Nintendo takes Tokyo

After the showings of Wii Fit, Mario Kart Wii and the Wii Zapper at E3, you’d think that Nintendo would be all out of surprises for this year. And you’d be right; it was third-party developers that shook up the Tokyo Game Show.

Blue Dragon DS is now official, a 3D Kingdom Hearts is also on its way to DS featuring multiplayer modes, and Sega hope to sell 4 million copies of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Last week Nintendo also announced that the $19.99 Wii Zapper will comes with Link’s Crossbow Training as a freebie.

One Wii game at the show worthy of its own paragraph is Ousama Monogatari – which translates to ‘Kings Story’. Although most websites are referring to it as O Project, which appears to be what Marvelous Entertainment (of Harvest Moon fame) will be calling it in the west. The graphics look a cut above most Wii games, or at least most western efforts, and it has more than a pinch of Pikmin about it. The star is a young boy who has a crown thrust upon his head and must order around the townsfolk to improve and defend the land. Check out the video on IGN.

Hudson, Namco and Konami are all banking on the success of Wii Sports and potential success of Wii Fit, with similar games in development. Active Life: Athletic World – which will come with a mat – is Namco’s effort, and includes snowboarding, kayaking, rollerblading, mole whacking and a Temple of Doom style mine-kart ride. Pilates, Yoga and Skin Basic are Konami’s doing, and we’re confident that Skin Basic doesn’t show you how to skin dead meat. They also showed off Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party, Big Head Baseball and Big Head MLB.

New International Track & Field is their sporty DS offering, and has a character roster that includes Sparkster from Rocket Knight Adventures and Pyramid Head from Silent Hill. It’s like Konami Krazy Racing all over again. Hudson showed Deca Sports on Wii – the ten games set to feature are badminton, archery, snowboard racing, curling, beach volleyball, soccer, supercross, figure skating, basketball, and kart racing. GameStop commented that as per Wii Sports you can’t control the characters in badminton, and it’s not possible to perform stunts while snowboarding. Tsk!

Two DS games also receiving mild responses were Metal Slug 7 – which displayed slowdown and had no touch screen controls – and Exit DS. IGN reports that Exit DS has dire controls, with Mr ESC getting stuck in walls several times. Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword looks awesome though, and Konami are having a crack at a text-based adventure with Time Hollow.

Quick Wii round up: Capcom are down to publish Camelot’s We Love Golf! They did Mario Golf, so it should be good. Ubisoft are publishing No More Heroes in the US and presumably Europe. There’s still no word on whether Rygar: The Battle of Argus is a new game or a remake of the PlayStation 2 Rygar, but it’s looking good with a stylish new lead. It could suffer from competition from SoulCalibur Legends though, which appears to be an unnerving mixture of 3D adventure game and traditional dungeon crawler. No random dungeons, please!

Success for both the Wii and DS seems set to continue in 2008 – Wii Fit could potentially be bigger than Brain Training – but parents have already been angered over the Wii Zapper, claming that they don’t want to see kids waving plastic guns around. As for sales of over four million copies of Mario & Sonic, both Sega and Nintendo better hope that they don’t have another ET on their hands.