E3 2013: Hands on With Nintendo’s 3DS Line-up
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
A Link Between Worlds is a very exciting Zelda title for me. Not because it runs at 60fps, nor because it’s a sequel to A Link to the Past. No, none of that. In fact, it’s the fact that this new Zelda is the first in some time that makes me think in a little bit of a different way.
Zelda games are all constructed rather similarly – there’s the dungeons, the puzzles, the switches and what not. Previously, these were all laid out in a single, flat dimension on the more “traditional” Zelda games. But A Link Between Worlds takes this formula and adds a lot, taking advantage of the 3DS’s 3D to the best of it’s ability.
During the part of the demo we sampled, I had to use the game’s new wall merging feature, in addition to the vertical layering of the dungeon to get through puzzles. It made me think in a new and different way – and needless to say, if the game does a good job at expanding these ideas it’s going to be a shock for even the staunchest of Zelda fans.
Outside of the dungeon the field demo was pretty much the same Zelda, the map itself is very similar to Link To The Past and deliberately so. The game is meant to recall memories of the previous game but at the same time not be the same game.
There’s something weird about seeing Zelda at 60 frames per second as well, its not wrong but it just looks weird. It’s a good weird, and once we’re sure that you’ll get used to.
We’ll have to play more of this game before we can judge of course, but so far – I’m excited.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros.
An RPG title isn’t something you can get a good grasp on during E3, even if I was sitting down in the Nintendo booth. The new elements in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. are certainly going to shake up the Mario & Luigi series and in a great way.
There were multiple demos of Dream Team Bros. at E3 – I got to run through the new Dream Mode where Mario jumps into a sleeping Luigi’s dream. In this mode, the game plays like a simple side scroller, with Luigi being able to take control of some elements in the dream world to help Mario out.
His mustache contains all the power as by grabbing it on the touch screen you can lift Mario up with vines to get past obstacles. While exploring the dream world, the combat is also different from the usual Mario & Luigi titles. While in this environment, only Mario enters the battles, Luigi only appears when you hit a ‘perfect’ attack and not only one of him but multiples Luigi’s. In the dream world, Luigi can duplicate or clone himself magically, it is his dreams after all, so his rules. With these many Luigi you can form a stack to spring jump to high places or drop on enemies. The Luigi’s can also be used in battle, one move has Mario rolling a ball of Luigi over more Luigis to make a huge ball of Luigis which then attacks the enemies. It really is the year of Luigi. Luigi Luigi Luigi.
Yoshi’s New Island
Yoshi’s Island DS is a bit of a sore point with some Nintendo fans, now the team behind that game are back again in the Yoshi saddle with Yoshi’s New Island.
First things first, the game does look like a Yoshi’s Island title, the art style might not be the same exactly but it is at least inspired by it. The game on the 3DS screen looks great and the 3D effect works well the new art style to bring depth and pop-out effects to the environment. The music matches what you would expect out of a Yoshi’s Island title too, with a cheery disposition.
So how’s it play? Happy to report its just as you would expect – just with a couple of differences. First up, it feels a controls a little differently to the previous titles, whether it’ll stay this way remains to be seen but it’s not bad at all. However, we can see some of the more dedicated Yoshi fans are going to be up in arms about the minor changes.
The shoot-eggs-while-stationary move too needs some work as it takes way too long to get the a shot off accurately.
On the new side of things are giant eggs and binoculars. These two new elements work together, you use the binoculars to scope out the area around you with the gyroscope. The giant egg can really only be used in the area you find it in and if aimed correctly will bounce and ricochet to get you extra coins and lives. Yoshi can also swallow giant enemies, which turn into giant eggs. I can’t even imagine how that comes out… but it does.
Like all of Nintendo’s games demoed on the E3 there hasn’t been enough of Yoshi’s New Island to figure out how the whole game is going to go, but what I’ve played so far – I’m optimistic.