Today has been another exciting day at E3 2010. Today we saw Nintendo and Sony, rivals for over a decade, show off their newest creations. Needless to say, the announcements today were utterly mindblowing, and we even got a special surprise thrown in from Valve!
Before you continue, be sure to take a look at yesterday’s overview for Day One of the expo. And now, on to E3 2010 Day Two! Keep on reading for all of the big announcements from Nintendo and Sony, as well as trailers and gameplay footage straight from LA!
Kicking things off this morning was Nintendo, who, in typical Nintendo fashion, started in overdrive and just kept on going full speed ahead. What most will consider to have been Nintendo’s most important announcement of the year are details on the new Zelda title.
Now, a couple days ago, we had some rumors about the Zelda title that I was pretty sure were true. Turns out that not all of them are accurate. First off, the official title for the new Zelda game is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Even though Nintendo had some technical difficulties during the demonstration (which, reportedly, caused Miyamoto to get very upset), the presentation was a huge success. The game features 1:1 sword handling controls, meaning that however you swing your Wiimote reflects perfectly with Link’s sword. Some new items have been shown off like a whip, a flying beetle (which looks like it might be a modification to your Hookshot), as well as some changes to items we’ve already known. Graphically, the game is cel-shaded like Wind Waker, but the character design seems to follow the path of Twilight Princess. It’s a very interesting look for the game, which seems to combine both the elements of the colorful cel-shading and the grittiness of a darker battlefield.
Needless to say, I could go on and on about Skyward Sword, but I think I should just let the trailer do the talking.
A few other games that Nintendo talked about today include one that I’ve been very excited about, Metroid: Other M. Ever since last year’s E3 where we saw some gameplay and some very impressive cutscenes, I’ve been nothing but stoked about Team Ninja’s latest collaboration with Nintendo. Metroid: Other M seems to be taking the Metroid series in a new direction, with some amazing storytelling unlike what we’ve seen in past games. It looks like Samus is going to be working a lot more closely with other people in this mission, and we should get to learn a bit more about her past.
As for the gameplay, this looks like it may be one of the most dynamic games we’ve ever seen. You’ll go from side-scrolling action to over-the-shoulder running and gunning. You’ve also got your first-person controls that we’re used to from Retro Studios’ Metroid Prime series.
Speaking of Retro Studios, we managed to get a confirmation on another rumor we reported to you yesterday. We have confirmation that Retro Studios is developing Donkey Kong Country Returns. Judging from the trailer for the new Donkey Kong game, it looks like we’re going to see some classic DK gaming. Now, considering that the original Donkey Kong Country was a pretty outstanding game back on the SNES (considered to be one of the most graphically impressive games out of the SNES’ entire, immense library of games), Retro Studios definitely has a lot on their plate. The gameplay, however, looks incredibly smooth. From what we can tell, anybody who’s ever played a Donkey Kong Country game will be able to pick this game right up and jam.
But Nintendo is STILL not done reviving classic series. We’ve even got a new Kirby game coming out, titled Kirby’s Epic Yarn. And I gotta say, this looks like it may be the cutest game I have ever seen. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some blood and guts in gaming. But the level and character design in this game is simply adorable. Don’t take my word for it, though, take a gander at the trailer. We see a very interesting theme with this title. It seems that somehow Kirby has managed to find himself in a world comprised of cloths and textiles. This may seem strange at first, but I think Nintendo really managed to pull this off. Some interesting elements we got to see are pulling on stray threads to reveal hidden areas in the game, or even going under pieces of cloth to access hidden areas. The trailer doesn’t show off a whole lot of what we’re used to in Kirby games, however. For instance, it doesn’t look like Kirby sucks up any enemies at all. Instead, he lassos them with a piece of yarn and then throws them around. We’re not sure what we’re going to see as far as ability stealing, but we’re definitely going to keep a close eye on this game.
Some other new Wii titles that didn’t get as much attention include FlingSmash, Mario Sports Mix, Pokepark Wii Pikachu’s Adventure (I really hope this is a working title), Samurai Warriors 3, and Wii Party.
But, Nintendo didn’t sit around all day talking about the Wii. We also got to learn of a few new DS titles, as well.
The DS title that I’m most excited about is Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. That’s right, it’s finally here. The sequel to what is considered to be the most graphically impressive game on the Gameboy Advance. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn features a new 3D style of gameplay that is otherwise new to the series, but still manages to keep its reputation at being one of the most amazing-looking games on the platform. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn seems to be bringing back some old characters, as well as a handful of new warriors.
Some other DS titles announced include Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Mario VS Donkey Kong: Mini-land Mayhem!, and Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs.
If you think after all of these announcements that Nintendo has officially stolen the show, then you’d be correct. However, it doesn’t end here. Nintendo also confirmed some additional details about the Nintendo 3DS, the successor to the Nintendo DS.
We don’t know a whole lot about the hardware just yet. We know that it comes equipped with THREE cameras; one on front and two on the back. The two cameras on the back will be used for taking 3D photographs. We also know that we’ll still have two screens, and they will be able to display 3D graphics without the use of special glasses. This is a seriously important advancement in the world of 3D gaming, which Sony is also touching on (more on Sony’s 3D gaming later in this article).
Now, you may be wondering, how many developers are going to be creating games for this new technology? How about… Everyone. Take a look at the full list of launch titles for the Nintendo 3DS. Take a good look at that list. That is over seventy launch titles for the Nintendo 3DS. This. Is. Huge.
One of the most impressive 3DS titles we saw was Kid Icarus: Uprising. The trailer for this game looks amazing, and it looks like this game will be full of action coming at you from all angels. I mean angles.
After Nintendo’s amazing performance, I wasn’t sure how Sony would be able to hold their own. I mean, after all, Nintendo announced nearly a hundred new titles, including a new, groundbreaking console.
But, Sony managed to impress us all, and even surprised us.
Sony spent a good bit of time showing off Move, Sony’s new motion-control system. The controllers are wand-shaped pieces of equipment with a big, glowing orb on the top. At first, I thought that this glowing orb was a static color, so that the console could detect one player from another, since we previously saw these glowing in separate colors. Today, we learned that the controllers can actually change colors at will, depending on events in the game.
Sony showed off this feature quite well in a demonstration of Sorcery, which totally blew my mind. When the demo first started, I thought we were looking at some sort of Harry Potter clone, but I was slapped in the face with awesomeness when I saw what this game offers. You have full 1:1 motion with your character’s magic wand, and with a flick of your wrist, you’re able to send magic flying out of your wand in any direction you choose. It looks like it’s pretty accurate, and allows you to fire off magic bolts in any six-axis direction very naturally. The speaker showcased the ability to just flick the wand in the direction of a hanging cage and knock it down in one shot. I was truly impressed by this.
Sorcery also showed off the color-changing aspect of the Move’s controller. The color of the controller’s orb will reflect certain on-screen events, such as magic potions changing color, or the type of magic spell you’ve equipped to your wand. While a seemingly minor aesthetic element, this is just one of those small touches that makes a world of difference.
Take a look at the demo and see for yourself.
Later on during Sony’s event, the Aperture Science Computer-Aided Enrichment Center’s favorite Aperture Science supercomputer decided to drop by and give us a special message. In mid-sentence, the Sony speaker is cut off by GLaDOS, with a special surprise announcement on behalf of the Aperture Science Computer-Aided Enrichment Center. After a three second countdown, GLaDOS deployed the surprise in the form of Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve Corporation. Gabe Newell gave us a quick confirmation of Portal 2, the latest portal training simulator developed by Aperture Science.
Unsurprisingly, Gabe also announced a planned surprise, which caught everybody by surprise, which was surprisingly surprising, and surprisingly not Half-Life 2: Episode 3.
Instead, Gabe told us that Portal 2 is going to be available for both PC (and Mac) users, but it will also be available on the PS3, and will feature Steamworks, which will incorporate your Steam data with the game. Also available will be extra DLC in the future.
Gabe didn’t talk much about it, but Portal 2 will also feature a co-op campaign mode, which is actually going to be non-cannon to the main storyline. It will be in the same “reality” of Portal 2, but the events in the multiplayer campaign will not be directly related to events that we are already familiar with.
Speaking of the co-op campaign, Portal 2 promises to be a MUCH bigger challenge than before. Each player will have their own set of two portals that they can independently control, but they can both use. New gameplay elements, such as more moving environments and new surface textures will allow for a much more dynamic experience.
It is also rumored that Portal 2 will be running on a new engine.
Obviously, I’m going to be going on more and more about Portal in the future, but for now, let’s take a look at the high-res trailer, which Valve released. This is the best quality trailer for Portal 2 that you will be able to find on YouTube right now, as well:
Sony also announced Infamous 2, showed off some more footage from Killzone 3 and Crysis 2, and a pretty extensive look at Dead Space 2, which looks amazing so far.
Sony spent a lot of time showing off the Move controller, and the uses for it. It’s definitely going to give the Wii and Kinect a run for their money, with very minimal input lag (something that Kinect needs to work on) and some amazingly precise sensors to determine exactly where you’re holding the controller, and how you’re holding it.
That’s all we’ve got for now! Today’s been an incredibly busy day with more updates than anybody would have ever expected. Stay tuned to The Gaming Vault for more up-to-the-minute information from E3 2010!