Nintendo came out with the first full Direct of the year, not including the five minute Pokémon Direct, on March 3rd. I’m going to go through the full Direct and give my thoughts, and some highlights, on all the announcements. Let’s start.
0:35 – Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard (formerly Project Guard)
Release: Wii U APR 22
-Showed new level Fortuna
-Two player mode, one gunner/one pilot
-Fox Amiibo unlocks classic Arwing and other secrets not shown
-Star Fox Guard comes bundled for free with the physical copy of Star Fox Zero
Finally. A traditional Star Fox is ready to be released and with a free game no less. The graphics look solid, but not flashy. It at least looks much better than what was shown at E3 2015, but still nothing spectacular. The gameplay is what you would expect from a Star Fox game. I’m looking forward to trying out the new vehicle modes for the Arwing, particularly the chicken walker form. My only worry for the game is Nintendo has confirmed motion controls can’t be disabled. I didn’t care for the motion controls for Splatoon and doubt I’ll like them for Star Fox Zero, so it’ll just be something I’m going to have to experience for myself.
5:00 – Splatoon DLC
Release: Wii U MAR 8 update/2nd update in APR
Looks like Nintendo is still supporting Splatoon with free DLC, at least till April. For all the people still enjoying the game there’s more to look forward too.
6:15 – Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Release: 3DS MAR 18, Wii U JUN 24
-New events include Rugby sevens and Rhythmic Gymnastics
I’ve never cared for the Mario and Sonic games so this doesn’t interest me at all. I guess the rugby looks fun, but how exactly is the rhythmic gymnastics work? Motion controls? Mario and Sonic are wasted in these games.
8:31 – Super Mario Maker DLC
Release: Wii U out now
-Added skewers, keys, and pink coins
-New Super Expert Mode in Hundred Mario Challenge
-New mystery costumes
More tools to make fan made levels even more frustrating. Another game I think Nintendo will drop DLC for for a long time. I mean they would have too; this game made it impossible for Nintendo to release a brand new side scrolling Super Mario.
10:33 – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (Formerly Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei)
-Release: Wii U JUN 24
I still don’t know what’s going on with this game. From what i saw in the Direct I don’t see traces of Fire Emblem or Shin Megami Tensei. If I had to say which it’s more like I’d have to say Shin Megami Tensei, with the battle system looking more like a traditional turn-based JRPG rather than a Strategy RPG. The exclusion of an English dub kind of sucks. I’d much rather listen than read, just a preference. If you’re a collector I would suggest pre-ordering the game. I doubt many physical copies will produced. I’m guessing it’ll be a Devil’s Third situation.
11:36 – Lost Reavers (Project Treasure)
Release: Wii U APR 28 in eShop
-Open Beta launches APR 14
One of the few third party titles, Lost Reavers is being developed by Bandai-Namco. Game looks like a Crystal Chronicles mixed with a Fighting Force type game. Goal is to get loot and raise stats; and it’s free to play.
12:33 – Paper Mario: Color Splash
Release: Wii U 2016
The last Paper Mario game I played was The Thousand-Year Door. Great game. I never played Sticker Star, but I’ve heard the gripes about the battle system and it looks like Color Splash is implementing something similar, It wasn’t shown much in the Direct so take it for what it’s worth.
13:40 – Pokken Tournament
Release: Wii U MAR 18
-First production physical copies come with Shadow Mewtwo Amiibo card
Game looks fun. I highly doubt it’ll become an eSport game, but it does have the feel of a good party game.
15:55 – The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Release: Wii U out now
If you liked the GameCube/Wii Version of the game you’ll like it on Wii U. If you own a Wii U and never played Twilight Princess, buy it now and play it. The first hour or two is still quite a drag but once you get past that, the game opens up and it has some of the best dungeons and boss battles of any Zelda game.
16:32 – My Nintendo
– Pre-registration Available for Miitomo and Nintendo Account
Still haven’t done this but I will. I had a Nintendo Club account, so I’ll try this out. I just hope the Nintendo account will allow cross-buy for the 3DS and Wii U.
17:08 – Mini Mario and Friends Amiibo Challenge
Release: Wii U/3DS APR 28 in eShop
-Unique levels for each compatible Amiibo
-Early access March 25 with purchase of any Nintendo Amiibo
Nintendo is just trying to figure out how to get you guys to actually open your Amiibo and use them. It’s about to time, but this is not the game to do it.
18:00 – New Animal Crossing Amiibo Cards and new Isabel Amiibo
Release: JUN 10
More physical DLC. Thanks Nintendo…
18:20 – Virtual Console
-SNES Games coming to New 3DS only
-Games available now: Pilotwings, F-Zero, and Super Mario World
-MAR 24: Super Mario Kart, Earthbound, Donkey Kong Country
-APR 14: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country 2
All I have to say about this is about time. I never quite understand why the 3DS Virtual Console was relegated to indies and NES games. The New 3DS Looks to have the power to run N64 games, so this is at least a step in the right direction. One of Nintendo’s strengths has always been it’s classic library and hopefully they will reach in and pull out more IP’s, aside from the usual suspects. My only question: Since I already own Earthbound on the Wii U Virtual Console, do I have to pay for it again? My guess is yes, but hopefully when the Nintendo Account system is fully implemented it’ll become a non-issue. It also gives you fodder to justify your purchase of a New 3DS.
19:26 – Pocket Card Jockey
Release: 3DS MAY
From the looks of it the game in a nutshell is: Play solitaire as fast as you can and the more point you get the faster your horse runs. looks fun if your into that sort of thing.
20:25 – Azure Striker Gunvolt 2
Release: 3DS Summer 2016 eShop
I didn’t play the first one, so most likely going to skip this as well. It looks like classic side scrolling goodness, very Mega Man X. The first Gunvolt is currently on sale in the eShop if your looking to give this franchise a shot.
21:14 – Fire Emblem Fates: Revelations (Digital Version)
Release: 3DS out now
-New DLC maps added weekly until APR 21
If you were like me and didn’t get the limited edition of Fire Emblem: Fates (Thanks Nintendo) you can finally complete the game with the release of the digital version of Revelations.
22:45 – Hyrule Warriors Legends
Release: 3DS MAR 25
-Physical copy comes with a free theme
-GameStop pre-order bonus: soft cover character book
-Medley added to the roster
If you played Hyrule Warriors on Wii U, I doubt you would need this game. It’s just a complete version of the game with extra characters. You are able to link (no pun intended) with the Wii U and you can transfer all the characters and use them in the Wii U version.
24:56 – Disney Art Academy
Release: 3DS MAY 13
If you liked Pokémon Art Academy, drawing, or Disney, you’ll dig it.
25:55 – Bravely Second: End Layer
Release:3DS APR 15
-New jobs classes
-Free demo out now
-Saved data from demo will add bonuses to the main game
The sequel to the best RPG on the 3DS. Looks great, but I wonder how much better this game would look on the Vita.
28:28 – Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past
Release: 3DS 2016
-Graphics remade for 3DS
A better version of an already great game. If you’re a Dragon Quest fan you know what you’re in for.
29:38 – Monster Hunter Generations
Release: 3DS Summer 2016
-Debut trailer shown
-Bonus content if Monster Hunter 4 saved data is on the system
Looks like more Monster Hunter. That either excites you or doesn’t change your mind.
31:56 – Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Release: New 3DS late Spring 2016
To me this will never be a Metroid game. I hate that this is what Nintendo has been making instead of a new console version or a 2d/2.5d side scroller for 3DS.They do there best to justify attaching the Metroid name to it, but for me it’s still a hard sell. I’ll most likely try this game out, but I don’t have any expectations for it.
37:33 – Rhythm Heaven Megamix
Release: 3DS 2016
A Wario ware type music rhythm game is the best way I can describe this game. I feel like it would be more at home as one of the initial releases for the new Nintendo mobile division.
38:14 – Kirby: Planet Robobot
Release: 3DS JUN 10
-Comes with Kirby Clash mini game (multiplayer) available for download in eShop for those who don’t buy the game
-New Kirby theme Amiibo
The grand finale is a Kirby game? Now I don’t hate this, but I am a little let down that the Direct didn’t end with the bang I was hoping for (Legend of Zelda Wii U/NX). However I did enjoy Kirby: Triple Deluxe and this looks like more of the same with the added ability to control a Mech with Kirby’s standard imitation ability. Looks like fun, I’m sure I’ll play through and enjoy the game, but it doesn’t look like anything special.
The overall Direct was decent. I am looking forward to a few of the games, I could care less about any of the DLC. The most news worthy part of this Direct isn’t what was shown, it’s what wasn’t. Notably absent is any information on the Nintendo NX (which I think should be named the Ultra NES when it’s launched), any new mobile games, and of course The Legend of Zelda Wii U/NX. New information on the NX or any mobile titles with most likely be at E3 this year. I highly doubt they would showcase it in a Direct. Nintendo HAS TO reveal the NX LIVE at E3. Mobile titles would be nice to know about, but I’m not champing at the bit for news. The Legend of Zelda hasn’t been shown off since the Video Games Awards. I would much rather Nintendo make this a full NX title. Having it on the Wii U is just a waste of money and it’ll hold back the NX version. I’m sure the wait will be worth it. I can’t remember the last Zelda title that didn’t get delayed for some reason.
Those were my thoughts on the Direct. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below. To watch the Nintendo Direct in it’s entirety click here.