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Specials
 Written by Jeff Milligan  on May 29, 2003

E3 2003: Nintendo Wrap Up: Big things do come in small packages!


Well, it's that time again. The big event of the year has come and gone, and it's time to try to get all of the booth girls out of our heads and remember what games were showcased. This is obviously no small task, I mean; did you see some of the booth girls that were there?! My personal favorites were definitely the Nyko babes, with that read hair and?oh right, right, games. My bad.

So here we are, left to search through the wake of games that were shown with a fine-toothed comb. Lots of Nintendo games were showcased, both for the GameCube, and for the Game Boy Advance. Were we happy with the showing, or a bit disappointed? Let's find out, shall we?

The Legend of Zelda: Tetra's Trackers (GameCube)
Status at E3: Announced; Concept Art Shown
Let's get something straight before I even go into this game. I'm about as big of a Zelda fan as you can find. Ocarina of Time, A Link to the Past, and The Wind Waker are all easily in my top 10 favorite games of all time, but when Tetra's Trackers was announced, I was utterly speechless. The game revolves around Link (obviously) and his ship. Link must race through various settings to collect stamps from Tetra's pirate friends. The pirates are scattered all about Pirate Island, and finding them earns you a stamp as proof. Up to 4 players can compete at once. Like I said, it left me speechless. I don't know exactly who this game is aimed at, but I can't see anyone over the age of 5 playing this, let alone paying $50 for it.
Result: Disappointment

The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords (GameCube)
Status at E3: Announced
Another Zelda game was announced this year at E3, but again it wasn't at all what we were expecting. Nintendo has made it known that they are porting the Game Boy Advance title ?The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords? to the Nintendo GameCube. By connecting their GBA to the GameCube via link-cable, up to 4 players can explore numerous dungeons, defeat enemies, and most importantly, try to collect as many rupees as possible. While being a co-op game, players will also need to look out for themselves as they seek to gain rupees. Basically, it's the same game that was released on the GBA, except now players can either all use one TV screen, or they can secretly use their own GBA screen. Although this is an overall better idea than Tetra's Trackers, it still leaves a feeling of disappointment.
Result: Minor Disappointment

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (GameCube)
Status at E3: Playable
Final Fantasy returns to a Nintendo console at last. Details were extremely scarce before E3, all we knew is that multiple players could play at once and there was a GBA link-up feature. Basically, your GBA will grant you access to your inventory and maps. All of your items and what-not will appear on your GBA screens, and can be cycled from there. You can play through Crystal Chronicles without the use of GBA's, but, umm, we're not exactly sure how at this point. The GBA does a fine job as a controller, and also makes it possible for 4 players to play at once. If you don't have 3 friends, Chronicles can be played by yourself, but again, we're not sure how. Maybe AI will control the rest of the characters, or maybe you just have to go in alone. At any rate, Crystal Chronicles is looking excellent thus far, and should make a great party game.
Result: Highly Anticipated

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (GameCube)
Status at E3: Numerous Screenshots Revealed; Concept Explained
The Twin Snakes was one of the first games shown at E3 that we were actually anticipating on being there. The Twin Snakes is a totally revamped version of the original Metal Gear Solid released on the Playstation. While we already knew the Snake Bros, would be at E3, we didn't know much about what exactly was going to be remade. As screenshots were pumped out, we saw that graphically, The Twin Snakes was about as advanced as Metal Gear Solid 2 is on the PS2. We also gained a bit of knowledge on some of the new gameplay twists. Similar to Metal Gear Solid 2, Snake can now go into first person mode while shooting, and can also look around corners. While these are indeed some exciting new feature, we're a bit skeptical. Veterans of Metal Gear Solid for the PSX (like myself) can basically blow through the game without being touched. Adding a first person shooting mode may just make it easier. Unless guard movements or AI is improved, The Twin Snakes may be a bit too easy for our taste. Still, we look greatly toward its release.
Result: Anticipated

Pokemon Coliseum, Box, and Channel (GameCube + GBA)
Status at E3: Announced; Concept Explained
Technically, these are 3 separate games, but since they were all announced at the same time, we'll describe them in one shot. Pokemon Coliseum is the official follow-up to the highly loved Pokemon Stadium games. Compatible with both Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, players can battle up to 200 pokemon on the GameCube. Coliseum is easily the most anticipated of the 3 poke announcements. Second we have Pokemon Box. Box allows you to play Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire on your TV. All you need for this to happen is a Game Boy Advance, a GameCube, a GBA to GC Link-Cable, Pokemon Ruby or Sapphire, and Pokemon Box. Yep, that's it. Lastly is Pokemon Channel, yet another GameCube game. The Pokemon TV station has lost segments of its favorite show, and it's up to players to the clips and return them to the station. Besides Pokemon Coliseum, the whole poke announcements were pretty lame. Coliseum is really the only saving grace to the entire ordeal.
Result: Mediocre

Star Fox 2 (GameCube)
Status at E3: Playable
Here we go, now this is a real E3 type of announcement. Despite the fact that this is actually Star Fox game number 4, Star Fox 2 may have been one of the best announcements made at E3. A few years after the Dinosaur Planet crisis was averted by Fox, Lylat Central Command receives word that a new threat is sweeping the solar system. Naturally, Fox and co. is sent in to check out the scene. What started as an average surveillance mission turns into a struggle for survival. Fox McCloud, Slippy Toad, Peppy Hare and Falco Lombardi are all in on the action to form the universe's most formidable team: The Star Fox Armada. Players will be able to fly solo or join up to 3 friends to take down this new evil threat. If you do play with a friend or two, players will be able to work co-operatively, as one player drives the vehicle (both land and air), and other will pilot gun turrets. How's that for an announcement?
Result: Greatly Anticipated

Mario and Luigi (GBA)
Status at E3: Announced
Another unexpected, yet welcome announcement, Mario and Luigi are making their return to the RPG world. Mario and Luigi features an amusing story, combined with tons of action and RPG elements. An evil witch has stolen Princess Peach's voice and replaced it with?explosives? As Mario and Luigi scope out the scene, they find Bowser at the castle, ready to kidnap Peach. Startled at what has happened, the sworn enemies team up, and follow the evil witch into a nearby Kingdom. After an airborne attack crashes their ship, Bowser is sent flying out of the picture. It's now up to Mario and Luigi to embark on foot together to take down the witch. Now that's what a videogame's story should be; wacky, involved, and making no sense. Control one plumber at a time, or combine them to perform super-moves as you progress through numerous jumping trials, and the all new reflex battle system. Yummy.
Result: Anticipated

Mario Party 5 (GameCube)
Status at E3: Announced
Party gamers rejoice, Mario Party 5 is upon us! Mario and his closest friends are trying to restore peace to Dream World by racing around a collection of all-new game boards. The new game sports new game boards, more than 60 new mini-games, new playable characters, an expanded one-player mode and, of course, the multi-player madness that made it famous in the first place. Lots of new mini-games have been announced, including duel, traditional, and everyone-vs.-Bowser. Race to collect the most stars, and new game boards can be attained. Complete all the game boards, and complete Mario Party 5!
Result: Anticipated

Mario Advance 4 (GBA)
Status at E3: Announced
Finally, FINALLY Super Mario Bros. 3 is finding a home on the Game Boy Advance. After porting Mario 1, 2, and Super Mario World, Nintendo is finally re-creating one of the best games ever created. Bowser and his trouble making kin have landed in Mario territory, and have transformed all of the local Kings into animals! It's up to Mario and Luigi to recover the magic wand in 8 gigantic worlds in order to restore the King's former appearances. Use numerous power-ups and items, such as the whistle and the Tanooki suit to help you out on your quest. Multiplayer madness almost makes an appearance. By linking up Super Mario Advance 4 with any other of the 3 Mario GBA's, players will be able to duke it out in the original Mario Bros. game. E-Reader cards can also be used to open up new levels and game features! The best selling game of all-time, and quite possibly the best game of all time is coming to the Game Boy Advance. Who wouldn't be excited?
Result: Greatly Anticipated

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GameCube)
Status at E3: Playable
This is another game that we were expecting to see at E3, and Nintendo pulled through with a playable demo. Up to 8 players racing at once and 2 players being able to control the same kart proved to be all the madness that we could handle. There's been some complaint about Double Dash lacking a sense of speed to it, but I wasn't aware that Mario Kart games were about speed. We came for the good control and to bash our opponents with as many turtle shells as possible, and that's exactly what we got. So in our book, Double Dash is doing exactly what a Mario Kart game is supposed to. Two thumbs up thus far.
Result: Greatly Anticipated

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (GameCube)
Status at E3: Announced
Sick of all the Mario announcements yet? Yeah, neither are we. We've heard of sand traps before, but Piranha Plants? Looks like Mario, Peach, Bowser and team are going to have their work cut out for them as they set out to master the Toadstool Tour championship. Two new styles of courses and a new swing system have been implemented for Toadstool Tour, making it easy for both veterans and newcomers to the Mario Golf scene to jump right in. Up to 4 players will be able to play at once. Jeez, I thought pitching over crab grass was tough, try pitching over thwomps and warp pipes!
Result: Anticipated

F-Zero GX (GameCube)
Status at E3: Playable
Now here's a game with a sense of speed baby! We had planned on F-Zero being playable at E3 this year, and boy were we right. ?They didn't skim on the speed, and the visuals this time are amazing. Plays like F-Zero X on N64, only faster and the visuals got the overhaul that they needed.? Those are the words of our own senior editor Matt Swider. Basically, he's trying to tell all of you that F-Zero GX rocks.
Result: Highly Anticipated

Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)
Status at E3: Announced; Clarified
We actually got word of Metroid Zero before the show had started, but details were pretty slim. All that we had found out was that Zero would be on the GBA, and was the sequel to Metroid Fusion. E3 provided a bit more clarity on Zero Mission, and also made the official announcement that it was indeed being developed. Although the game was not playable, a few shots were shown that showed Zero Mission may be a remake of the original Metroid on the NES. Further inspection showed that Samus was equipped with a few of her talents from Super Metroid, including the dash attack. It appears that Metroid: Zero Mission could be a collaboration of both metroid and Super Metroid. Crimany, would that be an amazing game or what?! Anticipation for further details doesn't get much higher that this.
Result: Highly Anticipated

Metroid Prime 2 (GameCube)
Status at E3: Announced; Video Clip
I know non of you are waiting for this game, so feel free to just skip this section and move on to the next game. Still with me? Good. Now, be prepared to cry in amazement, because Metroid Prime 2 has been announced. Obviously it was not playable, but Nintendo showed off a short 30 second video clip featuring Samus herself. The only footage showed was Samus dealing with a figure cloaked in red in her ?usual tactics?. This clip alone was enough to make most Nintendo fanboys cry like little school-girls in joy. We at Gaming Target are too tough to cry however. We peed in our pants instead.
Result: Highly Anticipated

Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike (GameCube)
Status at E3: Playable
Rogue Squadron III was another hot commodity at this year's show. Factor 5 has done some amazing things with the series thus far, and Rogue Squadron III is no exception. Rebel Strike features elements of not only flight simulation, but also of action/adventure, and a first person shooter at times. Lots of new aircraft, locations, enemies, items, and land-craft don't hurt either. Star Wars fans and simulation fans have been expecting a lot out of this title since it was announced, and when it's released, all expectation should be met, if not more.
Result: Highly Anticipated

GameCube/GameCube Player Bundle (GameCube)
Status at E3: Announced
What do you do when your competitors lower the price of their consoles? Why, you throw in a free peripheral with your own console of course! Available now, all GameCube's that are sold will also come bundled with a complementary Game Boy Player. The Game Boy Player is an attachment which fits on the bottom of your GameCube, and allows you to play Game Boy Advance titles through your Cube. Better act soon however, the deal will only be available for a limited amount of time.
Result: Good Freakin' Deal

E3 Final Word
How's that for a Nintendo E3? While other games were shown of this year (Viewtiful Joe, Resident Evil 4, Soul Calibur II, etc.), but the games listed above just seemed to attract us the most, whether it be a good attraction, or a bad one. Although there were a few disappointments here and there (Tetra's Tracker's being the biggest one), Nintendo overall impressed us quite a bit. GameCube and Game Boy Advance owners have a lot to look forward to this year, which is just the feeling we want to have at the end of E3. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to checking out the Nyko babes again.



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