Nintendo Direct Brings a Plethora of News

Today’s Nintendo Direct broadcast broke quite a bit of news that should make owners of Nintendo’s systems happy. The most surprising news comes in the form of Donkey Kong Country 3D hitting the 3DS in the summer. That time table will also bring Mario and Luigi: Dream Team and Mario Golf: World Tour to the system, while the newest Animal Crossing game, New Leaf, hits the 3DS on June 9 in North America. Luigi doesn’t just get to co-star in a 3DS game, but as Iwata said, Nintendo’s looking to make 2013 the year of Luigi. He’ll be back in the heavily-showcased Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon on March 24, and will have his own DLC pack in New Super Mario Bros. U called New Super Luigi U. This will alter every main campaign stage — effectively doubling the replay value of the game, and will take quite a bit of time to come out, but will be released in 2013.

An open community for the Legend of Zelda series will be released later today, allowing for fans to discuss the two upcoming Legend of Zelda games. The free downloadable map for Fire Emblem Awakening was hyped up, and it will remain free until March 6.  Today will bring a new map for $2.50,  as well as the new Golden Gaffe pack for $2.50. Animal Crossing: New Leaf was hyped up as the definitive version of the series so far, and by placing you in the role of mayor, it allows you to greatly reduce your loan amount and lets you jump into the main game much faster, while the touch screen functionality makes doing chores faster. For the first time, you’ll be able to change the exterior of your house, and choose wherever you’d like to build it. Animal Crossing-style fashion is coming to Style Savvy: Trendsetters today. Lego City Undercover was hyped up for its March 18 release by showing Hot Wheels-style ramps and loops as well as a theme park area. LCU: The Chase Begins hits the 3DS on April 21, and gives the system its first taste of GTA-style gameplay. It’s a unique game iwth its own unique missions and storyline – acting as a bit of a prequel to LCU by taking place two years before it.

The Wii U version of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is coming later this month for free, which brings with it 20 new missions and a new costume for every playable character. Wii Street U has also hit the Wii U eShop for free, and lets you view any area with a head-on 3D view using the Gamepad. eShop releases were announced, including Harmoknight — a side-scrolling platformer from Game Freak with a bit of rhythm gaming thrown in that looks like a must-buy when it’s released on March 28, with a demo coming out two weeks before. Kersploosh was announced and puts you in the role of a stone falling down a well, with each well having its own path and each stone having its own unique properties as well. It seems like a far more interesting game in video form than it reads as, and looks like a lot of fun. The 3DS eShop will also see the release of Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, bringing the puzzle-platformer to the 3DS and gives the series its first 3D viewpoint yet. The top screen shows you the 3D view, while the bottom displays an overhead view of the puzzle layout. Dillon’s Rolling Western is back with the same RTS/action in DRW: The Last Ranger, being released on April 11. The 3DS VC gets Harvest Moon: GBC and Legend of the River King in the coming months.

A new promotional offer was announced for the 3DS. When you buy an XL and register Luigi’s Mansion or Pokemon, you’ll get a free download of either Super Mario 3D Land, Freaky Forms Deluxe, Star Fox 3D, Art Academy, or Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask. A 3DS eShop sale was showcased that drops the price of a variety of games over the next five weeks. Starting today, Bit.Trip Saga will be $10, while the 21sth brings Crashmo down to $6 and the 28th takes Fractured Soul down to $8. March 7 drops Sakura Samurai’s price to $5 from $7, while March 14 sees Ketzal’s Corridors drop to $5 and the 21sth takes Mutant Mudds down to $6 from $9. The Deluxe Digital 10% off savings program was hyped, and then Hyrule Historia was shown briefly. The Wii U Zombi U set was hyped up, and includes Nintendoland as a downloadable game. Runner 2 was hyped up for the Wii U, as was Zen Pinball 2, which will be a free download and include free trials for all tables. Toki Tori 2 hits the Wii U’s eShop in March, and supports full gameplay on the Gamepad. CastleVania: Lords of Shadow: Mirrors of Fate hits on March 5, and will have a demo on Feb. 28. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate hits the Wii U and 3DS on March 19. A Wii U player can play on the 3DS, and their save data is compatible as well.

NFS: Most Wanted U brings a co-driver mode to activate a God mode for instant nitrous or time of day changes. It will also be the first Wii U third-party game to support Mii Verse and includes the Ultimate Speed Pack for free and will make use of the PC version’s enhanced textures. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct hits the Wii U on March 26, and goes for a first-person horror experience instead of an adventure-style one. April 16 brings Injustice: Gods Among U and will use the Gamepad to access moves quickly, or play the entire game off-TV on it. Disney Infinity hits the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS in June. Yes, the Wii gets its own release for something in 2013. Reggie’s announcement of Donkey Kong Returns 3D closed out the video, and announced that the game will be remade from the ground up for the platform, with a 3D video on it being released on the 3DS eShop today. The 3DS definitely grabbed the lion’s share of the news, but seeing how much effort Criterion is pouring into the Wii U version of Most Wanted is quite encouraging. Hopefully that effort is rewarded with high sales and sends a message to third parties that the poor ports of existing games won’t cut it on the platform.