Nintendo began this Nintendo Direct presentation with a humorous sketch of sorts to set things up, referencing Reggie’s “Is your body ready?” catchphrase to, I’m sure, much Internet fanfare. However, they didn’t take long to dive into the details of this Direct, starting off by focusing on one of 3DS’s biggest releases of 2013.
New details for A Link Between Worlds
Nintendo started this mostly 3DS-focused Nintendo Direct by putting the spotlight on one of their major games for this holiday season. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a vital part of their strategy this year, and the game is quickly shaping up to be 2013′s best titles. It’s a Zelda classic in the making.
The game serves as a sequel to the beloved A Link to the Past. That being said, players still control a different Link, as this game is set hundreds of years in the future, though in the same version of Hyrule as seen in A Link to the Past. Lorule is the alternate version of Hyrule that Link will be visiting in this game in order to save both worlds.
A variety of different characters will accompany Link during this adventure. There is Irene the witch, who is mainly used for fast traveling purposes. Then there is Seres, the daughter of the priest of the Sanctuary, but she is turned into a painting by the main antagonist in the game, a creepy dude named Yuga.
Yuga has turned even more characters into paintings and is using them for some sort of portal. The new trailer Nintendo showed seemed to indicate the resurrection of series villain Ganon, but we’ll have to wait and see to be sure about that.
StreetPass has been a big part of the 3DS, and A Link Between Worlds is using the functionality as well, in a pretty clever way. Basically, players will be able to create copies of their own Links and then have those Links enter the saves of the games of other people to battle each other. The more powerful Shadow Links are worth more rupees when defeated.
One of the hallmark features of Majora’s Mask was the dynamic and creative side quests that players could choose to partake in. A Link Between Worlds brings the side quests back, with an example given during the Nintendo Direct.
The example given showed that the side quests will be just as mysterious and challenging as in Majora’s Mask, popping up dynamically and making it up to the player to figure out the steps to take along the way.
In the side quest shown, Link uses the Zora Flippers to swim through Lake Hylia. He winds up finding a message in a bottle that leads him to the Milk Bar, another returning element from Majora’s Mask. At the Milk Bar, he learns even more about his quest and is able to continue based on those clues.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will be available on November 22nd. There will also be a limited edition 3DS XL themed after the game that will also release on the same day.
No party like a Mario Party
In recent years, the Mario Party games have seemingly ran out of ideas. However, Mario Party: Island Tour for 3DS looks to change that completely by innovating the franchise and providing what appears to be the freshest experience since Mario Party 2 on Nintendo 64.
Island Tour will feature over 80 mini-games to play, but there will also be extra modes and puzzles to solve. There’s a new single player mode called Bowser’s Tower. Players have to complete mini-games and progress up to the top of the tower, facing a boss on every fifth floor.
Of course, multiplayer is one of the main selling points of any Mario Party game, and Island Tour is bringing the multiplayer in spades. Only one copy of the game is required for up to four different players to enjoy all 80 of the mini-games in Mario Party: Island Tour, though they will all need their own 3DS system, obviously.
StreetPass is also being implemented in this game as well. The StreetPass data of other players will record their best times on various mini-games and allow you to battle the “ghost” of their data.
Mario Party: Island Tour is releasing with the same day and date for digital as retail, on November 22nd.
It came as a surprise to many when Nintendo announced the localization of Bravely Default in the last Nintendo Direct. In this newest Nintendo Direct, we learned more information about the game that is one of the most hotly anticipated games for JRPG players in 2014.
Characters can build up points by defending against attacks, and these points can then be used for special attacks that deal a lot of damage. In addition, “sleep points” can be built simply by having the game in sleep mode with your 3DS closed. Sleep points can be spent on an ability that freezes time during battle, opening the door for a volley of uninterrupted attacks.
Characters can be customized in a manner not unlike the classic Final Fantasy games. Different jobs and abilities can be chosen, and there is a variety of weapons to equip and spells to learn as well.
Bravely Default releases February 7th, 2014. There will also be a limited Collector’s Edition released on the same day that contains 34 AR Codes (remember those?), an art book, a CD, and of course, the game.
Finally…3DS + Wii U
One of the biggest criticisms against Wii U and 3DS is the lack of a unified account system across the devices. Nintendo is changing that in December with a system update that will combine the 3DS and Wii U eShops accounts into one using the Nintendo ID of the player.
In addition, this update will also be adding Miiverse to the 3DS. The YouTube app on Wii U is also going to be updated to be far more user friendly than before.
Pikmin 3 DLC
Unsurprisingly, Nintendo has seen quite a bit of success when it comes to DLC. Pikmin 3 has already received a couple of DLC packs, but Nintendo is bringing even more stages for Mission Mode to the game. This time, the stages will be completely brand new instead of just reworked versions of pre-existing missions.
There will be stages that span beaches, a living room during Christmas, a construction site, and a factory. Players will even be able to control Captain Olimar in one of the levels. When controlling Olimar, players can find Louie in the level and then have control of him as well.
In total, there will be eight new stages in this third DLC pack for Pikmin 3. Four of them will be Collect Treasure stages and four will be Battle Enemies stages.
This DLC will be available on December 2nd. On the same day that the DLC is released, a software update for the game is also being released that gives away two stages to all Pikmin 3 owners absolutely free of charge.
Animal Crossing Plaza
Animal Crossing Plaza has proven to be surprisingly popular, and Nintendo has decided to expand upon the concept. There will be new stamps to collect in Animal Crossing Plaza based on the hottest upcoming Nintendo games such as Super Mario 3D World. These stamps can be used in Miiverse discussions of the corresponding game.
Polls are going to be added to Animal Crossing Plaza every month. These polls will ask questions such as “Who is the best secretary?” to see which Animal Crossing characters Nintendo fans really enjoy and the ones that they don’t like very much.
Players are also going to be able to register the residents of their town with Animal Crossing Plaza. This will make it so they can interact with all of their town’s residents on their Wii U in the plaza.
This update is now available.
Instead of going into depth with all of their upcoming indie eShop releases for 3DS and Wii U, Nintendo decided to just show off a sizzle reel of these games. These are the titles that you can expect on the Wii U and 3DS eShops in the near future:
(listed in alphabetical order)
Jet Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai
QUBE: Director’s Cut
Pier Solar HD
Retro City Rampage
Scram Kitty and His Buddy on Rails
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse
10 New Things About Super Mario 3D World
Nintendo concluded the presentation by naming 10 new things about Super Mario 3D World, a game that is shaping up to possibly be the best game of the entire year.
1. Touchscreen & Microphone Gameplay
Players will be able to use the touchscreen to manipulate objects, such as breaking crates and moving platforms. Blowing into the microphone will knock down all of the enemies on the screen.
2. Golden Express Stage
One of the levels features a train made entirely of gold. While on this train, the point is to gather as many gold coins as possible, and there is just a ton of them.
3. Captain Toad Levels
Captain Toad takes away the ability to jump. The point is to traverse stages and collect Green Stars.
4. Speed Run Levels
There are levels based entirely on speed running included in the game.
5. Mystery Houses
Boo-infested “mystery houses” will be making a return in 3D World.
6. Motley Boss Blob
A large boss that looks like a giant blob has to be fought, though he is constantly cloning himself.
7. Top-Down Shooter Stage
The perspective switches to a top-down view, and while the characters remain on their feet and are still walking across platforms, the gameplay switches to the style of a twin-stick shooter.
8. Kart-Style Stage
Can’t wait for Mario Kart 8? Well, 3D World may have you covered in the form of foot races that include power-ups and speed boosts on the ground. They’re like parkour Mario races, really.
9. Unlockable Bonus Games (Luigi Bros.)
One of the earliest Mario games ever was Mario Bros., an arcade game with the goal of racking up the most points possible. To honor the Year of Luigi, players can unlock a reworking of that classic title now starring Luigi.
10. Unlockable 5th Character (Rosalina)
One of the main characters from Super Mario Galaxy is making a comeback. Players can unlock Rosalina for use in Super Mario 3D World.
But don’t take my word for it…Check out the video here:
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This Nintendo Direct was light on new announcements, but it did succeed in making me a lot more excited for Nintendo’s upcoming games that are releasing VERY soon. Excited for the new Zelda and Mario? Disappointed by what you saw? Sound off in the comments below!