A 3DS Valentine: Nintendo Direct: 15/01/15

10923784_664003173718781_7362650882167114855_n[1]Nintendo has kicked off the year with a stunning Direct presentation. From release dates for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Majora’s Mask to a bunch of new game announcements, the Direct ran for three quarters of an hour and revealed tons of information about already known games and revealed a few new ones!

The Direct began at 1 AM AEDT, and was narrated by Satoru Iwata. He began by showing off a new Fire Emblem game, due to come out on the 3DS in the future.

The character designer is the same as the one from Awakening, but the game itself will be totally new. Comic book writer Shin Kinayashi will be assisting Intelligent Systems on the game. Choices made by the player will affect the world more than ever before, according to Iwata.

Puzzle and Dragons Z will be making its way Westward. This is a first for the series, and as such, Nintendo will be bringing us the Mario edition of the game for the 3DS as well. It’s quite popular in Japan with its sliding puzzles and its strategic and RPG elements. You can form parties using Mario characters, both friend and foe alike. Both Puzzles and Dragons Z and the Mario edition (yes, we’re getting both) will be available in May this year.

Pokemon Shuffle is a new puzzle game in which you mix and match symbols to make your Pokemon use moves in a battle. It will be available to download from the eShop in February.

Nintendo are now offering Wii games as downloadable games for the Wii U. Games that were playable with the classic controller can use the GamePad instead. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is available now, Donkey Kong Country Returns will be available January 22nd and Metroid Prime Trilogy will be available January 29th. Kirby’s Adventure, Punch Out!!, Pandora’s Tower and Sin & Punishment 2 were all cited as games that will be getting released in the future via this method. Games will be half price in their first week.

Iwata then handed off to Nintendo of Europe president Satoru Shibata, who talked about Amiibos. Robin, Lucina, Wario, Charizard, Ness and Pac-Man will all be releasing April 24.

A new line of Super Mario Brothers amiibos will be hitting the shelves on March 20th to be compatible with various titles in the series. Characters who have already received amiibo figures (the ones in Smash) will be standing in new poses, on a red platform rather than a black one. They will be functionally identical to their Smash counterparts, so you can choose the pose you prefer without missing out on anything. These will also be compatible with Mario Party 10, while the Toad one will be compatible with Toad’s Treasure Tracker after a March 20 update.

Mario Party 10 was discussed next. There will be a new game mode in which Mario series character amiibos will unlock a unique board with its own gimmick. The Mario one, for example, will allow players to grow large and stomp on the others for coins, where the Luigi one will feature a Poltergust that can suck the coins out. There will also be a mode in which someone can use the GamePad to play as Bowser and antagonise up to four other players.

Namco Bandai’s Katsuhiro Harada took the stage to announce a new shooter for the Wii U. It’s known only by its working title of Project Treasure and is a free to play multiplayer game with online co-op. The aim of the game is to seize treasure by clearing traps and foes. They also said they were working on a title for the 3DS.

Splatoon was next. The object of focus here was the plaza, where players can spend the coins they win from battles to buy weapons and clothes which affect their stats. There are three different types of weapons. Primary weapons contribute directly to your victory with offensive capabilities and the ability to cover an area in as much goop as possible. Secondary weapons are used to keep opponents at bay, while special weapons have a variety of… special… effects.

Xenoblade Chronicles X was shown next, and man, is it gorgeous. A wide variety of environments were shown, and characters were seen to get around by jumping, swimming, flying in mechs and cruising in a desert on a motorbike. The scale of this game is enormous, as are the monsters you need to kill. More on the story was shown as well. After Earth was destroyed by an extraterrestrial war, those that managed to escape crash landed on an alien planet where they then began to rebuild. The game has you explore this world and find more survivors, stuck in stasis pods. Monolith Soft are expected to reveal more information soon.

Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars sees you use the GamePad or the 3DS (depending on the version you have) to make custom levels for you and others to play. If you like a level built by someone else, you can send them a thanks, which will net them stars so they can unlock more things to use in their level creations. It will release March 20th, and buying a 3DS version will net you a Wii U download code and vice versa. You can use this code for yourself, give it to a friend, or do whatever else you may want to with it.

In the world of the Miiverse, Marty, the Mii who would give us updates, is taking a back seat. He will be replaced by newcomer Chris.

Shibata then talked about the New 3DS, discussing about the upcoming European release. I feel like it may have already released somewhere else already… The console is more powerful than the previous one, with quicker download speeds and amiibo support. The screens are also larger, and – you know what, we’ve done this before.

The Nintendo anime channel will allow users to watch anime on their Nintendo consoles. It will launch February 13th, and more anime will be added throughout time.

Codename S.T.E.A.M was up next. It’s a steampunk strategy game being developed by Intelligent Systems, the same people as Fire Emblem. As a result, the Fire Emblem amiibos will be compatible with the game. They will join your team, and are capable of using special attacks just like the regular characters you can recruit as you stop aliens from assassinating Abraham Lincoln. The game will release May 15th.

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy will be be released for the 3DS next month. It will be optimised to work with the 3DS hardware, and will also offer amiibo support, reskinning your planes. Fox was my favourite.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was up next, and as a huge fan of the series, I lost it. We’re going to be getting the limited edition New 3DS that Japan got upon the game’s release in October. It and the game will release February 14th, with a demo available to download for those who receive a code in the email. Console and game are sold separately and NOT bundled together.

The New 3DS Xenoblade Chronicles port will release April 2nd here. It will feature a new mode which allows players to play the soundtrack at will and view 3D models of the characters. More information will be released on this at a later date.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D will be releasing February 14th, coinciding with Monster Hunter. We will also be seeing a bundle with physical copies of the game, and a sweet golden 3DS console. This game will not be bundled with the console, either.

Ironfall: Invasion is a shooter coming to the 3DS from developer VDdev for the 3DS. It will be available next month.