It’s been some time since we had an actual Nintendo Direct. Sure there was a Pokémon Direct last week, but barely anything was announced. The VC games can transfer Pokémon to Pokémon Bank and the leaked Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are getting Chinese language support. That’s all the news. This time we had a deluge of announcements, but I’d like to parse out my favorites.
Star Fox Zero – April 22nd, 2016
Some new footage for Star Fox Zero was shown off and some new gameplay features were detailed. Now, it’s confirmed that Star Fox Zero will take the approach that Star Fox 64 did with its branching level design. That’s been enhanced now in that branching paths are hidden in each level, similar to something like Pokémon Snap. Not only will these contain new levels, but different bosses and enemies as well.
Miyamoto’s camera mini-game that was shown at E3 some time ago is also coming in the form of Star Fox Guard. Not only does the game sport over 100 levels, but it will also allow you to customize enemy layouts and upload those for other people to try. There will be a special bundle that will include both Star Fox titles, but it’s unknown how much more it costs than just Star Fox Zero.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE – June 24th, 2016
Genei Ibun Roku #FE finally gets its localized English name, and it’s rather fitting. It takes place in Tokyo, your characters face off against Mirages with their own, and the ‘Sessions’ is in there so that the TMS abbreviation is SMT spelled backwards. Atlus, you clever girl.
Interestingly, with such a heavy Japanese pop-culture tone, I was curious how this game would be handled when it comes to localization. Fortunately, instead of messing with dubbing, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE will keep its Japanese voiceover and will have English subtitles. It’s also coming out this Summer, a lot sooner than I expected.
Paper Mario: Color Splash – 2016
I’ll get my positives out of the way first. It’s nice to see Paper Mario come back to a home console again, especially since the last one was Super Paper Mario which came out 8 years ago.
Unfortunately, Paper Mario Color Splash still has the issue that has plagued the series since its jump to handhelds; gimmicky concepts dominating genuinely good gameplay design to the point where it can’t really be called an RPG anymore. Paint is the gimmick this go around, with battles involving painting cards for attacks, and that all for now. It doesn’t have a release date yet, so Color Splash could turn out something great. I still have my doubts.
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 – Summer 2016
I knew that a sequel to one of my favorite games of 2014 was coming, but I didn’t expect to see it here! While details are pretty limited, it is confirmed that Copen will return as a playable character. His playstyle mixed things up from Gunvolt as Copen can dash into enemies to lock on and fire homing attacks. Cope will also be able to make use of copying weapons from the seven new bosses.
If you haven’t had the chance to play the first game, Azure Striker Gunvolt will be discounted to $9.99 from now until June 1st. I can’t recommend it enough, and that price is a steal, so grab it while you can!
Monster Hunter Generations – Summer 2016
Speaking of discounts on previous games, Monster Hunter Generations will also grant that treatment to Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Until this Saturday, March 5th at 6pm EST, you can grab Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for $19.99 in the eShop.
Monster Hunter Generations also brings some refinements to the Monster Hunter formula, including weapons skills and special attacks. This game will also have a special armor set collaboration starring Marth from Fire Emblem.
Bravely Second: End Layer – April 15th, 2016
With this game coming soonest of all, it was nice to see some more footage. Two of the new classes were detailed here, the Wizard and the Catmancer. The Wizard has the ability to add modifiers to spells that change their effects, and the Catmancer copies enemy abilities that are unleashed by adorable kitties.
Like Bravely Default, Bravely Second will be getting an extended demo with content that is transferable to the full release. This demo will be available on March 10th, but Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked members will get a special code to play three days early.
On the whole, this Direct was on point. It did a great job highlighting what’s coming up for both the 3DS and Wii U and didn’t let up. Sure, there wasn’t really anything we can all agree we’ve been waiting for (like Zelda Wii U and NX hints), but it’s to be expected for those to wait until E3 2016. That’s only three months away and fast approaching. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of stuff to be excited for.