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Is it time to turn Samus Aran from a video game character into an actual person? With voice acting, a more in-depth story than we're used to, and more of an emphasis on the character (both in and out of the armor), Samus now seems more like a woman than simply a bounty hunter. Incredibly capable, oddly vulnerable.

It's an odd turn for the character, and one that may put longtime fans off, but if you're going to continue to return to this game world, you're going to have to take a look at the face behind the helmet at some point. We learn of Samus' past, she describes what she's feeling, and she has more interaction with other characters in the game. Still, the focus seems to be where it belongs: on blowing the hell out of things.

Pictures were only allowed over the shoulders of the players

The game is part 2.5D side-scroller and part first-person shooter. You explore the world by running from left to right, and sometimes into and out of the screen in third person. You can switch to a first-person view by pointing the Wiimote at the television. From there, you can look around, fire directly at enemies, or use your missiles. Back in third-person mode, you can roll into the ever-famous ball and use bombs to blast yourself into the air. There is also a charged version of the bomb that blasts everything in the room—it's an impressive sight.

The two modes of gameplay work together wonderfully, and the gameplay itself is very satisfying. There is a sort of auto-lock-on that happens when you face an enemy, although precision aiming is possible in first-person mode. The art direction is strong, but this is still a Wii game... expect some whiplash if you're coming from your PS3 or Xbox 360.

Nintendo's booth

This is a detour for the series, but it certainly moves both the story and gameplay of the franchise forward. After playing for close to half an hour, much of that being story and exposition, I think I enjoy spending time with an actual person instead of a warrior ever-encased in steel.

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It's official: StarFox 64 is going to be re-released as a 3DS title. It's unclear what exactly will be added—Shigeru Miyamoto said he was still talking to the teams behind the game to explore what can be updated—but we were able to play the first few sections of the game at E3. Yes, the 3D effect adds some extra punch to the experience.

The Arwing flew and spun around the level, and lining up shots was made easier by the illusion of depth. The ships that attack from behind also seemed to exist in the physical space behind the plane, and flying around and in between the obstacles was thrilling. The game looks much improved from the Nintendo 64 days, and it was confirmed that this is in fact a retail product in active development.

Unfortunately, images of either game were verboten: the system was quickly turned off when I took out my camera

We were also able to play a two-stage demo of Pilotwings Resort, a new title in the series that takes place on Wuhu Islanding, the setting of Wii Sports Resort. The first level has the player flying the rocket belt and popping balloons around the island, while the second puts you behind the stick of a plane to fly through the loops. Neither section was very hard, but both put the 3D effect to good use, and they also looked good when the slider was used to play in 2D.

We couldn't get a confirmation of any release time details of either game, other than a promise that the system will be flush with great titles upon release, whether or not these particular games make it in time. 3D effects need to add to the gameplay instead of feeling tacked on, and both of these titles were improved by the effect.

On the other hand, this is like most Nintendo news: fans of the games will be ecstatic, and skeptics will cry foul over the company once again dipping into its vast store of previous hits. My vote? I landed my rocket belt on the platform used for sword fighting in Wii Sports Resort. That's a pretty good day.

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As if the first day of E3 wasn't full enough with new game announcements and great trailers, the second day of the annual show is even better. Not only do we get the return of classic franchises like Rayman, The Legend of Zelda, and Kirby, but there are also plenty of brand new games like Shank and Child of Eden. Here are some of the best trailers from the second day of E3.

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The second major keynote of the E3 show is Nintendo's.

This keynote is set to start at 9am PDT on June 15 (see it in your local timezone) and we'll be keeping you informed with our live reporting. You can sign up below for an e-mail reminder that will inform you shortly before we begin.

What do we hope to see? Perhaps the use of the Wii Vitality sensor in an actual game, what's coming down the line in Nintendo's array of franchises, and of course the first look at the Nintendo 3DS handheld. Nintendo always has a few surprises in store, so this is one you won't want to miss.

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