of rumours followed for the next few weeks, until Nintendo finally revealed that they are working on a new home console, and again, nothing else. What you are about to read will probably be wrong and make me sound stupid once again when Nintendo completely reveal Project Cafe, or the Wii 2, or the Wii HD, or the Nintendo Stream, or... Whatever you want to call it!

This mock-up suggests what the new console's controller could look like. I'm certainly not complaining!
One of the biggest rumours about the next Nintendo console is the controller. Apparently, it's going to have a touch screen built onto the pad that could most probably be used in a similar way to the Lite Controls in Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition. It's a genius idea, and Nintendo have said that they're trying to appeal more to the 'hardcore' market with their new system. I reckon the new console should be compatible with Wii Remote controls, and that they should still make games for that, but we'll have to see what happens. I personally think that, if this new touch screen controller is the real thing, then a master stroke has been pulled off on Nintendo's part. Having a regular pad like a PS3 or Xbox, but with Nintendo's charm and innovation should make the perfect controller. Still, this controller is just a rumour in the end. I'm fairly convinced though. A less forced rumour regarding the controller is that it will have a front-facing camera that "can be used for in-game images", according to the guy who spread this piece of speculation. It's another neat touch that would work well with games that respond to your movements, much like Microsoft's Kinect but way less expensive. Another rumour about the system is that it's going to be HD compatible. I honestly couldn't care less, but that would be nice. It's about time Nintendo stepped forward in graphics anyway, and if they're trying to appeal to gamers who consider themselves 'hardcore', then a high definition system is the way to go.

Now I'm going to go crazy with speculation. No rumours have suggested this, but I reckon that the controller for Nintendo's next system will be StreetPass compatible. If I get this piece of speculation right when Nintendo announces the thing at E3, I'd be genuinely amazed. Basically, you could fold the controller somehow if it was too big to fit in your pocket and take it around town in hopes of getting those glorious StreetPass hits. Alternatively, the new system could connect with your 3DS so you can transfer StreetPass data between the consoles. The more I think about this idea, the more I reckon Nintendo should do it. You can forget about the next home console being 3D though, as Reggie himself has confirmed that the console will not support 3D effects due to price issues, which is definitely a plus in my opinion. Having a 3D handheld is great and cheap, but the price of the 3DS pales in comparison to how much a flash 3D TV and a home console will cost. Nintendo's next home console sounds very promising. If the heavy rumours are true, we can expect a system that is "much more powerful than the PS3 and Xbox 360" that is directed more at the 'hardcore' gaming audience. Even though I'm against the whole hardcore versus casual debate, it'd be nice to not have a console that everyone thinks is for kids.

While it's pretty unbelievable, Nintendo might be porting Skyward Sword over to the next console. Again, more ridiculous rumours.
Now that my guessing games are over, let me suggest the sort of games that I want to see on the new system. Some rumours have suggested that Skyward Sword, which is due to be released this year for Wii, will be scrapped and ported over to the next system. To be completely honest, I don't believe this rumour at all. I'm not denying that Nintendo could port over Skyward Sword, but to completely scrap the Wii version would be ridiculous. Plus, if the next console is as massive a leap forward in graphical power as speculation suggests, porting the next Zelda game over would be completely stupid and wouldn't show of the system's amazing new visuals in the slightest. Just because Twilight Princess was released on the Wii, it doesn't mean the same thing will happen to Skyward Sword. One game that I'm not denying will be on the next console is Pikmin 3. Good old Pikmin 3, the elusive, extremely well-hidden game that has been confirmed since 2008. In the following years after announcement, Miyamoto has only said that the game still exists, and that we'll find out more about it soon. I reckon that the reason why the game has been kept under wraps is that it's on Nintendo's new, soon to be revealed console, possibly as a launch title. I guess we'll have to wait until E3 to find out. In terms of unannounced stuff, I'd love to see a new Metroid game for the new system, and maybe even an all new franchise from the big N. We'll find out in a few short days...

Super Mario 3DS
One game we do know that Nintendo will be announcing at their conference is the first main 3D Mario title on the 3DS. Revealed at a press conference a few months ago alongside four screenshots (check my post on that if you missed it) Super Mario 3DS has been highly anticipated by many gamers. When the keynote ended, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata confirmed a few reveal at this year's E3. And here we are, mere days away from Nintendo's hour and a half of glory. Super Mario 3D has been described as a mix of Super Mario 64 and the much more recent Super Mario Galaxy games. Judging from what we've seen of the game so far (just those screenshots, basically) Super Mario 3DS will involve stages from classic Mario games remade in polygonic 3D, and stereoscopic 3D for that matter. Think how Super Mario Galaxy 2 remade a stage from Super Mario 64 in Throwback Galaxy, only with levels from the original NES games being chucked in there. Aside from that, other screenshots showed what appeared to be completely new stages, and Mario in his 'mini' form, seen only in 2D Mario games previously. Another hint about the game is in the logo, seen above. Could the tail growing out of the 'O' in Mario be referencing the Tanooki Suit from Super Mario Bros. 3? If it is, then we might just be seeing it in 3D for the first time. Exciting stuff, no?

What can you spot in the game's four screenshots?
There's honestly not a lot to say about Super Mario 3DS, the only information we have at this moment in time is what I wrote in the last paragraph. So, I'm going to switch back into insane speculation mode again to see if I can bag some kudos if I guess some details right. One big idea I have about the game is the story, and don't think I'm taking the easy bus out of hard street here. We all know that the majority of main Mario games involve Princess Peach being kidnapped by the evil king koopa, Bowser. It's been a tradition since the original game was released on the NES in some way, shape or form, and I'm fairly certain that it will stay put in the 3DS game. My speculation however, is that this game will involve time travel. Let's just say that Bowser somehow gets his mitts on a time machine, kidnaps Peach and travels to an unknown year (somehow I reckon it'll be Bowser's Castle from the original game). Mario gains the ability to travel in time too, and decides to tail Bowser and rescue his fiancee. If that isn't wild speculation then I don't know what is. I guess we'll find out if I'm correct soon enough. Until then, let's move on to Nintendo's other announcements at the conference...

I'll make it short and simple: We NEED a new Smash Bros. game
Other First-Party Stuff
Now that I've got the main announcements that we actually know we'll be seeing out of the way, I'm going to give my suggestions of what I think Nintendo will reveal at this year's E3 in terms of unannounced first party games. So, what do I want to see revealed? Well, mainly a load of stuff for the new Nintendo console, as well as the 3DS. While I wouldn't mind some Wii and DS stuff, I'd love it if this E3 was strictly focusing on Nintendo's latest hardware. The game I want the most by far is a brand new Smash Bros. game. A single rumour has suggested that Nintendo will reveal the next game in the acclaimed smashing series (see what I did there?) at their conference this year, but you know, anyone could've wrote that. Still, it'd be absolutely incredible if Nintendo did reveal a new Smash Bros. game. All I ask of them is to include Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes as a playable character, but that will never happen (or will it?!). Okay, that's not all I want in a new Smash Bros. game. If they do announce it, then I'd prefer in on the new console, rather than the 3DS. While a handheld game would be great, wouldn't you rather have a massive big screen game with beautiful high definition graphics? That is, if Project Cafe actually is in HD...

I could go on forever about what I want to see in a new Smash Bros. game, but I'm gonna move on before that happens. It's hard to predict what Nintendo will actually reveal, since we've already got our Zelda and Mario fix. So, how about a new Metroid game? Retro Studios, the developers of the acclaimed Prime series, haven't ruled out the possibility of a fourth game. I personally would love that. If not, another game along the lines of Other M from Team Ninja would be nice too, but less likely. Speaking of Retro Studios, some rumours have suggested that they're working on another Donkey Kong Country game, this time for Nintendo's new console. I'm certainly not ruling out the possibility of that being true. I'll have to play through the original Donkey Kong Country Returns first though. Now, I mentioned that we've got our Mario and Zelda fix for this year's E3, but that doesn't mean Nintendo won't reveal new games in their two best series'. Of course, Skyward Sword is in very late stages of development at this moment in time, so the big N could reveal a new Zelda game for the 3DS, or possibly for their new home console. Either way, it would be awesome. In terms of Mario, I'm sure they'll announce a new 2D game for the 3DS. New Super Mario Bros. 3D's main attraction could be a level editor of some sorts if they do announce it, but again, that's mere speculation.

A new 3DS F-Zero game developed by Treasure would be quite frankly amazing.
Like I said, Nintendo have already got their main franchises sorted, so how about some retro revivals? A brand-new F-Zero game would rock my socks, as you probably would've gathered from my F-Zero GX review. Treasure Games would be the perfect developer to make a new game in the super-fast futuristic racing series, as they specialise in hardcore gaming gold. The game would look astonishing on the 3DS, too, what with the 3D effects blasting into your face at a thousand miles per hour. Aside from F-Zero, there's not much else I want in terms of revivals. What would be great though, is a brand-new franchise from Nintendo. Let's face it, it's been a while since their last big game that developed into a series, so something new would be particularly great. Maybe some form of shooter, or a MMO or something, as Nintendo haven't really touched on those genres that much. We'll just have to wait and see what first party games will be revealed in mere days...

If this miniscule rumour about a new The World Ends With You game is true, then I'll literally weep tears of joy!
Third-Party Games
And so, we move on to the subject of third-party games that will be revealed outside the conference. Konami actually held their press conference early yesterday, and revealed the admittedly crap-looking Frogger 3D, as well as a much more exciting trailer for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D. Had I finished this post earlier, I would've stuck a ton of MGS3 stuff on my list, but it seems my wishes have already come to fruition. Definitely expect a post on Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D soon. Anyway, let's move on to what hasn't been announced yet; Namely, a new The World Ends With You game. Yes, I'm kind of obsessed with The World Ends With You, and when I heard the probably untrue rumour about a new game being revealed at E3, I snapped like a bread stick. I know it was just one guy saying that he's "received confirmation that a new The World Ends With You game will be revealed a this year's E3", and it's probably not true, but that doesn't mean I can't speculate the possibility. The game would have to be on the 3DS, as it certainly won't work on home consoles whichever way you look at it. I'd love either a remake of the original, or a prequel/sequel featuring fully 3D graphics with a similar cel-shaded art style as the likes of Persona 3 and 4. Shove in new pin designs, fully-animated cutscenes and remastered music and you've potentially got one of the greatest handheld RPGs of all time, yet somehow even better. And while I'm on the topic of crazy Japanese role-players, we need the Playstation-exclusive Disgaea games ported over to the 3DS, too. Stuff like that aside, a new title in the Scribblenauts series would be great. There's not a whole lot to say other than I'd like to see it on 3DS with more words to use than ever. A Scribblenauts game with polygons would be great, but that would take practically ages to make. A new Castlevania game would be brilliant too, as well as a third No More Heroes game. I could literally babble on and on for ages about what third-party games I want to see on Nintendo consoles, but I think now would be a good time to wrap up this feature.

So, I hope you enjoyed this post! Happy E3 2011 to everyone who's watching, and hopefully some of my wild suggestions will come true in a few days time. You can definitely expect an overview of the conference and more over the next few weeks. Until next time...


Kezz said...

That made for an awesome read, Noodle. Great job. I'm also hoping for a new F-Zero and Smash Bros. :D

Noodle said...

Heheh, seems I got a few things right this year! Look forward to my 2-part E3 review, coming very soon!