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Feature: Catch Up With Ten of the Nintendo Treehouse E3 Demonstrations

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Essential viewing

Nintendo's multi-faceted approach to E3 this year did much to earn praise, as it ignored convention and produced a series of videos and events that played up to its strengths. The Digital Event was stylish, the Super Smash Bros. Invitational was raucous fun, and there were two roundtable events that generated plenty of buzz. That said, this writer's personal highlight (all 20 hours plus of it) was the Nintendo Treehouse rolling broadcast.

Considering the number of hours and range of games put into the three days of E3, it was an impressive logistical achievement from the Nintendo of America team. We'd seen some members of the previously-secretive department in Nintendo Direct videos, but this broadcast brought a human-touch to E3 and also demonstrated just why the localisation work of these professionals is so highly regarded. They simply love games and what Nintendo stands for, and that shone through. With guest appearances from multiple developers, from luminaries such as Shigeru Miyamoto to download developers such as KnapNok Games and Yacht Club Games, there was plenty to enjoy.

Of course, not everyone could sit watching the broadcast for entire days at a time, and Nintendo has kindly uploaded various demonstrations and segments for viewers to enjoy. You can check all of them out — organised under their particular games — below. If more are released in the coming days we'll provide a follow-up summary.



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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

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Yoshi's Woolly World

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Xenoblade Chronicles X

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Hyrule Warriors

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Mario Maker

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Project Giant Robot & Project Guard

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Code Name: S.T.E.A.M

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Fantasy Life

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From the web

User Comments (46)



sinalefa said:

Thank you very much, Thomas! If I lived in the UK, I would have a Happy Meal sent your way.

I missed most of this for being at work, but the bits I saw were enjoyable. I wish Nintendo keeps doing this from now on, and I would not mind if Sony or MS end up copying it. In the end it is more coverage for us gamers and consumers to base our purchasing decisions.



LavaTwilight said:

I love in Splatoon how both sides are the good guys, and the one ur up against are always the bad guys. Kinda blurs the lines between who is good and who is bad. There's no Freedom Fighters V Terrorists, just one side against the other.



6ch6ris6 said:

another treehouse presentation of fantasy life:



Zyph said:

I like how paul still speaks japanese in the livestream just so he can support demoing the game with sakai and yamagami even though he can speak english pretty well.



Theophilos_ said:

Splatoon looks like tons of fun, especially if they include local multiplayer. This is the first time I've seen the gameplay footage of STEAM, and I'm actually really impressed. It didn't sound that exciting to me, but I think I may actually give it a try. Kind of reminds me of Valkyria Chronicles.



zipmon said:

Awesome! I was bummed I missed the Fantasy Life demo on stage, haffi catch it up now!



smikey said:

Thanks for these watched it for hours on day but Had complete internet failure on thursday morning & only got it back late this afternoon missed so much of this & lots of online gaming too.



nintendawesome said:

@jariw I've seen that but I want Nintendo to upload it so I can see it in HD. I'm really surprised that they haven't uploaded it yet, considering that they have already started uploading Day 2 footage of Nintendo Treehouse.



AshFoxX said:

The more I see Splatoon, the more I really want to play it, but I seldom ever play online unless it's MK8. Difference is I can still play MK8 with my friends and family, so local play is a big selling point for me.

Only games I play that have no local multiplayer are Zelda.



Psyclone said:

@Melistrius thanks for the links, I watched them and dam they look good, the gameplay is fun and Devil's Third online gameplay has me excited!! I will be getting both games for sure... I just wish we could have hd videos. If anybody knows of them post the links, thanks!



PinkSpider said:

Am I the only one who doesnt like the art style of Xenoblade, the graphics look awful, worse than the original game that was announced



MajinSoul said:

@PinkSpider I think it looks the same. It's just that the faces, like in the original, look terrible. The rest of the game looks fine / good to me



antipop621 said:

These videos were very effective. I'm sold on STEAM and pretty much everything here except Splatoon.



NintyMan said:

The Treehouse demo of Hyrule Warriors really helped me become interested in the game. This live-stream and these videos were great ideas!



Pahvi said:

I'm looking at the XCX video now... I wonder if one of the two races at start are Vogons.



Kirk said:

Here's one thing about Splatoon that actually has me personally interested in discovering more...

How are they doing [calculating or drawing] the actual splats?

The reason I ask is because in most games you'd usually be using decals for bullet holes, the splats are basically the equivalent in bullet holes is this game, and in most normal cases (basically all of them) you either only get to see those decals for a short time before they disappear (usually fading out gradually) or there's only a finite amount of them that the developers draw onto the screen at any one time before the older ones start to disappear.

In this game it appears you can literally just plaster the entire area with endless splats and I can't see if they are going away at all.

At a quick glance it's actually a pretty impressive feat. I certainly don't know how they're doing it, unless consoles are just so powerful these days that they can basically draw as many splats as they want without it taking a toll on the games performance.

Look, Splatoon actually looks like a really fun shooter game, probably more fun than 99% of the big AAA shooters on the other consoles, but I just know the visual style and character designs they have gone for here has already eliminated the possibility that 99% of those other consoles owners are going to be interested in this game.

I just think it wouldn't harm Nintendo to make great games like this but also make them look just a little bit more like the type of games that all the core Xbox and Playstation gamers might actually think twice about picking up a Wii U just to play them. No, I don't mean dull, monochromatic, dark, gritty and "realistic" looking games when I say this. I just mean less like a stupid Nickelodeon cartoon that usually only appeals to 5 years olds.

I'm sure Nintendo could find a balance where the game still looks visually appealing to casuals and families but also gets the type of gamers that are buying all those big AAA titles on Xbox One and Playstation to take them seriously or at least a little more so than currently. I mean even games Super Mario 3D World, Yoshi's Wooly World and Zelda Wii U have a more 'universally appealing' look/style than this game imo, including the character designs, and those games certainly ain't dull and boring looking or whatever. At the very least don't make your game's art style and character designs basically the furthest thing possible from what most gamers want these days.

Honestly; I do actually want the best for Nintendo and I just think it sometimes creates it's own issues (barriers that stop "core" gamers from having any interest in certain games or services or whatever) where it really could have pretty easily avoided them or at least significantly reduced them.



MrMario02 said:

I would've liked the Cutscenes in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. If they were more like the ones from infamous.



Theober555 said:

Maybe once a splat has been covered by a different coloured splat the console just replaces them so that it only has to show the top layer of ink?



Kirk said:


Yeah, I'm sure it does that at the very least but there's still a whole map of totally random looking splattage going on. It seems pretty impressive from a technical perspective although ultimately I don't have a clue how they are doing it so it may not be as big a deal as I think. I just like that kind of stuff. It's like I wish someone would make a modern fps game where all the dead bodies actually stayed around rather than always just disappearing almost immediately. Even if it's not all the bodies in all their entirety for the entire game or whatever. I like the little details and touches that make a game world seem more immersive and satisfying. Having a whole map full of splats that actually appear to stay there the whole round is one of those "little" things I can certainly appreciate.

Edit: Also, as you demonstrated in the example below; these kinds of things can go beyond just being nice purely superficial visual touches too.



Theober555 said:

Yeah I see what you mean. In some games they could use details like that as new mechanics like being able to hide and blend in with dead bodies to take out unsuspecting players



Kirk said:


That would be cool; like you could go prone and if you do so next to lots of dead bodies it would look like you were just another dead body lying on the ground.

Potentially great strategy in a competitive fps game for camping and taking out some dudes



eaglebob345 said:

@sinalefa If Sony and Microsoft did do the same I think the big gaming press sites wouldn't be pleased, not unless they buy exclusivity to it.



Kirk said:

Fantasy Life on 3DS looks pretty sweet. This is a game I didn't pick up on till I watched the Treehouse Live footage. The 3DS really has a great library of compelling games at this point.

You know; a lot of the games at Nintendo's E3 do actually look like very solid titles. It's actually ironic or whatever that Miyamoto's games genuinely looked like some of the most throwaway games at Nintendo's E3 imo



sinalefa said:


I remember Tom Hall did that in the original Rise of the Triad, but it was for NPCs only. The "sleeping" guards had no blood on their clothes like the corpses, so it was actually better to leave the gore turned on so you could know who was playing dead.



sinalefa said:


When I mentioned that at Push Square, I was told that Sony did make Twitch interviews with developers, but they barely showed new footage. And Naughty Dog was nowhere to be seen there.



Kirk said:


Yeah, most of the old fps games that use sprites for the enemies kept dead bodies of fallen enemies lying around indefinitely which was a nice touch. It was even just good for getting a quick idea of what areas you had visited previously and to see the carnage you had left in your wake. Doom 1/2 were especially good for this imo and even Quake did it to a degree which is ironic considering it was basically the first full 3D fps game and yet most modern fps games don't do it. They put all that effort into making these lovely detailed worlds but as soon as an enemy dies they fade away into nothing and it kind immediately undermines all the "realistic" visuals they've managed to squeeze into their world. I'd actually take slightly less detailed worlds but with enemies that lay around permanently once they were dead over really detailed worlds that are basically just superficial hollow mostly non-interactive but pretty shells a lot of the time.



noctowl said:

I keep hearing people say "sony and Microsoft will copy it next year"

Expect they've been doing it for years and years, back when G4 and tech tv was a thing.



eaglebob345 said:

@sinalefa They might not want to alienate the "me first" sites like ign gamespot, etc. It'll probably happen sooner or later. Just as how the age of digital media won't sit well with stores like Gamestop, the age of do-it-yourself journalism (through digital media) won't sit well with sites like gamespot. All o this is my assuption of course, but I am sure it will happen to some degree.

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