E3 is upon us once more and all the build up to the event seems to be focused on one thing: Project Café. Just as Nintendo wowed gamers last year with the reveal of the 3DS, the company is trying to keep all the attention on itself again this year with its new home console. There is no doubt that Nintendo will go big with the reveal, but hopefully the event won’t take away from Nintendo’s other home console. The Wii is still Nintendo’s best selling home console ever with tens of millions of gamers around the world. 2011 so far has been a pretty weak year for the system, so let’s just hope this E3 will give gamers a look at the great games they’ll be playing until Project Café is released.
A Solid, 2011 Release Date for The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword
This one seems like a no brainer. Yes, home console Zelda games are notorious for being delayed again and again, but all signs seem to point to this game making it to store shelves before the year is out. One game magazine has it being released in October. But I’d rather hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Either way, I hope we can expect one last trailer to really sell this game (and perhaps a stage demonstration that doesn’t go totally wrong) along with the announcement of the release date. Also, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Nintendo will announce two different versions of the game, one of which will come with a Wii Remote+.
Formal Announcement and Trailer of Pikmin 3 for the Nintendo Wii
Nintendo has been teasing the third entry to the Pikmin franchise for a very long time. As NPC! Pikmin demonstrated, the Wii controller system lends itself perfectly to the game play. But the US didn’t get NPC! Pikmin 2, probably because of the lackluster sales of the first one. It’s a shame Nintendo didn’t do for Pikmin what it did for Metroid and the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Either way, a complete lack of screen shots, video and retail listings makes you wonder if this game is actually being made, or if ideas for it are just being kicked around Nintendo’s Kyoto offices.
American Release Dates for Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower
It’s said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. However, when it comes to these three games, it makes the Nintendo fanboys angry. For too long, “core” 1st party titles have been teased by Nintendo release schedule press releases only to never see the light of day in the US. Day of Disaster? Nope. Project Hammer? Nope. Kirby Wii? More on that further down. Xenoblade Chronicles, aka Monado, has been teased for the US ever since we first saw the trailer. But NOA kept silent on the title, even after its successful release in Japan.
However, thanks to the wonders of the internet, it’s been leaked that this game could in fact be heading stateside. After waiting for so long, it would be nice for Nintendo to throw us a bone over here.
As for The Last Story, the game was released earlier this year in Japan to critical acclaim and high sales. After making Blue Dragon and ASH, The Last Story looks like the RPG Mistwalker should have created in their place. Pandora’s Tower has yet to be released in Japan, but hopefully Nintendo can get it over stateside before the end of 2012.
Trailer, 2012 Worldwide Release Date for Dragon Quest X
I would like to think that the reveal of a trailer for Dragon Quest X would be a shoe-in, but I believe Square-Enix will probably wait until a Japanese event to do so. Either way, the company needs to hurry up with this game. The Wii has been surprisingly lacking of traditional RPG’s (and even more lacking on good ones, thank you Namco-Bandai and its decision to NOT release Tales of Graces F for the Wii in the US) so there is no doubt that even with a smaller US audience, DQX will be the best selling RPG for the system.
With Café’s launch happening in 2012, the game will need to release before that hits in all territories it Square-Enix hopes to make an impact outside of Japan. While a worldwide release date has never been done for the long running series, now would be the perfect time to give it a shot. Also, a confirmation of an American release for the Dragon Quest Anniversary disc would be awesome, but I’m not holding my breath.
Confirmation of Rayman Origins Wii
When this game was first announced as a downloadable PS3/Xbox360 title only, I was saddened. For years, Ubisoft had inundated the Wii with Rayman spinoffs and mini-game collections. While Rabbids Go Home was a pretty fun game, many gamers wanted the return of Rayman. That’s why it was infuriating that Rayman Origins would only hit the HD systems.
But lo, how times change. Several retailers have spilled the beans that the game has been moved to a retail release and will indeed hit the Nintendo Wii (along with the DS). It’s said the game will also have 4-player mode. We can only hope the retailers are correct in this, and we get a big reveal from Ubisoft at E3.
New Information on Kirby’s Dreamland Wii & Rhythm Heaven Wii
I love Kirby. I’ve loved every game the pink puff has been in and everyday, I kick myself for trading in Kirby Squeek Squad. Kirby for the Gamecube was the elusive game that never made an appearance, leaving many fans like myself disappointed. Kirby Wii has been on the Nintendo upcoming release forms for years, but after never getting “Kirby Gamecube”, I didn’t think this game would hit either. When Kirby’s Epic Yarn was released, I figured that’s what Kirby Wii had transformed into. Thankfully, earlier this year a new Kirby game for the Wii was unveiled, rather unceremoniously. From the brief game play we’ve seen, Kirby Wii is a more traditional Kirby platformer with new power-ups (the cowboy hat is adorable) and some super moves that destroy both enemies and parts of the environment. Hopefully, this Kirby will be a featured title at E3, just as Kirby’s Epic Yarn stole the show last year.
To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Rhythm Heaven. I loved the sense of quirkiness of the game and the scenarios in the game, but its reliance on touch controls hurt the game because not all of them work as planned. Thankfully, Rhythm Heaven Wii will go back to the originals button input.
Trailer for Fatal Frame 5
Nintendo’s decision to NOT release Fatal Frame 4 outside of Japan is one of those situations that really piss gamers off. Yes, the game was full of glitches and had terrible controls, but it is also a series that has seen every other entry released in the US. Temco’s decision to release the game on the Wii was a daring one, but to sell the distributions rights to Nintendo was a stupid one.
Hopefully, Nintendo can redeem itself by releasing a trailer for the game at E3 this year, along with a confirmed US release. If Nintendo truly does want to gain more “core” players, the first step should be releasing games “core” players want to play.
Reveal of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2
Unless Sonic 4 episodes are suddenly handed over to Valve, we will hopefully see a trailer for the second episode of Sonic The Hedgehog 4 at E3. The first game was love/hate for many Sonic fans, so hopefully the second episode will fix the problems gamers had and really blow us away before Sonic Generations hit.
Reveal of the long rumored Balance Board game: Warioware Balanced
At this point in the balance board’s life, this game is about as likely as Project HAMMER, Captain Rainbow and Chibi-Robo DS2 in being there.