Nintendo has just released their latest episode of Nintendo Direct. This article contains a summary of all of the announcements made in the video, but if you want to watch the entire 37 minute presentation yourself, you can watch it here.
3DS – New Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Currently Untitled)
For me, the most exciting announcement came at the end of the video. A new game set in the same world as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past will be released for the Nintendo 3DS this holiday. It features an original storyline and entirely new dungeons and is designed with puzzles that take advantage of the 3D screen. Height differences in dungeons will be a puzzle solving mechanic, as will Link’s ability to become a drawing and move within walls which changes the camera angle. A 3D preview video can be downloaded on the Nintendo eShop right now, so go check it out! This currently untitled new Zelda game will be launching during the 2013 holiday season.
3DS – Mario and Luigi: Dream Team
The next game in the Mario and Luigi franchise, Mario and Luigi: Dream Team, takes place on Pi’illo Island. Mario and his friends are invited to the island for sightseeing, but Peach is kidnapped (surprise!) and pulled into a Dream World. Mario must go back and forth between the real world and the dream world which can be entered when Luigi sleeps on a special pillow. In the real world, Mario and Luigi must work together. In the dream world, the player has to interact with the sleeping Luigi on the touch screen in order to solve puzzles on the upper screen. Mario and Luigi: Dream Team will be available August 11th, 2013 in stores and on the Nintendo eShop.
3DS – Mario Golf: World Tour
In Mario Golf: World Tour, players can enjoy a variety of wireless features including worldwide versus play and tournaments. The community feature from Mario Kart 7 will also be present. It allows players to invite others into communities in order to play together and communicate. While playing online, players can enable special rules or restrictions, like “no special shots,” or a tournament where everyone is forced to play as Luigi. The game also features local multiplayer, and will be launching this Summer.
3DS – Mario Party
There will be a total of 7 new game boards in the new Mario Party game, each with their own set of rules. There’s a board that focuses on the interaction between players and includes a variety of items that can be used to interfere with your opponent and move yourself along the game board. In another board, you collect boosts that can be used to multiply the numbers rolled on the dice. Yet another board is full of traps and hiding places, so players will have to decide when to play it safe and when to take risks. The gameplay is said to change dramatically on each individual board, and there are some boards that can be completely quickly for shorter, less time-consuming games. There are also 81 new mini-games, many of which utilize the touch screen and the other features available on the 3DS. The new Mario Party game will be released this Winter.
Wii U – New Super Luigi U – DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U
New Super Luigi U is the upcoming downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U. Though it will use the same world map as the original game, all 82 stages have been changed. “It’s almost like a brand new game.” Luigi jumps higher than Mario and slides after dashing, so he is a bit more difficult to control. Also, all levels in New Super Luigi U provide the player with only 100 seconds on the timer, so time is of the essence. For the most part, there are a lot more obstacles in shorter stages than in Mario’s adventure. As part of the “Year of Luigi,” New Super Luigi U is scheduled for release this Summer.
3DS – Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
A remake of Donkey Kong Country Returns from the Wii, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D has been designed to take advantage of the 3D features of the 3DS. The stages were designed not only for scrolling from left to right, but also with depth from front to back. The game includes a special new mode optimized for portable playability. In that mode, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong have 3 hearts instead of 2, and there are more items available at Cranky’s shop. New items include a Portable DK Barrel that can summon Diddy Kong in an instant, a green balloon which provides rescue if the player’s character falls in a pit (but only once) and the Crash Guard, which protects from 2 crashes while riding a rocket barrel or mine cart. The new mode is also recommended for players that found the original game too challenging. The original mode from Wii is also included. For veterans and new players alike, there are 8 new levels in a new world that can only be played after finishing the game. Cooperative play is also featured in Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D via local wireless play. The game will be available in stores and on the Nintendo eShop on May 24th, 2013.
3DS – Yoshi’s Island 3 (Currently Untitled)
There will be a brand new Yoshi’s Island game on the 3DS. Though details are scarce at the moment, the game will take advantage of the unique features of the 3DS system to provide new gameplay elements. It is the 3rd game in the series following the original SNES game in 1995 and the sequel on DS in 2006. More details and a launch date will be announced later.
3DS – Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
A brand new downloadable puzzle title, Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move will be different from the games in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. Players will place tiles on a map on the touch screen in order to guide the minis to their goal. The upper screen shows the minis making their way through a level that is formed as the player works on the touch screen. Some levels have a limited number of tiles, some are giant areas that are difficult to navigate, and others force the player to guide two characters instead of one. The game includes 180 stages across 4 different modes. It’s also possible to upload and download player created stages from all over the world. In addition to the main game, there are 4 different minigames that take advantage of the touch screen to round out the package. Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move will be available exclusively in the Nintendo eShop and launches on May 9th, 2013.
Wii U – Spring System Update
The Wii U is receiving its Spring System Update next week. Wii U owners will be happy to learn that load times when switching between software and when returning to Wii U menu will be reduced. There are also a variety of new features that will be implemented with this update:
- Data can be copied between two USB drives.
- Software can be downloaded and installed in the background while playing games.
- The system can automatically download software updates.
- Holding the B button while starting up the system will cause the system to load Wii Mode immediately.
- A new standby function will allow the Wii U to download and install software while the system is off.
Wii U – Virtual Console
The Wii U Virtual Console will become available the day after the Spring System Update is released. Virtual Console games games can be played in Off TV mode on the gamepad, and each game has its own Miiverse community. If you have already transferred your Virtual Console content from the Wii to the Wii U, you can continue to play those games in Wii Mode. But if you’d like to take advantage of the Wii U functionality for those previously purchased games, you can purchase them again on the Wii U at a special price: $1.00 for NES games (instead of $4.99-$5.99) and $1.50 for SNES games (instead of $7.99-$8.99). There will be a variety of NES and SNES games available when the Virtual Console is released, and Gameboy Advance and Nintendo 64 titles will come to Virtual Console in the future.
Wii U – Wii U Panorama View
Following the Spring System Update, a free demo of Wii U Panorama View will be made available. Individual video tours of destinations around the world can be purchased for $2.00 each, and they can be watched in “every direction.” It’s a bit hard to describe, but the demo includes a sample, so give it a try when the demo is released next week.
Wii U – Pikmin 3
In addition to the previously announced Rock Pikmin, there is one more new Pikmin type that will be featured in Pikmin 3. Winged Pikmin are pink Pikmin that can fly and carry items in the air. This mechanic will be important for solving puzzles and completing levels. Pikmin 3 will be launching in just a “few months” with more details to follow before the launch of the game.
Virtual Console – Earthbound
Following the requests made by passionate fans, Earthbound will be available for Virtual Console in North American and Europe by the end of the year. On a personal note, Earthbound was one of my favorite SNES games when I was young. I always enjoyed the great sense of humor present in the game, and the music is something else! The actual release date for the Virtual Console version of Earthbound will be announced at a later time.
Wii U – Game & Wario
It always seems to be Wario games that really explore the possibilities of the newest features of the latest Nintendo systems. Game & Wario appears to be no exception, and will use the Wii U gamepad in unique ways. It also includes multiplayer games, which should be good for a laugh at the very least. Game & Wario will be available on June 23rd, 2013 in stores and on the Nintendo eShop.
3DS – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Nintendo has announced that there will be a new 3DS XL bundle that includes a pre-installed copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. The bundle will retail for $219.99 and will launch alongside the game on June 9th, 2013.
Virtual Console – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages & Oracle of Seasons
The Capcom developed games in The Legend of Zelda series, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons are coming to the Virtual Console on May 30th, 2013. Both of these Zelda games feature unique gameplay mechanics and wonderful self-contained adventures. But for players that own both games, a variety of additional features are available, all which are intact on the Virtual Console.
3DS – Bravely Default: Flying Fairy
An RPG by Square Enix, Bravely Default: Flying Fairy is being published in North American by Nintendo in partnership with Square Enix in 2014. Players can choose to skip their turn in battle in order to do more damage on later turns. The game features AR functionality, multiple endings and wireless features.
3DS – Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
The conclusion of the 2nd Professor Layton trilogy is coming in 2014. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy includes over 500 puzzles.
3DS – Shin Megami Tensei IV
Looks like Atlus is spoiling us again! Every copy of Shin Megami Tensei IV available at launch will include a music CD, strategy and design book, and collectable outer slip case. The game will be released on July 16th, 2013.
3DS – “The Guild” Series
There will be 3 games coming to the Nintendo eShop from Level 5. The collection was known as “The Guild” series in Japan. First is The Starship Damrey, an adventure game with no tutorials or obvious objectives. Bugs Vs Tanks! is a game in which a World War II tank squad has been shrunk down to the size of bugs and has to do battle with them. Players will be able to customize the tanks in the game. Finally, in Attack of the Friday Monsters!: A Tokyo Tale, players control a character named Sota who lives where the giant monsters of Japan’s 1970s TV shows come to life every Friday.
Wii U / 3DS – Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, which is being described as the best version of Monster Hunter 3, received a software update that added Off TV support and cross region play for North American and Europe.
3DS – Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins
Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins is a prequel to Lego City Undercover and will be released this Sunday, April 21st, 2013.