Iím Not David Letterman…
Another E3 2004 has come and gone, and it was loads better than E3 2003. (Please forgive me, PS2 and Xbox fans, but I’m gonna be concentrating mainly on Gamecube news.) While last E3 had no real stellar games other than Mario Kart: Double Dash, F-Zero GX, and Soul Calibur II (which were good, but well-known already), this E3 blew the last one away. Does anyone remember what the big announcement was at E3 2003? Miyamato showed off, in the midst of a giant technology and graphics war, the very simplistic Pac-Man Vs. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun game to play with friends, but not only was it not a complete game worth spending $50 for (hence why it was given away free), but it also was easily forgotten amidst bigger announcements from other companies. This year, Nintendo was the talk of the show. Here are the top 10 reasons why:
#10. Strong GBA Support – Despite the impending PSP takeover, the GBA is still producing great games. Upcoming games include Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Boktai 2, and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.
#9. The Return of Star Fox – Although still in co-development with Namco, the new Star Fox (called Star Fox 2) will allow both action-based ground missions and the classic space missions.
#8. Continued Innovation – The DK Bongo controller, used in Donkey Konga and DK Jungle Beat, showed great innovation on how games are played. Who else has thought of a drumming-platform game? Many of Nintendo’s other products were also innovative.
#7. Reggie-lution – Nintendo’s new spokesperson. I can only say to go here.
#6. Third-Party Support – For the first time in a while, Gamecube has actual third-party support (as opposed to the past, when relations were weak). Tons of games are coming down the pipeline, including Prince of Persia 2, Starcraft: Ghost, the possible GCN exclusive Phantasy Star Universe, and Viewtiful Joe 2, the sequel to the cherished beat-em-up sidescroller.
#5. RPGs! – What? The Gamecube is getting actual RPGs? Namco is producing two amazing RPGs. The first one, Tales of Symphonia, is a somewhat traditional RPG that looks just like an anime, right down to the cut-scenes. The second RPG, due out later, is a psuedo-card-RPG called Baten Kaitos that rivals Final Fantasy’s graphics. Not only that, but the new Paper Mario 2 is set to become one of the main reasons to own a Gamecube.
#4. Mature Games – Nintendo is not just for kids anymore, and now they mean it! Not only is Nintendo producing Geist (a FPS game where you are a ghost who possesses different people), but Capcom is also producing exclusively for GCN Resident Evil 4, the chilling but beautiful game that surpasses all the other RE games that were released on GCN. Killer 7, though no longer a GCN exclusive, is one of the bloodiest games to date. These games, combined with reason #1, should dispel Nintendo’s kiddy image.
#3. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes – What was one of the best (and most widely bought) games of 2002 is receiving a sequel. Even in a match with Halo 2, I can see this game pulling ahead due to the awesomeness of it.
#2. Nintendo DS – In a gaming world of little innovation, Nintendo once again pulls through, showing off a dual-screened handheld with a touch-sensitive lower screen, wireless capabilities, backwards compatibility with GB games, and graphics beyond an N64. Though many of the games were little more than demos, they all showed off the abilities of the system, including all the possibilities. Of special notice is the game Pac Pix, in which players have to draw a Pac-Man to eat the ghosts.
#1. The Zelda Surprise – Blowing away everyone’s expectations, the new Legend of Zelda game announced for Gamecube was not a cel-shaded sequel to Wind Waker but instead an ultra-realistic version more akin to Ocarina of Time and the Spaceworld 2000 footage (displaying the GCN’s power). In the trailer, Link fought on horseback, slew enemies, and basically kicked a ton of ass. What else do fans want?
And now, the happy face. =)