So, Nintendo had another Direct today. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The fact that they said it was 3DS focused bugged me a bit, since we still didn’t have release dates for upcoming Wii U titles like Wonderful 101 and Pikmin 3 (both of which were spring titles.) Well, it turned out Nintendo did give us some Wii U information after all while confirming my theory that 3DS will have the best lineup out of any other console ever had during a year.
They started off by showing more gameplay footage of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. As expected, it looks excellent. Definitely a day one purchase for me. The weird thing here is that it’s coming out on July 12th in Europe and August 11th in North America. Massive difference there! As a European, I don’t complain. Remember, Americans – we still don’t have Fire Emblem yet! We’re getting it this Friday, which is two months after you guys. Anyway, then they moved on to Mario Golf: World Tour. Honestly, I’m not really excited for this game at all. It’s probably because I’ve never been into golf games. That might change in the future, but for now, this game doesn’t do anything for me.
Afterwards, they announced a brand new game… Mario Party 3DS! Mario Party is one of my favorite multiplayer franchises ever, but sadly it has gone downhill since the Nintendo 64 days. The GameCube ones weren’t too bad, but the Wii ones were terrible. Mario Party DS was pretty good in my opinion, but nothing major at all. Currently, I’m having a hard time categorizing this new one, but it’s definitely something I’ll consider. The mini-games looked fairly fun. We’ll see about this one… Then they showed us New Super Luigi U – the New Super Mario Bros. U DLC. It’s basically a new game in the 2D Mario series, since every single level has been redesigned for Luigi. They also highlighted Luigi’s unique abilities – such as jumping higher than Mario. Nothing of this was new to us, but it was still pretty cool to see.
Next was Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. This one wasn’t really a big deal either since we knew everything beforehand. It’s basically a port of the Wii version with a new easy mode for casuals. They did say the game will have a few more levels, though, which is quite nice. I don’t think I’ll get it though, since I already bought it once. I might sell it if it turns out to be a massive improvement. This one is a “maybe” too. And then… Time for another new game! Yoshi’s Island 3! The art style is different this time. It seems that some people don’t really like it, and I can definitely see why. However, on the other hand I do like how it doesn’t look exactly like the previous games. Unless it gets some really crappy reviews, I’ll probably get it. It looks fun.
Not long after that, they started talking about the Wii U a bit. Firstly, the spring update. I have an opinion I really need to stress here. This update is commonly known as the update that will improve the loading times, but you know what? That isn’t even the best feature! I can finally turn on the machine and go straight to the Wii Menu by holding the B button! Such a fantastic idea! I’m playing a lot of Wii games nowadays (especially Pikmin 2), so it’s a perfect feature for me. It might not seem like a big deal, but it really is. Good stuff.
Next up was Pikmin 3. When Iwata mentioned the name, I just KNEW they would give us a release date. It was the perfect opportunity… Well, it turned out they didn’t – at first. Later during the press release, a launch date of August 4th was mentioned. I’m thinking this is for North America only though, but it should give everyone an idea of when they can play the game. It’s later than I initially expected – especially since they called it a spring game. Now, what will happen with The Wonderful 101? Is that one pushed back as well? We don’t know for sure.
Anyway, the footage presented a new type of Pikmin – the Winged Pikmin! As you’ve probably already guessed, they can fly. They look pretty neat. I’m looking forward to this game, but I personally have no problem waiting for August since I just recently started playing this series. I do think it’s a terrible move though, since the Wii U is in massive trouble. Hopefully they have a thing or two up their sleeve for E3. Oh, and by the way, the Pikmin 3 box art was shown. I’m a sucker for box art, so here it is.
And then… THEN… It was time for a megaton. EarthBound, a cult classic game from the SNES days, will FINALLY be released on the Virtual Console! This is massive news – especially for Europe. This is the first time ever the game will available in that region, which is awesome. Hopefully we’re a step closer to the EarthBound Collection I’ve been dreaming about for years. I’ve never played any game in the series, but I’ve always really wanted to. I hope people buy this release to show Nintendo how much we want them to support EarthBound in the west. I never, never thought this would happen. So glad to see this!
Iwata said bye and Bill Trinen showed up. He mostly talked about all the boring stuff. Game & Wario looks pretty alright though. It’s not a day one thing, but I’ll probably get my hands on it eventually. Bravely Default, Animal Crossing, Shin Megami Tensei, yada, yada, yada… We knew about this stuff already! But as soon as Reggie showed up… Man, what an announcement he made. A brand new Zelda game based on A Link to the Past will join the 3DS’ massive 2013 lineup! The game looks really great. The best way I can describe it is, “New The Legend of Zelda”. It takes the top-down view of the old school games and blends it with fresh 3D graphics. I’m happy they went this route instead of making another game like Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks.
That game was the icing on the cake. Overall, it was a great Nintendo Direct. One of the best ones ever. I was hoping for some Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney news, but oh well… We got so much other stuff. I’m already looking forward to the next one – and of course E3 too!