Announcements are very scary on April Fools’ Day. Many are quite obviously fakes to be seen as jokes, but others are incredibly convincing and end up dashing people’s’ hopes and dreams. It’s sometimes hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t. When Nintendo announced a Nintendo Direct for that very day, I was frightened. What if everything announced was a joke? Luckily for us, all of Nintendo’s announcements were legitimate, and there were a lot of great ones. here are my favorites or the big ones, and what I think of them.
As it seems all Directs have started in the last two years, Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS started the 50 minute presentation off strong. Confirming a release on April 28th for Mewtwo was a nice start. It costs $4 to unlock him on one version, or $5 for both. However, Club Nintendo members who purchased and redeemed both games will get download codes on the 15th for free. The update that includes Mewtwo will also enable the full Sharing feature, allowing for custom stages, Miis, replays, and photos to be shared amongst friends and the world, as well as “tweaked character balancing”. However, we also got to see some of the future DLC as well! Coming with the update will be a wave of Mii Figther costumes ranging from cats and monkeys to characters from games, such as Dunban from Xenoblade, X and Proto Man from Mega Man, and Link. Finally, we got the surprise reveal of the next DLC character, and this one had me endlessly happy! Lucas is making his return in June, and I am ecstatic. Lucas is one of my favorite characters from brawl, and it was a shame to see him cut. However, he’s back and better than ever. Finally, a ballot was opened for fans to submit character suggestions for DLC. Lots of unexpected news for the game that just keeps giving.
Amiibo No Bounds
Amiibo have been growing in appearance, even if their supplies haven’t been. Nintendo is fully embracing these guys in new ways, and it was shown in the Direct. A new wave of Super Smash Bros amiibos are coming in July and September, with my mains of Palutena, Zero Suit Samus, and Bowser Jr. finally getting released. Splatoon is also getting a set of 3 amiibos. A boy Inkling, a girl Inkling, and a squid are coming in a single pack, or the Inklings will be released separately. These amiibos will unlock special missions in Splatoon that will net players some unique items, which sounds enticing enough. Nintendo are also releasing their first line of amiibo cards through the game Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Taking the home decoration aspect of the beloved series and putting it as its own game is certainly unique. While it isn’t the game for me, the idea of having cards based upon each Villager and allowing you to decorate for them sounds fun for fans of the games. Finally, my favorite amiibo announcement of the Direct was that a line of Yoshi’s Wooly World Yoshi amiibos would be released in three different colors. And as you can see in the picture above, they’re made of knitted yarn and they are absolutely adorable. I’ll definitely be picking one up, even if I don’t buy Yoshi’s Wooly World.
Out the Release Windows
While not many specific dates were announced for games, a whole bunch of release windows were mentioned. The only specific date besides some DLC for Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 (read on to see that) was for Splatoon, which will be hitting store shelves on May 29th. I’ve been waiting since last E3 to get this game, and I know I’ll be playing it for long nights with my friends during the summer. Mario Maker finally sees the light of day, being pushed from its early 2015 release date to September of this year. Yoshi’s Wooly World will be released in the broader window of this fall, as will Fatal Frame V, which got confirmed for a North American release. Finally, more news about the new Fire Emblem game for 3DS was discussed. The player-created character will be the main character this time around, descending from one dynasty but being raised by another. The player must choose which family to fight for in a war, with one being a more traditional, easier Fire Emblem game than the other. However, the story will be different between the two families’ storylines. The game will see a 2016 release in the West. Personally, I cannot wait for all of these games, and I have a hard time deciding what I want most. Hopefully I can get them all.
Oldies, But Goodies
Virtual Console on Wii U is finally getting some features promised long ago, with Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS games finally coming to the system. Nintendo’s latest offerings will feature the usual save states and button configuration settings, but will also allow for a multitude of control options. For instance, Nintendo DS games can be played entirely on the Gamepad while holding it sideways, or with the TV being the top screen and the Gamepad acting as the touch screen. I’m glad to see Nintendo embracing this openness of play for its consumers, even if it took a while to get to us. Super Mario 64 and Yoshi’s Island DS are both out already, with games like Donkey Kong 64, Mario Kart DS, WarioWare Touched, and Paper Mario coming throughout April. This concept is extremely exciting for a gamer who missed out on lots of great games for both systems, and the control versatility is a nice touch.
Finally, we have news about the remaining Mario Kart 8 DLC. The second half of the DLC will be released a bit earlier than scheduled, coming April 23rd. This DLC’s tracks and carts are still a mystery, besides the Animal Crossing track, which we got to see a full rundown of, including the track changing seasons. The game will also have an update on the 23rd. This update will allow more amiibos to be used to unlock costumes in the game for Miis, suchas Pac-Man and Sonic. Finally, a radical shift is coming with the free introduction of 200CC mode. This mode allows the karts to drive faster than ever, causing mass chaos and making races even harder. I’m so glad to see that Nintendo is creating actual platforms for their games, supporting them for a long time after release instead of leaving them as they are. It gives a quality of life to each game, and reasons to come back.
That’s all, folks. What were your favorite parts of the Direct? What news are you most excited about?