"I have had the privilege over the past 48 hours to witness history in the making at the “(Pre E3) Nintendo Media Event” here in Seattle, WA. All of the information I have to share with you is under embargo, but as the true fans and the true gamers, I believe you are entitled to it. As a regular lurker on these forums I know what this means to all of you, and I decided early yesterday to disseminate this information to those that deserved to have it. No worries – I have taken the appropriate measures to ensure that my identity cannot be identified so that I will not face consequences for my actions. I hope you will enjoy learning this information and that you share my enthusiasm for the future of Nintendo.
Where to begin?
Following Reggie Fils-Aime’s speech yesterday (now widely reported) we were invited to a room to play a number of already announced games. We were given packets relating to each of these games with a large amount of information and goodies contained within. I’ll try to only share the information pertaining to the games you are all likely most interested in…then on to the surprises!
The first two games I will discuss are not only on embargo until Friday, but inexplicably until E3. Do not ask me why we were treated to so much regarding these games that we could not share. I suppose it is so that we can say things like “Trust me, you will be pleased.”
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Release Date – 08/20/2007
My experience playing this game demonstrated that Wii is capable of graphics far superior to what has been seen to date, and vast improvements have been made over the original build for this title. You will finally say “wow” when you see this game.
More importantly, Metroid will be a Wi-Fi title. There is no competitive online mode or multiplayer but WiiConnect 24 plays a large role. Metroid Prime 3 is slated to be the final entry in to the Prime series and is meant to carry fans over for quite some time. As such, new missions will become available for download on a regular basis (I have no idea how often a “regular basis” is). In addition, new suits and weapons are also going to be available for download. No detailed information was provided beyond this, but as explained to me, the purpose is to provide an experience that will be “ever evolving and changing so that the game may become entirely new over time.” This aspect of the game was why it was delayed for so long.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Release Date – 11/12/2007
Unfortunately, Smash Bros. only featured one playable level, which is what you’re seeing in most of the screenshots. However, there was a demonstration of the game’s Wi-Fi abilities and one new character shown. As you’ve seen, the game looks stunning and in certain instances plays like a dream. There are two available control methods, “Classic” and “Brawl.” Classic utilizes either a Gamecube controller or the Classic controller and plays much like previous entries in the series. Brawl utilizes the Wii Remote and Nunchuk attachment. Various attacks can be increased in strength by moving the Wii Remote in the direction of the attack. You can also add an extra jump when pressing up on the control stick and moving your Remote upwards. Unfortunately, these maneuvers felt tacked on.
Super Mario Galaxy
Release Date – 12/10/2007
Much hands-on time was spent with this title. It is essentially everything fans of Mario 64 will be expecting from the game. Unlike Mario Sunshine, this entry in the series will allow players the ability to explore vast areas of varying style. By now, you have undoubtedly seen the mini-planet hopping scenes on video and in screen shots. That being said, you probably have no idea how massive this game truly is. The mini-planets, comets, and space exploration are simply the surface of the game, and experienced mostly at the beginning. As the game progresses, most levels are within giant planets, each with its own unique feel. I was reminded often of jumping in to different paintings on Mario 64 and how each level was unique from the others. Think of outer-space in Galaxy as the castle is to Mario 64.
Another interesting bit of information regarding this title is cooperative play. When playing with a friend they will have the ability to assist you in your movements. This works by pointing the star where you want to advance to and having Mario follow the pattern drawn. This only happens at particular points in the game and is not necessary for play. However, it allows a friend to join the fun.
Finally, WiiConnect 24 is also utilized in this title, but no information regarding this was provided.
Disaster: Day of Crisis
Release – First Quarter 2008
Disaster is now the official title of this game, with Day of Crisis being the subtitle. This was done to show the potential of the title becoming a series, which helped fuel Nintendo’s desire to purchase Monolith. Each would be subsequently named Disaster: XXXX.
The game still appeared to be very much “in development” due to the lack of playable areas, but featured graphics much improved from the E3 Trailer. The most interesting aspect of this title was the necessity to use the Wii Remote in unique ways to assist in the advancement of the game. In one area, the player had to determine that the Wii Remote needed to be pointed at a water valve and then turned to unleash water onto a raging fire. These “puzzles” give the game more of an action-adventure feel. Ultimately, it felt like an entirely new type of gaming experience.
M-09 (FKA Project H.A.M.M.E.R.)
Release – Second Quarter 2008
Project H.A.M.M.E.R. is now officially titled M-09. The game seemed to be fairly far along in development and featured a number of playable areas. Other than the title change and release date, most of what you need to know about this game is already available. It plays as previously described, and the various levels I played were all within a major metropolis. The variety of each level comes only in how unique each city area can be from the previous one.
Now for the goodies…
A video montage was shown of the following games and channels, all with a promised 2008 release date. I’ll include a few notes of what I gathered from the snippets (and I do mean snippets) of each:
Mario Kart – Graphically impressive. Looked very traditional. Controlled like other Wii racing games, Wi-Fi logo.
Animal Crossing – Looks very much like past titles. Wi-Fi logo.
Vision Red – Original Nintendo RPG. Looked similar to Final Fantasy VII in terms of character design and style of play.
Nintendo Pennant Chase Baseball – Why this game is only available in video form is beyond me. However, the graphics have been spruced up from the Gamecube version and it controls like you think it would.
Wii Health – People doing a variety of exercises with the Wii Remote shown. Results page shows calories burned and a variety of other information. Mii are utilized.
Wii Music – A variety of instruments can be played with the Wii Remote and each performance added to others to make songs. Wi-Fi logo.
Mii Popularity – Looked a lot like Everybody Votes with Mii profiles. Various attributes can be ranked. Miis appear to be grouped in different classifications for ranking and ease of finding.
Demo Channel – Showed players downloading demos of Virtual Console titles.
In terms of major information, that almost sums it up. There were some third party games shown but nothing too exciting.
The final piece of information however was for most of the press the most exciting of all. A final video was shown that left everyone buzzing with excitement.
Sentences flashed across a black screen and faded…
I don’t remember them all or exactly, but they were similar to what I will provide below:
The greatest adventure in gaming
Lands of epic proportions
A hero for all time
A love to die for…
Link then appears screaming for a very brief second before the screen turns black and a tri-force slams onto the screen and smashes in to pieces.
If the character model used for Link is any indication of where this series is headed, expect ultra-realism, grittiness, and a very dark feel."
Close if old :P