Today’s Nintendo Direct conference ended only moments ago, so let’s get to the announcements. Satoru Iwata hosted the event which featured appearances by Reggie Fils-Aime and Shigeru Miyamoto himself.
First off, Nintendo is declaring 2013 the “Year of Luigi” and proved it with a ton of announcements featuring the eternally-overshadowed plumber.
Update: Here’s the entire event, courtesy of Nintendo’s YouTube channel:
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is coming to the 3DS. Shigeru Miyamoto took part in his first ever Nintendo Direct event to help explain some the game’s new features. Among them, Luigi’s vacuum, known as the Polter-gust 5000, can now be used to suck in items other than ghosts and blow things away. Additionally, the polter-gust will be used to solve puzzles. The examples given were using gusts of air to activate a ceiling fan, and sucking in a tablecloth to reveal hidden items underneath the table.
There is also a new “Dark Light” feature. This addition to the polter-gust allows Luigi to search for “lost” objects that can only be revealed using the light. These objects can help grant Luigi access to hidden areas and uncover secret items.
Miyamoto also explained that each boss fight will be unique and feature ghosts with distinctive characteristics and fighting styles. Fighting regular ghosts and poltergeists will also be a bit more challenging this time around. Now, players must stun ghosts with light before capturing them (think Alan Wake.) On the subject of unique characters, a new gameplay trailer also revealed a ghost dog, not yet named, who will help Luigi find hidden areas and items. This little guy can be tracked using the polter-gust’s new dark light ability.
On the subject of multiplayer modes, there will be a number of game modes that will support of to 4 players. A few of the cooperative modes will task players with completing different objectives, such as making their way through a “scare-scraper” attempting to reach the highest floor possible, or attempting to escape or capture all the ghosts in a room within a time limit.
Another Luigi-centric 3DS title will be the latest in the Mario & Luigi RPG series. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is coming this summer, and takes place entirely inside a dream; Luigi’s dream, to be specific. While the top screen will work as it normally does in Mario & Luigi games, the bottom screen now features the face of a sleeping Luigi. Players will have to manipulate Luigi’s face to help solve puzzles up on the top screen. For instance, should an object be blocking the way on the top screen, players will tickle Luigi’s nose to make him sneeze, which effects things in the dream world.
Mario Golf: World Tour was also announced for the 3DS coming this summer. Satoru Iwata, stated the game will feature deep mechanics for fans of traditional golf games, as well as intuitive controls for beginners. The series’ trademark Super Shots will be returning as well.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf will arrive for the 3DS in “just a few short months.” The developers are calling it “the definitive Animal Crossing game”, which begins by making players the mayor of their own town. This gives the payer the ability to customize the entire town, from adding street lights to manipulating building designs. For the first time, players can customize the outside of their house to shift the visual aesthetics. The town will also include a “Town Plaza” where all of the shops can be accessed in one convenient place. There will also be a few new species added to the game, and players can of course visit other player’s towns.
Speaking of Animal Crossing, some very special themed clothing and accessories will be added to Style Savvy: Trendsetters to kick off a wave of DLC that will be available via Spotpass in the coming months.
For those who’ve purchased Fire Emblem: Awakening, there is a steady stream of Map pack DLC headed your way. As a special incentive to get those on the fence about purchasing to dive in early, a free map can be downloaded from now through March 6. Two new map packs are available starting today, and all current map packs are additionally on sale until March, afterwards receiving a small price hike.
As a final announcement, Reggie Fils-Aime revealed that Donkey Kong Country Returns is getting a revamped 3DS port simply titled, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. A video trailer showcasing the 3D effects will be available for 3DS owners in the eShop soon.
3DS eShop Announcements
Some new titles were announced for the eShop as well. The first of which was HarmoKnight, a rhythm-based side-scrolling platformer which tasks players with slashing on-screen notes in sync with the music that’s playing over each stage. DLC will also revealed for the game including Nintendo-themed stages. The gameplay trailer specifically show a Pokémon stage with appropriately themed music to play to.
Kersploosh is another new eShop game. The basic idea is that you’re a rock falling down a well, and you have to dodge obstacles to reach the bottom as fast as possible, building enough momentum to make as large a splash as possible. No specific release date was given.
Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move is the latest installment in the M&DK series. Players will be challenged to get the Mario minis to the goal in time with a number of new puzzles and challenges to choose from. Players can create their own stages and share them online with friends. There will also be additional game modes and mini games to play, but more will be revealed in the coming months.
In Virtual Console news, 3DS owners will have the chance to download both the original Harvest Moon and Legend of the River King. Both these titled are said to be “coming soon”.
Wii U Announcements
Some major DLC is coming to New Super Mario Bros. U. The update, coming later this year, redesigns every level in the entire game and will feature Luigi as the main character. Titled New Super Luigi U, you’ll notice the “Bros.” tag isn’t added to the end of the title because Mario will not be making an appearance. Due to the expansive overhaul the entire game is receiving, Iwata admitted the DLC will take some time to be finished, but promised its arrival by the year’s end. No details on pricing were given, but it will be available for download via the Wii U’s eShop.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge will also be receiving another content update this month.
In regards to the MiiVerse, Nintendo will be adding communities to discuss upcoming The Legend of Zelda titles, which were announced at the previous Nintendo Direct a month ago. Currently, there are no communities available for unreleased games, but Iwata wants to make sure fans have a place in the MiiVerse to chat and receive updates about upcoming projects.
Lego City: Undercover is an open-world experience coming to the Wii U on March 18. A new trailer showcased new locations such as the Airport and “Paradise Sands”, a desert-themed section of the map. There will alternatively be a 3DS version offered called Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins coming on April 21, which features unique missions and a storyline that takes place two years before the Wii U version. (That matters in Lego games? Okay…)
Some details on the Wii U Deluxe Zombie U bundle were given. The bundle includes the Deluxe Wii U bundle (NintendoLand will instead be a virtual download this time), a copy of Zombie U, an art book, and a black Wii U Pro controller. The bundle will retail for $389.99 and will be available soon.
Nintendo also reminded gamers about the incentive to buy games virtually through their eShop. All Wii U Deluxe owners who register their consoles and Nintendo ID’s get 10% bonus points whenever they purchase digital versions of full retail games. These points can be used to purchase any other content in the Wii U eShop, including other games.
A demo for Munster Hunter 3: Ultimate is coming to the Wii U and 3DS on February 21. The game features cross-platform play and gamers can group up to take on huge bosses across the Wii U and 3DS. Additionally, items and characters can be transferred between both versions of the game.
Third Party Announcements
Not a whole heck of a lot of new stuff here. Nintendo just reiterated some upcoming titles. Injustice: Gods Among Us is coming on April 16, Disney Infinity is coming in June, and The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct hits shelves on March 26. Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate will be available exclusively for 3DS on March 5.
The only new announcement was concerning Need For Speed: Most Wanted U. The game will come preloaded with current DLC and will be the first third-party title to make use of in-game MiiVerse connectivity, which allows players to post pictures and messages to others in the community.
Zen Pinball 2 is coming to the Wii U eShop this month. The download is free and demos for every themed table will be available for free as well.
That just about covers the entire event. There are a few details about upcoming eShop games I didn’t get the chance to cover due to technical difficulties, but I’d say this covers about 95% of the event.
Are you guys excited about any of the new announcements/updates? I’m personally looking forward to Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon as well as Disney Infinity. I like the idea of a sandbox game that builds on the success of the Toy Story 3 “Toy box mode” and includes every Disney character I can remember. Share your thoughts in the comments below.