I still find these Nintendo Direct events somewhat ridiculous. It’s easy to say, “What, Nintendo, are you too good for a regular press conference at E3 or something?” And then you smoke several cigars at once while riding a giant Fresca can into space. It’s really just that these things tend to highlight on a semi-regular interval the struggles and stigmas the company has battled for the past two console generations.
Mainly, Nintendo just doesn’t know what to give us. Often times, everything looks like more of the same, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since Nintendo’s bar for a poor release is actually higher than other mediocre-adjacent measuring sticks. And when they do give us something, they don’t know how to show it off. We’re usually left confused or feeling like we’ve seen it all before.
Case in point: there’s been another Nintendo Direct event. If you didn’t see the stream, I’ll catch you up on the major points. If you did, well, I’m not sure what I have to offer you besides a hearty slap on the back, significant eye contact, and then a wistful goodbye. Let’s get to it.
Bayonetta 2 Trailer
Absurd. That’s what this is. Has there ever been a more mismatched voiceover with an over-the-top thing? He sounded like he was reading the game’s instruction manual to a mildly interested four-year-old cousin. But whatever. I really like the first Bayonetta (it was seriously a Game of the Year contender) and this looks to take a big, witchy step in another ridiculous direction.
Look for the game sometime in 2014 in the US and this summer in Japan.
Perhaps it’s the immensely large war chest of money backing seemingly reckless decisions that lead to poor outcomes, but it seems like Nintendo is the most open of the big three that is open to experimentation. For instance, besides taking their first step into free-to-play games with Steel Diver: Sub Wars, the upcoming Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball will feature price haggling.
The system is based around you actually playing the game and doing it well. In minigames, if you score high enough, you will earn an ostensibly useless item (for a baseball game, anyways). But if you take it to the shopkeeper and give him just what he needs (be sure to listen to his stories), he could be willing to knock a few pence off the price of downloadable content. Pretty big swing.
Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball comes out this April for the 3DS. Steel Diver: Sub Wars, while just announced, is already out on the eShop.
Mario Kart 8
Everyone loves their first Mario Kart. I’m willing to bet in 90% of all cases, the first Mario Kart you play is your favorite one. I’m also willing to bet that is because that’s the basis of what you judge a kart racer to actually be, and deviations necessarily make games less of a kart racer.
It makes you wonder how many people will make Mario Kart 8 (freaking eight!) their first Mario Kart. Would they even recognize the first iteration of the franchise? It’s kind of a terrifying thought. But, regardless, I will still probably end up playing Mario Kart 8. I don’t know why. It’s just going to happen. Maybe this is the one to bolster poor console sales.
Mario Kart 8 releases May 30th for the Wii U.
Fresh Professor Layton Trailer
You know what? I was never terribly into Professor Layton’s shenanigans. I found him charming, I thought the games were fun, and I would recommend the series all the time, but I just never got behind it the way many other people did. It’s really strange.
Maybe it needs a movie like Phoenix Wright. I’m not sure. This trailer, though, still has me looking forward to Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy. Oh, wait, also Emmy’s Story. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy: Emmy’s Story. Christ, what a name.
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy: Emmy’s Story releases Feburary 28th for the 3DS.
New Ace Attorney
Only bearing an announcement of words, it was still fairly big news because original series creator Shu Takumi will be behind the wheel. And Capcom will be behind another wheel. A 3DS wheel made of money. And law. Or something. Unfortunately, no word on when it will be released or if it will come out in any country not called Japan.
And if you’re curious, the text on this briefly displayed card translates to “Ace Attorney: a New Project Begins” according to Kotaku. I dunno, they seem legit.
Pokémon Battle Trozei
Let’s be honest: we’re all suckers for puzzle games, especially those of the match-three variety. How else did Bejeweled get as big as it did? Either way, there’s a new Pokémon-themed one coming out called Pokémon Battle Trozei. The weird combination of high fidelity video game bit sounds and 90s wailing electric guitar alone makes me want to play.
It’ll be out on March 20th for the 3DS.
GBA Games Coming to Virtual Console
Perhaps it’s just my fading old man memory, but it seems like the GBA came and went fairly fast in terms of handheld lifecycles. Technically it lasted around five years, but its big hits all seemed to fall within two years of each other and then that was it. So it seems befuddling that there was enough call for GBA games to come to the Wii U Virtual Console for this to happen.
I assume every title will just be Golden Sun, Metroid Fusion, or Advance Wars, the only three GBA games worth playing. Just kidding; there were plenty of other good ones. Just get ready to remove those rose-tinted glasses when they come your way this spring.
NES Remix 2 Continues Year of Luigi
The Year of Luigi may have come to an end, but that doesn’t mean it has to leave your heart. NES Remix 2 will feature a bunch of old Nintendo classics like Dr. Mario, Kid Icarus, and Metroid challenges along with the entirety of the original Super Mario Bros., but with Luigi as the star and the levels are backwards and also it’s called Super Luigi Bros. Surprise!
NES Remix 2 comes out April 25th.
Everyone Still Wants X
It’s been just over a year since X, the followup to Xenoblade Chronicles, was announced. We’ve heard just about nothing about it since then and now we see some new footage and…that’s about it. It’s still slated for release for this year, but come on. That’s probably not going to happen. I mean, we can all hope, but it won’t. Ugh, it just looks so fun.
Kirby Triple Deluxe Trailer, Date
Hey guys. I really liked the last three Kirby games. You should probably pay attention to this trailer. (Those two thoughts are unrelated.). It looks basically just like Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, which also looks a lot like every other major console Kirby release. This little pink puff is the unsung hero of Nintendo. I don’t think it’ll ever change, but his games are little troopers that do what they need to do and then get out. It’s great.
Kirby Triple Deluxe will release May 2nd for the 3DS.