This year’s CES booth is packed with gaming goodness and the Nintendo booth is the biggest around. There are plenty of new games slated to arrive for the NES this year, and Nintendo has six new titles that promise to deliver.
First up is Super Mario Bros. 2, the sequel to one of the most beloved games on the Nintendo. Although we didn’t see this one in playable form on the show floor, a Nintendo representative explained that this won’t be a simple copy and paste affair. In fact, we just learned that although Japan has had Super Mario Bros. 2 for its Famicom (the Japanese equivalent of the NES) for over a year, Nintendo of America wasn’t convinced it would live up to expectations. Indeed, we’ve seen screens of this game and it looked pretty much identical to the first game. To change things up, the U.S. version of Super Mario Bros. 2 will be a completely different game! We’re still waiting on official screens to check out the differences, but Nintendo assures us it will be worth the wait. They did a little tidbit slip though, apparently you won’t just be controlling Mario Bros. this time around! You’ll be able to play as the Princess as well as her little helper Toad. Each character will possess his or her own unique set of skills to progress through the game. We should learn much more about this title before it ships this summer.
Shown at the tradeshow was perhaps the most anticipated game of the year for the NES, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. We noticed that Nintendo added the Zelda moniker to the title, most likely due to the popularity of the first game and to easier promote this as a true sequel. This one picks up a few years after the first game and Link has grown up to become a young man. He’s on a quest to wake Princess Zelda up from a curse that Ganon has placed on her. This one changes things up from the first game by changing the viewpoint to allow for more up close and personal combat. Now when you explore the temples and take on the monsters you’ll see the action from the side, which allows for bigger characters and a better set of moves. We were told to expect a lot of areas to explore and a new experience system that allows Link to “level up” and gain new abilities. We were impressed with the enhanced graphics in the battles, but the Overworld somehow looks worse than it did in the original game. Still, we’re sure this one will deliver the goods when it comes out later this year!
Releasing sooner than later is Ice Hockey from Nintendo. This will be the first game of its kind on the NES and we came away impressed. This one features different player sizes that have different skills and abilities. Included in the action is the ability for other players to get into fights and even get put in the penalty box. This fast-paced game should be right at home with the rest of arcade sports library.
Also scheduled to come out this spring is R.C. Pro-Am (previously known as just Pro-Am). You race around various tracks with radio controlled vehicles. Along the way you will be able to pick up performance boosters like sticky tires and turbo boosts and even weapons like missiles! This one looks pretty awesome and we’re being told it’s best to control with the new NES Max accessory that Nintendo will be releasing alongside the game. It has a disc instead of a pad to make taking hairpin corners even easier!
Two games that have been announced but not shown in any detail are Dragon Warrior and Return of Donkey Kong. The former is a turn-based role-playing game (RPG) that has proven to be a smash hit in Japan where it’s known as Dragon Quest. Looking at screens from the Japanese version left us unimpressed from a visual standpoint, but we’re hopeful there’s more than meets the eye to this one. We know next to nothing about Return of Donkey Kong other than it sounds like players will actually control the big ape himself. Nintendo didn’t provide any details or screens on this one, which makes us wonder if it’s really going to make it out by summer. We’ll keep you updated!
Overall we were pretty satisfied with Nintendo’s upcoming output for the NES. We would have liked to learn more about a couple of games, especially Super Mario Bros. 2, but it appears Nintendo likes to keep things close to its chest. Stay tuned!