Welcome to Hardcore Gamer’s live recap of the April Nintendo Direct stream. This is going to be centered around the 3DS being the star attraction, although it may be difficult for Iwata to dress like the system – although he could have a circle pad on each hand and his shirt’s buttons could be labeled A, B, X, and Y. According to the pre-show screen, this is planned to be APPROXIMATELY 37 MINUTES IN LENGTH. What an oddly specific time frame for an approximation. Iwata is in the center of Mario and Luigi, pimping it being the year of Luigi, leading to Mario looking pissed. Mario and Luigi’s Dream Team is an awesome-looking 3D platformer, with some puzzles, side-scrolling platforming, and Paper Mario battling mixed in. It will be out on August 11.
Mario Golf: World Tour is up next, with wireless features being hyped. SHOCKINGLY, the world tour name also means you can play with folks online from across the globe. Leaderboards will be implemented, and you’ll be able to recruit friends into your in-game community. You can make the game realistic if you’d like, be all wacky, or even just play as Luigi. The newest Mario Party is coming to the 3DS. The basic concepts from the franchise remain, but for the first time, there will be seven game boards with their own sets of rules. One involves moer interactivity with other players, while another lets you move around the environment and even hide in parts of it to avoid Bullet Bills. There will be shorter games available for on the go gaming, and one mini-game resembles Mario Galaxy, but on a cube instead of a sphere. AR cards will be used for some mini-games, and the 3D effect will probably kick ass during the free-falling section. This will come out in the winter.
The Luigi-centric DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U is up. New features include playing the game with his giant jump, and all of his stages give you less time than Mario’s did – ensuring you’ll play them over and over again. Well, that seems kinda cheap. The 3DS incarnation of DKC Returns is up next, and the game’s balance has been optimized for portable play in the New mode. This mode lets you get hit up to six times, with three hearts for each. Also, the mode has more items to aid the player, like the portable DK barrel that can call Diddy out at any time, and a green balloon to save you from falling between platforms, while the crash guard helps you take a couple of hits in minecart levels. I guarantee they re-release the DKC trilogy at some point with those same features at some point. There’s also an original mode if you’d prefer to play it with the original Wii version’s difficulty. A new world with eight levels has been added – and it’s only playable after beating the game – adding more replay value. Co-op is available with local wi-fi, and the game will be released on May 24.
A new Yoshi’s Island is being shown. It’s basically got the same great gameplay, with super-bright graphics – only with a 3D look for some things instead of purely 2D, but it retains that crayon drawn look at points as well. No release date was shown for this, but it’ll be a must-buy for sure. Mario and DK: Minis on the Move is shown, and the use of both screens and 3D play, along with a limited amount of tiles to use for puzzle paths, make it look very different from the old Mario vs. DK games. A level creator will be implemented, and allows you to download or upload stages. Mini-games will be in the game, and make use of both screens – the game hits the eShop as an exclusive on May 9. Wii U’s spring system update is up, and it will be released next week. It will improve loading times, and they’re shockingly showing how long it takes, and the update will let you do background installs while playing a game, and enable automatic updates. You can also press B to go right to the startup menu and bypass the Wii U startup stuff. The Wii U VC will be available next week, the day after the system update launches.
The Wii-to-Wii U pricing is shown, and really isn’t too bad given the usual double dipping. The update brings with it a panarama view, with a free demo available next week while you can view things like a rickshaw tour or a view of the Italian countryside. The tours will cost $2 on their own. Pikmin 3 is up, with the E3 demo having a secret – a new Pikmin type. It’s a winged Pikmin type who flies called…the Winged Pikmin, who is also on the cover art. EARTHBOUND is up, and Mother 2’s JPN release was hyped, leading to fans pleading for its release, AND IT WILL BE AVAILABLE AS A WII U VC GAME by the end of the year. No release date was known, but holy smokes, this rules.
That’s it for Iwata, as Bill Trinen is up next in a green shirt with dark blue suit jacket. Game and Wario has a rhythm game that looks quite disorienting, and there’s a really funny-looking mode where you have to play games in the dark, while making sure your mother doesn’t see. Game and Wario, and its fart jokes, launch on June 23. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is shown, and looks even more like a PS2 game given the stream’s video quality. The recent patch that allows for cross-save compatibility and online playback between system is hyped. Lego City Undercover is shown, and they’re super-happy that everyone loves the game’s sense of humor. The 3DS incarnation is up, and looks quite good for a portable GTA-style game. There are some really nice artsy shot of the skies, and the game launches on April 21.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf hits on June 9, with the Animal Crossing 3DS system bundle being highlighted. The console itself looks a tad ridiculous, but does include the game pre-installed on an SD card. Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons are being shown on the 3DS, where they’ll be released on the eShop on May 30. The 3DS will also get Bravely Default from Square Enix. It’s absolutely gorgeous and allows you to hold off on your turn in exchange for doing more damage when your turn comes around. It’s set for release in 2014. Professor Layton and Azran Legacy is shown, which will conclude the latest trilogy for the franchise. It will have over 500 puzzles. The newest Guild games are coming out as part of the Guild002 Collection, including a creepy first-person exploration game called Starship Damrey, with the second game being Bugs versus Tanks. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and looks like a very fun little game. Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Tokyo Tale is the last game of the three, and it’s an incredible-looking platformer of some sort with a slew of wacky Godzilla-esque monsters and giant anime characters like an Ultraman-ish one.
Shin Megami Tensai IV hits the 3DS this summer with a full OST CD being included. Reggie’s up and is talking about Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. The 3DS gets a game in the same world, and will take advantage of depth to aid in puzzle solving. It’s set in that game’s world, but features a new story and skills. Link can now turn into a drawing and can go through walls and move alongside them. No title or exact release date was announced, but it will be coming out this winter. True to what the pre-show said, the show lasted about 37 minutes.
There were a lot of surprises here alongside the existing games, with Earthbound being something that is perhaps the most intriguing. A re-release has been craved for many years and now it’s coming – but nothing was stated about any music changes, although I would never realistically expect them to comment specifically on that, a simple statement about the “unaltered original” or something to that effect would’ve sufficed. The new Legend of Zelda looks incredible, as does the new Yoshi’s Island game.
While the “turn Link into a drawing” mechanic seems completely absurd, even for a series with Tingle and wacky wolfen girls in it, it does look like something that will enhance the gameplay a bit, and the art style is true enough to the original Link to the Past with just the right amount of updating. Also, Link’s hair is it’s proper color now. Bravely Default and Attack of the Friday Night Monsters looked like a lot of fun, with the latter appearing to have a crazy sense of humor. I can definitely see each game becoming a sleeper hit for the system, which probably has the best lineup as far as overall game quality for 2013.