Nintendo Direct Update Blows Us Away!
In the dead of night Reggie Fils-Aime and other Nintendo of America crew launched a video that knocked all of our socks off here at the Gamers Heroes team. Ok, I shouldn’t talk for everyone here, but for me it was a crazy moment to be a Nintendo 3DS fan. This opinion piece on the Nintendo Direct 3DS XL will be a little one sided as they announced a ton of amazing stuff to me. Check out the information bellow if you are a Nintendo fan because it will not disappoint. This overview and opinions piece on the Nintendo Direct video that dropped on 6/21/2012 will include:
- Nintendo 3DS XL Announcements
- 3rd Party 3DS Games
- 3DS Demo Announcements
- 1st Party 3DS Games Announcements
- New Super Mario Bros. 2 Announcements
- Nintendo eShop Announcements
- Pokemon Black 2 & Pokemon White 2 Announcements
|Nintendo 3DS XL Announcements|
The Nintendo Direct video started off with a bomb shell. A new iteration on the Nintendo 3DS has been made and is set to launch on August 19th alongside New Super Mario Brothers 2. The new system boasts powerful new specs with a 90% larger screens, a free 4GB memory card and a longer battery life. The new Nintendo 3DS XL will have a battery life that lasts 3.5-6.5 hours while playing 3DS games (instead of the 3-5 hours on normal 3DS) and 6-10 hours while playing DS games (instead of 5-8 hours). Best of all the Nintendo 3DS XL will launch at a price of $199.99.
Nintendo 3DS XL lets you get the most out of everything the Nintendo 3DS was made to do. – Reggie Fils-Aime
The announcement of the Nintendo 3DS XL is almost a no brainer. Everyone thought that the system was going to be announced during Nintendo’s E3 Presentation earlier this month. It is an interesting move to wait and announce it through the Nintendo Direct Channel. One problem I have with the design is the 2nd circle pad is nowhere to be found. I thought for sure the redesigned version of the 3DS was going to have a second stick. I think Nintendo is really missing out by not adding this feature. Plus now all the people that own a regular 3DS with a Circle Pad Pro will be stuck with an adapter that will not work for the new hardware. Especially coming out of E3 where they made a big deal about being able to use old Wii controllers for the Wii U I just don’t think this makes sense. Come on Nintendo! Where is the second stick for crying out loud!
The price point, however, I am ecstatic over. Still beating out the vita, with a 4GB memory card, is a huge move by Nintendo’s part. The $200 price point is a little expensive when considering the mobile games market, but I think they found a sweet spot where people will trade in their regular 3DS and have an easy transition to picking up the 3DS XL. Sign me up, I’m sold.
|3rd Party 3DS Games|
Reggie turned the video over to Damon Baker, Licensing Marketing Manager of Nintendo of America. Damon talked about brand new releases coming to the 3DS soon from 3rd party developers. Some of these games are releasing as soon as July while others are just teasers for what’s to come in 2013. Here are some of the games that were announced on Nintendo Direct last night.
Castlevania Lord of Shadows: Mirror of Fate
Play as part of the Belmont clan with the new installment of the Castlevania series. This 2D (in 3d video) looks like a return to good old fashioned Castlevania fun. Deep exploration and long game play where promised in the teaser clip. There will also be 4 playable characters, an intense upgrade system and giant bosses to really fill out the game with hours of fun. I am super pumped for this new game in the Castlevania franchise and am looking forward to more news soon.
Skylanders was an addicting figure collecting game that came out in 2011 where collector figurines where placed on a portal to transport your real life action figure into the game. The squeal Skylanders Giants will feature 20 new figures that are two times larger than previous figures. There will also be new Light Core Skylanders that, as the name suggests, light up while playing the game. The 3DS version will have a unique storyline just for the mobile platform.
I don’t really care about this game but maybe some people will. An exclusive coming out for the Nintendo 3DS and DS franchise is a game based on the Adventure Time TV show. Players will control Fin and Jake in the land of Ooo and go on Adventure Time like escapades. Thankfully the creative designer is actually from the TV show, so there’s that? Moving onto 3rd party games people care more about more.
Lego The Lord of the Rings
Now here is a game I can get behind. For some reason I always hesitate when picking up a game from the Lego franchise but as soon as I do, I never regret it. The Lego Lord of the Rings game will have actual theatrical dialog to make it sound more like the actual movies. Other than an awful pun made by Damon during the presentation, the reveal and gameplay has me very excited to have another Lego game in my collection
Did you play any of the Scribblenauts games for the DS? If not…GO DO IT! NOW! If you did then you know these games are fantastic. Entering anything into the text field with descriptions doesn’t sound fun to people who haven’t played it but the puzzles are addicting. New features include a completely open world atmosphere and streetpass functionality to see how people solved puzzles. Maybe I’ll actually be able to enter text effectively on the bigger 3DS XL screen.
Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion
I guess I should start caring about this game. A lot of different video game outlets including IGN have come out and said that this game looks kinda good. I don’t see it yet. To me the graphics look underwhelming and none of the paint and thinner gameplay has been shown. I don’t want to be constantly painting and scratching out stuff on a touch pad. It just doesn’t grab me quite yet. Epic Mickey will be Launching this November for the 3DS exclusively.
Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed
Le sigh… In a comically hilarious move they announced the new Sonic kart racing game. I think they might as well have left this one out of the Nintendo Direct presentation. The gameplay does kind of look interesting but it’s hard to get hyped for a kart racer that is not Mario Kart. Also, just in case you’re a Nascar fan, Danica Patrick will be featured in the game as a playable character. Like I said before, le sigh.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
I have this game pre-ordered and possibly thinking about switching over to the newly announced collectors edition. New characters will be available in the collectors edition through AR cards along with a collectors edition box, 3DS case, artwork and what looks like a bunch of little character stickers. Not so much into the stickers but the collectors edition case does look very interesting. Nintendo also announced a demo for the game on the Nintendo eShop that launched today so go check that out!
|3DS Demo Announcements|
New demos were revealed for the Nintendo eShop. Kingdom Hearts 3D as mentioned above was released today and is a must try demo. Other games announced where Heroes of Ruin, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, The Amazing Spider-Man and Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure. The Lego Batman title and Amazing Spider-Man demos are available on the eShop now but as for Square Enix’s Heroes of Ruin and Rhythm Thief players will have to wait for them to drop later. Here are some logos for the new games that will be available to demo on the Nintendo eShop.
|1st Party 3DS Games Announcements|
JC Rodrigo, Senior Product Marketing Specialist at Nintendo of America kicked off the next section of Nintendo Direct. He first went over 1st party releases that are coming out later this year. He mentions the two games that were shown pretty heavily at E3 for the 3DS, Luigi’s Mansion and Paper Mario. He also went into first details on a new exclusive Professor Layton game and more details on New Super Mario Brothers 2.
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
I am happier then a pig in mud for the new Professor Layton game called Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask. The game is a mixture of brain teasers and puzzle mini games that are crazy addicting. The game will give fans of the franchise a background on the professor and show him in his high school. The new Professor Layton will also support a new downloadable puzzle every day after launch for a year for free. With puzzles coming every day to this already addictive franchise I will try to be first in line to pick this up.
Super Smash Brothers Announcement
With a familiar sound and a backdrop of Falco, Nate Bihldorff, Senior Localization Manager at Nintendo of America butted in to talk very briefly about the new Super Smash Brothers Game. Nintendo has partner with Bandai Namco Games and Bandai Namco Studios to help build this game efficiently with staff members known for the direction of other Super Smash Brothers Games and other fighting games such as Tekken. Nintendo announced that development for Super Smash Brother started immediately after Kid Icarus, but it is still in very early stages. More info on the studios working on the game can be found in a Nintendo Direct message.
New Super Mario Brothers 2
More info was released during the Nintendo Direct briefing for New Super Mario Brothers 2. The coin collection aspect of this game is starting to look interesting. There is a whole game mode built around collecting as many coins as you can, as fast as you can, with only 1 life. It looks like this game mode is going to be swapped between systems that streetpass. Nintendo has done a smart thing here by feeding into the history of speed runs and collection that has been huge tradition among Nintendo fans for a long time.
The video showed some other new additions including the flying tanooki suit, gold Mario power flower, gold rings to turn enemies into gold, gold block head and other features that players can interact with to gain a TON of coins. Everything looked like a gimmick to me when I saw the videos coming out of E3. However after watching some of the new footage of the new power ups it looks like New Super Mario Brothers 2 may be putting a nice new twist on an old franchise. Fresh mechanics are a must if this game is going to have the success that Super Mario 3D land achieved.
The beloved turn base franchise is coming back and in a huge way for the 3DS. Every interaction looks like it has an in depth video segment dedicated to push Fire Emblem into a new entertainment territory. I am heavily looking forward to this game and gearing myself up by playing the Fire Emblem game released on the Nintendo eShop for Ambassadors. A lot is still left to be unearthed about Fire Emblem but it won’t release until 2013.
|Nintendo eShop Announcements|
Reggie returns to the screen with some very interesting news on the Nintendo eShop. A little while ago Nintendo announced that they would be releasing first party games on the eShop as well as in retail stores. This may be a great opportunity for people that are lazy, like myself, and don’t want to run out to the store to get amazing Nintendo games. In this announcement Reggie also talked about new Coin Rush levels that will be available for New Super Mario Brothers 2. Finally some DLC content for a game. He made sure to point out that New Super Mario Brothers 2 is a fully featured game to try to cut off people nay saying the DLC. The Fire Emblem game will have DLC along the same lines.
Nintendo eShop Virtual Console Announcement
A few games will be releasing very soon under the virtual console section of the Nintendo eShop for a reduced price. Super Mario Land will be available for $2.99 starting today through June 25th. Starting on July 5th and going through August 1st Nintendo will be releasing 2 new Virtual Console games per week. Some of the announced games include The Legend of Zelda, Kirby’s Pinball Land and Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.
|Pokemon Black 2 & Pokemon White 2 Announcements|
The Pokemon franchise constantly is a huge seller not only for the games but also for hardware. When I was a kid I remember yearning to have a Pokemon Blue and Red. Pokemon Black Version 2 and White Version 2 are direct squeals that take place 2 years after Pokemon Black & White. Players will visit the same regions with Pokemon from previous games and will unlock new battles with new trainers.
Pokemon Dream Radar
It sounds like Pokemon players on the 3DS will get a couple of extras that where announced in the Nintendo Direct briefing. The first game that I am super stoked for is Pokemon Dream Radar. Pokemon Dream Radar looks like an AR version of Pokemon Snap. Players can scan their living room to look for new Pokemon to add to their collection in Pokemon Black Version 2 & Pokemon White Version 2. It’s not a full Pokemon Snap game but it sure looks like something similar.
Pokedex 3D Pro
Gamers with a 3DS know about Pokedex 3D but the Pro version, which will cost a little dough, is an advanced version of that. Pokedex 3D Pro has all of the information a Pokemon fan would need. It sounds like the new app will take in your Pokemon data from Dream Radar as well as Pokemon Black Version 2 and White Version 2 to tell you vital information like when and how Pokemon evolve as well as what moves they will learn.
Thats a whole lot of news about the 3DS wrapped into a little package and delivered in a Nintendo Direct Video. I have to be honest with you guys, I have been doubting Nintendo lately after E3. These announcements coming out give me a positive outlook of hope. I can’t wait to get my hands on a Nintendo 3DS XL and play some of the new and innovative games coming soon.
What do you guys think? Are you at all interested in the 3DS XL? Do you think they made a mistake by not including a second stick? Hit us up in the comments!
Ryan McBride is a news editor for Gamers Heroes who looks to give a different side of the story. Hit him up on facebook, twitter, and Tumblr. You can also see all of his articles on his Author’s Page.