Nintendo had a good day yesterday, impressing many spectators at their E3 digital event with news regarding upcoming titles like Mario Maker, Hyrule Warriors, Splatoon, and an open-world Zelda game. The darkest days for the Wii U appear to be over, which isn't to say that it's finest hour is upon us quite yet, but let's be honest: things are looking a lot better for Nintendo now than they were a few months ago.
However, among the many thrilling announcements, some of the best news was saved for the end of the day during the company's Super Smash Bros. For the Wii U tournament. Along with seeing the game in action (which, by the way, was awesome) we were also given updates about new characters and a few important additions to the fighting aspects of the game.
Here's a recap:
- Lady Palutena will be joining the series, and she looks mighty powerful. Known for her role in the Kid Icarus franchise, Palutena wields a shield and a staff while utilizing her magical abilities to dole out big hits to opponents. Basically, she looks like a suped-up version of Zelda. She wasn't the most obvious choice for a new character, but her fighting prowess could win fans over pretty quickly. As you can see from her video, the ending suggests that Dark Pit may be a character we see as well. However, any word regarding his inclusion has yet to be delivered.
- Pac-Man will also be a playable character. While Lady Palutena was a choice from left field, Pac-Man is an established name for gamers of all generations. From the looks of his fighting reel, the Smash Bros. development team has found a way to get the most out of his retro appeal too. Pac-Man uses weaponry from Galaga and other classic video games, while also having the ability to turn into his original arcade-game form. Watch his video at the top of the post.
- Mii fighters are being added to the game, allowing you to use your very own Mii in three different fighting classes: Brawler, Swordfighter, and Gunner. Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime demoed the new fighters in a video with Nintendo president and CEO Saturo Iwata. It was easily the most meme-able event of the entire day.
- Special moves will be customizable, which is big news. While each fighter will still have their usual four moves, each of these techniques can be manipulated in two different ways, opening up a web of new possibilities for each character. Even better, you'll be able to transfer your customized characters between the 3DS and Wii U versions.
- There will be a new equipment feature which will allow players to give their characters boosts to different statistics like speed and strength. Each character is able to equip three different pieces of gear that will positively impact one attribute at the cost of another. It's an intriguing wrinkle to the series that adds a whole new level of strategy and tinkering for gamers.
- Amiibos—Nintendo's very own version of Skylanders—are an added feature for the game as well. You can read more about them here.
Overall, there's plenty to get excited about for the new Smash Bros. title. And while much of Nintendo's announced catalogue will not hit stores until 2015, you can take solace in the fact that Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS will be available this year. The 3DS version will be released October 3, while the Wii U edition is scheduled for late 2014.