After months of silence from Nintendo, they are back with another direct. This time however, they have chosen to focus on up and coming games for the Nintendo 3DS. That’s right folks, we still have to wait for the NX announcement. Did Nintendo make up for it? Come in and have a look.
Kicking off the show was an update on Pokémon Sun and Moon. Releasing on the Nintendo 3DS in November, we were given an update as to what’s happening with Rattata. We’ve found out that our favourite rat monsters were so common on the islands of Alola that someone decided to release a number of Yungoos to control population. Since the poor blighters had nowhere to go, they evolved into a dark/normal type Pokémon to fight back. Rattatas now come with funky moustaches.
Z-moves are also being introduced into the newest generation of Pokémon. These allow certain monsters to execute an all powerful move once during battle. If you buy either game between 23rd November – 11th January 2017 you’ll receive Munchlax in the game, along with a Snorlium Z to unlock the special Z-Move known as Pulverizing Pancake.
Mario Party: Star Rush was also shown off. In this iteration, Nintendo have announced that all players will move around the board simultaneously. Each player will play as Toad and collect characters around the board to help battle bosses and own your opponents in the mini-games. Nintendo have also announced that you can play 4-player local multiplayer with one game card. Mario Party: Star Rush will be released on the Nintendo 3DS on 7th October.
It was announced a few weeks ago that Animal Crossing: New Leaf will be given a free update to include amiibo support. This was again confirmed today coupled with the announcement that this update will be available from 11th November. An updated retail version called Animal Crossing: New Leaf Welcome amiibo. Look out for a Nintendo Direct based on the series in the next few months.
There’s new content for both Hyrule Warriors Legends and the Mii Plaza announced for the Nintendo 3DS.
DLC for Hyrule Warriors Legends is based on the two Legend of Zelda DS games; Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. Link has been given the grand power of sand (Only Nintendo), and Toon Zelda has been added for the first time in the series.
The biggest update is for Mii Plaza. Firstly, if you have the premium upgrade you’ll have access to a queue system. This will allow you to queue up to 100 mii’s at your gates. One Hundred! This is a 10x increase and will be perfect for those that regularly attend conventions/Street Pass meetings. You can still only play with 10 characters, but that leads me nicely onto…
The Swiftplay Plaza is for those who have the premium StreetPass. As the name cleverly suggests, you can dip in and out of games quickly. It allows you to clear your queue faster than normal play. Why is it needed?
Well, thats because 5 new games have been added to the Plaza. StreetPass Slot Racer (racing game), StreetPass Trader (stocks and shares game. Don’t ask, it’s Nintendo), StreetPass Chef (cooking game), StreetPass Explorers (Sort of StreetPass Quest but using your footsteps as well as Mii hits), and StreetPass Ninja (You’re fired out of a cannon) are now available for either £2.69 each or £8.09 for all of them. They are specifically designed to be quick and short games. You can get either Racer or Trader for free now.
There was no shortage of New games for Nintendo 3DS in this direct.
First up was Super Mario Maker 3DS. A port of the ridiculously popular Wii U version. It plays in pretty much the same way as the year old counterpart – you can build and play 2D Mario levels. The game’s online functionality has been stripped back somewhat. You can play most Wii U levels but you cannot upload 3DS ones. The search function has also been removed.
To counter these drawbacks, you can share levels via a local connection, even if they are unfinished. You can also pass levels via StreetPass. Super Mario Maker 3DS will launch on 2nd December.
Tank Troopers is a new download game that is a mix of Splatoon and Advance Wars. By customising your tank, you can add utilise special characteristics of tank-pilot troopers, enabling abilities such as hitting enemies with a freeze attack or launching paint balls to fill enemy screens. The 6 person multiplayer will be out in 2017.
Picross 3D Round 2 was also announced today. This highly anticipated return features 300 puzzles with a higher difficulty level and support for amiibo. Picross 3D Round 2 is released on 2nd December.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Captain Olimar so today Nintendo announced that Pikmin will be coming to the 3DS next year. Rather than the typical explore a new world and breed little plant aliens, this 2D platformer will focus more on action and quick thinking.
What’s better than one Mario Sports game? 5-in-1. Mario Sport Superstars includes full-fledged versions of baseball, tennis, golf, horse racing and 11-a-side football. The game will launch “Next Spring” and includes single-player tournaments for each sport, plus local and online multiplayer modes.
One of the delights of the presentation was the port of the Wii U game Yoshi’s Woolly World. Now titled Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World, Nintendo have given us all of the levels from the home console game and knitted in levels designed specifically for Yoshi’s companion, Poochy. The game will also come with 30 animated shorts. I cannot wait for the 3rd February 2017.
Where would a Nintendo Direct be without a mention of the little plastic money makers? Today we saw the announcement of several new lines that is guaranteed to see your cash fly from your wallets.
Following on from the Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World comes a new Poochy amiibo. He’s been crafted in the same way as last year’s Woolly Yoshi line and will launch with the 3DS game in February.
Along with Animal Crossing New Leaf, comes a new series of 50 amiibo cards. They will be available 11th November when the update is released for the game.
I’m beginning to suspect a pattern since the Super Mario range is also having an update. Boo (glow in the dark I might add), Donkey Kong, Rosalina and Wario figures will launch with Mario Party: Star Rush on 7th October. Waluigi, Diddy Kong and Daisy will be set free on 4th November.
Finally, to celebrate the Legend of Zelda’s 30th anniversary, Nintendo is releasing 4 new amiibo in November; a Toon Zelda & Link double pack based on Wind Waker, a 2D Link and a figure based on adult Link from Ocarina of Time. They’ll also do something with Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.
Third party games such as Dragon Quest VII & VIII as well as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice were also shown in the Nintendo 3DS Direct.
Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past is only a couple of weeks away. Square Enix have announced that in addition to the overhauled mechanics and graphics is an exclusive dungeon. This dungeon allows players to collect and trade additional tablets which can unlock new weapons and monsters.
After a long wait, Dragon Quest VIII has been confirmed that it will release in Europe next year.
The latest game in the Phoenix Wright saga will launch next week. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice sees Phoenix and Apollo reunite in an interesting way. According to Capcom, Phoenix travells to the Kingdom of Khura’in, origin of the Kurain Channeling Technique, where mysterious séance trials decide the fate of all defendants. Meanwhile, defence attorney Apollo Justice faces his own challenges holding down the fort at the Wright Anything Agency, as he takes on a case that will have explosive implications. The game is available digitally from 8th September.
Wii U / NES
It wouldn’t be a Nintendo 3DS direct without talking about other consoles.
The Nintendo Classic Mini: NES is a console loaded with 30 of the best NES games and it has been given a fancy, retro trailer designed to evoke memories of yester-year. It worked. My wallet isn’t very happy with me.
The Wii U might be ending it’s life but Nintendo have today released The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword and New Play Control! Pikmin for the virtual console. For a limited time, if you buy one game you get the other for half price.
Nintendo 3DS Direct – my thoughts
Nintendo’s return to the public stage was a successful one. While the shadow of the NX still looms, Nintendo are keen to show that they’ve not forgotten about the 3DS. With titles launching well into 2017 and a new IPs in Tank Troopers, the handheld’s twilight years feel as busy as ever.
The same can’t be said for the Wii U. With Super Mario Maker, Pikmin and Yoshi’s Woolly World coming to the 3DS it’s hard not to say the Wii U is officially done.
The updates to the Mii Plaza are long overdue. I’ve been saying for years that they should up the limit to the number of hits you can take and it’s great to see them making use of the step counter. I’m hoping the number of hits will grow after being in a funk for the last 12 months.
amiibo has been Nintendo’s money maker since they launched in 2014 and while my wallet is going to take a pounding, more needs to be done with the ever growing line-up.
Here’s the full presentation for your viewing pleasure: