Friday, 26 February 2010

Nintendo's Summer Sensations

Nintendo’s media summit in San Francisco on February 24 provided gamers around the world with a taste of what to expect from the company in 2010, and it’s certainly shaping up to be a good year.

For far too long, Nintendo has failed to provide core gamers with a line-up of any real interest, but summer 2010 is looking like the season to set things right.

First up, is the rather sumptuous looking Super Mario Galaxy 2. Not since October 2007 when the original Super Mario Galaxy hit the Wii has the console seen such an incredible game, so it’s only fair that almost 3 years later, such a game should come in the form of its sequel.

Since it was first announced at E3 in June 2009, details of Mario’s new intergalactic adventure have been pretty thin on the ground, and we were expecting an announcement at this years show, but it turns out that we’ll actually be playing it come E3 2010. Nintendo has announced a European release date of June 11.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is looking spookily similar to the original, but more of the same is no bad thing for this sequel. This time around, Mario will be joined by Yoshi, who looks set to feature quite heavily throughout, and we’ve no doubt that Mario will have a slew of new caps to aid him on his journey. We’ve already seen the new drill tool in action, but that’s probably just the start of things to come.

The sequel has retained the art style and feel of the original, but judging by the new trailer and screens, enemies are looking more impressive in terms of scale, and bosses look set to take on much larger forms with more devastating effects than before. IQGamer is also pleased to announce that the glorious 60fps platforming action will continue for Mario once again.

Details of the interesting Metroid: Other M have also been revealed. Produced in collaboration with Tecmo’s Team Ninja, Samus’ first console outing since Metroid Prime 3 looks set to feature a mixture of gameplay styles, whilst still retaining a distinctive Metroid feel.

Screen shots show Samus in action in both first and third person mode, with most of the action taking place from a 2D perspective, but all the while in full 3D. Simply pointing the Wii remote at the screen will enable you to enter first person mode, though you can’t move around. This mechanic will likely be used for exploration rather than intense fighting.

Graphically, the game is shaping up well. It almost looks like a 3D version of Super Metroid, and in typical Tecmo style, the fully rendered cinematics look gorgeous. We’ve only seen a space station environment so far, so it will be interesting to see where else Samus winds up in her latest adventure.

Metroid: Other M has been given a European release date of Q3 2010. Nintendo has announced a more specific release date for America on June 27.

Other key Wii titles for 2010 have also been given European release dates. The crazy looking, and nicely titled Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is set for June 7, and Capcom’s massive Monster Hunter Tri will be gracing stores on April 23.

The DS certainly hasn’t been overlooked either, and with a new hardware iteration about to hit stores in Europe and America, Nintendo’s super successful handheld is set to gain yet more momentum throughout 2010. The DSi XL is coming to Europe next week on March 5, with America following closely on March 28.

Big titles arriving on the DS in Europe over the next few months include Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, coming March 14, WarioWare: Do It Yourself on April 30 and Dragon Quest IX coming sometime in the summer. The DSiWare service will be receiving further support from shooters X-Scape and Metal Torrent, Photo Dojo, Art Style: light trax and Art Style: Rotozoa.

Summer is looking bright and very colourful for Nintendo fans right now, and with some solid release dates and tantalising details having been revealed so early in the year, let’s hope Nintendo has a few surprises in store for E3 in June.

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