Here at E3 2012, Nintendo announced a list of twenty-four games. No launch dates yet, of course; Nintendo has confirmed the system's release this holiday season, but no day was given. Nintendo of America's President Reggie Fils-AIme made the company's E3 2012 message clear, though: it's the games that matter most.
Nintendo was pushing first-party titles hard so we saw plenty from the Wii U's creator. The line-up also includes some current hits and a few game debuts.
1. Pikmin 3
The long awaited sequel debuted this morning with the red, blue, and yellow Pikmin you know and love. There are four new captains in the game and the whereabouts of Captain Olimar are currently unknown. The captains are all present on the map at the same time, and the player can switch between them to complete puzzles and more easily navigate the game's large maps. There's a new Pikmin as well: the rock Pikmin.
2. New Super Mario Bros. U
In the vein of the familiar Wii title, and the upcoming 3DS iteration, New Super Mario Bros. U features four player co-op. Players use a Wii Remote to control the hero. In a twist, a 5th player can use the GamePad to get in on the action asymmetrically, helping or hindering the four players.
The new Mario Brothers title features deep integration in the Miiverse, too. Players can leave notes on the world map, providing helpful hints or warnings as players continue their journey.
3. Nintendo Land
Reggie Fils-Aime said that this would be the game to "sell" the concept of the Wii U. The game imagines a Nintendo-themed amusement park. The game will feature twelve attractions, with five announced here. The first three are multiplayer, while the latter two are for single-player: Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, Luigi's Ghost Mansion, The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, Takamaru's Ninja Castle, and Donkey Kong's Crash Course. The game prominently features five-player asymmetrical multiplayer like that found in New Super Mario Bros. U.
In a demonstration of Luigi's Ghost Mansion, the four players utilizing Wiimotes attempt to navigate a Pac-Man-style maze. The fifth player controls a ghost that is invisible to the others. The ghost's objective is to sneak up on each of the four players, making them faint. If the ghost takes out all four players, then he wins. Again, it pits that extra character against the others.
4. Lego City Undercover
Publisher: Warner Brothers
Lego City Undercover is an open-world crime fighting game. Traveller's Tale remains the developer of the Lego-inspired series with its trademark sense of humor. Gameplay appears to be action-packed and whimsical and set in and open-world fashion. There are tons of vehicles to drive, and platforming appears to be a large element of gameplay as well. The Wii U GamePad is being used as a detective tool, scanning environments for evidence, contacting other detectives, and acting as a secondary HUD.
5. Sing(Working Title)
Sing is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a singing and dancing game that takes full advantage of the asymmetrical gameplay afforded by the Wii U. One player holds the GamePad in portrait while the lyrics are scrolled down the tablet's screen. This means the singing player doesn't have to look at the TV and, ideally, can interact with the crowd. It looked to be little more than a first-party karaoke simulator, really.
Ubisoft is crafting a mature, first-person zombie survival game, exclusive to Wii U. The GamePad acts as a map, scanner, radar, scope and inventory. The graphics and animations are better than anything before seen on a Nintendo system. Comically, the game will take a picture of a player, and convert their face into a zombified version of their former selves — similar to a smartphone app.
7. Aliens: Colonial Marines
The recently delayed shooter will now be missing a day-and-date launch for the Wii U. However, it will still afford Wii U owners a claustrophobic, action-packed first-person shooting experience developed by Gearbox Software. As a nod to the movie that inspired the game, the Wii U screen will act as a radar, pulsing at intervals to alert you to approaching Xenomorphs. This type of gameplay would lend itself well to a VIP-style competitive multiplayer mode, or the co-op modes that have been invading nearly every high-profile shooter of the last few years.
8. Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition
Publisher: Warner Brothers
Rocksteady's critically acclaimed game of yester-year is coming to the Wii U with a slew of unique features. For example, new gadgets like the Remote-Controlled Batarang allow the player to use the gyroscope in the Wii U GamePad to control the Batarang. The port is being handled by Warner Brothers Montreal.
9. Wii Fit U
Using the balance board of yester-year and combining it with the Wii U GamePad allows for new ways to integrate game-style mechanics into workouts. A new pedometer accessory will sync with the Wii U GamePad to help users keep better track of their caloric burn.
10. Sribblenauts: Unlimited
Publisher: Warner Brothers
The creativity behind 5th Cell Media's Scribblenauts has been lauded since the game launched on the original Nintendo DS. The Wii U sequel allows the player to create their own objects and associate them with certain phrases. Unsurprisingly, players are allowed to share their creations with other players for use in their story, or for further creative modification.
Other Games Announced:
Mass Effect 3 (Electronic Arts)
Trine 2: Director's Cut (Frozenbyte)
Tank! Tank! Tank! (Namco Bandai)
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Namco Bandai)
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge (Tecmo)
Darksiders II (THQ)
Assassin's Creed 3 (Ubisoft)
Ghost Recon Online (Ubisoft)
Just Dance 4 (Ubisoft)
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (Ubisoft)
Rabbids Land (Ubisoft)
Rayman Legends (Ubisoft)
Sports Connection (Ubisoft)
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 (Ubisoft)