Nintendo Direct April 2013
Get ready for more Nintendo news from Mr. Iwata as he presents Nintendo Direct April. Much like the last one, this Nintendo Direct focuses mostly on news for the 3DS, and I’m here to give you a summary of everything announced.
3DS Titles Coming Soon
Viewers received a few additional details for upcoming 3DS titles and reminders of a variety of release dates, as well as a reminder that Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Luigi’s Mansion and Fire Emblem: Awakening are all available on 3DS right now. If you had to pick one, I’d recommend Fire Emblem: Awakening, which already has DLC map packs available, and the first one is free!
Games coming on the horizon include: Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins, a prequel to the well-received Wii U exclusive title, on April 26th; Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, May 9th exclusively to the Nintendo eShop; Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity May 17th; the Wii port, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D on May 24th which now includes an easy mode to make the game more accessible; and most exciting of all (at least to me), The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages will be released on 3DS Virtual Console on May 30th. These dual titles originally came out one GameBoy Colour so it’s quite joyous for me to finally get a chance to play these games.
Additional details were given for Animal Crossing: New Leaf coming June 14th, which included an official European website, and a twitter account for the mayors assistant Isabelle. The mayor being you for those of you who have forgotten that particular fact. A special edition Animal Crossing 3DSXL will also be made available the same day, which is just all kinds of cute.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Brothers has been given a release date of July 12th. It’s revealed that Princess Peach has been kidnapped (a shock I know) and has been sucked into a dream world. Mario and Luigi have to travel between the real world and a dream world via Luigi’s head to rescue her, using the unique fighting system people have grown accustomed to from this series. When in the dream world, you manipulate Luigi’s sleeping face to help solve puzzles, as well as command an army of Luigis during battle, which is as insane looking as it sounds.
Finally, Mario Golf: World Tour will have similar competitive online play to Mario Kart 7 and is expected to arrive in the summer.
New Games Announced – Nintendo Direct April
As usual, several new first and third-party titles announced, some expected sequels, and some unexpected originals. Mario Party for the 3DS will be available in the Winter and features the most boards out any Mario Party game, so you can expect all of your friendships to wither and die just like in every other game in the series. On the plus side, when all your friends are gone, you will have new entry to the Yoshi’s Island series to comfort you. From what little gameplay was shown, it looks like a return to the classic we all know and love on the Super Nintendo, but additional details will be made available at a later date.
A new Atlus title, Shin Megami Tensei IV is in development as a 3DS exclusive and will feature full 3D maps, voice acting, Streetpass functionality and the ability to summon monsters and demons in battle. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies will also be available later this year. But the most exciting first party game planned for 2013 is a new Legend of Zelda game for the 3DS, set in the same world as A Link to the Past. It will play similarly to the Super Nintendo classic, but include the unique gameplay mechanic of turning Link into a 2D character to help navigate puzzles, and utilise the 3D technology to explore several levels of the dungeons.
Three more games are being developed by Level 5 studios, who last year released Crimson Shroud, Liberation Maiden and Aero Porter exclusively on 3DS. These games were each directed by different legendary Japanese game developers, including Suda51, and they are keeping that up this year with these three titles. The Starship Damrey, led by visual novels creators Takemaru Aibo and Kazuya Asano, seems to be some kind of mystery thriller game. It has no tutorial, or goal given and it looks creepy as hell from what little is shown.
Keiji Inufune (best known for a little character called Megaman) is creating Bugs vs Tanks which is almost exactly what it sounds like. You control World War 2 era tanks shrunk to a miniscule scale and try to destroy insects. Lastly, Kaz Atabe is working on the insane looking Attack of the Friday Monsters!: A Tokyo Tale. In this very Japanese game (the best way I can describe it) giant monsters from 1970s Japanese television attack every Friday and it looks like Ultraman will be taking part in the action.
And last, but certainly not least for the 3DS, is confirmation that SquareEnix’s Bravely Default: Flying Fairy is being localised for Europe and Australia. This is the newest IP from SquareEnix has many people excited, including myself, as this game looks more like a Final Fantasy game then most Final Fantasy games released in recent years. It will certainly be something for any JRPG fan to look forward to.
Some Wii U News
For those us with a Wii U, we were also given some news to get pumped about. The DLC for New Super Mario Brothers U, known as New Super Luigi U, is scheduled for this summer and will have complete redesigns of all 82 stages from the original game, essentially making it a whole new experience. Rather than playing with the same mechanics that Mario is subjected to, playing the DLC will include Luigi’s unique style where he jumps higher, can float for a brief moment in the air, and has terrible brakes while running on the ground.
The levels will only give the player 100 seconds to complete the stage, so the levels have been designed to torture you with every obstacle they could squeeze into 100 seconds, making for a more difficult experience. So if anyone misses the days where finishing a Mario game was an achievement, this DLC seems to have been catered to you!
The major Wii U update mentioned in an earlier Nintendo Direct will be available for download next week. This will improve loading times for the Wii U menu, allow data swapping via usb, will allow updates and other downloads to install automatically while playing or while the console is turned off, and will add a shortcut so you can go straight to the Wii menu by holding the B button while turning on the console.
The day after the update goes up, the Wii U Virtual Console will go live aand feature several classic titles for download, complete with Off-TV functionality and Miiverse communities. And for the first time in Europe and Australia, EarthBound, will be available for purchase from the Wii U Virtual Console.
And that brings us to the end of a Nintendo Direct. I know the 3DS had a shaky start with a limited amount of games, but I’m glad it’s been getting so many games these past few months with more on the way. Is there anything that you’re particularly looking forward to? I’ll be waiting for Animal Crossing personally but in the meantime, Fire Emblem: Awakening should keep us all busy.