E3 2011: Reader Questions
Posted by Corbie Dillard
Your E3 questions answered
Well the E3 2011 show is in the books and now we thought it might be a good time to sit down and answer some of your questions about what transpired at the show and what we can expect in the coming months as Nintendo gets set to launch their brand new Wii U console next year. So without further ado, let's get to it.
Have any games actually been confirmed for Wii U or is it all speculation at this point? (@Kainard)
Well there have been a few confirmed title for Wii U. Miyamoto confirmed that Pikmin 3 was coming to Wii U in the developer's roundtable and then Ubisoft confirmed their three titles, Killer Freaks from Outer Space, Ghost Recon Online, and Assassin's Creed, in their respective developer roundtable.
Did you get a chance to play Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2? If so, how was it? (@Hyper_Knuckles)
I was able to briefly play Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 at the Square-Enix booth and it was quite impressive. I'm a big fan of the original Joker release, but this one goes well beyond it in terms of visuals and content. It does have a similar look to the original release, but the added content and new storyline should be right up fan's alley. It should be a fantastic release when it hits the Nintendo DS.
Does Super Mario 3D have full 360 analog control? I'm curious because in the trailer, Mario was only moving in 8 directions. Also, do you have to hold a button down to run? If so, what are the controls like? (@pixelman)
To be honest, I just wasn't really looking at this aspect, but Super Mario 3D did have a very wide freedom of movement. And yes, there is a run button that can be used and in some cases must be used to reach certain platforms.
Was Kirby Wii anything like Crystal Shards or New Super Mario Bros. Wii for that matter? (@Sylverstone)
It was more like New Super Mario Bros. Wii than Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards as the game is a 2D platformer through and through. It's very reminiscent of the early Kirby releases, even sharing many of the same graphical touches from the 8 and 16-bit titles. It also features some amazing four-player action, not to mention some screen-filling special moves.
Has Nintendo said anything about the new online functionality of the Wii U? (@EliPro)
About the only thing said from E3 was that Nintendo definitely wants to make online play an integral part of the Wii U console. I even spoke to a handful of developers who insisted that online play would be far more focused on this time around.
What were your initial impressions/thoughts on the Wii U, and now that you got your hands on it, what do you think about it now? (@Malkeor)
I think the Wii U has a lot of technology built into it that could make for some amazing video game experiences. While a part of me was hoping Nintendo would leave behind the motion controls and return to a more traditional console with some serious horsepower under the hood, I am excited to see what developers will do with this new system. I just hope we don't see another barrage of half-hearted motion controls being tacked on for show.
How does the on ground stages in Kid Icarus feel? Also, how is the multiplayer? (@turtlelink)
I didn't get to try out multiplayer as the lines were a bit too long, but I did watch it being played and the people experiencing it seemed to really enjoy it. The ground stages are very well designed and laid out, but when you go from one of the insanely intense flying levels back to the ground, it does bring down the intensity level quite a bit. I'll admit, I caught myself on more than one occasion just trying to get through the ground sections in order to get back into the air.
Assuming Mario Kart was playable, how was the control in the underwater stages? Did the 3D add anything to the game? (@Radixxs)
The controls in the underwater stages are exactly as they are on land, something that surprised me a bit. Other than the propellor popping out of the back of your kart, there's not much difference at all. It's obvious that the underwater sections are more for show than gameplay variety. The 3D effect does add a very nice realism to the tracks, which makes navigating turns and maneuvering around other racers much easier and more intuitive.
What was your impressions for BIT.TRIP SAGA? I haven't really seen anything on that. How light is the Wii U controller? (@bittripfan)
BIT.TRIP SAGA was a blast to play and looks amazing on the 3D screen of the 3DS system. I was initially worried that the 3D effect might make it more difficult to follow the action taking place, but it turned out to be just the opposite as the 3D makes it far easier to differentiate what's moving in the backgrounds and what you're having to do in the foregrounds. This is definitely a game to keep your eyes on.
As for the Wii U controller, considering its rather large size, it was very lightweight and manageable. It helps that it's very well designed and comfortable in your hands. In all honesty, it might look like a tablet, but it still feels like a game controller.
Do you think the tech demos showed off all of the features of the Wii U controller well? Also what seems like a better remake: The legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D or StarFox 64 3D? (@TheGameMonkey28)
I think they did an adequate job of showing some of the gameplay possibilities of the Wii U system, but not nearly as well as actual games would have. It didn't help that they'd obviously toned down the difficulty of the mini-games heavily in order to make them easier to complete for people of all skills levels. I guess the bottom line is that I'm not going to be satisfied until I get a chance to go toe to toe with an actual first-party Nintendo franchise on the system.
And the answer to your second question doesn't even require any thought. In fact it's not even in the vicinity of close. Zelda: Ocarina of Time is by far and away the much better remake. StarFox 64 3D is a solid remake, but they really did a fantastic job of taking what was already one of the greatest video games ever made and making it even better.
What were the highlights for you at E3, be it games or systems? (@Kainard)
The Playstation Vita was #1 on my list and absolutely blew me away. Some of the games on the system looked even better than their Playstation 3 counterparts and the new controls offer a nearly limitless set of possibilities. Next up would have to be Nintendo's first-party 3DS lineup of games. Any worries I had about the 3DS keeping my attention this holiday season were blown out of the water when I got my hands on these upcoming games.
Does the Wii U controller slip from your hands during play - it seems very big? (@PunnyGuy)
Not at all, in fact it's very comfortable to hold with that lip on the back. And as I said above, given its lightweight feel, there should be no problems using the controller, even for extended playing sessions.
What is Super Mario 3D like? Are the levels short or long? And how does the 3D work? Wait one more - did you see any new power-ups or just some old ones brought back to life? (@Square-enixFan)
Super Mario 3D is one of the most amazing Super Mario games I've seen in the last decade. The 3D provides a lot of depth to the levels and surroundings and there are tons of platforming challenges strung throughout the game to keep even the most seasoned platformer fan happy. While I didn't see any brand new power-ups, there are a few classic power-ups making a return that were quite nice to see.
If you had a hands on experience with the Wii U controller (which you did), how does the touchscreen feel compared to the 3DS screen? (@Aviator)
The touchscreen feels exactly like the one found on the DS and 3DS systems. It's not hard glass like that of the iPad, but rather the softer feel of Nintendo's handheld systems.
Does Super Mario 3DS include a Super Guide mode for challenging areas like Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Donkey Kong Country Returns had? (@nlifegamer)
If there is one, it was nowhere to be found in the demos we played at E3. The demo was basically just a couple of levels, but I didn't find the game to be overly difficult, so perhaps there won't be a need for a guide anyway.
Is the Wii U something that you would want to come back to? If yes, what would make you want to come back to it? (@TLink9)
I have no doubt that I'll find games that I'll enjoy on the Wii U system and generally if I enjoy one enough, I'll come back to it eventually. I'd even play some of these demos they had running if they'd give them a bit more depth and challenge, but in their E3 show floor form, they provided little challenge and about as much fun.
Hows does the Wii U Circle Pads feel compared to traditional analog sticks? Does having them above the buttons feel comfortable? (@Killamancer)
While I can make due with the Circle Pad on the 3DS as it's a necessary evil given the lack of space on the 3DS system, but I'm not sure I'm going to like them on a console controller. I'd much prefer a traditional analog stick for console gaming, but possibly in time I'll get used to them on the Wii U controller. And the Circle Pad is far enough above the buttons to not be a problem.
Do you think that the graphical capabilities of the Wii U will be able to match whatever new system that Sony or Microsoft will come out with? I don't wanna sound like a graphics whore, but that's what's been on my mind. (@briunj04)
That's a tough question since we don't know anything about what Sony and Microsoft have coming next. You can tell that the Wii U has some graphics muscle, but I'd bet that Sony and Microsoft will be trying to blow the Wii U out of the water when it comes time to release their next consoles. Once we get to see some actual Nintendo titles running on the Wii U, we'll have a better idea of where it stands from a graphics standpoint.
What are your opinions on The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword? Is it hard? (@thesignpainter)
To be honest with you, I was extremely impressed with the level of polish that Skyward Sword showed at this year's show. They've obviously put in the extra time to get it just right and it looked and played great. From what I played, it didn't seem any more difficult than any of the past Zelda releases and the controls were very easy to pick up quickly. It should be an amazing addition to the Wii library.
Was Sonic Generations for 3DS playable? If so, will there be any impressions? (@turtlelink)
Yes, Sonic Generations on 3DS was playable. They had three levels you could play, one of which was a boss fight. They looked, sounded, and played great. But that being said, when I went from playing the 3DS version to the Xbox 360 release, it sure made the 3DS game pale in comparison, maybe a bit more than I would have liked. At least the 3D effect on the 3DS gave it a very cool sense of depth and distance. I wish they would have had more of it to play, to be honest.
My questions are about your experience with the Wii U controller. What impressed you the most about the controller and was there anything that disappointed you about it? Could you give us a break down of the Wii U tech demos that you played? What did you like about them and what you didn't like? (@WolfRamHeart)
The Wii U controller is quite impressive and comfortable, with my favorite part being the touchscreen. I think the addition of a screen, not to mention the touchscreen controls it brings with it, should provide some really cool gameplay ideas for developers willing to take the time to be creative with them.
The only demo I actually played was the Shield Pose and it was fun, albeit overly easy to complete. I think I liked it the most because it made good use of the controller screen. I would like to see them crank up the difficulty and include this demo with the system, or at least package them together with new mini-games into one package.
Out of all of the new games you played, which one(s) were your favorite(s)? (@Birdman13)
Luigi's Mansion 2 was by far the best game I played on a Nintendo system. The developers are doing some great things with the gameplay system and controls and it made for a very enjoyable gaming experience. I was also extremely impressed with some of the indie offerings like Mutant Mudds from Renegade Kid, Cave Story 3D from Nicalis, and BIT.TRIP SAGA from Gaijin Games. Each one of them was insanely fun and were the games I couldn't stop thinking about on my way home from Los Angeles. It's going to be a great holiday season for 3DS.
Cave Story 3D looked amazing in just the screenshots, but in your own actual words, would you say that it completely obliterates the DSiware and Wiiware versions? (@Tails)
The new visuals and music do put Cave Story 3D a long way ahead of the DSiWare and WiiWare releases, but from a gameplay standpoint, the game feels very much the same. Tyrone promised a host of surprises, so at least we know there will be some new stuff included, which is always welcome news. I think Cave Story fans are going to absolutely fall in love with this new version of the game. Truth be told, I didn't want to put it down.
We'd like to thank all of those who posted questions and also congratulate @WolfRamHeart as his name was drawn as the winner of the E3 goodies. We also hope you all enjoyed our Nintendo Life E3 coverage this year and thank you for being a part of it with us.