Egad! A Nintendo Direct event so suddenly? Good thing we’ve got the scoop, the whole scoop, and nothing but the scoop on what was announced.
E3 2012 for Nintendo was Dullsville, U.S.A. Population, us. Thursday night’s Nintendo Direct though, completely the opposite, almost a subtle “Hey yuze guys, sorry about E3 and stuff, still BFF?” in the quality of info that dropped on both coasts, Japan and North America. There’s a lot to go over, so how about we get down to the nitty-gritty and dissect this thing like a dead frog in a High School science class.
New Nintendo 3DS XL coming to US August 19, $199.99
Score another one for the Japanese Nikkei, the business publication that’s been remarkably accurate at forecasting Nintendo-related news well ahead its official announcement, and once again folks, they correctly predicted weeks in advance that Nintendo had a larger 3DS waiting up their banana-holding sleeves.
Launching in mid-August, the “3DS XL” promises a larger 4.88 inch top screen, 90 percent bigger than what is currently found on the 3DS. The bottom screen upgrades to 4.18 inches, but notably neither top or bottom will take advantage of the expanded space by upping the resolution – that’s staying put – which, brings up some honest-to-goodness red-flags… How are 3DS games going to look being stretched to the 3DS LL’s viewing size?
In due time we’ll know for sure. Right now though, the facts are this: the 3DS XL will cost two-hundred dollars (thirty more than the 3DS and fifty short of a PlayStation Vita for price comparison sakes), come in two colors, blue/black and red/black (Japan gets white, red/black, and silver… so jelly), and despite the gross overreaction of the Internet, will indeed come with an AC adapter as well as a 4GB memory card.
Super Smash Bros. 4 is a collaboration between Kirby-creator and Namco Bandai
Nintendo’s flagship brawler is currently in the works for the Wii U and 3DS, but in order for it to meet its release date, whenever that might be, it’s getting some developing help from a surprising choice, Japanese publisher Namco Bandai. Hmm, okay, maybe not that surprising when you remember that Super Smash Bros. Brawl was also outsourced, but the names working behind-the-scenes here are quite interesting.
There’s Masahiro Sakurai as lead director, reputable designer of Kirby, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Super Smash Bros., while on the Namco Bandai side: Yoshito Higuchi, producer and director of Tales of Vesperia; Tetsuya Akatsuka, producer and director of Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs.; Masaya Kobayashi, who’s worked at both Namco (Ridge Racer, We Ski) and Konami (Zone of the Enders, Metal Gear Solid 2), and staff members from the Soul Calibur and Tekken series.
Quite the list of names if I do say so myself. Let’s hope for the sake of this beloved franchise, that this particular Nintendo paring goes a heck-of-a-lot-better than their last attempt in doing so.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 “Coin Rush” DLC
A Super Mario Bros. game with post-launch downloadable content? From Nintendo? Excuse me, but are we still on Earth or did I take the wrong turn at Albuquerque? What a wild new world we’re living in, and the kind of challenges in the “Coin Rush” DLC stages for New Super Mario Bros. 2 are even wilder – in difficultly as it sounds. Basically, the DLC is composed of three-stage courses that has to bested with only one life. The records of which will be saved and shared by StreetPass.
No set price for the “Coin Rush” DLC has been announced by Nintendo, but if all goes to plan, you’ll be able to pick them up sometime after August 19, the release date for New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS.
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask for 3DS, November
Well, it had to come out sooner or later, seeing how its been out in Japan for more than a year. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is set for a November release in North America (October in Europe). This fifth chapter in the mega-popular puzzle series by Level-5 is the first to grace the Nintendo 3DS and sports downloadable puzzles via the Spotpass function.
To support the game’s release in the west though, Nintendo is vowing to release one downloadable puzzle a day for a whole year. And they’ll be free to download, too.
Two new 3DS’ Virtual Console titles per week in July
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console Excitement, GO! Starting July 5 and onwards till August 1, the 3DS eShop will be receiving two new VC games per week. The first two downloadable titles coming through the pipe works are The Legend of Zelda (NES) and Kirby’s Pinball Land (Game Boy), plus a future release of Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 sometime soon.
As per usual with anything Nintendo, no other details regarding what else 3DS users might see on the Virtual Console were given. I really, really hope Earthbound is one of them though! *crosses-fingers*
Kirby’s Dream Collection Special Edition in September
A mea culpa inside a mea culpa event. Go figure, brahs. Remember the special edition for Super Mario Bros All-Stars, which was made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros.? Yeah, perhaps you don’t because it was such an embarrassment of a special edition that you mind-blocked it with your physic powers (wait, you don’t have those?)
Lesson learned though, as Nintendo will put forward a better package for the 20th anniversary for everyone’s lovable ball of pink with Kirby’s Dream Collection on the Nintendo Wii. The set includes six games from the NES through the Nintendo 64: Kirby’s Dream Land 1, 2, and 3, Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby Super Star, and Kirby 64; exclusive challenge stages from Kirby’s Return to Dream Land; a virtual museum, art booklet, and a soundtrack.
Thank you Nintendo. Now that’s how it’s done.
Some brief notes before we’re done: Fire Emblem: Awakening has been given a 2013 release window in North America; Animal Crossing 3DS will arrive in Japan later on this Fall, and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance demo is available right now in North America on the 3DS eShop.
With that, we come to a lengthy close to this Nintendo Direct. Kind of wished Nintendo had saved all this for E3, but as Cheech Marin in Ghostbusters II says as the ghostly wreck of the Titanic docks in New York harbor, better late than never. Speaking of harbors, check out this futuristic SeaOrbiter looking to set sail in 2013… Not your thing, huh? That’s cool. Perhaps this Doctor Who TARDIS bookcase will be to your geeky liking?