Posted By: wraggster
Nintendo's retreat from the very public PR war of the E3 press conferences turned out to be a more literal one than we might have thought. This morning in Los Angeles, the company replaced its traditional stage show first with its Nintendo Direct live stream and then by inviting press to its stand before the show floor opened to play six key Wii U titles and meet their creators.With giant curtains drawn across the entrances and a crowd heavily populated with Nintendo fans - 3DS consoles flipped open, trading StreetPass hits - there was a reclusive and clubby atmosphere. Charles Martinet was on hand to voice a CG Mario on the screens, name-checking the journalists as they crowded around a small stage. Welcoming us, Nintendo's US boss Reggie Fils-Aime waxed almost poetic as he referred to the desensitising effect of the E3 show floor, where "adjectives, sound effects and quick cuts bleed into each other". Here, safe in Nintendo's bosom, we could play the games and concentrate on what's important. "What matters is how you feel when you play the game," he said.Nintendo was hunkering down in its bunker, battening down the hatches, preaching to the converted. And it was a sermon we'd heard a few too many times before.Even by Nintendo's standards, the slate of highlighted games was deeply conservative. The most adventurous was, unsurprisingly, from an external team: Platinum Games' otaku favourite, Bayonetta 2. Its extravagant action and decadent, risqué aesthetic set it apart in the context of Nintendo's stand.Two more were already familiar: Pikmin 3, out soon, and the HD remaster of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, more faithful to the original's visuals than at its first appearance in January's Nintendo Direct and sporting a few minor feature and control tweaks. It will no doubt be a lavishly nostalgic pleasure to revisit later this year. Meanwhile, and despite being too much of a known quantity to possess the requisite E3 wow factor, Shigeru Miyamoto's pet project Pikmin 3 fizzed with a sense of busy novelty - perhaps more so than the three all-new games on show. And that's a worry.Another new Mario Kart, with another new gimmick: anti-gravity tracks that loop upside down through the sky. Another Retro Studios Donkey Kong Country game, Tropical Freeze, in which Nintendo's pet Western development team of the moment apes (sorry) the work of Nintendo's pet Western development team of two decades ago. Yet another polished and safe platformer to add to Nintendo's bulging catalogue of such games (although the return of the original music composer David Wise is sure to please many fans).