Nintendo Direct Roundup (4/1/15)
Ladies and gentlemen: start your engines (literally, if you’re a MK8 fan). For 48 minutes, Nintendo tried as hard as they could to make us forget that Zelda delay. And you know what? Mission accomplished. Check out the highlights below.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U & 3DS
Turns out Smash Bros. is getting a whole lot more DLC than we originally thought. Unsurprisingly, Nintendo showed off the first gameplay footage of Mewtwo and announced both release date and pricing information. You’ll be able to purchase Mewtwo on April 28th for $3.99 (Wii U or 3DS) or $4.99 (Wii U and 3DS). Club Nintendo members who registered both versions of the game before March 31st will receive a free download code for Mewtwo on April 15th.
Nintendo also announced (“out of nowhere”) that Lucas will return to Smash Bros. as a playable character sometime in June. Lucas first appeared in Mother 3, a Game Boy Advance game that you’ll never get to play.
So neither Mewtwo nor Lucas floats your boat, huh? Well, you’re in luck. Until October 3rd, you can nominate a character to join the fighting roster via Nintendo’s Smash Bros. website. Fortunately, everyone has agreed to take this completely seriously in order to ensure no random intern’s time is wasted reading through bogus submissions.
Also on the DLC front, Nintendo revealed a slew of new Mii character costumes, including outfits from Zelda, Mega Man, and Xenoblade Chronicles. The costume DLC pack will be available on April 15th for $0.75 (Wii U or 3DS) or $1.15 (Wii U and 3DS).
And finally, amiibo news! Wave 4 will launch on May 29th – it includes Charizard, Wario, Pac-Man, Lucina, Robin, Ness (GameStop exclusive), Jigglypuff (Target exclusive), and Greninja (Toys ‘R Us exclusive). By the time you read this, they will all be completely sold out. Waves 5 and 6 will launch later this year – they include Dark Pit and Palutena in July and Dr. Mario, Zero Suit Samus, Ganondorf, Olimar, and Bowser Jr. in September. No word yet on retailer exclusivity, but rest assured, pre-orders will go live at 3AM.
Mario Kart 8
So. Much. Mario. Kart. News. Let’s start with the most exciting: a 200cc class coming April 23rd! And it’s free for all Mario Kart 8 owners! If the trailer is any indication, Lakitu will need to get in shape soon because you’ll be flying all over the course. In fact, the added class is so speedy that the developers have stressed the importance of braking; who even knew our karts had brakes?!
The April update will also include additional amiibo-specific costumes for your racers, so if you didn’t already own a Pac-Man amiibo, you will now (seriously, that’s the best helmet ever).
And, finally, DLC news. The new levels and karts are also coming April 23rd, weeks ahead of their vague May launch window. While we weren’t shown any new courses beyond the Animal Crossing track, we were shown four versions of that particular level – the seasons alternate randomly each time you play (similar to the ever-changing Excitebike track from November’s DLC). The Animal Crossing music, aesthetic, and track design are all looking top notch. April 23rd can’t come soon enough.
Nintendo showcased another online Splatoon mode, Ranked Battle, which utilizes a different set of rules than Turf War (Splatoon’s main 4v4 online mode). For example, in Splat Zones (a type of Ranked Battle), players fight for control of a single area on the map rather than simply destroying all private property in sight.
We also finally got a look at Splatoon’s local 1v1 mode, Battle Dojo, in which players must shoot the most balloons scattered across the map to win. Fortunately, the maps used in Battle Dojo are the same as those in Turf War, so learning the layouts of each during local play will aid you in online multiplayer sessions.
Not to be left out of the amiibo party, Splatoon will receive its own line of impossible-to-find toys. You can either purchase an Inkling Boy or an Inkling Girl separately at the standard $12.99 price point, or splurge on a three-pack that also includes an Inkling Squid amiibo for $34.99. Each amiibo will unlock special missions which, when completed, will net you exclusive weapons and gear for your customizable in-game character.
Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem
Though once an annual Vaporware of the Year nominee, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem is indeed real and it’s spectacular (if you catch my drift). According to Nintendo, the upcoming Wii U game will be a “truly modern RPG, where everyday life exists alongside a secret world of fantasy.” We think it sounds/looks more like Harry Potter X Victoria’s Secret, but we’ll have to wait until 2016 to be sure.
Yoshi’s Woolly World
At this point, who even cares about the game? Do you see these yarn Yoshi amiibo?! And they come in three colors!
Unfortunately, Yoshi’s Woolly World was pushed back a bit to Fall 2015. However, Nintendo showed off a few new features, including two difficulties – Classic Mode and Mellow Mode. This gives us hope that the game could provide a decent challenge unlike its easy but equally adorable spiritual-predecessor, Kirby’s Epic Yarn. We also learned that scanning your yarn amiibo will unlock a controllable doppelganger who you can eat, digest, give birth to, and then throw at your enemies. How lovely!
Though once targeted for an early 2015 release, Mario Maker will release sometime in September. In the game, players can create their own 2D Mario levels using assets from four different Mario games (Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U). You’ll be able to swap between styles on the fly and share your levels online when you’re finished. Given that Iwata discussed the game in connection with Super Mario Bros.’ 30th anniversary, we expect even more cool features to be announced for the title between now and September.
Fatal Frame V
I like to think I am single-handedly responsible for this localization effort. Here’s a snippet from my Club Nintendo post-play survey for Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir on the Nintendo 3DS:
Q: Why did you purchase this game?
A: To support the franchise – frankly, Spirit Camera looks awful and I didn’t play it – but the other Fatal Frame games deserve a North American release.
You’re welcome, America. Fatal Frame V is officially coming to Wii U later this year, where you'll explore a cursed tourist area using the Gamepad as your Camera Obscura. Here’s hoping the ghosts are as terrifying as Zombie Reggie.
Amiibo Tap: Nintendo’s Greatest Bits
Amiibo Tap is a free Wii U application that uses amiibo to unlock 3-minute “bits” of classic NES and SNES games. By continually tapping your amiibo on the GamePad, you can swap through a number of scenes from the game you’ve unlocked. Games assigned to amiibo are not predetermined based on the amiibo used (i.e. Mario unlocks a Mario game); rather, a game is randomly assigned to your amiibo the first time you use it with amiibo Tap. For example, a Mario amiibo can unlock scenes from Super Metroid or F-Zero. Look for amiibo Tap in the eShop this Spring. On an unrelated note, Iwata is a big fan of Forrest Gump.
In a continued effort to support every system but the Gamecube, the Nintendo 64 and DS are finally coming to the Wii U Virtual Console. Super Mario 64 and Yoshi’s Island DS are available right now, while future releases include: Yoshi Touch & Go, Wario Ware Touched, Donkey Kong 64, Mario Kart DS, and Paper Mario. N64 games range from $9.99 to $11.99 (if you already own any of the titles on the Wii’s Virtual Console, you can upgrade for $2), and Nintendo DS games range from $6.99 to $9.99.
Nintendo is also allowing control customization, rumble support, and off-screen play for all N64 games, while DS games will include multiple layout options to optimize gameplay.
Fingers crossed for Superman 64.
The latest Fire Emblem game on 3DS, revealed during the last Nintendo Direct, is quickly shaping up to be the most ambitious title in the series thus far. The previous entry, Fire Emblem Awakening, allowed you to create a custom avatar that served as a secondary protagonist in the game. This time around, your avatar is the main character, caught between two kingdoms: the peace-loving Hoshido and the glory-seeking Nohr. As the game progresses, the choices you make dramatically affect how the story unfolds. According to Nintendo, the Hoshido path will be more accessible due to its traditional Fire Emblem structure, whereas the Nohr storyline will be more complex and challenging because of its departure from familiar series conventions. Though the game releases in Japan this summer, North America will have to wait until 2016 while NoA translates an unfathomable number of sentences.
Interestingly, the title will be released as two separate games in Japan. However, if you buy one version, the other can be purchased later as discounted DLC. A separate, third DLC storyline will also be available on the eShop. Alternatively, Japanese players will have the option to pay the equivalent of approximately $80 for a copy of the game that includes all three storylines (as well as some other goodies). At the time of this writing, no similar announcement has been made regarding either the North American or European releases of the game.
Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: New Super Mario Bros. Edition
In the longest named video game since Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors, Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition (…jeeze…) is actually two full Puzzle & Dragons games for $29.99. In Puzzle & Dragons Z, you can catch and evolve exclusive monsters. The Super Mario Bros. Edition utilizes similar P&D gameplay, but with a distinct Nintendo charm; it even has a New Super Mario Bros. style overworld. Be sure to check out the demo on April 30th before the game launches on May 22nd.
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
Excited for Animal Crossing amiibo? You’re in luck! Instead of intricately detailed figures, Nintendo is giving you a paper card with a Google Image of your favorite character. These new amiibo cards will launch alongside Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer on 3DS later this fall. In Happy Homes, you can unleash your inner Nate Berkus and design homes to please different animals with strange tastes. No word yet on pricing, but we suspect Nintendo will be pushing the cards more than the software.
Alongside Happy Homes, Nintendo will be releasing their NFC reader for those who didn’t upgrade to the new 3DS XL (or those still patiently waiting for the changeable 3DS faceplates. That model is eventually coming to North America, right? Right?).
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.
The recently released 3DS title will soon receive a much-welcome (and borderline necessary) update that will allow players to fast-forward through enemy turns (twice as fast on regular 3DS and thrice as fast on New 3DS). Now, when your parents tell you you’re wasting time playing video games, you can proudly tell them, “Not as much as before!”
Pokémon Rumble World
The latest entry in the Pokémon Rumble series, Pokémon Rumble World, will release on April 8th on the 3DS eShop. The game will utilize the same “free-to-start-and-pay-real-money-for-virtual-diamonds” pay model as the recently released Pokémon Shuffle. Unlike typical Pokémon RPG games, the Rumble series features more action-oriented gameplay.
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains
Based on the popular Japanese anime series, Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains tasks you with taking down massive Titans, either individually or cooperatively with your friends via local or online multiplayer. Players using a New 3DS or Circle Pad Pro can take advantage of additional C-stick support. Those looking to dive deeper into the series can watch the first two episodes of the anime for free via the eShop until June 30th.
If you think it takes long to clear out your StreetPass plaza now, get ready to tack on another twenty minutes. Later this month, you can download two new premium StreetPass games: Ultimate Angler and Battleground Z, because nothing says StreetPass like fish and zombie genocide.
In both games, Mii characters will provide you with the tools needed to carry out your atrocities. In Ultimate Angler, you’ll use bait to catch and murder over 150 different fish, while Battleground Z has you stealing items (based on your streetpassed Miis’ hobbies) to use as weapons against hoards of zombies. The games cost $4.99 each, or you can purchase both at a discounted price of $7.99.
Additionally, Nintendo is introducing the new StreetPass Mii Plaza Premium for StreetPass addicts. The fancy Mii lounge costs $4.99, though not much is known about its functionality beyond tracking birthdays and choosing VIP Miis.
With its unique Game Boy-style graphics, BOXBOY! is looking to be an inventive new IP from the developers of Kirby. As the adorable little guy pictured above, you can duplicate your body to create shapes, platforms, and more to solve short, challenging puzzles. It’s available now in the eShop for $4.99.
Mutant Mudds Super Challenge
While Nintendo continues to ignore cross-buy, indie developers are taking full advantage. Next up: a sequel to Renegade Kid’s best-selling eShop title, Mutant Mudds. Super Challenge promises to ramp up the difficulty ever further (yikes!) while adding 40 new filthy levels to clean up with Grannie’s watergun. If you buy either the Wii U or 3DS version, you’ll receive the other for free, and if you purchased the first Mutant Mudds (if you didn’t - what’s wrong with you?!), you’ll receive a loyalty discount. Mutant Mudds Super Challenge launches this June.
- -Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U)
-Adventures of Pip (Wii U)
-Don’t Starve: Giant Edition (Wii U)
-Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Wii U)
-forma.8 (Wii U)
-STARWHAL (Wii U)
-Never Alone (Wii U)
-Ninja Pizza Girl (Wii U)
-Life of Pixel (Wii U)
-Badland: Game of the Year Edition (Wii U)
-Slain! (Wii U)
-Runbow (Wii U)
-Back to Bed (Wii U)
-Space Hulk (Wii U)
-Race the Sun (Wii U)
-Dot Arcade (Wii U)
-Swords & Soldiers II (Wii U)
-Toto Temple Deluxe (Wii U)
-The Bridge (Wii U)
-Nova-111 (Wii U)
-Windup Knight 2 (Wii U)
-Shutshimi (Wii U/3DS)
-Antipole DX (Wii U/3DS)
-Lionel City Builder 3D: Rise of the Rails (3DS)
-Dementium Remastered (3DS)
Well, was this enough news to appease your anger over that Zelda delay? Or are you still bitterly watching the Game Awards footage? Share your thoughts on the latest Direct in the comments below!