Everything From Today’s Nintendo Direct
The two big stories from today’s Nintendo Direct were definitely the announcements of a new 2D/3D hybrid Zelda game set in the same world as A Link to the Past and a new Yoshi’s Island, but there was lots more to absorb. Here’s everything that happened all in one place – complete with all the new footage.
The broadcast kicked off with some new details on Mario Golf: World Tour’s online features – which sound very much like Mario Kart 7′s, right down the to community integration.
We also got a new trailer and a release date for Mario and Luigi: Dream Team – it’s coming to Europe on July 12th and North America on August 11th. The new footage showed off some of the game’s new features, including controlling a Luigi katamari in the game’s dream world.
A new Mario Party game is coming to 3DS in winter, this time with 7 different game boards, all of which have different rules and features. Some are designed for quick play, other for epic contests. It’s got 81 new minigames, including ones that make use of the 3DS AR cards.
The first new game of the broadcast was a new Yoshi’s Island announcement – the first game in the series since 2006. It looked gorgeous – more like the SNES Yoshi’s Island than later spin-offs such at the N64′s Yoshi’s Story. No release window was given, but just look at it:
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D will have an optional Easy Mode for those who found the Wii iteration too difficult. It also got some new footage:
We also found out that Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy — the final adventure for the professor — will be headed West. The game is said to feature more than 500 new puzzles.
New footage showed off how Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s Dream Suite works: it lets you visit other people’s towns and wreck them up in a dream world without losing your friendships over ruined flowers and peach trees. Lucky Europeans are also getting the new Animal Crossing 3DS XL model.
A trio of Level-5 eShop games are making their way West: Starship Damrey, Bugs vs Tanks and Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Tokyo Tale. At least two of the three look really interesting – I’m particularly intrigued by first-person space-horror in Starship Damrey:
Whilst we’re on a Japanese theme, JRPG fans will be delighted to hear that Bravely Default: Flying Fairy will be with us later this year. I think the bravest thing is that Square-Enix evidently isn’t changing the title.
The best was saved for last, however: Nintendo is developing a new 3DS Zelda game set in the same world as Link to the Past. This isn’t a 3D remake – we’re talking a whole new game, a 2D-3D hybrid, and it looks massively exciting.
WII U NEWS
Today’s Nintendo Direct was almost entirely 3DS-focussed, but there were a few significant Wii U stories too. First up, Pikmin 3 will be with us in just a few months (August 4th, to be exact, in the US at least) – replete with another new pink bug-eyed flying Pikmin type, which was hidden sneakily away in last year’s E3 trailer (and the box art).
Here’s one for ultra-long-term Nintendo fans: Earthbound (otherwise known as Mother 2) will finally, FINALLY be coming to the Virtual Console later this year. FINALLY.
Lastly, the next Wii U system update is coming next week, and it will let you keep downloading games when the system is in standby, and disables that ridiculous auto-shut-down feature whilst the console is actively downloading. If you’ve ever been the victim of that particular Wii U foible, this will make you very happy. Loading times are also being improved (hurrah!), and you will be able to copy data between two USB devices too.
And that’s it! It was one of the better Nintendo Direct broadcasts, and shows the 3DS continuing to build on an already strong line-up as it enters its third year. We can expect to hear more on all these new announcements at E3, and we should have hands-on impressions of some of these games for you from a Nintendo event very soon.
Keza MacDonald is in charge of IGN’s games coverage in the UK and is a very happy Nintendo fan today. You can follow her on IGN and Twitter.