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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nindies @ Home: The purpose behind Nintendo's Indie discount/demo Extravaganza

Before we delve deep into the Nintendo Digital Direct, let's talk about some of the indie titles that Nintendo has decided to put on display during E3.

When I say "decided," I mean it in a number of ways. Nintendo put several Nindies on the eShop for demo because they possessed something that Nintendo themselves lacked. Whether it be difficulty, inventiveness, exploration, discovery, or plain-right fun, these Nindies have something that Nintendo does not have this E3, which, judging by the fan reaction, is quite a lot. So, let's see what these Nindies have actually got, why don't we?

Rive:
Well, the first demo I played, personally, was Two Tribes' RIVE, otherwise known as the robot wrecking, etc etc metal thrasher. But holy shit, RIVE delivers. The fact that this game is being released as an eShop title is all the more satisfying (I say eShop title because it's obviously multiplat, but Nintendo is the only one that will get the initial content package 15% percent off). Rive is inventive, hectic, weird, and action-packed all in one, and it makes me excited for what Two Tribes will be releasing in the future.

Freedom Wars:
This feels like a Sega Genesis game ported to the extreme degree, something SEGA itself has failed to do. Is that pathetic? Maybe. It's surprising how much of the dev team of Freedom Wars managed to nail down the mechanics of a S2/S3&K game as they could. Then again, this game has been out for some time, so the concept isn't a new thing. Still, even in a demo, the game runs smoothly. Hopefully we'll get the additional characters in the final package.

Runbow:
Wow. Who would have thought a game Nintendo promoted so heavily would be so boring? Runbow offers almost nothing new, especially in its single-player mode, which seems to be completely uninspired and catered towards a Bit.Trip audience. I would have been happier to know it had been cross platform. I feel that it would have made more of an impact that way. Instead, it borders on mediocre. The color changing feels more frustrating than fun, and doesn't add much in any way.

Lovely P:
If the Wii U needed a FPS, it was something like Black Ops III. But instead, Nintendo opted to feature a FPS that is completely different and weird from others. Lovely P certainly is bizarre, appealing more towards speed runners than the traditional FPS fare. Focused on twitch gameplay rather than personal ability (which is ironically the majority of FPS), Lovely P is an objective-based FPS that challenges the player to overcome specific obstacles rather than unique AI. It's fun, but more geared towards hardcore gamers, which is potentially the current Wii U audience. However, it lacks a bit of polish.

Soul Axiom:
Wowie wow wow. A first person adventure that doesn't feel like Metroid Prime and is ambiguous as the first, more straightforward game in the series? Now I know why you held off on that "OBVIOUS" Metroid Prime 4 announcement, right, Nintendo? Because you wanted to show off this game's environment puzzle solving. Soul Axiom may be lacking run button and its puzzles might be a bit too spread apart, but it's still an engaging storytelling and gameplay experience. After playing one hour of the game, I am confident that this is a title I'll watch out for on Wii U this year, and Nintendo obviously seems to think so, too. Not because of quality of content, but of potential of content.

And that ends my personal coverage of the Nindies @ Home. I'm disappointed in no Fast Racing NEO, and I don't really care but titles like Form.8. I am excited for games that offer new experiences on Wii U, and these select Nindies seem to be doing that.

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