Just when you thought you knew what Nintendo had in store for their Nintendo 3DS and Wii U catalogues for 2016, the Big N hosted a Nintendo Direct broadcast today, rife with huge news, and a few surprises, regarding what to expect in the Spring-Summer months of the year. This presentation predictably didn’t provide any updates on the company’s plans for smartphone games, nor their top secret upcoming gaming platform, code-named ‘NX’, but there was still plenty of awesome news to enjoy for both 3DS and Wii U owners! So, if you missed the broadcast, or just want a handy recap of the highlights, we’ve collected all of the essential info that you need to know from today’s Nintendo Direct presentation!

Let’s get to it!

STAR FOX ZERO CHARTS NEW COURSE WITH GUARD UP!

Star Fox Zero on Wii U was up first, with Nintendo re-affirming that the game mostly takes after Star Fox 64 in terms of its structure and plot, though story events and map structure is entirely new. Not only that, but players will also be able to enter teleporters in certain areas, which will take them to and from locations that drastically affect their course on the game’s branching path of progression. From there, they showed off a new location, the re-imagined Fortuna, which is full of dangerous bioweapon threats, and unfolds in a swamp-style landscape.

Like Star Fox 64Star Fox Zero will also feature alternate paths at certain points throughout its stages, which will open the way to new bosses, events and levels. Once you defeat Andross and conquer the planet, Venom at the end of normal gameplay, players can go back and rediscover new challenges by finding and exploring alternate paths, particularly with Nintendo claiming that Star Fox Zero becomes even better with practice and repeat playthroughs. Nintendo then re-affirmed the presence of evil fighter squadron, Star Wolf in Star Fox Zero, which were also used to showcase a new targeting system and flight maneuvers that will be introduced in this newest game. The biggest of these new maneuvers is a co-operative mode, where one player can use a Wii U Pro Controller to fly and steer the Arwing, while another player uses the Wii U Gamepad to aim and shoot. Finally, as suspected, the Fox Amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. set is compatible with Star Fox Zero, and when scanned on the Wii U Gamepad, it will allow players to fly in the 16-bit polygonal Arwing from the original Star Fox game on Super NES!

SFZ - Gameplay

Star Fox Zero wasn’t the only Star Fox game that was featured in this presentation either. Turns out, Shigeru Miyamoto’s ‘Project Guard’ has been re-tooled and completed as ‘Star Fox Guard‘, a tower defense game where players move between camera views and fend off hordes of invading enemies, as Slippy Toad. Slippy’s uncle, Grippy is mining rare metals in space, and often finds himself under attack, which serves as the premise of the game. Players use the stylus and Wii U Gamepad Screen to place 12 cameras, each of which will monitor and shoot enemies. The game will feature 100 developer-made stages, and will also feature a level editor that will allow players to create their own enemy patterns, then share them online via Nintendo Network. Playing these custom stages will earn players ‘Precious Metals’, though it wasn’t specified exactly what these are good for.

Both Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard launch for Wii U on April 22nd. The two games will be packaged together in a single physical bundle at retail stores, or can be purchased separately in digital form on the Wii U eShop, where they will add up to the same sum as the retail package.

SPLATOON INKS A FRESH UPDATE!

Next was an established Wii U favourite, Splatoon, which will be getting a major update soon. The update promises to rebalance some gear (namely in making lesser-used abilities more useful and attractive to players), and fine-tune matchmaking quality. Splatfest will also see some additions, to try and make it more appealing to players. This update will be available for Splatoon owners on March 8th.

Splatoon - Gameplay

A second update is also in the works for Splatoon, which will add in further weapon rebalances, and will also introduce preset weapon recommendations for players, which will be labeled as, “Sheldon’s Picks”, after the weapon salesman in the game. This update will, oddly, be released in two parts, with the first part said to arrive in April. Nintendo claims that more information on these updates will be offered both on Nintendo’s official social media channels, along with its website, so Splatoon fans are encouraged to inquire about the updates further there.

MARIO AND SONIC KICK OFF THEIR RIO OLYMPICS CAREER!

Nintendo’s next showcase was for Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which will include some all-new events, including Rugby-Sevens and Rhythmic Gymnastics Clubs. The events will also take place in venues modeled after the real-life events that will be hosted at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games later this year.

Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Gameplay

The release strategy for Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is rather curious, since the game’s Wii U version will be launching later in the year, on June 24th, with Nintendo promising gradual more helpings of info on this version of the game in the coming months. Despite that however, the portable 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will instead arrive later this month, on March 18th. Nintendo didn’t give an explanation as to why the 3DS version is coming out several months ahead of the Wii U version, but it is what it is.

SUPER MARIO MAKER DEMANDS SUPER EXPERTS!

Returning gears once again to a Wii U hit that’s already been available for months, Super Mario Maker was brought up next. Nintendo touted the game’s success once again, revealing that 6.2 user-created courses are now available to download and play online via Super Mario Maker, and Nintendo will soon be adding more features to the game to increase that number further.

Super Mario Maker - Gameplay

This new update will allow players to shake a Thwomp during level creation using the Wii U Gamepad Screen’s stylus to turn it into a Skewer, the large spiked pillars from Super Mario World, and can also do the same with a P-Switch, to turn it into a key. Should players have keys in their custom stages, they can shake doors to turn them into locked doors, requiring players to use Legend of Zelda-style puzzle-solving, along with mandatory boss battles where enemies hold keys to proceed, which are necessary to reach the end of certain stages. You can even shake a Coin to turn it into a Pink Coin, which players must collect all of to turn it into a key that’s necessary to progress. The game’s bookmark website will also be updated, enhancing bookmarks to show the first player that clears a certain course, as well as world record runs for user-created courses.

Perhaps the most hair-raising new addition in this update is the ‘Super Expert’ mode, which will allow players to take on the 100-Mario Challenge within six of the most punishing stages imaginable, even worse than the already extraordinarily difficult Expert Mode! Super Expert Mode is unlocked by clearing Expert Mode, and can allow players to unlock even more costumes for their custom stages, with one all-new costume shown off being that of Tetra from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker!

This robust new update for Super Mario Maker goes live on March 9th.

ATLUS AND NINTENDO DEVISE A NEW CROSSOVER ILLUSION

It’s been a while, but during this Nintendo Direct, Wii U crossover RPG, Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem was brought up again, and has now been given a final title for the Americas; Tokyo Mirage Sessions # FE. That’s still quite the crazy title, and seems to indicate that Atlus has dropped the Shin Megami Tensei connection and is now treating this game as a brand new IP, but the game’s new pre-rendered and gameplay footage looks to be incredibly stylish!

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - Gameplay

The gameplay seems to be particularly ambitious and weird, as it’s billed to be a fusion between the deep RPG mechanics of many Atlus-made games, with players able to command Fire Emblem-inspired apparitions in combat, paired with the dazzling adrenaline of a Japanese pop idol concert. The game will feature a deep turn-based battle system, as well as in-game advertisements and concerts that contribute to the celebrity theme, complete with a soundtrack that is managed by one of the biggest pop star handlers in Japan! The game will also be voiced in Japanese, and have English subtitles, as it’s based within the real-life Japan, in a similar fashion as Atlus’ other Shin Megami Tensei games.

At long last, the game was also given a release date for North America as well. Tokyo Mirage Sessions # FE launches for Wii U on June 24th of this year.

BANDAI NAMCO’S LOST TREASURE UNITES ADVENTURERS!

Next was the return of Bandai Namco’s free-to-play online Wii U game, Project Treasure, which has now been given the final title of ‘Lost Reavers‘. Nintendo re-affirmed that the game will be an online game funded by microtransactions, which has players teaming up with up to three allies, fighting undead, slaying bosses and solving puzzles to seek out rare and valuable treasure in dungeon-like environments. Successfully finding treasure and escaping an area will allow your character to earn spoils, level up, and accrue funds that can give them access to better gear. Each level is also claimed to have variable paths, enemy spawns and other such challenges, adding some replayability to them.

Lost Reavers - Gameplay

Lost Reavers will host a brief open beta period on the Wii U eShop, starting on April 14th. The full version of the game will then be free-to-start on the Wii U eShop from April 28th.

PAPER MARIO SHOWS HIS TRUE COLOURS!

A surprise all-new game was announced at this point in the presentation, Paper Mario: Color Splash, which is a new Paper Mario RPG that’s in development for Wii U.

The game takes place in a colourful paradise called, “Prism Island”, though someone or something has started gradually draining the colour from the island. It’s up to Paper Mario to set out on a new journey and restore colour to the land, using his new Paint Hammer, which can add a splash of colour to various things, and is necessary to solve puzzles and other obstacles necessary to progress. The hammer can restore colour to the scenery, spawning Coins and other such items, as well as reviving petrified, colourless Toads, who can then give you new tools or proceed the story. Colour even heavily comes into play within the battle system, where players use the stylus and Wii U Gamepad Screen to paint special cards that they can then use in the turn-based combat, including special cards that unleash devastating attacks, in what appears to be an evolution of the ‘sticker’ mechanic from Paper Mario: Sticker Star on 3DS.

Paper Mario Color Splash - Gameplay

Paper Mario: Color Splash is planned for release at some unspecified point for Wii U later this year. It’s likely that Nintendo will show it off again at this year’s E3 in June, though for now, this is all the information we got.

POKKEN TOURNAMENT POWERS UP THE COMPETITION!

Next is a soon-releasing Wii U game, Pokken Tournament, which was demonstrated next. The game will task players with taking on opponents in 2D fighter-style combat within the ‘Phantom League’, where foes get gradually more dangerous as you proceed through the ranks. Winning fights earns you in-game currency as well, which can let you toggle the appearance of your background player avatar.

Nintendo then went on to demonstrate some battle tactics, including showcasing the differences between the game’s featured Pokemon fighters, including some being faster, while others are stronger. Pokemon can also be paired up with different varieties of ‘Support Pokemon’, which can be called upon during fights for even more flexible and unpredictable strategies to use against your opponent! To provide specific examples, Nintendo demonstrated how Lucario’s aura-based attacks make it an ideal long-distance fighter, and its Burst capability lets it use especially powerful beam attacks. Machamp meanwhile uses rapid-fire punches and throws to aggressively damage opponents, with an emphasis on close-quarters combat. Finally, Gengar is all about trickery and deception, able to attack from seemingly anywhere in the arena, with its Burst attack being a seemingly inescapable nightmare of damage!

Pokken Tournament - Gameplay

Pokken Tournament hits Wii U later this month, on March 18th, and you can get a final sneak peek at it by watching the Early Access Tournament on March 17th, via twitch.tv/nintendo. Nintendo also reminds fans that first-run retail copies of Pokken Tournament will come packaged with an exclusive ‘Shadow Mewtwo’ Amiibo card, which, when scanned on the Wii U Gamepad, will allow players to instantly unlock the game’s ultimate opponent for use, Shadow Mewtwo!

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA ENTERS THE TWILIGHT OF HIGH-DEFINITION!

Despite the game launching on Wii U to the public today, March 4th, Nintendo took a quick moment to bring up The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. They revealed that fans can check out a developer-hosted retrospective video for the game on Nintendo’s official YouTube channel, with the fourth and final episode of the retrospective going live alongside the game today. Whether you’re picking up The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD today or not, the retrospective is well worth giving a look!

NINTENDO’S LOYALTY GETS PERSONAL!

Nintendo next brought up ‘My Nintendo’, the new loyalty program that will serve as a replacement for the now-shut-down Club Nintendo from the past several years. The service officially goes live this month, with first-time users able to sign up from Nintendo’s soon-releasing free social smartphone app, Miitomo, now offering pre-sign-ups. Players will be rewarded with Gold Coins and Platinum Coins for taking part in a variety of Nintendo products and services, with the Coins then being useful for price reductions on digital game content from Nintendo eShop. You can start earning Coins from the service this month, though Nintendo is still waiting until later to disclose more information about how the loyalty program will work.

AMIIBO COLLECTION GETS MORE CHALLENGING!

Nintendo switched topics to yet another Amiibo-driven game, and one being announced for the first time. Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge, releasing as a free download for both 3DS and Wii U, allows players to take on Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis-style gameplay with a variety of recognizable characters, in exclusive stages that can be activated by scanning compatible Amiibo figures. The game supports the entire Super Mario set of Amiibo figures (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Yoshi, and Toad), and also supports Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Bowser Jr. and Rosalina from the Super Smash Bros. set. Adding further wrinkles to gameplay is that each Mini character has unique powers, such as Mini Mario’s ability to wall jump, Mini Yoshi’s ability to gobble up enemies, and Mini Rosalina’s ability to leap high into the air.

Mini Mario and Friends Amiibo Challenge - Gameplay

This is another upcoming Nintendo game with a rather unusual release plan, since it will be offered in advance at participating retailers such as EB Games/Gamestop, Best Buy and Amazon from March 25th, and will be given free with the purchase of any Amiibo figure from those stores. The game will then be available to download for free from both the 3DS eShop and Wii U eShop, starting on April 28th.

In other Amiibo news, Nintendo brought up a fourth set of Animal Crossing Amiibo cards, which will be launched on June 10th. The Isabelle Amiibo figure that was formerly restricted to being bundled with Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival on Wii U will also start being sold separately on that date, along with a variant Isabelle figure that instead wears her Summer outfit.

THE VIRTUAL CONSOLE CATALOGUE GETS NEW AND SUPER!

One of the bigger surprises from this Nintendo Direct is the announcement of Nintendo providing another selection of games that are exclusively playable on the New 3DS and New 3DS XL handhelds. This should prove to be particularly exciting for retro gaming enthusiasts, as Super NES games will be added to the 3DS Virtual Console catalogue, though they’re only playable on the enhanced New 3DS and New 3DS XL handhelds, and sadly can’t be played on the classic 3DS, 3DS XL or 2DS handhelds.

New 3DS Virtual Console - Gameplay

The Super NES classics on the New 3DS handhelds will come with all-new features, including ‘Perfect Pixel’ mode, which will display them at their natural, Super NES-era resolutions. Nintendo isn’t wasting any time launching these Super NES classics to New 3DS (XL) owners either, since Pilotwings, Super Mario World and F-Zero went live after the presentation concluded! Super Mario Kart, Earthbound and Donkey Kong Country are set to follow on March 24th, then followed by The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest on April 14th, with even more Super NES classics promised to follow them over the near future!

GAME FREAK DEALS A NEW KIND OF JOCKEY!

Another all-new game was announced afterward, Pocket Card Jockey, in development for the 3DS eShop from Pokemon developer, Game Freak. This rather unusual game has players playing simplified rounds of Solitaire to motivate their horse through a series of horse races. As you clear cards, you can store up Unity Power, which can speed up your horse, or be saved for a big burst of speed for the home stretch. As players’ horses participate in and win races, they will gradually level up, which will increase their stats, and yield greater rewards for playing Solitaire well. Winning races will also score you Trophies, which can in turn attract the attention of sponsors, eventually allowing you to retire your horse, and potentially even breed it to produce new horses!

Pocket Card Jockey - Gameplay

It certainly sounds like an odd, yet intriguing experiment. Regardless, players can judge for themselves when Pocket Card Jockey hits the 3DS eShop in May.

GUNVOLT AMPS UP A SEQUEL!

Continuing on the note of the 3DS eShop, Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 was brought up next, the anticipated sequel to Comcept and Inti Create’s 3DS eShop/PC hit, Azure Striker Gunvolt! The sequel promises to evolve the action of the original, starting with Gunvolt’s rival from the first game, Copen, now being a playable character in the sequel. Copen can dash into enemies to lock on to them and unleash powerful homing shots, plus, he also has the ability to steal the powers of bosses that you defeat and turn them against other foes, Mega Man-style!

Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 - Gameplay

Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is set to launch on the 3DS eShop at some point this Summer. If you have yet to play the original, the first Azure Striker Gunvolt will also be offered at the discounted price of $9.99 USD between March 2nd and June 1st, giving would-be players better incentive to see what the fuss is about!

FIRE EMBLEM REVEALS NEW FATES TO COME!

Next brought up was the recently-released twofer of Fire Emblem Fates games, which will launch their major expansion and third narrative path, Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on March 10th, for $19.99 USD. Nintendo tells players that Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation can be purchased from the “Explore Fates” option on the title screen, and is bought in-game in both Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest. After the expansion is purchased, a repeat playthrough where the player is asked to choose sides will now present a third option of refusing to choose a side, which will start the expansion’s path.

Fire Emblem Fates Revelation - Gameplay

Nintendo also released an all-new map after the conclusion of the presentation, which can be purchased from the in-game shop, Dragon’s Gate. The map, Museum Melee is promised to allow players to attain rare and valuable weapons. Another map, Royal Royale, will be available to purchase and download from March 17th, which will have both the Hoshido and Nohr forces sparring to determine who is capable of rescuing an alternate version of protagonist, Corrin from a parallel universe. These bonus maps are sold for $2.49 USD each, though if you already bought Map Pack 1, then the maps will be free to download for you when they go live. New DLC maps will also be added weekly to both Fire Emblem Fates games, until April 21st.

HYRULE WARRIORS LEGENDS ENHANCES THE BATTLE!

Next up was Hyrule Warriors Legends, which will release for 3DS this month. The game was revealed to have a brand new suite of downloadable content, including its own Season Pass, which will grant free access to four all-new DLC packs that will be released for the game throughout 2016. The packs can be bought separately, though Season Pass purchasers will also get an exclusive costume for Ganondorf, inspired by his design from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

Hyrule Warriors Legends - Gameplay

Nintendo also confirmed that anyone who buys Hyrule Warriors Legends in the U.S. on launch day will also receive a download code for a free Hyrule Warriors Legends-inspired 3DS menu theme. A transfer code will also be offered to owners of Hyrule Warriors on Wii U, which, when entered into the game’s Wii U version, will unlock the use of the new characters debuted in Hyrule Warriors Legends, namely Linkle, Skull Kid, Tetra, King Daphnes and Toon Link, along with the chance to wield Ganondorf’s new trident weapon from the 3DS port. Those who pre-order Hyrule Warriors Legends at Gamestop in the U.S. will also receive a soft-cover, 16-page art book for the game too. As an added bonus for both the 3DS and Wii U versions of Hyrule Warriors, Medli from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker will also be added to the games for free, and released on the same day as the first DLC pack for Hyrule Warriors Legends!

Hyrule Warriors Legends launches for 3DS later this month, on March 25th.

DISNEY DRAWS NEW INSPIRATION!

Another all-new game was announced next, Disney Art Academy, which is in development for 3DS. The game will teach players how to draw Disney characters with detailed, step-by-step instructions, similar to other Art Academy titles, while also giving them lessons on colouring, shading and other such features to make their drawings feel as authentic and masterful as the pros! The game will also allow players to use their ‘magic wand’ (read: 3DS stylus) to give their drawings enhanced features like stars, and will not only incorporate Disney characters to this effect, but also Pixar characters. Sample artwork includes Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, various Disney princesses like Snow White and Elsa, and various classic Pixar personalities like Buzz Lightyear and Sully.

Disney Art Academy - Gameplay

Disney Art Academy is quite far along in development, and budding artists won’t have long to wait for it! The game launches for 3DS on May 13th.

BRAVELY SECOND PICKS A CAT FIGHT!

Next up is this year’s anticipated 3DS RPG sequel, Bravely Second: End Layer, which had several new jobs showcased. Among these all-new jobs being added to the sequel are the Wizard, which can use a “Spellcraft” ability to customize familiar magic spells with new effects, such as a fire-powered hammer attack or a lightning-powered mist attack, and can also use their abilities to enhance healing and support spells as well. Another new job that was shown off was the Catmancer, an all-new class loosely inspired by the Blue Mage class of classic Final Fantasy games, which can command cats to learn enemy skills, then give them treats to have them viciously attack foes. It’s just as ridiculous as it is fantastic!

Nintendo also took the opportunity to announce a prequel demo for Bravely Second: End Layer, similar to the original Bravely Default’s unique prequel demo, which will revolve around three Crystal Guard knights, who are dispatched by original protagonist, Agnes to look into mysterious disturbances. This sidestory will once again only be available to play in the free Bravely Second: End Layer demo, which launches on the 3DS eShop on March 10th, the same day that the full version of the game will become available to pre-order digitally from the 3DS eShop. If you happen to be a member of the Best Buy Gamers Club, you’ll also receive a 16-digit code in your registered E-mail, which will grant you early access to the Bravely Second: End Layer demo on March 7th.

Bravely Second - Gameplay

Finally, Nintendo detailed the upcoming Collector’s Edition for Bravely Second: End Layer, which will not only include the game, but also a soundtrack CD, and a robust art book that will show off detailed character sketches and development info. Nintendo also claims that a new series of Bravely Second: End Layer information videos will start going live throughout the next several weeks on their official YouTube channel, for people who are eager to whet their appetites for the game, beyond the demo.

Bravely Second: End Layer will launch for 3DS on April 15th.

DRAGON QUEST RECALLS ITS FORGOTTEN PAST!

Nintendo stayed on the note of large-scale 3DS RPG’s for the next segment, bringing up the long-demanded English release of Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past. The game has been remade and re-tooled from the ground up for 3DS, in contrast to its original PlayStation build from 2001, with characters boasting new 3D models, and the story being re-translated and re-told to be richer than ever before.

Dragon Quest VII - Gameplay

 

Nintendo then detailed the premise of the game for those who don’t know, which involves a young fisherman’s son, who joins up with the mischievous Prince Kiefer, and a headstrong local girl named Maribel, to seek adventure, and use a ‘Fragment Detector’ to re-assemble the lost and broken portions of the world, which have become marooned in the past. As with its original PlayStation incarnation, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past will boast turn-based combat, and will allow players to build and customize their characters with up to 30 unique character classes, in a lengthy adventure that offers tens of hours of pure RPG greatness!

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past sadly wasn’t given a more specific release date. It’s still simply planned for release at some point in Summer 2016.

MONSTER HUNTER CROSSES GENERATIONS!

Moving away from RPG’s, but still on grand-scale 3DS games, Monster Hunter Generations was showcased next, which will be the title of the English localization for Japanese game, Monster Hunter X. The game promises to be the most customizable Monster Hunter game yet, between a new ‘Style’ system, as well as ‘Hunter Arts’. Nintendo showed a pre-rendered/gameplay hybrid trailer that gave a better idea of the experience, which showed off some of the action-packed gameplay, as well as a snippet of the online co-op capability.

Monster Hunter Generations - Gameplay

Apparently, those who play Monster Hunter Generations on a 3DS with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate save data on it, will receive some unspecified free bonus content in Monster Hunter Generations. As a special promotion, Nintendo will also be selling Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate at a special discounted price of $19.99 on the 3DS eShop for the next two days after the broadcast as well. Finally, Monster Hunter Generations will include another collaborative costume inspired by a Nintendo franchise, this time a Marth-themed costume from Fire Emblem, which the official Monster Hunter Twitter account shows off in greater detail, within a trailer that’s embedded there.

Monster Hunter Generations will release for 3DS at some point in Summer 2016.

METROID PRIME JOINS THE FIGHT FOR THE FEDERATION!

Nintendo candidly addressed the questions and unrest surrounding last E3’s announcement of Metroid Prime: Federation Force for 3DS next, and desired to justify why this new game will be an integral new addition to the Metroid universe. The game apparently began development in 2009, and was originally built as an online-focused co-op shooter made explicitly for DSi, essentially serving as a spiritual successor to Metroid Prime: Hunters on DS, which was also a collaboration with Nintendo partner, Next Level Games. Apparently, the game couldn’t achieve the level of performance that fans would expect on DSi, though renewed interest in Metroid Prime: Federation Force came about when the New 3DS line of handhelds was announced. This would not only fix the performance issues from the DSi build, but also offer more flexible and intuitive controls with the C-Stick.

Metroid Prime Federation Force - Gameplay

Metroid Prime Federation Force - Gameplay

With the advent of the New 3DS, the team restarted the project, which eventually evolved into Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Nintendo desired to use the game to tell the story of the battle between the Galactic Federation and the Space Pirates, which the series had largely avoided previously. Samus Aran would still be mentioned as part of the story, though she would no longer be the main character for this game. With the Federation soldiers now the main characters, players could toggle their arsenals to be based more on offense or healing, essentially giving them a customizable class system that functions like an RPG. Players are given a certain amount of resources by the Federation at the start of each mission, and must divide them amongst themselves strategically to provide a balanced team in the field, without surpassing the given weight limit for their crew. Nintendo punctuated the demonstration with a new trailer, which reveals that the Federation is kickstarting a battle program for their soldiers that’s inspired by Samus’ battle suit, and that Metroid Prime: Federation Force appears to take place between the events of Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force is set to launch on 3DS at some point in late Spring 2016. Nintendo claims that they will offer more than one opportunity for fans to get early hands-on time with the game as well, starting with Wondercon late this month.

RHYTHM HEAVEN MIXES A MEGA PACKAGE!

Another all-new game was announced for 3DS next, Rhythm Heaven Megamix. The game will serve as a blend of various favourite minigames from throughout the fast-paced rhythm challenge series. Minigames from Rhythm Heaven on DS will be included, along with Rhythm Heaven Fever for Wii, and best of all, several minigames from the original Rhythm Heaven game made for Game Boy Advance, which never released outside of Japan, will also be part of the package, which will comprise over 100 minigames in all! 30 of those minigames will also be brand new to boot, truly making Rhythm Heaven Megamix the ultimate Rhythm Heaven experience!

Rhythm Heaven Megamix - Gameplay

Rhythm Heaven Megamix doesn’t yet have a set release date, but is planned to launch on 3DS at some point later this year.

KIRBY EMBARKS ON A STIFF NEW ADVENTURE!

The final game to round off this Direct was a brand new announcement, that being a new Kirby game for 3DS! This game, Kirby: Planet Robobot, will have Kirby undertaking a new traditional-looking 2D platform adventure, which bears a hefty resemblance to 2014’s Kirby: Triple Deluxe at first glance, complete with being able to jump from multiple planes in the background and foreground. The twist here however is that a new threat is aiming to mechanize Dream Land, which will force Kirby to employ his own mechanized weapons, namely the Robobot Armour (which looks suspiciously similar to the Ride Armour from the classic Mega Man X games…), offering new level design twists like scrolling shooter segments, and the ability to once again duplicate enemy abilities in the armour, resulting in tons of powerful new attack possibilities! Of course, the game will also boast new copy abilities when Kirby is out of the armour too, over 25 in fact, including a new ‘Doctor’ ability that will have Kirby sporting large glasses, and wielding clipboards and chemistry equipment!

Kirby: Planet Robobot will also sport an alternate co-op mode called Team Kirby Clash, which will have up to four players picking different Kirby variations with different abilities, and unite to fight against deadly bosses. There are four different RPG-style classes for players to pick, and fighting well can earn you EXP to level up your Kirby variant, and make you even better in battle. Players can also collect Tablets which, when assembled together, will allow your squad to unleash a devastating group attack for massive damage! Team Kirby Clash supports Download Play, and will only require one copy of the game between up to four 3DS’s/2DS’s for players to embark on an adventure together, though if you choose, you can also play it alone, with A.I.-controlled sidekicks.

Kirby Planet Robobot - Gameplay

If you happen to be an Amiibo enthusiast, Kirby: Planet Robobot will also support the NFC figure line! Each Amiibo will give Kirby a certain copy ability when scanned in the NFC Reader accessory (or simply scanned on the Touch Screen of a New 3DS handheld), such as a Mario Amiibo granting Kirby the ‘Fire’ ability, or a Link Amiibo granting Link the ‘Sword’ ability. Best of all to those who have run into trouble finding the surprisingly rare Kirby, King Dedede and Meta Knight Amiibo figures from the Super Smash Bros. set, is that a new Kirby set of Amiibo figures will be timed with the release of Kirby: Planet Robobot, which will include alternate figure designs for Kirby, King Dedede and Meta Knight, along with an all-new Amiibo figure for Waddle Dee! These Kirby set Amiibo, when scanned in Kirby: Planet Robobot, will not only grant Kirby new abilities, but also different costumes pertaining to the respective character, while the Kirby Amiibo from the Kirby set will give him the exclusive U.F.O. ability, which is otherwise unobtainable in the game!

Kirby: Planet Robobot, despite being newly-announced in this Direct, is not far off from release either! The game will launch for 3DS, presumably alongside the Kirby set of Amiibo figures, on June 10th.

CONCLUSION

Nintendo is presenting Nintendo Direct broadcasts more rarely since Tatsumi Kimishima succeeded the late Satoru Iwata as Nintendo’s president, but to compensate, Nintendo Direct presentations seem to have become better than ever! Even without any mention of mobile plans or NX, Nintendo still knocked it out of the park with this latest Direct, presenting lots of great info that we already knew about, and even announcing several great-looking games that came out of nowhere, and are all planned for launch in 2016!

Obviously, Nintendo is still saving several of its biggest guns for its E3 keynote in June, with this Direct predictably not bringing up the new untitled Legend of Zelda game that’s in development for Wii U, nor the recent bombshell announcements of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon. Still, 3DS and Wii U owners are going to have no shortage of great gaming options until we start hearing about NX especially in greater detail later this year, and once again, Nintendo has taken advantage of a supposed lull to come out swinging, and look stronger than ever!

Keep revisiting Eggplante for all news and updates from Nintendo Direct.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.