Nintendo Direct 5-17-13: Sonic the Hedgehog Goes Nintendo Exclusive

The big story from Friday’s Nintendo Direct has two past console rivals teaming up, as a certain blue hedgehog lends his talents exclusively for the Wii U and 3DS.

Nintendo Direct 5 17 2013 image

Desperate times call for desperate measures? I’m not sure if that’s the “take away” from one of the important announces from Friday morning’s Nintendo Direct, but for those of us who lived through the 16-bit console wars, it sure does knock the socks off our collected 8-year-old selves.

It just seems a little strange seeing Nintendo reaching out to Sega, and Sonic of all franchises, to pull it out its Wii U funk. But when content is remarkably bare and you need to sell consoles as badly as Nintendo needs to right now, well, you take any help you can get, which leads us with…

Nintendo secures exclusive rights for three upcoming Sonic games, starting with Sonic: Lost World

Sonic Lost World Nintendo Direct image

Sonic the Hedgehog was primarily created as the marketing counter to Nintendo’s Mario. In fact, one of the shrewd ways Sega would convince kids to go “Team Sonic” was by pitting both gameplay styles side-by-side and mocking how dull and slow Mario was compared to the lovable speedster.

Now 20 years later gamers of this modern generation won’t have to choose between to the two, because according to Friday’s announcements both companies have joined forces to make the next three Sonic games exclusive to the Nintendo WIi U and 3DS.

Nintendo confirmed two of them during their pre-recorded broadcast, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and a new mainline title called Sonic: Lost World; going off the above screen grab I’m going to wager this isn’t a Sonic/Jurassic Park crossover (sadly.)

As for what it might be (as well with that third undisclosed Sonic title), Nintendo says they’ll reveal more info about Sonic: Lost World days before next month’s E3.

More Sega Game Gear titles arrive for the 3DS eShop

Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console Game Gear image

Rounding out the rest of the Sega news for Friday’s Nintendo Direct (Nintendo Direct, more like Sega Direct, am I right?!), 13 more games from the Game Gear will be added to the Nintendo 3DS’s Virtual Console.

No pricing and release info have been set, but I’ve posted the full list of games below:

  • Columns
  • Crystal Warriors
  • Defenders of Oasis
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • G-LOC: Air Battles
  • Shining Force II: The Sword of Hajya
  • Sonic Blast
  • Sonic Drift 2
  • Sonic Labyrinth
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Tails Adventure
  • Vampire: Master of Darkness

Super Luigi U DLC releasing June 20

Super Luigi U DLC Nabbit image

If 2013 is “the year of Luigi,” then Nintendo is making that claim confidently with both the outstanding Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Super Luigi U, the Luigi focused New Super Mario Bros. U DLC coming to the digital and retail space on June 20 in North America and Europe.

The digital version will come priced at $19.99, while the physical one on store shelves will be $29.99 and doesn’t require owning New Super Mario Bros. U to play Luigi’s solo campaign that’s more than just a simple character swap.

Yeah, I know, this is nickel-and-dime Nintendo we’re talking about here, but rest assured that the content coming out in June is 100% new. They even added that pesky rabbit thief Nabbit as a playable character in the multiplayer portion of the DLC.

The Wonderful 101 lands in North America September 15

The Wonderful 101 cast image

Not to forget about other publishing partnerships that have yet to see the light of day, Nintendo finally gave a September 15th North American release date (August 23 in Europe) for Platinum Games’ The Wonderful 101.

If memory serves me right, The Wonderful 101 was one of the highly anticipated titles – along with Bayonetta 2 – Nintendo promised would arrive at some point during the Wii U’s “launch period” – that so called period was suppose to end around March, mind you.

But hey, at least Wii U owners still starving for whatever content they can get a hold of should be relieved that this game – centered around players controlling an Avengers-esque squad of superheroes against an invasion of aliens – will be headed their way in the Fall.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons get priced

Zelda Oracle of Ages 3DS image

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons arrive May 30 on the 3DS eShop for $5.99 each, although for the first three weeks that it’s available, May 30 till June 20, they’ll be specially priced at $4.99 each.

So basically you can score both of these awesome portable Zelda outings for just $10, which is good because – pro tip – you kind of need both in order to appreciate them as a whole.

Best Buy will host unreleased Wii U game demos during this year’s E3

Best Buy logo

I’m pretty sure a good sort of you reading this won’t be packing up your bags and venturing to Los Angeles, California next month for the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo (the “Big Show” as its called amongst us game journos) – that’s okay, I’m not going either.

Well, it appears that Nintendo has figured this out as well, and will be teaming up (why not, they’re teaming up with everybody now) with big box electronics retailer Best Buy to install playable demos of unreleased Wii U games starting the week of E3.

Pretty rad, but exactly which games Nintendo will be at Best Buy locations across the country is still unknown. Hopefully, one would think – and it would be an awesome gesture on their part – that Nintendo would set up kiosks that have games announced at the show.

That’s all she wrote for this week’s Nintendo Direct. Quite the interesting one, albeit pretty light in all. Not totally blockbuster-ish besides that Sonic nonsense, but still noteworthy as the hype for this year’s E3 begins to take off like a jet plane (I’ve got my tickets, do you?).

Don’t forget that will do its best to cover it and still provide some of the best geeky news – the future of EA’s online passes for its games, a fully working Swiss Army Knife made from LEGOs, and whatever else –  from the world wide web. Stay tuned.