A new Nintendo Direct aired Wednesday, detailing some upcoming releases for both the Wii U and 3DS. There was a lot packed into the 45-minute presentation. I won't discuss everything that was announced, but let's talk about some of the highlights.
New Fire Emblem Game Announced (Teaser Trailer)
The presentation began with a trailer for a new game in the Fire Emblem series, currently in development for the 3DS. I'll admit that I don't have much experience with this franchise, but the cut scenes and characters make it look interesting. So far, there is no title or release date. Since Fire Emblem: Awakening was such a hit, I'm sure that fans will be excited for this new entry in the franchise.
Select Wii Games Available To Download On The Wii U
The next thing that really interested me was the announcement that certain Wii games will be made available to download on the Wii U. This announcement is both exciting and frustrating. On one hand, it will give people who didn't have a chance to play these games — and can't find a physical copy in stores — the opportunity to purchase them. On the other hand, I'm sure that these games will take up a lot of storage space that the Wii U, quite frankly, does not have to spare. I have a deluxe model of the Wii U, and I can tell you that its meager 32GB memory fills up fast, especially if you like to download a lot of games to your console. This means that many people — including myself — will be forced to buy additional storage devices to facilitate all of these downloadable titles. It's a problem that will continue to compound the more and more Nintendo moves into the digital distribution space. The first Wii games announced for download were Super Mario Galaxy 2 (available today), Punch-Out!! (January 22), and, best of all, Metroid Prime Trilogy (January 29). I will definitely be downloading Metroid Prime Trilogy, as that collection is nearly impossible to find in stores, and each of the games included in the trilogy are amazing. Despite the storage space issues, here's hoping that the downloadable Wii games are quickly followed by downloadable GameCube games!
Updates On Multiple Upcoming Games
Next, Bill Trinen gave us some additional information on the Wii U titles Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and Mario Party 10, especially in regards to the Amiibo functionality for said titles. He also talked about Splatoon, which is a game I have become more interested in the more I hear about it. We now know that Splatoon will include customization options for your character's clothing and shoes, yielding various stat advantages. You will also be able to choose from a variety of Main, Sub, and Special weapons, which will accommodate many different strategies and play styles. All of these items are accessible via a main hub area, which looks very reminiscent of the hub area in ModNation Racers for PS3. Splatoon is set to release this May.
Xenoblade Chronicles X Trailer
Xenoblade Chronicles X is one of my five most-anticipated games of 2015, so I was happy to see a new trailer for it. Although the trailer didn't teach us much more about the game in terms of the story or gameplay, it did offer a look at some of the incredibly varied locations on Planet Mira that we will be able to visit. No release date was given, but I am all the more hyped for this game after today.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars Will Be Cross-Buy
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars will be available on Wii U on March 5. The game looks good, with more of the same great puzzling action that we're used to. However, there was a very interesting detail announced alongside the release date: the game is going to launch simultaneously on both the Wii U and 3DS, and if you buy one version, you get the other version for FREE! That's right, people… cross-buy! Is this really Nintendo we're talking about? I think this is a step in the right direction, and I hope this becomes a trend for future Nintendo games, if not past games as well.
New 3DS Coming Stateside In February
The biggest announcement — and the one we all expected — was undoubtedly the release date for the New 3DS XL, which is set for February 13th in North America. What I didn't expect, though, was that no mention was made of the smaller model with changeable faceplates. This means that, in Nintendo of America territory, we are only getting the XL model. This news is fine with me, but those of you hoping for a less bulky model seem to be out of luck. We also saw a couple of special edition New 3DS models, including the silver Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate model and gold Majora's Mask model.
There was a lot more information included in Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct, but those are the highlights that stood out to me. What did you like or dislike about the presentation? Is there something you're excited about that I didn't mention? Let us know in the comments below.
Ben Holt is the latest member of the Short Pause empire, a guitarist and amateur songwriter, and an all-around swell guy.