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My Thoughts on the Latest 3DS Nintendo Direct

by Justin Berube - April 21, 2013, 4:31 pm PDT
Total comments: 15

I'm still in shock.

Last Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct was nothing short of spectacular. I’ve had a few days to let the news sink in and I figured I’d share a brief thought on each piece of news that was delivered.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team - I’m a big fan of the series and I’m really looking forward to playing through this one. I don’t know why North America is getting it later than the rest of the world. NOA just doesn’t seem to want to release games in July most of the time.

Special Luigi 3DS XL Hardware - This new hardware unit looks beautiful. I really hope Nintendo of America brings this one overseas. If you’re interested in this unit, I wouldn’t worry about North America missing it yet. NOA seems to announce special 3DS hardware units closer to launch. Since this unit coincides with Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, I’d bet we will hear more about it sometime in July.

Mario Golf: World Tour Mario Golf is my favorite Mario sports series. That being said, I thought Toadstool Tour was a dud. I’m hoping World Tour is a return to form. The newly announced online features sound great and have me reminiscing about the time I spent entering codes online to compete in Mario Golf (N64) tournaments at Camp Hyrule. Sadly, this game doesn’t appear to have the RPG elements that past portable entries in the series have had, but that didn’t stop other versions from being fun, so I’m not too worried.

Mario Party 3DS I’m just about partied out. If Nintendo finally decides to give this series an online mode, I’d be much more excited.

New Super Luigi U It looks great, but how is multiplayer going to work, if at all? I never really liked controlling the slippery Luigi, but if I have no choice, I’m up for the challenge. I think the 100-second time limit may cause some players to second guess purchasing this content, but I grew up playing some of the hardest games ever, so I’m not concerned for myself. I just hope Nintendo doesn’t include new Challenge Mode stages, since I’ve spent way too much time on the originals.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D The new items and easy mode don’t interest me in the slightest. The Wii game wasn’t that hard on “Normal” in the first place. I’m happy about the eight new levels; I just hope they are challenging enough to be worth it. Otherwise, I may be let down.

Yoshi’s Island 3DS I want to be excited for this game. I really do. However, the poor quality of Yoshi’s Island DS leaves me very skeptical. Knowing who’s actually developing the title would probably help me come to a conclusion. Unfortunately, only time will tell on this one.

Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move I’m getting a little tired of the Minis at this point. We’ve seen them in three previous games. Fortunately, this is taking the series in a completely different direction. I would, however, like to see a direct sequel to the first Mario vs. Donkey Kong.

Wii U System Update About time!

Wii U Virtual Console I’m still not pleased that users are supposed to “upgrade” their software for a fee if they bought a title on the Wii. This is also a problem for people I know that don’t want to transfer their Wii stuff to the Wii U, since they will no longer be able to use GameCube controllers on their save files for games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Nintendo should allow gamers to pick and choose what moves from their Wii to Wii U so if they want to “upgrade” their software, they can do so with no negatives.

Panorama View Does Nintendo of America really think people are going to buy different videos for this? I doubt many people will.

Pikmin 3 August 4? It’s like Metroid Prime 3 all over again. Regardless, I want this game badly.

EarthBound Nintendo, I don’t know what took you so long. Bring us the other two entries of the series while you’re at it. PLEASE!

Game & Wario I’m glad this game finally has a North American release date. Unfortunately, I thought the title was a dud when I played it at E3 last year and the few reviews I’ve read, written by those that have played the Japanese version, aren’t doing anything to get my hopes up.

Animal Crossing New Leaf 3DS XL Hardware It looks great and will be a great deal for many people. Nice job, Nintendo.

Zelda Oracle Games I still have my original copies of the games, so I’m not nearly as excited as others. On top of that, I think these games are somewhat overrated by many Zelda fans. I know many people didn’t play them so I’m looking forward to see what others think.

Bravely Default At this time I have absolutely no interest in this title.

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy I love the Layton series and I’m eagerly awaiting the conclusion to the series. Why must I wait until 2014 Nintendo? Why?

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 2 A sequel to my favorite Zelda game? YES! I’m extremely excited for this one. The sound effects in the trailer have already invoked feelings of nostalgia in me that few games in recent memory have. My only minor complaint is that I’m not yet sold on the new transformation into a drawing gimmick. However, that could easily change if I experience some clever uses of the mechanic.

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Overall, Nintendo had a great Nintendo Direct showing that has, no doubt, laid the groundwork for what we can expect to see at E3 in only a few short weeks. The company has proven that the future of the 3DS is indeed bright. Now I hope they have the ability to do the same for the Wii U in a timely manner.

Images

Talkback

BullwinksApril 22, 2013

For being what you thought was a Nintendo Direct that was nothing short of spectacular, I find it surprising that almost everything you talked about was something you didn't care for, or had some complaints about.  I too thought it was a great presentation though.

Quote from: Bullwinks

For being what you thought was a Nintendo Direct that was nothing short of spectacular, I find it surprising that almost everything you talked about was something you didn't care for, or had some complaints about.  I too thought it was a great presentation though.

For a Nintendo Direct we got a ton of news. That is why it was spectacular. Also, there is a ton of potential here for many of the games the Direct mentioned. I just explained why I may be someone unsure about some parts of the announcements. The truth is I'm excited to buy/play almost everything mentioned during this presentation.

AdrockApril 22, 2013

I thought the Nintendo Direct was good... just weird. I appreciated the announcements and good news (Nintendo fans sure needed some after these past few months). While Nintendo is playing on nostalgia with a few of these games, I couldn't help but feel... not nostalgic. I'm looking forward to A Link to the Past 2 because it's a new Zelda game, not because it's meant to be a direct sequel to my favorite Zelda game which I feel like is the exact opposite reaction Nintendo wants people to have. Nintendo already went back to the well about 10 years ago and it totally worked. If Nintendo wanted to give people the warm-fuzzies, A Link to the Past 2 should look something like this:
http://i.imgur.com/NFylz3b.jpg
That's not to say A Link to the Past 2 looks bad per se; it just doesn't really look like the original's sequel. It kind of reminds me of when I first saw Chrono Cross or Earthbound 64. And I understand why Nintendo went with polygons; they couldn't have graffiti Link without moving the camera therefore sprites were out. They could have gone cel-shaded and tried to match the look that way; instead it looks like a game trying to be A Link to the Past, an imitation of A Link to the Past. It doesn't quite get there though. Link doesn't even look remotely like A Link to the Past Link or even Wind Waker Link (which I would have readily accepted). And because of that, I feel like it misses the point entirely. What about it makes it a sequel to A Link to the Past other than its name?

Don't get me wrong. I will play the shit out of this game. However, that's because it's a Zelda game. As a fan of A Link to the Past, however, I feel nothing. If that's Nintendo's marketing plan, it's not really working thus far.

I feel the same way about Yoshi's Island 3DS. While I'm sure the gameplay will be Yoshi's Island through and through, so much of the original's charm relied on its graphics which is lost now that the game isn't sprite based. It's like the marketing department stepped in midway through development and declared, "Okay, that's Yoshi's Island 3 and that over there is A Link to the Past 2." And both development teams were just like, "Uh, fine. I guess."

As for the rest, I feel like Nintendo is gearing up for a big E3. "Here's a bunch of sequels that won't super-surprise anyone, but we want you to know they exist so that's out of the way and we won't have to spend (that much) time during the press conference on them." I fully expect Nintendo's E3 press conference to focus on Wii U, namely Super Smash Bros., Retro's new game, X, Wind Waker, something Mario, and possibly a Metroid sighting. If Nintendo pulls off Grand Theft Auto V or something like Bungie's Destiny, that will likely earn a major spot in the presentation.

FjurbanskiApril 22, 2013

Well he doesn't have pink hair... but the new LttP Link looks more like the original artwork.


http://i.imgur.com/OphM5NS.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/4nop1sz.jpg


And yeah, they could have done the cel-shading/toon link, but haven't we've seen enough that for a while? Every handheld Zelda since Minish cap has had that style, so I like that we're seeing old style Link.

AnGerApril 22, 2013

Lots of good stuff during that Direct. I wish I hadn't missed out on it and didn't dare to go to IRC and got all the spoilers.

Oh well. Here's my impression:

Bravely Default is by far the title that I'm most excited about after having heard from buddies with a Japanese 3DS that it's like a spiritual successor to the classic Final Fantasy games – mainly FF V and IX – and I listened the sh*t out of its gorgeous soundtrack. And unlike another Square Enix game which a lot of people were excited about it's at least coming to "the west".

Zelda... oh well. I'm sort of pumped up about finally getting to play the Oracles but I agree with Adrock on the topic of "A Link to the Past 2". I'm not that hot and bothered about it, but I'll probably buy it anyway. It's Zelda, after all.

Mario & Luigi... kind of neat, but not my favourite out of the presented software.

NSLU – nah, I'm getting Rayman Legends.

Yoshi's Island – maybe. But probably not.

DKCR 3D – definitely.

Earthbound – I've never played it, but I am sort of excited about this game. May it even be a sign for a new Mother title?

Layton and the Azran Legacies – 2014 is still a bit far away, but there'll be Ace Attorney 5 as the pause snack.

Mario & Donkey Kong – nah. Never liked it.

Mario Golf – no thanks.

Mario Party – I'm mainly a solo player, so this is another "nah"... unless there'll be plenty of people to play it with like with Mario Kart 7.

Pikmin 3 – I think this is the WiiU game I'm the most excited about, but with Wind Waker HD and a lot of new games on the horizon, it's kind of marginalized.

Pixelated PixiesApril 22, 2013

M&L: Dream Team - I loved Inside Story and have high hopes for this one as well. Looks neat.

Mario Golf: World Tour - Nowadays I'm finding it increasingly difficult to justify paying £39.99 for a sports title (that goes for both Sim and Arcade titles). Arcade sports games are of course a lot of fun, but for me their longevity (i.e. the length of time it takes for me to get bored of them) is not commensurate with paying full retail price. We'll see if this one manages to convince me otherwise.

Mario Party 3DS - I suspect Nintendo keep making these games because there's always a new generation of gamers to enjoy them. I also suspect that, like me, most people's first Mario Party game is invariably their last Mario Party game. For me it was Mario Party 2, and I have no real desire to play another. I'm sure kids will eat this up though.

NSLU - Looks cool. Not owning a Wii U means I won't be able to play it, but it's good to see Nintendo are trying different approaches to DLC, from level packs in NSMB 2 to a whole alternative world in NMSB U.

DKCR 3D - The original is one of my favourite Wii games. The additional levels are appealing, but it's not quite enough to make me want to purchase this game for a second time. I've also heard mixed things about it's performance on the 3DS.

Yoshi's Island 3D - Not really sure what to make of this one. I'm approaching this announcement as someone who actually doesn't like the original Yoshi's Island, so there's no real nostalgia there for me to call on. Based on what was shown I also think that aesthetically it looked kind of unpolished. I'll be curious to see how this one turns out, but it looks to be a pretty direct sequel to it's SNES predecessor. No doubt that will excite fans of the original.

M&DK: Minis on the Move - I'm a big fan of Lemmings and games of that ilk, and I have, therefore, enjoyed the previous entries in the 'minis' series. This new title seems to be taking the lemmings formulae and mixing it with some other puzzle concepts, in particular it seems to be taking some influence from ChuChu Rocket or the 'Toy Car'/'Toy Train' mini games seen in Professor Layton. It actually might be pretty cool.

Pikmin 3 - I still maintain that if any (announced) Wii U game could get me to buy the system, it's likely to be Pikmin 3. I guess we'll have to wait a little longer to find out whether or not that's the case.

Earthbound - I wish this was being released on Wii Virtual Console also. Ah, well.

Animal Crossing - I've never really understood the appeal of these games. Regardless, I'm sure it will do gangbusters.

Zelda Oracle games - Shockingly, I've never played these games. I'm very much looking forward to getting my hands on them.

Bravely Default - On the 8-4 Play podcast they talked pretty extensively about this game, but I still don't feel like I have a firm grasp of what it is. I hope to see a demo.

Professor Layton and the Something or Other - I made it half way through Spectres Call and I can't see myself finishing it any time soon. The word 'fatigue' doesn't being to describe how weary I've become of this series. I'm sure they're still exception games, but I...I...Just cant!

A Link to the Past 2 - Totally on board for this! As with quite a few of Nintendo's games recently, this title also appears to have a bit of that Mario Kart/NSMB sheen. I'm not really a huge fan of that look (especially when we only have to look at games like Rayman Legends and Mighty Switch Force to see how good sprites can look in 3D), but if the gameplay is as interesting as the trailer makes it seem then I really don't see it being an issue.


This ND had pretty much something for everyone. Of course, with it being Nintendo there is still an over-reliance in my opinion on the Mario universe (Mario & Luigi, NSLU, Yoshi's Island, M&DK, Mario Golf, Mario Party) but the games announced had enough breadth that you'd be hard pushed to find someone who didn't come out feeling good about what the 3DS has to offer this year.

The fact that so many news worthy titles were announced at this ND, coupled with the fact that Bill Trinen has been out there stating that 2013 is the year when the 3DS will truly take off, makes me very excited to see what will be announced at E3. What could possibly be bigger news than ALTTP 2?...

*intake of breath*
*eyes widen*

...SUPER METROID 2 DEVELOPED BY RETRO!

AnGerApril 22, 2013

Quote:

...SUPER METROID 2 DEVELOPED BY RETRO!

That would be tremendous. However, I think that Retro must now walk their own paths and get rid of the stigma as Nintendo's "Metroid Team". If we must insist on Super Metroid 2 (which I'd really dig tbh), how about a team that has experience with HD sprites? Like WayForward?

Pixelated PixiesApril 22, 2013

@AnGer

You know, I actually agree. Retro returning to the Metroid series after the response that Other M received would be huge news, but that's not necessarily what I would want from Retro. Ideally, I'd like to see them be given free reign to come up with a completely new series.

AdrockApril 22, 2013

Metroid Fusion was essentially Super Metroid 2. It didn't stray too far from it's predecessor. Great in its own right, just worse than Super Metroid in every way. There's also no way to revisit the world of Super Metroid since Zebes is one of the many planets Samus blew up.

It's imperative for Retro Studios to work on an original IP. As long as Nintendo keeps a watchful eye on the next Metroid, almost any competent team can handle its development and the game should sell reasonably well on name alone. Retro Studios has the talent to produce the next big Nintendo franchise like Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica have for Sony.

I'd argue that Zero Mission was more like a sequel to Super Metroid than Fusion, despite Fusion being an actual story sequel and Zero Mission being a remake of a prequel to Super Metroid.

Super Metroid, in everything but story, was pretty much a remake of the original Metroid, only with better tech, and Zero Mission was the same thing, only a decade later, on even better hardware, with even more lessons from which to learn.

AdrockApril 22, 2013

I consider Zero Mission to be an evolution of Fusion which was an evolution of Super Metroid. Fusion had the SA-X chase sequences and Zero Mission had Zero Suit Samus. Otherwise, they're basically Super Metroid 2 and 2.5.

Pixelated PixiesApril 22, 2013

I don't want to side line the discussion about whether or not Fusion or Zero Mission are worthy sequels to Super Metroid, because I think that's a really interesting debate; but I do hope you realise my comment about Super Metroid 2 was a gibe at A Link to the Past 2. Just thought I'd get that out there in case my sarcasm wasn't coming across.

As for Fusion, for me it didn't establish a strong atmosphere in the way that Super Metroid did. I think alot of Fusion's sense of dread is inextricably tied up with the SA-X portions of the game. That construct clearly worked for some people, and for them I can totally see why that game might have clicked. The difficulty I have, however, is that those sections didn't really work for me, and perhaps as a result the tone of the game didn't quite hit home for me. It's still a really good game though, just not Super Metroid good.

Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion are very different games. That's not a bad thing; I wish Nintendo would take chances like that more often. Fusion's world is designed differently, and lacks the feeling of isolation with the constant inner monologues from Samus, and had the SA-X, a very different type of enemy than anything in the series to that point

Zero Mission, on the other hand, is basically Super Metroid all over again, save for the Zero Suit sections Pixelated Pixies mentioned. I'd argue it's superior to Super Metroid, feeling faster and controlling better despite having two fewer buttons to use. Zero Mission, structurally and atmospherically, is virtually identical to Super Metroid, again, save for the last part.

In the end, they both feel like evolutions of Super Metroid, only in different directions.

Pixelated PixiesApril 22, 2013

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Zero Mission, on the other hand, is basically Super Metroid all over again, save for the Zero Suit sections Adrock mentioned. I'd argue it's superior to Super Metroid, feeling faster and controlling better despite having two fewer buttons to use. Zero Mission, structurally and atmospherically, is virtually identical to Super Metroid, again, save for the last part.


Fixed.

Zero Mission is in my pile of shame.  :-[

DannyRaisin4April 23, 2013

I still want to party with mario and friends.

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