Nintendo has just finished broadcasting their first Nintendo Direct in nearly four months, and boy, does this spring feel packed now. A boatload of new releases will be hitting in just the coming month alone.
First, let’s get this out of the way: there was no answer to the biggest question everybody has right now, which is how exactly Nintendo is going to fill the looming gap coming this fall where Zelda used to be. There was no glimpse of Star Fox, no sudden reveal of a new Metroid, or anything. We’ll have to assume the big holiday guns are being saved for E3. I hope.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata opened the stream with some surprise Smash Bros. news: Lucas is coming! The Nesslike boy from Mother 3, who last appeared in Brawl yet was left out of the new Smash, is coming back after all. And he might not be alone: Nintendo will be taking a poll among fans to see which characters they would most like to fight with. They showed “Cat Mario” as an example on the form, but I hope they’re not anticipating an overload of requests for a costume swap. They have no idea how many third-party requests they’re about to get. “Cloud!” “Fat Princess!” “The other Lucas, the one from The Wizard!”
The next waves of amiibo are scheduled for May 29, sometime in July and sometime in September. On May 29 a new pressing of Marth amiibo will finally arrive, the first amiibo to get a desperately-needed reprinting. There will also be a free-to-download app called “Tap Amiibo: Nintendo’s Greatest Bits” which is simply a promotional tool for the Virtual Console where each amiibo unlocks a demo of a game in the series he came from.
The delayed-until-it-hurts Mario Maker will at last see release this September, in time with the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.
Look at this wool amiibo! It’s made of actual wool, and it will be sold alongside Yoshi’s Wooly World. In addition Nintendo revealed the game can be played in two modes: Classic Mode, for people who want Yoshi’s Island again, and Mellow Mode, for people who want Yoshi’s Story again. I guess there might be…..one or two people in the world who prefer Yoshi’s Story.
It took much longer to get Nintendo 64 games out of the Wii U Virtual Console than it did on the original Wii, but it’s finally happening as of today, and so are Nintendo DS games. Super Mario 64 and Yoshi’s Island DS are now for sale at $9.99, and more games from each device are on their way….including….DONKEY KONG 64, which never showed up on the Wii at ALL. Speculation is that it was hard to emulate, or the Jetpac game (which is fully owned by Rare) made a Nintendo rerelease impossible…but in either case, it seems to have been resolved. And now I’m going to tell you something that will save your life: in Beaver Bother, simply walk around the barrel in a circle while pushing the attack button as fast as you possibly can. You’ll thank me for that later.
Many downloadable games were revealed for the eShop, including Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, of which you will actually get two copies upon purchase, and you are encouraged to share the other with a friend. There will also be an Attack on Titan game from Atlus, and Box Boy from HAL Labs, a platformer/puzzle game hybrid that looks addictive already. If you thought Super Mario and Tetris couldn’t be combined, you thought wrong.
Another surprise release: we’re actually GETTING the next Fatal Frame, after #4 was shut out of America! And, at last, some kind of news regarding the Fire Emblem / SMT crossover game, which everyone assumed was dead. It’s not only alive, it got a full trailer (but no release date, not even a vague one). There will also be a new Fire Emblem for 3DS and a lot more was revealed about that one: it’ll be a very nonlinear title that will depend on which side you choose; Hoshido, which fights for peace, or Nohr, which fights for “glory.” Hoshido is the “Mellow Mode” intended for beginners and Nohr is the “Classic Mode” meant for veterans who want more challenge.
Mario Kart’s second DLC pack is all Animal Crossing: you race on a track through the village, Mr. Resetti bounces out of the ground to crash you, and it shifts through the four seasons at random each time you play. You’ll also be able to use amiibo to gain new costumes and hats, so even though Sonic isn’t in the game, you can still pretend with a spiky blue outfit. And even if you don’t buy the new track, you still get something: the next firmware update to the game will add a 200cc class where the tracks become extremely fast and braking becomes vitally important.
All in all, it looks like a packed spring, and I didn’t even go into Splatoon.