E3 2015: Nintendo Digital Event Roundup

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Another E3 come and gone, another year closer to Zelda. Though this year’s Digital Event highlighted a number of previously revealed games, Nintendo still had a few surprises up their Muppet sleeves. For the sake of brevity, this rundown will focus solely on newly announced games and information.

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Star Fox Zero
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Neither a prequel nor a sequel, Star Fox Zero is a reimagining of the series built specifically with the GamePad in mind. The TV screen shows a traditional third-person perspective of your ship as you navigate each level, but the GamePad provides a cockpit view used for shooting enemies with pinpoint, gyroscopic accuracy. In certain levels, your Arwing can transform into a Walker to (get this) walk around. Other controllable vehicles include the familiar Landmaster and the helicopter-like Gyrowing, which houses a small robot that can descend and explore surfaces. Fox and his team are set to arrive on Wii U this Holiday as long as Slippy doesn’t derail game development.
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Super Mario Maker
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Super Mario Maker launches on September 11th and comes bundled with a booklet that includes level-building tips and hints. In fact, to collectors, that impressive booklet might be worth the price of admission alone. Two 30th anniversary 8-bit Mario amiibo (classic and modern colors) will also launch alongside the game. Nintendo confirmed that additional amiibo will be compatible with Super Mario Maker. If you’re still on the fence about this one, check out the latest footage from the Nintendo World Championships.
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Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival
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Not the Animal Crossing we were expecting, I’d wager. Unlike AC: New Leaf, amiibo Festival is a digital board game set in the Animal Crossing universe. As the title suggests, amiibo play a huge a role; in fact, they’re apparently required to get started. Similar to the amiibo Party mode in Mario Party 10, you tap Animal Crossing amiibo on the GamePad to initiate your turn. So far, eight AC amiibo have been announced – Isabelle, Tom Nook, K.K. Slider, Mabel, Lottie, Digby, Cyrus, and Reese. The game will also support the Animal Crossing amiibo cards that are launching alongside Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer this September. Amiibo Festival will be available this Holiday as a physical bundle that includes two amiibo figures and three amiibo cards. Potentially, the title will also be released as a free-to-download title (with amiibo purchased separately).
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Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
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Developed by Camelot, Mario Tennis: Ultra Slam is currently slated for a Holiday 2015 release. Standard singles and doubles modes will be included, as well as an arcade-style mode that features power-ups like the Mega Mushroom (which, as its name implies, makes you larger and more powerful on the court). Though the lack of motion controls might bother some people, at least there’s no chance you’ll throw a Wii Remote through your television… we think.
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Metroid Prime: Federation Force
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Hang onto your blast balls, there’s a new Metroid game coming! Well, sort of. Federation Force is a first person co-op shooter developed for the 3DS by Next Level Games. Instead of Samus Aran, you’ll play as a Galactic Federation marine with up to three other players (either locally or online) to complete various missions. Don't worry, the game will also include a single player mode for those who don't work well with others. Additionally, Federation Force will ship with a separate multiplayer mode called Blast Ball, which is basically 3v3 soccer with blasters. Be sure to check out some gameplay from the NWC if you haven't already.
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The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
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Four swords unite! Well, three at least (sorry, Purple Link). This Holiday, prepare to navigate dungeons with two friends via local or online multiplayer. You’ll need to work as a team to survive, so hopefully your partners are up to snuff. To shake things up, certain costumes will affect your in-game abilities. For example, the Kokiri costume allows you to shoot three arrows at once. Fortunately, Tri Force Heroes runs on the same silky smooth engine as A Link Between Worlds. The game can also be played single player if you have severe trust issues.
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Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam
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After years of coexisting without knowledge of the other, the worlds of Mario & Luigi RPG and Paper Mario are colliding. In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, players control Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario because the laws of the space-time continuum seemingly do not apply to the Mushroom Kingdom. Their new adventure is set to release in early 2016.
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Yo-kai Watch
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After several years of burgeoning popularity in Japan, Level-5’s kid-friendly RPG is finally coming to the West this Holiday. In the simplest terms, Yo-kai Watch is Pokémon, but with ghosts instead (don’t worry, it’s more adorable than terrifying).
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Hyrule Warriors Legends
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The previously leaked 3DS version of Hyrule Warriors includes all of the Wii U DLC released so far, as well as two new playable characters: Tetra and the King of Hyrule (spoiler: he's a boat). Sadly, no Happy Mask Salesman… yet. The game will launch in Q1 2016.
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Skylanders Superchargers
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Through a partnership with Vicarious Visions/Activision, Nintendo is releasing two special figures that will function as amiibo in Nintendo games and Skylanders in Skylanders Superchargers on Wii U and 3DS. This September, you can pick up Turbo Charge Donkey Kong (w/ Barrel Blaster vehicle) with the Wii U version and Hammer Slam Bowser (w/ Clown Cruiser vehicle) with the Wii or 3DS versions. Our bodies are ready, but our wallets are not.

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Additional Release Dates
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And lastly here’s a list of previously announced titles with concrete release dates:

- Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS) – September 25th
- Yoshi’s Woolly World (Wii U) – October 16th
- Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U) – December 4th

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What did you think of this year’s Digital Event? Let us know in the comments, and check back soon for our thoughts!
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