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So Nintendo needed to prove a lot today because after two console unveilings yesterday, they really needed to steal the show with awesome software. While many of Nintendo’s stuff shown today will probably outsell many of the other games shown off yesterday, there wasn't any new shocking game announcements, just great updates.
Sadly I had to stop watching the Direct live due to lag from overloads (this is why you do a press conference!). Hopefully messing up live didn't hurt them in the long run.
Nintendo started off with arguably their biggest game release this year, Pokémon X/Y. They announced what Pokémon fans already figured out: There’s a new Fairy-type, which is super effective against dragon-type Pokémon. Not only is Sylveon, the new Eevee-evolution, is one of these types, but current Pokémon like Jigglypuff, Gardevoir and Marill have been re-typed. The game will launch on October 12th worldwide.
Next up was Super Mario 3D World for Wii U. The game looks and feels like 2011’s Super Mario 3D Land (hence the similar title), but video game’s biggest furry is opting for a cat suit when he touches a bell. What’s great is that like Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario, Peach, Luigi, and Toad are all playable characters in four player local co-op. They have brought their individual characteristics (Toad’s fast, Luigi jumps higher, and Peach floats). 3D World is due out this December.
Mario Kart 8 was also announced. While it will feature karts and bikes like Mario Kart Wii along with the gliding mechanics from Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS, they can now drive on vertical and upside-down courses by hovering (F-Zero much?). Not surprisingly, the game will offer online multiplayer and Miiverse. Mario Kart 8 will be released on Spring 2014 worldwide.
Wii Party U is due out in October and Iwata wants it to be the “definitive party game.” Like Mario Party, the game has the board game motif and some of the mini-games only use the gamepad, with each player taking one side of the controller. Other players need Wii Remotes otherwise. Wii Fit U was also delayed to this winter.
In better news, Nintendo announced a new Art Academy for Wii U eShop, slated for summer. Though they showed off a drawing application back in 2011, Iwata says that the crazy good artists on Miiverse inspired the game. Artists can use pencils, colored pencils and pastels and they can post their creations to Miiverse.
Iwata then showed off a sizzle reel of third-party software hitting Wii U and 3DS, including Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman Arkham Origins (for both systems), Deus Ex, Disney Infinity, Just Dance 2014, Rayman, Scribblenauts, Disney’s Planes, Shin Megami Tensei IV, Skylanders SWAP Force, Splinter Cell, Sonic Lost World, and Watch_Dogs (which doesn't look that bad on Nintendo's console).
Their eShop slate looks great with more unique games such as Ballpoint Universe, Cloudberry Kingdom, Coaster Crazy Deluxe, DuckTales, Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara, Mutant Mudds Deluxe, Oddwold: New and Tasty, Scram Kitty & His Buddies on Rails, Shovel Knight, Spin the Bottle, and A World of Keflings.
Announced back in January, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is a remake of the GameCube classic. Running natively in 1080p, the two major changes they showed off was the ability to speed up Link’s boat and the Tingle Bottle. Formally the Tingle Tuner (that used the Game Boy Advance), the Tingle Bottle allows users to throw Miiverse posts in the ocean for other players to pick up. These posts can contain screenshots taken with the Pictograph. The game releases this October.
Iwata restated that The Wonderful 101 is coming out in August 23, but today they also showed off some new gameplay features. Like most stylish action games such as Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, the heroes of 101 can buy new skills in shops. 5-player co-op has been added as well.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was next and it is pretty much DKC Returns 2 by Retro Studios. Replacing the Tikis are Vikings who invaded DK Isle. While the game is still 2D, the level design isn't with twists, turns and dynamic camera angles. The co-op is back but the high flying Dixie Kong can now replace Diddy. It is worth noting that David Wise, the composer of the original SNES games, is returning to compose the soundtrack for this sequel. The new Donkey Kong game is out this October for the Wii U.
Bayonetta 2’s gameplay was shown off for the first time, and it is simply more Bayonetta (which is excellent)! She’s got a new outfit and a tomboyish new hairstyle. The highly anticipated Wii U exclusive sequel is coming out in 2014.
Nintendo showed off a new teaser of Monithsoft’s new title (still dubbed X I guess). Iwata says it’s a large-scale open world adventure title. Since its unveiling, it is been my most anticipated title and this trailer solidifies it. This new game is slated for a 2014 release.
The last game Nintendo announced was Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS. The 3DS installment has a beautiful cel-shaded look while the Wii U version goes for a more realistic style. The Villager from Animal Crossing was added as well as Mega Man! It was later confirmed that the Wii Fit trainer model is also a playable fighter as well, which is a weird addition. Both games are currently slated to be released next year.
Afterwards Iwata did a walkthrough of their booth and two new tidbits came from that. First, the games that they’ll have at Best Buy are not that games I listed earlier this week (thank goodness) and will have Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, DKC Tropical Freeze, and Wind Waker HD. Also in the background, we can see that The Legend of Zelda for 3DS is now subtitled A Link Between Worlds, and it also has a trailer, which you can check out below.
Despite the awesome software shown off (I plan on buying most of these personally), Nintendo is playing it very, VERY, safe. It seems that they’re just checking off games that have to be released on the system. While I understand that these are potential system sellers, only Monolithsoft’s game really stood out. Also disappointing was that the majority of the games shown are 2014 titles. Only Mario 3D World, DKC, and Wind Waker HD are coming out, and with Sony stealing the show last night with new and existing IPs alike, this just seemed average. After that $399 price point too, I’d expect a Wii U price drop or news on the Basic model recalls, but alas, it is looking tough for Wii U right now. At least they already won E3 2014 for now. As with previous Directs, the entire video is below. Comment below on what you’re looking forward to! Also, check back here on Entertainment Fuse for my hands-on impressions of the games that will be available at select Best Buys soon.