Its a me, Rico! and here we are with day 2. If you couldn’t tell already I was at Nintendo’s booth for a good portion of the second day. My experience at Nintendo had me giddy as a child on Christmas morning and utterly disappointed when I realized that I didn’t get the presents I was asking for. Nintendo had some great games on display but they forgot the major franchises at home in Japan. I guess Nintendo is cool with showing up to a gun fight with a kitchen knife. That being said though I did play both of the new Mario titles, Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8. I can easily say that these are must have games for the Nintendo fan. Super Mario 3D World is pretty much what you’d expect, its an HD version of the excellent 3DS title with a much larger scale. For starters Nintendo has added 4 player co-op like New Super Mario Bros and that each character has unique abilities, for example Peach’s floaty jump is back. Another new addition is the cat suit that allows characters to attack enemies with a scratch attack and the ability to climb walls, flag pole included. Nintendo was only demonstrating the new cat suit and co-op functionality but I’m sure there will be other abilities and power ups. Mario Kart 8 was the other major Nintendo title on hand that I spent a decent amount of time with. The new addition besides the beautiful HD graphics was the ability for the carts to transform into anti-gravity karts and literally drive up the walls changing the dynamic of the courses and adding new more course options. It wasn’t ground breaking but when I was playing Mario Kart in HD I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face.
Unfortunately though some huge games were missing, no Pokemon XY or Smash Bros. which quite honestly both games should have been showing and playable. A big problem the Wii U has is a lack of games and Nintendo didn’t do much to comfort Wii U owners, Mario Kart and Smash Bros don’t even come out until next year. As we all pretty much know the Wii U has just become another Nintendo box and I guess that’s OK but it would be nice if they could get some other major titles and fast. Another highlight of hanging out in Nintendo’s booth was a random Conan O’Brian sighting and he was super effective, at creating crowds.
With Nintendo and the kids games out of the way it was time for some adult action. (I kid, I kid or do I?) Anyways, Square was kind of a let down as I couldn’t get into their demos because they were super busy and shit the bed with organizing their press appointments. Not to be totally disappointed though most of what they were showing was at PAX East or simply a trailer that everyone at home could see, so I don’t feel like I really missed anything. The real highlight of their booth was Saints Row IV and of course it was off the hook. Imagine GTA plus crazy and you’re still not even close, now you have super powers and a fricken dub step gun, nuff said.
After the disappointment of the Square booth, EA surprisingly came to my rescue or my money I’m not sure. EA has at least two new IP’s with Garden Warfare and one of my favorite games of the show Titanfall. I mentioned Garden Warfare the other day and I got to see another demo of what looks to be a garden fresh take on the shooter genre.
Titanfall is definitely one of my favorites from the show, behind closed doors they showed us an extended multiplayer match. Between this and Destiny next year will see some awesome new shooters that do more than the genre is currently. If this game was available at launch the Xbox One would have a killer app but unfortunately it isn’t going to be available until March 2014 and I have my doubts about that.
After I was done with EA I moved on to the Witcher 3 and got to see an extended behind the scenes demo. CD Projekt Red looks to deliver one of the largest and most dynamic open world RPG’s with the Witcher 3. Gone are the problematic boss battles from Witcher 2 in fact there are no bosses battles per say but giant monsters that can be randomly encountered in the world, or your quests. CD Projekt promises that there over 80 unique creatures in the world to hunt down and battle with their own strategies and abilities to make them very distinct. The dialogue system is also being reworked to add more character and life to the game. Another system added are dynamic side quests that can have world impacting repercussions that can come back to haunt you later depending on how you resolve them. All in all the Witcher 3 looks to be a wicked evolution to the franchise and will probably end up being next years best RPG from what I saw.
I also had a chance to check out the Nvidia Shield and Ouya but I’ll try to do a separate write up on those another time and with that we end day 2.
By Ricardo “Rico” Ferreira