E3 2014 - Nintendo Digital Event

Without an actual press conference this year, Nintendo presented their plans for the future in the shape of a digital event. Beginning with a crazy showdown between Regis and Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Smash Bros. Wii U is the first game on the list. Miis become playable characters, and we see a Disney Infinity type of figure being placed on the Wii U Game Pad to import Mario as a character into battle.

The figures are called Amiibo. Any Wii U will recognize the figures by touching them on the Game Pad, and the character's data will download to the game. Your figure's data changes as you play (for example, a fighter's stats will increase) and the data is stored in the chip, just like a Skylanders character. Amiibo gameplay is being prepared for several upcoming games, and even for the already released Mario Kart 8.

Yoshi's Wooly World stars Yoshi in an environment similar to Kirby's Epic Yarn. Everything is made of yarn and knit or crochet pieces, and a lot of it is destructible to reveal hidden passages or new areas. Yoshi's new abilities are there to be used for exploration, and his tongue now has several uses. In fact, Yoshi can slurp up the tip of knitted pieces and swallow the yarn like spaghetti, then poop balls of yarn... and it's even cute when he does it. There's also a 2-player co-op mode where both players will have to work together to overcome obstacles.

We were then showed a series of trailers for upcoming games. First of the list, we watched the premiere of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, a game inspired by the Captain Toad levels from Super Mario 3D World. The varied and clever stages require you to change perspective to progress through, and guide Toad while he collects coins, stars and gems. You do this by using the Game Pad to lead Toad to safety.

The next installment in The Legend of Zelda franchise is introduced as an open world game without a sequence of places to visit. If you can see it in the distance, you can go there. In other words, Zelda Skyrim, which is a great thing. Not much was shown other than grass blowing in the will and fog or smoke rolling in. At that point, a monster appears in the distance, and Link gallops away on his horse, attempting to escape the vicious... whatever that was.

From a live action scene we are taken to the animated world of Pokemon, with the announcement of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. A new adventure takes place in the Hoenn region where you catch, battle and trade Pokémon while searching for Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre and unveil the mystery of Mega Evolutions.

A new trailer for Bayonetta 2 was revealed, as well as details of the retail copy, which will come bundled with the original game and what seem to be alternate costumes for our sexy heroine, with a glimpse of Link, Peach and Metroid outfits.

The Dynasty Warriors franchise will be coming to Wii U with a twist. Hyrule Warriors merges the world of The Legend of Zelda with the hack and slash action of the popular Tecmo Koei series. Zelda, Link, Midna and Impa were shown as playable characters, each with their own special weapons and attacks. Hyrule Warriors will be available September 2014.

A sequel to Kirby's Canvas Curse, Kirby and the Rainbow curse introduces a new look, with an HD, stop-motion clay-like world where everything is sculpted in modelling clay. You control Kirby through drawing mechanics on the touch screen.

Xenoblade Chronicles X seemed like an anime soap opera with Mechs, and I honestly have no idea what was going on there. It's a sci-fi RPG taking place during a massive intergalactic war, and that's all I could gather from that trailer.

While we always expect yet another Mario game, this time around the only Mario reference (Amiibo figure aside) was the upcoming Mario Maker. Mario Maker is like a game editor where you can create your stages by placing and moving objects or enemies around a grid “map”, and then play them. As an added bonus, you can switch the look of your stages between classic 8-bit or New Super Mario Bros.

The last announced title comes in the form of a multiplayer action game starring... squids. At first I wasn't sure what was going on in there, but Splatoon seems to be a lot of fun. Colorful squids shoot out ink to mark their territory, and they can only move on their respective color ink blots. The characters turn into squids and are able to swim on the patches of their team's respective color, including up and down walls.

More footage of Super Smash Bros. Wii U introduced Palutena as a new character and showed bits and pieces of several others and their respective special moves.

Nintendo's digital presentation was silly and fun to watch, especially the little scenes reminiscent of Robot Chicken, with animated action figures of personalities and characters. As for the announced games, a lot of cute and colorful was going on (a bit too much, really), and yes we did have more Kirby, Pokemon and Zelda, but at least we got to see familiar franchises going in different directions. However, the parade of trailers and lack of details wasn't enough to satisfy my curiosity.

Here's hoping this new lineup gives Nintendo what it needs to move forward in the right direction.