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Nintendo Direct Recap: Xenoblade Wii U, Wind Waker HD, Yoshi’s Epic Yarn, New 3D Mario, Mario Kart, Shin Megami Tensai X Fire Emblem, and More

by on January 23, 2013
 

windwaker

Nintendo promised some new game announcements at today’s Nintendo Direct conference, and gamers were not disappointed.  The company has played their cards close to the chest for a while now, but they’ve finally tipped their hand just a little bit.

Nintendo started today’s Nintendo Direct with a long, and frankly boring, discussion about Miiverse.  The conversation was a bit dry, but Nintendo did announce some much appreciated new features.  Official Nintendo sponsored accounts will allow developers and publishers to embed videos in Miiverse posts.  In the future, Miiverse will enable multiple communities for each game, and locked communities for games like Wii Fit U.  Miiverse will be coming to cell phones in the summer.

The summer will also see the launch of the Wii U’s Virtual Console Service.  At launch, the Virtual Console will only support certain Nintendo and SNES games.  Those games will enable save states, and will also allow for Gamepad only play.  VC games will have eShop communities.  Game prices will be the same as on the Wii with NES games at 5-6 dollars, and SNES games at 7-8 dollars.  If you already own games from the Wii, you’ll be able to upgrade your collection for a dollar per NES game and a dollar fifty per SNES game.

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To kick off the Wii U Virtual Console and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NES, Nintendo will be offering one NES game per month (starting now!) for the low low price of 30 cents.  Gamers can download Balloon Trip right now for just slightly more than a bag of chips.  Kirby’s Adventure and Punch Out! are among titles to be issued later.

After a new trailer for Wonderful 101, which looked awesome, and a look at Bayonetta, Nintendo gave us what we came for.  First, Nintendo announced that we’d get our first look at Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS at E3.  Call it an announcement of an announcement, but it was nice to get confirmation.  While they didn’t show any footage, Nintendo revealed that a new 3D Mario title and Mario Kart game would be playable at E3.  Is Nintendo hoping that a one two punch of Mario Kart and 3D Mario can do for the Wii U what it did for the 3DS?

Nintendo did show us new footage of a few games.  The first game shown off was a new Yoshi title made by Good Feel, the team behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn.  The game sticks close to the style of Epic Yarn, which looked fantastic in standard definition and gorgeous in HD.  Nintendo then made a fairly surprising announcement about a collaboration with Atlus.  Apparently, we’ll be getting a crossover between the Shin Megami series and the Fire Emblem series.  Nintendo hinted that they may be working on further collaborations with other developers.

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Coming this Summer, we’ll have a new game along the same lines as Wii Party.  As you’d expect this will be a virtual board game that makes use of the Gamepad, Wii Motes, and TV to craft a unique experience.  Some games will be played on the TV, but there are some Wii U Gamepad specific games that have both players using the Wii U Gamepad in a similar manner to Wario Ware: Touched did way back when.

Eiji Aonuma stopped by to talk about a new Zelda game.  Not surprisingly, he kept things vague, but he did hint at some kind of multiplayer functionality and a less linear world to explore.  It seems this title is rather far off, but Eiji also announced another Zelda title for the nearer future.  A Wind Waker remake is set to be released this fall.  This will be more than a simple HD upscale as the game seems to use all new assets.  Gameplay additions were promised but not detailed.

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Last but certainly not least, Nintendo showed off a new game from Monolith.  The game seems to be a spiritual successor or direct sequel to Xenoblade.  The game retains the same style of Xenoblade and seemingly uses a similar battle system.  Naturally, the game will be in HD, and it looks pretty awesome.

This is exactly what fans were looking for from Nintendo.  Games, games, and more games.  Nintendo also provided a nice balance with games for hardcore gamers, casual gamers, and everyone in between.  These announcements should draw attention from the Wii U’s inevitably slow launch period to a bright future.  If half or more of these games can make it to the Wii U before the year is over, the Wii U will have a banner year.

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  • Profile photo of Ramon Aranda
    January 23, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    What huge news! I’m am so pumped for this year and can’t wait to try out the new Mario game at E3.

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  • Profile photo of jdroche
    January 23, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    This was not even CLOSE to what I was looking for. I appreciated the quick blip of what I believe to be Xenoblade, and the Virtual Console announcement was nice because I’d love to have Chrono Trigger on the Wii U Gamepad, but other then that what did they announce?

    Hey at some point we’ll have a Smash Brother’s game and at some point there will be a new Zelda game — well thanks captain obvious you’re 35 minute press conference was a great success. None of the games announced had much working footage which means we may be talking about End of 2013, early 2014 or even mid/late 2014 for any of these games.

    It was basically a “game announcement” press conference to draw in eyeballs and then they spent 20 minutes talking about how great the MiiVerse is and basically blaming me for not already thinking so.

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  • Profile photo of Josh Boykin
    January 23, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    All you had to say was “Shin Megami and Fire Emblem crossover.”

    ::melts::

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  • Profile photo of Ramon Aranda
    January 23, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    LOL Joe…I sorta agree if only because I’m so jacked by all the announcements but I put on a sad face when I realize its not coming for a few months.

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  • Profile photo of Justin Weinblatt
    January 23, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    Eh… Joe, if you weren’t satisfied with that, I don’t know what you were expecting. Xenoblade 2 is not something that was guaranteed or expected, but it looked amazing. Shin Megami X Fire Emblem is a love letter to JRPG fans. Kirby’s Epic Yarn was absolutely beautiful in standard def, and in high def it should be even more awesome. Believe it or not, I’m even really excited about the Wii U Party game. It seems like it will be a great way to play Wii U with my non-gaming family and friends, and that one’s coming out in the summer. Wind Waker HD is something fans have been clamoring for for some time and I’m glad they’re going with a full on remake rather than an upscale. Wind Waker is such a beautiful game and it really deserves the HD remake.

    Super Mario 3D, Mario Kart, and Smash Bros are naturally being saved for E3 and it’s nice to have confirmation that they’ll be there. Sure I could probably have guessed that on my own, but still nice to know.

    And of course, lets not forget, this wasn’t E3, this wasn’t GDC, and this wasn’t a long hyped announcement. This is something we found out about yesterday, and it’s just a random Wednesday. It’s not like this was Nintendo’s only chance to announce things this year.

    Of course, I would have loved it if Nintendo said, oh btw Smash Bros is coming out tomorrow, but let’s be real. Nintendo’s already told us what to expect the first half of the year. This is a new console, and games for it are going to take time, the same as they do for any other console. What I wanted was a reason to be excited about the future, and I feel Nintendo gave that.

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  • Profile photo of jdroche
    January 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    I don’t have a problem with what was announced — but since nothing was given a release date I don’t think you can call it anything more then “Nintendo announces there will be stuff for you to do with your Wii U at some point in the future.”

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  • Profile photo of Justin Weinblatt
    January 23, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Generally, games don’t get announced and get a release date at the same time, but we did get confirmation of Wind Waker in fall and Wii U Party for summer.

    The only thing they really should have release dates for are Wonderful 101 and Wii Fit U. As for the rest of them, I’m fine that they didn’t announce release dates. Not the right time quite yet.

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  • Profile photo of Ramon Aranda
    January 23, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    I’m interested in playing Wonderful 101…honestly didn’t pay it much mind at E3 but I’m more intrigued now.

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