E3 2012 — Nintendo Press Conference Recap with Instant Reactions to Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendoland and More!

Well folks, E3 2012 is officially upon us! Are you one of those people unfortunate enough have a job and/or responsibilities that might keep you from watching video game press conferences in the middle of the workday? Don’t worry! I’ll be recapping the “Big 3” console makers’ press conferences right here on GammaSquad.

In addition to relaying the facts, I’ll be blasting you with my instant, off-the-cuff, totally knee-jerky reactions to all the reveals. Will I make some statements I live to regret? Oh, most definitely, but I think it’ll be more fun this way.

Hit the jump for all the fun from Nintendo’s E3 press conference…

videos via IGN, full-length press conference video via Gamespot

You can click Here for Nintendo’s full show (sorry, haven’t been able to find an imbed yet) but just in case you’re starting to get press conference fatigue, here’s my handy, snarky recap.

– Shigeru Miyamoto’s backstage. Dude’s been hitting his Wii Fit — looking lean, mean and ready to go. Why, what’s this? There are Pikmin romping about his dressing room! They follow him as he makes with way through the backstage area — Miyamoto walks out in front of the audience and the show begins!

Instant Reaction – Fun opening. Hmmm, I wonder if maybe, just maybe Miyamoto’s going to announce Pikmin 3?


Pikmin 3

– Miyamoto announces Pikmin 3.

Instant Reaction – CALLED IT!

– Game looks solid visually, but not exactly out of this world. Basically looks like the Gamecube game in hi-def with better water effects. There’s new Rock Pikmin you can use to break objects.

Instant Reaction – Argh! They’ve broken the tradition of color-coding all the Pikmin! This isn’t right! My OCD can’t handle these rock Pikmin interlopers!

– Game can be played with Wiimotes, or you can use the WiiU GamePad for an overhead tactical view. The game can now be played with up to four players. Interestingly Olimar is not one of those characters. It appears as if you might be controlling a family — one of the controllable characters definitely looks Mom-like. Lots of new enemies — big translucent bug boss, floating jellyfish guys and more.

Instant Reaction – The overhead tactical view is definitely welcome as I’ve always wanted to be more into Pikmin, but have found the games kind of a pain to handle.

– Miyamoto pulls a plush Pikmin out of his pocket, makes a motion as if he’s going to throw it to the crowd, but then decides not to.

Instant Reaction – What a heel.

WiiU Primer

– Miyamoto pulls a little power play and calls Reggie Fils-Aime out like he’s a Pikmin. Reggie says he feels like a purple Pikmin — you know, the fat ones.

Instant Reaction – Bet Miyamoto scripted that line for him.

– WiiU can change your life! Changes your gaming! Changes how you interact with you gaming friends! Changes how you enjoy your TV! Revolutionize your living room! Integrate and elevate your living room entertainment! It’s the new disruption!

Instant Reaction – Can you tell Reggie came from a marketing background? Maximize and actualize your gaming synergy!!!

– The WiiU will support two GamePads, just like the NES did back in the day!

Instant Reaction – Bragging that your new console will have the same feature-set as the NES isn’t really a thing you should do.

– Some talk of the WiiU’s new front end/social platform, the Miiverse. Basically when you power on your system there will be a number of floating icons representing games. Around those games Miis will congregate — these can be your own Miis, your friend’s Miis or the Miis of random people who are playing similar games as you. Little speech bubbles with messages or doodles will appear over the Miis’ heads.

Instant Reaction – There are going to be soooo many dick doodles on everybody’s WiiU.

– You’ll be able to access the Miiverse on the WiiU, 3DS, PCs and smartphones. Eventually.

Instant Reaction – It wouldn’t be a Nintendo console if you didn’t have to wait months/years for basic promised features.

The Miiverse — like this, but with sooo many more cocks and random hookup requests.


New Super Mario Bros. U

– Miiverse integration — messages from friends will pop when you die, and be visible on the world map. Gameplay is strictly 2D, but there are a ton of scaling layers in the background.

Instant Reaction – Definitely looks more detailed and rich than New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but there’s something kind of off about the visual style. Looks kind of cluttered.

– Water level, forest level, sky level, grass level, spooky level, snow level, giant level.

Instant Reaction – Well, all the tropes are covered.

– You can use the GamePad to help other players by placing extra platforms. Otherwise the game is controlled with Wiimotes.

Instant Reaction – Soooo, likely the biggest launch title only uses the GamePad for a gimmick of limited appeal. Hmmm.

Here’s Some 3rd Party Stuff!

– WiiU is getting a port of Batman: Arkham City with some extra features. Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition will allow you to collect “kinetic energy” and unleash a more powerful BAT mode by tapping the GamePad. Remote control Batarangs using the GamePad’s motion controls. Place explosives and set them off with the touch screen.

Instant Reaction – Most of these new features, none of which sound that exciting, could be done just as easily (more or less) without the GamePad. But hey, it’s Batman Arkham City! Can’t complain too much about that.

– Scribblenauts Unlimited — create your own usable objects or creatures using a variety of parts. Share creations. Multiplayer mode. Learn Maxwell’s no doubt fascinating backstory.

Instant Reaction – Seems like the wordplay aspect of the earlier games is gone, which is a shame. Seeing what the game did with your words was what made Scribblenauts fun and unique — there are any number of other games that let you assemble wacky creatures from spare parts.

– Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Trine 2: Directors Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and Aliens Colonial Marines are coming to the WiiU.


Wii Fit U

 Reggie makes reference to the “my body is ready” meme thus, hopefully, killing it. Yup, there will be a new Wii Fit. Pretty standard looking new minigames, can play on your GamePad if someone is occupying the TV.

Instant Reaction – That luge minigame looks too much like the skiing games from the first Wii Fit. I almost killed myself trying to get high scores on those damn skiing games.

“Just…gotta…slowly edge my crotch…towards her butt…”

– Uh oh, Reggie is talking about music games. They wouldn’t, would they?



Phew. Okay, it’s not Wii Music 2. Some game where you sing and dance. We see a trailer of people standing near a TV singing and sort of shuffling around — they’re not synchronized at all, and don’t seem like they’re actually interacting with anything on the TV or WiiU controller.

Instant Reaction – Soooo, is Sing an actual game? I dunno. I think it might just be copy of “Call Me Maybe” that plays on loop.


3DS Corner

Reggie has decided to give the 3DS a couple minutes on the show. How generous.

 New Super Mario Bros. 2 — Everything is gold. Coins everywhere, gold enemies, gold Mario. Oh, and you can actually fly with the raccoon tail now. August 19th.

Instant Reaction – You know, it may be a sign you’re working Mario a little too hard when the only thing left to build a Mario platformer around is the coins.  

– Paper Mario: Sticker Star — You can now collect stickers by pulling them off the scenery. Use them as battle commands and to uncover secrets.

Instant Reaction – Game looks really crisp and beautiful. My most anticipated 3DS game by far.

– Luigi’s Mansion 2 — Luigi is menaced by a giant spider, visits a snowy cabin-like mansion, and encounters a ghost dog.

Instant Reaction – Eh, this one just doesn’t look that interesting to me. It’s lighting effects just seem really underwhelming, and aren’t fancy lighting effects pretty much the purpose of Luigi’s Mansion?


Lego City Undercover

Really weird concept — it’s an open world Lego parody of 70s cop shows. Call dispatch and scan for hidden criminals with the GamePad. Lego man kung-fu battle.

Instant Reaction – This game does not look good. The guy building a green Mario pipe out of blocks at the end was cute though. Heeey, maybe the next New Super Mario Bros. game can be all about the pipes.

A Lego homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo? Yeah, kids are gonna love it.



I’m not going to bother describing in full detail everything Ubisoft announced, because it’s Ubisoft, so most of it was cheap ports/garbage. We’ll just focus on ZombiU which is a game where, get this, you kill zombies. Use the GamePad to scan rooms, access your inventory, snipe, break free from zombies and hack door locks.

Instant Reaction – This is basically the WiiU’s Red Steel. A generic, but solid looking “hardcore” game from Ubisoft that promises (and will probably fail) to put Nintendo’s wacky new controller to good use. It even has a similar visual style to Red Steel. So uh, yeah, hooray?


– This is Nintendo’s big casual gateway game. Unlike Wii Sports, this game won’t only feature generic Miis, but minigames based on their popular franchises.

Instant Reaction – If it works, this could be a brilliant move. Casual Wii owners never really graduated from Wii Sports to Nintendo’s character-based franchises the way the company wanted them to. Nintendo isn’t making that mistake again — they’re introducing casual gamers to Mario, Link and company right from the get go.

– There will 12 minigames. Legend of Zelda Battle Quest, Animal Crossing Sweet Day, Donkey Kong’s Crash Course and Luigi’s Ghost Mansion are announced. Luigi’s Ghost Mansion is demoed — it’s basically Pac-Man Vs.

Instant Reaction – Miyamoto won’t be satisfied until we’ve all played Pac-Man Vs. in some form or another.

– …and that’s it. Show’s over.

Instant Reaction – Wait, what?

Overall Thoughts

Huh. Uhhh, Reggie’s coming out for an encore, right? With more games? Nintendo didn’t just end one of the most important press conferences in their history with a demo of Pac-Man Vs., did they? Nintendo showed some good stuff — Pikmin 3 looks fun, and I want Paper Mario: Sticker Star badly, but man, they desperately needed to show at least one really graphically impressive exclusive WiiU title. Everything we’ve been hearing says these games are in development, that they are going to be a focus, so why they weren’t at Nintendo’s press conference I have no earthly idea. Guess Reggie needed more time to spout marketing catchphrases. Have you heard the WiiU has asymmetric gameplay? So disruptive! Sony takes it this year.