With all the Wii U news and games dropping at the main Nintendo press conference on Tuesday, Wednesday night was the Nintendo 3DS’s time to sign at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.  While the 3DS may not have been the runaway hit when it originally dropped over a year ago, impressive strides have been made since.  Only thing missing was a strong software lineup like its 2D brother, but this hour-long segment was set to disprove that notion.

While you’ll see a lot of coverage on the games, first I would like to note Nintendo’s new strategy of having the ability to purchase full games on the Nintendo eShop, as well as a physical copy from a store.  I was a little surprised by this announcement as Nintendo has always relied on the Walmarts of the world for sales. Of course, Nintendo didn’t stab them entirely in the back, they will have download code cards for purchase in the brick and mortars.

Let’s move on to the games. Nintendo started off showing Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate. The main character seems to be Trevor Belmont, but they said you can play up to four characters, including Alucard. From what they showed, the combat looked refined and the platforming looked solid.

Next, Nintendo trotted out Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.  Set for a holiday 2012 release, you will once again be picking up the mantle of Mario’s little brother.  Armed with your ghost hunting equipment, you’ll be able to explore multiple mansions and use multiple types of beams from your Professor E. Gadd’s Poltergust ghost-sucking vacuum in order to solve the mystery. They must really have spent a lot of time on these “other” mansions, since this looked pretty polished at last year’s E3.

Following up Luigi was Warren Spector, as he introduced Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion.  “Not a sequel and not a port,” Power of Illusion is a completely new story developed by the team over at Dreamrift Studios.  Huge fans of the original Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse, Dreamrift not only pulls influence from Castle… into Epic Mickey’s Wasteland, they will actually be putting you right back in the castle itself.  You’ll be taking on Mizrabel again, as you try to thwart her plans of escaping Wastleland. Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion releases 11/18/2012.

Next up on the little screen was a project that really piqued my interest yesterday: Paper Mario Sticker Star.  I’m a huge fan of the Paper Mario series and its turn-based battle system.  Instead of having standard moves to use in battle, you must find and peel stickers found in the world to use as your moves.  Not content with simply pulling off stickers everywhere, you can also go into “Paperizing Mode” and place stickers, which may afford you opportunities to complete quests or open new routes to explore.  Another holiday 2012 release, but one I’ll definitely be looking forward to playing.

Nintendo also showed off Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance. It seems they’ll be sticking to their usual formula of putting Square Enix and Disney characters together for an action-RPG – with a few additions.  There will StreetPass functionality, along with AR cards you can use and support for the Circle Pad Pro.  Releasing on 7/31/2012, you should see a demo drop shortly in the eShop.

Of course, no Nintendo press conference is without a video montage of upcoming games. Included in this montage were LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (demo in eShop now), Transformers Prime: The Game, Rabbids Rumble and Heroes of Ruin.

Before wrapping up with the big gun, Nintendo would be remiss to not include Pokemon. Pokemon Black Version 2 and White Version 2, though specifically made for the original DS, will have a few things extra for 3DS owners.  The Pokedex 3D Pro will have the low down on all the new Version 2 pokemon.  There will also be the Pokemon Dream Radar, which will aid you in finding rare pokemon in the wild and transferring them directly into your White/Black Version 2.  While I lost touch with the Pokemon thing after beating Pokemon Blue, I’m sure this will get you Poke-fanatics excited.

Like I said, lastly was the big gun: New Super Mario Bros. 2.  This time it’s all about the gold.  I’m not joking, there are coins …everywhere. There is even a gold fire flower that turns everything to coins – from enemies to bricks.  They also tried to explain Coin Rush Mode, which involves StreetPass and comparing your abilities to collect coins in three levels to your friends.  Unfortunately, the guy explaining it was a little excited and spoke really really fast.  There also looks to be a co-op mode where you and a friend can play through the entire game together.  Oh, did I mention raccoon tails?

That’s about all on the 3DS kick for Nintendo at E3.  I know I am definitely looking forward to more than a couple of these amazing titles.  Stay tuned to COIN-OP TV for more news and trailers coming out of E3 from Nintendo.