The first Nintendo Direct of 2015 has come and gone, but the news it imparted sure leaves a lasting impact.
The presentation, presided over by Nintendo’s global president Satoru Iwata, kicked off on one of the highest notes possible with a teaser reveal of the next Fire Emblem game for 3DS. We don’t have any additional details like its title or release date, but the lengthy teaser shows off a number of neat cutscenes, character designs, and a definite upgrade in the in-game battle environments.
The next Fire Emblem title will be developed by Intelligent Systems, the same developers as Fire Emblem: Awakening. However, the storyline will be written by Shin Kibayashi, a highly experienced manga writer perhaps best known in North America for his detective series Kindaichi Case Files.
Iwata then announced that the popular Japanese puzzle title Puzzles & Dragons Z would be making its way to western audiences along with Puzzles & Dragons Z Super Mario Bros. Edition. In the Puzzles & Dragons games, players run around and explore the game world while fighting villains and monsters by completing puzzles to perform attacks. The Super Mario Bros. Edition will have similar gameplay, adapted to the Super Mario universe. The combo bundle will release in May 2015.
Pokemon Shuffle is a puzzle game available through the Nintendo eShop for free. Players match pokémon togehter to reduce the HP of a wild pokémon to zero within a given number of moves. Nintendo seems to be testing the waters of free-to-play game design with this title as players can also use items acquired in-game to help in a given level or can opt to purchase in-game items with eShop points. I’m not sure if I’m thrilled about this one, but the game looks fun and I can always just not play it.
Have you been wishing that you could download Wii games on the WiiU? Well, Iwata’s got some news for you! It turns out that Nintendo was having trouble releasing digital Wii title on the WiiU due to the way they approached backwards compatibility with the WiiU. However, they’ve finally managed to circumvent their hardware to begin making Wii games available. Wii games compatible with a gamepad will be compatible with the WiiU touchscreen controller.
The first Wii title to be digitally released on the WiiU is already out. Super Mario Galaxy 2 went live shortly after the Nintendo Direct concluded today. Punch-Out releases on January 22, followed by Metroid Prime: Trilogy on January 27. Each title will be discounted by 50% for the week following their initial release.
After concluding his announcement of all that Wii on WiiU action, Iwata turned over the presentation to Nintendo of America’s Bill Trinen to talk about Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. The Kirby, King Dedede, and Metaknight Amiibos can be used once per day to grant in-game Kirby different abilities and appearances. Rainbow Curse will release on February 20. Trinen goes on to state that the next wave of Amiibo will release in February with eleven new types for people to go bananas over. The wave following the February wave will include Robin, Lucina, Pac-Man, Wario, Ness, and Charizard and will hit sometime this spring.
On March 20, a new series of Super Mario Amiibo will launch alongside Mario Party 10. It will include: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, and Toad. Regardless of which series of Amiibo customers purchase, they will work in both Super Smash Bros. and Mario Party 10. If you’re confused about what Amiibo works with what game, check out Nintendo’s compatibility list. Keep in mind, though: If you use a figure containing Smash Bros. data with Mario Party 10, you will need to erase the Smash Bros. data. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will receive a small update on March 20that will add a hide-and-seek style mini game to a stage when the Toad Amiibo is used.
Trinen briefly transitioned into discussing Splatoon. He discussed the main hub of the game where players can interact with each other, purchase new weapons and clothing, and how that affects gameplay. In other words, Splatoon still looks neat. It should be releasing sometime this May.
New DLC is heading to Hyrule Warriors on February 5. Titled the Majora’s Mask Pack, players will be able to control Young Link on the field of battle as well as (hilariously) Tingle. The DLC will also include a new adventure map and three new costumes.
Next, Trinen revealed a new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X, which showed off the impressive visuals and gorgeous world of the upcoming WiiU JRPG.
Trinen went into detail on Mario and Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Basically, players use stars to create levels. Stars are earned by beating levels. If players complete a level that they particularly enjoyed, they can tip the player who made that level to help them create more levels. The idea is pretty cool, but what’s even cooler is that players that purchase the WiiU version will also receive the 3DS version and vice versa.
Bandai Namco took some time to announce that they were working on an untitled game that they couldn’t go into much detail about. The game is going by the name Project Treasure. It will be free and accessible for anyone with a WiiU internet connection. The gameplay will revolve around four player co-op and disarming traps, but that’s about all we know. Oh, and it will probably involve treasure in some capacity.
Do you like Nintendo eShop games? I hope so, because Trinen blitzed viewers with a series of indie trailers. First, we have Elliot Quest, a pixel art platformer with a sick soundtrack about a boy trying to remove his curse of immortality. It releases this February.
Blek releases this February, as well. Blek bills itself as a contemplative puzzle game and features award-winning visuals.
Trinen also talks a bit about the JRPG influences of Citizens of Earth, the updated visuals and improvements of Gunman Clive 2, and a remastered, episodic version of 2009’s Moon Chronicles. Beyond that, Sega will release 3D remakes of Afterburner II, Fantasy Zone, Out Run, Fantasy Zone 2, and Thunder Blade over the course of the next few months.
Etrian Mystery Dungeon combines Etrian Odyssey’s party building with the addicting dungeon crawling of the Mystery Dungeon series. We’ll be seeing this title release sometime during spring.
Story of Seasons is essentially a combination of Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. That should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about whether you’d be interested in it or not.
Would you want to play the video game version of Jurassic Park, but instead of an amusement park gone horribly wrong, you dug up dinosaur bones, brought them back to life, and forced them to use their magic powers to fight? Well, Fossil Fighters Frontier will have you covered when March 20 rolls around.
Reggie Fils-Aimé was then brought in to introduce the New Nintendo 3DS XL. The new handheld will play all the same titles as before, but includes hardware that will be able to play more advanced titles on the horizon like Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, which requires the upgraded processing power to run. The new system will include an additional control stick, shoulder buttons, 3D face tracking (so people won’t be disoriented from holding their device slightly off center), improved browsing and download speeds, a faster processor, and longer battery life. The New 3DS XL will launch on February 13. Somewhat perplexingly, the new system will not include an A/C adapter for recharging. Those will have to be purchased separately, though the new system is compatible with older adapters.
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a game about Abraham Lincoln leading a team of steam-powered warriors taken from American history, folklore, and literature to combat aliens. It is also made by the people who worked on Fire Emblem and Advanced Wars. The combat system looks vaguely reminiscent of Valkyria Chronicles combination of real-time and turn-based combat. In a nod to the development team’s history, Fire Emblem Amiibos will be compatible with Code Name S.T.E.A.M. through the New 3DS XL’s built-in NFC sensor. Code Name S.T.E.A.M. releases on March 13.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ will use the New 3DS hardware for full flight sim controls.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D will be available this April. Monster Games, the team that ported Donkey Kong Country Returns from Wii to 3DS have been tasked with porting the massive JRPG to 3DS and integrating touchscreen controls.
IronFall: Invasion will release on the eShop soon. It’s a third-person shooter that runs at 60 FPS from an indie studio composed of three people.
The Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate New 3DS bundle will be available February 13 through Gamestop. A demo will also be coming soon that will allow people to both play through a tutorial introducing the world of Monster Hunter. The demo will also include local and online multiplayer to give players a taste of the full monster hunting experience.
February 13 is also the day that The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D will release. Pre-ordering Code Name S.T.E.A.M. at Gamestop will net you a Majora’s Mask pin while supplies release. Oh, also there’s a limited edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL that will be sold on February 13 (seen above in that first image). No big deal.
PHEW. We made it! That was a lot to digest. What do you fine people think of all of this gaming news?
You can view the entire presentation yourself here.