Sonic, Rayman, Luigi, Pokémon, Professor Layton, and Zelda, for your quick stop on what was covered during yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, look no further! We’ve got you covered.
Satoru Iwata, global president of Nintendo, began the proceedings by digging into the upcoming Sonic Lost World. The Wii U title will feature three speeds, accommodating players of all skill levels and adding a greater degree of control over the blue hedgehog. Iwata also revealed that Sonic will be able to use “color powers” giving sonic different abilities like tunneling through dirt or transforming into a bird-creature. A 3DS version of the title will also be available. Players will be able to link a 3DS copy of Lost World with a Wii U version, importing player-created radio-controlled vehicles, which they can control on the Wii U using their 3DS. This effectively means that two friends who own the 3DS and Wii U versions can play co-operatively on the Wii U version. Sonic Lost World will release October 22.
Iwata moved on to discuss Rayman Legends, which was supposed to release at the beginning of this summer, but was pushed back to the beginning of fall to release across all platforms besides the Wii U. Basically, this section of the Direct was to say, “Hey, remember how cool this game looked several months ago? It is still coming out and it still has unique Wii U GamePad functionality!” So, to reiterate, up to five players can cooperate to beat the various levels, four players on controllers and one on the GamePad. The GamePad player will have access to unique ways to influence the game world unavailable to other players. The only bit of real information was that there will be downloadable Mario and Luigi costumes for the Wii U version. Rayman Legends releases September 3
The Direct then spent some time on Ark Academy SketchPad, a downloadable software program from the eShop that will allow users to use the Wii U GamePad to create artwork. Users will be able to take screenshots of their art and share it with other users via Nintendo’s online services. Though Ark Academy launches August 9, community support will be available a few days later. Iwata also mentioned briefly that Nintendo is working on another Ark Academy title that will include detailed drawing lessons.
Following the announcement regarding Ark Academy, Erik Peterson from the Treehouse division of Nintendo of America came on to discuss North American releases of Nintendo titles.
Peterson kicked things off with a reminder that Pikmin 3 released and has a way of taking in-game screenshots with the GamePad controller. Players can then caption and share these pictures. If this doesn’t sound like a recipe for the kind of mischief that Nintendo has notoriously cracked down upon, I don’t know what does. Peterson also made sure to remind everyone that the Mario and Luigi Dream Team will be released on August 11 for the 3DS.
Pokémon Rumble U was revealed and discussed shortly after Peterson gave an overview of Dream Team. The Wii U eShop title features frantic toy Pokémon vs. toy Pokémon action over the course of 70 levels. Following each level players will have a chance of befriending the Pokémon defeated in battle. All 649 Pokémon that have appeared through Black version 2 and White version 2 will be present and playable. Players will be able to buy figurines at participating retailers and transport them into the game via a scanner on the Wii U GamePad, similar to the popular Skylanders series. Peterson assured everyone that these figurines are completely optional and will not be necessary to see everything. Pokémon Rumble U hits the digital shelves August 29.
Other downloadable titles are heading to the 3DS eShop. Retro classics like the original Donkey Kong (August 15), Tecmo Bowl (sometime before football season starts), Wario Land 3 (August 29), and Super Mario Bros. 3 (later this year) will be making their way to the eShop over the course of this year.
While Peterson wasn’t able to reveal much information, he did confirm that Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy will be coming next year as well as the long awaited Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney.
Satoru Iwata took over the briefing once again. This time, he was dropping some interesting new tidbits regarding The Legend of Zelda series. He began by pointing out that the logo for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds had not one, but two triforces, one that we are familiar with and another that appears as a shadow. He hinted that this shadow triforce might play a large role in A Link Between Worlds. Iwata also went into a bit more detail about how The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds are related. A Link Between Worlds takes place far in the future, many years after A Link to the Past. The main character is not the same Link, but an entirely new Link. While the normal world of A Link Between Worlds is the same as A Link to the Past, the “other” world seen in the trailers and gameplay from A Link Between Worlds, might not be the Dark World from A Link to the Past. A bit confusing, I know, but whatever the Zelda continuity, A Link Between Worlds is coming to 3DS this November.
Iwata also discussed a few of the changes Nintendo has included in the HD version of The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker. The team has fine-tuned the collection in the last half of the game, presumably making it a bit easier and including less backtracking. They’ve also adjusted wind control actions, which can now be adjusted in any direction instead of fumbling repeatedly with that dang wind baton when you get the direction wrong. Finally, they added a high-speed sailing mode to alleviate some of the tedium players experienced sailing the long stretches of empty ocean. Windwaker HD will be available this October.
Luigi was also confirmed for the Wii U and 3DS Super Smash Bros. titles, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but I suppose it is nice to know nonetheless.
Following the success of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Iwata announced a new Animal Crossing community on Wii U and a downloadable Animal Crossing Plaza for the Wii U. Animal Crossing Plaza allows players to share screenshots with other players, send messages, see residents from other towns, share clothing designs, post about specific animals, and see updates from your 3DS town. You can download the Plaza now on Wii U.
Finally, Iwata concluded yesterday’s Nintendo Direct by announcing that the Platinum Games title Wonderful 101 will be receiving its own Nintendo Direct this Friday August 9, 7 AM PT.
As always, you can view the latest Nintendo Direct for yourself.
What do you guys think? Interested in a Wii U or 3DS? Is Nintendo doing what it needs to in order to succeed? Let us know in the comments!