Yoshi's New Island - GameplayYoshi’s New Island was given some finalizing coverage during this Direct, demonstrating several all-new mechanics that separate the new game from its Super NES and DS predecessors. These include a repeat demonstration of the giant eggs (apparently called ‘Mega Egg Dozers’) that can destroy pipes and other obstructions, but also included some surprises like Metal Egg Dozers that allow Yoshi to move underwater, and can be rolled through obstacles.

New transformations for Yoshi were also shown, which include a jackhammer at set points in certain stages. Most noteable is that these new transformations can be controlled with the 3DS’s gyroscope. It’s perhaps unnecessary, but it’s a nifty way to take advantage of the 3DS’s more unique features.

Interestingly, it was also confirmed that collecting a Star will now make Yoshi into Super Yoshi, rather than Baby Mario into Super Mario, with Yoshi able to run and dash along walls, as well as fly!

As with the previous games, if Yoshi is damaged, he’ll drop Baby Mario, and if players don’t reclaim him before the timer runs down, Baby Bowser’s Toadies will kidnap Baby Mario, though fans likely expected this, so it’s probably not news. The same is likely true of re-affirming that Stars, Red Coins and Smiling Flowers will still be collectibles in the game, and likewise with the presentation addressing that Yoshi’s New Island won’t feature a time limit, unlike the recent New Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 3D games.

What is news however is an all-new power-up that gives Yoshi wings, the Flapper Wings, effectively allowing him to just hop his way through a stage with little difficulty. It’s confirmed that these show up if you die a certain amount of times in a stage.

This seems to be Yoshi’s New Island’s version of the ‘Super Guide’ feature found in the recent Mario and Donkey Kong Country games, which allow players to easily bypass stages that they’re struggling with so that they don’t get stuck and can’t see the rest of the game. Presumably, stages you beat with this power-up will be specially marked so that you can go back and beat them properly later.

The inclusion of this feature could be an indication that Yoshi’s New Island, despite its cutesy appearance, won’t be pulling punches with its difficulty. That should be good news for fans hoping for something engaging and fun, along the lines of the highly beloved Super NES game, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island!

Yoshi’s New Island was re-affirmed to be releasing for 3DS on March 14th of this year. The game seems to be shaping up very nicely, and seems to be a very effective throwback to its Super NES original, making it equally appealing to younger players and longtime adult Nintendo fans who are eager to revisit the stylings of one of the Super NES’s most adored gems!


Steel Diver- Sub Wars - Promo ArtAt this point, Nintendo began announcing some unexpected 3DS eShop games, starting with Steel Diver: Sub Wars, a revised sequel to 3DS launch title, Steel Diver. Redesigned as what Nintendo describes as a, “Contemplative FPS”, Steel Diver: Sub Wars puts players into a full first-person view to strategically take out and evade opposing subs. Needless to say, this is sure to present an outstanding use of the 3DS and 3DS XL’s 3D effect!

This is exciting news, given that FPS gaming is one of the few genres that Nintendo doesn’t seem to want to touch. The fact that the game has a neat strategy flavouring will also help to set it apart from competing offerings, even putting aside the fact that the 3DS has virtually no shooters to its name!

Steel Diver: Sub Wars is all about staying one step ahead of your opponents, with methodically-moving subs and torpedoes that must be fired carefully. You can challenge friends in local play for up to four players, or challenge larger arrays of online opponents via Nintendo Network play. There will also be a single-player mode with a modest seven missions that encourage players to try for certain scores and challenges.

More surprising than the somewhat ill-received Steel Diver getting a sequel however, albeit a redesigned one, is the fact that Steel Diver: Sub Wars is actually a free-to-play game! Even better is that it’s a more agreeable free-to-play game with an experimental model that is actually far better than the despicable, slimy free-to-play business models plaguing games on mobile and smart devices!

How this works is, players can download the free version of Steel Diver: Sub Wars, which gives you access to the entire multiplayer suite, local and online, but only features two single-player missions and two playable subs. If you upgrade to the paid premium version however, you can access the rest of the single-player missions, as well as a much larger variety of subs to use.

This is a very cool fusion of demo and free-to-play design, and made for one of the surprising highlights of this Direct! Better still is the confirmation that Steel Diver: Sub Wars is available now, going live after the conclusion of the broadcast. A new trailer was also uploaded with it on the 3DS eShop. Awesome!

At least Nintendo is trying to help prove to gamers that the free-to-play market is not simply a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Good on them!

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