Summer is approaching and that means San Diego Comic-Con is right around the corner. So what better way to prepare than by spending a day at its sister convention, WonderCon? Run by the same organization as Comic-Con, WonderCon is a laid back, line-free version of pop culture’s biggest expo that returns much of the focus to comics and their artists, but still keeps a dash of the multimedia mayhem that makes Comic-Con so great. We trekked down to Anaheim, CA to take it all in and see what Nintendo had in store for attendees.
Nintendo’s booth was divided into two parts: Splatoon and, well, everything else. The back half of the booth featured two long rows of Wii U kiosks set up for four-on-four Turf War battles in the upcoming Wii U shooter. Each demo lasted two rounds, giving attendees just enough time to learn the basics and develop some strategies. Plus, the line was never too long, meaning that you could hop right back into battle with only a 15-20 minute wait between bouts. Meanwhile, the rest of the Nintendo’s booth was dedicated to 3DS with a mix of recent releases and upcoming titles. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario Bros. Edition, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Code Name S.T.E.A.M., and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS were all available to demo, and trying out three of the games netted you a free Splatoon shirt (you could also score a squid pin by playing the Splatoon demo).
Amiibo also had a big presence at Nintendo’s booth. Much to our surprise, Nintendo’s display featured unreleased Amiibo including next month’s Wave 4 of the Super Smash Bros. series, all three of the upcoming Splatoon figurines, and prototypes of this Fall’s yarn Yoshi for Yoshi’s Woolly World. Along with the display, Nintendo also put Amiibo into action with Amiibo-based Super Smash Bros. tournaments throughout the weekend that offered rare Amiibo such as Shulk, Marth, and Gold Mario as prizes.
The other major gaming attraction at WonderCon came courtesy of Capcom. The publisher brought along its Monster Hunter Caravan, a trailer built by iam8bit to resemble the in-game shop in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. In addition to demos, the Caravan included a full-fledged store packed with various Monster Hunter merchandise. Separately, Capcom also hosted multiple panels, most notably a Q&A with Monster Hunter director Kaname Fujioka and series executive producer Ryozo Tsujimoto.
WonderCon may not be the biggest convention for gaming, but between Nintendo and Capcom, there was plenty to play. Beyond just gaming, the convention featured a variety of panels, cosplay, and unexpectedly, robots. Check out our full photo gallery below to see some of the convention’s many sights, and be sure to listen to Episode 94 of the podcast for our hands-on impressions of Nintendo’s lineup.