While Nintendo’s previous Nintendo Direct was all about the Wii U, today’s video conference was all about their 3D handheld, the 3DS. Much of today’s Nintendo Direct was reviewing their Spring release schedule and re-hashing release dates, but there was also a ton of new content announced for this Spring and Summer. Let’s take a look.
Nintendo’s Direct opened with a lengthy how-to on Luigi’s new Dark Moon Poltergust, but really took off with the announcement of a new RPG for the 3DS, titled Mario & Luigi’s Dream Team. The game is due this very Summer, and takes place in the depths of Luigi’s mind. And you thought his Smash Ball was a trip.
Dubbing this year the “Year of Luigi,” Iwata went on to name a whole new, re-imagined New Super Mario Bros. U. The game will be titled New Super Luigi U, and will be “large-scale” downloadable content. “Because his brother is not appearing in this game, ‘brothers’ is excluded form the title,” Iwata said. The game will be available, vaguely, this year.
Ending the slew of Luigi-themed games, Iwata announced the all-new Mario Golf: World Tour for the 3DS. Giant Goombas, golf, and stereoscopic 3D, World Tour looks to be a good time.
Next up, Zelda fans will be getting their own, dedicated online space on the Miiverse. Due to the franchise’s popular appearance on the Wii U community, Nintendo has decided to give it its own sub-section. Appropriate!
Admittedly, I sort of got lost in the flurry of Fire Emblem: Awakening announcements. To start, Awakening will be getting new DLC, which will be free of charge for the next three weeks. On March 6th, the original “Champion Pack,” which includes the first three maps, will go from $4 to $6. “Champions of Yore” DLC is also available starting today, and will set users back $2.50. The “Golden Gaffe” DLC is available today, and at the same price as well. Huff, huff.
All right, here’s where sh!t started to get kind of weird. This guy up top — code-named Hearts McGee — stated that Animal Crossing: New Leaf would be available June 9th, 2013. He then went on to suggest that we all bide our time with Style Savvy, the all-new fashionista game for 3DS. O.K.
Next up, the long-awaited WiiStreet U, powered by Google, was announced. The application works like Google Maps’ Street View, and is free for download for a limited time.
After talking just a bit about Lego City: Undercover (available March 18th), the Direct switched to games of the eShop nature. HarmoKnight (above) will be available March 28th, a new game titled Kersploosh will be available March 7th, Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger will be available April 11th, and a new Mario and Donkey Kong game was mentioned to be “coming soon.”
Following the announcement of two new Virtual Console releases (Harvest Moon GBC & Harvest Moon: Legend of the River King [Game Boy Color]), Nintendo announced a free game promotion. The promotion, which runs from March 21st until April 30th, will get you any of five games (above) for free when you purchase & register either a new 3DS XL, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, or Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity.
Not to be outdone by the new, some of the more classic eShop titles will receive price cuts in the weeks to come. Nothing huge here, but hey, if you buy Crashmo and Bit. Trip Saga, you basically get Mutant Mudds for free. It’s all about justification.
Nintendo then announced Bit. Trip Runner 2 and Zen Pinball 2 for the 3DS. Afterward, Need For Speed: Most Wanted U, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, and Ed Boone’s Injustice: Gods Among Us (slated for April 16th) were announced for the Wii U.
Last, but certainly not least, NoA’s main man Reggie Fils-Aime came on-screen, announcing Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. Retro’s 2.5D platformer, which originally debuted in November of 2010, will be receiving 3D treatment for the 3DS. The title doesn’t have an official release date, but will presumably be available later this year.
In what can be considered a pretty dense Nintendo Direct, Nintendo definitely gave its 3DS users some content to look forward to. It seems like yesterday we were celebrating Link’s 25th anniversary, and for a brief time, even Kirb-Stars 25th — the little Pink Puff that could. This year, I’m happy to hone in on Luigi, and give Nintendo’s usually Mario-centric mantra a break. The arrival of new eShop content is more than welcome, and Nintendo’s various price-drops demonstrate that they are taking more care to maintain their digital space. The Wii Shop Channel was an absolute cluster-fudge of games, many of which never saw price-drops during the system’s lifetime. The Wii U also received a nod of recognition today, games like Injustice proving the Nintendo brand’s soiree into more “M for Mature” content. The announcement of Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D came as a surprise, but a disappointing one nonetheless. No doubt there are Retro rumor mills shutting down all over the country, in dashed hopes of crossovers and reboot dreams alike. Still, Nintendo Direct is a fantastic way for the company to stay intimate with its consumers, laying down all-new information firsthand.
Want to watch for yourself? Catch the Nintendo Direct in its entirety here.