Hosted by Satoru Iwata, president and CEO of Nintendo and CEO of Nintendo of America, the pre-recorded presentation was the first time in years that the company did not have a traditional E3 press conference. Personally, I found this to be a better alternative than a typical E3 keynote, which are often too long, too boring, and always seem to take forever to get to what we really want to see – new games.
Nintendo’s announcements were plenty, as they showed clips from Mario Kart 8, a new Donkey Kong platformer called Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, clips from the HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and a few of third-party games such as such as a new RPG from Xenosaga creator Monolith Soft and two titles from Platinum Games: Bayonetta 2 and the Pikmin-like The Wonderful 101. Basically, a healthy display of games, something that Nintendo needs after the Wii U tail-spun in sales this past year.
However, what really got the Internet talking was a new Mario game, Super Mario 3D World, which is a new adventure/platformer in the series that allows up to 4-player Co-Op for players. Though this is a first for the series, what’s really awesome is the new power-up in the game, a bell that turns Mario and his friends into kitty cats.
By jumping into the bell, Mario and co are transformed into cat-people (think of the creepy kids in cat suits you seen at comic con) all equipped with faster speed, the ability to climb up walls and claw oncoming enemies. Seeing Meow-rio in a bright yellow catsuit seems right for this day and age, as cats have taken over the Internet, it seems appropriate for them to conquer video games as well.
There was also new Pokemon news. Wait, let me do that again so more people can get excited. Ahem….hey! There was also new Pokemon news!
Asides from an October 12th release date for Pokemon X and Y (a change from Nintendo’s trend of Sunday launch dates,) Iwata announced that new games will also add a new Pokémon type, called Fairy type, which are effective against Dragons.
This is the first time in years that the Pokemon game series has added a new type to its roster, effectively retconning the type of already existing Pokemon an Jigglypuff, Marill, and Gardevoir. It was also shown that Sylveon, the new Eevee evolution, is now part of the Fairy type. It was weird that Clefairy and Clefable weren’t also announced as part of the new type, but hopefully it was due to the fact that it would just be too obvious to announce that a Pokemon with the word “fairy” in its name was a Fairy type.
The implementation of the new type was to counteract the Dragon type, which has consistently been overpowered through each generation of Pokemon as it has only one other type-weakness, aside from itself, which is Ice types. Game Freak, the game’s developer, acknowledged this fact.
“As of right now, the dragon type is at an advantage,” Game Freak said in a statement. “But nobody wants us to weaken the dragon type, of course. So we decided to come up with something that could really go up against the dragon type….we’re hoping that by introducing it, we’re going to restore balance, make it a more balanced game.”
It also appears that Fairy-types can add a bit of boost to Normal type pokemon, who are at a disadvantage in the game by not being super effective against any pokemon, as well as not being effective against Ghost types, and half-as-effective to Rock and Steel types.
With new cats, new fairies and a bunch of new games, hopefully this year things will turn around for Nintendo with the promise of these titles helping sales of the Wii U improve.
Now, if only Pokemon could implement a Cat type Pokemon….