E3 Day One Reactions: Nintendo Brings Back Old Favorites
Nintendo kicked off day one of E3 2010 with a two-hour presentation that was bookmarked on both ends with huge announcements.
To start, the company announced the release of the second Wii title in the Legend of Zelda franchise with a trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The game will be in development through the end of 2010, but expect a 2011 release.
Here’s what people around the web are saying about the newest iteration of Link:
The game uses WiiMotion Plus to give players one-to-one control over Link’s sword and shield. Graphically, the gameplay shown at E3 will look very familiar to fans of the series. No huge stylistic changes were made to the look of the game. Judging from the on-stage demo, the focus here is on the gameplay not so much the look.
Beyond Link’s hallmark sword and board, Miyamoto also showed off a number of other weapons in Link’s arsenal, including a slingshot, bow and arrow, bomb, and whip. Of the whip, players have precise control over its direction, thanks in part to the game’s intergration with the Wii’s precision-enhancing MotionPlus add-on.
The demo also introduced the beetle, which flies off Link’s wrist like a falcon, and players have a limited time to guide it around the level, scouting areas or picking up items.
Skyward Sword features an adult-looking Link as in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, but the graphics are cel-shaded as in Wind Waker (but not quite as heavily stylized).
It must be noted, though, that the demonstration was fraught with problems — it appeared difficult for Miyamoto to strike the sword with accuracy, and he complained by the end of “wireless interference,” assuring everything in the game actually works smoothly.
Nintendo closed out the day with the introduction of the Nintendo 3DS, the newest handheld system. It features 3D gameplay and video playback without requiring goofy (read: awesome) 3D glasses. The device will also feature two cameras to produce 3D images and video and will feature new 3D versions of the classic game series Resident Evil, Kingdom Hearts, and Metal Gear Solid.
Head-on, the new screen is bright, colorful and, yes, 3D. You look a bit more into the screen than the images jump out, like a window—an effect that’s surprisingly natural, actually—until you view the screen from the side. Anywhere but head-on, the 3D effect fails completely and the colors wash out a bit.
Until developers really exploit the new technology, the experience is akin to the average decently made 3D movie: Neat, but not necessarily integral to the experience. Nintendo still needs an Avatar to really sell the idea…you know, to anyone but the millions upon millions of people who will already buy any new Nintendo product no matter what.
The most impressive part was being able to use the system’s new analog stick to rotate the camera in 3D, letting us see the moving image from different angles in real time. Off-axis viewing largely negated the 3D effect; there seemed to be a dead zone if you moved your head slightly to the side, but the 3D effect came back into focus (but not looking nearly as deep) as the screen was angled further away.