It’s that time again. Time to kick off a new year with a new Nintendo Direct. Many Nintendo Directs usually revolve around one game, but every so often (as with this one) you get a good look at Nintendo’s near-future lineup. The New Nintendo 3DS was easily the biggest takeaway, but there plenty of new trailers and announcements for upcoming 3DS and Wii U games that I’d like to highlight.
Starting off strong, we have a teaser for the latest game in the Fire Emblem series (literally, that’s the current name). Developed once again by Intelligent Systems, the game looks to be using the same art style and engine as its predecessor Fire Emblem: Awakening with enhanced bells and whistles as you may expect.
One announcement that surprised me was that the Japan 3DS game Puzzle & Dragons Z will be making its way over here as well. Puzzle & Dragons Z is a match-3 puzzle game that makes use of things like battles and quests found in traditional RPGs. An alternate Super Mario Bros. edition will also come packaged with the game, taking the Puzzle & Dragons style and merging it with the Super Mario Universe.
On the flipside of the match-3 puzzle genre, one game I’m not too thrilled about is Pokémon Shuffle. In a nutshell, Pokémon Shuffle is basically Pokémon Battle Trozei made free-to-play with microtransactions in the vein of Candy Crush. For me, this approach isn’t too bad, but it feels like it makes Pokémon Battle Trozei much less significant.
Back in the positive again, some more information on Splatoon was also shown. The Direct gave us a glimpse at how customization and loadout options work. Changing your gear in shops can affect some of your stats like speed and defense, while you get a variety of weapons to use as Main, Sub, and Special Weapons. Splatoon was also confirmed to be coming out in May 2015.
In a rather interesting move, Nintendo is in the process of reworking Wii titles to be downloadable and accessible in the Wii U software. Currently, any Wii games you want to play forces the console to go into Wii Mode to play them. With these downloadable titles, not only do you to have to boot up Wii Mode, but games that support the Classic Controller will also support the Gamepad (it isn’t confirmed if Pro Controllers are supported). The first three titles being released are Super Mario Galaxy 2 Which is available now), Punch-Out!! on January 22nd, and Metroid Prime Trilogy on January 29th. Each of these three games will be half-price for one week after release.
Lastly, Xenoblade Chronicles X got a new trailer, showcasing some of the massively varied landscapes of Mira. Unfortunately, not much else is here to go on, but it does look rather gorgeous and the music is incredible, so check out the trailer below. As for a release date, Xenoblade Chronicles X is still targeting a 2015 release just like before. In the meantime, I’m sure that Xenoblade Chronicles 3D will hold me over.
That about does it for the games that got my attention in this Nintendo Direct, but there’s plenty of other games covered as well as the New Nintendo 3DS and the ongoing Amiibo support. It looks like, overall, that Nintendo will have a pretty strong start for 2015. Here’s to hoping that this momentum can keep going.