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E3 2015: the eight biggest announcements from Nintendo and Square Enix


Powered by article titled “E3 2015: the eight biggest announcements from Nintendo and Square Enix” was written by Keith Stuart, for on Wednesday 17th June 2015 16.25 UTC

The first day of the E3 games conference in Los Angeles also brought us the last two major briefings of the year: Nintendo (in the form of its usual live online broadcast) and Square Enix.

After the thrills and spills of the Microsoft and Sony events, it was all a little underwhelming. Nintendo immediately charmed viewers with its depiction of its key executives as Muppets, but the actual games content of its presentation left some Wii U owners frustrated by the seeming lack of support.

Meanwhile, Square Enix, was still basking in the afterglow of the Sony briefing on Monday, where the Final Fantasy VII remake was a major highlight.

Its event was dominated by titles we already knew about, including Rise of the Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Just Cause 3. However , the veteran publisher still had a couple of other treats for its dedicated fanbase.

Here’s what we liked best from the games that were officially unveiled for the first time during these events.

Star Fox Zero

The classic flight shooter is returning courtesy of a joint development between Nintendo and the extraordinarily busy Platinum Games. Featuring all the old characters, vehicles and enemies, it’s a sort of re-envisioning of the series so far, with particular debt to Star Fox 64.

The most intriguing aspect is the new control system, which uses the GamePad display as a first-person cockpit view, while the TV shows a more cinematic viewpoint of the craft.

It’s tricky to get used to, and worked better on some of the showfloor demo levels than others, but it should allow players to target in one direction while flying in another. It’s due out this winter.

Hyrule Warriors Legends

Hyrule Warriors: Legends
Hyrule Warriors: Legends – the Wii U title is battling its way onto the small screen

Nintendo’s million-selling tactical battle game, which features a cast of characters from the Zelda series in objective-based skirmishes, is coming to 3DS early next year.

The fresh version includes all the DLC from the Wii U original and adds two characters (and some scenery) lifted from Wind Waker: Tetra and the King of Hyrule. Not a ground-shattering announcement but the Dynasty-Warriors-meets-Zelda format should shine on the handheld console.

Metroid Prime Federation Force

Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Metroid Prime: Federation Force – not exactly the Metroid Prime announcement fans were hoping for, but still…

The classic sci-fi series is always a welcome presence at Nintendo events, but this incarnation left viewers scratching their heads rather than whooping approval. It’s billed as a mission-based four-player co-op adventure, but there’s also going to be a three-vs-three competitive mode called Blast Ball, a sort of future sport side… thing.

It’s being developed by Canadian studio Next Level Games, previously responsible for a whole bunch of Wii conversions, and is due out in 2016.

Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival

It was a double offering from the popular life sim series this year. The news that Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer will be coming West, was accompanied by the announcement of Amiibo Festival.

It’s essentially a take on Nintendo’s board game-like Mario Party titles, but with popular characters from the Animal Crossing universe. The general consensus on the trailer was: this looks weird.

Mario and Luigi Paper Jam

As the owner of a typically unreliable printer, the words “paper jam” usually fill be with horror and frustration – but not this time! It is of course an origami mash-up of the Mario and Luigi series with the Paper Mario titles, which means papery two-dimensional models of our beloved heroes – but in 3D. If that doesn’t break all the laws of Euclidean geometry. Anyway, it’s due out on 3DS next spring.

Mario Tennis Ultra Smash

Mario Tennis Ultra Smash
Mario Tennis Ultra Smash – Bowser’s really been bulking up for this tournamwent

Mario’s tennis games have always been super fun, intuitive takes on the sport, and the latest incarnation is no exception. A simple two-button control set up gives you access to top spin, slice and lob shots, and players are able to hold the buttons, or use them in combination, to pull off shots of differing power and technique.

At points in a game, mushrooms appear on the court, allowing the players (all familiar Super Mario heroes of course) to grow larger – turning the ensuing rally into a sort of It’s a Knockout tribute. It’s coming to Wii U this winter.

Nier new project (working title, obviously)

Nier New Project
The game currently known as Nier New Project. Not only is there no name, there’s no screenshots either, so we’ll have to make do with concept art Photograph: Square Enix

Director Yoko Taro is returning to his cult role-playing adventure, working with Platinum Games on a PS4 exclusive follow-up. The original title was famed for its eccentric implementation of various gameplay styles and genres and it looks like the refreshed take on the universe will be similar.

Viewtiful Joe luminary Atsushi Inaba, Metal Gear Revengeance designer Takahisa Taura and Dragon Quest X producer Yosuke Saito are also on the project. No release date yet.

Project Setsuna

Project Setsuna
Project Setsuna is the first game from Square Enix’s new dedicated RPG developer, the apparently aptly named Tokyo RPG Factor Photograph: Square Enix

Square Enix has established a new studio Tokyo RPG Factory, which is set to specialise in Japanese role-playing games (JRPG) – and this will be its debut project. The publisher famed for the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest titles seems keen to maintain a stake in the JRPG business. And that’s pretty much all we know about it, apart from that its coming to consoles in 2016. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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