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By 17 June 2015 | Categories: news

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At the beginning of the week, we commented that Nintendo had a penchant for doing things a little differently, and true to form the Japanese company did exactly that. Instead of taking to E3's main stage in California, Nintendo used its own site, Nintendo Direct to livestream its Digital Event video with gamers. As expected, it was far from the norm, compared to what we've seen at E3 2015 thus far, with 50+ minutes of puppets and behind the scenes development action.

Star Fox Zero

The livestream started off rather oddly, with CEO Satoru Iwata and North America president Reggie Fils-Aimes as puppets getting ready for the E3 show. About two minutes into the Digital Event, things get even weirder, as the pair begin to transform into muppet-esque versions of characters from Nintendo's Star Fox gaming franchise. As such, all the muppets and weirdness was used to announce the world premiere of Star Fox Zero. The game is set to launch by Q4 this year, and will be an exclusive title for the Wii U.

Star Fox Zero will see gamers inhabit the fur of Fox McCloud, as you pilot his Arwing from a third-person perspective. Gamers will also be able to use the Wii U GamePad's screen to view content and specifically target enemies while in-game. Furthermore, the GamePad can be used when gamers deploy a drone from their Arwing, and view what the drone does from a first-person perspective.

Super Mario Maker

As some avid gamers may know, 2015 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. franchise, which still remains the company's best selling one to date. To that end, Nintendo has introduced Super Mario Maker, which allows gamers to create their own mushroom filled and booby trap laden worlds on the Wii U. Super Mario Maker pulls content from all the Mario platforming titles which gamers have seen over the past 30 years, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. U.

As such, levels are almost fully customisable, with the Wii U GamePad's screen and pen used to click, drag and populate levels. We caught our first glimpse of Mario Maker at this year's Nintendo World Championships, and if that's anything to go by, the levels can become very challenging indeed. Along with Mario, gamers can also use their amiibo statues to bring other iconic Nintendo characters into the Mario gaming world.  

Skylanders SuperChargers

Speaking of Nintendo's amiibo statues, which have certainly helped bolster interest in the company's gaming offerings. Nintendo has debuted a new series of amiibo specifically designed for the Skylanders franchise, titled SuperChargers. The new amiibo are essentially the Nintendo characters we've come to know, this time round in a specially designed vehicle.

The vehicles themselves are divided up into three categories, with land, air and sea versions all available. Added to this, all the vehicles are customisable through the acquisition of in-game points. The Skylanders SuperChargers game and amiibo statues are dated for release on September 20th.

Xenoblade Chronicles

If the cute and cuddly world of Skylanders simply isn't cutting it for you, then Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii U is worth taking note of. The game takes place in the future, where Earth has been destroyed and humanity is marooned on a foreign planet. As expected, this new planet is harsh and unforgiving, with gamers going through an almost Final Fantasy-esque experience of exploration and fighting.  

Xenoblade Chronicles looks well put together, with an imaginative world to venture into, tons of enemies to take on, and an immersive, como-heavy fighting system to tap into. If the trailer is any indication, Xenoblade Chronicles' 4 December release date should be diarised by all Wii U gamers.

NX Console?

So where was the news about Nintendo's mysterious new console, codenamed NX? Well Fils-Aimes has stated that news about the project will only be divulged in 2016. As such, this E3 for Nintendo has been somewhat of a let down, as we have not seen anything truly groundbreaking or indeed next-gen console rivalling. As such, it seems like the longer Nintendo waits to divulge info about the NX, the more ground it will lose to the likes of Xbox and PlayStation.

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