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Wii U At a Glance: Smash Bros., Ubisoft, Darksiders II, and More

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For a few moments following Nintendo's unveiling of the Wii U, I was afraid that the press conference would end there, with no big game reveals, no announcements of online functionality, and most importantly, a lack of attention to third-party support. Luckily, Nintendo talked about all of those topics. And while some were mentioned to a smaller degree than others, as a Nintendo fan, I think I can speak for a lot of fellow players when I say that the company has some promising things in store.

First and foremost, Super Smash Bros. Not only was the announcement of a new game in the series exciting to learn about straight from Nintendo, but it was also cool to see that the manufacturer will be doing something interesting with the next game: Super Smash Bros. will be cross-compatible between the Wii U and 3DS. No word on how that will work, and details were scarce, but due to just how beloved Nintendo's brand of fighter is, this was a major reveal, and it got deservedly massive applause from the crowd in attendance.

Another interesting title that Reggie Fils-Aime was quick to announce was LEGO City Stories. The game was revealed to be an open world action-adventure game set in the LEGO universe, and it is being exclusively developed for the Wii U and 3DS. Only those two consoles were mentioned, leaving us to wonder--are we seeing the first steps from Nintendo as they slowly phase out the Wii and DS? Regarding the game, it looks to offer the charm and humor that the LEGO games are known for, but it will allow players to explore a massive city environment and will feature action-adventure gameplay. LEGO Grand Theft Auto, anyone?

Ubisoft also shared their enthusiasm toward Nintendo's new console, announcing a handful of titles that should get many gamers stoked. First and foremost was the big reveal that Assassin's Creed, the Rabbids series, and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online would appear on the Wii U. Additionally, a new sports game for the whole family is being published by Ubisoft, which shows that Nintendo and developers still want to offer something for casual gamers--a bold move, and an excellent direction for the Wii U, which looks to draw in gamers of all sorts. Lastly, the French publisher briefly announced that a "revolutionary" FPS designed for the core gamer would launch exclusive for the console.

Then there's Ninja Gaiden 3, which wowed the E3 audience when it popped up during the Wii U's highlight package. Though Ninja Gaiden 3 is currently scheduled to land on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 early next year, Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge is being touted as the Wii U's exclusive version of the game. My guess is that it will be a suped-up edition with some extras and maybe some controller-exclusive features.

Lastly--and this is a big one--Darksiders II. Speaking to Game Informer, developer Vigil Games made the bold claim that the Wii U version of Darksiders may be the best iteration of that game. General Manager of Vigil Games David Adams professed his love for Nintendo and stated that Darksiders played a lot like a Nintendo game and that he thought it was really cool to finally make a game for a Nintendo console. When asked if the Wii U version of Darksiders II could top the competitors' versions, Technical Director Colin Bonstead emphatically stated, "Yeah, just because the hardware is more powerful and it will have some extra features that I think will actually be useful to people playing the game." Bonstead was talking about the ability to manage in-game inventory screens through the Wii U controller, and he concluded by saying, "With its controller, [the Wii U version of Darksiders II] might be the best version of the game."

It's interesting to see all of this third-party interest sparked in Nintendo's next console, especially considering how alienated some of these publishers and developers were with the Wii. Nintendo's Wii U is going to be an interesting platform to watch as it nears its launch.

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