With E3 drawn to a close, it is time to take a look at the big hits of the show. Or at least the Nintendo hits. There were a number of surprises in store from the major gaming company, many of which reach out to fans of one genre: shooting.
Let’s start with the surprise of the 3DS: “Project Sora.” Or, as it’s more commonly known, Kid Icarus: Uprising. This is a 3-D take on Nintendo’s classic and difficult side-scroller about a young angel fighting for his Goddess, Palutena. Many gamers know the angel, Pit, from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where he made his first appearance in over fifteen years; his last game was Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, released in 1991. In addition to the return of a clamored-for character, Uprising will feature shooting in both on-rails and on foot formats. While giving an angel a gun may seem odd, especially since he already has the classic Palutena’s Bow, it also bridges the gap between time periods both in the game and in reality. While it may not be the Wii game fans have been hoping for, it opens the path for a future console installment in the revived series.
Another shooter series seeing a revival is Star Fox 64. The classic Nintendo 64-era game is receiving a graphics upgrade as well as portability—the original was bound to the console-and-cartridge system of the 90s and early 2000s. Now, this fan favorite is coming to the Nintendo 3DS. While only screenshots have been released so far, the improved visuals look amazing, especially compared to the blocky models of its N64 predecessor. Oddly enough, this would be the third time that the original Star Fox game has been remade, as the first Star Fox 64 was a loose remake of the SNES original. Once again, it’s not the Wii game fans have been praying to see, but it may lead the way for the once-beloved series to make a return.
Advanced science continued to be a theme at the conference with the announcement of Konami’s Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3 “The Naked Sample.” While there seem to be few details on this game, another 3DS exclusive, it features appearances from what seems to be Solid Snake as well as his clone-brother, Liquid Snake. The series is well-known for its shooting action, making this another possible run-and-gun game for the upcoming handheld.
But that’s not the only higher-rated shooter. The Resident Evil series returns in horrifying 3-D with Resident Evil Revelations. The horror-survival shooter is made to cause pants-wetting among unaware and unprepared players. Mow the zombies and other threats leap out of the screen to tear your face off in a nearly-literal way. Thank goodness they’re just images! Keep reminding yourself of that fact if you want to try this latest release from Capcom’s traditionally M-rated series.
But these are just the 3DS games! There’s still the Wii to talk about. The most prominent one among fans at this point is Metroid: Other M, slated for release on August 31. Metroid is a long-standing series dating back to the most classic times of gaming and is one of the last havens for truly challenging casual play. While we’ve known about this game for a long time now, we now see that the game offers a zoom function in first-person mode, as well as a first look at a lava-dwelling boss creature. Combining the first and third-person viewpoints of previous series entries for amazing, almost Zelda-like gameplay, the classic shooting series is showing the best of both its classic and recent entries.
Speaking of Zelda, it’s time for honorable mentions of two show-stopping announcements. First is the name and gameplay video of Link’s next Wii adventure: Skyward Sword. Featuring one-to-one control that, though difficult to use around wireless devices, has been said to be outstanding, this new adventure returns a feature not seen in a 3-D Zelda game since Majora’s Mask ten years ago: the sword beam. While it may end up being harder to aim than its 2-D versions, the classic ability is often a helpful dynamic in a world infested with evil monsters.
The other mention is the return of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the 3DS. Like its game-age-partner Star Fox 64, Ocarina of Time, or OoT, is getting a massive graphics upgrade for the new generation. This also will make it one of Nintendo’s most remade games, as there have been several of re-releases for various consoles over the twelve year period since the original came out.
Why mention these two games in an article about shooting games? Two reasons. First, they’re big news. It’s hardly a Nintendo-based E3 article without bringing these up. The second is that they, too, have shooting elements. The classic Bow item, a faithful companion to Link, appears in both games, while OoT has a Slingshot item that is aimed in almost the exact same manner. This means that there are shooting elements in these games, meaning that they manage to squeeze themselves into this article.
Whatever your inclination towards Nintendo, 3-D graphics, or shooters, there is a lineup of promising games slated for release over the next year or so. While one of them is as soon as August and the others not until 2011, this is a very great time to be a gamer. Who knows? Perhaps one of these games can change one or more of your perceptions if you give them a chance.