As per usual Nintendo had several areas dotted around Hyper Japan to show off their existing games, consoles and even demos of upcoming games. While I can’t deny Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2 and Captain Toad Treasure Tracker where all highlights nothing stood out more than the Wii U Smash Bros.
In order to play it you first had to play and win a match in the 3DS version of Smash Bros (which I lost in) then you had the chance to go on stage and fight live on the big screen for fun and for glory. Many people say they are pleasantly surprised with the 3DS version as they thought it would be awkward to play however I can confirm that excluding the chunky slab of metal attached to the 3DS so we couldn’t steal it the gameplay was fluent and before the match started they did show you they controls. Not every character was available however we did get to see newcomers like Megaman (who I played as), the Wii Fit Trainer and the Villager tussle with veteran fighters. If you were lucky enough to win your round in the 3DS Smash Bros (which I didn’t) you got the chance to play it on the Wii U in on the big screen in front of a cheering audience. Although Amiibo showed an appearance in what was perhaps the world’s brightest display case it Nintendo didn’t show how it would be used in the game.
Perhaps the 2nd most popular game hence the 1 1/2 hour line was Hyrule Warriors. This Zelda skin of the popular game Dynasty Warriors was an action filled hack and slash game with barrages of enemies coming at you and overkill attacks to disperse of them. One complaint which I found out happened to pretty much everybody is to do with the key-mapping on the gamepad. Every Zelda fan knows you press A to open a chest but so many people ended up wasting their special attacks instead according to Nintendo the keys are mapped to the Dynasty Warriors game style however there is an option to change them for a more Zelda-esque experience.
Originally a mini-game in Mario 3D World Captain Toad Treasure Tracker has the protagonist Toad exploring 3D environments in order to achieve a star. While it is in the same style as Mario 3D World and Mario Galaxy it is a much slower paced games with little emphasis action. The road from A to B is not always simple although it does requires patience, timing and utilising the gamepad to create new pathways.
As for 3DS games I have already downloaded the demo of Tomadachi Life so I didn’t need to try it again. The game is a life simulator although not a serious one like The Sims or an open one like Animal Crossing. After creating a Mii as the main character you move in to a block of apartments on an island with other Miis, by interacting with the other Miis you can create friendships, find lovers and even raise a family. One feature I would have liked to seen is a world where each Mii is controlled by an actual person instead of a CPU this would have brought a lot more meaning and depth to how people interact with each Mii in the game although to Nintendo’s defence they wanted it to be a lighthearted, not-so-serious game which isn’t a 1:1 mirror of reality. This is most evidently seen in their controversial decision to not include same-sex relationships in the game.
The final game I tried for less than 10 minutes was Pokemon Art Academy. The Art Academy series is not one I have played before this being a designer I do not see the need for this as I already know how to draw. During my session I sketched, inked and coloured an image of ???, The result was okay considering the limitations although I also do not understand the need for this as the 3DS and even the Wii U as they are not the ideal mediums for learning how to draw digitally, I leave that up to the iPad for casual use and Wacom tablets for professionals.
Despite not playing Bayonetta 2 and Smash Bros on the Wii U like I wanted to I thought Nintendo’s did a great job of selling themselves at Hyper Japan and appealing more people in to buying a Wii U. Hell I even bought one last week! More on that soon.