Monday, August 15, 2016

SDCC 2016: The Nintendo Update

By Spencer Camarda

Aside from the plethora of Ash Ketchums, Starbucks Coffee stands, and never-ending lines that zig and zag every way known to man, the number of gaming developers is, inexplicably, ever-expanding within Comic Con’s corridors. While spending a majority of my time inside of the Nintendo Lounge located adjacent to the Convention Center inside of the Marriot, I found a number of spectacles that left me begging for more. Everything from new 3DS releases, to Wii U, and to the first reveal of Nintendo’s NES: Classic Edition. Let’s dive in!

I’ve always been a big fan of Nintendo since I was a little kid. I vividly remember opening up my N64 alongside Pokémon Snap and Super Smash Bros. on Christmas morning in 1999 (boy, time flies). Some of my favorites included Super Mario 64, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Star Fox 64, Pokémon Stadium, and several others. Needless to say, Nintendo has truly evolved since then with their enhancements in both at-home and handheld consoles. All of this was evident at the Nintendo Lounge as they highlighted games like Splatoon, Pokémon, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and other big titles. Some newer and fascinating in my opinion were Pokémon Sun and Moon, Pokkén Tournament, and the NES: Classic Edition.

Pokémon Sun and Moon follow the same formula as the other previous handhelds before them. You, a young and aspiring Pokémon trainer, appear in a new region where every corner is teeming with new Pokémon for you to capture in order to be the very best (like no one ever was). Earlier this year, fans of the franchise were presented with the three new starters for the game: Owlet (Grass/Flying), Popplio (Water), and Litten (Fire). Since their reveal, almost twenty-four new Poké pals have been released! Alongside a demonstration of these Pokémons’ move sets from the trailer Nintendo released, fans have noticed that there is a more dynamic shift in how the game’s environment has changed. Your character within the game looks much more human-like than the sad little block of a human fans since generation one have seen. Additionally, you can choose how your character looks with different hair and skin colors. The inviting Alola region also promises to showcase more means of travel than previous generations. Representing a conglomerate of islands, this could suggest that potential plot points within the game will allow you to travel to these islands instead of surfing all over the place. Only time will tell! The game has an expected US release date of November 18th, 2016.

Pokkén Tournament has been out for quite some time now, but I still love the dynamics that it has to offer. With the combination of a classic fighting game like Tekken and the enticing adventure Pokémon brings, Pokkén Tournament brings something fans have been asking for since the release of Pokémon Stadium. The cast of characters include some old and new. There are familiar ones such as Pikachu and Mewtwo along with newcomers like Darkrai and Shadow Mewtwo, a boss that’s exclusive to this game. Overall, it’s an exciting game to watch and play. It reminds me of just how far Nintendo has come since playing Super Mario Bros. on the NES. In this moment of nostalgia, I suppose it’s time to mention this NES: Classic Edition being released. It’s much smaller than the NES some of us are familiar with, but the NES: Classic Edition comes with thirty games built in and connects simply with an HDMI cable to your TV. Some of these games include Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3, The Legend of Zelda, Excitebite, and Balloon Fight. I’m WAY too excited to snag one of these because I’ve always loved these games, but only got excited to play them whenever I was going to my aunt’s house since she still had a living, breathing NES. However, that same breath will fill my lungs once again on November 11th, 2016. And with a price of only $59.99, how could you pass this up?

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