Normally I carry a notebook with me and I draft out my blogs there; during downtime at work, while out for a bite, shopping, cleaning, visiting, what-have-you. It gives me a chance to jot down ideas, fine-tune my wording, and flesh out the article as a whole before I sit down at my computer and type them up in my spare time. I have a few in the works right now, as a matter of fact.
This afternoon I returned home from running errands to find my Wii glowing (meaning I had a new message, for you non-Wii-owners). I finished putting groceries away, sat down in my living room, and booted up my Wii while doing a little organizing of my gaming ottoman (best… present… ever). I checked my messages and saw some very exciting news. Nintendo was showing some of their E3 videos on the Nintendo Channel. Cool, I thought to myself, I don't have to go searching the internet or listening to hours of podcasts to see what Nintendo have revealed. I opened the Nintendo Channel and waited for it to load. I expected to see keynotes, tech demos, maybe a few promo videos of Wii Sports Resort, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, and the Metroid Prime Trilogy. I couldn't believe what I saw instead…
New Super Mario Bros. Wii!
Super Mario Galaxy 2!
Metroid: Other M!
Megatons of Nintendo fangasm! I have to give credit to Parris from TalkingAboutGames.com and UncleGamer Radio for calling this one last E3. He had predicted that 2008 was going to be the year of the casual gamer, but that Nintendo wasn't forgetting their hardcore audience, and that 2009 would see the return of Nintendo's leading franchises. I believed him then, and I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed. Everything is here: A new Zelda game, two new Mario games (that's not counting sequels to the Mario & Luigi RPG series and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, also revealed at E3), and a brand new Metroid game, developed by none other than Team Ninja! I was so blown away by these reveals that I dropped what I was doing, and started typing this up immediately, without any pre-planning!
This is has me ecstatic. Hopefully there are enough Nintendo fans holding onto their Wiis (umm… that didn't sound right) to make these games truly successful. I had a feeling Nintendo would be pouring the money they've made off of their cheap casual games into some new hardcore ones. Metroid looks especially cool. With its cinematic presentation and third-person view, it might give the Metroid Prime Trilogy a run for its money. I'm actually a little bit surprised they didn't wait until after the NPC versions launched before announcing this.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii should be a worthy addition to the series. While the graphics don't really look much better than the DS game, it won't really matter if it plays as well as that one did. Besides, I think the "whooping" and "wheeing" (or should that be "Wii-ing?") that comes from playing a Mario game co-op with up to three other people makes up for the lack of "oohing" and "ahhing" at spectacular graphics.
The only thing that I find a little disappointing is Super Mario Galaxy 2. While the original SMG is an amazing game (I say "is" because I actually haven't beaten it yet), Mario games are noted for not usually repeating what has been done before. That doesn't mean SMG2 will be a bad game. Even the worst Mario platformers, 3D or 2D, are head and shoulders above most other games in the genre. Still, I would have liked to see the next 3D Mario game go in a different direction. I suppose the "Galaxy" theme allows for more variety in the worlds Mario explores, meaning more variety within the games rather than between the games.
So that's Nintendo for this year. Bravo. I've yet to see or read anything on Microsoft's or Sony's press conferences, or any of the software developers'. I'll post about them when I see them. However, since I am not currently employed by any gaming publications or media outlets, I'll only be posting on what I find interesting or exciting. If you've got anything to contribute, feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email. Right now I'm going to go play some Super Mario Galaxy to get myself psyched up!