E3: Nintendo’s Mario and Metroid madness

Last year’s Nintendo E3 conference was notoriously disastrous, comprising of Wii Sports Resort, Wii Music, Animal Crossing and little else. This year? How does two new Mario games for Wii, a new Metroid developed by Team Ninja and a sequel to Golden Sun sound? Sadly though, Pikmin 3 was nowhere to be seen. Maybe poor sales of the Wii re-releases of Pikmin 1 and 2 have killed that one off.

New Super Mario Brothers Wii was the first game shown. It’s four player and co-op based – if one player gets caught in a bubble, another player has to free them, for instance. The video showed Mario, Luigi, yellow Toad and a blue Toad running around 2D levels. Whether other characters will be available is unknown. Surely Wario and Peach would be more interesting that having two Toads? There’s also a new propeller suit. There are screenshots on Nintendo’s official E3 website.

Metroid: Other M

The second Mario game is a bit of a surprise – Super Mario Galaxy 2. More of the same from the looks of things, only now Mario can ride around on Yoshi. It’s out 2010. The new Metroid – known as Metroid: Other M is a whole lot more interesting. It’ll be the first 3D Metroid not developed by Retro Studios and digs deeper into Samus’s story. The trailer looks amazing and shows both third-person combat and first person shooting. Line Attack Heroes is another surprise, and is described as “a fast-paced, melee action game that requires quick thinking and smart strategy”. Endless Ocean 2 is self-explanatory. Span Smasher looks very quirky, almost like a sequel to KuruKuruKurin.

Wii Fit has sold 15 million copies, so there’s going to be a semi-sequel – Wii Fit Plus. It’ll be available on its own or with the board. New mini-games include juggling and leaping over logs. Joy. Staying with the keep fit theme, the Wii Vitality Sensor clips onto your finger to measure your pulse. It’s hardly new technology – Bio Tetris on the N64 came with an identical device.

More Mario? Oh go on then. There’s two on the way for DS – Mario & Luigi RPG: Bowser’s Inside Story is set in…Bowser’s insides. Mario vs. Donkey Kong Minis March Again is the other one, and will let you design levels. WarioWare DIY goes one further will let you design entire games. It’s all gone a bit LittleBigPlanet.

GoldenSunDS

Movie maker Flip Notes Studio, Zelda Spirit Tracks, RPGs Glory of Heracles and Golden Sun DS (shot to the right, trailer here) Ubisoft’s GTA-alike Cop: The Recruit and James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion were also shown on DS. The Xbox 360 isn’t the only console getting Facebook connectivity either – soon you’ll be able to take photos with your DSi and upload them onto your profile. A press release for Duke Nukem: Critical Mass for DS has just gone up too.

Mario, Zelda, Metroid – Nintendo have managed to tick all the right boxes this year. Well, maybe – a new Star Fox, Wave Race or Pilot Wings would have gone down a treat. But there’s always next year.

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