So, Nintendo Direct 2013 just happened. What? You weren’t aware? Well, if I’m honest, neither was I until five minutes before it happened, so there you go. If you don’t know what Nintendo Direct is, it’s their personal showcase of what they can reveal and show off for their major franchises – basically a live-stream of ‘MARIO AND ZELDA AND DONKEY KONG THINGS!!!!’ and we all sit there and go ‘well, yeah, but, like… I WANT IT.’ Such is the way of Nintendo these days.
So, what was revealed?
Hyrule Warriors (Not final title)
Right off the bat, they announced a Wii U title featuring our trusted Link kicking some monster butt in an action game. However, this is NOT a Legend of Zelda game, but rather an all new game which is a collaboration between Nintendo and Tecmo Koei (creators of the Dynasty Warriors series). Essentially it will be all the fun and ridiculousness of the Dynasty Warriors games but with Link and Hyrule thrown into the mix. Looks good, I mean, I’m sure we’d all prefer a new Zelda title, but this looks fun. It does beg the question ‘Why not a regular Dynasty Warriors game?’, but hey, we all know what Nintendo are like these days.
Available at some point in 2014.
Kirby Triple Deluxe
Up next was a 3DS announcement for our old pal Kirby. The game looks like your reliable Kirby fare – 2D side scrolling with the ability to suck up enemies and absorb their powers. It’s bright, colourful and probably altogether more difficulty than it looks like it would be. With this game however, they have added the third dimension, so there are now platforms in the back of the level that Kirby must use a warp-star to access. Enemies and obstacles can come from this second layer of platforms, and as a result the player must be very careful and look everywhere for trouble as they continue on. Another new feature is Kirby now has a ‘Hypernova’ ability, where at certain points in a level, Kirby becomes super powered and the inhale ability becomes much stronger and has a wider attack radius, key to completing certain puzzles.
There are also two new game modes for ‘Triple Deluxe’; ‘Kirby Fighters’ and ‘King Dedede’s Drum Dash’. The former is a Smash Bros-esque combat game where you pick one of the power variants of Kirby and pit yours against up to three opponents to decide which powers available in the game are the best. The latter is a rhythm platform game starring Kirby’s rival King Dedede where you play as the King bouncing from platform to platform collecting coins and keeping yourelf (hopefully) in time!
Yoshi’s New Island
Another 3DS announcement, it was confirmed that a NEW ‘Yoshi’s Island’ title would indeed be coming to us in the near future, with this one being spear-headed by none other than Takashi Tezuka, the man who was project leader for the original ‘Yoshi’s Island’ on the SNES. The game looks damn good and damn familiar too, with it playing very similar to the original ‘Yoshi’s Island’, but with new graphics and some new powers and eggs.
Available Spring 2014
Chibi-Robo Photo Finder
Onto the eShop now, it was announced that a sequel to the Gamecube title ‘Chibi-Robo’ will be getting released in North America called ‘Chibi-Robo Photo Finder’. It looks to be a fairly bizarre title, having you take photos of everyday objects around you in order to complete an album of nostalgia. The objects you capture in these photos then become part of the game as ‘nostaljunk’ as Chibi-Robo completes his quest. Along the way you meet an interesting cast, to say the least, who task you with finding strange items. This genuinely looks interesting, hopefully a European release comes soon!
Available January 9th
Bravely Default has a release date! February 7th. On top of that, there is an extensive free side story demo being release January 2nd, so if you’re a JRPG fan, you may want to get your hands on that. This demo will have some of the many features the full game has, so you can really get to grips with how the game works, and several of the main characters.
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
Back on the Wii U, and we have a new Donkey Kong game on the horizon called ‘Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze’. It.. Looks exactly like other Donkey Kong Country games, but with different playable characters. Dixie Kong is making a return, and for the first time, Cranky Kong can be played as a main character. The game looks as good and as fun as previous instalments.
Available February 21st.
Sonic Lost World DLC
So, this is wacky. The piece of DLC that could be revealed on the livestream was a, get this, Yoshi’s Island themed level set. That’s right, Sonic will be zooming around shy-guys and warp pipes with a bunch of Yoshi eggs behind him. The gameplay footage looks good, but it definitely feels like a bit of a miss-match. I’ll wait until I get to play it before making up my mind though.
Available now on the eShop
Wii Sports Club Golf
What it says on the tin, this. Golf is now playable via the ‘Wii Sports Club’ icon on your Wii U home screen, with a 24-hour free trial now available.
So, this is kind of cool. Nintendo have announced a series of mash ups and remixes of 16 Nintendo titles, from ‘Excite Bike’ to ‘Donkey Kong’ to ‘Legend of Zelda’ to ‘Super Mario Bros’. Essentially they’re the games you loved and grew up with, but they now feature powers from other games and have new features. Ever wanted to play Donkey Kong as Link? Now you can! Super Mario Bros. backwards? Now you can! With many more available on the eShop!
As the year of Luigi continues, we get another Luigi themed spin on a Mario classic, available via the eShop. ‘Dr. Luigi’ is the same pseudo-Tetris type gameplay, but with our actual favourite plumber on screen helping you out instead of Mario. You can now get two pills at once during gameplay, along with some new mischievous attacks available during multi-player.
Available December 31st.
Rosalina and Luma join Smash Bros.
In an odd trailer which featured Kirby and Mario Kart, Rosalina and Luma have been introduced as playable characters in the upcoming new Smash Bros. Her attacks look impressive, with her and Luma capable of attacking two enemies at once before combining together for an attack. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how her moves shake things up a bit on the battlefield.
Available soon (hopefully!)
Mario Kart 8
We finally got a full trailer for the new Mario Kart, and it looks GOOD. Featuring hang-gliding karts as well as ATV’s, this looks like it will be as much fun as Mario Kart usually is. The levels look as vibrant as ever, with new environmental dangers being introduced. It’s Mario Kart, you KNOW it’s good.
Available Spring 2014.
So, how do you guys feel about the announcements? I’m happy, Nintendo do what they do. We rail against the idea of them threading the same old ground, but yet, they still make hugely enjoyable games. Only time will tell, I guess, hopefully Wii U sales at least pick up a little bit.