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So apart from Splatoon acting as a big-time surprise, Devil\’s Third was the stealth announcement to end all stealth announcements at E3. Sure, Nintendo did this before with Wonderful 101, but that game\’s candy-colored, toon-ish vibe (even if the art hides a butt kicker of a difficult game) felt right at home on a Nintendo console. It was a surprise announcement, but at face value, releasing the game on the Wii U made a lot of sense.

Devil\’s Third? A grimy, bloody, new IP from Itagaki-san? That\’s the type of un-Nintendo game you\’d expect them to drop as a megaton surprise, exclusive announcement. I thought it was pretty stupid to hide the game as a post-conference announcement…until I watched IGN\’s walk through.

I thought it looked like a joke – basically \”Call of Ninja Gaiden.\” A derivative, pastiche bastardization. It immediately made sense to me why Nintendo did the cloak and dagger routine. Either this game was a mess they had paid the rights to and needed to release for some return on their investment, or it just wasn\’t ready for prime time and needed more polish. I was leaning heavily on the former.

But then I re-watched the multiplayer trailer.

Customization out the wazoo. Interesting maps. Humor. In short, real potential.

A lot of real potential, honestly. How much? Well, I\’d been going on for years that Metroid: Other M was a new template (third-person action with first-person shooting) that ought to be explored further. If Nintendo didn\’t do it, someone else would step right in and claim the ground.

Well, it looks like that may happen, after all – and with Team Ninja\’s past leader, to boot. I wondered why the heck Iwata and co. decided to pick this game up, but I think the answer was staring me in the face all along – Devil\’s Third solves Other M\’s biggest gameplay hang-up (an inability to move in first-person perspective). Of course this appeals to the brains in Kyoto, because this is a melding of the same genres that they\’ve already tried. And who overseas this sort of collaboration? Nintendo SPD. Who is a department manager at SPD? Yoshio Sakamoto.

All fits together, doesn\’t it?

Plus, Devil\’s Third has the benefit of simultaneously providing Nintendo with a new IP and an M-rated multiplayer game.

So…all it has to do now is not suck.

Whaddya think? Are you on the hype train? Or waiting for Devil\’s Third to go off the rails?

Written by Mike D.

Evil-at-large for Nintendo Enthusiast.

(Variously known as EvilTw1n, ET and “maple bacon donut.”)

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