By Jonathan Higgins / April 17th, 2013
When the first Nintendo Direct presentation aired in Japan, I don’t think any of us realized how much of a phenomenon it would become. It went from “oh, that random presentation where Fire Emblem: Awakening was first announced in Japan” to a phrase that stirs excitement and productivity in Nintendo fans. The Last Story was announced during a Nintendo Direct aimed at North America. But, for once, the oprainfall faithful won’t go into this one hoping for Pandora’s Tower. Many of us already have the game, and there are many, many more that will have it soon.
A lot of us have different hopes, different expectations. Will this presentation drop bombs like when the trailer for “X” was first shown? Whatever your hopes are, as per usual, I’m here to shine a little light upon them. Without ado, ladies and gentlemen, this morning’s presentation:
Mario & Luigi Dream Team was covered first, as a continued celebration of The Year of Luigi. There’s lots of differences between the real world and the dream world, two spots Mario and Luigi explore to save Princess PeachLots of new information was reported about games we already know of. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is set to release on August 11th, 2013.
The new Mario Golf outing from Camelot was mentioned. There was lots of new information about the game; Iwata thought to mention it because the first part of this Nintendo Direct was a global phenomenon. There is still a summer release date intended for this game. Nintendo announced a new Mario Party game for 3DS after. The game, featuring tons of new features focusing on cooperative elements, has a winter release window.
This is a 3DS-featured Nintendo Direct, but that didn’t stop Iwata from mentioning New Super Luigi U, the DLC announced for New Super Mario Bros U. After that, he moved on to cover Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. There was additional information, most of which has been covered previously. But the importance was stressed between the advantages of portable play, including a difficulty curb (don’t worry; the original game with all of its challenges is still intact).
Next up: a brand new Yoshi’s Island on 3DS! It has a ton of features from the original game, and ones built for the Nintendo 3DS. They’ll offer more more information about it later. After that, there was additional information about the new Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move. It will be released on May 9th.
More Wii-U talk up next. That fabled system update is coming next week. It will improve load times, and add system functionality. The Wii U Virtual Console was talked up next. Plenty of games we love are coming. And, of course, Gameboy Advance games are still coming.
There was Pikmin 3 talk as well. Although no date was mentioned during the conference, we were nice, so Nintendo of America revealed the game will be released on August 4th.
Ladies and gentlemen, Earth Bound is coming to the Wii U Virtual Console before the end of this year. More information as it comes.
So after Iwata dropped that bomb on us, he left things up to the folks in the Nintendo Treehouse. Game & Wario was next. It’s coming to the Wii U on June 23rd. They talked up the new information about Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate that we’ve covered at length. Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins was mentioned too. There’s lots of stuff to play this summer, for those not already more than content with the raging waters of this spring RPG Season.
Animal Crossing fans should be excited right about now. Not only did Nintendo offer new information about the game and re-confirm the June 9th release date, but a special Animal Crossing 3DS XL bundle is coming to North America alongside the game’s release. Between the Fire Emblem special 3DS that I have, the Pikachu one built with Pokemon fans in mind, the Zelda 3DS from a ways back…and now this… I can honestly say I appreciate Nintendo’s attempt to reach out to fans in this way. It will be available at $219.99. How many folks are picking this system up at launch?
Link’s Awakening. Have I said enough? Let me answer for you—“no, Jonathan, you can never say enough!” And so it goes, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages / Seasons, games a lot like the Gameboy original that inspired them, was officially announced during this morning’s presentation. They will be released on May 30th, 2013. You can purchase both games at once for connectivity and other awesome stuff. Goodness knows I’ve been waiting to replay the Oracle games for quite some time. Looks like we won’t have to wait much longer!
Well, folks. This is it. By the time Nintendo had surprised me with both Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem and “X”, I could barely bring myself to type up the rest of the presentation. Too busy bouncing around the room. This news, perhaps a worthy equivalent to replace Pandora’s Tower in “that game we were all pulling for” is truly my pleasure to report: Bravely Default: Flying Fairy is coming to the West in 2014. The deluge of absolutely amazing JRPG experiences headed to an eager fan-base is nothing short of legendary, like something from a fairy-tale. (Let the record show: once I get obsessed with something, the universe tends to unfold as it should.)
When we first saw the Guild01 games in Japan, I honestly feared for their fate in the West. Not only did we get most of them (I love being wrong sometimes), but they ended up being worthy or unique ventures. Seems the folks at Level-5 aren’t quite done with us yet. Some games from Guild02 were confirmed for Western release today! The Starship Damrey is coming. Bugs vs. Tanks is too. There was a third game announced as well, Attack of the Friday Monsters. To round out the news involving games Japan has been enjoying for a little while, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy was also confirmed for the West.
I’ve spoken at length about my personal journey regarding The Legend of Zelda series, but the part that fascinates me the most about all this is how, while Zelda fans agree on a lot of things (such as how mind-numbingly amazing Ocarina of Time 3D is), if you ask an individual what his or her favorite games in the series are, results may vary.
But, ladies and gentlemen, Reggie appeared at the end of the show to remind us what his favorite game in the series is, as well as announce that a new game set in the same world as A Link to the Past is coming to 3DS. It will be released this holiday season.
That does it, you guys. Another Nintendo Direct is in the books. As per usual, this post will be updated live with new information, screens, trailers, etc as they pour in. Covering these things is always a blast, but I can’t thank my editing team enough for all the work they do behind the scenes after I’ve made my exit. Surely I’ll go forth into the world with a spring in my step. What news from this Nintendo Direct made you the most excited? Be sure to let us know. And, as always, you can check here to watch the whole thing and learn more about these presentations. Or… you can watch the entire presentation below!
Guild 02Level-5Nintendo DirectThe Legend of ZeldaThe Legend of Zelda: Majora's MaskThe Legend of Zelda: Oracle of AgesThe Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons