While Nintendo's press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) did not introduce any new characters, Nintendo fans are up for a solid lineup of new games featuring the characters they already love to play on their gaming systems.
Among the most remarkable new titles is The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes, a spinoff of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, where players can go multiplayer to work together in exploring dungeons and solving puzzles. This time, only three players can play together in Triforce, but Nintendo now allows online multiplayer for the game. Gamers who have a Wii currently won't get this game, as Nintendo announced it only for the 3DS, at least for now.
Also exclusive for the 3DS is Metroid Prime: Federation Force, the latest in the Metroid franchise after a five-year hiatus since the release of Metroid: Other M in 2010. Nintendo did not provide a lot of details about the new title, except that it will be available in 2016.
The short teaser trailer unveiled at E3 shows Federation Force is all about the four-player co-op missions set in the same universe as the rest of the Metroid Prime series. However, there is no sign of the legendary bounty hunter Samus Aran in the trailer, and Nintendo describes the title simply as "set in the Metroid Prime Universe." No word yet on whether Samus will eventually appear, though.
Also shown at E3 is an English trailer for Yo-Kai Watch, a role-playing game (RPG) bearing similarities to Pokemon. Yo-Kai Watch, which was released in Japan for the 3DS in 2013, is highly popular in its home country. The game revolves around a boy named Keita Amano—there is also the option to choose a girl named Fumika Kodama—who owns a watch that enables him to interact with Yo-Kai, phantom creatures that are everywhere but cannot be seen by the human eye. The goal is to help Keita befriend friendly Yo-Kai to destroy harmful ones.
Another RPG to look out for is Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, a mashup of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Paper Mario. Again only for the 3DS, Paper Jam combines elements of both games, requiring players to have the powers of both the physical and foldable characters to solve puzzles and kill enemies.
Nintendo is also launching a couple of Animal Crossing titles, including the video board game Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival for the Wii U. Judging by its name alone, we know that this one requires the use of Nintendo's Amiibo figurines to play. Not much was revealed about the title, but the trailer shows a "Mario Party"-like title where players roll a dice to see where on the board they will land on. The release of Amiibo Festival will also come with several new Amiibo, including Mabel Able, Isabelle and Tom Nook.
For those raring for a relaxing break instead of the usual kill-all-the-baddies game, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer will be released for the 3DS in September. With the use of Nintendo's new Amiibo cards, players can populate their Animal Crossing villages with all the characters they want and design their houses for them.
Also for the Wii U is Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, which features the same classic Nintendo characters and new power-ups created for the higher resolution of the Wii U. Ultra Smash comes after Mario Tennis Open, which was released in 2012 for the 3DS.
Photo: Tom Newby | Flickr