This morning’s Nintendo Direct offered up a number of pleasant surprises, which is something beleaguered Nintendo fans need pretty badly right now. For starters, Queen Rosalina of Mario Galaxy fame will debut as a playable fighter in next year’s Smash Bros. title for Wii U and 3DS. She’ll also be showing up in Mario Kart 8, although she made her karting debut back in Mario Kart Wii in 2008.
Probably the biggest news out of the Direct was a new game for Wii U developed by Tecmo-Koei with the working title of Hyrule Warriors. It’s basically a Zelda-themed Dynasty Warriors set in Hyrule, slated to come out next year and Satoru Iwata assures fans that it’s a separate project from the Zelda title Eiji Aonuma and his team is working on. A lot of people hate on the Dynasty Warriors series but I think they’re goofy, arcade-style fun, and I’m intrigued by what Tecmo can do with the Zelda universe.
Sonic Lost World has been getting some balance updates but the first real DLC for it is available now: Yoshi’s Island Zone. This new level has all of the Yoshi elements you’d find in a game like Yoshi’s Story but packed into the Sonic universe. Nintendo also hinted at a future Zelda-style DLC for Sonic Lost World. I wish they’d just get it over with and make that Mario-Sonic crossover adventure we’ve all been asking for.
There was quite a lot more from the Direct, including a Dr. Luigi puzzle game, the cap on 2013’s Year of Luigi; Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Yoshi’s New Island for 3DS; and even the return of Chibi Robo in the AR-centric Photo Finder. Like I said, plenty of surprises, and while none of it was the new Metroid or Star Fox game I really want, it’s reassuring to know that in these dark days for Wii U, everyone at Nintendo HQ isn’t just running around screaming “oh god oh god, what do we DO?!”
Nintendo Unveils New Information about Mario Kart 8 andSuper Smash Bros. for Wii U
NES Remix Launches, Tecmo-Koei Warriors-Zelda Game Headed to Wii U in 2014
REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- One of Nintendo’s popular characters from the recently released Super Mario 3D Worldgame is coming to two of its biggest titles of 2014 for Wii U. Rosalina will be playable in both Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8. Nintendo also launched NES Remix in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U, re-imagining parts of 16 classic NES games. A new game for Wii U developed by Tecmo-Koei that will feature the action-packed Warriors series set in the world of The Legend of Zelda was also revealed for launch in 2014. This is a separate project from the new installment of The Legend of Zelda series that is in development for Wii U by longtime series producer Eiji Aonuma and his team. Nintendo made these announcements and revealed new information about a number of Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games during a Nintendo Direct announcement. To view the Nintendo Direct in its entirety, visit http://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct.
Mario Kart 8 screenshot (Photo: Business Wire)
“Today’s announcements reinforce that Nintendo systems are consumers’ best options for enjoying quality games now, and will continue to be in 2014,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s president and COO. “From new upcoming games in the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. series to original Nintendo eShop content like NES Remix, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS provide a combination of value and variety that only Nintendo can offer.”
Some of today’s announcements included:
Wii U News
- Super Smash Bros.: Rosalina, who was introduced in the Super Mario Galaxygames for Wii and makes a surprise appearance in the new Super Mario 3D World for Wii U, will be a playable character, accompanied by her starry friend, Luma. The game will launch in stores and the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in 2014.
- Mario Kart 8: New playable characters include Rosalina and various “Baby” Nintendo characters, like Baby Mario and Baby Luigi. New course settings include an airport, the desert and high in the clouds, and vehicles include UFOs, four-wheel ATV buggies, standard karts and bikes.
- NES Remix: Select parts from 16 classic NES games have been remixed with new challenges. For example, players might be tasked with completing a familiar Super Mario Bros. stage while running to the left. Or they might encounter a revamped level of Donkey Kong that allows them to play as Link from The Legend of Zelda series. NES Remix includes Miiverse compatibility, so players with broadband Internet access can show off their skills, complete with cool 8-bit stamps. NES Remix is now available exclusively in the Nintendo eShop for $14.99.
- Sonic Lost World: A new Nintendo-themed level is coming to the Nintendo eShop. Yoshi’s Island Zone is now available for free. Done in a Yoshi art style, the level has Sonic speeding through areas filled with pipes, coins, Shy Guys and Piranha Plants.
- Dr. Luigi: The Year of Luigi continues to deliver surprises, with a new title starring Mario’s green-clad brother. Much like the classic puzzle game Dr. Mario, Dr. Luigi requires players to line up color-coded pills to destroy viruses. Dr. Luigioffers different skill settings and attacks in multiplayer games, and an original mode where the pills are, of course, L-shaped. The game comes with a Dr. Mario mode, Wii U GamePad compatibility and online play, so wannabe virus busters from all around the world can compete. Dr. Luigi launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Dec. 31 for $14.99.
- Wii Sports Club: Launching today, golf becomes the third sport added to the Wii Sports Club lineup, joining bowling and tennis. In a move not possible on any other system, golf asks players to place the Wii U GamePad controller on the floor in front of their TVs. Players can then use a Wii Remote Plus to swing at the ball on the ground, just as they would a real golf ball, enabling more precise control with each stroke. When they take their swing, the ball flies from the screen of the GamePad to the TV screen in one fluid motion. Wii Sports Club – Golf includes the nine-hole course from the original Wii Sports game, in addition to a newly developed nine-hole course based on Golf US Course, a Famicom game that Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata helped develop more than 25 years ago. Wii U owners can play a free 24-hour trial of Wii Sports Club, which lets players sample all three sports. The trial offer is open to everyone, even to people who previously sampled the 24-hour free trial. A Club Pass for the full golf game, allowing unlimited access, can be purchased for $9.99. Boxing and baseball will be coming to Wii Sports Club in 2014.
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Veteran Cranky Kong joins playable characters Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong as companions for Donkey Kong. Cranky Kong comes with his own set of special moves that allow him to bounce off enemies and obstacles using his cane. Players who collect 100 bananas in a stage can execute a new move called the KONG-Pow, which turns all enemies on the screen into items. Now that Cranky Kong is setting off on an adventure, instead of overseeing the in-game shop as he did in the Donkey Kong Country Returns game, the aptly named Funky Kong will assist players by offering them items for trade in the game. The game launches Feb. 21 in stores and in the Nintendo eShop.
Nintendo 3DS News
- Bravely Default: A free demo of the game launches in the Nintendo eShop on Jan. 2, but this is much more than a demo. It’s an exclusive story with hours of content not included in the main game. The full game launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on Feb. 7 at a suggested retail price of $39.99. If players with the full game close their system while the game is active, they might gather additional warriors via the StreetPass feature, but they also earn Sleep Points for every eight cumulative hours of down time. Sleep Points can then be used during battle to change equipment, revive a fallen party member, heal or unleash attacks beyond the game’s usual damage cap. Players who don’t want to wait for their Sleep Points to refill have the option of purchasing SP potions in the Nintendo eShop to refill all three Sleep Points at once. Also launching Feb. 7, a Collector’s Edition including the game, an art book, a soundtrack CD and 34 augmented-reality cards will be available via GameStop, Best Buy and Amazon.com at a suggested retail price of $49.99.
- Kirby: Triple Deluxe: The game is a side-scrolling platformer, but players can move Kirby to the background and foreground to dodge enemies and solve puzzles. Kirby can also use a new Hypernova ability, which powers up his inhale ability and enables him to suck up everything in his path. The game includes more than 20 different copy abilities, including four new ones created for this game. Kirby: Triple Deluxe also includes two new game modes: Kirby Fighters lets up to four players pick one of 10 copy abilities for their Kirby and then fight to see which is the most effective in battle. Dedede’s Drum Dash asks players to press buttons in sync with Kirby music while jumping and collecting coins. The game is planned for 2014.
- Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder: Everyone’s favorite helpful 4-inch-tall robot is back! This time Chibi-Robo has been tasked with helping a new museum get off the ground. Players are given silhouettes of needed objects, then use the Nintendo 3DS camera to find matching objects, known as NostalJunk, in the real world. Chibi-Robo will also help characters like superheroes and singing sponge-bears with various tasks, all while keeping an eye on his electricity reserves. The game also features community events called NostalJunk Challenges that focus on particular silhouettes, and give players opportunities to showcase their creativity and maybe earn a special outfit for Chibi-Robo to wear in the game. A demo will soon launch exclusively in the Nintendo eShop, with the full version landing on Jan. 9, 2014.
- Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter: Pokémon Bank is software that lets players store up to 3,000 Pokémon from the Pokémon X and Pokémon Y games. Poké Transporter is an application that lets players take the Pokémon they’ve caught through the years and transferred into Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, as well as Pokémon Black 2 andPokémon White 2, and transfer them into Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter launchDec. 27. Players can download a 30-day free trial version anytime between launch and Jan. 31, 2014. Following the free trial, an annual usage fee will apply for Pokémon Bank. Anyone who accesses a Pokémon Bank box by Sept. 30, 2014, will receive the Pokémon Celebi as a special gift.
- Yoshi’s New Island: The game launches this spring, and will be produced by Takashi Tezuka, the creative director of the original Yoshi’s Island for Super NES.