As you may have noticed over the past few days, we have been posting our impressions of games that were available to play at the recent EB Expo. We've also got some impressions for you of Nintendo's impressive booth itself.
Throughout the weekend, the line to get into the Nintendo booth was one of the longest. The line moved at a moderate pace, and anyone left waiting outside was regularly met with Nintendo staffers armed with dual 3DS belts, which allowed people to play some recently released software such as Kingdom Hearts and New Super Mario Bros. 2 while they were waiting. On Saturday morning, Nintendo decided to unleash Charles Martinet onto the masses, greeting all the Nintendo fans, talking in his trademark voice, signing posters and taking photos with as many people as he could.
Once inside the booth, we were met with a series of sectioned off areas, with the main walkway in a U shape. Each area showcased one or two different games. The first contained single player Nintendo Land experiences, where Takamaru's Ninja Castle and Donkey Kong's Crash Course were available for testing. The second section contained some multiplayer attractions, such as Luigi's Ghost Mansion, Animal Crossing: Sweet Day and The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest.
The third section was the home to New Super Mario Bros. U, while right at the back of the booth was an individual line for ZombiU. Unlike the monstrous queue at the Eurogamer Expo in the UK, this one was generally a short wait. Above the ZombiU building and up a set of stairs were a number of new and upcoming 3DS games, including Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Pokemon Dream Radar, Pokemon Black & White 2, Professor Layton & the Miracle Mask, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Resident Evil: Revelations and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance.
Opposite the ZombiU building was a small lounge room which housed Just Dance 4. The room had glass walls, allowing everyone to watch the people inside dancing up a storm. Past the ZombiU and Just Dance 4 rooms, Nintendo had upcoming third party titles Assassin's Creed III and Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition, which allowed people to see what kind of differences they can expect in multi-platform hits. The second to last booth housed Scribblenauts: Unlimited and the final booth contained the gorgeous-looking Rayman: Legends.
Overall, the layout of these different sections were a clever idea, and allowed people to go from point A to point B with minimal fuss. Each section had short to no waiting times to sample the various games on show, and was probably one of the most well set-up booths on show.
The staff of Nintendo were fantastic throughout. Nintendo Australia did an amazing job of ensuring each staffer knew all they needed to know about each individual game and how to use the GamePad to its fullest. Each staff member was very patient with everyone, especially some of the little children who had trouble typing words with Scribblenauts. ZombiU was also one of the hardest games to get a grasp of the controls of, but with some help from the staff on board, we managed to get hang of it pretty quickly.
Apart from the Wii U, the second main attraction of the booth was of course Charles Martinet himself. He played many games of New Super Mario Bros. U with fans and did multiple signings and photo opportunities every day. Even when his signing sessions were officially over, he took time to stop and take even more photos as well as sign more handhelds and pictures for anyone who just missed out on seeing him. It was a very heart-warming experience to witness, as Charles had made many people happy over the weekend - a credit to the company he has represented for almost two decades.
Overall, Nintendo held one of the best booths of the show. It's clear that the company wants people to understand the Wii U, and it seems that its strategy is to get the product into as many consumers' hands as possible. Nintendo Australia is clearly very passionate about its fanbase, as could be seen by the experience and staff alike. Now all that remains to be seen is if this enthusiasm and effort will pay off as stellar sales when launch day comes around.