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Hands on with Nintendo's latest titles: Hyrule Warriors, Mario Maker, Captain Toad, Project Guard, Project Giant Robot

It's time to round up the last of our Post E3 hands on with Nintendo's latest titles. So lets' get started, shall we?

Hyrule Warriors

Why this was stuck in a corner away from the rest of the hyped titles is beyond me as I finally got a hands on one of the more interesting titles announced a while ago, Hyrule Warriors. The demo played here was similar to the previous videos we have seen a few months back so maybe it was tucked away as there was nothing really new to see, but for a first time hands on I didn’t really want to let go. Offering a perfect blend of Tecmo Koei trademark Dynasty Warriors series against the backdrop of the world of Hyrule, this title has potential be something truly stunning.

All of the requisite Warriors traits are there, huge battlegrounds, castles, insane combos and of course hundreds of enemies on screen at once. The action is just as intense as ever with the demo allowing me to play as either Link or Zelda in this one off stage. Opting for Link but going for a Fire Rod rather than the old faithful sword saw me burning through the almost unending horde of baddies that get in my way as I move from each checkpoint. Dishing out the pain is easy with a very simple combo system unchanged over the years with a basic and special attack button plus an assortment of gauges that build over time allowing you to unleash even more powerful moves. With all of the action going it is quite easy to see where to go thanks to a decent map that shows all of the games hotspots, which on this occasion requires me to meet up with Zelda herself on the battlefield, though she seems more than capable of looking after herself. For a Dynasty game this short demo was littered with Zelda references which are sure to please the many fans from opening treasure chests to plenty of cameos from familiar character, good and evil. Even the boss battle against the classic King Dodongo is almost the same as the original game, with you waiting for the mighty lizard to open his mouth before throwing in a selection of bombs to weaken him. With superb visuals that burst off the screen and rich history to fall back on, this team up can only mean good things when it finally arrives.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Following on from his exploits in the recent Mario games Toad finally gets his own game in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, a 3D puzzle game that looks and plays like a dream. With the trademark cartoon visual recently seen on the WiiU titles, Captain Toad again shows that when it comes to graphics the WiiU is no slouch. With Captain Toad you are basically on the lookout for treasure, which inevitably is usually hidden away on a far off hard to reach platform. As Toad you have a very limited repertoire with just walking and picking up items, though this is more than enough to take on the many obstacles as you yourself play a large part in the puzzle process, using the camera to give you a full 3D viewpoint of the whole level; crafting Nintendo’s mastery of the game camera with puzzles is a genius idea that works so well. With use of the GamePad you are also able to manipulate certain areas of the world, like in the final demo level there are doors of a haunted house that you can move, with different positions leading you to different areas or in the mine cart level, the GamePad screen allows for a first person view, allowing you to guide Captain Toads shots on like an on-rails shooter.

Just how big this game is going to be and if it warrants a full retail price is still unknown but from playing the four available levels on the demo this is shaping up to be yet another classic Nintendo puzzle/platform game.

Project Guard

More of a tech demo showing early ideas, this WiiU title offers fast and frantic tower defence style planning with shooter elements. With only one world on offer which is set in a StarFox base of some sort the game starts off showing you the layout of your base, an almost maze like structure with a power core situated in the middle. The aim of the game is to protect the power core from incoming enemy robots using the many laser mounted cameras scattered around the walls. Before the impending invasion you are able to position cameras across the many walls as you see fit, covering any potential blind spots and adding backups in case your first line of defence fails. Once the action starts you are gently fed a few bad robots, trundling along the surface of the moon. With the many cameras you get a live feed from each one that show around the edges of the TV screen with the camera screen in the middle showing the one you currently control. Using your own skills of detection you wait for movement on the screens, flitting form the main screen to the GamePad which also can pick up movement from certain robots. Once you see one you quickly tap the corresponding camera on the GamePad which then brings it to the centre screen, allowing you to then fire lasers and adjust your aim, hopefully taking out the robot as quick as possible before another comes in from another angle. Very quickly the game ups the ante adding all sorts of enemy robots from bird-like robots that eat your camera, footballs that explode into view obscuring dust or mother robots that when they are defeated spew out a smaller, more nimble robot.

Inevitably the game gets hard fast, with me feeling like I need another set of eyes to even have a chance, thankfully I didn’t feel too bad, being told by the host that not many had finished the final level.

What will become of Project Guard is still to be decided, will it be a side mission for the new StarFox game or a standalone downloadable WiiU title? Either way Nintendo have captured the essence of the tower defence genre and added a little more spice to the action.

Project Giant Robot

For another tech demo rather than a full game, Project Giant Robot sure has a lot of potential. From my short hands-on, Project Giant Robot is best described as a customizable robot sumo wrestling game. Already having a strong Nintendo feel to it with you first create a giant robot using the GamePad to select different body parts and use whatever is in the selection, from drill hands to Russian doll heads, there is plenty to make your own fearsome robot. Once ready you enter the robots cockpit, tapping the GamePad to start it up and being shown a first person view of the action meanwhile on the TV screen you are shown a bird’s eye view of the action, with your robot slowly lumbering towards the enemies. Being a massive metallic monstrosity of some few hundred feet and a couple of thousand tonnes your robot is not the easiest to move around, slowly building up momentum as he walks towards the enemy, the general idea to knock them on the floor before they do the same to you. With trigger buttons that move forwards and backwards, the GamePad gyro acts not only as the aiming reticule for the robots puny laser but also shifts its weight around, with you leaning forward and keeping balance to get the upper hand during the attacks. Though you get a decent feel of the weight of your robot, the actual impact from collision and also using the robots arms feels a little off, making it hard to sense if you are actually doing any damage.

With only a few fights on offer this robosumo fighter has a lot of work before it will be finished but the idea alone is something so original that I can’t wait for the final product.

Mario Maker

Last pod of the day was a little hands-on with Mario Maker, the Mario level design, allowing you to create and customize your own platform levels and post them online for the world to try out. Using the stylus and GamePad the creation is extremely easy, just dragging and dropping your required items on the screen, from power blocks and coins to pipes and brick platforms all the way through to Goombas and Koopas, it is totally up to you where to place them. At any point you can start playing the level, testing out your devilish layout and if you either find it too hard or too easy all you do is open the editor again and adjust as you see fit, with a shadow of Mario plotting out where he travelled during the last play through. The demo on offer had very little on offer, just my own level plus a few pre-made to show what the game is capable of.

As shown in the E3 videos is also the ability to switch between classic NES Mario games and the more recent WiiU Mario visuals which is done instantly, though apart from the visuals it was hard to tell if the game takes on the physics of the original titles. Something I did notice however is the selection bar where you choose which variation of Mario to play in appears to be plenty of space; will there be other Mario games packs on offer at a later date?

Edited On 01 Jul, 2014

( 9 )
Beazi's avatar
Beazi 2 years ago
Mario Maker is my dream come true! I always wanted to create Sonic 4 myself in hindsight so replace that with Mario and I'm happy! I'm guessing that you will have full customisation to build your own mini Mario game too :D
Zombieflamingo's avatar
Zombieflamingo 2 years ago
I know I will like Hyrule Warriors but I will get it later on in the year. Captain Toad looks interesting but will depend on the price, not sure if I could pay full price for a puzzle game.
selfdestruct's avatar
selfdestruct 2 years ago
I hope they add Mario 2 + 3 to it too that would be hours of fun! Wonder how you will get other stuff to use? Complete levels or collect in game like lbp?
Anonymous user's avatar
Lewis 2 years ago
I've always wanted to create brutal Mario levels so Mario Maker seems perfect. Hyrule Warriors and Captain Toad look fun, too.
Dead's avatar
Dead 2 years ago
Not really a fan of the Warriors games, or majorly in to Zelda, but I'll pick up Hyrule Warriors just to support Wii U. Really liking the look of Captain Toad and Mario Maker, loved the Toad levels in 3D world and this looks even more inventive with the levels. Not sure about Giant Robot and Guard yet, but sure they'll be good with Miyamoto on board.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Not a fan of Warriors and Zelda? GTFO GLORIA!
Dead's avatar
Dead 2 years ago
I like Zelda, just not as much as some people, and the Warriors games I overdosed on when I was working as a reviewer, for some reason they always gave them to me and I ended up getting sick of them.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
I wonder why? ROFL!
Akemi no Zero's avatar
Akemi no Zero 2 years ago
Hyrule warriors just looks so much fun. Not long to wait to get my hands on it n.n

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