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1 day until E3: An in-depth look at the Pre-E3 Nintendo Presentation

by Menashe


We all got a small glimpse of the Wii U yesterday at the Pre-E3 Nintendo Direct. It offered a better understanding of the Wii U hardware and native software. The games themselves were all held off for the forthcoming Press Conference. But, looking closely and scouring the little details during the Pre-E3 Nintendo Direct led to many points I missed the first time I watched it. So, join me as we take an in-depth look at what went on during yesterday’s presentation.

The Hidden Boo Game

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There was something going on in the background of the presentation. While Nintendo would be focusing on some other point, they were constantly giving little clues about a game that revolves around the common Mushroom Kingdom enemy, Boo. Whether this is a full-fledged game, a mini-game, or just a fake prototype, invented for the video, we won\’t know until tomorrow. I\’ll tell you the hints from the ¬†video and you decide for yourself:

1. In the Mii Wara Wara screen, a whole crowd of Mii’s were crowding around a game icon that featured Boo.

2. Later, when showing an example of sending text/written messages on the Gamepad, a girl turns on the message interface. Her name appears as \”Lisa\” and the game she is playing is called \”Chase\” and features the same Boo icon as before.

3. Throughout the video, there are various times where the messages are talking about the Boo game specifically. Here are some of the things they say:

  • \”Great for parties, up to 5 people can play!\”
  • \”My parents are so easy to scare\”
  • \”C\’mon and get me!\”
  • \”It’s easier to get away from the flashlight if you hide in the corners\”
  • \”Work with your partners to chase the ghost into the corner\”
  • \”I recommend this game to all the Dad’s out there, it gets the whole family together\”
  • \”lol, gotcha!\”
  • \”Any tips on this game? I\’ve tried this game 10 times today but still can\’t beat my bro\”
  • \”I always help my brother, the poor guy\”
  • \”I like wearing this hat thingy\”
  • \”Hide and Seek!\”

How would a Boo game work?

I\’m trying to think of how the gameplay would work if this were an actual game. If the Wii U used multiple Gamepads I would think that a bunch of people wander around the living room using the Gamepad as a \”scanner\” to spot Boos hiding around the actual room. When you find one, looking through the screen, you try and aim your \”flashlight\” at it while it runs away. Each person would be trying to chase and destroy as many ghosts as they could before time runs out. But, since it’s most likely Nintendo will use one Gamepad and four Wiimotes for this game (as they mentioned, five people playing) that scenario can\’t be entirely accurate.

Maybe only one person can see the ghosts around the room with the Gamepad while the others have to follow his instructions and shine their Wiimote \”flashlights\” at the ghosts as he points them out to him. Since they can\’t see the ghosts it could lead to alot of shrieking, \”Over there! Get it! Get it! It’s right behind you!\” That sounds like it would be a lot of fun and a great party game. Of course, this could all be Nintendo teasing us with a fake game and turn out to be nothing at all.

 

New Super Mario World

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There were lots of interesting new things to see in the brief snippet we glimpsed of a new Mario game on Wii U. Once again, it’s not a confirmed game, so it’s possible the game doesn\’t exist. But this is more than likely to be something real, especially because we already know a Mario Wii U game is on its way.

The Level Screen

So, what could be seen in the couple of seconds of gameplay? The first thing everyone noticed is the graphics. The New Super Mario Bros series has always featured simplistic graphics and the foreground continues that tradition. But the background seems stunningly detailed with five layers of parallax scrolling, lush foliage, and jagged rocks. Whatever the blocks and coins lack in the foreground are made up for in the background. But, if you look close enough you\’ll see that both the leafy grass that Mario steps on and the clouds above him have shadows that make me wonder if they are actual 3D models. If they are, then this might also mean a new layer of detail the series hasn\’t seen yet.

The other cool thing, as evidenced in the screen above, is Peach’s Castle way off in the background. Others have hypothesized that the castle grows farther and farther the deeper you get into the game and eventually Bowser’s Castle gets closer and closer. That would be a cool touch if it were true. A constant reminder of the impending showdown between Mario and Bowser.

But that wasn\’t all that was offered up by this brief segment.

The Map Screen

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The map screen offered up a ton of new tidbits. First of all is the layout of the map itself. Instead of the linear path that was featured in Super Mario 3D Land, this map reminded me of the multiple paths in the map from Super Mario World.

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Nintendo mentioned that since Miiverse can run in-game, you will be able to see other players playing the same game as you on the map. It appears that when you die, you\’ll also see comments from other gamers who died in the same place as you. \”Empathy\” was the key word. From the comments of the other gamers on the map during the presentation we learn a lot of new info.

One guy mentioned playing as a flying squirrel. Does he mean the raccoon tail? Or maybe it’s referring to the Squirrel Suit from Pilotwings Resort. That would be an interesting gliding mechanic. Probably more similar to the cape from Super Mario World.

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That made me think of a question that would make a cool forum thread. Which Mario flying power do you like best? Raccoon Tail, Cape, Wings, Bunny Ears, Propeller, Bee, or Balloon? Am I missing any?

Well, back to the analysis. Another comment seemed like the first confirmation of an achievement system, as someone boasts she got 100 coins in the level and a yellow bar marking her achievement appears over the level. Another commentor mentions lava. And lastly, one more comment mentions how cool it is to see a baby-Yoshi balloon up to carry you.

What are baby-Yoshi’s? They are the little guys who last appeared in Super Mario World. (No, Paper Mario doesn\’t count.)

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They will apparently be ballooning up as Yoshi’s sometimes tend to do for Mario’s sake.

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From the baby-Yoshi’s, the diagonal rock-terrains, and the explorable map, I\’m getting a Super Mario World-vibe. So, that’s why I\’m taking a wild guess that this new Mario Game will be called New Super Mario World.

There were a ton of more topics I wanted to get into such as the Wii U Gamepad design, Miiverse, Wara Wara, the Zombie game, and the Gamepad possibilities discussed in the presentation. I think there were a lot of interesting points to discuss that might have been passed over, but it would take more at least another hour to write about. So, instead, I\’ll stop here. The press conference is coming tomorrow anyways, so we\’ll have a much better idea of the Wii U games and features.

In less than 24 hours we\’ll be watching you Nintendo! Hit it out of the ballpark tomorrow!

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