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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

E3 2009: Thoughts on Nintendo Conference


Camie, stop pretending that you are into video games. You're just into money.

I thought that things could only get better after the rather dull Microsoft conference yesterday but I was wrong. Except for a couple of true gems, Nintendo's overall presentation was weak and it was too focused on that "let's conquer the non-gamer" headline that, at this point, is just something that I am tired of hearing. It's cool that Nintendo is able to dominate that niche market presently - just get ready to suffer the blow once Microsoft's "Project Natal" hits the streets - but it's apparent that Nintendo is continually focusing too much on casual gaming. The balance of things has truly shifted in Nintendo's world and it's not for the better. Well, at least there are still some great games coming out on the Nintendo DS like Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (funny title!), a new Kingdom Hearts, and the latest Golden Sun. The interesting bits:

1) New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii - It's pretty much the Nintendo DS game only that it's playable for up to 4 players. The game was running on widescreen and looks fun. There is no mention of the game's online capability unfortunately so it may just be for local multiplayer. If that is really the case, it would be such a disappointing game.


Guess which three of these people will get fired by the end of the day.

2) Wii Fit Plus - I hated the original Wii Fit and it looks like this updated version still doesn't address the main problem with the first game that is the lack of individualized progress-based routine. Players must select the different exercises themselves but at least these activities can now be linked together at once instead of having to wade through the menus in between the short workout sections.


Oh I just can't contain my excitement about Wii Fit Plus!

3) Wii Motion Plus - I feel a bit better about this because there is no exaggerated motion being shown like those seen during the "Project Natal" premiere. If I have to choose between pretending to hold a bow in my hands and pretending to do the same with something comfortable actually being in my hand, I would choose the latter.


The wiimote is getting bulkier and bulkier each year.

4) Wii Vitality Sensor - Okay. What's next? Wii Blood Glucose Meter? There is no indication whatsoever to the kind of games that Nintendo will be using this device for. I guess they can use it in a survival horror but it's probably going to be implemented in some interactive yoga/relaxation stuff at first.


I checked my pulse during the presentation and I thought that I was dead.

5) Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Besides looking too similar to the original, I look forward to the release of this game. This is the only small piece of evidence left that the spirit of the old Nintendo we know and love is still there even if it's not really alive and well - it's probably close to being dead at the moment. Better use that Wii Vitality Sensor before it's too late!

6) New Metroid Game - Made with Nintendo's collaboration with Team Ninja nonetheless! The game looks like the 3D Ninja Gaiden only with Samus doing all the slick moves. This is so going to rock... as long as Nintendo has total control over the storyline. The full motion video cut scenes look too Ninja Gaiden though so if Nintendo is not careful, Team Ninja may change what used to be a moody and atmospheric tone of the game into something terribly convoluted and cheesy.

LASTING IMPRESSION: 2 out of 5

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