Going into the Nintendo World Championships I was fully expecting to be bored to tears. And for the first third or so I was about right. But then the experience started clicking. I started getting excited. And my goodness was their a crescendo. Without further ado, here are my highlights from the Nintendo World Championships.
Nintendo World Championships didn’t get off to a rousing start to be honest with you. The first game is Splatoon which by all accounts is a real fun game. There were quite a few presentation issues with this portion of the Championship between not knowing who was who to not being able to get a good feel of the action. Gut says that the latter issue could have been minimized if it weren’t the wee lad, Miniwheat. Lil Wheat is just a kid that enjoys himself some Splatoon but my goodness as someone without a plethora of knowledge on how the games are played or won Miniwheat was a living breathing nightmare. Miniwheat would scream out the only aspect of the game that I understood, you need to paint the opposite side, and shout how every game was close. When the games WERE actually close we were greeted by the roar of this child telling us that he could just not believe it. I’m sorry Miniwheat but we may have some heat.
BLAST BALL FAIL
Debuting a game is a delicate issue. If it is delivered too early in the cycle then either it typically won’t be too hot or it won’t have much hype behind it when it eventually is released. If it is shown too late then you are given a smaller window to educate the consumer on the game. Blast Ball doesn’t really seem to fit either of these description. The concept of the game is giant soccer with mechs. Not a bad idea when one of my most anticipated games of the summer is giant soccer with remote control cars. Unfortunately, for all the crazy fun that Rocket League is, Blast Ball looks the opposite. The graphics look bad. The “sport” looks more like a battle of small nudges as you blast the giant ball. People were wondering if this was a repurposed Metroid DS game and I would not exactly be surprised if it was. The interest in this game was dead on arrival.
REGGIE FILS-AIME IS NOT GOOD AT SMASH
Oh boy, Reggie Fils-Aime played Smash and it was not a good showing. For everyone watching though it was one of the most wonderful things ever. They showed a video of Reggie telling Hungrybox, the best Jigglypuff player in the world, that he would kick his ASS next year at Smash. If you didn’t get amped watching the video then I suggest checking the pulse. Reggie attempting to play Smash made me cry tears of joy. He was such a great sport of it yet he kept dying. Hungrybox could have been a child playing games for the first time and I’m not sure how different the results would have been. Thank you Reggie for being one of the absolute GREATS!
SUPER MARIO MAKER
This was the crème de la crème of the whole experience that was the Nintendo World Championships. First, the game looks great. We saw the final two play through four levels of utter insanity. From the get go you see how robust the level creator is with hammer turtles coming out of question mark blocks and a wild platform section which looked dizzying. The levels that people are going to create will be utter insanity. From the looks of it, the possibilities are endless and I fully expect some strong trolling going on in Super Mario Maker. As they played more we saw more and I was fully convinced that if I bought a WiiU it would be because of this game. Too much possible content that looks great to not be interested. For everything wrong about Blast Ball’s attempt at selling the game, Super Mario Maker did the exact opposite.
There was something else about this final stage of the competition and that is that it reminded me that games are awesome. Sounds simplistic but my goodness is that a powerful feeling. Hundreds of thousands of people either in the theater or watching at home are cheering on the competitors, John Numbers and Cosmo, as they bob and weave through what seems like near impossible obstacles. Together we are all invested in the experience; invested in their success. Reminds me of playing video games with friends after school where we would take turns and watch each other and just have FUN! There was that sense of not knowing what was going to be popping up as the screen scrolled forward it is was just terribly exciting knowing how much was riding on it. It felt like a big sporting event in a way. Or maybe a big game for your local high school team. Not sure, either was sweet as all heck. A true highlight of the show and I am not sure how this wouldn’t be a highlight of the entire E3.