They ruined you, Mario.
Well, let's not beat around the bush. Nintendo promised a Nintendo Direct today and we sure got one. There were plenty of okay announcements, a couple of great ones, one really awful one, and plenty in-between. Let's take the next few minutes to talk about what I personally deem to be the good, the bad, and the ugly of this presentation (there were other announcements besides these, but those belong in a special “indifferent” category):
Next Month's 3DS Update: Not only does it offer the first step towards a 2013 account system with Nintendo Network ID integration and shared account balance, but it also offers the long-awaited Miiverse. It seems like tons of older games, potentially all of them, will get their own sections which is a very nice thing to hear. It wasn't a new game announcement, but this was so good that they should have saved this for the end as the big "one last thing."
Bravely Default and Professor Layton: I'm not necessarily sold on either at the moment, but seeing a couple of dates for these two sizable games makes me happy and hopeful for 2014's 3DS support.
YouTube: Feel free to call me wrong for not looking at this as a good thing, but Nintendo does not deserve to be praised for waiting until the tail end of 2013 to get their stuff together. The 3DS YouTube app has taken so long to release that it's incredibly difficult to even care at this point. That said, I do praise Nintendo for getting the Wii U app out from the start; I just dislike how long Nintendo took for the 3DS one.
Mario Party and Zelda: This pales in comparison to what I'm going to talk about in a minute, but I was rather disappointed with Nintendo's insistence on teasing just a little too much of these two games. The StreetPass stuff was fine, but getting into MP Bosses and Zelda characters/items just rubs me the wrong way.
No Yoshi or Golf: There should have been updates on Yoshi's New Island and Mario Golf. The fact that there weren't not only stood as disappointing, but also set up questions of whether either of those games would even make March. It's true that they may have another Direct in the next month or three, but they should not have set up those questions to begin with. "We are still working on Yoshi and Mario Golf and we will have more information on those very soon." Perfect. Nevertheless, they didn't even have that.
The Closer: Their "one last thing" was spoiling nearly every exciting feature in Super Mario 3D World. New level types? Check. New insane unlockable surprise? Check. New secret content for the loyal fans of previous Mario games? Not so secret anymore! Let me mention that Reggie's insistence on giving the game a spoiler alert isn't the problem. The problem comes in when Reggie spoils one more thing after the trailer ends and uses this as the Direct closer without even mentioning that this was the end of the presentation. The problem continues when I check YouTube and my e-mail and see Nintendo casually reveals these spoilers in press materials without hesitation. The problem carries on when they reveal spoilers this severe in a world where existing on the internet guarantees exposure.
And it's not just Mario. Remember when Skyward Sword spoiled everything in its official materials? Remember when Pokémon X and Y revealed a huge percentage of its new Pokédex and content unapologetically over the last few months before release? And no, it is not my responsibility to get out of the oh-so-charitable Nintendo's way and stop using social media because Nintendo markets like garbage. It is not my responsibility to be happy with the oh-so-generous Nintendo decision to spoil major content because it makes the game more "hype." There could be other major unlockable content, but that's not even close to an excuse for revealing as much as they did. In fact, I would put money down on the idea that Nintendo has revealed most of the major surprises that game has to offer in those few minutes alone.
For all of the people losing their minds over things like a wobbly PS4, I feel justified in getting angry about the fact that a company's marketing punishes their most loyal fans by destroying the very sense of discovery that attracted many people to Nintendo's games to begin with. It's sickening, and Nintendo has effectively cancelled my pre-order as a result. Again, you can feel free to be excited about this game in spite of or because of these unlockable spoilers, but I am not.
I can’t wait until they spoil the fourth Donkey Kong Country character in January.