With the first two days out of the way, Comic-Con International At San Diego for 2012 is already halfway over.  However, the party’s still going on nearby at the Marriott Marquis, where Nintendo has set up camp with a number of offerings for anyone to enjoy.  And the best part?  You don’t even need a Comic-Con badge to join in the fun.  We managed to make a quick stop at the event, where throngs of kids and adults took part in gaming fun, when they weren’t lounging around in pink Kirby chairs or earning cool little Pokemon collectibles.

First off… and we shouldn’t tell you this… but the Wii U was in fact in attendance.  While the upcoming game system wasn’t on the show floor, we did get a behind-the-scenes look at the system, with Nintendo showing us such games as New Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo Land, and Pikmin 3, as well as Ubisoft titles like Zombi U and Rayman Legends.  It’s about the same stuff we saw last month at E3, and though there were no surprises, it was nice to play it in a not-so-crowded environment.

Moving on, we decided to check out the 3DS XL, making its first public appearance since Nintendo announced it a few weeks back.  Though the system’s somewhat odd build makes it interesting to hold at first, we did come away moderately impressed with the new screen, as it definitely has a bigger display that will make it easier on some eyes out there.  The feel is just about right with the analog nubs and the buttons, and some of the older games for the system, including last year’s Mario Kart 7, really showed improvement over playing them on the original 3DS.  Those of you interested in an upgrade will definitely be rewarded for your purchase.

There were plenty of new games on hand, however.  New Super Mario Bros. 2 was the main highlight, and players were able to jump in and go coin collecting like bandits, with literally hundreds of them popping up throughout each stage.  (It’s part of a new play mechanic being incorporated into the game.)  It looks very impressive at this point in development, even if it isn’t as fancy as Super Mario 3D Land, diverting to a classic 2D look.  Still, it’s represented quite well on the 3DS XL screen, and some of the effects are rather cool.  (For those who preferred 3D Land, it’s available on the floor as well.)

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon represented a great new challenge for the 3DS XL, bringing back the classic spooky gameplay of the GameCube original, while introducing stellar new environments and fun little 3D effects that fans will truly adore.  We only got to play this one for about a minute or so, but we had a swell time with it.  Now if it just had a firm release date…

Kid Icarus: Uprising once again made a return, even if it debuted in stores back in March.  Some people were thoroughly having a blast with multiplayer sessions, and, we admit, it looks stellar on the new 3DS XL.  If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, this is a prime opportunity.

Konami brought some whipping fun with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, its latest in the long-running series.  For the 3DS XL version, they opted to go back to a traditional side-scrolling style of game, while adding some interesting new 3D effects to make it feel just as current as the other titles in the Lords of Shadow series.  It’s definitely coming together quite well, and we’ll get to see the finished product later this year, ahead of the previously announced Lords of Shadow II.

Square Enix also brought Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, and while the demo was much shorter than expected, we still had plenty of fun, and got a better idea of what to expect with the game’s release later this month.

Finally, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes rounded out the 3DS showcase, and though this is already out, it was exciting to play, especially for comic book fans needing a break from the Comic-Con floor.

The original DS got plenty of love with Pokemon Conquest and plenty of collectibles, including exclusive cards and posters.  Though we would’ve preferred this game to get the 3D treatment, this is still one of the better entries in the series to date.

Finally, the old-school Wii got some love at Nintendo’s event.  Ubisoft’s Just Dance 4 was on full display, with dancers everywhere thronging to the stage and having a good time to such songs as “Moves Like Jagger” and “I’ve Got a Good Feeling”.  Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition also made an appearance, bringing several retro-flavored titles back in time to beat the summertime blues.

Nintendo really went all out with their Gaming Lounge this year, and we’d like to thank them for letting us stop by to soak it all in.  If you’ve got some free time from the show floor this weekend, we thoroughly recommend checking it out.