With Microsoft desperately trying to save face and Sony laughing at them, Nintendo was kind of off to the side doing its own thing with this morning’s Nintendo Direct. This serves as a more direct (hence the name) way to connect with the target audience, as opposed to having a press conference for “people of importance.” It’s this consideration for the fans, I think, that sets Nintendo apart from others as a company.
Quite a bit was announced, and many titles were given release dates, but I’ll mainly focus on the big stuff that caught my eye.
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U, Dec 2013)
Since Super Mario Bros. 3, it seems that each new incarnation of the franchise requires a unique new powerup to go along with it. This time it’s Cat powers! Not only do Mario and friends get super cute, but they can also maneuver with feline dexterity. The cast from Super Mario Bros. 2 returns as playable characters. Luigi has his floaty jump and Peach just plain floats. A little sad to see that they aren’t continuing the Galaxy series at this point, though.
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U, Spring 2014)
I’ve been a little out of the loop (haha) for a while with the Mario racing series, but this looks pretty sweet. It retains many of innovations over the years, like hang gliders and motorcycles, while quite literally adding a new dimension of gameplay. Like the number 8 itself, tracks will go in all sorts of gravity defying directions. Mario Kart 8 will also promise to bring the best online gaming experience to date.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U, Oct 2013)
Relive the Link’s adventures on the high seas in glorious HD! Announced a few months ago in a previous Nintendo Direct, The Wind Waker HD is slated for a release this October and will boast 1080p graphics along with enhanced textures and shading. They also replaced the Tingle Tuner with the “Tingle Bottle,” which actually makes for a really cool concept. It uses Miiverse to leave messages to be carried out to sea and appear in someone else’s game! There will also be additions to your mode of travel, hinted by a faster sail.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U, Nov 2013)
All I can say is, “Look at that fur!” The beautiful Wii platformer is continued in this new adventure with Vikings galore. This could be a problem, but thankfully Dixie Kong is here! Her hair twirl nearly broke DKC 2 & 3, and it’s back in HD! The Wii incarnation had great barrel blast cinematics, and these get reimagined like you would not believe this time around.
X (Wii U, 2014)
Part Xenoblade Chronicles and part mech anime, X is just fun to look at. The developers strove to create a huge world that could be explored seamlessly. I haven’t even played the game, and I feel like they’ve already succeeded and more. Let’s be honest. I think it’s everyone’s dream to just pilot a mech and fly amongst dinosaurs.
Super Smash Bros. (3DS/Wii U, 2014)
Ah yes, we were all expecting this to be last, and I must say that Nintendo did not disappoint. The trailer reveals Villager and Mega Man to join the Smash roster, while the Wii Fit Trainer was added later. The graphics for the Wii U version look amazing, and I’m a pretty big fan of what I see for the 3DS version too. I’m only planning on getting the 3DS version (too poor for a Wii U), and it’s nice to see them using a cel-shaded art style with the game as opposed to trying to replicate the Wii U version.
The official site opened today as well and will likely update with more news as time goes on. I’m getting flashback of pre-Brawl days when I religiously checked the website everyday for updates. I’m also still crossing my fingers for Lucina to be included.
Check out the official site: http://www.smashbros.com/us/