One of the big highlights of the holidays would undoubtedly be the arrival of Nintendo's Wii U launch title, New Super Mario Bros. U - a reprisal of a familiar formula that now lets us crank the player count up to five, and also play the game solely via the GamePad's LCD. As if to imply the tussle of the Wii version's multiplayer mode wasn't manic enough already, this new release allows a fifth person to lay down platforms via the touch screen, delay the march of Koopa Troopers, and even reveal secret 3-Up blocks to the other four players. Of course, there's nothing to stop them abusing their new-found powers, supposing they've just had a rough day at the office.
It's hard to imagine now, but the day Shigeru Miyamoto started work at Nintendo he didn't have a clue what he was going to do, let alone achieve. Yet what the designer - who has had a more profound, towering influence on the evolution of interactive entertainment than any other single figure - did have was a desire. And in Nintendo he found the company to help him fulfil it.
At 10.30am yesterday morning, all was quiet on the Eurogamer Expo show floor. Apart from the 48 people in blue t-shirts running round shouting, "Where's Rupert / the bag of ethernet cables / the 17 missing Xbox 360 units," of course. And apart from the New Super Mario Bros. Wii area, where four of Eurogamer's finest had gathered.
Opportunities to interview executives have been thinner on the ground than usual at this year's E3. It seems everyone's too busy showing off their new motion-sensing control system / platform exclusives / pulse-measuring accessory / motion-sensing control system. Or perhaps they're just sick of us asking stupid questions.
What's the best Nintendo game you've never played? Probably a full four-player session of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, 2005's 2D multiplayer excursion for the Zelda series. Its devious and riotous spirit remain a mystery to most because you'd need to assemble a GameCube, four GBAs and four link cables to play it as nature intended, something which was difficult for even games journalists to manage.